Each word uttered is well considered. When she feels an answer is sufficient, she stops and says nothing. So, what do we want to know about this most ruthlessly scrutinized of modern lives? What do you ask the women who’s been asked everything?
Did you eat the placenta?
“…” gasps Madonna, inwardly, and it’s a fantastic face; the lips come apart, the eyes drop to the floor. She is 100 percent speech-free and flummoxed.
You think that’s disgusting, don’t you ?
“I do think it’s disgusting!” she howls.
“I’ve heard of people doing it but I’m not one of those people.”
There was a programme on telly only the other week where a family ate the new baby’s placenta in the form of pate.
“Uh!” chokes Madonna, her hands now fly up her face. “Well, it’s possible!”
And before they cooked it and pulped it it looked like a gigantic liver.
“Ahahahaah!” she guffaws, in the legendary filthsome cackle. “Nooooo! Uuuh! There are certain things your body just gets RID OF!”
Madonna ’98; not that much of an Earth Mother after all, then. Hurrah!
Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon was born in October ’96 during the relationship Madonna had with her personal trainer, Carlos Leon, a sort of superhunk Mr Motivator. The world must ask ‘why him?’ and Madonna must steel herself, visibly stiffening, with this prepared answer.
“Well… first of all…” she begins, “I’m not going to dishonor… I had a truly meaningful relationship with Carlos. And I don’t want to talk about my relationship with him nor do I want to talk about my relationship with anyone that I’ve had because I feel like talking about it trivialities it. For people who make the assumption that I chose him to be like my sperm donor I feel is so insulting.”
I agree and that’s not what’s being said here, what’s being said is: why him? He’s Lourdes’s Dad; that’s a Big Deal.
“Well, yeah, but that’s life,” she counters, ” you meet people, you fall in love with them, you decide to have a child, but you can’t predict the future. It’s sad, it’s not a perfect, ideal situation,it’s much better for a family to be whole but, y’know, you have to be true to yourself and have to be happy and if a situation is better one way than the other then that’s the way to go. I mean, my being famous is never going to make it easier to be a parent, I have the same questions and fears and problems that any parent has and it’s always easier when there’s two people. But I have nothing to complain about, I have great friends, brothers and sisters, a great support system and Carlos is very much a part of her life, so i don’t feel she’s being deprived of anything.”
She’s very beautiful, isn’t she?
“Oh!” blinks Madonna and looks genuinely startled, perhaps at someone actually saying something positive about her child for once. “Hmmihih! Thanks. Yep. She’s a beauty.”
NME has a chum who says having a child is the greatest contraceptive ever invented. Have you ever been… entertaining a gentleman caller and been rudely interrupted?
“Hmmm… yeah,” she splutters, “to a certain extent! But everything changes, not just that, your priorities, your business life, your relationship with your friends, everything takes a back seat.”
Is this the best thing that’s ever happened to you?
(Immediately and huskily) “Yes. Absolutely.”
Three things Madonna might like to take full responsibility for:
1. The 1980s
(Slightly appalled) “I take full responsibility for anything I may have said or done, but everyone else. (Theatrically) A am only responsible for myself!”
2. Causing an entire generation to become addicted to the gymnasium treadmill in the name of having fab monkey-nut top of arms a bit like what you’ve got (to absolutely nil avail).
“Well, the thing about that is I have these naturally (Fondles arms of legend). I don’t work out any more and they’re still there.”
Pardon? You don’t do the gym any more AT ALL?
“No, I have my yoga class.”
3. Causing a generation to believe it was in no way having enough or as exciting sex as it should have been.
“It’s not ‘cos of me (Bellows with mirth)! I wasn’t having nearly as much sex as I was talking about. I can assure you. Hahahahaha”
When Madonna thinks of the mouthy, petulant, woman in the superb In Bed With Madonna documentary she feels like “patting her on the head and saying ‘There there… of course you feel that way’. I feel like that’s my silly little sister.” During Evita she “learned how to sing”, which she knows is a preposterous thing for a singer to say “but you could wake up one morning after living some 30 years and say, ‘Well, I’m just learning how to be a human being’.” She feels much of what used to upset her was “sooooo petty”. So many things seem petty to her now.
“It’s so weird,” she’s saying, “because I’d been exposed to these things before, people were always trying to get me interested in this and that and giving me books to read and saying, ‘You must meet this person’ but I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to hear it, wasn’t ready to listen, didn’t want to sit still, didn’t want a moment of stillness. And when you have a baby, you’ve got to give it up. Especially if you’re breast-feeding, it’s not about your schedule, it’s not about your life. I still have my moments of panic, believe me, but I feel like I’m looking at life through a completely different set of eyes.”