J has taken to greeting me at the end of the day with, “How are the girls doing?” Part of me finds this adorable and part of me wants to kick his face in (I also, have to admit that the first time I totally thought he was talking to my boobs). It is inevitable that at this stage I am pretty much just the host of what people really want to know about. It’s probably better that he isn’t lying so that the shock after I give birth and people really stop caring about me doesn’t knock me out. But still, the little parasite is still in there growing fingernails and such . . .can’t I be more at least as important as that?
Not really. I know.
A girlfriend of mine had a (big, nay GIANT!) baby in July. She and I are much the same and have bonded over worries about not being maternal, etc. And we were talking about something that has been bugging me for weeks—women have to change immediately. The second you pee on the stick you start to change. It’s gradual (but it doesn’t feel gradual anymore). You can’t deny what is happening the way the father can, because well first your are vomiting and can’t stay awake, they you are puffy and your clothes don’t fit, and then you are enormous and have developed a terrifying waddle. And that’s just the first week.
The shock of it has hit her husband a little oddly. And she resents it. He continues on with his old life, scheduling nights out and business trips without consulting her—without considering the burden that puts her under. He’s not thinking about how inconsiderate that is, how unfuckingacceptable it is. He’s just doing what he has always done. And it’s pissing her off. I am impressed she’s made it this long. It’s irritated me from the beginning that J can still be J and I can’t be AB. I cannot tell you the relief that I felt, how much I relaxed when he just TOLD ME one night all the things he was thinking about. They were in the not helpful category of “I really want to take the kid camping every summer as a tradition” instead of the “I’ve been researching strollers and this is what I think” category but then again, he did clean out his space in the basement last weekend and I think the baby’s room is next so I’ll leave him alone. He doesn’t worry about child care or whether it’s toxic to use plastic bottles or about getting a reasonable semblance of his body back this winter. He doesn’t worry that he won’t be good enough, motherly enough, that everyone will judge him (because no one gets judged like moms I have seen that first hand). He doesn’t have conversations with his mother (whom he loves with all his heart) and hang up screaming because she is harping about some crazy thing and using made up words and OH MY GOD ANY SECOND THAT WILL BE ME IT IS COMING I CAN TELL.
Just so you know my mother has already mentioned repeatedly that she hopes that this girl loves ruffles and lace since I basically ruined her life by refusing to wear such things. Admittedly, this was the early eighties when little girls didn’t wear the plain things that we came to call “tailored” at my house and that this meant that all of my sister’s perfectly good things went to waste. And it meant that my dad actually had a rule that I had to wear a skirt to school at least once a week through the sixth grade (I still do not understand WTF was up with this rule. NONE of the other girls wore skirts or dresses that often even the girliest. Honestly, I think my dad thought he was preventing me from becoming a lesbian or something which . . .?? Again WTF DAD? You cared about my dresses but let me get a femme-mullet?). It’s been more than 20 years MOM. I do vididly remember the Easter dress shopping trips that had to start right after Christmas so that we could find something that 1) wasn’t pink 2) wasn’t ruffly 3) didn’t itch. BUT CAN WE MOVE ON PLEASE? Wishing my daughter to like the crazy foofy stuff isn’t going to change history especially since we don’t do Easter.
Also, I totally remember my dad paying me to wear these horribly itching wool tights and kilt when I was like five years old. With a MONOGRAMMED SWEATER. A whole dollar! Which was a fortune to me since I got a quarter for my allowance. My sister wore the same outfit for free. SUCKER.
I am pretty sure I had a point here that was lost on my trip down WHY DID MY PARENTS CARE SO MUCH ABOUT MY CLOTHES lane. Anyway, I am terrified of becoming my mother and determined that if my child does like pink and ruffles (SIGH) I will try not to care so much. And if she doesn’t, I will try not to care too much then either. My parents really freaked out about how “weird” I was and now I see that they were worried about me never fitting in. But little kids are weird and if the worst thing that ever happens to your daughter is that she likes overalls and baseball caps then she will have a happy happy life. Unless you warp her because you compare her all the time to her feminine (in their eyes normal) and better in every way sister. WOW THERAPY. Heh, my parents didn’t mean any harm but that doesn’t mean I want to do the same thing. Even in reverse.
OOOOH! MY POINT I FOUND THEE. J doesn’t have to worry about this stuff. His current obsession is her hair color (which is my fault, I read this article on the internets about genetics and found that a couple with a black haired parent and a blond parent, both with freckles, have a 1-4 chance of having a red haired child—this is a gross simplification but heh who cares—and since J is for whatever reason terrified of having a red haired daughter I ran to tell him this) and that is about it. He is becoming a whole cliché right in front of my eyes. But does he worry about damaging her emotionally? NOPE.
I just realized I could have written this post in 84,000 fewer words by saying PREGNANCY = NO FAIR.