Other big ticket items this week: the baby (#1) started preschool yesterday, I have an essay about teaching creative writing in this month’s issue of Teacher & Writer’s Magazine (an actual, honest-to-god print publication), and I just got a piece accepted to Babble. Also, we’re coming up on the 10th anniversary of September 11 (for those of you undergoing a media-and-calendar blackout), AND we’re getting a new refrigerator, AND we’re experiencing our first week of summer weather here in Seattle AND today is my half-birthday!
While I was laying awake last night at 2am trying to figure out if I was going to barf and therefore ought to get out of bed (I was and ought to and did), I tried to distract myself by figuring out how old I am. I’m old enough that I have to perform a subtraction equation to determine my age—isn’t that all you need to know?
The result of my late-night math: 36-and-a-half.
How the fuck did I end up in my late-mid thirties? And pregnant?! I’d always pictured myself as a young-ish mom—full of vim and vigor and eagerness to make cupcakes for the elementary school bake sale—which is hilarious, because I didn’t really start having sex with men until I was 27— already too old to be a young mom. Honestly, I still feel 27—in an abstract, out-of-body, age-of-my-innermost-spirit way. But in reality I am, in the grand history of the world, a pretty old mom. (In the grand history of the world, 27 would have been a pretty old mom.) In reality, I’m exhausted.
My husband was out of town for two days visiting one of his best friends (he is now “making up for it” by taking the baby to the zoo for two hours—for which I’m grateful but am also like, 2 hours is to 2 days what 2 pennies is to 2 million dollars.) and while he was gone, I was Just. So. Tired. Not sleepy-tired—more like the kind of tired you feel in your arms after you hold them over your head for way too long while you’re, say, French-braiding your hair after having had the flu for a week. Bone-tired, I believe it’s called. At the end of each day the baby took great delight in running away from me (and saying, adorably, “Get you!”) as I was trying to get her in her p.j.s, and instead of chasing after her and performing the line provided, I looked at her like I was going to lose my mind—or my dinner—and said in my worst mom voice, “For the love of god, please.” Not one of my shining moments—though it did do the trick. When teenagers get pregnant, are they tired like this, too?
And speaking of teenagers—my baby is just moments away from being one! She started preschool yesterday!
She’s not even TWO and already I’m dropping her off at school with her lunch in hand, trying not to embarrass her by asking the teacher too many questions about the curriculum or talking too much about diaper rash.
I was worried about her being away from me and her dad and her beloved sitters and our house and, most importantly, Eliot her stuffed cat for FIVE WHOLE HOURS, but she was a total champ. She handed her lunchbox to the teacher like she’d done it a million times, stuck her backpack in her cubby, and busied herself with a basket full of wooden snakes. I, too, managed not to cry during our goodbye. I got into my car and drove out of sight, at which point I sobbed for a full five minutes. Then I went and bought a doughnut and came home to a strangely, beautifully quiet home and thought “I could get used to this.”
Then I remembered I’m pregnant and will not have peace and quiet at home for another two years starting in April. What were we thinking, exactly?
When I went to pick her up, the baby’s teacher reported that she was great all day and didn’t cry at all. Then I told her we had to leave, and she started to sob. “More!” she said. More what? “More schoo’!”
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