Is there a Mommy in the House?

A few weeks ago, I signed up for the obligatory Mommy and Me class. (Am I the only one who finds the name "Mommy and Me" annoying? It's named from the babies' perspective, but they can't talk yet. When I say it, I feel like one of those parents who pretend to channel and then speak for their baby. Anyway.)

The group facilitator passed around a form requesting basic contact information.
Baby's name? No problem.
Date of birth? Got that.
Pediatrician's phone number? I keep his card in the diaper bag.
Mother's name? JoAn… Wait a minute. Four letters in, and I realized my mistake. I was writing my mother’s name.

After three and a half months, I still don’t feel quite like a mom. I love my baby more than anything, but I lack the skills I think a mother should have. A mother is the kind of woman who can effortlessly get dinner on the table, clean the house and keep a gaggle of kids entertained, no problem. Her dresser has lovely perfume bottles on it, not old dry cleaning tags. She knows how to unpack all the boxes that ended up in the basement, and how to pick a paint color for the kitchen. She knows where the circuit breaker is, and what to do with it. Her linen closet does not look like a college student's laundry bag. She can negotiate successfully with customer service representatives. She is the finder of lost things--she shouldn’t have to hunt for her car keys before leaving the house.

Is there a class for all that?

Attorney Work Product

Baby C visited Greg’s office today. She donned her “My Dad’s a Geek” onesie for the occasion – pandering for a laugh, no doubt. I covered it with an adorable ducky sweater set, which meant that if anyone wanted to read her top, we had to lift up her bib and sweater. I squelched an image of her doing the same thing 18 years from now at Mardi Gras. She’s my daughter, after all, and collecting beads was never my priority. (It must be admitted that my taste veers towards the Puritanical).

Then again, if looks are any indicator, Baby C won’t take after me one bit. All of Greg’s colleagues commented on her strong paternal resemblance, which – frankly – is all I’ve heard about since she was born. Even the woman who cleans our house, who knows Greg only from the picture on my dresser, told me in halting English that “Baby has face of father.” As I left Greg’s office, Karen summed up the past three months of comments. “It was nice of you to be the carrier of Greg’s genes for nine months."

White Knuckles

Our flight back home was the last one out for the night. As we boarded, the pilot announced that the plane was headed to Nashville. All the Washington, DC-bound passengers looked up, then at the person next to them. "Did he just say Nashville?"

A minute later, the pilot made a second announcement. "Sorry, folks, if that sounded like I said we were headed to Nashville. I actually said National. But it's been a long day."

Calling us folks did not make his explanation any more reassuring. I began to wonder if we should try getting off the plane.

As we taxied down the run way, we heard a weird thunk. It’s not paranoia when the flight attendants look worried, too. Our flight attendant disappeared for a minute, and when she came back, she whispered to us that the pilot took out a light on the runway but that he didn’t want her to tell the whole cabin. I bet he didn't.

At this point, we were in the air, so getting off no longer seemed like the safest option, although I did consider it.

One very tense hour later, we landed, unscathed, in the right city. Folks, if you happen to fly out of Boston at night and the runway seems a little dark, you'll know why.


December 31, 2007 - 11:00 p.m. New Mommy announces to the room that her new year's resolution is to stop swearing. I've sworn like a sailor since college, but dread having to report Baby C's first word with asterisks, so have decided to clean up my act.

December 31, 2007 - 11:59 p.m. "The ball is dropping!" my husband called from the next room. "5...4...3...2...1... Happy New Year!" Clink, clink and kisses all around.

January 1, 2008 - 12:00 a.m. "Remember 8 years ago?" someone asked. "Yeah, we were all afraid of Y2K," someone chuckled. "We were in Boston," I said, looking at Greg. "Freezing our as*es off."

As soon as the word was out of my mouth, I realized my error. "Oh, no! Oh, NO!!!"

Ron checked his watch. "Well, you made it to 12:01," he offered.

Happy New Year, everyone.