Dear sir or madam,
You’re currently negative 4 months old, and everything you own right now fits in an Ikea bag.
Now before you get all offended, you should know that Ikea bags are huge. Like, don’t expect to bring it to a grocery store as your reusable grocery bag without getting remarks and stares.
With that out of the way, I want you to know what’s in that bag — I want you to know your first four possessions:
1. Periodic table blocks: The very first material item you owned was a set of building blocks with the periodic table on them. If you haven’t figured it out by the time you read this letter, Y is a bit of a science buff. I’m going to guess that he has gotten frustrated with you for not knowing something science-y at least 100 times by now. I predict the first time was somewhere around day 3 of your life.
The other night Y and I went to a frozen yogurt place with a chemistry theme. The flavors are displayed to look like a periodic table… but that periodic table was not accurate enough for Y. And he told me allll about it. That was a long frozen yogurt date.
2. Swaddling blankets: It seems to me like you should know who gave you your very first gift, and in this case it was our sweet friend (and Y’s coworker) Rachel and her husband. Y thinks so highly of them that one time we all went bowling, and as Y was entering our names into the computer, he completely forgot Rachel’s husband’s name. “Hey man,” he asked, “how do you spell your name?”
“M-i-k-e,” said Mike slowly.
We treasure their friendship.
3. A flight jacket. For an 18 month old. Because we like to plan ahead (and because it was 50 cents at a garage sale. Only the finest for you, my future aviator!)
4. Vintage flashcards. I found these flashcards from the 60s at something called Junk Bonanza (I repeat: only the finest for you!) I got all the important flashcards: dinosaur, tiger, buffalo, hobo…
Mama loves you,
And so it has gone since I started dressing to accommodate my new little partner in fashion crime. Y has never been shy about telling me what he actually thinks about what I’m wearing (which I like — sometimes I listen and sometimes I override his thoughts), but lately his comments have really been making me laugh.
So, instead of standing in front of a wall week after week in a tight shirt and answering questions about how many stretch marks I have and whether my wedding ring is on or off, I thought this would be a more fun way to document my pregnancy (and keep the age old Just Dandy tradition of poking fun at Y alive).
I wore these $5 H&M maternity pants on my flight home from Carol Convention and opted out of the body scanner at the airport. As the nice pat-down lady started her pat-down routine and I stood with my arms out wide, she put her hands on my hips.
“Is this your waist band?” she asked.
“Nope,” I replied. “Higher.”
She moved her hands up a few inches. “Here?”
She moved her hands up a few inches above my belly button. “Here?”
She moved her hands up until they were basically at my bra. “Here?” she asked, exasperated.
“There you go.”
And then she pulled my shirt up so the entire San Diego airport could see my 4 month pregnant torso covered in this pattern that makes me “look like a weird bug.”
SPOILER ALERT: I had no weapons on my person.
I think I legitimately squealed when I got my Carol Convention reveal package in the mail. AJL had us all fooled — every single one of us thought we were going to South Carolina. So when I pulled the California postcard and California shaped sugar cookies out of a hot pink Baggu bag, I was completely shocked.
We spent the weekend in the cutest house in La Jolla, a half a block from a beach where perfect people played with their perfect toddlers and wore thongs that showed off their perfect butts.
Five years ago, in Dallas, we decided to call ourselves Carol to solve a problem: creepy guys talking to us in bars. This year we stood outside of a coffee shop in Coronado pulling grey hairs out of each other’s heads.
I guess we solved our little problem.
Is it just me, or have articles with titles like this taken over the internet recently? It’s gotten to the point where I don’t talk to anyone anymore for fear that I will offend them — but let’s be honest, I probably wasn’t going to talk to them anyway because my eyes are glued to my phone where I’m simultaneously refreshing my Instagram and reading an article called 12 THNGS YOU SHOULDN’T SAY TO PEOPLE WITH BROWN HAIR.
I do think I tend to see more posts calling out people for daring to say things to pregnant people or mothers (Exhibits a, b, c, d) and I always wondered if those same things would offend me when I was pregnant. Sure enough, I’ve developed my own list:
5 things you should never (ever!) say to a pregnant woman (or anyone, really):
1. Look at you! Pregnant, you resemble a walrus!
2. I’m going to murder your family tonight!
3. Congratulations! I bet your kid grows up to be Hitler.
4. YOU’RE pregnant? And it’s HIS baby? Did you guys consider… you know… going to the schmashmortion clinic?
5. BRB, honey, going to join ISIS!
Basically my advice to you this weekend is LIGHTEN UP, WORLD. There are some pretty terrible things people could say to you, and then… there’s the stuff you would be a whole lot happier if you didn’t get so worked up about.
Dear sir or madam:
Is that too formal? I was always taught that when you were writing to someone important, but weren’t sure to whom you were writing, you use “sir or madam.” Since you’re the most important person, we’ll just go with that. Also, consider this your first writing lesson.
Let me tell you why we’re not quite sure if you’re a sir or a madam. One day in May of 2014, your dad (that sounds weird. Let’s just keep calling him Y, short for Your Dad) came home incredibly excited.
“I was just talking to my OB friend. Let’s not find out the sex,” he said.
This was like, twelve minutes after we knew I was pregnant. I hadn’t really thought about it.
“She says births where the parents don’t know the sex are a lot more fun and everyone seems a lot happier,” he continued. “And she said, ‘really, how many surprises are there left in life these days?'”
That sounded slightly suspect — I’m sure births where the parents know the sex aren’t actually less fun — but in my head, I pictured sad trombones in a hospital room filled with pink balloons. I didn’t want a sad birth. Plus, the second part rang true. I don’t think I’ve ever been surprised about anything, ever.
It was settled, 14.5 minutes after finding out I was pregnant. We weren’t going to find out whether you were a boy or girl.
Later, someone asked me if we planned to find out. “Nope,” I said. Y looked at me in horror.
“What? When did we decide that?” he asked.
“When you announced it dramatically after talking to your OB friend? Do you not remember?” I said.
“We never had that conversation,” he protested. (He still claims that to this day)
Let this be a warning to you, Baby. Y remembers approximately 2 out of 10 things he and I talk about. He already seems to like you more than he likes me, so I predict he will remember 4 out of 10 things you two talk about. Still not stellar. So prepare yourself.
You’re going to say “dada” for the first time and two days later, he’s going to be all, “JESUS, IS OUR KID EVER GOING TO SAY ANYTHING?” He’s going to tell you you can get a new iPhone 37c and then the next day, BAM. Conversation never happened.
It’s okay. We still love him.
Mama loves you,
P.S. Is there a chance you are a koala? You’re up all night and I’ve been strangely drawn to the scent of eucalyptus lately. Kick twice if you’re a koala.