It’s Monday. Ugh. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been a big fan. Some people are all, “Ooh Monday, a fresh start to a new week!” I’m all, “I’m officially divorcing my alarm clock and have put a contract out on whoever came up with Mondays! Fail!” Anyway, as a gift to you, my loyal readers, on this Monday morning, I’ve decided to let someone else take over the reigns here at 30 Before 30. That’s right, today you get to read 1,100 words by someone who knows what they’re doing.
I’ve mentioned Tori Nelson before on my blog and have attempted to give you an out by directing you to her page. If you haven’t taken my suggestion; your loss. But in the spirit of giving second chances, I’ve asked her to throw a little something together and I’m posting it right here for your reading pleasure. It took some convincing, seeing as I could only offer her a boost in readership of about 6…but she reluctantly accepted. Thanks Tori! Anyway, that’s enough from me. I’ll now turn it over to the creator of The Ramblings and her post, entitled “Your Mother, The Sasquatch”. Take it away Tori.
It was a cold morning in December 2009. I rolled over towards my fiancé to say good morning. His eyes shot open, an alarmed yelp popped from his mouth. I quickly turned around, sure that he had spotted an intruder. I have watched enough Law & Order to spot the telltale sign of a dude shocked by unexpected company of the murderous persuasion. I peered over the edge of the bed. Nothing. I scanned the dim light of a cell phone around the room to check for burglars. Nothing. And then, in what I’m sure what sounded like a witch’s devious cackle, I giggled as the truth dawned on me. He thought he went to bed next to Barbie. He awoke cuddling with Sasquatch. Poor Mister.
Just a month before, I had given birth to our son. The weeks afterwards were a series of scrambling to understand the basics of parenting. For those of you without children, I offer a little insight:
You will never sleep again.
One can and will produce poops bigger than one’s head.
One can and will produce boogers bigger than one’s nasal cavity. Said boogs will be given nicknames to mark their ungodly size and consistency. Prehistoric boogs, Mammoth boogs, Snot-sicles, etc.
One will select one, just one position in which he is able to be comforted. This position will make your elbow lock up and your foot fall asleep. Hold position for 16 hours a day.
You will lose your cool. It is not under the couch cushion. IT IS GONE. In its place you discover a knack for humming lullabies. No wild, late-night parties will offer you a thrill. You will feel like a rock star if the baby’s poops are regular, and you can get to bed by 8.
The life lessons crammed into my brain in my first weeks as a mom surpassed any and all knowledge retained throughout the previous two decades of life. The truth wasn’t true. Up was down, and In was Out. The new dad, of course, was absorbing these very same realizations but not as they pertained to parenting. Instead, the Poor Mister was coming to grips with the overnight transformation of his beloved partner.
When we first met, we played “perfect couple” as most are wont to do. On my side were declarations that I love sports! and political discussions! and cigars! On his side were pleasant confirmations that “No. No, really. This eight-hour rant about your co-worker’s hairstylist’s cousin is THRILLING!”. After just a few dates, he thought he was dating a well-dressed, pretty-faced sports fanatic. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world for having a boyfriend who loved to shop. Through days and months and years of dating, we liked each other enough to feign similarities. Did I love sitting in a sports bar, watching baseball, and drinking a bucket of cheap beer? Well, no. But I loved doing anything with him.
And then a very cute wrecking ball crashed through the window with arms and legs and drool and a very unique talent for forcing grownups to show their true colors. I wandered through the house bounce, bounce, hushing this little fleshy masterpiece. My whispered lullabies to soothe the baby soon transformed into tiny musical admissions: “Mama’s gonna buy you a mocking bird. And if that mocking bird won’t sing. It’s probably because I don’t know what I’m doing.” My fiancé wandered through the house hug, hug, hand-holding his neurotic partner. I imagine his lullaby went something like this: “Twinkle, twinkle in mommy’s eye. Used to be cute but now all she does is cry.”
Over the next few weeks, I busied myself with motherhood. There are diapers to be changed! And books to read about diapers being changed! And books refuting the advice of the other books about diapers being changed! NO TIME FOR LEG SHAVING!
It took that look of horror one December morning for me to realize what a change my partner had to endure. The bloom done fell off the rose. Along with learning how to be a dad, he soon discovered the cold, hard truth about his lady-love:
I do, in fact, have bodily functions.
I do not naturally smell like flowers. Eau de Expensive Parfum.
My feet are disgusting.
I hate to cook. Anyone who’s ever suffered through my baked chicken will tell you. You can actually taste the disdain in it.
The only time my hair does NOT look like a mullet is if I spend a hefty chunk of time and product beating it into submission.
I rather run from a pack of dogs while wearing a backpack made of steak than watch a golf tournament.
I don’t really like beer.
When I told you my family was “really, really great!” I meant “really, really crazy”.
I snore like a Brown Bear in heat.
I eat like a Brown Bear in heat.
I only wore heels and respectable clothes and makeup and social decency because my boss told me I had to. If I’m at home with a baby all day, my business attire consists of pajama pants and your t-shirts. Personal hygiene only required on holidays.
His gentle efforts to get me back to ladylike ran the gamut from “You should go have some Mommy Time… like maybe at a hair salon!” to “Oh! I never saw you eat a whole foot long. That’s different.” More than the sleepless nights and introduction to fossilized boogers, he struggled to come to grips with where his fairly sassy girlfriend went. It took Febreze. It took patience. It took time. Eventually I learned that I could juggle motherhood and showering. I could handle cleaning the house AND putting on a bra. I could, even, shave my legs on a regular basis. The chicken is still horrible, but by god, I am trying.
Today we watch our fleshy blob grow into walking legs, a toddler’s face, and a personality the two of us take away from this a lesson in adaptation. He eats my baked chicken and tastes effort. I watch March Madness with him, rooting in my special way for the teams with the cutest outfits. He comes home from work and compliments my appearance because I took the extra step and put on lip balm. I keep my rants on so-and-so’s brother’s neighbor to a 3 hour diatribe. We both jump up to change the next hazardous waste filled diaper. We’ve learned to remember our son’s hilarious laugh even when he is hurling toys and trying to scream our eyes straight from our heads. It is this compromise that lets us have this family, this beautiful child, this comfort of knowing we are, in our worst days of messy hair and short tempers, always loved.