Genevieve’s latest skill is pointing, which I’m quite enjoying. Her finger smells like cinnamon from the Zwieback toast. I kiss her sticky little pointer like it’s a ripe, juicy berry hanging from a branch.
She points at her pile of toys on the table. I pull out an orange fish puppet and offer it to her. She takes it and tosses it to the floor. I offer her a life size Minnie Mouse and she pushes it away. This game continues until the table is bare.
This has just been pointing practice.
Genevieve practices and I observe. This is not a new role for me—observer. I have always enjoyed watching people, quietly making note of details that make people unique. Perhaps if I try to focus in on my role as observer of Genny I will be able to enjoy our time together more.
Observer, not entertainer.
I am so used to being the entertainer, whether I was stripping on stage or acting on tour. Eyes grazed my body and face, feeding off of what I offered. And I always felt like I needed to present more. I required of myself perfection.
Maybe I sometimes think that Genny is expecting the same perfected entertainment from me. She is just a baby; I’m the one putting pressure on myself to be the perfect performing mommy.
I need to practice stepping back. I need to remember that it’s not the end of the world if Genny cries a little bit. I do not have to rush to entertain her into happiness. How I have always hated it when people tell me to smile when I am crying.
I can let Genevieve feel upset. I can handle it. Or I can at least practice handling it until my own table is laid bare.