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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04


2004-03-02 ... 9:20 p.m.

TEN THINGS I MISS ABOUT MY PRE-MOMMY LIFE

1. Not having the urge to pick someone else’s nose. Sorry to be gross, but sometimes Nora will have a big dry nose-boulder right there at the entrance to her nostril-cavern, and who am I not to help her out with a little excavation? It is just too tempting, and lord knows I would not be very happy with such a thing blocking my access to oxygen.

2. Finishing a meal and not having to wipe my dining-partner down with a damp rag.

3. Sleeping late on the weekends, obviously.

4. Going out to dinner with nothing but money, lipstick, and housekeys, instead of lugging a backpack full of distracting toys, Cheerios, and diapers.

5. Being able to change a CD without climbing over a two-foot barricade of babygate, designed to keep Nora from pulling a stack of stereo components over on herself.

6. Afternoon sex that does not have to be timed to correspond with someone's nap.

7. Going out drinking or to a show with LT. We have always done some social things separately, mostly because I enjoy the rock and the roll more than he does. But I also like going out with my guy, and it can no longer happen without Arrangements Being Made. In addition, if I do go out without him (almost always rocking Nora to sleep first), I have the lingering I Am Doing A Bad Thing guilt, no matter how much LT says he is fine with it.

8. As mentioned before, I miss being a hardass about baby tragedy. I also miss not thirsting for baby information, and how my internet searches used to never be for answers to questions like "Is it bad to let your baby eat a pound of tofu a week?" (This is something the internet does not know, since I seem to be alone in having a ravenous tofu-addicted toddler. Until Nora, I had never in my life considered that anyone would kick her legs and laugh and generally go spastic with excitement over the prospect of eating a cube of plain tofu).

9. The luxury to have long indulgent bouts of self-absorption, where I dissect my personality and ruminate on my relational self. I guess I still do this, but now there is a huge piece of the self-pie (MMMM! PIE! TASTES LIKE ME!) that is called "being Nora's mommy." Somehow being "LT's wife," although it was an adjustment to include that ingredient in my interior pie,* did not seem to require such an overwhelming revision of How I Relate To The World.

*Are you keeping score? If so, please add "the self as pie" to the lengthy list of my misguided metaphors.

OPTIONS

10. This one is hard to explain, as it is something I did not know I had until suddenly, post-Nora, I no longer had it, and it is something that I don't "miss" so much as I am slightly startled to realize that it ever existed in the first place. The sense that you have options goes away after you have a kid. Please don't misunderstand: I am not saying that I feel trapped or Feminine Mystique or anything like that. But without a child I could make far-reaching decisions about my life and only consider my own feelings and those of LT, and considering his feelings is easy because he is a grown-up. He and I can rationally discuss our next move, compromise if necessary, and so on and so forth.

I can no longer do something wacky with my life like join the Merchant Marines or move to Spain for no reason or climb my way ruthlessly up the corporate ladder by working twelve-hour days. And although Sylvia Plath had kids and they did not seem to slow her down one bit in this regard, I can no longer do something even wackier with my life such as chuck it in the oven and hit "Broil." It is not merely the dull practical question of providing for Nora that stops me from making Radical Life Moves, but her entire well-being, her amazing little self (pie) that I must consider at every turn, at every hour, every day, all the time.

So in one sense, my options and the world itself have narrowed. In another, stranger sense, however, the world and its options have enlarged, expanded, exploded, into something lovely, like a fireworks display or a fast-motion nature film. The World-Knot looks very different when my daughter is chewing on it. Somebody please duct tape my mouth and break my fingers before I even hint at a sentiment like "through the eyes of a child," because that is what this poorly-thought-out paragraph is starting to sound like. But watching Nora figure out the universe, and her place in it, is an option. Oh yes indeed. I have options after all.

A PLEA TO HARPERCOLLINS UK

When you sent advance copies of my book (if you only knew how hard it is to resist putting "my book" in stupid ironic scare-quotes), they arrived in the very best box on the planet. On the side of the box was printed, in big letters: PLEASE TURN ME THE OTHER WAY UP, "I'M UPSIDE DOWN." The box itself was speaking! I immediately x-acto-knifed those words out of the box and carried around the resulting self-referential spatial-relations-problem sign all night at the bar, and then gave it to a friend because it was her birthday and what a great present! I guess what I am saying, HarperCollins, is that if you ever wanted to send me something else in one of those amazing boxes, I would jump around with glee.

FIVE TINY MYSTERIES OF MY DAY

1. These carrots.

2. Why are there not more Morrissey impersonators? He seems just as ripe as Elvis for parody, and with the added bonus that he'd be a cinch for a really talented drag king.

3. The J-Lo-style skank in front of me at Marshall's, of all places---the last stop on the Downmarket Cheap Clothing Train before you hit actual thrift stores. Although it is a filthy place with surly clerks, if I am in the right mood Marshall's makes me happy, because you can get entire baby outfits for less bling than a downtown lunch. And I love a bargain, foshizzle! It's all about the Hamiltons! I had found a six-buck summer dress for Nora, all cute blue seersucker with a collar shaped like a slice of watermelon, and there was no way I could resist the opportunity to dress my child like a fruit salad. Anyway, the skank in line ahead of me at the checkout counter had nearly three hundred dollars worth of downmarket skankwear, and she went through five different credit cards, all denied as over their limits, and then shuffled through easily twelve or fifteen more cards before putting the stuff on hold and leaving the store, saying she would be back later. Yikes.

4. An acquaintance of mine is experiencing the thrill of a new romance after serially dating for many years, and she is a very conventional person. When I get my infrequent e-mail or telephone updates on her life and on the new guy, I can hear in her voice that she is happy beyond measure but it all sounds so boring. The new guy calls her often and sends her cute little e-mail notes. He gave her sweet, tasteful, not-too-expensive jewelry for Valentine's Day. They stayed in a bed and breakfast one weekend, and made out in a hot tub. He surprises her with flowers, he takes her to the opera, blah blah blah, and I find myself almost hoping he is a serial killer but I have a sinking feeling he is not. I have such a hard time believing that people are this boring, that people have these cliché courtships, similar to how I have a hard time believing that not everyone loves sushi and not everyone is kinky.

5. Why am I so sleepy? Was I bitten by a tsetse fly? (If you want nightmares, read some of this very colorful and very creepy tsetse fly description. "Whilst within the uterine cavity the larva respires through a pair of posterior spiracles and in the third stage via a pair of polypneustic lobes." I have tried singing this sentence to many different tunes, including some of my own devising, and so far "Greensleeves" works best. Try it!

STEP UP, AMERICA

My kid has been Photoshopped, courtesy of my sister. Heed Nora's call!

---mimi smartypants can hardly keep her eyes open.

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