Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hope for the future, Doughnut Edition

Found on Buzzfeed. I saw the image first with no context and immediately from the handwriting and tone thought "sixth grader." Turns out it's (reportedly) a 12-year-old. Called it! Obviously this kid has been at the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but even if he/she hasn't (no guarantee it's a boy - kids' handwriting is all the same for a while, then the girls decide they want to make their letters rounder - it's all an affectation, I know it was for me) that's still the perfect age for comedy... they still think boogers and poo are funny, but they've just grasped irony and sarcasm and by god they're going to run with it. And 6th graders are way sharper than people think they are (see: Tavi Gevinson).

It is my solemn duty to make sure Seamus turns out this awesome.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blog name change

They fuck you up, your mom and dad. 
They may not mean to, but they do. 
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you. 

- from "This Be the Verse," Philip Larkin

I figured since this is now a full-blown mommyblog, I might as well name it as such. Also I might tell some people I actually have a blog.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

That's a cute outfit - FOR ME TO POOP ON!

I just made a Triumph the Insult Comic Dog reference. Does that date me? I don't care.

Anyway: excrement. The Blowout Diaper is a thrice-weekly occurrence. When he gives me this particular massive toothless grin, I know he's just consigned me to five minutes elbow-deep in poo and another load of laundry. But as long as he's happy, I'm good.

I've found out why new parents talk so much about poop. First of all, when you are surrounded by it all day, you can go one of two ways - you can cringe and gag and be disgusted, or you can embrace the hilarity, because as any 12-year-old or Hollywood comedy producer can tell you, poop is funny. Second: the quality and amount of your child's poop is one indicator of their health. Little babies are basically giant heads with digestive systems, and if the system's not working right you're going to get something like the first six weeks of Seamus' gassy, slightly constipated existence. His nickname is now "Screamy McShriek."

But at six weeks, it's like someone flipped the "human being on" switch. First he started focusing his eyes on things, then it was eye contact, then I could occasionally jolly him out of a crying jag by waving a brightly-colored jingling dangly toy in front of his face. (In the vein of "Dog Toy or Sex Toy," I have a new game called "Baby Toy or Cat Toy.") Now he smiles and squeals and bats at toys and seems to enjoy it when I read him Harry Potter, complete with attempted English and Scottish accents. When I do a raspberry at him he gasps in surprise, then gives me this huge silly grin, in the vein of the best video on the Internet but not quite as awesome (yet). He still cries more than most babies, I think, but now that he has facial expressions he's getting easier to decipher. My son has facial expressions! Holy crap, I have a son!

This is still sinking in.


The first 3 weeks of maternity leave, I spent alternately freaking the fuck out and playing Mass Effect while Seamus slept - and he slept a lot, as newborns do. I finished it (and need to post about it, although my thoughts on the much-maligned ending don't really vary from most people's, i.e., what is this I don't even.) Then Seamus decided to quit napping for more than a half hour at a time because he's perverse like that, and from then on gaming was out - I always needed at least one hand free to hold/feed/amuse the baby, and often I have to pace around holding the kid to calm him down, so I switched to TV. Yeah, the vast majority of it is age-inappropriate, but a) he does not yet speak English or recognize objects and all he cares about right now is sound and color and motion, and b) the first thing he ever saw was me blowing holes in people's chests with a shotgun in Mass Effect, so the damage has already been done.

Things I have watched over the last month and change:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Oh god oh man oh god

Will this thing EVER STOP CRYING

dude I have changed your diaper and wiped your poopy butt and fed you and bathed you and rocked you and bounced you and put you in the hippie baby carrier and the stroller and walked you around the house and driven you around in the car and OH DEAR GOD WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME

Why did no one warn me about newborns? "Oh, he's just a challenging baby," people say cheerfully. "My kid cried nonstop for three months. This phase passes." Shut up, you smug assholes with children who can walk and grasp things and focus their eyes. Just. Shut. Up.

In fact - EVERYONE should shut up. Especially certain bassinet-dwelling miniature demons I could name.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Please welcome...

Seamus Guybrush DuMaison, seven pounds and change of larynx, digestive system and complete adorableness. Three weeks old and he can lift his head for a few seconds and sort of follow things with his eyes! HE'S A PRODIGY!!!!

And a redhead! I was hoping for a redhead! All the teachers are going to think he's trouble whether he actually is or not, but I don't care, red hair is awesome.

I have three words to describe childbirth, and they are OH DEAR GOD. I did have to get induced, and I did get myself all drugged up, but the epidural didn't quite take all the way... and now I have pretty much blocked the memory, as one does with extreme trauma. They put him on my chest and he was covered in blood and goop and screaming loudly and it was AWESOME. It took a bit, but I am now firmly under the influence of the Alien Mom Ray, one side effect of which is that you can never again sleep through any baby making any sound whatsoever, even if it's just happy, sleepy little "eh eh" noises... and newborns make ALL KINDS of weird little noises, all the time, conscious or unconscious.

Also they can get terrible intestinal gas and shriek for hours on end. I can do hungry, tired, bored, etc. cries, but this one's too much for me, because it hits me right in the hindbrain and my jumped-up lady hormones put me on high panic alert because oh my god my son is screaming he is SCREAMING someone is hurting him I will KILL THE SHIT OUT OF THEM. Except you can't violently murder intestinal gas.

Things I did not understand about parenting, I now understand. Co-sleeping: they quiet down when they're being snuggled, and also hugging a sleepy baby makes you feel kind of drunk, like human Valium, so sleeping next to a baby would be win/win - alas, I'm too paranoid about rolling over on the little guy. Vaccinations: I am starting to figure out that the "someone is hurting my baby, kill the shit out of them" reflex is so strong that some people would rather make long elaborate angry arguments about adverse effects and herd immunity rather than watch their kid be stuck with needles and cry. Breastfeeding: I can't, I take meds that are not compatible, and I didn't think I'd want to anyway, but when the milk came in it was RIGHT THERE and what the hell are you going to do with it, not feed your kid? I felt so horrible, and yeah some of it was the lectures from the midwife and the nurses and the lactation consultant they sent me even though I said "don't send me a lactation consultant" and the fact that I had to explain my extensive research on the issue multiple times before they'd leave me alone, but mostly it was that here I was, lactating, doing one of the key things mammals do, and it was completely useless. I suck at being a mammal.

And doing weird things with the placenta, or burying it under a tree, or god forbid eating it. I get that. Childbirth is indeed magical, for a given value of magical - not so much unicorns and rainbows, but the sort of magic where you go out barefoot in the woods at midnight and do something unspeakable with goat entrails and come back hollow-eyed but imbued with a terrible wisdom. This is ancient, blood-for-life sort of stuff. If you think eating your own body part gives you some sort of talismanic edge I say bon appetit.

Needless to say, I can only blog right now because the Wee Baby Seamus is out cold, being adorable, little arms flung out in random directions, and I didn't swaddle him tonight so he's probably going to flail around, hit himself in the face and wake himself up later. The lack of motor control is absolutely astonishing. Horses come out walking! Ah well, I guess that's the biped's dilemma.

Oh, now he's squeaking. That sounds like an "I'm waking up" squeak, not a "REM sleep" squeak. And now back to your regularly scheduled sleep deprivation...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I am large, I contain multitudes.


Today is my due date. When I do manage to haul my magnificent ass off the sofa, it's like March of the Penguins over here. I have eaten semi-ripe papayas and the equivalent of maybe five pineapples, I have made some exquisite eggplant parm, I have wandered all over town and done squats and tried all that other stuff they suggest too. Nothing.

My parents are in town from halfway across the continent, wasting their money while they wait. Friends and relatives keep calling and emailing. If they have a sense of humor I direct them to "this site I'm using to track my progress, it's called haveyouhadthatbabyyet.com", but the kind of relatives who keep at you about this sort of thing are the kind of relatives who wouldn't think that's funny, so lots of chirpy "Nope, not yet! :)" responses are in order. Blerg. Meanwhile I get more uncomfortable and more twitchy and my hospital refuses to induce till you're two weeks overdue, and no I HAVE NOT HAD THAT BABY YET STOP ASKING.

The more this goes on, the more I don't even know why I got myself into this mess. My snarky, no-nonsense BFF back home, who I may have casually mentioned months and months ago is a few weeks ahead of me pregnancy-wise, went about a week early, and for the past few weeks she's cooing over her own teeny little poop machine and talking like a diaper-changing vet and saying stuff like "I had NO IDEA I could love anything THIS MUCH." Several years (and one asshole ex) ago she was saying she never wanted children. And as much as I fear getting shot in the head with the Alien Mom Ray, I'm especially terrified of NOT getting shot in the head with the Alien Mom Ray. What if this magical oxytocin-induced crazy baby love thing that's supposed to hit you immediately... doesn't hit me? What if I look at the Wee Baby Seamus and all I can muster is the same emotion I usually feel for babies? (Which is "Huh.") And what about postpartum depression - what if I get it? And am I REALLY all right with spending the next decade or so only eating at restaurants with placemats you can color on?

I don't know if I really thought this through.

Ah well. The point is moot anyway, because obviously I'm never actually going to HAVE a baby. I'm just going to be pregnant for the rest of my life.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Going to the motherf*king BANK like an ADULT

What's on the table for today?

Old meme but true meme. Allie Brosh has perfectly captured the Grownup Responsibility Spiral I catch myself in all the time - I'm gonna be responsible! I'm going to cook a real dinner every night instead of eating frozen Safeway generic mozzarella sticks and/or two bowls of Raisin Bran! I am going to take a goddamn toothbrush to the goddamn dingy bathroom grout! That pile of clothes in the bedroom? Gone! I am a fucking ADULT here.

And it's worse now that I'm going to be a mom. Mom = competent grownup. It is known. One of the reasons I am having the Wee Baby Seamus in the first place is so I have an incentive to get my shit together. The trouble is, now I have to get my shit together. And I don't think I'm quite ready to get it up to mom standards. Sitcom-dad standards, sure. I can cook dinner, half-assedly wipe down the bathroom sink and remember to put my socks in the hamper most of the time, but dusting? People actually DUST? Oh god, I have to remember to run the dishwasher EVERY DAY? Right now Max handles most of the housework with no complaint because he is the Felix to my Oscar, but I'm already starting to feel terrible that I'm "letting" my husband do the work I should be doing because I'm The Mom. If Dad has to do the work then Mom has failed.

That's how it worked when I was growing up. I've seen what it did to my mom, who is a world-class martyr, and the guilt trips she's laid on me over the years are nothing compared to what she does to herself. On that path lies danger. I must avoid it.

So last night I avoided it. I played Skyrim for... eight hours? Holy fuck! In the process I also ate way too much blackberry-chocolate-swirl ice cream and finished it off with brie and crackers. I think. I came out of my usual RPG coma at 2:30 am with a dirty ice cream spoon and brie rinds and half a box of crackers in front of me, so I am pretty sure that's what I ate. It's all a blur. A vast, sweeping, gorgeously mountainous blur full of badly rendered facial features. God, that font they use for all the lore! Not that I mind vast quantities of lore - that's a plus in a game - but I'm sitting there on the couch squinting at the TV trying to read pages and pages of lore that's aimed at people who've played all the Elder Scrolls games already (I haven't) and trying to decipher the olde-timey-high-fantasy font. You can tell which system an RPG is meant to be played on by the size and font the lore is done in, and very clearly I'm supposed to be on a PC.

This is the downward-turning part of the grownup achievement spiral, where you just get overwhelmed by All The Things and give up. On this path lies danger as well. I should get out of bed and go do things. But I'm soooo pregnant and tired and my feet hurt! Pregnant ladies should not have to do things! They are delicate flowers and getting out of bed is too much for them! Other insidious benevolent-sexist tropes! Waaah!

I better stop blogging and get on with All The Things before I turn into Phyllis Schlafly.