Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"Having the baby changed my life a lot. I don't want to go on the road. " - "Mama Cass" Elliott

Did anyone else see this article on Salon’s Broadsheet? And the letter that spawned the article? And the reaction spurred by both? Wow. There are people out there who hate them some kids, and the people who have kids, and conversely, there are parents out there who hate them some childless people. The letters pretty much covered any angle I could, but the whole thing got me thinking of ways in which my life changed after I had children.

Then: Fairly certain the vomit in my hair was mine.
Now: Certain the vomit in my hair is The Baby’s.

Then: Able to shower and wash vomit out of my hair as soon as I could stand up without passing out.
Now: Able to shower and wash vomit out of my hair the next time an adult I know even slightly comes to the house. The piano tuner coming this afternoon does not count as I have never seen him before in my life, and he’s never seen me (and isn’t he in for a treat?!)
Therefore I estimate showerability sometime around 8pm this evening.

Then: Before getting so drunk as to puke, ate lovely dinner at nice restaurant, perhaps with attentive, attractive male; or alternately, giving me the benefit of the doubt, before succumbing to the stomach flu decimating the entire freshman class, ate lovely dinner at nice restaurant, perhaps with attentive, attractive male.
Now: Before being projectile-vomited upon by The Baby, *he* consumed a hefty helping of Kraft mac and cheese (yes, the electric yellow kind), and a banana and a half, and milk. I had a few spoonfuls of plain macaroni, a glass of water, a birth control pill, and a multivitamin. Was planning on eating after the boys were in bed but was too tired to make anything so ate the same thing I’d had for breakfast, a buttered toasted bagel and some tea. I think H may have spoken to me, but I wasn’t paying attention.

Then: Recuperated the next day by lolling in bed, reading, napping, and having soup brought to me by best friend or attentive male (not necessarily the same one from night before).
Now: Next day, crawl out of bed after an hour and a half of sleep, leaving the baby taking up all the room in the bed, hustle the other boys to dress and eat breakfast, shove them out the door with H who mercifully is still here (he slept through all the vomiting). Tell H I will call his coworker and tell him he is going to be late picking him up; have to call directory assistance for the phone number, it’s unlisted, finally call H’s workplace and relay the message to the secretary, for all the good that will do. Baby starts crying and begins to perform his remora act. Clean up the vomit he’s just spewed; change my clothes again. As soon as I can, park him in front of The Wonder Pets and run around gathering up all vomit-y clothing, blankets, sheets, etc. Throw laundry in with double bleach. Change The Baby’s messy diaper. Yup, both ends. Yay, stomach bug. Call the ped, am recited the standard “One-ounce-of-fluid-every-fifteen-minutes-for-an-hour” speech which I already knew but because I am a good parent, I called to confirm. Fall asleep nursing the baby in the armchair, wake (just before piano tuner arrives) with baby still attached, a crick in my neck, and drool running down my chin.

Then: If I hated someone, I was permitted to hate them no matter what.
Now: Remember all the mean things I said about my mother-in-law? Now feel like a worm as she agreed to collect Seg from preschool and keep him for the afternoon, returning him only after she collects Primo from kindergarten. Am a WORM.

Then: If feeling better that evening, go to McDonald’s for perfect hangover food: fries and cheeseburgers.
Now: Realize that despite the fact that The Baby will not be eating anything, and as I reek of puke I have no appetite, must still think of something reasonable to feed two older boys and H. Fuck. Cannot order pizza, as have had that within past week and repeats that soon are simply not acceptable. They all had mac-and-cheese last night, and besides, H will NOT eat that again. Am completely out of chicken nuggets.

Then: Would often go out that evening to drink AGAIN.
Now: Even though I have had plans to go out tonight for at least a week, am almost certain I will not go, as I cannot leave the vomiting baby with H, not when he has the two older boys as well. Besides, The Baby wants ME and if it makes him feel better, then I WANT to be there for the poor little guy, who is busy moaning and lying pathetically on the sofa.

Then: NEVER talked about baby poop or vomit. I mean, why the hell would I?
Now: Only speak of baby poop and vomit when necessary, which unfortunately seems to be every other day, not including middle-of-the-night emails to Gina and L lamenting the fact that I am awake at 3 goddamn a.m. swabbing baby puke off my back and out of my hair.

So, Ms Gonzalez, whine whine, blather, whinge, so sorry your friend can’t go clubbing with you any longer, that she can’t get her flirt on with Johnny Depp or rock the miniskirt that made Keifer Sutherland ask for her phone number. Grow up. She has a kid, and regardless of how or why she had that child, her first responsibility is to the child, whether you like it or not. Cut her a break. Try and be a friend to her anyway, and soon enough, this too shall pass and she can come out and have fun again sometimes.
And as there's no point in crying about baby bodily fluids, you and she might as well laugh.

In the meantime, regardless of the fact that it’s relatively more pleasant than grown-up puke, do you think *I* enjoy being covered in baby puke?


blackbird said...

I hope you don't mind...I scrolled through the baby/vomit stuff to say
you ARE NOT A WORM - your mother in law is a pain in the ass. She just happens to be handy.


Kathy said...

You are NOT a worm. Your MIL just happened to be feeling not -- that doesn't make her always nice nor you a worm. I totally agree with blackbird on this.

Suse said...

That was the best blog post I've read anywhere for ages.

You should send it to Salon to continue the saga.

Oh, and hang in there. Is it 8pm your time yet sweetie?

Sarah Louise said...

What Suse said. What everyone said.

You are not a worm, you're a great mom, and a great writer to boot.


Amy said...

What you failed to mention is this:

Then: Had little to no cares in the world, no feeling of accomplishment or meaning in the world, careless towards my future, my life, my goals.

Now: Have people who depend on me, have a family to support, a house to run and accomplish a longer list of things in one day that I might have accomplished in a month back then. Am loved and give love readily and easily. Am more content with my place in this world than I ever could have dreamed of then.

I wouldn't change being a parent for the world.

Caro said...

You're not a worm. Worms smell like dirt, not vomit. :P

But seriously, just because she came through once means she's capable of it AND should do it more often. See, she's the worm.

I pray that the flu bug doesn't rampage through your house. And if praying isn't enough, maybe I'll sacrifice a goat or my husband or something.

lazy cow said...

Oh luvvie, your post made me want to vomit in sympathy. How very awful for you all. I wouldn't be terribly worried about feeding H though, surely he can whip up some toasted cheese sandwiches for himself and the boys?

BabelBabe said...

i would not trade my kids for the world, but the juxtaposition of lifestyles is to laugh.