What is with that pineapple? Cryptic isn’t it? Wouldn’t an American flag with a mother yelling at her ratty kids whilst trying to drive a car be more appropriate? Probably, yes, but it doesn’t have the right balance of pain and purpose I’m after.
The purpose of the pineapple is two-fold though the first reason is the most illuminating and related directly to pain.
Firstly, as an intern doing rounds on the maternity ward back in the dark ages (the 1990s) my husband came across a 16 year old in the process of giving birth to her child. Unencumbered through youth, or the realisation that her vagina would never be the same again or perhaps a teensy weensy bit of regret for that night nine months prior, this poor girl was screaming and profaning her heart out (not on an island there, love). None of this is very funny, except for the exchange which came next:
Teenage girl, screaming: “It feels like there’s a pineapple in my vagina!!!!!!!”
Birth-hardened Nurse: “Yes, yes dear. In like a banana, out like a pineapple.”
Funny and true.
Secondly, I like to get up early on a Sunday morning and go to my local Farmers’ Markets. Whilst there, around the inception of The United States of Mama, I had a frustrating moment with one of the stallholders over which fruit cost what and why fruit flies were in plague proportions just here at this table, but came away with a pineapple, the most misshapen of the lot. I named him Sweet Moose: not only was his head quite like that of a moose, but he tasted beautiful. His purpose was met in my belly, full of pineapple, even though he looked a bit weird.
So the lesson? Having kids is bloody hard work and from the very beginning it is not what I expected it would be in terms of both awfulness and awesomeness (the latter probably having the greater share).
However, finding the perfect pineapple is not “bloody hard work”. Even if it looks like a moose. You can also eat a pineapple whereas eating your children is generally frowned upon.
As for the title of this blog, it obviously has something to do with parenting and possibly being a narcissistic one at that since I’ve made reference to America, home of Narcissism. And I suppose being a blogger with no real focus apart from what’s going on in my own little, little world, that’s probably an excellent summation since I am a mother and I write about myself.
The United States of Mama however is also reflective of the term I use to describe parenting on a functional level. The first time I used it was when I wrote about the kids being feral in Karumba on our trip last year.
In another example relatable to most parents, you could use the term as such: “When the kids get back home from Nanna and Poppy’s, where they’ve been eating ice-cream and doing whatever the hell they like ALL week, they are going to struggle getting back to “normal” eating habits and “realistic” expectations of one-on-one time in the United States of Mama.” (For the safety of your own retinas, don’t Google Image search “Grandparents Behaving Badly.”Still rinsing my eyes out.)
So that’s what it all means.