Sunday, May 28, 2006
In a liquor store buying beer -
"Excuse me do you work here? Could you get that 12 pack of New Castle on the bottom shelf for me, I'm recovering from a cesarean?"
Strangest thing to come out of someone's mouth directed at me this weekend
While holding my 6 week old daughter -
"You have to be rough with them at this age, otherwise they just grown up afraid of everything!"
Friday, May 19, 2006
Could the most challenging part of parenting be that life still gets to the point where you have to wonder if
it's all worth it, only now you look at this little mug staring back at you and you are forced to face the answer as a strong, solid
"YES"? What about my sadness, my self doubt? The things that I once thought made me human now seem only narcissistic. I drag my consciousness back to reality, kicking and screaming from the adulthood I have assumed with Dan as my co-pilot. Narcissism is human.
The frustration and sadness that can come with this phase of parenting for a young family is undeniable
in that you can't let anyone try to deny you of your true feelings. It's not always great. It does feel like a trap sometimes. Not because of our beautiful daughter, she's the best thing we have found since each other, but because of what it takes to make a life for a family. How different everything becomes in a flash. I can't bother trying to describe it because it's different for everyone. It's a,
"you'll know it when you see it, and not a second sooner" kind of thing.
Having Cohen now I would never dare say that this is what gives my life value over another person that has no children. I can see clearly that it is a choice. Cohen has given my life more value though, just like Dan did. I needed them.
I also need to be myself sometimes. I need to write a shitty poem about my sadness. I need to go into an independent record store and talk about what's new in underground hip hop. I can have both. I can be my same old self with these two new family members, and I think that all we're going through now is just working out the kinks of this new reality. I know enough of my women friends have had a hard time finding a man with which they could be themselves, more than less a whole family within which you can maintain who you once were.
In Zia's Records yesterday I felt like a human again, a real narcissist, talking about music, listening to a few cd's,
and the only difference was that I was carrying a baby in her car seat around the store with me. I used to carry a pretty big purse, so all in all, I was feeling pretty normal. And I spend a lot of time in my house so it's a big deal when I get to get out and do something
Then, in the middle of discussing the warbly snares on the second half of Sage FrancisÃ¢ first album and the wonderful works of Pigeon John with the super cool indie rap guy it occurs to me that my breasts may be leaking. Mind you that my breasts are now so huge that even if they were leaking I might not see it. What if they were leaking from beneath the breast? What if only one was leaking? Would he mention it? Should I ask? Is there any inconspicuous way to reach up and feel your breasts in the middle of a conversation that isn't taking place within the confines of a lap dance?
The answer, there is no way to check. I just let it be and sure enough I hadn't been leaking. I bought a cd, drove through a burger joint, and pulled into a shady parking spot in a lumber yard to eat my burger and fries while my daughter slept. My day was redeemed. That night Dan and I had tortellini in pesto sauce for dinner, split a Fat Tire, watched the part of the Will & Grace season finale where Grace tells Leo she's pregnant and then I took pictures while Dan gave Cohen a bath in the kitchen sink. As it is, my photography seems better than my poetry.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
I want to describe this anger
Instead of walking with it into the shower
where the steam will defuse the folds and bear to me reasoning beyond
my first child, my marriage, my obnoxious house guest that
left a residue of cigarette smoke and Issey Miyake.
I want to believe that in place of wanting to hurt myself
I can negotiate with the regulator.
Instead of sinking like a stone into a pond where I know I belong
let me be misplaced in a pool.
Obviously misplaced and easily found
Let this be temporary,
the turning of the dial and not the click.
The click is it.
This is not the click.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Even better the toilet is broken. Not our toilet, her toilet. This woman has had diverticulitis more times than I have leaked through my nursing pads, so take me seriously when I say this is not a person with which one wants to share a bathroom. Last night at 3 a.m. she had to come through our bedroom to use the toilet in there because the landlord has not fixed my toilet in the three days I have been calling.
I will be the first to admit that I am still a spindle in the weaving of the self doubt, self loathing, and pride that composes part of even the best mothers. This is why in the middle of taking my three week old daughter out to lunch, when she wakes and cries in the restaurant I begin, piece by piece to slowly fall apart the end result being me forcing my passenger to let me pull over so that she can drive us the rest of the way home while I sit in the back seat and console my new baby.
I tried to feed Cohen in the ladies room so that I could return to my cheeseburger and beer, but there was a bulimic two stalls down. At first I just heard this woman coughing and felt guilt for having my daughter in a bathroom with a sick person, only to realize the woman was making herself vomit.
There was humor in looking down at Cohen. I thought, I might be sitting on a public toilet with my pants on, but youre eating a meal in a bathroom. As is the case in most situations, vomit trumps humor and I took Cohen to the car to finish nursing.
She went back to sleep for a few miles, but was letting me know that her patience was maxing out for the day. I pulled over to feed her some more. All the while Ronit is on her cell phone telling the person on the other end of the line that the baby is crying because I am obviously not capable of feeding her properly and in the future I should be advised to take a bottle with us when we leave the house. How stupid of me.
We get back into the car, Cohen strapped in, Ronit off of the phone, the Mommy in tears but willing to drive again. It took all of five minutes before Cohen was inconsolably wailing again. A new cry. A new blood curdling cry. The kind of cry that says, Remember when pain was something that could be overcome by imagining your own demise? Well now pain is mine for you to feel, and you wont want to miss a second because the thought of me having to feel it alone ends your world! I stop the car. Ronit drives and I crawl into the back seat holding Cohens screaming face in my hands. I tell Ronit to wait, I may need to take her out to feed her again, and just then she stops crying. My pinky is in her mouth. I sit back and tell Ronit we can keep driving everything is fine. I sigh and realize that her whole world is my pinky in her mouth.
Everyday I think I know the love I feel for this child only to have that love turned inside out and into a new bigger love. I am constantly rushing to accomplish the mundane, when she is growing eyelashes for one time only. She is getting longer. She still needs me. And all of this guilt, the compulsion to lie, to fib, to say that I am fine is beyond me. I rode for the next 20 minutes with tears rolling down my face and my pinky in her mouth just relieved that every moment in my life has lead me right to her. At home I took her into the bedroom and stared at her for an hour before drifting off to a guiltless sleep with her milk streamed face smashed against my breast.
This morning Ronits perfume is surely the culprit of what will inevitable be another sleepless night for me, as I am convinced between her cigarettes and bathing herself in Issey Miyaki she raises Cohens chances of dying from SIDS by at least 70 percent. My mother is here now, and kindly distracting Ronit on the back porch while I finish writing this. I burned two cds for the wedding and am proud of my selections. While my brain is still missing chunks, my heart is full for today.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
I gave Cohen her first bath today and Alby stood guard the whole time I had her in the tub, as if to say, Dont break my baby, I am watching you.
I took Cohen for blood work this afternoon, terrified as to how I would feel watching my baby get pricked for the first time. I could only imagine IVs pouring out of the walls, syringes being tossed at her as she spun on a carnival wheel of with her hands and legs secured and her new mother forced to watch from the wings and hope for the uncontrollable best. I called Dan at work to share my fears. He reminded me that I have already seen her blood taken several times in the hospital and that I should try not to worry so much.
Today Cohen wore another of Grandmas expensive, bought in New York, good luck not strangling your first born outfits. If CPS saw what I had to do to this child to maneuver her into these designer baby clothes, where elastic is so last season, my baby would be on her way to live with a foster family instead of screaming on my husbands chest right now. This outfit comes complete with a satin ribbon that must be tied just inches below her little mouth. IT came untied in the doctors office, luckily a complete stranger pointed out to me that my baby was eating her shirt. And even more lucky than that, my name was called next. Still, the outfit was adorable, and the risk is just barely outweighed, but outweighed nonetheless by the ruffles, the pattern, and those satin little ribbons oh my!