New parents, All parents, take heed. There’s a new Tumblr page in town, and its wonderful and relatable and funny.
Isaac Bloom is a newly minted father to 4-month old Adeline. And he has launched an ingenious Tumblr page called “The Man Who Is Not My Mother.” There, Bloom offers up the imagined musings of his daughter as she navigates a new world and tries to sort out exactly who this always-around-but-decidedly-non-mother person is in her life. Or as he put it in the sub-title: “documenting the deprecations to which I am subjected while abandoned to this philistine.”
In concept, it’s a sort of blog version of Look Who’s Talking: if babies could talk. But in voice and writing style, it’s a wonderfully entertaining mashup of Stewie Griffin, David Foster Wallace, David Mitchell, and Downton Abbey:
My control and powers expand daily, even as my tactics begin to take their toll. Each day I grab those infernal rings the man taunts me with, hanging from my many-colored edifice, with more precision. My vocal prowess can kill a bird in the air at 30 paces. My renewed campaign of sleep interruption and deprivation bleeds the man who is not my mother of his vital essence. A pity my mother suffers also; every plan has collateral damage. I wax as they wane. I bide my time. They grow weak as I grow strong.
Bloom has explained that the concept behind the Tumblr site was an exploration – from Adeline’s perspective – of her little world: “[I]f I was in her weird formless little socks what I’d be thinking.” In the telling of this story, and to great comedic effect, he has assumed the role of “bad guy,” or at least the less competent parent “without a milk supply.” As Bloom has described it, when his wife went back to work and he was left as the primary caretaker, “there was just sort of this palpable sense of, ‘Oh. Well. This guy. Great.'”
Some favorite passages follow, but the whole thing is a work of art, and of parenting. Check it out, in its full glory here.
On baby fashion:
While the man who is not my mother possesses the sartorial sense of a colorblind rhino, occasional flashes of brilliance converge, the visual equivalent of a thousand monkeys and a thousand typewriters.
Today’s asymmetric leggings are so hot pink they cause flash burns; to pair them so audaciously with these vari-coloured booties is powerfully eighties throwback chic with an early ninties twist. It’s so Uptown, so candy and dancing all night; it’s as though I’m just on my way home from a late night in the Village.
* * *
I am subjected to near constant physical subjugation. I am today garbed in pastoral landscapes against a backdrop of some floral pattern. The man who is not my mother is like a creature that lives at the bottom of the sea, without eyes. Still, I take comfort in my active bladder; my shame will be short.
On the stuff that we surround babies with:
There proliferates around my personage a small congregation of clever devices and implements, each one festooned with bells, paper that rattles or crinkles, or hanging cloth bits of unknown use or origin. The man who is not my mother seeks to distract me from my doings whilst simultaneously advancing his own workings.
The distraction is temporary, if time-consuming; I am compelled to conduct thorough analysis by manual intake of each of these objects as far in to my face as space allows.
He is perhaps more devious than I had thought.
And on reading time:
Time passes interminably, and I take note of small details that would otherwise go unnoticed . . . The man who is not my mother has so far failed to draw any connection between this heretofore unremarked cosmology and “I am a Bunny”, a text of which we make some daily study.
* * *
The man who is not my mother is omnipresent, and I believe he is now attempting to extend this intimidation subtextually. Today we assayed a new manuscript, “the runaway bunny”. Where previous tomes such as “where is the baby” and “horns to toes” have delved in to the existential and the link between the ecclesiastical and the corporeal form, this new study instead makes no bones about it’s anti-privacy stance.
“If you turn in to a flower in a hidden garden, I will become a gardener and find you,” threatens the mother bunny to her understandably chafing and wanderlust offspring , amongst other similar sentiments. It’s like an NSA recruitment primer.
Read more from The Man Who Is Not My Mother
If you enjoyed this, you should also check out the hilarious and ingenious Conversations With His 2 Year Old Daughter: As Reenacted By Two Grown Men.