Boy boogers. I am surrounded by them. They cover the walls and try on all my dresses. This morning, I found a purple one. It took everything in me not to post it on Instagram. Damn shame—the Amaro filter could have done wonders with that shade. I framed it instead. Next to the one shaped like Florida. Little dude art; I so dig it. Booger puns are hilarious.
I never pictured myself as a mom. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to be one, I just literally, could not picture myself becoming one (in my daydreams, I look more like a cross between a gal dinosaur and a heroic tugboat captain; not really someone you would trust with your wee babe). To be honest, I didn’t even know how to hold one. I assumed with two steady hands and without a martini was the preferred method, but that was never something I could count on. And if you know me well, you know how I adore talking with my hands. How would I ever be able to accurately demonstrate the size of the roach that attacked me at dawn; clearly, I would have dropped the baby by now. Or my martini. Either one would have me in crazy girl hysterics.
The first person who knew about Dawson was a stranger, smelled like the color pewter (not good), no longer in possession of her two front teeth, and about 145 years old. Give or take a decade. We met on Bourbon Street, in the back of a tourist trap disguised as a legit voodoo store. I should have worn a funky hat or something equally awesome to mark the occasion. Instead, this is what I looked like that evening…
Yep. Way too damn happy and casual. Obviously, I was looking for trouble. Red hair does that to you.
This was Halloween weekend, 2012. I am obsessed with this holiday. It’s creepy, involves role-playing, people trust me with candy, and Hocus Pocus is on every channel. Perfection wrapped in licorice.
Because I often kick ass at this wife thing, I planned an insanely perfect haunted weekend in New Orleans, for the handsome husband and myself. We were staying in a haunted hotel, doing a haunted pub crawl (that I had made up and rocked myself), going to haunted restaurants, and ending the night with midnight palm readings (creepy ass bucket list—check!). And it was at this very event, that I met Madame Daybowbow (this name just feels right). The whole experience was lacking, not scary at all, not even romantic like in the movies. Of course, I took pictures.
The first thing she told me was that I would meet the love of my life soon (super awkward for the dude I married). Before I could respond to this horrible untruth and expose her for the ancient fraud she was, she explained herself a little more. She said I would be meeting my son soon. I would be pregnant by the end of the year. And she smiled a fabulous, albeit toothless, grin.
Well, this pissed me off. I didn’t really believe in this fancy stuff, but it was just rude and irresponsible to throw out such a big statement. Even though we weren’t currently trying to get pregnant, I had recently had a pretty big health scare that my doc believed would make it hard for me to conceive (whenever that time should come). So, yeh, I was pretty sure I knew how this old dame had lost those two front teeth—emotions can run high during a tacky palm reading adventure.
Turns out, granny homegirl was right. And old creepy dude cashier who placed his hand on my belly (before it was really a belly) and with a dead stare told me it was going to be a boy (while offering me a boiled egg)—you were right, too. And luckily, my doc was wrong.
Becoming Dawson’s mom was the scariest thing I have ever done. Being a mom is hard and stinky and they certainly don’t pay you enough.
And I love it. The best thing that has ever happened to me and I am seriously considering printing that on a shirt and cruising around town with my dopey, she ain’t never gettin’ sleep again, smile. He’s totally worth it. Printing costs and all.
So, let’s go over what you have taught me so far, little funky smelling one. You’ll be ten months old soon, so I’ll just highlight the most important ten things I have learned. Or the first ten things I can think of. This new mama brain is only capable of so much.
New Mama Observations & Rambles:
1) Spiders aren’t so very very scary.
I have a stupid phobia of spiders. This means that even though you think it is completely irrational that I should fall down my stairs in the attempt to avoid coming in contact with the teeniest, tiniest, darn speck of a spider you have ever seen, in my mind, it was completely necessary and I will never be able to climb those stairs again. Ever. In fear of said spider’s relatives coming back to that exact spot to throw him a party. You hear that? A. Party. Of. Spiders. WHAT!?! I’m getting blotchy thinking about it.
Having said that, I have found something that I am actually scared of more than these horrid creatures. And that is basically my son’s very existence. I am terrified something will hurt him, attack him, frighten him, wake him up, tickle his feet (without asking), or take him away from me. The whole new mama anxiety/paranoia crap thing is so very real and I am learning every day ways to combat it. It’s a hellish process. I am honored to do it.
I would pet a damn spider and invite him for cuddles if it meant keeping lil dude safe for a second longer.
2) Boobies are wonderful. Bras are unnecessary.
I enjoy boobs. I think they are beautiful and wonderful and oh so jiggly and I am very fond of my own. And I felt that way even before I became a mom. Now, I think my two buddies are just out of this world terrific. The nourishment they provide my son blows my freaking mind. How cool is that?? Seriously, I feel like a God. One with fantastic boobs.
I keep quiet on a lot of my parenting preferences (everyone is different) but one thing that I definitely don’t shy away from sharing is how I feel about breastfeeding. I am totally totally totally for it. Having said that, I completely understand why it is much harder for other moms to follow through with their breastfeeding plans. When I first had Dawson, I worked from home, now I am a stay at home mom—both situations gave/give me plenty of time and space to breastfeed on a schedule; I can’t imagine how hard it would be to do this from work and with many other children demanding your time. I also know that breastfeeding just doesn’t work for everyone, no matter what they try. The only way I have been able to breastfeed is through a fabulous device called a breast shield. Not sexy, but it does the damn thing.
Also, when you breastfeed your boobies are free and full and joyful and they hate to be tied down—thus, I don’t really do the bra thing anymore. Nursing tanks are a godsend. Work it.
3) Where the hell did this strength come from?
I am not a strong person (don’t let these plentiful muscles fool you). The second I had a kid, I am pretty sure I could lift a car above my head if I thought it a little too close to my son’s foot. It could also have something to do with the fact that I have to carry a super heavy potato man (I say this lovingly) around all day (up and down terrifying dutch stairs). The perfect work out. I just wish it came with abs.
4) I miss my old life.
And for the longest time, I didn’t think it was okay to admit that. I would never change becoming a mom, but dammit, I miss being careless, and foolish, and hanging out with anyone I wanted, whenever I wanted, drinking whatever was around. I miss the freedom. I miss being able to go to Starbucks by myself, on Saturday morning, and write for as long as I want, without asking permission from anyone.
My new life is way way way better than that old one. Doesn’t mean I don’t miss or think about it. And that is okay.
5) Baby breath. Bottle that shit up.
Nothing, NOTHING, in this world smells better than my son’s breath. I am going to enjoy the hell out of this while it lasts. Before Listerine becomes essential in regards to keeping friends.
6) My mom rocks so freaking hard.
I can’t even go there without tearing up. How the hell did my mom raise her children, work many many jobs, go through several big life changes, and still remain the most loving, genuine, compassionate, and kind creature in all the land? I am in awe of Dawson’s honey. And I am honored that I got to learn from the very best.
7) Bath time is precious.
Bath time is MY time. There are too many bubbles, never enough tea, pretty pink candles, sometimes a great book, and no one else is allowed. I NEED this time. I cherish this time. I do this weird sort of jig when I know this time is approaching (the bath dance–it’s totally a thing). And I am beyond thankful that my husband allows me to indulge and unwind a bit, which leads me to…
8) I cannot do this alone.
I know there are superwomen out there that have raised children alone. I bow down to you. I will gladly kiss your tired, perfect feet. And offer you coffee. And a hug. And then a little whiskey for the coffee. Followed by more hugging.
I don’t know what I would do without my husband and our support system. Even though we are across the world, knowing that I have people I can always reach out to with my ridiculous, unwarranted worries, is precious to me. Also, my husband has one hell of a sleeper hold and can get that bebe to sleep in under five minutes. One of the hottest things I have ever seen.
9) That. Laugh. Though.
God—you are a clever one. Giving us that incredible, heart-warming, giddy baby laugh to counter that “wake up the whole dam neighborhood and curse the world out loud” bebe shriek was a smart move. Because nothing beats hearing your baby laugh. Even if he has just pooped… on your new white dress… while you are in London… meeting the queen… or worse, Harry Styles.
10) I’m a pretty fantastic mom.
Or at least he thinks so. And frankly, darling, that is all that matters.
This seems like a good place to end. Oh, look–beer.