My View for Today

My View for Today

A beloved, elderly relative caught me on the phone the other day for a five-minute chat about my new baby. In my exhaustion, I asked her how her son was. Her dead son. Even worse, I got my names confused. I first asked about her long-deceased husband, then corrected myself to inquire about the well-being of her dead son. I love this woman. I am not a monster. I am just exhausted, and my current view has eaten all of my brainpower. Needless to say, my view is really limited.

When given the chance, I scroll through social media and see lots of posts captioned, “my view for today.” Friends, colleagues, family — they are seeing some incredible things out there. Some are tropical. Some are mountainous. Most are breathtaking. Here’s mine: It’s my view tomorrow and the day after that. It’s my view for the foreseeable future, and trust me; I can’t see much these days.

Sometimes my view includes background information — toddler feet in rapid motion, dodging around the periphery. Sometimes it’s obscured by hands — jealous ones, sticky ones, overtired, energized ones belonging to two curious siblings. Three kids under age four. These are my views.

Friends and colleagues ..read more

How to Have a Baby in 57 Hours

How to Have a Baby in 57 Hours

I was rubbing cream into my cracked, scabbed nipples, reflecting on the 57-hour labor of my third child. My husband was complaining how cold his ass cheeks felt on the toilet as he used the bathroom nearby with the door open. “It’s fucking terrible,” he repeated. This got me thinking just what fucking terrible is all about.

I recall during my labor thinking, This is truly not going my way. It wasn’t fucking terrible, but it was not what I outlined in my birth plan. AT. ALL. A narrow audience cares to read about birthing, and even fewer are interested my non-Kardashian life. So for the Venn diagram of seven-ish or so who are still skimming, I thank you.

After two vaginal, unmedicated births, I thought I had this in the bag. How cocky. To think I was bigger than birthing. Oh, no. Birthing is always bigger than us. It looms above and slowly drips around the edges of our final tableau, gradually enveloping us. We are privileged to get a seat. And we must succumb. This last piece of surrender is what I remembered only at hour 56, just as things turned a corner.

It was to be an induction. There were ..read more

26 Complaints My Son Will Share With His Future Therapist

26 Complaints My Son Will Share With His Future Therapist

He is only three years old. But before I blink, my son will be analyzing my bungles. So Doc, I kindly respect your cancelation policy and hypnotic white noise. But hear this:  If you turn my son against me, I will find you and I will destroy you. Here are 26 complaints he will undoubtedly have…

1. She couldn’t read a thermometer.

That is so unfair. I graduated with honors, you know. But we owned a million thermometers, and none of them worked. So either you had no fever, some fever, or lots of fever.

2. I grew up in a cluttered mess pile.

You mean the overflowing boxes of Legos, Magna-tiles, and Lincoln Logs? I may still have a crate labeled “RANDOM MISC. CRAP” — you and your therapist can take a crack at it!

3. She never let me sleep out.

While you had visions of refined sugar and video games, I worried that Mason could have a creepy Uncle Tregg visiting from Molestville.

4. She lied. The park didn’t close at 4:30 pm.

Fine. But your good spirits did. At least I didn’t tell you the park blew up like your friend’s dad did.

5. I’m wearing the same clothes in every picture.

They’re ..read more

Dear Perfect Mother

Dear Perfect Mother,

I have questions. You always have answers. Can you start by telling me when my children should be potty trained, eating solids, or taking their first steps? At the hospital, were you lucky enough to receive a pamphlet detailing precisely how long all babies should nurse on each boob?

The rest of us numbskulls (call us “Medium Mothers”) play this waiting game — when to wean, sleep train — all the sticky stuff that requires compassion and work. You live proactively. Your black and white rules keep you prepared.

PerfMo, too bad I did not have you advising, shaming, scaring me every step of the way! Some of my lowest moments were those of not knowing: when to give Tylenol and when to wait… other kids weaned at 12 months but mine was going strong at 24… little gals around us use the potty, but my son stands in the tub discussing diesel and subway trains as a urine stream flows fast from his penis, totally unaware.

Perf, I read volumes and take oodles of classes, but your one-size-fits-all wisdom has eluded me. Did you receive it in a bible-like guide? A paint-by-number? Was it beamed directly into your brain?

I bet ..read more

15 Reasons the Pacifier Fairy Won’t Be Visiting My Home

My three-year-old really fancies his pacifier. Insert your look of dismay here. Now insert my look of ‘like I give a crap.’

Many parents debate when the pacifier love affair should end. My husband and I have taken a joint position on this one. Well-meaning friends have suggested the Pacifier Fairy pay us a visit, confiscate our robust collection, and donate it to a made-up place I couldn’t explain to my child with a straight face… Needless to say, the Fairy won’t be dropping in anytime soon. Here are 15 reasons why:

1.  No kid has to remove their “Paci” for their driver’s license photo.

2.  I’m firmly of the belief that he should be potty trained before his pacifier is taken away. And Lord knows Mama’s got her work cut out in that department.

3.  Keeping a bulk order of Soothies on my Amazon Subscribe and Save helps guarantee I will save 20 percent on my total. And I’m all about saving money. Yes, this is my thinking here.

4.  My son is a vat-of-shit-crap-ass-blood-sucking sleeper. And Paci helps him. When he doesn’t have it, sleep suffers. Less sleep = worse mommy = Paci stays in the picture.

5.  If a fairy should blow through ..read more

Report Me to the Services, My Son is Starting Preschool

My world is about to get FRIGGIN. ROCKED. Little man is starting preschool. I’m sweating in the trenches picturing the good-bye. Huge chunks of his life are about to happen behind my back.

“Good, Mama. Let’s play trains” – that’s what I’ll get when I comb for clues about his day. I’ll email the teachers (poorly veiling my mistrust, desperate to know HOW IS MY SON WHEN I LEAVE?!) I’ll be dissatisfied with the neatly packaged “Adjusting well!” and “Liked by his peers!” I’m told I may spend his first day enjoying the Keurig and free WiFi downstairs. I’d prefer a one-way mirror and a Valium.

Here’s my fear: in three school hours, my three years of work will disintegrate into the compostable, recyclable, sustainable fucking preschool garden. My authentic, confident kiddo will somehow enter the Boysenberry class a soft scarecrow, hatched from a cheap, drugstore pantyhose egg, vulnerable to the ravenous vultures. Lay it on me, Teacher: Who hurt his feelings? Excluded him? Shoved him? Did he feel unseen? Unheard? Unwanted? I want an itemized list of the offenders. Addresses, phones, and the colleges to which they may one day apply. I’ll curse nasty voodoo on their negligible parents, too. What ..read more