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Madonna Interview : In Style

“Are you going strangling?” Madonna asks Ritchie. That’s her word for judo. Lola, who’s now in the kitchen sampling the cook’s latest experiment – french fries, to Madonna’s mild shock – takes karate, in addition to French classes and art lessons. “In London she was going to the Judokai that Guy’s been going to since he was a little boy,” says Madonna. “They have karate for children starting at age 4. It’s the only kind of karate Guy approves of – a non-mincy kind of karate. Not froufrou. Like yoga versus power yoga – one has been homogenized for people who are not remotely interested in the real discipline.” Madonna has been doing non-mincy yoga for four years, trying o get in five days a week. “I just make sure I jam in an hour and a half in the morning. Even if I have to get up at 6.” No longer a fun of strenuous workouts, she has nevertheless regained her fit shape post-pregnancy. Next she’d like to add martial arts to the mix, but “right now all I can handle is my career, my children, my yoga and my guitar lessons.” She pauses and thinks. “And my house decorating and my album promotion. I have no social life!”

Madonna - In Style / January 2001

She and Lola bond on the fashion front. “She’s got a pretty sophisticated wardrobe for a 4-year old,” says Madonna. “She loves clothes, jewelry, playing dress-up. She’s the girliest girl I know. Next to me.” Not that Lola is completely indulged. “We run a tight ship. If I said yes to everything my daughter asked for, she’d be dead – she would have eaten so much sugar she would have gone into shock!” How was having a second child been different? “It’s more time management. Also I’m less careful. Before, I was more worried about leaving Lola with somebody, or about the way I was holding her. I viewed her as a more fragile thing that I do my son. Now,” she jokes, “I’m a bit more cavalier about handing him to the gardener.”

Luckily, Guy has proven to be a game dad. “He’s very attentive,” says Madonna. “And more interested in the teeny-tiny-baby phase (than you might expect). Most guys are all fingers and thumbs – goo-goo ga-ga and somebody else change the diaper.” Guy and Rocco, she says, enjoy “their special bath time together … but they’re twins. Sometimes I’m the one who’s fingers and thumbs; I look at him and he doesn’t look anything like me and I think, Am I the mother?”

Madonna has in the past admired the your house-my-house relationship of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, reasoning that it’s good to miss someone, but with Guy, she allows, “I miss him when he’s gone for three hours.” Might that much devotion rattle a one-woman declaration of independence? Doesn’t love frighten her? “Every single day,” she says. “I mean, duh. Love is scary, isn’t it? I’m not scared about commitment – that’s nothing. I’m scared about love. Loving something – anything – intensely, there’s major fear and awe. I guess if I were a highly evolved being I’d say fear has nothing to do with it, but I don’t think I’ve reached that level of consciousness yet.”

Such musings suit this woman. But so does the black-with-gold-dequins “cyber-cowgirl” bell-bottom affair that Dolce & Gabbana designed for her impending concert in New York. The country-western influences on Music, she explains, “add a certain warmth to the techno.” But it’s also a hot look. “I think you have to try on a lot of guises before you know who you are,” says Madonna. So if you’re looking for the real Madonna, choose the guise you like the best: visionary vixen, Hollywood hausfrau or mistress of time management. She’ll give you just enough evidence to make each case, giggle through your closing arguments, and be on to the next thing before you can say – if you dare say it in front of her – reinvention.

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