My Beige Room of Pain is the bathroom. There are many ways a bathroom can be painful, which I’d really rather not get into, but in general, let’s say American’s need to eat more bran. What makes it my Beige Room of Pain is that I never get to spend more than, say three minutes in it, regardless of the activity, without a small person yelling at me through the door. Hopefully one or both children are not bleeding. Hot enough for ya?
I read Fifty Shades for work – no really, for work. You can listen to the podcast and everything. There were many, many things I did not understand about that book: the popularity, the seemingly excessive use of ellipses…the physics involved in some of those positions. But one of the things I found most puzzling was why anyone would ever give up their liberty for the whims – and often painful whims – of another. Why would someone volunteer to be diminished in such a way?
The submissive in the article says, “I have given myself to her body and soul…and her pleasure is also my pleasure.” This stopped me in my tracks, causing a stream of Tom’s of Maine drool to run onto my chin. I realized, that is exactly what I have done. I have given my life up for the sake of two, quite demanding, people.
Now, when I got married, I vowed myself to my husband and he to me, but he’s an adult. Perfectly able to feed, clothe and otherwise take care of himself, despite his protestations. So I did not realize the real depth of living at another’s mercy until I had kids.
Especially newborns. At every cry I jumped – what did she need? Milk? Diaper? Was she cold, gassy, bored, frustrated, constipated, tired, hot, what? what! There are plenty of parenting books about attachment vs. crying it out, etc., but all I know is that when my kids cry, my body’s instinctual response is to make it stop.
Yes, crying is an annoying sound, as anyone stuck on a plane full of other people’s children can attest to. But more than that, when it is my child, there is a deep sense, in the very core of each and every cell of my being, that I must respond in care to that cry. Immediately. A friend once told me that the chemical released in a mother when her child cries is the same as that released during torture. I think she read this on the internets, so it’s totally true.
Now, if my daughter said, “Today, I will eat nothing but Goldfish and brownies” I would not allow her to do that…ok, maybe on her birthday - and when the dominatrix says this, she get’s what she wants from her submissive. Right? Am I over simplifying? Am I going to get angry emails from doms and moms everywhere now? Certainly there are things I can and will refuse my children as I’m hoping to mold them into good “global citizens,” but right now, in the midst of it, I feel much more dominated than dominating.
And so it goes. The proverbial whip doth crack and off I run, soothing and wiping and feeding and refereeing, all the while, in desperate need of a shower. And even knowing this, knowing the black hole my adult life would disappear into, I had another kid. So I ask myself, why would I voluntarily give up my own freedom for the caprices of a tiny dictator? I can’t answer that right now, I’ve only got three minutes.