Friday, January 30, 2009

What the books don't tell you...

Childhood milestone #1 that they don't tell you about in any book: The day your son discovers his testicles.

The other day I went into the bathroom to check on E after he had spent a disproportionate amount of time in there alone. My assumption was that I would find him flushing golf balls down the toilet or repainting the walls with lipstick. Instead I found him standing in front of the toilet, intently fondling himself down there. While I am certainly aware that this, in and of itself, is not surprising behavior in any male at any age, I was curious as to what was going on in the little guy's brain (give me credit for not saying 'In his head'). Also, I strive to be the uber-hip-and-with-it mom who encourages her children to have a healthy relationship with their bodies and to be able to discuss things in an open and supportive way. Or at least, I was. The following is our actual dialogue that has not been edited in any way. Oh how I wish I could edit it, but it has been tatooed on my brain...

Mommy: Hey E man, whatcha doin'?
E: Mommy what's this? (much fondling of his junk)
M: It's just a part of your weenie, honey.
E: Oh. (pause). There's something in there. What is it?
M: (Think, brain, think! What the hell do I say? Testes? No, too clinical. Gonads? No, too weird. Nuts? No, also too weird and will definitely lead to issues the next time we make cookies and put nuts in them. Oh crap. What do I say, what do I say?? Isn't it the daddy's responsibility to handle questions about the boy parts? Where the hell is he? Crap, crap, CRAP! Need to come up with an answer now....) Well, honey, it's... um...
E: Mommy, it's like a little ball.
M: (whew) Yes, baby. It's a little ball.
E: Mommy, can I play with it?
M: Um, yeah... well sure, you can play with it. But it's the kind of ball that is only to be played with in private. And, um... it's only for you to play with, okay? No one else can play with it.
E: Okay Mommy. Can I throw it or bounce it?
M: Um... well... I don't think that's such a great idea. Hey, who wants to eat some cookies and watch Fireman Sam?!?!?!?

Note the swift mommy-diversion tactic I employed at the end. I've got mad skills when it comes to child rearing, people.

Now, I've read all the books- What to Expect When You're Expecting, What to Expect the First Year, What to Expect the Toddler Years, The Over-Reactive Type A Moms Guide to Childrearing, etc- and I have never (NEVER) found one bit of advice that would have been useful to me in this situation. Not one little nugget, little factoid, little blurb, that even in an off-handed manner mentioned "Oh, yeah- in about 3.5 years your son will start playing with his nutsack and start asking you uncomfortable questions you are thoroughly unprepared to answer. And by the way, he will probably loudly repeat the same questions days later while you are standing in line at Wal-Mart, so be warned."

Publishers and writers of America take note: how can you write a 500 page tome about 'What to Expect' and not even mention this? You waste my time with flowcharts and diagrams about when to call or not call the doctor- knowing full well that any mother anal enough to buy a 500 page book on how to care for a baby (and the 3 subsequent volumes) is going to page the oncall physician at home the day Junior spikes his first 99 degree temp- yet give no mention of how to handle delicate topics like 'testicles' and 'why poop looks like chocolate but it isn't really chocolate'. At least that information would be useful.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One more for the road?

So the other night as we are lying in bed and I am drifting off to sleep, Mr. Bad Mommy decides to drop a bombshell on me. "You know hon," says he "sometimes I think I want to have another baby".

Um, excuse me? What exactly did you just say? Because I think I just heard you say you might want to have another baby and I know that can't be true, so clearly I was hallucinating, dreaming or both.

"No really. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have another baby. We make such cute, sweet babies".

Hmmm. Interesting. I allow this little nugget to traverse through my synapses for about 1 nano second before I jump up, throw my husband to the ground and start screaming "You and your incredibly potent sperm need to get the fuck away from me! Have you lost your goddamned mind? Don't touch me! What the fuck is wrong with you?!?!?!?". I only stopped screaming when the aneurysm in my head burst.

Now before you judge me too harshly, let me just tell you that this is the same man who I found in the bathroom with a pair of rusty scissors, trying to give himself a vasectomy after a particularly challenging day at home alone with the children. And there were only two of them. Now he's thinking about three???

About 5 minutes after his potentially life-changing declaration, Mr Bad Mommy is blissfully snoring away. (On the couch. With a tourniquet around his nuts). Meanwhile I'm awake with all my crazy thoughts. Another baby? No way. Definitely not. No Sir-ee!

I love my children. My two children. We are incredibly blessed to have 2 happy, healthy, sturdy and robust (if somewhat accident prone) kids. If you consider the fact that I was 31 when E was born and 32 when M was born, we had no troubles conceiving, I had two uneventful pregnancies, and we have only made 2 ER visits in the past 4 years, we have already won the breeding and babyhood lottery. Do we really want to roll the dice again? In a few short weeks I will turn 35 and would be classified as 'Advanced Maternal Age' and if that declaration alone isn't enough to make me run screaming for the Botox and Prozac, the additional risks, worries, and prenatal testing involved in an AMA pregnancy certainly are. What if there was something wrong with the baby? What would we do? I know the answer is 'Roll with it and do your best to raise the baby the best you can' just like you do with any kid. They are all full of uncertainties. But do I really want to go through another 9 months (plus 18+ years) of worrying?

What about my career? Do I really want to tell my boss I got knocked up again? How will I answer E and M's questions about how the baby got in there? Where would we put another carseat? Can we afford to move to a bigger house? How much fatter can I get in the name of procreation? What would we name this kid- we never could decide on another boy's name! How high up would they have to tie my bladder after 3 babies so I don't pee on myself when I giggle? Is it considered child abuse to make a baby's room out of a walk-in closet? How old would I be at this kid's high school graduation? College graduation? Medical School graduation? How much would it cost to put 3 kids through college? Will I ever be able to retire? Do we have any liquor in the house?

What if I have twins? Sweet baby Jesus- WHAT IF I HAVE TWINS????? Do they make maternity straightjackets?

I know, I KNOW- I'm freaking out. It's what I do. Like you haven't figured that one out already.

Over the next few days the idea of the possibility of having another baby begins to invade my brain- like one of those parasitic worms from the Peruvian jungles that they show on the Discovery channel. Maybe another baby IS a good idea! I start thinking of names for my little phantom baby and I can almost smell the musty-sweet baby smell. I start openly fantasizing about four days in the hospital where they bring you food (even if it is crappy) and if you pick up the phone someone will come and take the baby away so you can take a nap. It sounds just heavenly! Why haven't I thought of this before?

I'm jolted out of my fantasy when I hear the crash of dvds falling onto the floor because E has used a rocking chair to climb up on top of the entertainment center so he can watch more Dora. Meanwhile M is sitting on the floor sharing a contraband lollipop with both dogs and trying to make the VCR work by sticking a fork in it. Clearly what this scene needs in another kid added to it. I wonder what drugs my husband has secretly been slipping me.

Later that evening as I am picking peanut butter out of dog fur, my husband says the sweetest words that have ever come out of his mouth- "You know what I said the other night about having another baby? I think I must have been out of my fucking mind."

I just smiled and gave my BFF the IUD a big hug.