I’m on a writing deadline for work, so I just needed to put this out there. I still cannot believe that I adopted a baby, that I am a mom, and that I get to bring up this amazing little girl.
I am full of gratitude. But the thing I want to write about quickly is just that I’m wondering when it will be real for me. I keep wanting to be like, “but wait, did it really happen? Do I get to be a mother? For ever?”
I keep waiting for someone to take it away from me. It’s the continuation of the evil eye, because if I am happy in any way something bad will happen. I can’t ever say that I am happy, even.
Okay, so, internet. I am going to be brave. Ugh. I don’t know if I can do it. Okay.
I am happy. Deliriously happy and thrilled and I have nothing I want to complain about. I love my daughter so much. She is so delicious and I love taking care of her and being with her. I’m not going to a party this weekend because I don’t want to get a sitter and I want to hang out with her. Oh god oh god that is scary. Should I delete this?
Okay, I’m going to post it quickly and then see how I feel and maybe take this post down because I don’t want something bad to happen to her or to me. I’m not sure I can do it.
Okay, listen, don’t tell anyone I’m so happy.
Two things happened today I would never have imagined when I was trying to envision single motherhood.
First, I am working on a project with another producer who is basically shouldering so much more of the work than me. She is smart and lovely. I keep telling her I’ll take on more work, but she is passionate about the job and just goes ahead and does it. Today she texted me after I again told her how I didn’t feel right about it all. She just said that she knew I had other priorities, which she loved being able to help me with. She actually called my being a single mom “noble.” I am not sure that’s true, but the warmth of her texts messages was wonderful.
Second, I had major subway trouble and was going to be late to get my daughter from daycare. Out of nowhere I got a text from a mother whose kid goes to the same daycare, saying that she was going to be cutting it close. I told her I was in subway hell and was probably going to be like 20 minutes late, and she volunteered to pick up my kid for me. I was like, “well, okay, thank you!” She just texted back, “sisterhood.”
Fifteen minutes later I emerged from the subway to find her patiently waiting for me with both babies in tow. Then we all went to the park where my daughter laughed hysterically in the swing.
So I guess all that bullshit about there being a benevolent universe is true. Or at least, it was for me today.
Seriously, though, thank you, my women, for having my back. I got yours, too, whenever you need.
Go back with me to eight years ago. My boyfriend of a year-and-a-half had The Talk. I’d thought we were firmly on the same page about commitment and family. Problem was, there didn’t seem to be any movement toward that. I hadn’t even met his family. So I brought up our future.
He looked panicked– not the reaction I was hoping for. He stalled for time, telling me, “can we talk about this later, baby? The game’s on.” Again, the banality of this scene made me want to kick myself. I couldn’t believe I had become this person.
As he kept one eye on the hockey, I told him that we were both 40, and I was ready for a real commitment and a baby. He adjusted his junk and half-turned to me, “Okay, I’m getting a handle on this,” he said. He told me that sure, he wanted commitment and kids too… just not yet. He told me we were both “on the same road” but he was in a “regular car” and I was moving really fast, like in a “supersonic futuristic car.”
It was in that moment I knew I had a big choice. But I made it in a split second, almost like my body made it for me. I told him that if he wasn’t ready, I respected that, but I’d have to move on.
That finally got his full attention. “Are you breaking up with me?” he said, incredulous. “But we get along so well! You can’t break up with me!”
Oh yes I can, I thought. I can, and I will. And I did. That was my first step toward my getting what I knew I always wanted but never thought I deserved:
I was sitting on my bed with my boyfriend of about a year and a half in my studio apartment in Greenwich Village. The TV was on, tilted toward the bed, and tuned to a hockey game. My boyfriend has two fingers up my vagina, and is yelling at the Rangers. “Center, center, CENTER!!!!”
I realized then and there I’d become a cliche. If I saw me on a sitcom, I’d think it was too trite to continue watching. I was 40 years old, dating a man who was in no hurry to commit to me, and I knew I wanted a partner and a baby. I had a cat. If I didn’t do something, and fast, this was going to be my life. And I didn’t want to settle.
I turned to my boyfriend and said, “Listen. We need to talk.”
Probably the most important thing I’ve learned about parenting thus far: for the love of all that is holy, put your shoes on BEFORE you strap the baby to your chest in a carrier in the morning. Seriously. I am just glad there is no video feed of me in my apartment trying to lace up my boots while wearing the baby in the Bjorn. Pure comedy.
Equally important, the other day I finalized Lina’s adoption! She is now officially my daughter! I called in to the Florida court from my parents’ office. My father was so nervous he couldn’t sit down, and he even managed to hang up the phone on the court right before the proceeding. My step-mother cried. I just held the baby and fed her and hoped she wouldn’t have an epic crap (she didn’t).
Here is Lina with Grandpa right before she became officially part of the Tittsy family (God help her). Grandpa is kind of obsessed with her. It’s so sweet. I know I joke a lot, but I’m really moved by it.
Here is what I’ve learned in the first six months of mothering:
1. There are a million toys out there to buy babies, but your kid will probably just want to play with the box it came in. Or with the toy you fished out of the garbage.
2. Your baby will like the dumbest book on the shelf, and you will be forced to read it every night. Do not even try to get her to like classics such as “Eloise” or “Amos and Boris.” She just wants the stupid one about finding her bellybutton.
3. She will always pee on the changing table if you roll the dice and leave her undiapered for 15 seconds.
4. Babysitters who have been doing this for a long time know way more than you do about raising your kid. They are pros. Pick their brains and hope they don’t charge you extra.
5. You will buy your baby a really cute Christmas dress and take her to the family Christmas Eve party in it. Then she will throw a giant tantrum and refuse to do anything but cry so you have to take her home before you get a photo of her with Santa.
6. When you start feeding your baby solid foods, she will have the runs like nobody’s business. Then there will be a bad diaper rash that you will buy ten creams for. These creams will not work. The rash will only be cured when you remove her diaper and let her go ass-to-the-wind for several shit-encrusted days.
More on that, and the unharnessed power of poop, next time.
Oh my god. I just saw this hilarious blog post on a mom blog, and it turns out there is a hilarious mom blogger who I love. A lot of the mom stuff has not been up my alley, and I half-started thinking, “should I try to put an effort into my blog and do something I’d want to read?” Turns out, this woman, Jenny True, is fucking hilarious and genius.
And here is the post called “Ginger Fruit Bowl and Fuck Your Baby Advice” that I love so much I want to, well, fuck it.