Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Tail of the Bald Puppy

This is a story of how a puppy ruined my life. And not just any puppy. An ugly, wrinkled, bald puppy. An ugly, wrinkled, bald puppy who doesn’t even know proper butt sniffing etiquette.

But I get ahead of myself. First allow me to introduce myself. Or re-introduce, as the case may be. You may remember me from the last time I took over Aprill’s blog. I’m Buffy, her long-suffering male dog.

Oh yes, you read that right…MALE dog. Apparently being a Joss Whedon fan means you no longer have to acknowledge gender when coming up with a pet name to impress your stupid, geeky friends. Never mind the psychological damage you inflict on said poor animal when the Duke’s and Princess’s of the world get wind of the name. Dogs may be man’s best friend but they can be complete assholes to their own kind (butt sniffing is not nearly as innocent an act as you guys assume). You’d think taking my manhood when I was a puppy (a PUPPY, for canine’s sake!) would be enough emasculation for any creature but oh, oh no. Let’s also add a frilly name from an obsolete 90’s show that only people with extensive knowledge of their parent’s basement watched.

Not that I’m bitter or anything.

But back to the bigger issue.

Now, when they first brought the bald puppy home, I thought it was great. My very own interactive chew toy! Complete with neverending battery! And super gross smells!

Unfortunately, within the first 30 seconds of our initial meeting, it was made clear to me, in no uncertain terms, that this was not the case. I swear, that stupid crying lump’s first words are going to be “Buffy” followed by “No” followed by “I said ‘no,’ dammit!”

Buffy 1

And things only went downhill from there. For instance, every time the bald puppy cried (which was A LOT, by the way), I would growl and bark. In my mind, the only reason for any creature to make that much noise is when there is an imminent threat to all of our very lives, such as the neighbor from three houses down had closed a door or the wind blew through a tree in Delaware. So I was simply trying to help the bald puppy alert our owners that there was obviously an emergency on hand, such as the mailman was on our porch and was probably going to pee on all the spots in the yard I had peed on.

Incredibly courteous of me, right?

Alas, Loud One and Spiky Head (my not-so-affectionate nicknames for my owners) didn’t see it this way. I was told, rather rudely, to shut the hell up and then threatened with not just a rolled up magazine but a rolled up September Vogue magazine (the leading cause of concussions in dogs).

Meanwhile, the bald puppy, who was making just as much noise as I was (if not more) was cuddled and actually rewarded for his whiny bark with food!

FOOD!

My very favorite thing in the entire world besides BALL and ROLLING AROUND IN DEAD THINGS!

Can you believe it?

And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, when I wasn’t getting yelled at, I was being completely ignored. Judging by the smell, the bald puppy was going potty every hour or something insane like that. Inside the freaking house! Which is something I’ve never been allowed to do if I don’t want to see the business end of the Sunday Times. They even put a wonderful poo catcher on his butt so he could do it whenever he wanted. And I’m all just over here, like, hey, I haven’t gone outside in 14 hours. But don’t mind me. I’ll just slunk off to the corner and eat my dog food…oh wait, my bowl is empty.

Again.

Buffy 2

It was getting ridiculous.

So then, deciding to make nice with the bald puppy, who was obviously here to stay, I began licking his face (mainly aiming for directly into the mouth, of course) whenever he happened to be within tongue’s reach. And I tell you what, I would get no more than six licks in when Loud One would suddenly push me away.

Knock it off, she said.

Buff, that’s gross, she said.

Well, let me tell you something, lady. You’re gross. Not to mention a hypocrite. I’ve seen you stick your tongue down Spiky Head’s throat many a time so you can just get off your high horse.

But before you go thinking that my owners are just absolutely horrible people, I should mention that they are trying to make it up to me. I get extra treats all the time now and during those brief moments when the bald puppy is asleep in his giant crate, they shower me with love.

And in their defense, they do look horrible these days.

Buffy 3

I’m starting to think they’re being punished by the bald puppy just as much as I am. Apparently he is the new Alpha and we all exist merely to satisfy his every whim (even if that whim is to walk him in a giant counterclockwise circle for three hours while singing “Close To You” by the Carpenters at 3 a.m.).

But let this be a lesson to all you other dogs out there. If your female owner starts to look like she has a giant ball hidden underneath her shirt, RUN.

Run away as fast as you can.

And hide out in the neighbor’s yard until the bald puppy is old enough to start dropping food on the floor.

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Stay-At-Home Moms vs Working Moms

For those of you in the betting pool who picked that I would fail as a mother within a month, bad news: Riker is still alive. Not even maimed yet. Or as far as I can tell, permanently psychologically damaged (granted, that might change once he finally learns to reads and goes through all my old pregnancy blog posts…”Really, mom? My nickname in utero was Demon Wizard? Really?”).

However, now that we have made it to the one month mark fairly unscathed, the real test of parenthood is beginning. All the visitors have left. My husband has gone back to work. And I am now solely responsible for the lil’ Nipple Slayer (“Really, mom? Really?”) for most hours of the day.

Now, I was never one of those people who thought that stay-at-home moms had it easy. Nor did I think working moms were walking on down Easy Street in their pantsuits. And this is because (…brief pause while I dust off this here old soapbox…) I believe myself a true feminist who recognizes that women should not be judged for their life choices just because it isn’t the same as your life choice (…steps down and gently places soapbox back in its hiding place in the closet, right beside seven year’s worth of BUST magazine…).

But now that I am a few days into this new visitor-free, husband-less child care routine, while simultaneously still working from home writing my (WARNING! WARNING! Shameless self-promotion ahead!) award-winning newspaper column, I feel I can fully empathize with both sides.

In fact, just for fun, let me take you through a typical day of mine.

It usually begins at 4 a.m. That is, if my son decides it starts at 4 a.m. He could also decide to start it at 2 a.m. Or 3:17 a.m. Or, if he’s in a really festive mood, we simply blend the previous day into the next day with no discernible break in between.

Still half (occasionally all) asleep, I attempt to change his diaper, which he has turned into a fun game I like to call “Let’s Poop And Pee As Much As We Can In The Tiny Window Of Time Between Removing One Diaper And Thrusting The Other One Underneath My Tushy.”

He usually wins.

He also almost always wins what I call the Bonus Round, which is when he manages to pee on me no matter where I’m standing at the changing table.

We then eat breakfast, and by we I mean him and by breakfast I mean he gnaws on my breast for 35 minutes like a starving, feral piranha. Repeat three times until mid-morning when I finally get 47 free seconds and use it to eat my own breakfast of a moldy blueberry muffin, daintily crammed into my mouth whole.

After that, I usually kjfjfjfjfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff…

Oops, fell asleep on the keyboard. Sorry about that. What was I saying?

Well, anyway, at some point he finally falls asleep again, which is when I put him down in the crib for a nap, which is apparently the international baby sign for WAKE UP IMMEDIATELY AND START CRYING HYSTERICALLY! So I pick him back up and try to calm him while at the same time trying to clean my house at least a little bit considering I haven’t seen the dog in about three days and I suspect he’s stuck underneath the world’s largest pile of burp cloths.

Day in the life 2

At some point, I will actually get to go to the bathroom, which is when I notice I have run out of maxipads. And with necessity being the mother of invention and all, I make the executive decision to use one of Riker’s diapers until such time as I can get to the store (which I’m guessing will be in June).

By now, I’m lkkdkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk…

Oopsie. Fell asleep again. Um…where was I?

Well, it doesn’t matter. Let’s just say at this point I realize I have a looming deadline and need to finish (re: start) my column. So I put the baby in the magical vibrating bouncy chair I got at my baby shower and proceed to write exactly one sentence before I start to feel guilty because the baby is just sitting there, staring at me, doing nothing. And all the stupid baby books say you have to stimulate your baby CONSTANTLY or else he’ll end up as a drooling vegetable by the time he’s an adult. Or worse yet, an employee for the Department of Motor Vehicles.

So I then pick him up and try to write with him in my arms but this, as you can imagine, is less than sldddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd…

AH! Where am I!? Oh. Sorry. Happened again.

Well, at this point we’ve reached what is usually called “the witching hour,” which is when your baby decides to cry for three hours straight for no discernible reason. Although if I had to discern the reasons why he was crying, it would look something like this:

Day in the life 1

And now it’s the end of the day (the term “day” being subjective to my son’s whims, of course), I still haven’t showered, I have a tiny diaper shoved in my underwear and my column has exactly one sentence written and this helpful note below it:

“Something funny about soapboxes here.”

So, to all you mothers out there, I feel your pain. But let me share with you the one piece of advice I received that has truly saved my life and works whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or working hard at the office or doing both like me. And that advice is dffffgggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg…

Why women should run the world

There are a lot of reasons why women should run the world. For instance, most of us usually carry tissues with us at all times (in addition to the 52 other random items in our purse), which could come in handy when dealing with, say, a maniacal dictator who has a runny nose.

Dictator: “I WILL BOMB YOUR COUNTRY! DEATH TO…(sniffle)…AMERICA!”

Woman: “Would you like a tissue?”

Dictator: “Why, yes, I would. (Blows nose). OK, fine, no death to America. In fact, I’d be willing to step down if only you could also give me stolen sugar packets from various restaurants and lotion that smells like a pumpkin spice latte.”

Woman: “Well, as a matter of fact… (reaches into purse).”

But let me give you the most obvious reason we should run the world:

Breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding, you say?

Yes, breastfeeding.

Let me explain.

I want you to imagine the following scenario:

You are in a hospital, where after 33 hours of labor and no sleep followed by major abdominal surgery  (in which the doctor says “you will feel some pressure” but really means “you will feel like the bottom of your stomach is peeled back all the way up to your neck while a bunch of rabid squirrels root around in your intestines,”) they will hand you an adorable honey badger that they then want you to put on one of your most sensitive body parts, which the honey badger will gnaw on until it bleeds and cracks.

And then you are asked to repeat that last part every two to three hours while you recover from this major surgery and continue it, at least according to the breastfeeding Nazis out there, until the honey badger goes to college.

Also, and this is the most important part, despite the fact he is ripping that extremely sensitive body part to shreds on a daily basis, you are not allowed to punch him in the face. Even though you would instinctively resort to such violence should anyone else on this planet cause you that much physical pain, you must never. punch. the. baby. in. the. face.

(This is a mantra you will repeat often to yourself).

Are you imagining all this? If you are, it means you are a man. See, because women don’t have to imagine it. We are expected to do it. Like it’s the most natural thing in the world. Like sobbing heaving sobs at 4 a.m. while your nipples are sadistically tortured is totally normal. Like contemplating chopping off your own hooters with a dull ax because it simply HAS to feel better than continuing to breastfeed is par for the course when you’re a mother.

This is why women should run the world. Not only because we are made out of the strongest stuff found on Earth (evidenced by the lack of news stories of women routinely being arrested for punching their baby in the face while breastfeeding), but also because you buttheads owe us. If you exist, it’s because some poor women gave up her body and her sanity to create you and then destroyed both a little bit more to keep you alive.

So, if you’re a world leader, or have a senate seat, or run an evil empire from a giant cave hidden in a boulder that looks like a skull, it’s time to step down and give that position to your mother.

She’s earned it, goddamn it.

 

 

A swamp demon is born

I’m back, folks. Sorry it’s been so long since I posted. After a gestation befitting an elephant, I can now finally say I have a human. And not just any human. My very own human. Made from scratch, thankyouverymuch.

Birth story 1

And as such, I’ve had very little time for writing, what with my days being filled with the following scenarios and all:

Birth story 2 Birth story 3 Birth story 4 Birth story 5 Birth story 6

But it wasn’t easy to get here (here, of course, being an exhausted new mom with crazy witch hair and covered in bodily fluids of varying consistencies that are not her own).

Then again, it wasn’t the dramatic and chaotic tale that Hollywood likes to tell.

Oh, you know what I mean. You’ve seen it a hundred times in the movies and on TV. There she is, some pregnant woman (who gained a grand total of seven pounds…all in her boobs) out and about when suddenly her water breaks in a giant gush worthy of a scene in “Titanic.” Immediately she starts having hardcore contractions because the baby is coming RIGHT NOW. Naturally, dad is freaking out and hilariously struggling to put his pants on (which he can’t because they are actually HER pants and of course they won’t fit because, again, she has only gained seven pounds…in her boobs). Cut to him frantically pushing her through the hospital in a wheelchair while she does that weird breathing thing (because, again, the baby is coming RIGHT NOW). And then immediately after this, she is pushing with all her might while screaming PG-13 obscenities at her husband. Cut to a zoomed-in close up of his face twisted in pain because she is squeezing his hand so hard and then BOOM. The baby is out in roughly 45 seconds, clean as the pure-driven snow and definitely not screaming like some horrific swamp demon.

Now, as you parents know, this is not the way it actually happens. Especially the part about cursing (women in labor could put any sailor to shame). But for you uninitiated out there, let me show you what a real birth story is like.

First of all, and most tragically, I never got a ride in a wheelchair. In fact, I never even saw a damn wheelchair. But that is my cross to bear, not yours. So…moving on.

My story starts a week after my due date when I went to see my doctor.

Doctor: “Wow. You’re still pregnant? That must be wicked uncomfortable.”

Me: “Get. It. OOOOOOOUUUUUUUTTTTTTTT!”

Doctor: “How about we induce Monday?”

Me: “How about you just hand me a knife and I’ll cut him out myself?”

Doctor: “How about Monday?”

Me: “…(feral growling noises)…”

So, since apparently it’s against some arcane medical code of ethics to let pregnant women cut out their own giant, overdue babies with a kitchen knife, I arrived to the hospital promptly at 8 a.m. the following Monday. And let me tell you, the trip there was full of tense, dramatic dialogue such as:

“You got the hospital bag?”

“Yup.”

“Cool.”

And, of course, this Oscar-worthy exchange:

“I have to pee again.”

“Again?”

“Yeah.”

But as exciting as all that was, it was only once we got there that the action really took off. For instance, there was the moment when my husband and my mom surrounded my bedside as we all watched a movie on my laptop. Then we had to make the agonizing decision of what to have for lunch. Then there was eight more hours of watching crap on the laptop as we waited for me to dilate. Then my mom left to go take care of our dog. And my husband and I watched more movies on the laptop.

Over 12 hours later, my water finally broke. Or at least that’s what the nurse said that barely perceptible trickle of water down my leg was. Soon after that, I started to have real contractions, which was immediately followed by this conversation:

Me: “Oh wow, yeah, I’m a wimp. I’d like drugs please.”

Nurse: “What kind?”

Me: “All of them.”

Alas, it is also apparently against that same arcane medical code of ethics to give a pregnant woman all the drugs, so I settled on an epidural, which I’m convinced is made up of unicorns and rainbows and the happy tears of a teacup pig.

And then we watched more movies.

Thirty-three hours later, however, some actual, non-sarcastic action did take place. The doctor informed us the baby wasn’t responding well to the efforts to induce him and his heart rate was dropping. With the doctor leaving the decision up to us, my husband and I quickly opted for a cesarean. And I will admit that was the scariest thing I’ve ever gone through (although that is a story for another blog).

But after what felt like an eternity, I finally heard the doctor exclaim “Look at that red hair!” and then the sweet, sweet sound of my own little swamp demon bellowing with all his might.

And that is what Hollywood, despite all its special effects and big budgets, can never fully capture: The drama and beauty and chaos of parents meeting their baby for the first time.

I’ll take the real thing any day.

Birth story 7