We are finally past the two week ordeal of germs that plagued us over the holidays. Though the boychild is still coughing and little B is sniffling, we are over the worst (fingers crossed.) And I no longer have to feel helpless (because it’s all about me, right?) while the boychild tosses and turns in a feverish sweat all night, after being unable to convince him to take Tylenol. No amount of cajoling, comforting or strong-arming worked.  Amazing how headstrong the little bugger can be, even in the throes of delirium.

I think he’s going to be a trial lawyer. Or a terrorist.

Amidst our viral vortex however, I did manage to escape with a friend to see Black Swan, the film I’d been obsessing about for weeks.

Why have I been so obsessed with this movie?  Maybe it’s because Swan Lake was one of the very first pieces of classical music I fell in love with.  As a wee young thing, I used to listen to the tape over and over in my bedroom.  Or maybe it’s because I’m fascinated by the underside of creativity – and the grueling, sometimes painful work that goes into making something beautiful.

But then I realized that the film is full of hot tips for how to become a much cooler mommy – a “Black Swan Mom” if you will.

If you’re not familiar with the movie, you can read a basic summary here. And if you don’t mind watching the trailer below,  it will provide a key backdrop to the three “Black Swan Mom” hot tips I plan to adopt (drum roll please):

1. Relax!

Lily has coaxed Nina out to a hip restaurant and bar. After asking her if she’s “hot for teacher,” Nina freezes up, whereby Lily replies, “You really need to relax.”

BINGO! This message is for moi. Look, I’m not going to pop a pill and go out clubbing all night (I wish.) No, I interpret Lily’s message this way: No more compulsive vacuuming. No more constant cleaning crumbs off counters and sweeping up bits of goldfish and dried up peas off the kitchen floor. No more daily laundry or nightly baths for the kids. Instead, I shall relax. Drink wine, paint my nails and let hubby see how easily things can turn into frat house central without my housewifely cleaning habits on display.

2. Feel it!

Vincent Cassel plays Thomas Leroy, Nina and Lily’s exacting teacher. During a rehearsal with Nina, he says, “Feel my touch” as he caresses the back of her thigh, lifting her into the air.

I’m not about to go running off with a prima ballerina, but perhaps I should vow to remember that I am a sensual being, not just a formerly lactating woman known as “Mommy.”  I shall toss out every pair of greying, frayed underwear and replace them with only the laciest, silkiest delicacies available at figleaves.com. And I shall give in to hubby’s kiss when I am stirring beef stew, instead of forcing him off me when the oven timer beeps.

3. Attack it!

Nina auditions for the part of the black swan with a series of fouettés en tournant (kind of like pirouettes on the spot.) Teacher thinks she’s too restrained, and urges “Attack it! Attack it!”

Might this be a veiled instruction to karate chop my way through dinner/bath/bed time rather than stumble through like someone attempting to corral an army of elephants into a rabbit hole? Shall I take this as encouragement to approach the crucial two hour period between five and seven o’ clock more like General Patton and less like Hugh Grant?

After all…the only person standing in my way is me.