…well, really that’s a toss up between an economy class seat on a plane, a woman’s bathroom stall, and Cirque du Soleil. With your economy class window seat, like mine from the DR, it’s sort of like changing the diaper in a coffin, except there are like a hundred people with you, peering at why Baby is crying so fiercely or wondering what that smell is. The most recent bathroom stall I used for Baby was at a fancy schmancy restaurant in NY which had zero floor or counter space, so I ended up balancing the baby on top of the toilet and performing several deep plies to retrieve items that fell on the floor. But Cirque du Soleil was probably the easiest because at least I was next to Husband and baby was too absorbed in the trapeze lizard people to be anything but docile.
My dad was poking around my kitchen and pointed my attention to a messy drawer. “This is really messy,” he said. “You should really organize this.” And I was like “Yeah Dad, if that’s the only messy thing in this apartment, we’d be in good shape, because have you seen the rest of my apartment?” Thank you. I thought he was being rather adorable, noticing Armageddon-level sty going on.
In the movie Greenberg, Ben Stiller plays a mid-life crisis New Yorker who stays in his brother’s L.A. house, walking everywhere. He spends his days slowly building a dog house for his brother’s dog and filling his time with whiskey and writing letters to the editor and letters of complaint. Some days, I feel like him. It’s not just that every time I go to L.A. I’m the only one on foot everywhere. It’s also because, although I have very little free time, I find myself writing letters of complaint. For example, a US Airways customer service rep was particularly snarky to me, and I took the time to compose a carefully worded, artfully argued letter of complaint email to the airline. WHY??? Greenberg.
We just got back from a weeklong vacation in the Dominican Republic. In a way, I’m not a big fan of vacations because I can take them or leave them. Fun is not something I can plan. A wide variety of elements have to come together in order for me to have fun, and that can happen at home or elsewhere, and it’s a completely spontaneous process.
Regardless, this trip was good in that I didn’t have to clean, cook, think, or do laundry for a week. All I had to do was take care of Baby and enjoy the company of Husband. Done. I organized the trip, despite my money panic attacks, because I wanted to have a bonding time that was just the three of us before I return to work in a week. (Eeek!)
There’s something slightly sci-fi about the all-inclusive package in third world country thing. Resorts are generally very expensive, elaborate worlds, with built-in restaurants, pool, and beach access, so that you never have to leave the campus. The food ranges from good to strange, in a way that makes me feel like the human race was captured by aliens and they work hard to approximate human food to keep their pets (us) happy. For example, butter cookies are slightly rubbery in texture and a strange color (which did not stop me from consuming them).
You also consume an ungodly amount of calories in all-inclusive packages. I totally enjoyed Second Breakfast, Elevensies, and Onesies. Husband felt stuffed, whereas I felt pretty darn normal (breastfeeding gives me the appetite of a teenage boy).
Beyond that, the trip gave me some time to ponder this whole thing of parenthood (not that I ever not ponder it, this whole surreal reality). It has brought a great deal of happiness and singing to us, but has also opened up an entirely new world of anxiety and guilt for me. For instance, I have guilt attacks over the fact that I have no idea what amuses a two-month-old, that I have not provided a fancy, fun mobile, that I took him to the Dominican Republic ON A PLANE. I’m worried he’ll be lonely, that he’ll be kidnapped, that I will be destroyed if he throws a tantrum in the future that includes the words “I hate you” (just saw that on the street today. I’m pretty sure that would make my heart collapse.)
Now that my maternity leave is almost over, I’m also sure I did the whole thing wrong. I wasted time that could have been used to, I don’t know, finish my novel, establish a sleep routine for the baby, regain some semblance of ab muscles, save the world, but none of those things have happened.
One of the random reasons Husband and I are meant to be is that he knows the same music I do. I started singing that one hit Herbie Hancock had in the 80s (can’t recollect the title, but the music video creeped me out–remember that shot of the closet with the three sets of mannequin legs that did synchronized kicking? Ewww.) He sang along with the chorus (whuh-whuh-whuh/whuh-whuh/whuh-whuh-whuh-whuh) and the bridge (wii-wii-whuh/wii-wii-whuh) without batting an eye. The song is instrumental and I know the phonetic spelling of the chorus might be difficult to comprehend in writing, but I’ll sing it to you the next time we hang out so you can know what song I mean.
Me: Last night I dreamed my friend Alex and Kris got married — not to each other, but to their husbands, and I totally missed both weddings. Alex was hurt and mad, because I was in the wedding party, and Kris was more whatever. I saw Kris’s husband releasing a duck in the river as part of the wedding. What do you think it means?
Mom: Indigestion. (then, with joy in her heart) Last night, I dreamed you had a flat stomach.
Me: Huh. Wonder what that dream means.
What does it take to be considered a MacGuyver Mom? I don’t know–having a baby wipe out in two seconds in the nick of time, ninja-like reflexes to save a kid from a fall, supersonic swaddle skills etc. I think my friend Joslyn is a MacGuyver Mom. When we hang out, she literally takes care of herself, her son, me, and my son. While I’m getting better, I’m distinctly not in this category because I seem to be in a perpetual state of disarray. Fortunately, I find this hilarious.
Today, I made Baby’s pediatrician smell the box of powder formula because the stuff smells so rank I worried it was spoiled (sort like when Becca and I lived together and we used to make each other take a whiff of the spoiled milk–just to be sure that nasal-piercing foul odor was indeed foul. Turns out formula does indeed just smell rank.) and in the process, dropped the box, spilling formula powder on the office floor and the fancy dress my cousin just gave me from her company. Yay! But at this point, the dress had already became spit-up couture when Baby puked up Second Breakfast on my sleeve. This is also the day where my in-laws are coming to visit for a week. I somehow snaked on the skin-tight Kentucky t-shirt on Baby to welcome them, but I have no idea how I’m going to get it off. I’m thinking of cutting him out of it. When I got home, I found out a callback for this HBO show (whatever, the line is “no”; just give me the freaking part), but because I spoke so favorably of my mom at the audition, they have invited MY MOM to audition for the show as well.
Mom, professional ham, conversation hogger (pig theme), said she’d have to think about it.
I love this day.
Wow, I had no idea having a baby would make me even more of a roller coaster of a girl. It seems I panic about something new every day. Today, I panicked about not having enough money, most likely because my brain finally has enough oxygen to understand how expensive day care really is. And in the midst of my panic attack, my fears felt extremely real and unwarranted and the world was going to spontaneously combust…until I remembered yesterday, I had a full-blown panic attack about not eating enough fruits and vegetables every day and how that could cause the baby to have scurvy, and I don’t even know what scurvy is. Isn’t it like something pirates get?
My point is having another person depend on you for their livelihood — I’m just noticing all the different effects to can have on a person. Of course, there is the mixture of absolute bliss and utter torture, but there are these other B-list impact influences too.
Still, I would not mind being loaded. Just saying.