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. Continue reading →
First of all, I’d like to thank you guys for the incredible outpouring of love and support over Cal. I know it’s not a contest, but the flowers/cards/messages/emails/letters for Cal over Taylor were like, 3:1. Wherever he is in kitty heaven, I hope he’s both happy and smug.
Since I already voted and I’ve got election results anxiety as I think about the next four years both worldwide and very personally domestically, I figure I’d do a little bit of updating. Continue reading →
Shot just before the season wrapped (before Eyesplosion ’09), Niya let me know she still had something to say about stay-at-home mothers. Watch me grow increasingly uncomfortable until I’m reduced to just stuttering. Also: secret babies, and other horrible nightmares.
(Watch it in High Quality. And there’s a little bit of cursing. Just warning those of you trying to watch this at work.)
Here’s the thing about Niya. She sits across from me at the table every day, and while I never know exactly when it will happen, there will be a point where she goes off. Sometimes it’s over something seemingly innocuous, like cookies. Or dogs. I particularly enjoy the times it’s about how she would have reacted if she were me in a certain situation. (“Oh, you need to listen. I don’t know who the FUCK you think you are, but…”)
I have often said I’m trying to be able to tap into my inner Niya, and she says she’s working on her outer Pam.
In a conversation about Twitter and Facebook, Niya went off on how annoying Twitter is: “It’s just one damn thing after another, on and on about how perfect everything is in her life, all these little moments I couldn’t give a FUCK about because I DON’T LIVE WITH HER. “My darling Jessie just came home from school.” “Jessie just drank some milk.” “Jessie got all A’s!” “I love my perfect family!” “Dinner: what to make?” “Laundry, I just did it.” Why don’t you put down the damn Twitter and join your perfect goddamn family?!?”
This turned into Niya telling me what she thinks about women who call themselves the CEO’s of their families. I loved it so much it made me want to make my very first YouTube video. Enjoy.
“Whether or not she is being listened to will tell a young girl if others take her seriously, which in turn goes to the growth of her sense of a successful self. Even though her language skills aren’t developed, she understands more than she expresses, and she knows — before you do — if your mind has wandered for an instant. She can tell if the adult understands her. If the adult gets on the same wavelength, it actually creates her sense of self as being successful or important. If she doesn’t connect, her sense is of an unsuccessful self.”
I’d never held a newborn baby before. Maybe that was my first mistake. I didn’t know what I was going to be up against. I didn’t know what I was in for. It wasn’t like I thought this would happen. It wasn’t as if I expected to feel this way. We all know where my head is at as far as babies are concerned.
So I went to see the baby on her second day of life. And I held her. She’s very soft and very small, two things one knows about babies but can’t really understand until you hold one. She has a full head of black hair, and her arms are constantly moving around, conducting a tiny song, wondering what happened to the walls of her house. Her legs kick out strong. She has a wicked naval piercing — a large plastic stick that’s bigger than most of her body parts. She’s still trying to figure out what her tongue is for.
I probably only held her for fifteen minutes or so. I was pretty nervous, as the only other time I’ve held something even close to being that young I dropped the baby on her head. Now, I was six and the baby was one, but I dropped the baby on her head and I’ve never forgotten that, so I stayed pretty still as this newborn was placed into my arms.
I’m exhausted. It’s been a busy week full of meetings, rehearsals, performances, planning, writing, rewriting, contracts, phone calls, cleaning and meeting deadlines. In fact, yesterday was going to be my “light” day, and I filled it with research and a marathon cleaning session, as the state of my house was so out of control that tiny cats were threatening to sprout from the piles of wandering furballs that would roll through the house like tumbleweeds.
And last night as I scarfed down dinner minutes before I had to head out the door for a friend’s screening, I got the phone call we’d been waiting on for a while: two of my best friends in the world are finally having a baby. They’d been trying forever, it seems, and they’re very happy to be one month along. They keep repeating that they know they aren’t “out of the woods,” which only strengthens that myth of storks leaving babies in gardens and cabbage patches way out in the middle of nowhere (or “the nowhere”, as my newly-pregnant friend was mocked for saying). I always imagined mothers crawling through thorny vines and poison ivy, shielding their tiny infants in their hands, both faces streaked in mud until they both found a warm home. So really, finding out when I was six that I instead came from a belly was a relief.