Reading the fine print

So, I’m doing okay. Today is good. I mean, considering that in the last two weeks I have been living the 100-calorie, snackable version of the pregnancy, labor, and postpartum experience. 12 months of hormones shrunk into a miniature, bite-size portion.

Sadly, it does not taste like an Oreo.

The good news is that my regular medication has leveled out the roller coaster a bit, but I don’t think they make a capsule strong enough that it could totally stand up to the wrath of the female hormone. One minute I’m perfectly fine, sipping a cup of coffee, flipping through a magazine filled with photos of meticulously art-directed living rooms, thinking I’d very much like those square acrylic tables or that pillow covered in suede. An hour later I’m having a panic attack at the thought of taking a shower, the energy it would require, how it seems so dumb that we keep having to do it over and over again, and then extrapolating that to every task in day-to-day life, making the bed or washing the dishes, it never ends. It just keeps going on and on, there is no destination, just the work of trying to get there. Maybe I’m just too sad to push that rock up the hill today.

And then I’m all, shut up. You smell. Go wash your hair.

Yesterday we stopped by the grocery store to pick up some things we needed for dinner, and while I was looking over a selection of salad dressings I noticed Leta eyeing the bulk candy display. She pointed at the bin of Blow Pops, batted her mile-long eyelashes at me, and the next thing you know I’ve thrown four dollars worth of suckers into the shopping cart. Yeah, I know, that makes me some sort of bad mother and whatnot, because she should work for those suckers, should sweat blood and tears before I give in like that, but I doubt she’s going to point back to this specific instance when she drunkenly drives a stolen pickup truck into the lobby of a post office and say, dude, it was because my mom gave me those damn Blow Pops.

I did have the nervous thought that maybe this wasn’t a good idea, because these Blow Pops, they are somewhat different than the usual sucker Leta is used to. They are much bigger, more unwieldy, a bit rounder in shape. And I don’t think I need to tell you how Leta reacts to details that deviate in any way from the The Way Things Should Be, an arbitrary standard in her head that reserves the right to change without notice or warning.

And what do you know, the Blow Pops were a disaster, a tragedy, an unbearable monstrosity. Normally she bites right into her suckers, crushes them into three separate pieces, swallows it, and is then ready for another one. But these Blow Pops were too big for her mouth, and when we told her she had to suck them, had to do a little work to get them to a more manageable size, she just couldn’t come to terms with it, couldn’t comprehend that there were suckers in this world that could not be bitten into. Why would someone do this to her? Why would they go out of their way to make it so complicated? There are better things these people could be doing with their time, like curing cancer or rescuing whales, and here they are using that time to SCREW WITH HER.

So she wouldn’t suck it, refused to participate in something so obviously insane, kept repeating I CANNOT SUCK IT, and that’s when I had to get up and leave the room because my brain was starting to leak out of my ear. She saw me turn toward the door, and that’s when she went hysterical and started screaming YOU SUCK IT FOR ME! YOU SUCK IT FOR ME!

And I was all, no. I am not going to suck your sucker for you, are you out of your mind?


You know, there are certain things I signed up for when we decided to expand the family. And I am more than willing to do certain things, to go certain places. I will hold back her hair when she pukes, I will wipe her mouth and blow her nose. I agreed to the sleepless nights and the years of crying. I won’t even complain when I have to wipe her butt. But I am not going to stand here and pretend that it’s okay that she just asked me to suck her sucker so she wouldn’t have to. Are you kidding me.