One year ago today, I POAS (To those of you not up on your conception lingo, that means "peed on a stick." Ewww.) and received the happiest sight ever (unless you happen to be the head cheerleader)- a bright pink line! I screamed and yelled and danced with the dog, who to this day wonders why we never do things like that anymore. I tell her that when she quits digging under the compost, we'll talk.
Clever me- I wrote little poems and stuck them all over the house, and had Mr. Clarateaches go on a hunt for clues. He happened to have worked from midnight until 8 AM that morning, deep in the engineering lair, doing something fun with engines, so he was exhausted. But, hunt he did, and when he at last came upon the positive pregnancy test, he turned to me and said in his most romantic voice....
"Does this still have pee on it?"
Babies are fun. Apparently, everyone thinks my baby is public property, which is why I want to carry a firearm. I settle for carrying her in a sling, usually her Moby wrap. This, according to my fellow crunchies, will stop people from using their gross, never-washed-after-the-bathroom, always-in-their-noses, petting-strange-dogs-hands. What it really does is turn us into an elaborate spectacle, as people don't usually see anyone wearing a baby 'round these parts. The name of the game for some people is to be as hands-off with their sprouts as possible, but by God, I wanted this bambina for so long, she gets to be my baby kangaroo.
This will be the post of many run-ons.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the masses of the great unwashed who wish to touch my child. Or, who wish to offer me crackhead parenting advice.
On one occasion, in my favorite little gourmet and produce store, a woman who probably could have been a linebacker beelined right over to me. She did the usual, "Oh, what a cute baby," but then sealed her fate by touching my arm sympathetically and asking me in a hushed tone usually reserved for fatal diseases, "Um, isn't she a little small for her age?" I stared at this lady Leviathan and said, "No, she's pretty normal."
On another, I was in a mega-grocery with La Bambina in her wrap, who had fallen asleep sometime in the coffee aisle. I was at the cashier, trying to watch the teenager scanning my groceries so that she didn't do something silly like chuck four pounds of apples on top of squishy things, or put the five pound bag of potatoes and gallon of cider in the same bag so that it hilariously smashes to the parking lot later (ahem- I'm looking at right at you, cashier of today). A woman was behind me with her teenage daughter who was a "Spoiled Brat" if you believe the glitter on her rear. "Spoiled Brat" blathered into her cell phone to someone about the gala time that they all were going to have tonight when mom and dad drove them to the R rated movie. The mother stared at me and my peacefully sleeping girl (Not a "Spoiled Brat") and said, "That looks uncomfortable."
Ever ready to convert others to babywearing, I started to describe all of the reasons why the Moby was very comfortable, how it distributed the baby's weight to my entire body and held her in the middle. She interrupted me. "No, I mean, the baby's not comfortable in that."
Beg your effing pardon? I looked down at my angel, peacefully sleeping and sucking on her lower lip. She couldn't have been more comfortable. "Hmmm," was my response, and I turned my back to her completely to focus on the credit card reader. In NY, that would be a signal for the woman to mind her own beeswax if she knew what was good for her, but in MI it seems to mean "keep right on talking."
"I always put them right there, right in the cart. Got 'em used to it," she said wistfully, hearkening back to the days of "Spoiled Brat's" youth. "Where's her shoes?"
I looked at G's little socked feet. "No shoes yet," I said. "Her feet are growing too fast to keep up, and besides, she's not walking."
The woman shook her head. "Tsk, tsk. I always put shoes on their feet, got 'em used to it."
Why was I talking to this person? I turned my back again, and waited for the cashier to finish. The woman behind me gave me the once over. "Looks like you got your shape back real quick, huh?" OH MY LORD.
I turned and loudly said, "Yup, she sucked all the pregnancy weight right off me." I almost squirted her in the eye with some breastmilk, but I think that's what Mr. Clarateaches was talking about when he said that sometimes my interactions with strangers go "too far." The woman stared at me, mouth agape for a few beats. The cashier smirked and handed me a receipt. The woman regained herself long enough to say to the cashier (whispering when she talked about the actual breast), "Oh breastfeeding. I breastfed my girls too, you know. Not too long though, got to get 'em used to..." I walked away at that point. No use wasting a good strangle on this hopeless woman.
My little girl- one year ago today, you were the size of a lentil, and making me sick all day long and only able to eat Ramen and lemonade. Today you are busting out of the 3-6 month clothing and making sure I don't accidentally get more than 5 hours of sleep in any 24 hour period. My sweet girl!