Sunday, August 12, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Romantic Comedies

Stop being so friendly, Super Baby!

I am watching Super Baby romp with Phenomenal Baby. Phenomenal Baby is a true phenom; grace personified in a pink dress as pretty as she is. At an amazing 10 months, she prefers to walk, but she really floats. She is gorgeous. I tear my eyes away to watch Super Baby roll by. I think rolling is easier for her because she is completely round and looks exactly like a grape in her purple corduroy overalls. They looked so cute at home. Now, I am not so sure. This is not the first time I have questioned my ability to make appropriate sartorial decisions for my daughter. This is not the first time I have questioned my ability to raise a daughter.

I am worried that I am raising a friend. You know what I am talking about. The friend character in the romantic comedy. The one who listens patiently to the lead get drunk and whine all about the woes of dating a rich, handsome, wonderful architect/doctor/ad executive, when she really loves the broke artist, who is also handsome and wonderful, and who becomes a rich, successful artist in the last scene anyway. That one. The listening one. The one who is funny. The one who has dates and adventures that happen completely off screen. The one who bails the lead out of jail when she completely misinterprets something the architect/doctor/ad executive does and flies into a rage that would be frightening, but because she is beautiful and the lead, it is just mildly silly. The one who has to drive the lead across town in 7 minutes, through traffic, so she can catch the architect/doctor/ad executive before he gets on a plane and flies off to whatever exciting and humanitarian adventure his perfect self is flying off to. The one who then drives the lead, back through the same traffic, when she realizes, midway through her big monologue, that she really loves the poor and struggling artist. The one who is either fat, ugly, or a flamboyantly gay man. I think Super Baby may be able to avoid that last one, but she is still heading toward friend territory. And yes, I know that movie-star fat and movie-star ugly is still jaw-dropping beautiful. That isn't what worries me anyway. It is more her inner "friendness" that concerns me.

Super Baby has a passivity that has made her first 8 months of life so easy and so full of sleep. I am quite grateful for this, but now I am ready for some feistiness. I know that it is in there. I have seen flashes of it; mostly when she is hungry. But most of the time, she is a total, go-with-the-flow, slacker baby. I watch Perfect Babies snatch toys from her and I see the frustration flash in her absolutely beautiful eyes before a gentle resignation takes over. You can almost see her baby shoulders shrug, while her "oh well, there are other toys" attitude kicks in. Maybe it comes from a lack of mobility. Maybe it comes from being a third child. Maybe she is just that peaceful and non-materialistic. But I keep seeing that flash. Where is that flash going? And what is gonna happen when it finally blows?

Whatever it is, I have never really worried about this before. Super Preschooler is straight up lead, with his confidence, charm, and, most importantly, clothes. Super Toddler has already informed us that he will be staring in action movies, so this just leaves little Super Baby for me to fret over. And fret I do.

What kind of friend will she be? Will she be the mopey one who never finds love, except for in the last scene when she drops her glasses and bumps into a man who has also dropped his glasses? Will she be the funny one who steals all the scenes but still doesn't have her name above the movie title? Will she be the goth one they throw in there sometimes? Will she is be the nerdy one who figures out some MacGuffin that moves the plot into its final arc? Will she be the angry career one? Will she be the angry divorced one? Will she be the party girl who really longs for love? Will she be the one Hollywood keeps telling us is the lead but we really know isn't? (I am looking at you Katherine Heigl.) Will she be the one whose parts you fast forward to because she is just way more interesting than the lead?

Because that is the real secret, isn't it? We like the friends. We really prefer the friends. We relate to them and identify with them and find their tiny bits of plot way more fascinating that anything the leads are doing, which is mostly staring into each other's lovely, but rather bland, features, when they aren't racing around New York City in their "getting-to-know-each-other" montage. No, I don't mind her being the friend, I just don't want her to think of herself as just the friend.

Because I spent more than 30 years thinking of myself as "just the friend," and that, as you know, my dear Readers, is a giant waste of time. No one is "just the friend," especially not in the movie of his/her own life. (Mine is no romantic comedy though, I prefer to think of it as an Epic.) I am the star of a wonderfully awkward adventure and it pains me that it took me so long to see that. I am a great friend and I will totally be the friend character in your romantic comedy. I will come bail you out of jail, drink with you, and tell you it is OK to break up with the architect/doctor/ad executive if you really want to be with the poor, but utterly gorgeous looking, artist who "stirs your soul like he stirs his paints." I won't even tell you that you sound stupid. Because I am a great friend. But I am the lead over here in my Epic, and, because I am married to Foggy Nelson, there is no need to drive me anywhere. We are gonna eat some chocolate and watch some Netflix; you are welcome to join us though.

I want Super Baby to be a great friend and a great lead. And I want her to realize that her friendness and her leadness can coexist and realize it long before her 30th birthday. I just have to figure out how to do this, so advice is welcome. I am on the fence as to whether or not the purple corduroy overalls are hurting my cause, but I still think they are kinda cute. I mean, who doesn't like grapes?

We have a feeling Super Baby's Romantic Comedy is gonna be a hit; that it will feature a lot of indie music, win a Golden Globe, and pair her with Joseph Gordon-Levitt goes without saying.

Well, this look is slightly better than the grape one.


  1. Look at this cutie! She's a doll! I'm still learning about the whole friendship thing...Share when you figure it all out! :)

    1. Oh, thanks! I think she is sugar sweet too. I am still trying to figure it out for me! Let alone how to guide little kids through it....

  2. So cute! Don't worry, you are going to figure it out. I have zero doubts about your ability to raise an awesome daughter. She will be a great friend *and* the star of her own fabulous adventure, no question about it.

    1. Ahh, you are too sweet! I just hope she isn't the character in some afternoon special, you know, the one we are supposed to learn from. Her mistakes that is.... :)