Posts tagged mamahood
Posts tagged mamahood
When I first meet someone and tell him/her that I’m a TV writer, I pretty much hear two responses.
1) “I don’t watch television.”
2) “What shows do you write for?” (go here if you were curious)
Followed by a, “Cool,” or the more common “Oh.”
Every so often, however, I’ll get asked by the stranger/person I’ve just met, “Can you read my ________ ” Go ahead. Fill in that blank. If it can be written, I’ve probably read it: screenplays, bios, spec scripts, essays, etc.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing. In fact, I owe a great deal to all the generous friends and mentors who’ve read and given feedback on my works-in-progress. One of my girlfriends flat-out told me the one-woman-show I was attempting to write was atrocious and that I needed to turn my stories into personal essays. I did, and those essays led to two pilot script deals (ps - THANK YOU).
It’s more the apprehension I have about being asked by a complete stranger to read his or her work. Then again, I’m not going to knock anyone for being daring and bold. Life’s not about playing it safe, right? (no, really, I’m asking…)
I can say, however, there’s at least one instance where you should NEVER ask someone (friend or not) to read your material.
A couple of years ago, a woman I’d just met asked, “So what do you do?” (see above). After I answered, she beamed and said, “I’m a writer, too!” She proceeded to tell me how she’s a songwriter and had a catalog of songs that are perfect for X or Y country artist. She then asked if I’d be willing to look at them.
All I could think was:
a) I know nothing about song writing
b) HOLY F’N *&%, I have a kid!
See, less than 24 hours prior to that, I had given birth. Un. Medicated.
The hubs and I were still staring at/in awe of this new alien being in my arms when the nurse sprang this question on me. Through my fog (and certainty that I’d somehow scarred the kid for life because I hadn’t figured out how to do a %&@* proper latch) I politely told the woman my lack of songwriting knowledge and wished her luck. Undeterred, she said she’d bring me her notebook the next time she came by.
Fortunately for me, she’d left that notebook at home.
So in case you were ever thinking, hey, that writer in that hospital bed is not going anywhere for another day or so, now would be the perfect time for me to give them my stuff.
No. No, it would not.
Why, yes, even though my bottom half is on FIRE and I can’t use the facilities unassisted, I would LOVE to read your latest masterpiece.
My mother-in-law’s in town.
While this strikes fear/rage/paranoia into the hearts of many a friend in regards to their own MILs, I, on the other hand, delight in her presence. Seriously. I adore her.
In addition to being able to chat it up with me for hours (much to the hubs’ chagrin), she’s a hoot to be around, she CLEANS (so that thing you’re doing is called, “dusting”?), plus, and this is a BIG PLUS, the kid thinks she’s more fun than a cardboard box. And if you know how much tykes love those darn boxes…
But when we get down to it, the best thing about grandma being here?
This past Saturday, the hubs and I took full advantage of it.
We had ourselves a little date night and took in a play. Although, since he’s technically IN the play, I guess it doesn’t really count as a true date night.
Shameless plug: www.caughttheplay.com
Definitions aside, what matters is that I got to spend a Saturday night out of the house, hanging with my guy. I even gussied myself up and everything. Wore makeup. Jewelry. Heels.
Frankly, I looked hot.
And since I didn’t take a photo of this rare state of being, you’ll just have to take my word for it. My neighbor, who didn’t even recognize me at first, commented on my awesomeness — which only got a tad disturbing when she wouldn’t stop gushing about my appearance, “No. Really. You should do this look more often. REALLY.”
Post-show, the hubs and I hung out with some of the cast as well as the producer and the playwright. We talked. And talked. And… well, we didn’t make it home until after 1 AM.
Unlike my last excursion (http://bit.ly/q231w8), I didn’t bring the pump with me — actually, I did, but I’d left it in the car and somehow trying to convince this group to come back with me while I did my business, didn’t seem quite the option — so by the time we arrived home, I couldn’t attach myself to the machine fast enough.
I finally fell asleep around 2:30am. Which, normally (read: pre-kid), suits me just fine. My preferred bedtime? Somewhere in the 1am-3am block.
I’m a nightowl. The kid, however, is not.
And yet, every week I make the mistake of thinking, “It’s the weekend. I can sleep in!” Funnily enough, and by that I mean, not funny at all, the kid does not share this philosophy.
So less than four hours after my head hit the pillow, I found myself stumbling about, making my way to a chatty, squealing, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed little bugger, full of up and at ‘em (seriously, whose child is this?).
And even though I was paying the price for our late night date night… waking up to these eyes:
makes it worth it (except when it’s before the sun comes up, ‘cause that’s just wrong).
I groggily attempted to start my day, when it dawned on me. You know who else isn’t a nightowl?
Before I could take another step, she cheerfully swooped in, cuddled and then whisked the kid away. As their giggles and laughter filled the house, I crawled back into bed. I don’t know about sliced bread, but I can attest that my mother-in-law beats cardboard boxes any day.
I recently enjoyed a much-needed Girls’ Night — an event that had been on the calendar for months. Which meant I had plenty of time to plan ahead. My goal? To show up early and to resemble my pre-kid self (don a cute, yet saucy, outfit, style my short, sassy ‘do and paint my very neglected toenails).
I arrived twenty minutes late (I went to the restaurant’s previous location… from 10 years ago), I kept my non-coordinating sweater buttoned up the entire night (the dress underneath was actually cute, I swear), and my toes remained paint-free… hopefully no one looked down.
As for my hair? Midway through dinner, I realized that I’d still had it pulled back in a haphazard “mom ponytail.” Shockingly, not unlike how I have it now:
Neither sassy nor saucy.
But none of that mattered, because I got to hang with my gals. Just gabbin’ and grubbin’. As one of my friend’s likes to say: Awesomesauce poured over awesomeness.
I didn’t want the night to end.
And it didn’t have to! Even though it might’ve seemed otherwise, I had come prepared.
After the meal, but before we pondered the dessert menu (note: if you’re ever having food with me, I will always get dessert. Or, at the very least, something requiring whipped cream), I told the others my plan to extend the evening.
“I need to pump,” I announced, then cheerfully as I could, added, “but I brought the charger! So if you don’t mind sitting in the car with me while I do it, we can still hang out. We can even bring coffee drinks with us. It’ll be great!!!”
Nervous laughter greeted me. I just sat there and smiled. A moment passed before someone finally spoke, “Wait. You’re serious?”
Another friend asked, “How long will it take?”
“Oh, like, twenty minutes (really forty),” I replied.
I’m not sure exactly what I said or did next to cajole them, but… it worked! I ran to the car ahead of them before they could change their minds — as well as to situate myself (although “Girls’ Night,” I didn’t think they’d particular enjoy seeing “my girls”).
A little later, after I had set myself up in the driver’s seat, all four arrived. They approached the car like someone would the dentist chair. I’ve never seen people scramble so fast to not be “shotgun.”
My poor friend, M,
lost out got the honor of sitting up front next to me. The three in the back, while cramped, seemed pretty stoked they weren’t her. I would’ve felt awful if it weren’t a bit hysterical watching M attempt to engage in conversation without making eye contact.
There we were, five friends continuing our gal time in my late 90’s sedan, parked outside a studio lot in the valley, while the breast pump hummed along in the background (with me attached). Hollywood glamour at its finest.
Guess where these go?
Another friend, I can’t remember which one, commented that the droning machine sounded like frogs from her white noise app on her phone. She then played it for me. I completely disagreed, but there must’ve been some truth to it, because when I had finished pumping and wanted to continue on with our night… the others were ready to go home. The damn pump had lulled them to sleep!
Alas, their beds were calling and I had to accept defeat. I did, however, take pride in the fact that more than once that night, I heard the phrase, “I’ve never experienced this in my life.” Thanks to me, my gals can now strike something off their bucket list (I don’t care if it wasn’t even on there in the first place).
So to all my friends who wanna hang, as long as you give me enough notice and have a vehicle with an a/c outlet, I’m so there.
The other day, I found myself doing something I SWORE I would never do: I reached over and scrubbed something off the kid’s cheek using just my finger and my spit. Like other parental units before me, I now believe my saliva can defeat any food remnant/dried mucus that dare mar my child’s face.
And I’m a bit of a germaphobe.
That’s when realized… I’ve officially become a mom.
I’m not talking about being a parent — which, to me, is more about the day to day minutiae of child rearing — I’m talking about becoming a MOM. More specifically, one of THOSE MOMS.
You know the type - the type I promised I wouldn’t become back when I was single. Nope, I thought, when I’m fortunate enough to become a mother: I wouldn’t let my kid become the center of my universe, I wouldn’t forget that I was a wife as well as a mom (the hubs and I would have date night once a week!) and I wouldn’t abandon my friends/social life just because I had a child.
It could’ve happened. Could have. But, alas…
- Do I bring up my child, no matter the conversation?
“Speaking of the season finale of ‘The Killing,’ did I mention that the kid can blow bubbles using snot?”
- Do I email photos of my offspring to people whether or not they’ve asked for them?
“Dear Person I just met at the supermarket, did I show you these pictures of the kid blowing bubbles with snot?”
- Do I have date night with the hubs once a week? Okay, now I’m laughing.
- And when we do finally go out on said date night, what’s the topic of conversation?
Hubs (re: photo on my phone): Are those snot bubbles?
Me (nodding; proud): Clearly the kid’s a genius.
- Do I think my progeny is the most brilliant thing to ever walk the planet? See above.
As for keeping up with my friends and maintaining a social life…
Does texting count?
The final clue of my transformation:
me, pre-wedding, pre-kid
Yep. I got the Mom haircut. Gone are the long, luxurious locks the hubs prefers. In its stead, a do that hopefully won’t get yanked, jerked or pulled out by the kid’s deft/nimble/surprisingly strong fingers.
So, yeah, I admit it. I may have gone over to the dark side, but I draw the line at Mom jeans (although, I hear they’re rather comfy, and if it means not having to worry about having plumber’s crack…)
I’ve had my share of tough jobs.
Nothing in comparison to, say, defending our country or catching crabs off the coast of Alaska, but they were challenging nonetheless.
In high school, I worked at a Chinese restaurant where my Mom was my boss. That woman made sure to schedule every free weekend/spring/summer break I had until I left for college (which could explain my nonexistent dating life back then).
And then there was that time I was employed as a costumed character at a theme park. We put on twenty minute dance shows, three times a day.
So I’m no stranger to hard work. But now that I can add parent to my resume, all I can say is… holy mother of chickpeas, how has humankind survived?
While I’m impressed by anyone enduring the
tortures joys of child rearing (ie: sleep deprivation, daily showers no longer a given, etc. ), my hat goes off to those who make sure their kids are fed/safe/happy as well as KEEP HOUSE.
I bow down to you.
These people not only make the parenting thing look easy, but they do so in a spotless home. And thanks to Facebook, I’ve got photographic evidence that some of my friends do all the above AND create culinary masterpieces that would make Bobby Flay throwdown.
Pretty sure they must be one of those pod people.
Meanwhile, at my abode, the dishes never seem done, my dog has shed so much fur that the resulting dust/fur bunnies leads the kid to believe we have more than one pet, and the (clean) laundry pile on the couch is plotting some kind of coup so it can be reunited with its bretheren back in the drawers whence it came.
At the end of the day though, I know the kid is fed/safe/happy. And that’s something to celebrate. Just not at my house. Unless someone brings a maid. Or one of those pod people.