I knew very little about pregnancy or child-birth or actually raising children before my dumb ass went and got knocked up. As it turns out, that was a blessing nearly as great as Mac himself. The list of things people don’t tell you is long and nefarious. I’ll be sharing more of those dirty little secrets as Mac’s birthday approaches. Ah, the memories.
One of the things I certainly wasn’t prepared for was the baby-induced changes that completely affected my communications and interactions with others.
The first thing I noticed was I couldn’t stand still. If I was in an upright position, I was swaying and bouncing about. This of course, made sense while actually holding the baby. Unfortunately, without the baby, it just appeared I was suffering from some kind of personal and disgusting itching problem. It started just a few days after Mac was born. Fortunately, it stopped around month seven and I can now go to happy hour without twitching around like some kind of crotch-critter infested freak. Although, I could still pee in my pants if I’ve had three beers and sneeze.
Then there was the phone. When Mac was really young, he could sleep through a tornado so I was able to make and take phone calls any time of day. About month 4, he must have decided I had entirely too much leisure time and he no longer sleep through phone calls. The ringer on my phone has been turned off since September. As a result, my severely technologically challenged Mother has learned how to text. I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone on the phone for at least the past two weeks.
Things started developing disgustingly cute nicknames. Mac became Huggy Bear and subsequently Hug A Boo Bear. Diapers became Dipes. The burp cloths he loves so much became Linuses or Wubbies or Lienees. The Johnny Jump Up is exclusively referred to as “Big Strongs.” When we put him to sleep for the night we make sure he is wearing an extra-padded diaper referred to as Super Dipe. Bath time is “take a tubbie.” The stuffed pig is Sir Oinkerston. The unpainted rectangular blocks in his block set are called Big Beige. Cheerios are oatsie O’s. When Mac’s stressed out and needs his Sleepy Wrap, we “snugs up.”
It’s gotten so bad, that I sincerely believe any normal outsider observing a discussion between my Husband and me would have no fucking clue what we were referring to 70% of the time. Allow me to demonstrate: “Hug A Boo Bear was in big strongs for about 15 minutes and then we took a tubbie. I put him in a super dipe and gave him a Lienee and he went right to sleep. We didn’t even have to snugs up. Oh, big beige and Sir Oinkerston are wedged under the kitchen cabinet again.”
Wretched. I know. Especially if you knew what the reading and language portion of my SAT score was.
My knowledge of current events is gleaned exclusively from Twitter. We seldom turn on the TV. I certainly don’t have time to read the Post everyday or The Atlantic Monthly any longer. I try to listen to NPR while making dinner but I’m usually so distracted by the kid, Meeeeee-chelle Norris just becomes more background noise.
I leave this house looking and occasionally smelling like Pig Pen. Look, it’s all I can do to get myself, gear, and kid out the door. If my teeth are brushed, I’m socially acceptable for a walk in the park. If you don’t care for my sour banana smelling, paint splattered T-shirt, avert your eyes. I realize I am likely two walks shy of being ambushed by What Not To Wear but I just can’t justify putting on a blazer and cute wedges to have the kid spew applesauce or urine all over them on a daily basis.
Even Email has been compromised. I used to respond to emails nearly instantaneously. Now, it can be days before I write back. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I’m often too pre-occupied to organize a complete fucking sentence and when I’m not, I’m likely asleep.
For the aforementioned reasons, my conversation skills suck. If I’m alone with other adults, I’m relishing the quiet. I don’t want to ming it all up with small talk. If I’m in the presence of other adults and Mac is with me, I’m too focused on him to concentrate fully on the conversation. This is probably a good thing, because I’d probably only be conversant on the subjects of super dipes and the location of Sir Oinkerston anyway.
Biggest surprise? Mac makes becoming a nearly non-social, poorly groomed, dumbed down version of myself completely worth it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, we need to grab a Wubbie and snugs up.