Today, I turn 29. This day is mostly significant because I was able to tap into a few hours of free babysitting to get this blog underway. It’s been in my head for over a year. A compulsory laziness (and deep-seated insecurity about tackling anything technology-related), have led to an almost-nightly 3am blog session, whereby I lay in bed “writing” in my head. By the time I am jolted awake, two hours later, by a sweet little babe banging her head against the crib, the blog has usually been “deleted” due to severe sleep deprivation.
Eva, darling, I want you to know that this blog is for YOU. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on all the fun of your first years. After all, mommy has thus far neglected to record the date of your first smile, first giggle or first steps. That is why, the official “raison d’etre” of this blog is to record the wonders of mommyhood and your childhood, a “How You Met Your Mother”, if you will.
And so, Eva, by the time you read this, it will have been once upon a time, in a (perhaps?) faraway land called Long Island………
In honor of your first birthday (I know, I know, I’m a bit late), I would like to reveal the top ten biggest lies that were spewed to me by other, apparently more “seasoned” mothers, about what the first year of your life would be like. I’ve come to the conclusion that most mothers get to drink some magic juice after their babes are spat from the womb, but for some reason Dr. Trongone forgot to give it to me. So, let us begin…
LIE #10: “The time will FLY by. I mean, can you believe she was a newborn just twelve SHORT months ago?”
REALITY #10: Actually, time will, quite literally, go at about HALF the speed of a normal year. When you consider the 2,920 hours I spent awake this year when I would, under normal circumstances, be sleeping, you begin the realize that there, quite truly, is NO space/time continuum. You might also quite regularly consider how you’ve accomplished a mere fraction of the personal goals you would normally meet in any given year (case-in-point: this blog), despite the fact that you have, effectively, been awake for 121 more days than you were in the previous year. Eva, by the time you were three months old, I swore it must have been my 81st birthday.
LIE #9: “Breastfeeding will be the most special, magical experience of your life.”
REALITY #9: Fancy this: bleeding nipples and infected milk ducts. ‘nuff said.
LIE #8: “Stay at home. It will be much easier than being a working mother!”
REALITY #8: I sometimes daydream about my old train commute. I imagine myself reading The New Yorker, or some other relevant piece of literature that keeps me in some way connected to the world at large. I have a cup of coffee in hand. I finish said cup of coffee. I also sometimes, in real life, throw irrational tantrums at my baby’s daddy when he comes home complaining about his commute. “Do you know WHAT I’d KILL to have a commute?!?!?!?!?!?!”
LIE #7: “You won’t mind the sleep deprivation. It will just be more time you get to spend with your precious one.”
REALITY #7: I’ve heard this a few times. It never failed to make me want to tie a tight noose around the person’s neck.
LIE #6: “Your body will be forever disfigured, morphed into a pigmied teletubbie with droopy boobs for the rest of your life.”
REALITY #6: Ok, maybe there is some truth to the droop factor. And #6 may be the only on the list that I can put a positive spin on. I am both relieved and happy to report that I fit just fine into my pre-pregnancy clothes, with no belly-droop to report. If you hate me for this, know that I consider it my consolation prize for endless colic and off-the-charts hyperactivity. On a more cynical key, I often think it’s also a form of punishment. I wouldn’t want anyone (ANYONE, ANYONE, ANYONE) to view my body as a means of reproduction. Eva, I love you so very much, that is the truth, but your boundless energy fills my days quite enough for now.
LIE #5: “It’s so great that you’re a young mother. That’s the way to do it!”
REALITY #5: If you live in the New York metropolitan area, you’ll find “young” motherhood quite lonely. At 29, I do not have one, not one, high school or college friend that is even pregnant. While I was very much relieved to not have “AMA” stamped on my maternity charts, I’ve had to navigate an entirely new way of socializing with an entirely new group of people. C’est la vie.
LIE #4: “You have to join mommy-and-me classes. It’s a great way for the babies to socialize.”
REALITY #4: Why is every mommy-and-me class at 10:30am? In fact, it wouldn’t matter what godforsaken time the class is held. When your child is six months old, every time of day is smack in the middle of nap time. I challenge you to sign up for SKIP swim class, then awaken your grumpy baby from her warm bed to throw her in a cold pool every Friday morning. Would YOU be happy if your mother did that to you?
LIE #3: “Bring the baby everywhere. They are so portable and easy and it’s good for them to get out. Did I mention how easy they are as newborns?”
REALITY #3: Has anyone, ANYONE, ANYYYYOONNE ever heard of colic?
REALITY # 2: You’ll have no time. Ever. That’s why, Eva, there is no LIE #2 or #1, because you’re running around with your ass hanging out and if I choose to continue writing, there will be urine and/or excrement all over my new rug. But that bum is just SO. DARN. CUTE.
REALITY (and TRUTH) #1: Every time I look at the teeny bum, hear that delciously raucous (yes, raucous) belly laugh, or rub those chubby cheeks, I die just a little bit. Despite all the angst, you, quite truly, have complete and utter control of my heart.
Yours (very) truly,