Sophie has reached the age where she invents new games. Three new games in the bath yesterday alone: a look-up-the-drain-spout-game, a splash-hands-while-humming song, and a submerge-one-toy-inside-another challenge.
She’s especially intrested in make-believe, lately. One of her favorites is make-believe peek-a-boo, in which she half-hides something (for instance, draping a blanket over her daddy), then asks me where it is with a dramatically exaggerated shrug (“Where daddy?”) and when I pretend ignorance and concern, she gets to pretend to discover the hidden object, revealing it with a flourish. She has played this game in many variations: pretend-hiding herself, her doll, her marble. This morning, she even managed to pretend-hide the cat, despite many disgruntled looks from that cat, who didn’t appreciate being hidden over and over again.
Another favorite: she cooks pingpong balls in her toy pan, declares the balls “Hot,” then waits for me to blow on them, to cool off her pretend-food. She can keep up the ask-mommy-to-blow-on-fake-food game for almost an hour. It’s adorable and tedious.
And that’s the hardest part to write. I love Sophie ferociously, I scare myself with my love for her, I love even her smell (she smells like sunshine and cotton and cream and a very light whiff of ginger). I’m delighted by her, obsessed by her (as this blog probably reveals) and yet also exhausted by her, sometimes bored by her. Motherhood is less boring now that she’s become more able to talk and create and express her independence, so I love all these new games that she’s inventing — but I also become bored after forty-five minutes of peekaboo.
That part is hard to write, because I don’t want to imply that I dislike motherhood, or Sophie herself.
I think my blog-readers understand. I hope. Recently, two older women have separately told me that the biggest difference between my experience of motherhood and theirs is that I can say, out loud, “Sometimes motherhood is boring.” In a previous generation, that sentiment was too transgressive to admit to.
I’m glad I can say it, and blog it, even if some other people probably still misunderstand.