And tell you what, I’m just going to pretend that this blog had readers who’ve been wondering where I’ve been.
No, I did not die during the last . . . holy cow . . . damn near two years. So where, you ask, have I been? What have I been doing? Well, let’s see . . .
I had another Thanksgiving, which was again lovely and yummy and full of grace. It was a smaller gathering, this time, and the day brought no near-death experiences for any of our dogs. But then again, we avoided any chocolate contributions to the feast, just in case.
Let’s see, what else . . .
Oh, yeah. I had a baby.
For those of you who are now trying desperately to jiggle out of your head what you’re sure is a hallucination brought on by repercussions from your college years (I’m not here to judge, but come on—you know what I’m talkin’ about), let me repeat:
I HAD A BABY.
A tiny human being came caterwauling out of my hoo-hoo. Well, OK, that’s not entirely accurate, because that summabitch was not exactly TINY; he weighed TEN POUNDS (my OB/GYN predicted a 7-8 lb. baby—LIE! LIE! LIE!) and emerged, as they say, “sunny side up”. Luckily I had no idea, going in, how anything was supposed to work, so I didn’t know that a gigantic, face-up baby was, in the most clinical of medical terms, a “HOLY CRAP!” kinda deal. So I just did what I was told, and pushed the sucker on out.
But more on that later. Right now, those of you who know me AT ALL (even to the extent of only having had a single conversation with me in the checkout line at a 7-11 during a moment of tampon desperation) are sitting there screaming, “OK, HELLO! Slow your roll, Sister! Who are you and what have you done with the Insta-Princess? Because no way was the Insta-Princess I know EVAH going to issue forth fruit from her loins!”
And indeed, you’d be right about that. I wasn’t. Until the day I peed on a stick and stood, crammed side by side with my husband in our tiny first-floor powder room, staring at a small purple line on said stick and trying (due primarily to the danger of conking my head on the toilet and causing a permanent scar through one of my freshly waxed eyebrows) not to pass out.
So exactly a week prior to my 38th birthday, at 4:50 p.m., I became the mama of a gigantic and stunningly hilarious baby boy by the name of August.
AND IT’S AWESOME. Seriously. Who knew I’d love motherhood so much? Not to sound all “Kum Ba Ya”, but for me so many of the clichés turned out to be true: I did fall in love with him at first gooey sight; I was amazed at the latent mama capabilities that came springing forth in me (hell, the capability to live with sleep deprivation alone is a small miracle – again, if you know me . . . ); and I am amazed at how quickly the time is flying. He’s already six months old – going on 76 years:
And heck, I’m even amazed that I’ve managed to love this boy as much as I do despite my gag-inducing aversion to saliva.
I’m still working full-time, as is SkipFitz, and Auggy is cared for during the day by my mom.
And OK. I know (I KNOW!) how lucky I am to have a daycare provider who (a) works for free, and (b) actually LOVES my kid. I know how lucky I am to live close enough to my mother for her to be involved in my kid’s life. I know that if I lived far away from her, I’d be sad not to have her around.
As it stands, she’s a LIVE-IN nanny; she stays at our house (in our guest room) during the week, and goes home (a little over an hour away) on the weekends.
And I am here to tell you people that nothing, short of a bona fide time machine, can transport you back to Middle School faster or more thoroughly than living with your mother.
Case in point: Last week I had TWO Middle School Moments in a single day. The first came when my mother deemed it too cold outside for me to wear sandals to work. As I stood there arguing over my sartorial decisions for the day, the 38-year-old in me was thinking, “When is the last time I had to argue with somebody over what I wanted to wear out of the damn house?”, while the 13-year-old in me was thinking, “Uh! Ma! Gawd! Mom! You are, like, SUCH a total spaz! Bag your FACE!”
Or something like that.
But guess who won out? Yup. My inner 13-year-old drug my outer 38-year-old off to put on sneakers as soon as my mother threw down her argumental trump card: “YOUR HEAD IS HARD!”
Yup. She wins every time with that one.
The second Middle School Moment of that day came when I left work early to take my baby to a Dr. appointment. It was a Friday afternoon, which meant that when I arrived home to pick up the baby and take him to get stabbed in his big, fat, juicy thighs, my mom would leave our house and head back to Topeka . . .
. . . and this was the moment on which I counted in order to execute the tiny act of rebellion with which I would once again claim the kingdom: I changed my baby out of the (UGLY!) outfit my mother had selected for him to wear to the doctor (what he wears to the doctor is Very Important to Grandma). I knew what she’d planned to put on him for the appointment because she’d laid it out the previous evening and, knowing that it was an outfit I hated and never planned for him to wear, declared that he NEEDED to wear it (a) because it had long sleeves and pants, and the weather was cold (too cold, if you recall, for a 38-year-old woman to wear sandals), and (b) in order for him to “get some wear out of it” before he outgrew it. Rather than risk another Valley Girl moment, I schemed instead to change his outfit after she’d left for the weekend, and before we left for the doctor. As soon as that moment arrived, off came the gingham stretch pants and matching onesie, and on went his Pink Floyd t-shirt and jean shorts. Then I snuck some Aziza eye shadow and Bonne Bell lip gloss into his diaper bag, and put it on him in the bathroom of the doctor’s office.
Oh, yeah, Baby. That’s just the kind of badass I am.
And don’t even get me started on what it’s like having someone point out every. single. thing you’re doing wrong in raising your child every. single. day. Suffice it to say that Auggy has a grandma who loves him very, very much, and is very, very . . . INVOLVED in his life, and very, very concerned about his well-being. And that’s a good thing, right?
At any rate, she’s signed on for a year of nanny-ship, and we’re halfway through it already. Wish me luck, y’all, in making it through another six months . . . .
P.S. Longer Letter Later