Dear Pregnant Derby Girl:
Much like roller derby, you probably approached motherhood as something you’d seen before, mostly on TV or the movies, and you felt like you’d be pretty good at it. It does look like fun.
But then you went and did it and just like during your first week of roller derby, you’re thinking, “WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME IT WOULD BE LIKE THIS? IT IS HARD AND THERE’S ALL THIS PAIN. LOOK WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY BODY OH MY GOD ARE THERE DRUGS I CAN TAKE?”
The good news is that because of roller derby, you’re already used to thinking of your body as something other than just your “self.” You know what it’s like to have donated your entire life to a higher calling, a greater good. This prepares you well for both pregnancy and delivery, and eventually for motherhood itself.
You are already used to people – sometimes strangers – poking you, pushing you, touching your boobs and your butt. You don’t even blink when someone puts a hand between your legs and moves you to the side. Weird bruises don’t faze you, neither does blood coming from parts of you that don’t normally bleed like that. You go to the doctor more often than most people. You know it’s just a matter of time before you rip open something important. But this time, girl, that thing you’re ripping open will be your taint.
Over the past month I’ve had two encounters where I’ve been talking with friends I haven’t seen in a while — both of whom I know outside the industry but work inside it — when they said to me, “I thought you went home.”
“No, no, I’ve always been here,” I said.
“You didn’t go home and then come back?” Both of them said that, with a cock of the head. “I could’ve sworn I’d heard you left.”
Both of these people are Facebook friends, which pulls from my Twitter feed. This means I’m not doing a very good job of representing myself lately. And yes, I do a lot of work I’m not allowed to publicly discuss, and I’ve learned important lessons in my million years on the web about what is and isn’t wise to share on the Internet, so I probably err on the side of not enough information.
It has been a very busy year, so I’ll try and give something for everyone here. A little work update for those of you who enjoy reading about the writing life, a little bit of baby info, for those of you who want to know the latest on Qwerty, and finally for those of you who just want to know what Mom’s up to next, a little something special.
I’ve started a new screenwriting job that has me working at an office.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been a part of corporate culture. I worried it had been too long since I worked business hours with normal people, having co-workers who didn’t have tails or wear diapers. I worried not for me, but for them. It’s been a very long time since going to work means I have to put on pants.
I just saw I haven’t updated here since late March and now it’s May. Other than the year I took off, I haven’t ever missed a month in the history of pamie.com. [That one unlinked month will drive all my OCD readers crazy. I'm extra sorry about that!]
So first: apologies. It has been a crazy month. There’s the baby, of course, who fills in any available space and time as Qwerty has moved from an adorable lump of flesh with needs to an adorable drooling lump of flesh with needs who makes eye contact and can clearly telegraph, “YOU. I NEED YOU AND ONLY YOU RIGHT NOW. DO NOT LOOK AWAY.”
There’s been a lot of family stuff going on. My day used to be just Cal and me in this house all day long, and now it’s busy with people constantly coming and going. (And no Cal. It’s still not okay.)
Work wise, I’ve got a number of projects going on, including a new book. This means the list of things I’m unable to write about in this space is growing, and I feel bad how neglected this place was over the past month. I promise I’ve been writing things for you to see and read; I just can’t put them here. I promise to write about them as soon as I’m allowed.
If it makes you feel better, the other day Jason and I were watching a sitcom where a plot point focused on how two characters didn’t realize it was their anniversary. This was done to illustrate how their relationship wasn’t going so well.
I turned to Jason and asked, “Did we celebrate our anniversary?”
He just stared at me, his eyes distant, thinking.
“I know it happened,” I said. “But did we do anything?”
“When was it?”
And then it was quiet for a while. “No,” he said. “No, that day just came and went.”
“It’s not even like one of us has been secretly seething for a week, waiting for the other to remember.”
“No, we aren’t that sitcom. We’re an entirely different one. The one with a new baby.”
“We just… didn’t even notice. We talked about it right before it. I know we were thinking about celebrating, if we weren’t too tired when it came around. And then it just happened.”
“Was it on a Wednesday?”
“I have no idea anymore. I had to ask you if we celebrated it because I was worried that I’d just forgotten a night out.”
“In our defense, there’s been a lot going on.”
“True. I love you, but right now we don’t have time to be in a marriage. We’re just part of the same platoon, both on separate missions.”
“That’s pretty accurate. But you know I got your back.”
“And I’ve got yours.”
I was playing with the baby and I can’t remember the toes song.
“This Little Piggy”?
Well, it’s not a song.
Fine, sure. But I said, “This little piggy went to market. But this little piggy didn’t go anywhere.”
Yeah, that’s not quite right. But he did stay home. And then one of them had roast beef, which now suddenly seems really weird.
Right? That’s weird.
…Pamie. Roast beef isn’t made from pigs.
… Right. Right, I knew that.
It’s still weird. And I don’t know where he ate it, because they didn’t say. So you’ve got This Little Piggy went to market, This Little Piggy–
–stayed home. This Little Piggy had roast beef, and This Little Piggy had none. Which doesn’t rhyme too well, but whatever.
And then the little pinkie toe piggy went wee-wee all over the place.
That’s what I always pictured! This pig running around peeing all crazy, just running and peeing. Wee-wee, wee-wee, wee-wee all over the place. Hee-hee-hee-hee-heeeeee.
Not “all over the place.” He went home.
He’s still funny. Peeing and running.
“Mom, you sent me a blank e-mail.”
“No, I didn’t. I sent the people an e-mail, and I said it was from my new e-mail address.”
“Yes, but you put all that in the subject line. Then you open up the e-mail and it’s blank.”
“Well, if they want to know anything else that’s going on, they’ll have to write me back!”
For when you’re nursing your child and your mom stands super close to watch it while she chats, and then she gets so caught up in the moment that she leans in and kisses the baby’s head, just centimeters away from your bare breast.
Because that is what happened to me yesterday.
Oh, does that not happen to you on a Thursday? Then I guess maybe we don’t need a whole word for it. Maybe just a therapy session.
Oh, this is nice. I’m outside.
I’M OUTSIDE! WOO!
Yes, I’m outside, with my friend, like a real lady and I am going to have some lunch. A lunch date! Oh, I’m on a lunch date with my friend like I’m a real, live, normal person. This is fantastic.
She’s been talking. My friend is definitely talking right there. I should probably pay attention.
Man, it’s pretty outside. I forgot how nice life is when you’re around it. Look at all these people, just having lunch. Enjoying their day. People all look so pretty and happy and nice. These people all look so nice.
I hope the baby is napping.
Can she see my breast pads through this shirt? I hope I look okay. I am almost positive I remembered to put on deodorant before I left. I could check the app to see if the baby is still asleep, but —
NO. I will NOT check the app! This is MY TIME and there’s nothing I can do if the baby is awake anyway, because I’m way over here, enjoying my lunch with my friend like everybody else gets to do and I should do because I’m still a person.
1. I’m watching the Beyonce documentary.
2. It’s 3:30 in the morning and I’m on my third shirt because I’ll never not be covered in someone else’s body fluids ever again.
3. Decaf is bullshit.
4. It’s pretty outside and I am inside.
5. There’s this documentary about happiness but at one point there’s a segment on suicide in Japan and there’s a clip of all these Japanese mothers singing a song about their sons being gone and IT IS THE SADDEST THING IN THE WORLD.
5a. Technically, there are two things I can name that are sadder.
It’s that time of year when networks are ordering pilots. This means tv writers are sitting around anxiously waiting to find out which scripts they’ll be viciously hate-reading.