Ooh La La, My Son Is in Love With Lady Gaga
Filed under: Opinions
A few nights later, I collapsed. Exhaustion. Dehydration. Only I collapsed on Big Panda and there was no entourage to lift me to my feet. I just sat there and sobbed until I got so bored with myself that I had to get up.
Big Panda is the enormous stuffed animal my 2-year-old son uses as a chair, a trampoline and sometimes a friend to chat with when Mama shamelessly neglects him for some self-indulgent pursuit such as doing the dishes.
But Gaga and I have more than just exhaustion swoons in common. She may not know it, but we are competing for prominence in my son's heart.
You see, my son is obsessed with Gaga. He is head over heels, painfully, passionately in love with her. He wakes in the morning and the first word out of his mouth is "Gaga." I can get him to do almost anything -- he'll even sit still while I rake through his tangled Afro -- if I play the "Bad Romance" video on repeat.
My son says "Papa, Papa" all the time. People think it's so cute that he's asking for his dad. But he's not; he's singing "Paparazzi."
In some ways, Gaga must seem like anti-Mama to my son. Gaga is the blond and I'm the brunette. Gaga is the girl wearing the chandelier and, most days, I look like I'm wearing the pillowcase.
The dictates of girl culture would indicate that I should resent Gaga, even seethe at Gaga, for the combustible, remarkable, impossible triumph of impracticality that she is. Reason should compel my heart to feel a twinge of envy with her every writhing twist in the video that plays in the background as I launder another load of cloth diapers.
But I don't resent Gaga.
My son occasionally suffers from night terrors. He wakes screaming inconsolably in the middle of the night and it can last for up to two hours. When this happens, he cries desperately for Gaga. He cries for Mama, too. His sobs sound something like this:
And, in those bleary moments when I wander the house and press my son's wet cheek to my own, I recognize that Gaga is not the anti-Mama in my son's eyes -- she is the Ultimate Mama. She is the mama who can walk on shining stilts and light fires with her eyes. She is the mama who can bring the world to its knees. That is the mama he needs when he is terrified and that is exactly the mama I will be for my son.
I will pace the moonlit floorboards with him until I have slain every last demon. I am Mama. I am Gaga. I am unstoppable.
And, so, while some mothers may sing, "Hush Little Baby," my lullaby is:
Rah, rah, ah, ah, ah
Roma, roma, ma
Gaga, ooh la la
Want your bad romance.
Jillian Lauren is the author of the best-selling memoir "Some Girls: My Life in a Harem." She has an MFA from Antioch University and her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times and Flaunt magazine, among others. Read her blog on Red Room.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.