Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Recent Interview with My Four-Month-Old Daughter

Me: Do you like having green parents?

My Baby: Green parenting is not a static, achievable state of being. I question the stability of the very term "green parents." What I appreciate about this blog is that you conceive of raising me as a process. Green parenting is always coming into being, always undermining and rebuilding itself. You and mommy are constantly striving for and playing with a notion of greenness. You are not yet, and never will be, green parents.

Me: Well, do you like green parenting as process? You like it don't you?

My Baby: I inhabit a state of theory, perception, joy, discomfort, and discovery. I need. I learn. I enjoy or don't enjoy. I formulate worldviews. However, I cannot pick among possibilities. I have figured out how to put my foot in my mouth, but other than that you and mommy interpret my expressions and define my experiences. In short, I'm not yet accustomed to thinking in terms of choice, of like or not like.

Me: Choochee moochee poo! A choochee moochee poo…see I knew I could make you smile.

My Baby: You're funny daddy. I'll always smile for you.

Me: I'm really anxious about being your daddy. Sometimes I smile at you to cover up how worried I am about failing you.

My Baby: Daddy, I can see your smile, I can see the anxiety behind it, and I can see the oceans of dreams in which your fears are specks of sand. You should always remember that my well-being does not depend solely on you and mommy. There is also the world. The winds. Social norms. The laws of the nation. Parenting is the convergence of basic human concerns like love, resentment, food, and sleep; pre-capitalist constructs like religion; and modern developments like nation-states, global warming, and time becoming a series of opportunity cost calculations. This context is beyoond your control and you should not assume responsibility for what you cannot control.

Me: But isn't it my responsibility to understand as much as possible so that I can help us as a family to negotiate the world? Like you said, besides putting your foot in your mouth, you're not used to thinking like an agent, somebody who has to make choices that have long-term consequences.

My Baby: Get mommy. I'm hungry. Now.

1 comment:

Izzy said...

Loved this :)