Saturday, February 22, 2014

the usual "it's not that bad" addendum to a whiny post

So I wish I could promise that this blog would stop being Insecurities on Parade, but that will almost certainly keep cropping up from time to time. I will try to be funnier about it; most of the time in real life it does make me laugh. When the woman I know who has the amazing high-powered job and the two small children sends me a hand-dyed hand-knitted scarf the pattern of which would baffle NASA in its complexity, I tend to say, laughing, "OH, COME ON," and then not worry too much about the fact that my present to her was, for the sixteenth year in a row, a book lovingly hand-wrapped by the Amazon wrapping robot. And then I wear the hell out of that scarf and, whenever I'm complimented on it, boast about my awesome friend.

My anti-nursery freakout is also ironic because, before I got pregnant, I thought that having your infant sleep in the same room with you (like, ever) was just the clingiest, crunchiest thing imaginable, reserved for people who think making your child wear pants in public is for fascists and who are probably going to co-sleep until the kid's nine. But then I actually got pregnant, and started thinking about how many times I will have to get up per night; and the tiny office started filling up with even more stuff because Berowne and I are trying to fit two separate adult households into 870 square feet; and friends offered us their co-sleeper... in the end it was a solution I was absolutely comfortable with. (I also didn't know about co-sleepers as objects before; I thought the sleeping choices were either in a crib or literally in the parents' bed, and I'm a thrasher.) And so part of why I get so irked by the Must Have a Beautifully Decorated Nursery pressure is that I put that pressure on myself for so long ("I'll never be able to have kids because I can't afford a big enough house", etc), and feel like I had just gotten over it when it started again. (I suppose I could seek reassurance from the co-worker who did co-sleep until her child was nine, but for obvious reasons I will not be doing so.)

I prefer my insecurities, whiny though they are, to overmuch self-congratulation. I had to stop reading a certain blog when the author got pregnant, because she a) claimed that being pregnant cured her of all her body image issues and b) decided after having coffee with a friend to just go home and "be a goddess" and give birth two weeks before her due date, and apparently if you're a goddess you get to decide when you go into labor and the baby goes along with it. Not being a goddess, I decided I was not this woman's target audience any longer, and I don't ever want to drive anyone away from my blog for a similar reason (ha! unlikely to happen). We are much more about the Chekhovian day-to-day around here.

Speaking of body image, we have returned to the "my GOD you're HUGE" series of comments on my pregnancy. I got a pass for a month or so, when I was apparently an acceptable size, but now I am vaster than empires (and more slow, especially when all the sidewalks are February-ice). Last month when I went to get my hair cut all the girls at the salon told me I was having "the cutest pregnancy ever". This month it was, "Are you SURE it's not till April? You look ready to go!" And in the work elevator, and buying my coffee, I constantly get, "Oh wow, you're due any day now!" Fortunately it has ceased to irritate me. I don't even bother with the "this is what carrying forward on a small frame LOOKS LIKE" explanation any more; I just say, "I hope not, because she needs eight more weeks!" and laugh it off. It's more embarrassing for the other person anyway.

Darcy is also doing pretty well; the paw clearly is uncomfortable to a degree, but he's eating and wagging and happy most of the time, and that's what matters. We're taking it day by day. I'm allowing myself some slow, luxurious reading of good books, and some trashy Netflix (I have returned to "The Tudors", much to my own amusement). Just trying to take things as gently as I can. (Is it the time of year when I re-read books about the Donner Party? You know, it might be. Why I find that as comforting as I do, we are probably better off not knowing.)

Since last posting, I did finish The Unbelievers, by Alastair Sim, a mystery set in nineteenth-century Scotland. It was pretty flawed, in a first-book way - underdeveloped characters and the murderer was SO obvious - but I didn't dislike reading it. It was just largely forgettable (needed more cannibalism, probably). 


  1. OMG when I was a kid I used to read Donner Party stories _all the time_ and it freaked out my parents. I should do that again! They are thousands of miles away and cannot criticize my choices!

    ....all my friends thought it was weird when I told them some comfort rereads of mine were P.D. James and Sylvia Plath's journals, tho. Heh.

    1. ...there are people who don't find P.D. James comfort reading??