Thursday, July 10, 2008


Into my third week back at home with the baby, it is shocking how the days slide by. We wake up, we eat, we play, we nurse, we nap. The baby rolls onto his tummy on the quilt on the living room floor and pedals himself around in circles. He tells me when he needs to potty, but sometimes I don’t pay attention, which results in puddles on the quilt. He sits in his new high chair and bangs on it with a rice spoon. He stands in his new pink Exersaucer and gnaws on the gender-specific toys affixed to it (a vase of flowers! a straw bonnet! a purse!). At mealtimes, he is the opposite of dexterous, smushing food into his mouth, chewing it gravely, finally dropping most of it on the floor or into his lap.

As for me, I seem to have slid into some sort of stasis. I do a lot of laundry and very little cleaning and a medium amount of cooking – just enough to keep up with the horrifying piles of greens that we keep getting from the farm share. I drink nursing tea, eat rice with edamame and Dr. Praeger’s frozen spinach pancakes on top, and snack on sweet potatoes, pink lady apples, and dark chocolate. Because my parents keep me well-stocked with Starbucks cards, the baby and I go to Starbucks every day, and I have lemonade and lemon pound cake (500 calories per slice). When the baby naps, I watch television dreamily, even really bad shows like the one on VH1 where Brett Michaels tongue-kisses everyone except the women of color, who are kicked off in like two minutes flat. I have sudden fits of severe boredom, but I do not want to call my friends because maybe they are busy and don’t want to talk to a bored me. Instead, I call my mother and get unjustly annoyed at her if she actually wants to talk for awhile, and I hurry her off the phone in a put-upon manner as though she were the one who called me just to pass the time. Sometimes, even when I am holding him, I forget to talk to the baby for what feels like long, long periods of time, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

Also, I don’t write. I told my husband on Tuesday that I didn’t really feel like writing anymore. I was hoping, guiltily, for a little validation, like, “Oh, that’s OK, Pokey, sometimes it’s OK to not do things.” Instead, he took it very seriously. If he wore glasses, he would have taken them off as he looked at me thoughtfully.

“How long has it been?”
“Oh, I don’t know. A week? Since the Emily Gould post?”
“Well, that was a long one, I guess. You worked on it a long time. OK, I’m giving you a deadline. Thursday.”

Then, late that night, my friend M emailed me: “You haven’t posted in a few days. Are you ok?” It felt strange that two whole people thought it was not such a good thing that I wasn’t writing. It was a pleasantly panicky feeling, so I sat down and posted a little tiny piece, a trifle, not anything I felt particularly proud of. Ha, I thought, I beat my deadline. “Hey,” said my husband, “You beat your deadline!”

But today, Thursday, my deadline day, I feel as though I cheated, because that post was so very little, plus it ended on a pretty cheap note. (Here, look at it again. See? Cheap.) I’d better write something longer, I thought, something really thoughtful or really angsty or at least really funny. So, after going to a meeting with the principal of a small school in Washington Heights to beg for part-time work next year and then going to Starbucks for lemonade and lemon pound cake (500 calories per slice) and then putting the baby down for his nap and then watching “The Daily Show” and then watching “The Dog Whisperer” and then reading a chapter in the Motley Crue autobiography (no, seriously, this is an amazing book, don’t sneer until you’ve read it, it is a RIOT and super well-written, though I think Neil Strauss has more to do with that than Motley Crue) and then doing some laundry and then eating some dark chocolate and then drinking a cup of nursing tea, I sat down to write.

And these are the only things that I have to tell you. The days are sliding by, and I can only watch them go.

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