Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No Really, Who Am I?

Our family has various names they'd like to be called by Evan, eventually. All types of creative names that are variations on the Original Grandparent (OG) names.

In my day it was like, Hey Gramps, turn up the A/C ya cheap old bastard, and Grandma, do my chores, I'm watching cartoons.

Not this generation of grandparents, though. These old hippies want names like Siti and BaBa and Poppyseed muffin. Hebrew names, Arabic names, Polish names, nonsensical names.

Oh but then there's my dad, who would prefer to be referred to as "Grandfather." Nerd-alert.

Nonfiction: I'm at work, uh, all day and night. Indeed, I've been watching that masterful little piece of cinematography you see below pretty frequently to remind myself of what baby looks like. That way, when I finally get home, I'm not all "hey, who are you, infant? You think you can just lay there all the time, you little freeloader? Beat it, you!"

Anyway, so I was watching it again a few minutes ago and suddenly felt all lost and weird inside. I was like...yo that's my baby. She my offspring, dude. As lame as it sounds, it sort of hadn't totally hit me until that moment. See, I don't really feel like a mama. That's what people are calling me these days, and I keep looking over my shoulder, all, "who? That lady over there? Yeah, she's kinda old and saggy, she's probably a mama."

At first methought I was more like dad. Cause I play Grand Theft Auto like it's my job and I think "Ain't No Fun If the Homies Can't Have None" is the best track on Doggystyle.

But then I realized, I don't feel like anything, really. Does having a kid automatically make you a mama, or whatever? Or do you earn the title once you've scraped fecal matter from the face of your watch a sufficient number of times (again, nonfiction. How does it get there so often?)? Because I don't feel like a mom. I feel a little like a shepherd. Occassionally minding a solitary, excessively small sheep, usually while E is in the shower.

But grandparents are totally cool with being grandparents. I was like: are you ready for this, parental unit? They're all, hell yeah I'm ready to be a Poppy/Siti/Grandfather. I was born ready. It's probably because they've done the whole parental thing already, and being a grandparent is some sort of custodial cakewalk in comparison. But still, their hyper-readiness for us to produce offspring makes me wary. What's in it for them, damnitt? Sometimes I think they're just reveling in the feeling of payback. Leaning back in their chairs, occasionally pointing and laughing as I stumble my way through taking care of this baby.

"Ha ha, look at you. Up all night, eh? Ya like that? Ah, ha ha. Oops, there's a little fermented regurgitated breastmilk on your arm there. Oh, ho ho."

Meanwhile, I just shuffle around with my staff, an inept shephard with no name of my own.

Friday, June 13, 2008

This is What I do on Friday Nights Now. Who am I?

I'm only slightly freaked out that my Friday nights of late no longer consist of passing out face down on the sidewalk in front of my apartment building.  Now I do this.  It's more of a natural progression than I would have guessed.  

video

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Things Someone Should Have Told Me Before I Had a Baby

1. You will never find the right baby sling, no matter how hard you try.

Baby-wearing devices were invented by either 1) an asshole or 2) a morbidly obese person. I've tried three, and each is a colossal failure of cotton dessign. The Hotsling worked the first time I used it, but now droops sadly when I stuff my poor baby in, who winds up lying flat at the very bottom of the fabric pouch, staring up at me with a look of utter disdain. Then we've got the Terra Cotta or something, which is as ineptly named as it is designed.

And finally, the Moby. Oh, where do I begin with the Moby? Why is the Moby so long? Why, God, why is it so long? One size fits all, in that it is so large that it is big enough for anyone on the planet, including a silverback gorilla.

I loathe the Moby with a violent loathing. I want to kick it in the face, but it is just a 98 foot long pile of cloth, so it doesn't care what I do to it. In fact I think it grows each time I begrudgingly extract it from its tiny cloth bag, just to mock me.

Seriously, who the hell invented this thing? All it is is a strip of fabric so long that if you tried to hang yourself with it, you'd fail, no matter how high your ceilings are. Oh, I should mention it comes with a 50 page instruction manual on how the fuck you use it, since that's how long it takes to explain why anyone needs a 98 foot long strip of fabric. Which leads me to...

2. Immediately dispose of any and all items requiring an instruction manual.

There is nothing so frustrating as scanning an instruction book while simultaneously trying to operate the device you have no clue how to use while your poor, patient baby waves her arms and grunts and begins to cry because it is taking you eons, EONS, to figure out said device, and baby needs snuggling or swaddling or food and there you are, futilely scanning the pictures of smiling moms, searching for the golden shred of knowledge that will TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOAL SO THAT YOU CAN MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE.

If it needs a manual, toss it in the dumpster. Unless it is a car seat. Those really just ought to come with some sort of fairy or elf who magically manipulates baby's arms and legs through the various straps and buckles the various plastic elements properly because adult human hands are incapable of such precise movements without years of prior training.

Lo, the heartbreaking wail of a baby being strapped to a torture device carseat. Bet you didn't know that...

3. ...your heart will be broken, pinched, spit on, and bitch-slapped on a daily basis!

That thin little wail your baby emits when you buckle her into the carseat? Your fault, you sadistic asshole. Her wide-eyed look of alarm accompanied by outstretched flailing arms? Hey, that's because she thinks you're about to drop her! Nice going, idiot. How about when baby stops eating, turns bright red, shrieks, then starts eating again? Oh, that's just because it hurts to eat, people. It just hurts to eat.

Babies can't catch a break, and that shit is sad. Baby used to be all snuggled up cozy inside, sans bright lights or cold air or nurses who drop things on their heads or inept parents. And then they come out and you know what bitches? It's hard out here for a baby. She may not be dodging bullets, but the bathwater temperature can be dicey and her hoes are arguably more trouble than they're worth.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Due Time


We're trying, with some success, to forget the whole hospital ordeal and move on. Thanks so much to those who commented - I can't tell you how good it felt to get reassurance from you that what happened really WAS fucked, and we weren't just psychotic crunchy people with a grudge against western medicine.

Anyway, it helps that Evan is so goddamned perfect it hurts. She sleeps, she eats, and she is awake, wide-eyed and mesmerized by light filtering through the tree leaves. She smiled yesterday -- her first true, eyes to mouth smile -- at the dog. She loves to float in a sink full of warm water, as long as she's got a two-handed, iron-clad grip on the finger of a larger, sturdier individual. She is instantly rendered unconscious, even in the midst of a full-blown hiccup attack, with a head massage. She tolerates kisses with a look of mild disgust.

As fucked-up as her arrival was, our 1 Great Triumph was that she never had one drop of formula. E pumped every three hours starting the morning after her birth, and her milk came in on day 3, which I consider a minor miracle due to the circumstances of her delivery. Evan was bottle-fed breast milk at the hospital, and once she got home she transitioned to breast-feeding within a week. Her diminutive stature and narcoleptic behavior made it difficult at first, but an extremely strict lactation consultant with many small plastic instruments and a bubbling cauldron turned things around, and then they were off and running.

Some minor bumps along the way:

1. Choking at every feeding. We realized that E's boobs were functioning like beer bongs, forcing milk down the poor baby's throat at a speed alarming to a newborn. E made some adjustments (switch sides every 2 feedings) and things have improved. She still chokes at the first feeding on the new side...any advice on how to prevent that? I've experienced few things as heartbreaking as listening to my tiny, hungry infant splutter and gasp for air. Although her milk-bong induced coma is sort of hysterical.

2. Excessive, at times scary, projectile spitting up. I'm embarrassed to admit that there were a few times in which I felt afraid of my baby. Note to new parents: don't prop up your baby and stare at her in the middle of the night in a darkened room. Babies look kind of creepy in dim light, and when their eyes suddenly cross and white liquid shoots out of their mouth, jesus christo, who wouldn't say a little prayer?

Anyway, we spent a couple of days worrying that she had reflux, so we called our lactation consultant who laughed and pointed her finger at us and laughed some more. You'd know if your baby had reflux, she said, cryptically. Just prop her up when you feed her, and don't bother me with such nonsense in the future, fools, for I am busy ensuring the babies of the world Gain Weight and Thrive, and frankly your baby's thighs are much too large for that preemie diaper she's wearing.

8 pounds, 2 ounces on her due date. I could not be more proud of E. She set about the breastfeeding thing with steely-eyed, lock-jawed determination and lucky for all of us her body cooperated and Evan is totally thriving.

And you know what? Since the day I met her, the longest this baby has cried is the time it takes to stuff a pre-fold diaper into a cover. Slap the diaper on, pick her up, and girlfriend's like, waa- what up, gangster? What was I crying about?

I don't presume that things will stay so easy forever...but it's hard not to feel like we lucked the fuck out with this one.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Follow the Yellow Brick Road: A Guide to Getting Your Baby Out of the Hospital. AKA, Part II

I don't feel like writing about the NICU, thus the long delay in a follow-up post. But I'm going to do it anyway. I know that our NICU experience was a trip across the slip and slide compared to some other NICU experiences, and for that we feel deeply fortunate. But our time there shaped my initial experience of parenthood, big time, so it's worth writing about.

Let me start by saying that, of all the things we wanted for our baby's birth, what we wanted the most was for her to be with us right after she was born. We had gotten so much reassurance from our numerous OBs that baby would be fine that I was pretty flippant about this particular aspect of the birth. Every other goddamned thing had gone wrong, this would be the one thing that would go right. How ever she came out, at least she'd be here. With us.

The OBs assured us repeatedly that she may be a little grunty when she was born, a little lethargic, but that would just be "The Mag," and not a sign of any critical illness, as it can be for more premature babies. We extracted multiple promises that our baby would not be taken away due to magnesium induced sluggishness, and we reminded our poor L&D nurses over and over to bring her to E after she came out. These poor people must have thought we were insane.

Turns out all our fussing meant diddly. It was the pediatric nurse that made all the decisions about our baby, while the L&D people were busy with E. We were so wrapped up in the process of getting her out, that I forgot that in the alternate reality of Hospital-land, you must Talk to the Right People, otherwise fresh hell will descend upon you at every turn.

So, without further ado, I present you with PART II.

They carried Evan out of surgery and across the hall to the transitional nursery. The hour or so that followed is sort of lost, but I do remember sitting on the window ledge in our L&D room and wondering what the fuck just happened.

Once E was out of recovery we rolled our way over to the transitional nursery. Evan was the only baby there, stretched out in an open bassinet like a tiny bird. Her eyes were squeezed shut and smeared with ointment, an IV was taped to her hand, 3 monitors were strapped to her chest, and the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device was pushed up her little nose. The sheet in her bassinet, as well as her tiny foot, were streaked with fresh blood from a blown IV. Two nurses sat at a desk at the opposite end of the room, surfing the internet. As we approached our baby, one of the nurses barked: "don't touch it!"

The L&D nurse who wheeled us in had to explain that we were the moms, and E hadn't gotten to hold her baby yet. The pediatric nurse looked up from her solitaire game and said: "you can't hold that baby. That is a very sick baby. She's going to the NICU."

I shit. You not.

So E cried, and we put our fingers in Evan's palms to feel her tiny squeeze reflex. She looked so small, and so much paler and more fragile than she did right after she was born. They paged the doctor, because these particular minions of satan were unable to explain what was wrong with her and why she had to go to the NICU, aside from repeating the words "she's very sick."

Sick. Such a helpful word. The doctor came and told us she had underdeveloped lungs, and why hadn't we gotten a steroid shot? Oh, only because the OB, in response to my query about the appropriateness of a steroid shot before induction, described it as, and I quote, "completely unnecessary."

She was moved to the NICU later that night, and her first nurse was the most wonderful person, so calm and gentle. I sat in a rocker for a while, and in my delusional state, I quite clearly imagined the gods reaching a giant finger down from the heavens and anointing her with every golden attribute that a NICU nurse should have. "She's fine," lovely nurse said, her halo shimmering in the dim lights. "She'll be home in no time. These doctors are just covering their asses." In that moment I felt love for this woman.

The NICU couldn't accommodate beds, only wheelchairs, so E couldn't visit the baby until she was off the magnesium sulfate, which wouldn't be for another 24 hours (E, btw, finagled this down to 18 with strong language and threats. She was, I imagine, what they call a "difficult" patient). I spent these 18 hours visiting our baby in the NICU and reporting back to the increasingly frantic E, who, by the time her mag drip was out, was in a sort of primal hysteria. Girl needed to see her baby. She was actually escorted to the antepartum unit by the attending physician, who surely did this kindly deed just to get E off her unit.

E's first visit with Evan in the NICU was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life. I wheeled her close to Evan's isolette, so she could reach a hand through the porthole. She was silent for a few moments, touching Evan's tiny chest. But then she pulled her hand out and closed the porthole, dropped her head and stared at her lap. A minute later she started to sob. Great, big, slow sobs, a kind I'd never heard from her before. I felt a piece of my heart crack open then, seeing our baby like that, and seeing E so broken over it.

The first time I got to hold Evan, my heart was beating out of my chest. In fact, every time I held her for the first week or so, my heart would just hammer away, so hard that you could see it beating through my shirt. It was such a strange feeling, but it seemed to work for Evan, because when her little body was pressed up against my chest, her breathing rate would slow, and her heartrate would drop to the "sleeping range." It was strange and sweet, holding her like that with all her monitor lines draping out the bottom of her swaddle.

The ups and downs of the 10 days that followed will not be so dramatic, since you all know the ending, so I won't bore you with the details. But know this: the NICU is no place for the faint of heart. The lows are quite low in the NICU. The highs do not reach the same levels, because, hey, your kid's still in the NICU. But I swear to god if I were a writer I would have some amazing material from the days spent there, what with the beeping monitors, crazy family visits, drill sergeant nurses and condescending doctors, and just the blinding bewilderment of it all.

I learned many useful things during our time in the hospital, however.

I learned how to speak calmly to a security guard reluctant to grant me a my own official, laminated "Parent Pass," because, quote, there can only be one mom. Unquote.

I learned how to change a diaper. Through a porthole.

I learned that new babies don't really have a smell.*

I learned to dump out many a cc of bottled breastmilk behind nurses' backs to prevent the introduction of a nasal-gastric tube.

I learned how to reattach a monitor to prevent a desaturation alarm from causing my baby to choke on her bottle.

I learned how to silence a desaturation alarm (although I still have panicked moments of hearing a de-sat alarm as I stand on the corner with my morning coffee, looking wildly around to discover it is merely a car alarm).

Anyway, the day she was finally released from the hospital was totally momentous. We harassed the doctors to release her until they finally buckled, releasing her "WITH RESERVATIONS." Also, we were thoroughly underprepared, had no idea how to work the car seat, and were nearly demented from lack of sleep (I worked days and went to the NICU all night, E stayed all day only to wake at 3 AM and take a cab back to the NICU), so walking out of the hospital with her felt a lot like kidnapping a sweet child from some other, more normal parents.

I remember very clearly that as we finally walked out, this time with Evan, we were making fun of a capella music, laughing maniacally as we drove through the rain.



*this proved untrue, because once evan arrived home she almost immediately smelled of sugar cookies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hell in a Handbasket: The Birth Story, Part I

E and I had the coolest birthplan ever. It wasn't a birthplan in any physical sense. We never wrote shit down or talked about it at any great length, but we both had a vision of how Le Fetus would get here, and I can assure you that it involved minimal medical intervention.

Ah, best laid plans. Slippery fellows.

As we get further from the days of Evan's birth, those days are losing their heiniousity in my mind. Heiniousity. Like that word? Yeah, you like it.

So I decided to post the story before it becomes happily distorted in my memory to something flowery and cliche, "but it was all worth it" style. As if being worth it makes it any less shiteous.

As I posted earlier, E became suddenly and severely preeclamptic at 35 weeks - she was as swollen as Violet Beauregarde at the end, poor thing. Evan (who should still be Le Fetus, dammit) was measuring big for her gestational age, and none of the battery of OBs who looked at her on the ultrasound were concerned about her readiness for New York City air. We followed the OB's advice and started the induction process.

The cervix softening drugs did their job, and when she was 100% effaced and 1 cm dilated, they put in the Foley catheter. What is a Foley catheter, you ask? Well, it is mostly a balloon! A fun little water balloon! Who doesn't love a water balloon??

Well this water balloon is a little different. Instead of preparing for a fun antic by filling up your balloon at the sink faucet, you stick this balloon up your vagina and into your cervix and then fill it up with a syringe. Instead of tossing it out your window at an unassuming passerby for a silly trick, you lie there and wait for it to force open your nethers until it slips out and lays limply between your legs.

Essentially, instead of getting your shirt wet, it pries open your cervix to 3 centimeters.

Good times. Anyway, Foley did it's jobby job and then pitocin was introduced and E's uterus was off and running.

36 hours later, E was getting rolled in for a section. E, as I may have mentioned before, swore up and down and backwards that she'd never get sectioned, that she'd push that baby out come hell or high water. I swear that had she been floating on an inner tube in Satan's flooded basement, she would still be pushing. But after 24 hours at 3 centimeters, her cervix began to swell, and poor E had no choice.

At that point, though, we were both ready to throw in the towel. E didn't want to be sectioned because she thought of labor as something she could do while standing, sitting up, or generally changing position. But because she was preeclamptic, her body was attached to approximately 29 machines (really), most of which involved catheters. She was also on magnesium sulphate throughout to prevent seizures from the preeclampsia. Magnesium sulphate produces a similar effect on the mind and body as the stupefy spell, as I understand it.

Poor girl was going no where.

She was a total champion laboring with all that shit attached to her, though. Had things gone differently, she could totally have pushed the baby out, I know it.

Anyhizzy, the section is where things got ugly.

We had a little pep talk right before they took her in.

We're gonna meet the baby, we said, smiling dumbly at each other. Tonight we'll have a baby in our pimped out L&D room. Yay.

So they prepped her for surgery, then brought me in. I sat right next to her head, behind the sheet that kept her from seeing her abdomen sliced open.

She was way drugged. The shit they pumped into her epidural on top of the mag made her Loopy Mcloopified, and not in the funny or good way. When they started cutting, she started moaning. They kept cutting, and she started screaming.

Bottom line: her epidural had slipped, and she had a window of feeling across the right side of her abdomen.

They gave her nitrous oxide to calm her, as she was distressed and tearing at her IVs. The nitrous, drugging her further, had the opposite effect. She started crying about the baby, asking me over and over what's wrong with the baby, what's wrong with the baby. It took them 3 hours to section her because her abdominal muscles were so tight. I felt like I was in a horror movie.

When they finally pulled out the sweetest little fetus, E was beyond reason. I didn't feel like I was soothing her at all, so I left her momentarily to go see our baby, and things got worse from there. I thought once the baby was out that E's pain would be over, but I had forgotten about the placenta, and the pulling of the abdominals to sew her back together. She was screaming while I met our baby for the first time.

I was wedged in between the pediatric team who were roughly rubbing her and clapping on her tiny body with a plastic cup. She looked wonderful to my untrained eye, pinking up quickly, crying her tiny bird cry, so mad. But the peds team frowned disapprovingly at her.

She's grunting, they said.

Of course she's grunting, you're smacking the shit out of her, I said.

No, no, frown frown, you don't understand, it's a medical term, they said.

I know that babies full of magnesium sulfate often grunt when they're born, please don't take her away, I said.

She needs to go to the transitional nursery. Don't worry, she'll be back with you within 8 hours, they said.

And our baby was taken away. At the time, I was preoccupied with E. I was on the other side of the sheet now, and I could see the nurses holding her legs down, and the surgeon sweating, white as a sheet. E's moans filled the room. I sat down on a chair in the corner until a nurse escorted me out.

Part II, in which our baby lives in the NICU, to come.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Home

We couldn't take it anymore. We busted her out of the NICU, and I think she's as happy as we are that she's finally home.

Thanks everyone for all the sweet comments.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Getting so much better



The birth story is long and horrific and I'm not up for writing it yet. Maybe ever.

But look at that baby. One look at her and I couldn't even remember what I was so worried about.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Evan Brooke


The last three days have been the most relentlessly heartbreaking of my life. But our baby is here, and she's perfect.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

More

hi loves. I'm in the hospital and was frightened by the angry mob demanding updates so here I am.

E had a rapid onset of severe preeclampsia symptoms on Monday. After, I might add, we went camping all weekend and E rocked it out. But Monday found her swollen beyond recognition with headaches and abdominal pain, so we decided to get this party started.

Le Fetus, at 35 weeks, is measuring around 6.5 lbs, so we felt okay about inducing so early. Let's get this girl some fresh air before she busts E at the seams.

Last night was wicked, what with induction at 35 weeks being akin to prying open a tin can with your fingernails. But lo, Epidural made the sun shine on E again. The anesthesiologist totally hooked me up with some nitrous oxide, too, so 4 AM was party time in Labor & Delivery Room 10.

So, I am rolling with this baby coming early as all get out. I can still go to Kanye West on May 13, which is a huge relief. Priorities, you know?

So she's on her way dudes. What a wild fucking ride this has been.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Think The Fugees Said It Best

Ready or not, here I come.
You can't hide. 
Gonna fiiind you, and 
Make you want me. 

-- Le Fetus. 

E-sus Christ, Superstar, is in labor.  


Friday, April 11, 2008

I Drink It Up

Am I like a dead beat dad around these parts or what? Not showing my dirty face or sending the child support payments, just getting my drink on at all hours of the day and night, partying like the old bastard that I am.

Forgive me, dearhearts. It's just that I have been otherwise occupied lately. I'm spending my last few weeks of freedom as irresponsibly as possible, and blogging is way way waaaay too serious an endeavor right now. By my calculations, I've got approximately 8 weekends remaining without child. Tick Tock, friends. Tick fucking Tock.

You know what though? I can't wait to meet my little hija. The little breakdancer kicks the shit out of me each and every night. When E lays behind me, belly to my back, Le Fetus wakes me up out of my restful slumber at least 5 or 6 times a night. Girl's a little night owl, just like her Daddy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Kibosh

As much as I've enjoyed the lecturing, I must now insist that it stop.

I take issue with the insinuations that my decision regarding adoption is irresponsible and selfish for the following reasons:

A. My choice not to adopt is by no means your first indication that I'm irresponsible and selfish. And immature. Read my archives, loves. In many ways, I'm a teen aged boy. It's why you love me.

B. Secondly, it isn't in my nature to submit to humiliating and offensive procedures for the sake of acting like a responsible adult. It's part of my charm. I applaud those of you who are responsible enough to do what you have to do in order to feel secure as a family. But because there are others who choose different paths doesn't give you license to pass judgment. In other words, don't hate!

C. I've put some thought into my decision. Me, E, and Le Fetus will have the same last name. We choose to live in a socially progressive state where lots of other gay people live. So it's likely that our experiences with child care, school, and hospital visits will probably be cool. And - I'm just gonna go here - if we were to have a problem, E and I are a force to be reckoned with.

Plus I've totally beat some ass in a Taco Bell parking lot.

Just sayin'.

D. New York precedent (as is the trend nationally) is that the gestational parent is the default parent, legally. Especially when the egg donor has waived all rights to any resulting child. The gestational parent's name is on the birth certificate. E is Mom, no matter how you slice it.

E. Finally, I must insist that you not worry yourselves. I promise to impart to my daughter that I didn't simply forget to adopt her, or choose not to adopt her because I didn't love her, but only because if she got too annoying I could claim no responsibility.

So there you have it. I trust I have now completely quelled any notions that I will be an unfit parent.

I will consider posting pictures. But only if you're good.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nope

Eliza, damn you, your comment is a thorn in my side. You suggest that a weekly post shouldn't be outside the short-armed reach of a Slacker. And yet lately it is.

At first I thought: Ha, weekly posts are no problem. (Phase 1: Denial)

Next, I felt curmudgeonly. Damn this blog and its constant need of updating! (Phase 2: Anger)

And lastly, grief. And self-flagellation. I cursed my feeble willpower for buckling under the slightest weight of, say, Intervention. Or a cocktail. (Phase 3: acceptance)

So anyway, here's my update: I can't do the damn adoption thing.

Firstly let me thank my readership for the excellent information you provided on second parent adoption. And secondly, I'll mention that I am frankly humbled by your depth of knowledge and your connections; those of you affiliated with the lesbian mafia of NYC are, like, hot.

But I just can't do it. I refuse to participate in this nonsense. There is no doubt in my mind that if I submit to the process I will, at one stage or another, do something inappropriate (i.e. listing a brothel as a former address, or telling the home visit social worker that my doberman eats babies for breakfast). And inappropriate behavior will likely fuck up my chances of becoming Le Fetus' legal parent. So I'm gonna try not to go there. I'd rather just wing this shiz.

However, I am considering dressing in drag at the hospital (my name can be somewhat androgynous, so this could work) and seeing where that takes us.

Stay tuned for that, friends. The thrills just don't die around here.

Friday, March 7, 2008

In Which I Regale You With Stories of India


India was a trip. I went because I'm a world traveler, sweethearts. I went to tear up some stuff. Also to visit my dad, who is a nurse there.


But seriously, I stayed out of trouble and chilled out a bunch. I visited many a tomb, and paid some respect to the big dude himself, Guatama Buddha. I left him some rupees in a gesture of thanks.

I felt a universe away from New York. First of all, Indians are way calmer than New Yorkers. I loved the calm. When I flew back to NYC I realized how calm I felt and was sort of startled by the feeling. What's this strange sensation? Or rather, lack of sensation? I am somehow devoid of that clenching tightness in my gut... Dear god what's wrong with me??

I tried to keep it that way, but the calmness slipped away, like I knew it would. Nothing is permanent.

E didn't join me, for a few reasons. So I went with my brother, which was rad. He's a good travel partner. Except for when he woke me on the flight home, harshing my Ambien-fueled mellow. I forgave him though, because he is hilarious and obliged when I demanded that he entertain me.

One of my favorite pasttimes while traveling abroad is observing how non-Americans parent their kids. Indian people loooooooove their kids. Like, a lot. I never saw so much kissing and squeezing and ruffling of small heads.

Because so many people don't have money, and the traffic congestion is indescribable, many families use motorcycles as their primary means of transportation. Mom, dad, baby on board. It's awesome. Baby is usually squished between mom and dad, looking chill.

Now, I imagine if these families had the means, they, too, would drive large safe automobiles with appropriate-facing baby seats in the back. But that's just not possible, so they do what they can to get around.

It gives one a touch of perspective. I have a friend who RENTS A CAR whenever she travels through Manhattan with her baby. She does this because "the subway is too loud for the baby," and "cab drivers are too reckless for a baby."

Uh, okay.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for ensuring the safety of your offspring. But so much of this American-style parenting is just self-inflicted nonsense. We buy shit and stress the fuck out and buy shit and coddle and that's what makes us feel like good, responsible parents. I so hope to avoid this when E and I become parents. I cling to that hope.




In other news, I'm trying to figure out how to become a legal parent to Le Fetus once she's no longer a Fetus.

E reminded me the other day that I need to adopt her when she becomes a squirming reality. I was like, "Oh yeah. Adopt my kid. That little thing."

I asked her if I could just go to the hospital dressed as a boy and ask them to list me as "Father" on the birth certificate. She didn't like the idea, so I'm forced to navigate the treacherous waters of second-parent adoption. I have no idea where to begin, of course, so like anyone faced with a large-scale dilemma, I googled that shiz. When how do I adopt my kid and I'm not my child's legal parent, help and finally bullshit bureaucracy second parent adoption yielded nothing save for policy articles and HRC's less than helpful page on state-by-state adoption laws, I started getting annoyed.

1. What up with all the policy pieces on gay parents? The American Academy of Pediatrics published one of the plethora of detailed policy reviews in which the notion that both parents ought to have legal custody of the child they are raising together is heartily endorsed. Indeed. Why thank you, AAP, what wisdom you impart. I mean, hey, I'm glad for the vote of confidence. It's helpful to know that a group of pediatricians agree that I should be legally responsible for my child's care.

(By the way I'm just messing with ya. I'm totally glad they wrote it, because Kansas exists. And Mike Huckabee.)

2. How the fuck do I DO it? This information should be completely accessible - I'm talking detailed instructions, the step by step on how to accomplish the goal of adoption. Instead, I get policy articles and websites telling me YES! CONGRATULATIONS, NEW YORKER, YOU MAY ADOPT YOUR CHILD. Yes, but how?


Anyway, enough bitching. It just feels bizarre to have to adopt my own kid. It is so beyond the scope of my imagination that Americans live without civil rights. And we just suck it right up and do it. I have friends who live in other, scarier states, and tell me how grateful I should be that my state even allows second-parent adoption.

Um, grateful? Should New York get a cookie? In New York, an MSW gets to decide if I can be my kid's legal parent. That makes me feel...less than grateful. But what choice do I have? I will do it and move on, because at least it's not fucking Oklahoma.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Little Rap of Delight


Untwist your panties, people, here I am. Backity back and in effect.

Sorry for my delinquent blogging, but I have been a virtual cocktail of Busy, Traveling, and, as per usual, Extremely Lazy. Do you know what happens when lazy people undergo the duress of extreme work hours in combination with international travel? We essentially implode with laziness, sleeping whenever we have two minutes alone, kickin up the feet and dropping the lids on the subway, in a car service, in airport restrooms.

I just got back from India, like 5 minutes ago. I apologize for worrying your pretty heads, because all appears well with E and the wee fetus. Her recent scan revealed the cyst on Le Fetus' brain is gone, which is what nearly always happens with these types of cysts, regardless of an underlying problem. But it was a relief nonetheless.

What's cool is that is that E feels her kicking now without having to lie face-down in public toilets. That's a major improvement.


So, In All Seriousness, thanks to my sweet lurking friends and others who expressed interest in my well being. You people don't know me and yet you took time out of your day to leave me some kind words. It was surprisingly touching to return home and discover that there are people in the world interested in my story, as boring and half-assed as it seems to me most of the time.

See how I'm like a loaf of crusty bread? My barnacly exterior shields a soft steamy interior.

Don't tell anyone.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Fear Lives In My House And Drinks All The Strawberry Milk

E has her 23 week check-up with the OB tomorrow. More than halfway through her pregnancy, her anxiety has only marginally improved. To give you an idea of her mindset, know that she lay, facedown, on the floor of the Jeep dealership bathroom last weekend in order to feel the baby move.

She prepares for the baby in fits and starts. One day she'll demand a trip to Target for baby clothes hangers, the next day I find her teary-eyed on the couch amongst empty glasses of strawberry milk, claiming "The Baby Is Dead."

As an aside, can you imagine my blood pressure levels in these moments? Arriving home from work at 11:30 to find my pregnant wife tear-streaked and moaning? I try to remain calm while gently interrogating her:

Why, baby, why do you think she's dead?

I haven't felt her in hours!

When was the last time you got up and moved?

(Sheepish) 4 hours ago.

Okay, well, let's go walk outside in the fresh air and maybe she'll wake up.

And, of course, we're not halfway out the door when E's face lights up as she exclaims, There she is!

But the time that elapses between the tiny rolls and kicks she feels is enough to spiral E into fierce anxiety and depression. The cyst on Lentil's brain may as well be a cyst on E's brain, worming into her conscience and silently destroying her experience of this pregnancy.

It's cyclical, of course. Her paranoia peaks the few days prior to her OB appointment. Hopefully her fears will be put to bed tomorrow, if not until June, then at least until the next appointment.


In more uplifting news, I've recently discovered the indescribable joy of learning the search terms that bring people to this website. A few of my favorites:

satan guitar fuckers,

boy in a dress,

hairy monster cyst,

and, my personal favorite, holy cunts.

No wonder I don't have more commenters.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The New Ride


Not exactly a monster truck, but I did feel slightly All-American when I bought it, and the 5-speed V-6 with shift on the fly 4 wheel drive feels like our old car on crack, so monster-truck or not I had the sensation I could crush everyone in my path on my test drive.

We are intensely happy with our car purchase decision making skills. The boring Toyota stayed on its stupid boring lot. We vowed to each other that this will be our last non-biodeisel vehicle, which eases the guilty pangs over the gas mileage. And we're praying to the God of Parking Spots that he will have mercy on us, as parking an SUV on the street in Manhattan is akin to sliding an Apple IIc into a manila envelope.

But fuck it. If I start heading down the straight and narrow path to parenthood, lined with Precious Moments and "Baby On Board" stickers, just take me out and shoot me.

And besides, driving home from Ikea with a diaper pail and changing table is way more fun when you're listening to Biggie in your pimped out monster truck.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Welcome to Misfitsville, Population: 1.


I'm not much of a mommy-type. I work a lot and I have no plans to stay home to wipe a butt, slice oranges and host playdates. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with staying at home, it's just not the sort of life that appeals to me. Then again, neither does festering away in a cube, eyes running red before my computer as I slowly and methodically climb the ladder to the corner office. But I digress.

So I'm trying to get in touch with the mommy in me, in the only way I know how. This weekend I'm upgrading our vehicular transport to something that will accomodate a baby seat. This endeavor has progressed from researching a very reliable and responsible Toyota, to deciding that we SIMPLY MUST HAVE a V-6 with headlamps, just because how cool would it be to pull our little rocker baby out of a big black monster truck?

And besides, maybe I'll quit my job and race dirt bikes or perhaps become a living rock legend, and in either case the pimped out truck will be a necessary evil.

Not that it is really a monster truck. But it does have headlamps. And, by the way, it is RADICAL.

Anyway, we'll see which one we come home with this weekend. The car hunt has taken on a deeper meaning for me, obviously.


So lately the pressure is on to momify myself, and it's irritating as shit.

For example, I don't do babyshowers.

I never have. They are perhaps the most unappealing of all events that end in "shower." I've never been a fan of purse-related games, tea parties, or wearing a pacifier as an adult. I'm not generally even sociable at 11 AM on a Saturday, much less a willing participant in a retarded game involving a diaper and teams of three.

If I were to attend a baby shower, I'd be the hungover one who has slunk outside for a cigarette after downing my and my neighbor's mimosa. And no one wants that girl at her shower. They want fresh-faced, sundress clad marys at their baby shower. Girls who can't wait for babies of their own, with smiles that stretch their faces as they watch mommy-to-be claw open her gifts.

So baby showers aren't my style, BFD. All my gorgeous friends who love me enough to tolerate this aspect of my personality don't heckle me about it. But now that E is the one with the showering, I'm getting seven kinds of shit for not being in attendance. (And not from E - she loves me despite it all, oh, despite it all).

The crushing injustice! Were I a man, would I get the heckling? The evil-eye? The shrill demands that I simply must attend? No. Because men aren't expected to partake in any baby shower action. And I envy them that.

So I say to these hecklers, put your make believe hat on and pretend I'm her husband. And by the way, I will catch your ass later, because I'm going to the monster truck rally.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Will The Miracles Ever Cease?



When I was a wee lad I used to watch the Transformers cartoon after school. Because it was one of the more awesome things on television at 3:30 PM.

I always sang along with the theme song in my head without really knowing the words (Transformers...Mordenmeetsdeiye!). I have a very vivid memory of laying on the brown wall-to-wall in my living room one afternoon, the Decepticons acting like fucking pricks, as usual, and feeling like the unluckiest person on earth.

A) I had no transformer friends,
B) I did not yet have the hang of tying my shoes properly and
C) my beloved 2 year old cat was crushed in my driveway. Assassin unknown.

But after watching the madness and mayhem unfold on Transformers, I would stand on the brown sofa and say I AM OPTIMUS PRIME. And I'd feel marginally better.

For those of you who manage to slog through the singular tediousness of this blog month after month, you may recall that we lost our cat in October.

We sometimes take long weekends to country town to escape the city. In early October, E went up to country town with dog and cat in tow, while I stayed at work. In the throes of first trimester narcolepsy, E apparently arrived at country house, walked in the front door, opened the cat carrier, sat on the bed, and thereafter slipped into a four hour long coma.

E having failed to close the front door after stepping in, our cat made her way outside and Into The Wild, as it were.

Our cat had not been seen or heard from since, until we got a phone call this weekend.

She weighs a fraction of her pre-adventure weight, and is also freakishly strong. Although this is heartbreaking on the one hand, it is probably better for her long-term health on the other hand. A mere 3.5 months ago she most closely resembled a small beached seal strewn sideways across our couch who rarely trotted for the swinging of her stomach got in the way of her legs.

She's now lithe and muscled, but back on our couch where she belongs.

I am the luckiest person on Earth. Or, as I said again recently, having just watched the intoxicating adventure that was the Transformers movie, I Am Optimus Prime.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dog Is My (Awesome) Co-Pilot

We love our dog. He's one of the coolest individuals I've ever met. He's massively popular. He probably has more friends than I do. But not because he's a wiggly waggly retriever-type who loves everyone so everyone loves him back. You've got to earn this dog's love. And everyone wants a piece.

Many of our friends come over specifically to see him. Not us.

Many of our friends ask to borrow him for days at a time. There are a few who actually argue over who gets to take him when we go on vacation.

He rocks.

He's mellow and chilled out almost always. Unless you get him out in an open field with a tennis ball/stick/frisbee - then he's got the focus and drive of a West Point cadet.

Or unless someone is knocking on our door, and then he's got the intensity and thinly veiled malice of a sniper with a touch of 'roid rage.

But because he's big, and he's a doberman, anyone not well acquainted with his awesomeness asks us what we're going to do with him when the baby is born.

Huh?

E always responds with something like: "we're going to put the baby in his bed with him" or "we're going to let him clean her butt off when we change her diaper."

Ha, ha, the person laughs.

But what they don't know is that she sort of means it.

Aside from the irritating breed-ism inherent in this question, I'm always shocked at how it is posed. What are we going to do with him? The better question is what the hell are we going to do with this poopy little creature who is suddenly the center of our household?

The dog I know I can handle. The baby...not so much.

The three of us are a pack. There used to be four of us, until we lost our cat. Me, E, and our fucking awesome dog, aka Aiden, Gene, Todd, or Deborah (see? we don't even gender our dog). And our tribe totally has room for another.

But I wonder...how do we do right by him? Sometimes when I watch Cesar Millan I'm convinced that the best thing for him is to get another dog. But then I realize I may be exhibiting signs of insanity.

I know we'll be preoccupied and exhausted, and I don't want him to feel left out. He's been our only child for 7 years, and I imagine he might experience a little shell shock if we don't do this right.

So I'm reaching out to those of you reading who have words of advice...what was your experience when you brought your baby home? How did you integrate baby into your pack without excluding your BFF?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm Starting To Think Sleeping Is Overrated


I've always had anxiety dreams, for as long as I can remember dreaming. Long, epic, apocalyptic dreams. But since E has been pregnant, my anxiety dreams have quadrupled in frequency. As morbid and horrendous as my "last man on earth" dreams are, the baby anxiety dreams are worse.

I've become sort of accustomed to thrashing out of bed prepared to go hand-to-hand with the zombies beating down my door. But dreaming about neglecting a little baby? That shit is alarming.

The latest:

E and I adopted a baby. He was very cute, about 6 months old and chubby and adorable. But he had a butt chin, which was a problem for us in my dream. We sort of didn't take care of him. We held him and squished him and played around with him, but didn't really take care of him. Not necessarily because of the butt chin, but just because our lives were all messed up and we weren't good parents.

And our baby died. It was so horrible and traumatic that E and I broke up as a result.

After we broke up, this 50 year old, overweight, wealthy, semi-famous woman asked me to marry her and I said yes. And when we were out together I thought: this is fucking weird. But then I remember thinking that it might work out okay because she wouldn't mind if I wasn't, uh...faithful.

Dream over. I'm a horrible person.

In E's latest anxiety dream she repeatedly dropped our new baby out the car window as we were driving. We kept having to turn around and go look for her, and every time E would find her on the side of the road in a puddle or ditch, and she'd pick up our poor baby on the brink of death and nurse her and she'd get better. Only to get back in the car and drop her out the window again.

Dream over. E is a horrible person.


We wake up feeling like we'll be unfit parents. Giant, hideous, hairy monster parents.

I've consulted with two friends so far on the meaning of last night's heinous dream. They assure me that I won't neglect our little baby, butt-chin or no.

But I sort of feel like my sub-conscious is reviewing a 2,000 page report on me and my demons.
And so far...so bad.

Monday, January 14, 2008

One Night Down. A Jillion More To Go.

Last night was my first night without Theraflu in...many nights. Most of those nights I've been sick and in need of a cough suppressant. But, I'll admit, some of those nights I have not been in need of a cough suppressant, and only in need of a sleep aid.

I hit rock bottom this weekend. If you've ever found yourself clutching an over-the-counter medication to your chest while your loved one carefully and slowly wrenches it from your grip, saying "I'm not going to enable you anymore," then you know what a low moment feels like.

Theraflu! How I long for your steamy yellow self! Your hot lemon flavor! How I miss being comatose exactly 30 minutes after ingesting you!

I've been cut-off. So now I'm back to experiencing Level Orange restlessness starting at 11:30 PM.

Last night my friends S and R came over to entertain me while I detoxed. As gay boys are wont to do, they held me down and forced me to watch 2 girls, one c.u.p. and its hideous sequel, 4 girls f.in.ger.paint.

Dude. If I can save one innocent soul from experiencing 2G1C or 4GF, then I did not watch (and puke a little in my mouth) in vain. It's not the kind of gross that makes you say "ew, nasty!" it's the kind of gross that you want right the fuck out of your sight RIGHT AWAY. Just don't watch it, friends.

This PSA was brought to you by GS, a concerned citizen.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Best Friends Forever

Thank you for the sweet comments to my last post - she's a cutie, right?! Cysts on brain be damned, the baby looks adorable.

Name poll is over there. We got a little swept away with the primary buzz, so we decided to start a poll of our own. Vote if you're so inclined. We had the world's greatest boy names lined up, but the girl names are a little shadier, so we're happy for input.

E has - I shit you not - created an excel spreadsheet tallying the votes from this website along with votes from our friends/family. That's what the MBA is for, folks.

I've had a head cold since my recovery from New Years Eve, so I've been walking around in a foggy, mucousy stupor for the last week and a half. As much as I loathe a cold, I have a sort of fond affection for this one, because this one introduced me to a new cherished companion.

Theraflu.

I used to flat out refuse to drink that hot, piss-colored, medicinal liquid, no matter the strength of my cold. I never understood how some nasty lemon powder mixed with water was any improvement over the old hot toddy standby.

At the start of head-cold '08, I self medicated with hot toddies. I'd make one large one in the morning and carry it around in a thermos, drinking it all day. After toppling over once from the force of a sneeze, I decided to cut back on the hot toddy regimen.

But then, on night 4 of my cold, the annual Nocturnal Non Stop Coughing Party began. (This happens to me every year: I get a cold, which eventually peters out and leaves me with a month long nocturnal cough that WILL NOT DIE. One night last year I caught E hovering over me with a pillow clutched in her hands and a wild look in her eye, necessitating my transfer to the second bedroom.)

So this year, at the first sign of the annual night-long coughing spasm, I brewed myself a hot steaming cup of Theraflu.

And lo, sleep - sweet, dreamy, didn't-move-once-until-the-alarm-went-off sleep - ensued.

I've had my cup of hot piss every night since. And I like it. Now it's a delicious lemony adventure that I look forward to all day long.

There's even a leftover cozy-warm tingle in my brain during the daytime. So what if it leaves me slightly bereft of reason? So what if I forget the word for "contagious" and instead tell anyone within arm's length not to worry, I'm no longer "infective."

This morning, my colleague with a newborn baby was talking about how the baby won't sleep in his "pack and play," but he really likes the "carrier" and the "moby." At first I blamed my Theraflu-induced dementia for not being able to understand what the shit he was talking about. But then I realized, no, I really don't know what those words mean.

So I asked. He looked at me with a mixture of pity and alarm and asked me when E was due.

I'm in a tender state, Theraflu aside, so his alarmist attitude first irritated me, but then I started to worry. Does a baby need more than a moses basket and a couple dozen diapers? Seriously, what are those things, and will I need them?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Anatomy Scan


Her foot measures 3 centimeters from heel to toe and her upper lip periodically stretches out into the shape of a pterodactyl beak and she spent much of the time with her forearms crossed across her face, casting hexes against the treachery visited upon her twice in one week.

She has a long neck and a beautiful aortic arch and a swimming fish for a heart. She also has a small cyst in her brain; a choriod plexus cyst.

This cyst is a soft indicator of trisomy 18, but is more likely nothing at all.

Everything else looks perfect.

We're not going to get amnio. We think everything will Be Okay. How's that for a New Year's Res?

Part of me feels that after the chaos of miscarriage and IVF, nothing can fuck with my panic button anymore unless there's a damned good reason behind it.

More importantly, I feel like we owe it to ourselves and to Lentil to let go of the pregnancy stress. This shit isn't just stress, it's the angst and worry and ambivalence and heartbreak that has been accumulating since 2005. That accumulation changes our perspective on everything, changes E's experience of pregnancy, and makes the news of the cyst all the more sinister. And that's just not right. It's too much for little pregnant E to bear.

And it's altogether too much weight on one little person with a 3 cm footprint.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Buzzkill

Amazing what a weekend does for one's perspective. A little time spent outside the office walls and the blood starts rushing back to my cold, deadened heart.

I'm feeling less:

1) irate at learning the sex over the phone at my desk instead of together with E, Fig tagging the u/s screen in the background,

2) ambivalent about parenting a girl,

3) scared shitless in general (this, of course, is subject to change at any given moment).


I tell you, the level of hand-holding I've required throughout this pregnancy stuns even me. Every step of the goddamned way I've got to have reassurance from all sides. It's unbelievable.

The good news is that I'm getting the reassurance from all sides, like the lucky fuck that I am.

My family and friends are supportive. My family in law is supportive. The inexhaustible E is supportive. And of course all of you who read this and support me with your kind words of wisdom.

All these people, endlessly listening to my adolescent distress. But each word I say or write leaves me feeling less restless and panicked. So thank you.

I'm toying with the idea of posting a poll on here with our potential names. It doesn't seem like very many people do this sort of thing. I imagine that's because it is a pretty bad idea...but hey - since when have I shied away from acting on a bad idea?

Speaking of Bad Ideas, The L Word premiered last night. Woah, nelly, was it bad. The L Word is my favorite show that I Love To Hate. It acheived its greatest buzzkill heights last night, though, what with the Hollywood executive/creative author relationship storyline. YAWN.

You know I won't miss it next Sunday, though. Damn you, Ilene.

Friday, January 4, 2008

113dp3dt



To the Tumbling Little Hoodlum in E's Uterus,


We learned your sex today. Which, of course, is unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but because it gives us more insight into your mysterious self it is bewitching nonetheless.

Learning your sex was different than how I imagined it would be. I had many idealized visions of how the learning would happen. Mainly I envisioned being on the receiving end a lot of hand-holding and reassurance and calming words, but that is beside the point. I had a plan for the learning, because that is how I roll. That is how people taking baby-steps roll.

But the learning didn't go according to plan, and instead happened while I sat at my desk, which is where I find myself during many of life's big events.

(I promise not to be at my desk during your arrival. Swear.)

How strange and sad it was to feel my heart in my throat because the learning was different than anticipated.

Because what's the big deal about your sex anyway? It might not even be the right one -- who knows how you'll feel once you're out here experiencing the world in your body. (You can tell us later if it feels all wrong. Don't even stress about that. )

We assign all this significance to your sex. We have the big anatomy scan. Get a jump start on the gender thing. Meanwhile, you were probably in there thinking to yourself "Ever heard of the Fourth Amendment, people?" while we're rummaging about in your business, checking out your sex organs.

Creeps.

What's really important is meeting you in the flesh. You, out here, acting your own actions and thinking your own thoughts. Doing your little thing. That's what counts. What I'm trying to say is to hell with the plans. I'm certain this was merely the beginning of things that won't go according to plan, anyway. Welcome to being alive.

Plans don't matter. Nothing really matters, in fact, but being a good parent to you, your own little self.

Nothing matters but all of my actions from now until I die. Oops. There goes my blood pressure again. I should sign off before I start fucking you up a bit early.

See you on the other side, L.

With all the love in my racing heart,

GS

P.S. I've enclosed a photograph of your brother/manny ringing in the New Year. He is thrilled to learn that he has a sister on her way to this wild world.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Gender Trouble


I continue to recover from New Year's Eve.

Christmas week stories to come later. New Year's stories not forthcoming.

--

E's ultrasound is next Tuesday. This one is the biggie, the "anatomy scan," which means this one will reveal lentil's sex.

I think I posted before about my deep faith in the Chinese Fertility Calendar. It doesn't lie. And it tells us lentil will be female, unless you calculate the "maternal age" as the egg donor's age, in which case it indicates that lentil will be male.

I think I'd rather have a boy, for reasons enumerated a few weeks ago. E has changed her mind and now also wants a boy. We were having a rare moment the other day, standing in the baby room and talking about lentil. People gave us a lot of baby shit for Christmas and we were looking at it with our usual disbelief.

We got some really fucking adorable stuff, btw. A tiny onesie with a guitar on it. A long and skinny hare clad in highwater jeans and a turtleneck sweater.

I used to have this t-shirt with "I'm Kind of a Big Deal" written across the front. Everyone loved it when I wore this shirt. The shirt has since been lost, but one of the shirt's biggest fans got us a pink onesie that says the same thing.

As we stood there looking at this stuff, I told E this pink onesie would be cutest on a boy. And -- like I knew she would -- she freaked out.

E: "A boy cannot wear this onesie."

GS: "What are you talking about? Because it's pink?"

E: "Yes, because it's pink. And the writing is in cursive."

GS: "Are you serious? Listen to yourself."

E: "Don't start with me."

GS: "He will wear it, and I will buy him a matching purse to carry if he wants to accessorize."

I enjoy tormenting E by telling her that if we have a son I will buy him a purse if he wants one. For some reason this really sets her off. This is odd behavior on her part, since I know for a fact that she doesn't have the same gendered ideas about a girl child.

For example, she has expressed a wish that if we have a girl, she hopes that she will take after daddy and be a little tomboy. I assume she'd prefer that to a daughter who takes after her young agoraphobic self.

Another thing I like to say to E is that I hope our child is intersexed. I think that the CFC's confusion about our child's sex could actually be the Chinese Fertility Fairy communicating to us that we're having an intersexed child. This REALLY gets E's goat.

You know what, though? I'd be a fantastic parent to an intersexed person.

If our child is intersexed, my small area of expertise will be utilized and I may begin to look forward to parenting a bit more. How useful would I be to an intersexed kid in this junked up world? Pretty useful. I predict that I would unleash some kickass parenting skills upon my intersexed child.

I was doing some thinking about my thoughts on our intersexed child. I wonder if this means I'm afraid I'll be a useless as a parent, and my hope for an intersexed child is me looking for ways in which I can be useful? Like, besides being a pair of hands to change an ol' crappy diaper.


So, whatever we have will be right. Male, female, intersexed. But if we have a boy, I will buy him a purse.

Because E is the one with the hang-ups.