Birth of an Imaginary Friend

“My friend Jake rides dune buggies,” my three-year-old son Leo offers casually. This is one afternoon last week. We are in the middle of playing legos on the dining room floor.

Imaginary Friend Dune Buggy

“Oh yeah?” I ask. (more…)

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My Postpartum Body, Myself

 

How I became squishy, leaky, and happy all at once.

Real Postpartum Body

Three months ago, I had my second baby. I carried her for exactly nine months, grew her strong, then pushed her out fast and hard. And here we are: she is she, and I am (more…)

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Diaper Change Merit Badges

Being a new parent can be a drag. If you’re a new mom or dad, you might be dealing with an identity crisis, rampaging hormones, a baby who… well… isn’t really that cool yet, and a monster where your spouse/partner/self used to be. Whatever version of new parent you are, you are probably dealing lots and lots of poop. And pee. And barf.

When I was dealing with the liquids of that first year, I longed for some sense of accomplishment every day. Some validation. Some way to show myself at the end of the day that yes, indeed I had been very busy all day even though I had no idea doing what. I soon realized that keeping checklists for myself of my accomplishments of the day helped a little.They looked like this:

To Doo List

Looking back, (more…)

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Baby Off-Center — or — I’ll Probably Never Wear Clogs

Shortly after the birth of my son, I was surprised by how much of an identity crisis I had. When I was expecting the kid, my brother, neighbors, strangers told me, “No matter what, you won’t be ready!”  And yeah, they were right. But the metaphysical punch to the side of the head was still more shocking than I expected.

For instance, I understood that I might not get sleep. But the effects of long-term sleep deprivation? I had no clue. I didn’t understand that for months I would desperately long for an uninterrupted three-hour stretch of sleep. That, in the depths of tiredness, I would find myself wailing and lying on the living room floor and asking my husband to bring me something to eat, because I was too tired to get it myself. Then,when he brought me apple slices, I would cry even harder. Apple slices were so crunchy, and I was too tired to chew.

Crunchy apple slices
“Postpartum Me” faced with apple slices.

And I figured that my time would be taken up by caring for the baby, but I didn’t know that (more…)

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