The summer blogging series (the Easy Listening of writing) continues today with the latest lightweight tidbit to make me laugh out loud.
As someone who’s in her thirties, about to get hitched, and feeling like she is as ready as she’ll ever be to start having kids…this punchy Jezebel post called “You’re So Not Almost Ready for a Baby, Even If You Think You Are” was a hilarious, and probably necessary, kick in the pants.
It’s easy for us soon-to-be-parental types to get ahead of ourselves, to revel in smug self-satisfaction about how we’re at the perfect mothering age, and it will be different for us, easier even, and we will read all the hot new books, blogs and feeds, and then make all the appropriate choices, have healthy well-behaved babies that will do all the right things at the right times, because we are Prepared, dammit. (Even as I write it I feel myself shrinking.)
Then some normal person with an actual kid writes something like this, and I remind myself that these fantasies are akin to—say—my being sure that, though I hadn’t tried yet, I’d totally be able to do a pull-up…until I tried, and flailed under the bar for a while.
If you’re feeling summery (read: lazy) too, just skip to the below list of recommended actions the author, Tracy Moore, suggests you take to truly prepare yourself for having a child, for the duration of about a year prior to conception…like:
- Practice wrestling a large, slippery fish three times a week.
- Wake up every two hours at night, punch yourself in the face, walk around for 28 minutes pleading in jibberish. Go back to “sleep.” Repeat.
- Socialize with friends in 18-second increments.
- Practice asking for the check, boxing up your food and exiting a restaurant in under sixty seconds — two bites into the meal.
- Watch 38% of any film or television show; never see the ending or resolution.
- Read the same three paragraphs of a novel once every two weeks; fall asleep.
- Shower every three to five days, but only for two minutes.
- Hire a makeup artist to make you up to look 10 years older. Look at yourself in the mirror, then laugh, cry, laugh, cry, laugh, cry. Do not go get a drink.
- Pack two additional bags of random stuff to carry with you every time you leave the house.
- Stand around a tennis court and catch fly balls with one hand for two hours a day while also preparing a peanut butter sandwich.
- Practice wrestling aforementioned large, slippery fish, then dress it in seasonally appropriate outfit, including hat and/or jacket. Then go back, remove all clothing, and apply sunscreen. Re-dress fish.
- Memorize The Cat in the Hat, then repeat every evening between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Make 24 hours of baby-crying audio; hit play the moment you take a phone call, fire up your computer, or begin speaking any sentences to another human that contain important or useful information.
- Imagine a mental written list of your responsibilities for each day, tear it in half, burn one piece, take a (literal) shit on the other one. (Sorry.)
I didn’t really get that last one, but maybe it’s an inside joke at the club I haven’t quite joined yet. In the meantime, I give out this book at all the showers I attend nowadays, because, well, it’s still funny from the outside.
Unlike Ms. Moore, my philosophy is: once you cross the divide there’s no going back—might as well enjoy it while it lasts. So, while you’re punching yourself in the face in the middle of the night, I’ll be over here drinking my rosé, eating my tuna roll, watching True Blood Season Three…all the way through. In one sitting.