Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Sunday Snapshots



No coffee, or rather, no milk, which means no coffee for me, given present esophageal conditions. Sugar and the Bean get dressed, count down the minutes until the local grocery store opens, and return victorious, bless them.

~ ~ ~

Sugar and the Bean make pancakes. Banana for me and Sugar, chocolate chip for the Bean, because calories he will eat > calories he will not eat. (He didn’t eat much yesterday and was up repeatedly in the night, until applesauce and milk finally applied at 4:30 in the morning.) He eats a whole one, cut in squares! He asks for another, a dinosaur this time. I do my best with a paring knife.

Dinosaur pancake

He smiles. “No, I don’t want a dinosaur. I want a square instead.”

~ ~ ~

It’s my father’s birthday. He was going to come to the East Coast for a meeting next weekend and spend a day with us, but my mother is too sick to be left alone. It will be easier for us not to have him, as Sugar’s mother is coming that weekend, but I am still disappointed. And envious.

~ ~ ~

I unaccountably find myself crying over some dumb article about baby shower etiquette. Rude to plan one for yourself, they say. Unless someone offers, have everyone over for a cookout to meet the new baby, instead.

Point of order, I don’t want a shower, exactly. We don’t need much stuff. (Another chair. Maybe a few cute things that can belong just to this baby.) I don’t need to be treated like a princess or a well-maintained incubator or whatever. I wanted to be pregnant and I like being pregnant; I don’t think gestating makes me more special than those who aren’t. But it is work, especially while keeping the the Bean alive and my students more or less on track. And given how much of my work feels invisible at all times (see: daily parenting, adjunct professing), I admit a small desire to be noticed, just for a minute.

Sugar thinks we should just invite people over for champagne as a combination un-shower and early birthday party for her, since we are usually traveling for Christmas on her birthday. I seriously doubt any of our friends will actually care about the etiquette of such an event, especially if there is champagne.

I think the real reason the article got to me is that it presupposes a place in a social structure that doesn’t exist in our lives. We don’t have local family. (Well, one aunt I love and never see.) We don’t live near our hometowns or our high school and college friends. We don’t (and I’m not sorry) have a place in the cavalcade of heteronormativity these rules presupposes. I don’t regret the decisions that have led us here, but sometimes feeling different is too close to feeling wrong.

Moreover, I remain envious to an unflattering extent of people who are well enough to host parties two weeks postpartum.

~ ~ ~

The Bean naps today. Not for all that long, but it is sweet watching him fall asleep. For once.

~ ~ ~

In the afternoon, Sugar makes bread. The Bean is appalled.

“Punch down the bread?? That would be terrible!”

Yeah, Sugar. No hitting.

~ ~ ~

I vacuum the bedroom. It’s getting harder to do that sort of thing; I am not what you might call gainly. But it is worth it for the Bean’s praise upon inspection: “This looks beautiful to me!”

13 thoughts on “Sunday Snapshots

  1. No punching down bread? Whatever you do, don’t teach the kid about whipped cream.

    “Cavalcade of heteronormativity” is a great phrase.

  2. Dino pancakes?! You are BRILLIANT. We might need to try that at my house.

  3. You know what looks beautiful to me? THAT GORGEOUS DINOSAUR.

  4. Love the dinosaur, too! And I have two thoughts about baby showers–one is that throwing one for yourself is legit, especially if there is booze and you’re not asking for presents. Call it a celebration instead or do some new agey womb-power focused energy things instead of talking about the baby. Or just go all out and own it. Whatever. The second thought is that when faced with something that it seems potentially gauche to do myself, I always just force my best friend to do it for me. Or any friend, really. Tell them that you feel silly, but you really want a ‘sprinkle’ or something to celebrate getting this far towards a sibling for the Bean, but you can’t host it yourself and can they please do it for you and offer to buy the(m) booze and if they love you at all you’re set and have the face-saving ability to say that Jimmy is just so excited that he’s hosting a party for you. Or Sugar is. I didn’t have a bridal shower because I was politely waiting for someone to offer (and every time I go to one now I get catty feelings about people asking for double presents, because I am jealous). I had five baby showers. Because I was going to be God damned if I didn’t have an effing baby shower. So there.

  5. Ooh. I’m hungry.

    The baby shower seems to my foreign eyes to be a nice idea gone mad. That’s the thing. The generous, spontaneous idea can turn so quickly into a stick to beat each other with, with massive potential for exclusion and hurt feelings all around. I think your doing your own champagne party is brilliant, therefore. I like the setting of a new tradition.

    I raise a glass to it. And hope you all sleep tonight.

  6. 1. The Bean is too adorable for words.
    2. The shower business is ridiculous. The heteronormative BS is absurd for everyone, including heteros (not inviting one of the child’s parents to a celebration of a child’s birth = BS, regardless of the sexes or genders involved), as is all of the absurd etiquette surrounding traditional showers. Nonetheless, I totally get your feelings about it all. I didn’t get a shower, because I was in Korea and all of my closest friends and all of my relatives were in the US, except for one close Korean friend who had miscarried a child with the same due date, so not a great candidate for throwing me a shower. I felt left out and sad, despite the fact that I didn’t want a shower like any of the showers that I’ve attended. I just wanted a party to celebrate my pregnancy and impending birth, That’s all. Is that so wrong?

    And now I’m back to remembering that this is about you, not me. Sorry! You should absolutely throw your own no-presents shower. And if some people disobey orders and bring presents, that’s OK too! (I wish I was in NY, because I would totally crash AND bring a present!).

  7. 3. I want to eat that dinosaur.

  8. Juju always requests a “pancake man” since she saw them in the Little House picture books. Mine usually turn out more like ghosts or something– C has more of a deft hand in pouring batter. I would eat that chocolate chip dino any day.

    We threw our own shower with Juju even though we realized it probably wasn’t the proper thing to do. Whatevs. I think champagne is an awesome idea, and I doubt anyone will care why or about some stupid etiquette rules.

    I miss coffee. This baby is just not tolerating it in any way shape or form. Maybe 2nd trimester.

  9. I wish I could throw you a shower. I hate baby showers, and yet I am still bitter that no one threw me one. I think I could do you proud. We could do fun games with a ring on a string swinging over your belly where we try to guess the baby’s sex…ual orientation. HA! Good times. We could make pancake dinosaurs! Anyway, you are SPECIAL and WONDERFUL and I admire you.

  10. I love these snapshots! And am jealous of the Bean’s pancake dinosaur.

    One of the reasons that we had a (sort of traditional) shower was because we didn’t get married, had attended about a million weddings and bridal showers, and wanted a chance to celebrate our family. At the same time, the entire process sent us panicking– and Googling– about what was expected, appropriate, etc. (Do you invite neighbors? How many people do you invite? Do there need to be games?) We were also given lots of suggestions by the people around us, many of which we found offensive: “No men!” “Sea should host the shower for you!” In the end, a few of our friends hosted with lots of input from us– we decided to forget etiquette and just go with what felt right for us. People are going to judge whatever you do, right? Might as well have fun with it. I say host your own party and make it unabashedly, ridiculously, high key if you want. I’ll send leftover favors.

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