Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Embarrassing Revelations and Compensatory Silliness

1) One-Sentence Summation of My Post-Partum Sex-Life
I managed to make it past hubby’s birthday last week and our wedding anniversary without writing a post in his honour. Consider it my gift to him. But then the Mad Momma tagged me for the Worst Meme Ever. My task: to sum up my post-partum sex life in a single sentence. Should I take on the allegation that two vaginal births have transformed my lady parts into a two-car garage? Should I return to the subject of my exotic sexual fantasies (which are all about character and setting, but never about plot)? Should I make up complete fabrications about lingerie and the Kama Sutra? Or should I fall back on an obfuscating cliché? Okay – here goes:

Quality matters more than quantity.*

*The above statement should be understood to refer to frequency only and should not be construed as saying anything, one way or the other, about size.

2) Mudita
Hubby and I were talking last night about the pleasure of watching our children have fun. “It’s like the opposite of Schadenfreude,” he mused. “It’s the ability to take pleasure in another person’s good fortune, as opposed to taking pleasure in their failures.”

“Are those really opposites?” I pondered. “Or is the opposite of that pleasure really indifference – or possibly jealousy? And why isn’t there a word for that feeling?”

And then today I read this post, and googled “mudita.” According to Wikipedia, mudita is widely understood to be the opposite of Schadenfreude, and the archetypal instance of it is a parent’s joy in a child’s accomplishments.

You were right, hubby. Does that make up for my one-sentence report on our sex life?

3) Bloggers’ Remorse
Lots of people lately are publishing those posts. You know – the ones designed to bury the previous post, the results of morning-after nervousness about what happened the night before (even though what happened was just an unusually impassioned post that elicited a heartfelt and supportive response). On the whole, I’m in favour of Bloggers’ Remorse, not because I think the original posts were anything to be ashamed of, but because the retractions and apologies are so entertaining. There’s the hangover metaphor, the sudden frantic joke-making – good times. The funniest posts, apparently, are prompted by the need for off-the-cuff compensatory silliness.

4) Lies, Damned Lies, and Mommy-Talk
“I want a snack!” Bub yells. He’s following me around the house as I act belatedly on an oft-postponed urge to dust the cobwebs out of the ceiling corners. There are astonishingly intricate webs up there, and the sunlight is strong enough today that I can actually see them.

“I want some Goldfish!” Pie chimes in. “I want Goldfish, Shreddies, and Cheerios!”

“It’s Cheerios time!” Bub hollers. “Time for a snack!” The volume is rising with each repeated request – clearly they’re concerned that I may be hard of hearing.

I take a few quick swipes at the corner of the bedroom, stalling for time. “Let’s see,” I say. “Are you trying to say that you’re hungry?”

Bub calms down instantly, optimistically. “Yes, I’m hungry. I want a snack! I want Honey-Nut Cheerios!”

“Hmmm,” I muse. “Are you telling me that you want to have a snack?”

“Yes a snack,” Bub confirms. “Cheerios and milk in a bowl at the table!”

“You want Corn Squares?” I inquire innocently. Just one more room left to dust.

“Not Corn Squares, Cheerios!”

“Okay, let’s go get your snack.”

Playing dumb – it’s isn’t just for teenage German boys anymore.

35 comments:

California mom said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. I first came here from Omaha Mama's blog and now I read your blog on a regular basis. You have a great ability to write and I like the humor in your posts.

Mr. B&P said...

I note that no actual claim of quality is made either. My poor crushed ego.

Mouse said...

Thanks for the new vocab word! That's a good one to have.

And look at Bub's language. Of course, some of it reminds me of what Scooter's doing--adding precision, especially with prepositional phrases (in a bowl at the table--because you might not get it right otherwise).

Alpha DogMa said...

That you and I were on the same thinking wavelength yesterday, makes me redunkulously proud. I mean this as a reflection of how much I respect you.

Plus your post-partum sex life sounds ALOT like mine. And we'll just leaving it at that.

Alpha DogMa said...

RE: that last comment.
I.O.U. one 'be'

Blog Antagonist said...

I really did laugh aloud at your sex life sentence. I think that would describe, like...85% of post partum sex lives, if not more. It gets better. And when it does, take advantage of it because you have a small window during which you are well rested, and your children are oblivious. Once they figure out what's going on, the fun is over.

DaniGirl said...

I was still laughing from the post itself when I stumbled across Mr B&P joining the comment fray. What fun!

Ah, the bloggy hangover posts - I have penned a few of those meself. Nearly alienated entire branches of the family in the process, too. Friends don't let friends blog on more than one glass of red wine!

kgirl said...

mr. b&p just seriously cracked my shit up.

Janet said...

No matter what you chose to write under the 'post-partum sex life' banner, it would have required a disclaimer, don't you think? My husband would no only expect a disclaimer, he would possibly insist on writing it himself.

Amanda said...

Hmmm, if not a Blogger's Remorse post, I think I sense the coming (pun not intended but apprecited with juvenile glee) of a post on the inherent goodness of he who laments the absence of endorsement of the quality of his quantity.

mamatulip said...

Playing dumb is the only way I can get any laundry put away. That and pretending I'm deaf...that works well too.

the mad momma said...

:) sorry to have put you in a spot but i enjoy your writing and i wanted to see what you would do with it. and you did great as usual so i am feeling rather pleased even if you arent.

mudita - i am surprised you have heard it. its a word we use often in india and i didnt realise others use it too ...

bubandpie said...

Mm - Complaining is part of the fun with this one, don't you think?

Suz said...

I don't think I've ever admitted to blogger's remorse in public, but maybe I should do so more often!

And I love the new word!

Blog Antagonist said...

SIGH...color me oblivious. When I wrote that first comment, I hadn't even realized that you were referring to ME in #3. That's what I get for multitasking while reading blogs.

Anyway...that got my cheeks flaming a bit, because I hadn't realized the motivation behind that post was so transparent. You hit it right on the head. You are a shrewd judge of people my dear.

I'm glad you found it funny, even if my chagrin was so obvious.

Kyla said...

Poor Mr.B&P. *lol*

You are a clever one, B&P. I always enjoy these types of posts.

slouching mom said...

OK, I'm laughing at (umm, make that with) many people now...

Mr. B&P (pleased to meetcha!)

BA (cuz her 2nd comment cracked me up)

and...

you, of course, B&P. Finishing dusting by playing dumb! That, friend, is not going to fly much longer. Bub will be on to you within months, if not weeks.

Lisa b said...

Mudita. I had no idea. While I do enjoy a littel Schadenfreude I think too few people are able to enjoy Mudita.
Thanks for pointing me to the bloggers remorse. Those are fun.

Lisa b said...

little.
Its so much pressure to comment here.

Jen M. said...

LOVE the word of the day. Thank you. Will be using it freely today.

flutter said...

you just totally cracked me up

Beck said...

Waaaahhahahahha.
That's me laughing AND crying. Because post-partm sex is the very, very worst sex. Shortly after Baby 3# and a REALLY mangled episiotomy, I just decided "To hell with it! This is God's way of saying that we've had enough sex for one life!"
But then I changed my mind. And it's all good again. Really.

painted maypole said...

oh wow, I used to do the same thing to stall for time. Now my daughter says "i told you once, I don't want to have to tell you again!"

And thanks for the tip on the photo contest. I will enter. Thanks!

Magpie said...

I love that I've come across "mudita" twice today - the synchronicity of it is delightful.

Lawyer Mama said...

Great stalling technique.

Love the description of the PP sex life. Fabulous!

NotSoSage said...

Oh, poor mr. b&p. He's right though, you know. :)

Ally said...

And now I've learned two words, in one day. I bet you didn't intend this to be educational, though. :)

nomotherearth said...

Ha, ha! Mr Earth and I do the same thing with the Boy. I'm pretty sure that the Boy thinks we are seriously lacking in intelligence.

Joy, of course said...

Warning-embaressing lavishing of praises forthcoming:

This post is just one of the many brilliant reason why your blog has become one of my 5 favorite places on the internet. And considering 2 of the other ones are my own blog (because I as narcissistic as the next person) and Dictionary.com (because I am a dork, and how else would I know how to spell narcissistic.)

So I think that's sayin somethin'

The other 2 in the top 5? I'm not tellin.

Moppet's Mom said...

LOL! Your line is good, but Mr B&P's is better! :-)

Emily said...

Quality? You have quality?!

winslow1204 said...

Was your hubby happy or sad you didn't post about him!? :)

Swistle said...

I mostly get bloggers' remorse when I blog about something I don't actually want to discuss. I get so sick of hearing it discussed that I explode all over my blog--and then of course it GETS DISCUSSED MORE. *slaps forehead*

b*babbler said...

This really gave me my laugh for the day.

PP sex life? Oh yeah...

Susanne said...

Sorry to say but quantity matters too. I have "cuddling" as a recurring task on my PDA (I know, I'm pathetic). It repeats every 60 hours. Not that we always manage to squeeze it in but we try. What can I say, practice makes perfect. (My husband and I tend to get much less cranky nowadays...)

(Maybe this is the place where I point out that I have dozens of things on my PDA that other people do without having to be reminded. It's only that something like "cuddling" and having fun tends to get pushed down the list further and further because you could do it anytime. And I set my task repeats according to my personal rhythm not the other way around.)