Check Yo’self Before You Wreck Yo’self
Over the weekend, I found the “Pregnancy Journal” that a friend gave to me when she heard I went and got myself properly knocked up. During junior high and high school I used to keep journals religiously, so I thought the Pregnancy Journal would be a fun way to keep record of my transformation into a real, live, burrito-inhaling pregnant lady. And I actually did write in it for, oh, the first ten weeks or so. Looking at the journal when I ran across it this weekend, I wondered why I neglected it past that point. And then I remembered: I tend to only keep journals when I am kind of miserable, like those first nausea- and exhaustion-filled weeks of pregnancy, and MY ENTIRE FUCKING EXISTENCE throughout junior high and high school.
So, as you can imagine, the entries I did make into the Pregnancy Journal are just delightful. Thankfully, most of the pages prompted you for answers (“What are you craving? How was your first doctor’s appointment?”) instead of just letting you ramble at will about how you can’t go outside because there are simply TOO MANY SMELLS and if someone eats a lemon hard candy within a 5-mile radius of you, you will strangle them to death after barfing up your shoes.
The sight of this still makes me queasy. Blurgh.
There were also a few more thoughtful questions to address, like “What will you be sure to give your child that you did not have while growing up?” and “What qualities do you hope your child inherits from you and your partner?” My answer to the latter question was “Brad’s smile and my eyes,” and I’m happy to report that Sadie filled that order. But re-reading my answer to that question got me to thinking about what I hope she doesn’t inherit from us. Well, from ME, specifically.
Thank goodness humongous fucking glasses and god-awful bangs are not hereditary.
While I can already tell that this child has her Daddy’s impatience (“I don’t want to eat nowwwww, I want to eat five minutes agoooooo!”) and Mommy’s flair for the dramatic (“But I will simply perish if you remove me from this nice warm bath!”), there are a couple things I really hope she doesn’t pick up from my example: getting bent out of shape/anxious over little things, and being quick to lose her temper. And because having a baby tends to make you lay on the annoying “I want to be a better person!” shit, I’ve really been trying to curtail my irrational anger over the little things and also be less of an anxiety-ridden freakbag. You know – pretty simple, right?
I actually tried to work on this while I was pregnant, because I don’t recall any of the pregnancy books recommending that a 6-months-pregnant woman scream red-faced at the moron driver who nearly sideswiped her at a 4-way stop, but now that Sadie is actually here and beginning to notice my every move, the pressure is on. And I really have been better at stopping myself before I progress into a full-on freak-out about spilling laundry detergent on my shoes or forgetting to buy pudding at the store.
I dare not ever forget the Pudding POPS, though. Because B-Cos will cut a bitch.
But I have my slips. Take, for example, this past Friday night, when Brad and I had the brilliant, totally-stolen-from-kdiddy idea of going to a drive-in movie. Since we can only go see movies in shifts since Sadie was born (and since I’m still hesitant to leave her with a sitter while she’s so boob-centric and sometimes tough to get to sleep), we thought the drive-in would be a perfect way to see a movie together with the baby in tow. That way I’d be free to pop out a boob if need be, and we could change her in the privacy and convenience of the backseat.
Also? In the car? NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM.
We decided to see a movie we didn’t particularly care about, that way if the experiment went horribly wrong and Sadie was fussy the whole time (or, worse, was downright inconsolable and we had to leave), it wouldn’t be such a big deal that we missed the movie. Thankfully, there was just such a film playing at the local drive-in.
Sweet Virgin Mary on a schoolbus, this movie is terrible.
We pulled into our spot in front of the huge screen about 40 minutes before the movie was scheduled to start. I got Sadie out of her car seat and went about cleaning up the sin she had committed in her diaper on the trip there. Then Brad overheard someone in the row behind us make a comment about “that baby,” and POW. That was it. I was tense. Because – for some asinine reason – nothing makes me more anxious than the thought of other people being annoyed with and/or judging me. Maybe Sadie picked up on my vibe, or maybe she was just getting right-pissed and cranky about being in the backseat of an Accord during a time when she’s usually swaddled in her crib, but she started fussing. And fussing more. And escalating to the high-pitched wail. Sweat broke out on her little forehead, as well as just about every-damn-where on my body. We decided to play our one and only fail-proof trump card: BOOB. As I reached for my nursing cover, I realized that when I’d washed it the day before, the neck strap had come unfastened. With an armful of squirmy, furious baby, I flung the cover at Brad, hissing “FIX THIS!” and making what I’m sure was a lovely face in his direction. I was in full-on freak-out mode, and seconds away from dramatically announcing that we needed to go home NOW…and then the neck strap was fixed, the cover put in place, and Sadie latched with her usual quickness, and…silence.
Mama, you so crazy.
The instant I relaxed (and allowed Brad to do the same), everything fell into place. After her snack, Sadie bounced on my lap, looking out the window and smiling like crazy. By the time the movie started, she was swaddled and sleeping in Brad’s arms, where she stayed for the entire (TWO AND A HALF HOUR LONG OMG) movie. Everyone made it home and to bed with no stress and no drama.
Whew. One situation handled, 876 gajillion to go.
So, Internet, you may have gathered that it’s a bit of a struggle trying to maintain my new laid-back demeanor (HA!) around the shorty. And because there’s no better place to air your complaints than on the internet superhighway, I am going to take this opportunity to unload about some other things here before they make my head explode (which I am quite certain would upset the baby).
- That thing I’m freaking out about that I promised myself I would not freak out about: Namely, breastfeeding. Yes, the same woman who was completely “eh, whatever” about being able to breastfeed when the baby was born is now TOTALLY BATSHIT INSANE with some sort of weird guilt about maybe having to supplement and/or switch completely to formula with her return to work. I could ramble on forever about this (really, I SO COULD), but the basics are that it’s really fucking hard to pump enough to get Sadie through four consecutive 9-hour-days without me, and trying to fit in a morning feeding and/or pumping before work (no matter when I get up!) is making me chronically late and stabby in the morning. Internet, I am absolutely thrilled that I have been able to sustain Sadie on my rack alone for 12+ weeks, and am determined to ride out the breastfeeding wave for as long as I can. Now, doesn’t that sound rational? But inside, the thought of actually being forced to quit because of difficulty pumping or subsequent low supply or some shit makes me feel AWFUL. As in TERRIBLE. Add to that the comment that my father made a few weeks ago to the tune of “Enough with this breastfeeding crap already,” (the man STILL leaves the room whenever tampon commercials come on TV; one cannot expect him to be down with the nursing) and now I’m feeling entirely stubborn about continuing to breastfeed, even to the detriment of my own sanity and quest to keep the mellow. It’s kind of like gambling (bear with me here): the more you win, the more you want to keep doing it, and the harder it is to stop. Basically, if I’d never been successful with nursing, I would never have given this much of a shit. But here we are. Me and my stupid boobs THAT DO NOT FIT INTO ANY OF MY BUTTON-DOWN SHIRTS, MAKING 50% OF MY SUMMER WARDROBE TOTALLY USELESS.
- EW, get your germs off my babyyyy! The whole heart-wrenching aspect of day care aside, I am sort of freaking out about all of the disgusting shit Sadie will come into contact with when she starts going there. I mean, we’ve visited the place and it’s very clean and the workers are very conscientious about hand-washing and all that jazz, but still. There’s only so much you can do to prevent the spread of disease when 90% of the people in the room are constantly leaking some sort of fluid. And I KNOW it’s good for her immune system for her to be exposed to the ick every now and then, but I think what bothers me most is just the thought of her feeling sick, because there will be nothing I can do about it. I mean, holy fuck, it’s the year 2009 – can’t we figure out a way for me to get sick FOR her, for Christ’s sake?! I know, I know…this is just one of those assy parts of parenthood that never goes away: the desire for your PRECIOUS to always be happy & healthy in a world that seems designed for the exact opposite. But while I slowly learn that Sadie will indeed survive the sniffles, I don’t want my paranoia to make her all Howard Hughes about germs.
Not to be confused with Howard HUGE. But come to think of it, I don’t want her exposed to Parade Magazine either.
- I’m not sure how I’m going to resist slapping little girls who are mean to my daughter: We were at a family gathering this weekend, and came face to face with one of the things that used to frighten me most as a painfully shy child: the ubiquitous Bossy Little Girl. You know the kind – always barking orders (“PLAY WITH ME!”), always trying to pull hair or throw rocks, always getting yelled at but never really disciplined enough to the point where she’ll stop her bullshit. I was forced into playing with many a Bossy Little Girl at family gatherings of my youth, the worst situation being when one particularly awful BLG decided to twist my arm. UNTIL IT BROKE. Yes, Internet, the one and only time I suffered a broken limb was when a 6-year-old girl BROKE IT. I didn’t see the BLG at this weekend’s gathering breaking any bones, but I did see her try to scare my sleeping baby by running up next to her and shouting. And when she was yelled at by her mom for this? She kept trying to do it on the sly. I had to grip the sides of my seat to keep from shoving her into the shrubs, for real. She finally gave up and went over to another little girl to bark orders (“PLAY WITH ME!”), therefore saving me the trouble of breaking the neck of my beer bottle to get her to STEP OFF. I just can’t imagine having to be all adult and mature whenever Sadie comes to me crying about the mean girl who kicked her and then forced her to put a bug in her mouth or some shit. Then again, I don’t want my reaction to such situations make Sadie think it’s OK to be violent and angry, which might turn HER into a bossy little bag of hell.
Breeeeeeathe, Jive Turkey. She doesn’t even have HAIR yet.
(This photo was just sent to me at work from Brad.)
(I don’t think I need to tell you how badly I want to run home and kiss that chubby arm.)
(But I guess I already did.)