Here’s your baby book. Sorry about the *bleep*s

By Mir
September 10, 2006

Hey, I want to start off by saying I LOVE YOU GUYS. (Well, most of you. Nearly all of you. Except those of you who are turds.) I was… well, I was a wreck when I wrote that last post. Those dark times of parenthood reach up and grab me, sometimes, and throw me in the pit and chant “it puts the lotion on its skin” while I whimper and mewl in the corner. Then y’all come along and pull me out and pat me and stroke my hair and tell me I’m pretty and there are many, many more pairs of shoes to shop for before I give up. Thank you for your kindness. And for not just agreeing with me that life sucks.

Anyway, I had my little tantrum meltdown, and then—go figure!—life continued on. As if nothing had ever happened.

When I went to bed on Friday night, all cried out, I could only think about how Monkey is grappling with something and his life may be ruined if we can’t figure it out and WHY DOESN’T ANYONE BELIEVE ME THAT THE SKY IS FALLING. So it shouldn’t have surprised me that Monkey got up on Saturday morning happy as a clam.

[There is a part of me that believes that my children deliberately fuck with my head and then laugh about it behind closed doors. I know it’s probably not true, but I can’t help it.]

So we had breakfast and got him suited up for soccer and went out to the field and I watched as the coaches valiantly tried to herd the children into playing an actual game rather than just wandering around the field with their fingers in their noses. In the end, Monkey’s team lost 6-0 and he absolutely could not have cared less. He was sweaty and grass-stained and delighted to be alive, and I was so bamboozled by the entire thing (he’s angry! he’s unable to tolerate frustration! now he’s utterly unperturbed! he’s happy with failure!), I took the kids for ice cream. Because that is pretty much my fallback strategy as a parent. Frozen dairy confection for everyone!

The weekend continued on, and I got to thinking about how lousy I was at updating the kids’ baby books. Chickadee’s is filled out diligently to about six months, and Monkey’s is almost empty. I just couldn’t manage to sit down and take note of that first word, first solo butt wipe, whatever. Each time I’m sure I was convinced that I would remember until later, and then later I’d forget to get the book out, and later still, that memory would’ve evaporated.

It’s my hope that someday the kids will look at the things I’ve written about them and really get a kick out of my perspective on their growing up. I hope they’ll forgive me for swearing here and there. I hope they’ll understand how loved they are, even though sometimes they baffle me.

I might not be able to tell them what day they took their first steps, or when Chickadee no longer insisted her name was “Chiggychiggychiggydee” or when Monkey stopped calling her “Chick-dadee,” but thanks to the blog, I am immortalizing the freak-outs right alongside things like when the children discovered that birds don’t eat french fries and wear hats in the spring.

With that in mind, I’d like to tell you about a conversation my son and I had earlier today.

Monkey: Mama?
Me: Yes, honey?
Monkey: Do they always cut the tummies of mommies to get babies out?
Me: What?
Monkey: When it’s time for a baby to come out, how does it get out if they don’t cut the bellies? Do they always cut the mommy?
Me: No, honey. I didn’t have my belly cut for you or your sister. You know how babies get out. Don’t you remember?
Monkey: No. How does the baby get out?
Me: We’ve talked about this before. You really don’t remember?
Monkey: No! Tell me!
Me: The baby comes out the mama’s vagina, honey. That’s the regular way for the baby to get out.
Monkey: *stunned silence*
Me: *doing dishes and trying not to giggle*
Monkey: Mama?
Me: Yes, love?
Monkey: I’m REALLY glad I’m a BOY.


  1. CharlestonGirl

    I love your little Monkey and Chickadee too! You are such an incredibly talented woman, I am in awe. I have been reading you for quite a while now, having latched on from someone else’s blog…I think it was nothingbutbonfires. You seem like an amazing woman. Normal, crazy, funny, amazing woman! :) Your writing inspires me and I think you are a terrific mom. You care what is going on and you try to figure it all out. Isn’t that all any of us can do? Thank you for sharing your struggles and triumphs with your blog. You have brightened many days for me and I am sure I am not alone. As to the meltdowns, yours and his….take good care, it will all come around. Trust yourself and your Monkey!

  2. Catherine

    Hold the phone… mommies don’t always have to be cut open to get the baby out? Wish I’d known that, would have saved on the painkillers. :)

    Good for you that you have this blog. Baby books are so 20th century. And, yes, I say that because my kids’ baby books are very new looking too. I more often near a computer than I am a baby book to jot down the cute/irritating/unbelievable thing that was said/done. Besides, does Monkey’s baby book have a spot for: conversations you’ll laugh about later? Yeah – didn’t think so.

  3. Aubri

    That’s funny… I’m pretty sure my husband I had that same conversation a few weeks ago.

  4. Betsy

    I don’t think I ever *got* baby books for either kid, let alone left them unfilled out. Baby pictures? Piled in a big cardboard box somewhere in the basement.

    But 11 years from now, my daughter’s future prom date is going to have a field day when he Googles her (I’m pretty sure her pseudonym will still be appropriate.) And I’ll have made life easier for the guy who’ll write my son’s unauthorized biography after he’s made his first million…

  5. Krisco

    I”m glad you’re getting some perspective and that he had a fun day at soccer.

    And the thought of the whole baby thing would gross me out too, if I hadn’t been through it already a couple times… : )

  6. Valbee

    I never had baby books either, and perhaps that’s a good thing, since I was a single mom of twins. There’s no way I could have kept up! But Mir, if there’s one thing I’ve realized it’s that people like us are the norm. I fizzled out on the School Days books by about third grade. That doesn’t make us lousy moms. We may not have captured all those memories for posterity’s sake, but we still LIVED those moments with our kids. Ultimately, that’s the important thing.

  7. Stuart

    As a Dad I can totally understand the meltdown scenario (and I only get to spend limited time with my kids!!!) Great honesty here.

    To simmer down, I just bury my head in the garden and smell a rose or two. TIP: Check for pollenating bees first.

  8. Bob

    I expect this won’t be the last time Monkey is glad he isn’t a girl.

    Kids at that age are so remarkable. Life is still lived in the moment and yesterday’s traumas are just that – yesterday’s. I know that he, and you, will be fine.

  9. MMM

    THAT (conversation) is hilarious!!!!!!!

  10. Fraulein N

    Hee. I think Monkey was so horrified, he blocked out the first time you told him how babies usually get out.

    You should have seen my face when I first learned how babies get out. Not funny, Mother Nature!

  11. Annabelle

    Hi, I am new to your site, but I love it.
    I have already experienced guilt about not tracking down every sneeze or burp in my daughter’s baby book (Actually, I have not even written her name into it yet). In fact I just remembered that I was supposed to document my pregnancy experience, but funnily enough spaced out for ten months instead and found myself wandering out of the pantry with a mouthful of cookies. I think the whole baby book thing is rather insidious, as if we don’t have enough to do already! I agree with the other commenters, that blogging is the way to go… I look forward to reading more about your Chickadee and Monkey!

  12. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

    It kind of makes me wish I was boy too.

    You can tell him having them cut out isn’t really pleasant either.

  13. Aimee

    Oh no — not a vagina! Yikes. Gawd. I remember the first time I had that talk with my mom. I examined myself afterwards with a growing sense of panic. WHICH of these teeny tiny holes is supposed to be big enough…? AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  14. Lesley

    Yes! I remember when I would take my oldest (now 11) to his counselor after a really difficult week at school. So difficult that I loved him, but I didn’t much like him at the time. KWIM? (Thinking back, I believe my boy’s favorite rule to break was not keeping his hands to himself–in a big way.) Anyway he would sit there and be so articulate recounting his feelings to his counselor, and so cute, and just awesome, that I could easily isolate the behavior from the child. I’m so glad Monkey had a good day Saturday and that you celebrated it with him.

  15. Ani

    Regarding the school meltdowns (sorry to bring up that subject…) Does Monkey have his tonsils/adenoids? With his history of allergies, they might be enlarged, and messing with his sleep. My urchin #1 had similar meltdowns (and bad allergies), and it turned out he had sleep apnea, his enlarged tonsils/adenoids interrupted his sleep. No sleep makes for very cranky boys. School focus and behavior improved considerably after surgery.

    Good luck, you are a great mom, and we are all here to back you up.

  16. Jenn2

    Oh Mir, I am sending long distance cheers and hugs. My husband used to say pain is weakness leaving the body. Now he says PARENTING is weakness leaving the body. Not for the faint of heart!

    After the birth of her two siblings, Drama Queen has decided she is adopting children and requesting that they be potty trained. I told you she was way too smart!

  17. Cele

    Too precious. It is especially nice to hear your children are resiliant, strong, and insightful. Now do I get my ice cream too? :)

  18. Brigitte

    My “baby book” is a pile of torn-off scraps of paper loosely tucked into her doctor-appointment book – whatever catalog margins were handy to scribble on at the time! Maybe one day they’ll make it to a real baby book.

  19. Ben

    I’m glad I’m a boy, too… ;)

  20. InterstellarLass

    I’m just glad they make really good pain killers.

  21. Ei

    Tears…oh I love that Monkey.

  22. TrudyJ

    LOL! I had that “where do babies come out?” conversation with my 6 y.o. daughter the other day. She had no clothes on at the time and it was worth the price of admission to see her trying to work out how THAT was going to happen. Reminds me of my mom’s story about telling me the facts of life at age 7, complete with pictures from the medical book. My horrified response: “You mean THAT THING has got to go IN ME???!!!” End of lessons.

    Sounds like you are doing a great job with the Mom thing. Ice cream covereth a multitude of freak-outs.

  23. rachel

    I’m so glad you had a healing weekend. What a gret boy to make you laugh. and thanks for sharing the laugh!

    I hope he had a good day at school today. I like the idea of curing all ills with ice cream – my ice cream maker is going right this minute.

  24. Christina

    OK, so my 2 youngest were in the tub together tonight, girl 2yo and boy 1yo, never before has it been a topic for discussion that they are not equipped in the same way. Now, if you ask my 2yo what her brother has to pee with, she’ll tell you he has a “peanut” and she has a “jina” – LOL. Ice cream definately cures all parenting ills, at least in this house.

  25. Kira

    When Tre asked me that question and I told him, he gave me a horrified look and said with the utmost disapproval, “Why did you do THAT?”

  26. Bryn, North Wales, UK

    Those dark times of parenthood reach up and grab me, sometimes…etc.
    Brilliant! The best description I have ever heard for those occasional days where you can end up thinking that some animals have the right idea about eating their young…….

    From everything I’ve read it won’t be the last time it happens, but if you can recover like this with such humour you’ll be fine!

    Best of luck, & please keep writing

  27. Kathryn, DYM

    This may be your best post title this week. I’m not just saying that.

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