I have a confession.
I may be turning into a mommyniser.
Okay, let me explain. Recently I had a chat with one of those ‘editor’ types about reviving my old column which basically started out as a singleton column, but by no design or intent, I was married within a year of writing it. The husband of course was great subject material (bless him) and still continues to be, and lo and behold, I gave birth to a boy, so the male-bashing thing stayed alive. Also, the essence of the column was my meanness, which hasn’t waned, despite all those motherhood hormones (bollocks!), so I am grateful to my uterus (or whoever is responsible).
So where was I? Yes, I was talking to editor sahiba and telling her how the more things change, the more they stay the same, blah blah…
She said, “Oh, well, but perhaps the fact that you are married and now a mother puts you in a sort of grey area…”
I laughed so loud that I farted. If marriage makes you accept your farts, motherhood makes you celebrate them. It’s actually quite liberating.
I wanted to tell her how far from the truth she was. How being a mommy puts you right back in the dating game (and it’s not about your new boobs or motherhood glow or sex appeal or the new arm candy). How it’s far easier to have a take on relationships and men now that nothing is at stake (so what if you are still married to a man and have given birth to another). How wooing the right mommy is also like finding the right guy.
Basically, the rules are the same. Mommies (or guys) who are available are never the mommies (or guys) who are exciting. Mommies who are worth it are never round the corner and yet worth doing the work for. Mommies who seek you are never the ones you want to seek. And back-up mommies are the same as back-up guys. As for booty calls, let me not even go there, but we are all guilty at some point or the other, aren’t we?
When I was a singleton, I had a checklist for the right guy for the longest time, and then one fine day, I chucked the list and decided to keep it simple. “He should get my jokes and be able to make me laugh.” Which is when Mr. Husband, who incidentally I have nothing in common with happened.
We got married and made the baby and dreamt of living happily ever after. Except that none of my new friends post baby (and you make quite a few of those) were funny and that didn’t make me happy. I wondered why. Was it something to do with childbirth and those evil hormones? Did women lose their humour along with their placenta? I know the initial months are about compassion and empathy and blues and how important it is to have someone you can cry your heart out to. But for how long? How fucking long? I also realised that laughter was going to be my best inheritance to Re, but if I’m not getting any, how can I possibly give him some? Also, I was tired of being the court jester, of providing entertainment to a bunch of dour, I-want-to-kill-someone mommies.
Ironically, other than the funny mommies, I met every type of mommy. The ‘I’m-a-mommy-you’re-a-mommy-so-let’s-make-fraandship’ mommies. Mommies who can hold forth on attachment parenting (or whatever other kind there is). Mommys those who have a secret recipe for ‘losing those extra 200 gms’. Mommys who know where to get 50 rupee beach toys or 30 rupee back-presents. Mommys who know all about baby gyms and motor-skill building places for their babies. The milestone expert mommies (“Oh, he is 2.5, then yes, he will stop listening. Until he is 3.8. Then it gets better.”) Mommies who are in with the whole school mafia and closing dates for admission forms and Honeybee registrations. Mommies who know what combination of ginger, honey and tulsi will kill a cough.
What I find hard is meeting someone who turns me on. No, I am not about to turn lesbian, although sometimes I think that might be a good thing for world peace –but you know that thing about the vibe? What was evident was that funny mommies were a rare species, almost extinct. As for the yummy mommies, well, they are everywhere, because tummy-tucks are cheap. Humor, unfortunately is not.
But I realised the only way I can do motherhood is by laughing at it (it is also the only way I have been able to do marriage). So I did what a serial dater would have done. I went hunting. I was on a mission to find funny mommies and I did find some gems I’ll do anything to keep.
My quest for the funny mommy remains an ongoing one. I collect them like people collect mutual funds. Or builders collect redevelopment plots. Or whatever. And I figured, the more mommies I meet, the chances of finding one that is funny (or funny enough) are higher. And when I find one, I make sure I never let her go.
So every time I like a mommy and she likes me back, my heart skips a beat. And then the whole thrill of “will she, won’t she?” begins. Every text is a delight, every thought is one to be shared, every ‘like’ a high and every meeting is a promise for more laughter.
A bit like dating, no?