Her Bad Mother

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Cautionary Tale

Consider this scenario, oh ye bloggers, and learn:

So, one day, you and the husband are sitting around, tapping away at respective laptops when you notice that said husband is transfixed by something on his screen. Transfixed. Staring at the screen. Staring, blinking, and then leaning in to get a better look.

You watch, for a minute. You wonder what he's looking at. Can't be YouTube, because he hasn't got the sound on, and what's the fun of that video of the cat playing piano without the sound? And he's not really the Internet porn type. Strange e-mail maybe? Unusually bizarre spam?

He's not speaking, just peering at the screen of his laptop. You shift, slightly, inching yourself along the sofa so that you can catch a glimpse of what it is that he's looking at. He looks at you, you look at him, and he looks back at the screen.

You lean over slightly, and see a familiar green checkered background. He's looking at your blog. He's looking at this:

He looks at you, and says, unnecessarily, I'm just looking at your blog...

You say, mmm hmm?

And he says, and I'm wondering what this means?

What what means?

What this means. (turns laptop so that screen is in full view.)

You fix him with a blank stare. You know what that means.

THAT YOU'RE...?!?!

Ovulating? Why yes, I am ovulating. We discussed this.


That's an OPK that you're looking at, there.


Not a pregnancy test.


You think that, if - or when - I get pregnant, I will tell the Internet before I tell you? Dude.

Because, please. I might be tempted to just go ahead and trumpet the news to the Internet, but I really would tell my husband first. And family, and a few close friends. Then the Internet.

Because we don't want to give anybody a heart attack.

(Sorry, honey. Hopefully all of the sex makes up for the near-coronary.)


Thanks all for the wonderful encouragement on this new and terrifying endeavour. But, please - is it really terrifying? Someone - only one, mind you, but still - left a comment to the effect of do not do it! you can't handle it! it's hell!. Which, grain of salt and all, but still. Way to freak me out.

Expanding the brood isn't that bad, is it? Cuz, you know, the first one has been a breeze... I'd hate to think that this motherhood gig would get, you know, all hard and shit...

Easy like Sunday mornin', bizatches.


(PS, please, go! Visit the Basement!)


Blogger Heather said...

Okay, love the photo of WB here! I have a gangsta shot of Peanut that I cherish too.

All I can think is that poor soul who scared you to death is still in the "OMG what have I done stage!?!" You know that stage fades even when the tough stuff sticks because the smiles, the coos the baby gangsta love, and the soy cheese on the forehead make it all worth it.

I am just coming out of the OMG stage with #2 and know that if I can make it through these first 9-12 months it's gonna be manageable...and totally fun! We just eat more take out now then I had hoped...but that's okay! Peanut(baby#1) is already attached to Sweet Pea(#2) so there's no sending her back anyway. ;-) We are all totally attached.

11:09 PM  
Blogger m said...

I only have one, so I can't speak with any authority, but people have multiple children all the time and survive and thrive. There will be times when you'll want to pull out all of your hair and run screaming down Bloor St, but the good will far, far, far outweigh the bad.

You're going to do awesome.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, poor guy :P here's to the successful prediction of ovulation and a whole other baby full of wonder!

11:24 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

I can only imagine the look of terror on his face! I bet you won't forgot it for a while. Don't be spooked it is all good I promise. See B&P's post on lying...just kidding! We are house with two delightful girls and up until the moment of daughter number two's birth I wondered how can you love another as much, how can you do this? Really, it just happens, it just is.

Good vibes to you.

11:27 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Hee, I can picture that scenario.

Good luck! Have fun with this project. Work hard and often.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Devra said...

Here is my opinion, take what you like ditch what you don't. I was very freaked out about expanding our family because I am an only child myself. The thought of having two children just seemed overwhelming to me. Particularly since I remembered how my friends and their siblings just about killed each other as kids. BUT. I did take the plunge. Our kids are 4.5 years apart and it was done that way on purpose. (fortunately nature was agreeable and saw our plan to fruition) I also knew I did not possess the organizational skills necessary to have children a year apart from each other.
Even so, despite our planning and methodology, I still had a moment in my 9th month of my second pregnancy where I bolted from our bed and thought "What the fuck are we doing? Our lives were so easy. Our son is potty trained. We can all sleep thru the night..." And I called my best friend who already had two kids. I told her of my panic. My strong desire for pregnancy approved Xanax. (for the record I have never taken Xanax, but at that moment, I was sure I needed it! And dammit, if you need the big guns, get them! but I digress...)

Aviva said this to me and I will say it to you..."Your second child will arrive. You may go thru a period of days, weeks and possibly months where you may feel everything is off kilter and overwhelming. Know that it is normal and eventually you will find your groove again and feel your confidence about yourself as a parent return. Also by then you will probably be able to get a prescription for Xanax if you really need it."

And so, this is my wisdom (and Aviva's in absentia) for you my dear HBM.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Have you seen the photos of my darlings together? Their smiles?? Easy like Sunday morning, indeed. But, uhhh, you might want to skip all the actual text on my blog, because my second child may or may not have rocked my world into something unrecognizable. But look at the SMILES! And the adorable cuddling!! Its all worth it. (and I really do mean that last line, 100%)

And your story made me laugh really loudly and tell my husband the tale. :)

12:27 AM  
Blogger AmandaDufau said...

Two is wonderful! I speak from experience. ;-)

12:44 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

yeah, i gotta admit, i thought it was a pregnancy test at first too. i only graduated stanford with an english degree - who said i could read? :-P

12:50 AM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

A to wonder baby on the matter and you too. And, this is why I blog with the spouse. Poor lamb.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

Ok take a beep breath!! I was a bit terrified when I was pregnant with Harry especially since there was a lot going on with Evan health wise at the time but once Harry was born it was like he had been a member of our family the entire time. I could barely even remember what it was like before he came to join us. I am sure that the same thing will happen to you.

2:14 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Enjoy all the practicing during this ovulation cycle!

Poor hubby, but how funny!

GREAT picture!

4:21 AM  
Blogger JChevais said...

I already have two. it was hard. It was very hard. Only 18 months between them nearly. blew. my. mind.

But now that I look back on that black moment I realise how awesome it was.

what I find disconcerting at this moment in my life (They are 6 and almost 8)? Now I'm considering baby 3.

Not actively, but offmindedly, in the back of my head in a dark place: what would it be like? could I handle it? do I need therapy or something for even thinking these thoughts? am I barking mad?

But babies are awesome in their own right.

You. go. girl.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. At least that's what I tell myself. Every day. For eight years.


There are a lot of advantages to having two kids. It's true that the toddler stage is hard, but then they beging to actually play together, and it's downright miraculous.

Have fun. Oh, and your poor husband!

7:17 AM  
Blogger S said...

Do I get points for thinking that your "I'm ovulating" post was unusually, umm, revealing for you? I mean, going from Narcissus to ovulation and all? I'm laughing about your husband's reaction. It was so...gentle. My husband would have thundered, "There are some things we do not need to tell the world about!"

Laughing even now.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, he seemed calmer than expected.
he did lean in to get a better read.
He's so cute.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Beck said...

I have three kids. We're thinking about four. They're all 2 1/2 years apart, which is a bit too much time in my opinion but what I physically needed between pregnancies. The first couple of months with Baby 2# were hard, but NOTHING as hard as the first couple of months with Baby 1# - you know what you're doing the second time, and are MUCH more confident as a mother. It takes a little while to figure out how to balance two small children, but you can do it. It's not that hard.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I can tell you the fear of dealing with two stays with you through pregnancy. I just keep telling myself that many, many women have had multiple children over the years, and as far as I know, most of those women survived.

And my husband still won't forgive me for telling my mom before I told him that I was pregnant with Cordy. I did tell him first, and I thought he understood, but he was half-asleep and didn't remember.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second what beck said. I'm in the early stages of life with two, and although I love my girls endlessly, the Monkey sometimes rides my nerves. She seems to especially pick times when I'm nursing to get up to the dickens. (although I've no idea what that phrase means...)

go for it. you'll do great.

I'm waiting to get some of those reactions from my husband too. Maybe he doesn't read my blog. Smart man.

8:48 AM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

My kids are two years apart and I'm not gonna lie to you, sister. It's hard, in ways I anticipated and in ways I didn't. But there's a balance. For example:

Yesterday afternoon/evening with the kids was difficult. Julia hadn't napped and was rather...ornery, and Oliver was feeding off of that. They were both being...well, freaks. By the time we got them to bed Dave and I were pooped, but the kids kept it up and woke up several times through the night with nightmares and soother emergencies. I woke up this morning feeling rather...thwarted.

As I was making my coffee, I looked behind me and saw Julia, sitting on the kitchen floor, with Oliver in her lap. She was leaning in, kissing his cheek, and he had one hand gripped around an orange sippy cup and the other was wrapped around his sister's head. They sat like that for several minutes, just hugging.

Makes up for all of the crap. Makes me glad I'm a mom of two.

8:56 AM  
Blogger OhTheJoys said...

My kids are 15 months apart (because I'm AN IDIOT) and it has been hard, sure. I wouldn't trade either one of them... well, not unless it was for something really, really good, you know? Heh.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes...i thought pregnancy test too. but i have three kids and my brain is a little bit fried.

you are going to be fine. sure, it's not easy...but the hardest thing, really, is becoming a mom in the first place. once you are already a mom...you kind of know what to expect, right?

9:21 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Having more means more everything. The house is louder when they are awake and more deliciously quiet when they are asleep. It's more busy, more stressful when they are fussing and needy, more joyful sweet and perfect when they are rolling in the grass together laughing. It's more crowded in the car, the stroller, the shopping cart and under the Christmas tree, at the dinner table and the bathtub. What could be better?

9:43 AM  
Blogger karengreeners said...

hey, who ever thought we could do it the FIRST time 'round? Can't be scarier than that, I say.

Thanks for my morning laugh. felt good.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boo hiss to whomever tried to scare you like that. Go to my blog and look at the photo I posted yesterday of Nathan reading "Green Eggs and Ham" to Kaitlyn. See? Feel better?

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have 6. The first one dramatically changed our lives. The second doubled the work and the fun/love. The rest - no sweat - just more love, more fun, more laughter, more tears, more dishes and lots more laundry. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Three of mine are out of the house now. Two more will graduate HS and leave for college next year. I actually find myself sad that we will only have 1 child around the house. Good luck.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Slackermommy said...

Ooh, don't go read my latest post. Seriously though, there is no greater joy than a house full of kids. Being a parent isn't easy but the rewards are so worth it. Go for it, girl!

10:25 AM  
Blogger Karla Zamora, Digital Analyst said...

Best of luck with that :)

Enjoy the process of getting pregnant.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Grim Reality Girl said...

My kids are 360 days apart -- YAY for the close in age! Good luck to you!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Gwen said...

I agree with the people who said the first one is hardest regardless of temperament. Logistically, two can be crazy, but you'll never experience that death of self--and subsequent rebirth--that you did with WB, the one that sends you spinning off your axis and then floating slowly back to earth, unutterably altered.

You will be just fine. No, better than fine. You will be fantastic.

10:55 AM  
Blogger ms blue said...

Easy as pie. Well I don't actually make pie. I buy it from the bakery.

Just don't run off and have triplets or something crazy like that!

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awww...every female blogger I know is going to have their second child before I even decide to try! I don't want my kids too far apart, but Dawson is 2 1/2 and I fear I'll never get pregnant again. Ugh.

I hope it all works out for you Catherine! I think you'll be able to handle it well. I can tell you've got the mothering skills down! You show us everday with your beautiful writing. :)

11:19 AM  
Blogger Julie Pippert said...

It's the adjustment, I think. Getting new ways of doing new things and new routines. If you transition easily then, really? It should be okay. Me? I transition hard.

But you've already made the transition to parent. So you're way ahead this time.

Look, I won't lie: it's no picnic in many ways.

But then there is the flip side (and there is ALWAYS) a flip side: the ways it is BETTER.

The times you set them up with the Lego tub and say, "Play." and they do, together, long enough for you to fold laundry and watch a Dharma and Greg rerun.

The times the big one gets hurt and the little one comes over, pats her, says, "Otay?" and gives her a kiss. And vice versa.

The times the mischief is caught before it gets out of hand due to thank goodness for tattletelling (who said nobody likes a tattle tell...I LOVE them).

The times the kid licks a lollipop pulled up off the floor and you say "Eh, germs make them stronger." versus flipping out like you did first time around.

The times the sleep gets disrupted and you say, "Oh it's a spurt, this too shall pass," and BELIEVE IT this time.

You have an entirely new person to parent, but you know, you've already been around the parenting block.

GL! (to the TTC bit...that wasn't meant as a snarky evil laugh bwahahaha bit of sarcasm---it's a legitimate wish for good luck) (LOL!)

11:25 AM  
Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

Two is easy. Why do you think I'm adopting another? Puh-leez. It only becomes work after the sixth or seventh.

So I hear.

Not like I'm planning to adopt that many.

At least not without running it past my husband first...


11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha like i said my husband would've dropped dead at sight of that box.your poor hubby.is he ok now HBM?and you will love having another one.its really a lot of fun.i have 4 of them and sure some days i am exhausted but i still love all of them.and it's so much fun.take the plunge and enjoy.you won't regret it.LAVENDULA

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karen said it right - everything is more crowded - especially all the love in your heart. I didn't think I would be able to love #2 as much as #1...I was guilt stricken at first about having enough love and enough me to give. but it's good. Really good. Of course, they are brothers and they are BOYS, so there's a lot of "be careful!!" and "watch out for your little brother", but they are awesome. Besides, the second one is easier in the way that you have a clue about what is going on. It's not easier having two, it's more work, but I found it a lot easier to let certain things go.
Good luck!
Oh, and my man and I work on our laptops at the same time too. I thought we were the only ones! LOL

12:19 PM  
Blogger Mad said...

Duh. I'm a tad daft. Now I get it.

Congratulations on deciding to give it the college try.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Sharon L. Holland said...

Two is just a new groove to find, which you will, even if it takes a few months. If it were that awful, no one would go on to three or four or five or whatever, and plenty of people do.

1:18 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I hear plenty of people saying they love two, although how well I deal remains to be seen as well. best of luck!

1:21 PM  
Blogger sillychick said...

When it was just me and my son people would ask all the time if I was ready for another. My response? "No, no and HELL no!"

But then we had the Princess and it changed. She's way different than my son but I'm glad she's that way...she's proven that I can withstand alot of shit :-) Having two kids, to me, is twice as fun.

It could be that they're 6 years apart and I get to see them in different stages, too. Personally, I don't know how people do it when they've had kids back-to-back...more power to them! I like one to be all nice and growed up before I pop out another lol!

1:47 PM  
Blogger Bon said...

my dh, just the other night, got a little...erm...nervous about where exactly the blogging boundaries lie, too. as in, if you were going to discuss our sex life, say...would you tell me first? i laughed, seeing as i know his parents read my blog...there will be no sex life discussions whatsoever, my love, said i.

but, pregnancy announcements? maybe yeh. ;) it's a very efficient form of communication, after all.

i hear two is the new black. you gotta go for it. you'll do great. and then you can be "everybody's bad mother" or somesuch cool thing.

1:52 PM  
Blogger LSM said...

My "baby number two" is now 10 years old, and "baby number three" is almost 8, so I feel like I'm speaking from way across some vast chasm, but I'll just say, you can do this, and it will all be very, very worth it. Both for you and for Wonder Baby. I can remember sitting with my oldest the night before I was scheduled to deliver my new baby and wondering what on earth I had been thinking nine months earlier. She was SO SMALL. How could I DO THIS TO HER? Three days later with my newborn at home, I was thinking, Hey, you're a big kid, go get your own blanky! It was good for all of us.

I will say the transition from one to two was harder for me than from two to three. It's an adjustment. Don't believe anyone who says otherwise. But you'll develop your own new "normal" just like you did the first time around.

1:53 PM  
Blogger moplans said...

HILARIOUS. You got him good.

I am most of the way to crazy with baby #2 and she's not even here yet. Let's be clear I was most of the way there anyway.
I think you just get pregnant and then there is no getting out of it so you just focus on the positives.
Odds are the next one would be more mellow than wonderbaby. Just don't call me on that if she's not.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Run ANC said...

I agree with Beck...it can't possibly be as hard as the first time around...right?? That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Go forth and multiply.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Oh, jeez, that is TOO funny. Husbands. The whole process / paraphernalia / lingo largely escapes them, leading to panic attacks such as you witnessed. Pynchon is mostly like, 'tell me when and where'.


Enjoy the when and where ...

3:11 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

There's a good reason to read the fine print. Hope the husband has recovered. Have fun working on #2!

4:08 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

You go girl. You get knocked up.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Bon said...

ps - back to say i noticed you'd ducked the music meme thus far, but as my own tastes are likely less current than anyone else alive, i invite you out to play.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found out I'm pregnant with number 2, and I went through all the "should we or shouldn't we" arguments. Scary as hell but also sooooo exciting. You won't regret it, and we all know you're a great mom! Wonderbaby will love a brother or sister :)
I grew up with 2 brothers and I can't imagine not having them in my life.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Bad. Hilarious.

And brave. So. Very. Brave.

5:07 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

Thats funny. I like the way you keep him on his toes....god knows wonderbaby keeps you on yours....ther's just gotta be some payback.

Two is great. Easier than one in the strangest of ways, but thats a post and a bottle of w(h)ine type of conversation....

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The WonderBaby caption made me cackle. You're right - between WB and CJ, you and I would be locked in a closet while they went out joyriding. But if they left us a bottle of vodka, that wouldn't be so bad.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I only have one - that is working for me right now.
But, from what I understand, when you have more than one you just end up managing.
Who knows.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Going from zero to one child was such a shock to my system that it made going to two (and then three!) seem like a breeze. Once you are a mom, you are a mom. It's just now about how many butts you have to wipe.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Ha! I knew what the box was for, but can certainly imagine many jumped to the next conclusion. Your husband is going to examine your posts much more closely now . . .

10:08 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Yeah, I can see why the coronary.

Wonderbaby looks like a little ray of sunshine, there....

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me the transition from 1-2 was easier than 2-3, but my first two were 5 years apart, 17 months between the 2nd and 3rd. I don't know how old your kids are yet, so draw your own conclusions :)

I promise you will be fine, and you too will soon be awed and amazed at just how close your kids can push you to the brink of insanity and you still bounce back. Human resiliency is amazing.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Well, it isn't the easiest gig in the world, but it's not like horrible awful torture, either. It's like having one, but bigger. A little more high-endurance. I don't know, having two hasn't been that rough for me, but I had mine four and a half years apart.

1:04 AM  
Blogger flutter said...

I have to go change my pants, I think I've wet them

3:10 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Expanding my brood was the best thing I've ever done. Seriously. The first few months were rough but now we've settled into a fantastic routine and in many ways, my days are so much more entertaining and enjoyable watching the two interact!

7:23 AM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

it's been fricking pretty good round these here parts, have to say:)

9:36 AM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

That is just TOO funny!

My first was a breeze! The second, well, she saw to it that there won't be a third. Oh sure, I say that now, but then she gets all sweet and easy going one day and I think, hmmmm, maybe a third wouldn't be so bad. And oh how I love babies! But then, she gets cranky and whines and cries and climbs up onto the windowsill and dances. Thank god for hair dye! Never a dull moment, I LOVE IT!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

This all helps IMMENSELY. THANK YOU.

(And, Bon - you talked me into it. It doesn't take much talking to get me to do stuff. I'm impressionable that way.)

10:55 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Oh my goodness, I can just picture the panic on your husbands face! Too funny. Mine would also wonder if in fact I'd told the entire internet before telling him.

Just for the sake of clarity, my ambivalence is about going from 2 to 3. I went to two pretty easily, but growing up one of two, with nearly everyone else I know also one of two, I'm having a very hard time even imagining how three kids would work. Now that a few of our friends have had their third already the pressure is mounting.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Mama Sarita said...

My second child has completely enriched my life...my kids are just shy of 2 yrs apart. I love baby 2 for a lot of the same reasons I love my first....but the delight I take in my second child brings a unique joy that only he gives me. Much in the way my little daughter has a special place in my heart.

Sure, some days are hell but you can say that about *anything*! Some days were hell with just my first.

The joy I get from the love they have for oneanother...it almost makes me want a third!!

4:46 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Now that I think about it, that would probably be my hubby's reaction if he saw a pic of an OPK on my blog too. Men can't tell the difference. LOL!

And no, two is not *that* hard. I'll be honest, it is an adjustment, but you'll get into a routine just like you did when WB joined the fam. It'll be great. Plus, I have to agree with the previous commenters about the sibling relationship. It will be absolutely amazing to watch WB & littlest WB or WG together. Amazing. I promise.

9:16 PM  
Blogger karla said...

Now THAT was funny. I'm sure my husband would have thought the same thing!

5:17 PM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

Of course it's terrifying!

But as I sit here typing onehanded at 5:00 in the morning with my new wee one snuggling in on my shoulder trying to work his way down to snuggle under my chin ... i can only say that it is so worth it...

12:04 AM  

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