Every once in a while the parenting gods throw you a bone. You're on the verge of total meltdown, you're investigating the possibility of running away to rural Virginia where no one will think to look for you, you're about to drink an entire Magnum of Yellowtail and eat a whole pan of brownies, when...when a small gift appears. A gift others might see as inconsequential, ordinary, obvious.
Maybe your kid sleeps through the night for the first time and you wake up wondering, what is this feeling? What is this utter lack of exhaustion I'm experiencing?
Or maybe you figure out how to lay the newborn across the boppy just right and prop your laptop up just so that you can simultaneously nurse and type on the keyboard at the same time (even though you'd gotten pretty good at typing with one hand). So what if your spine may be permanently curved into a soft C? You can answer email now, by God!
Anyway, here is my little breakthrough: Last night, I was on a pronounced crying jag, triggered by some hee-haw at the mall asking me when I was due. I don't even remember how I answered, I was so floored. Later, I thought up many sharp-witted responses I could have used, mostly consisting of some form of the retort, "I'm not pregnant, bitch!" So I was feeling my ten pounds of leftover baby weight profoundly, and then didn't eat enough dinner and so felt deprived and hungry and low blood sugary, and then started fretting about everything I wasn't accomplishing in life. How I have so much work to do and Nolie is sick again and so I'll be home with a sick baby all day and only able to watch reality tv and never be able to accomplish anything ever again.
Eric just listened, and told me I wasn't fat, and that he wasn't going to leave me because I was ten pounds overweight--wouldn't if I was 100 pounds bigger, he said--and gently told me that, in the hee-haw's defense, my wearing a maternity shirt may have led her to assume I was pregnant. And that we would figure out some time for me to get work done.
I got up this morning knowing I couldn't take Nolie to Debbie's because of the snot fountain, so I decided, screw it. The baby and I would stay in bed, and that I would bring the laptop to bed, and that I would just nurse her all day, which is what she wants when she's sick, and I would try to get work done when she dozed off.
Lo and behold! I am PRODUCTIVE! I clean out my email inbox, get an article reviewed, get a meeting planned, review a book, on and on. I even eat my lunch in bed. I may do yoga in it this afternoon. I may never leave it. Sure, it will begin to stink eventually, and when Nolie is, say, six or seven, she may protest my keeping her here, but I'm in LOVE with my bed and my baby. I'm in love with my laptop. I'm in love with me.
Experience tells me that this probably won't work tomorrow, but who cares! My therapist would remind me that my self-worth isn't tied to my weight or my so-called productivity levels, but who cares! I have today! I answered emails with two hands! Thank you, parenting gods!