Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Virtual Laryngitis

Tolstoy is not my favorite author, and War and Peace is not my favorite book. It left me cold when I read it in college, and I came to loathe all the main characters. I've got to admire Tolstoy's prescience, though: he was ahead of his time in predicting a modern trend. From the epilogue:
Natasha did not care for society in general but this made her all the fonder of being with her relatives -- with Countess Maria, her brother, her mother and Sonya. She took delight in the society of those to whom she could come striding dishevelled from the nursery in her dressing-gown and with joyful face show a diaper stained yellow instead of green, and from whom she could hear reassuring words to the effect that the baby was much better.
Tolstoy: creator of that most modern of characters, the mommy-blogger.

And this, in a nutshell, is why I've been slow to post lately. Besides having to travel a great deal recently and having family staying at the house for the past month, most of my time is spent looking after the girls in various capacities. And while every day has its own little drama, it doesn't make very interesting writing.

I find mommy-blogging intensely boring, both in the writing and the reading. Let's face it, mothers: no one actually cares what cute tricks someone else's children are doing. It's a sad fact of life that few people find your kids as interesting as you do -- except your immediate family, of course. I love my girls, and I think they're absolutely beautiful. They do a lot of things that I consider funny, because I'm in on all the inside jokes. I can get all my day's stored-up anecdotes out of my system by telling them to Darwin, who also has a deep personal interest in our children. (Also, lately we haven't had any disasters on the level of water pouring out off the fan.) So it hardly seems worth the effort to find some quiet time at the computer just to write about what the kids did today, ha ha!

(Frankly, I don't feel all that maternal, and in this I differ from Tolstoy's Natasha. My life stretches before and behind me in a continuum. I feel like I'm basically the same person I was when I met Darwin ten years ago -- deeper and more mature, hopefully, but not drastically altered by being married and having children. I don't feel like I have any great wisdom to offer on the parenthood front because even after five years, Darwin and I both feel like we're still trying to settle in and get this whole thing figured out. Being a parent seems like play-acting a lot of the time for the benefit of the small fry who don't realize that you're really just making it up as you go along. Some days we're just four people in a house together, and between the interruptions of diapers and lunch and separating fighting sisters, my main goal is simply to finish the book I'm reading.)

Then, some people seem to have great facility with writing, and are able to toss off blog posts with apparent ease. (Darwin has this ability.) It takes me a good deal longer to write, and re-write, and polish. Heck, I can't even write a quick post about why I can't abide the epilogue of War and Peace, and that's something I feel strongly about. The time committment involved in putting my thoughts into readable order sometimes leads me to wonder if I really have all that much to say in the first place that hasn't been said more concisely or cogently by someone else. I have virtual laryngitis.

But then I re-read Tolstoy and feel like at least I'm more concise than somebody. And don't get me started on Natasha.


Jennifer F. said...

Let's face it, mothers: no one actually cares what cute tricks someone else's children are doing.

You know...I never cease to be amazed at what blogs are popular. Though they're not for me, a lot of people actually read "mommy blogs" that talk solely about what the kids are up to.

My theory is that it's nice to hear what's going on in other people's families sometimes. Not necessarily interesting, but, man, if there is a blog out there where a mom is writing about her day-to-day struggles with a little boy who's trying to set some sort of "terrible two's" world record, I'd read it every day. Since I don't personally know anyone else who has kids exactly the age of mine, I'd love to hear about what it's like for some other mom.

Wait...I think as I write this I'm convincing myself to be a mommy blog reader. I need to go work on a post about that silly thing the baby did today...

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Well, I like reading about Gnat on the Bleet.... And some other places that spice in kid stories....

PS-- zajwwmnq ? Why can't they have SHORT word verifications?

mrsdarwin said...

It's not that I'm opposed to kid stories every now and then -- it's blogs that are all kid all the time that irk me. Kid posts are all too easy to write, especially if you spend all day around kids. But since I spend all day around kids, I generally want to write about something else.

Also, Lileks is an author in an entirely different class than most mommy bloggers. He's just good.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

*innocent* He's a daddy blogger?

*ducks* *runs*

Julie D. said...

Mrs. Darwin, once again it is clear we are soul mates! :-)

barbfromcincy said...

Perhaps some of the mommy bloggers really don't care if they entertain you at all... their goal may simply be to preserve their memories and if someone else reads it occasionally, so be it.
Hope you have a blessed day!!

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Aah... I hated War & Peace. I started skipping the war chapters...and it stopped making any sense after a while. My favorite Tolstoy is The Death of Ivan Ilych.
I felt like you many times. Then I had another child. Number Three was a turning point for me in motherhood. Then... four more. Now the youngest is six, and I am so enjoying the finishing of books!

Entropy said...

Are you sure you're not pregnant? heh.

I agree with barbfromcincy. While I'm not the mama-blogging type, I do read them occasionally. I like to see different ways of doing things.

Sarahndipity said...

Let's face it, mothers: no one actually cares what cute tricks someone else's children are doing.

Thank you!! So nice to hear another blogger admit this.

I'm a mom and I have a blog, but I do not consider myself a "mommy blogger." If I wrote about all the cute things my daughter does (and trust me, she does a lot of unbelievably cute things), I would bore myself.

I actually find the term "mommy blogger" to be quite patronizing, as if once you become a mom you are suddenly nothing but a "mommy" and devoid of all intelligence.