Monday, August 25, 2003

A Slice of Memphis Mama Life

A Slice of Memphis Mama Life
Stacey Greenberg

Saturday morning, Satchel, 12 months and a few days, woke me up at 6:45a.m. I took him into the livingroom where his father was asleep on the couch and let him play while I got dressed. I was in charge of setting up a booth for work and a booth for my neighborhood association at a local festival, so I got dressed quick. I left Satchel and Warren to make breakfast and headed to the park to set up and scope out the situation. The festival was about 10 miles away at Audubon Park which is right next to the Botanic Gardens, so I knew that we’d have no trouble entertaining ourselves if the festival was a bust.

I set up quickly and reported back to the boys. I caught the tail end of breakfast and got Satchel ready for our usual Saturday hike in Overton Park. Overton Park is our park. It is less than a mile away and has an old growth forest with lots of winding trails. We put Satchel in the baby backpack and take our two dogs every Saturday and Sunday. We stay about an hour and try to show Satchel something new each week. He is currently hooked on flowers and will clutch them in his tiny hands for the whole hike without even trying to eat them. He also likes to feel tree bark and inspect leaves and rocks. Our hike was good and we got to see the bird watching club which was fun.

After our hike, we went home and I tried unsuccessfully to get Satchel to nap. So we loaded up again (snacks, sunscreen, water, and Satchel’s all terrain wagon) and headed to the festival at Audubon Park. There weren’t many people around, so after making an appearance and trying out the giant inflatable slide, we started off towards the Botanic Gardens. Our goal was to go in through the back and avoid paying $15. We really wanted to take Satchel to the Japanese Gardens to feed the koi fish, since his first birthday picnic scheduled to be there the week before had been rained out. We also wanted to test out the “all terrain-ness” of the wagon. On our way to the Japanese gardens, we stopped to feed some geese and ducks (strangely, we gave them “goldfish” crackers), watched some old guys play croquet, and checked out the Korean and Chinese demonstration gardens. The koi pond proved to be just as interesting to Satchel as we had hoped. We agreed to make it a frequent destination and started planning the menu for a Mother’s Day picnic.

We got back to the festival just in time to accept an award for the local health food store (I nominated them as “small business most supportive of neighborhood development”) and have our picture taken with a city councilman. We stayed for a few more awards, but decided to head home for another attempt at a nap. Satchel fell asleep in the car before we got home, but he easily transitioned into the bed with a small nursing session. Warren went outside to tinker with his motorcycle and I ate some lunch, checked email, and cleaned up a bit. I was just about to do a full force bathroom scrub down when Satchel woke up and saved me from myself.

It was clear that Warren was in “the zone,” so I tried to think of something fun to do with Satchel for the rest of the afternoon. The zoo was not an option because the pandas had just arrived and it would be packed. I thought about going to our playground at Peabody park, but thought he might be “parked out.” I considered the library or a trip to the nursing home to see his great grandmother, but settled on Mothersville. Mothersville has been open for about four months and is a haven for mamas. It sells nursing, maternity, and newborn clothes among other things, has a play area for kids and a nursing/hang-out area for moms. The owner is very cool, a new friend of mine, and she usually has at least one of her three children in the store, so we headed over. We lucked out and she wasn’t too busy, so Kristy and I chatted while the kids played. Kristy is my role model so I love talking to her. As I say, “Time flies when you are at Mothersville,” and two hours had passed before I knew it.

We returned home to find Warren STILL working on his motorcycle, but he had also started dinner so all was good. I put Satchel in the backpack and headed to the local health food store to drop off the award and buy some vegetables for dinner. The owner, Jeanice, was so excited to get the award. She told me how she’d been going through a rough time the past few months and that the award really made her feel good. We talked about what had been going on and I told her that I would rally the neighborhood to come in and spend some money to help her out. We also talked about her shirt – it was an Esprit dinosaur print circa 1983. I know I had a mini skirt with the exact pattern. For some reason, it was really funny to see her in that shirt.

I fed Satchel his dinner while Warren finished up the cooking and then we played for a bit before bath time. Satchel has gotten really cute to watch at bath time. When we start the water, he crawls at lightening speed into the bathroom and lifts his little leg up trying to get in the tub. I have to get his clothes off of him as fast as possible and get him in quick or he gets mad. It is really adorable. Once he was clean, I got him changed into his jammies and nursed him to sleep. It took awhile for him to calm down, but he eventually went into a deep sleep and stayed that way. Warren and I fixed our plates and ate dinner while watching “Trading Spaces” in the livingroom. It was a good dinner, a good episode, and a nice ending to a really busy day.

(This essay was originally written for “The Deep South Mouth.”)

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