Monday, April 29, 2013

I... why does it say paper jam when there is no paper jam? I swear to God, one of these days, I just kick this piece of shit out the window.

A couple of weeks ago, I boxed up all the best of my maternity clothes and sent them to a friend in another state. They'd been sitting in a clear Rubbermaid box on my bedroom floor for more than a year,* and I'd been dithering about what to do -- sell on Craigslist? Donate to a shelter? Yard sale? -- and doing nothing. Partly because it's kind of a pain in the ass to deal with, but mostly because ... I don't know. What if I got knocked up again? Almost impossible, thanks to the miracle of modern birth control,** but not literally, actually impossible. Or what if we decided we want a third kid after all? THEN where would I get any stretch-panel jeans, huh?

But we are emphatically not having a third.*** So when this friend announced her pregnancy (on the Facebooks, as you do), I hit her right away with "Congratulations and do you want my maternity stuff?"; she said yes, I washed/dried/folded everything, and off it went two days later. I expected to be sad about it -- I think that's why I held onto it all for so long. And I was, a little -- there's just no way not to be sad about the definitive end of a phase of your life, especially one so absolutely drenched in emotions as this one is. 

More than that, though, I was surprised to find that I was feeling ... liberated. 

Relieved to not have even the barest prospect of pregnancy and childbirth hanging over me (there's not much that is as wonderful and as terrible as being pregnant, y'all). Freed up to focus on the early childhoods of my two existing ADORABLE PRECIOUS MARVELOUS little fucking agents of entropy. Allowed to look forward to traveling with them, reading to and with them, having actual conversations with them -- and hellfire, all of the above with Mr. Gleemonex, too! Parenting very young children is just flat unrelenting; you keep your head down, your core tensed, and one arm half-up in defense against flying objects (thrown, spit or in the form of a cannonball noggin comin in for a kiss). Nothing is more boring than someone telling you how fucking awesome having kids is,**** so I won't do that, but also, when they're little, you take your sweetness and hilarity with a heapin' helpin' of SSDD (Same Shit, Different Day) and unpredictable, crazymaking shots of terror, rage, and tears. You are never, ever, ever off the clock, even when you're not there. 

So getting rid of the maternity clothes was oddly exciting -- a signal to the lizard-brain that we're done with that, it's time to move on, and this is a good thing. 

Anybody want a high-powered double breast pump that can empty a pair of human teats in five minutes? Cause that motherfucker's got to go now, too, and it's too goddamned expensive to bash the shit out of in a field with a baseball bat ...

*Pro tip, pregnant gals: you still need some of those for the first couple months postpartum, even though by that time you are sick to death of every god. damned. stitch of them.

**Mirena IUD, y'all -- it is the absolute greatest thing in the history of things. 

***It's none of anyone's business why, but because I overshare on the Internets as much as I undershare IRL, I'll allow that these reasons include but are not limited to the fact that I am almost 40, we are both tired as shit, and also Mr. Gleemonex has stated repeatedly: "am DONE." Heh. 

****And it is, honest -- so much, SO MUCH joy and happiness and love, I can't even. 

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Blogger Guinness74 said...

I SO wish I had read this a couple of days ago when I was about to double my usual dose of Zoloft and chase it with my favorite bourbon before going out onto the lawn to scream maniacally.

Fortunately, I have some nearby friends who also seem to have similar days with their kiddos and it helps it put it all in perspective.

9:50 AM  
Blogger francine said...

girl, we need to be neighbors. love the kids but they are making me bald. sold all the baby stuff at a yard sale 2 2 weeks ago except the pump which i guess i am saving for sentimental reasons? or until my sister gets knocked up? or so i can bronze it and put it on a shelf sometime? getting rid of the stuff felt great. but then a little sad. still have one with chubby legs and the other has lost the chub but it getting potty trained and it's like i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. and i don't think i can start again with a 3rd. can you foster babies in old age? is that something people do? maybe that's something i should look in to. in like, 30 more years.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Guinness: Yessir, I feel ya. There are days where you JUST CANNOT. And it helps to remember you're not alone ... :-)

francine: I wish we were neighbors!! That would be awesome -- we could share a backyard like in Big Love, minus Bill Paxton. And on a more meta note, I am stupidly surprised, again and again, at how everything about parenting is simultaneously happy and sad -- or at least, rapidly-cycling happy and sad, you know? [/Deep Thoughts]

11:36 AM  

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