A Hairy Situation

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My partner met my parents for the first time this November. The weekend of good-natured getting-to-know you conversations culminated with a night of take-out Chinese food dinner and scouring stacks of my baby photos. As we wrapped up, my dad asked: “You ready?” I nodded.

“Hey,” I said to my partner. “I’ll be back in 15 minutes. I have to go help my dad shave his back.” My partner’s eyes widened. My dad and I headed for the bathroom. (read more…)

Milkies

Feathers Claire Scully

He wakes up crying from nap. He didn’t sleep long enough. Will he go back to sleep? Not this time. I wait 5, 10, 15 minutes. Still upset. I go in. “Mama up,” he says, big wet tears on his face. “Do you want mama to rock you?” “Yeah.” “Do you want milkies?” “Yeah.” Slowly, his breathing calms, his tears dry. We stay like this, locked together for a while in the dark, glints of sunlight arrogantly streaming through the blackout curtain. And just like that, my happy guy is back, ready to play.

I never set out to be an “extended breastfeeder.” I never thought I would be that type of mom. That was for moms who bake gluten-free zucchini muffins from scratch, not me who picks up donut holes from Krispy Kreme in Penn Station. Before I got pregnant, I remember thinking I definitely wanted to breastfeed, probably for about a year. That’s what my mom did with both me and my sister in the 80s, so I figured that’s what I would shoot for too. When my son, Walter, was born 20 months ago, my milk came in quickly and heavily. I realize in another era, I could have been hired as a wet nurse to a village and I would have enjoyed the work, too. I was blessed with a baby that took to the breast easily and that I was able to nurse with little to no discomfort. I also became a woman with a giant rack. I remember wearing nursing bras in a size J/K. J/K! Which should stand for Just Kidding! Boobs should never be that big. (read more…)

“Do you want kids?”

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“Do you want kids?”

This is possibly one of the most fraught things you can ask a woman, and at 33 years old, with a new fetus or baby popping up on my social media feeds every day, I hear this inquiry – real or implied – pretty frequently. Putting aside for a moment whether you want to share this personal information with the person asking you, what if you don’t even know what the answer is? What if you can honestly imagine your life both ways?  (read more…)

The Bad Habit I Don’t Want to Break

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When I was young, maybe around 7 years old, my father told me and my brother about the Triangle of Death. It’s the area that spans from the top of one’s mouth up the bridge one’s nose. An infection in this perilous zone can travel straight to the brain and kill you.

How do you get an infection there?

By squeezing pimples. Never, ever do it. (read more…)

My Fake Friends

My friendsSometime between asking two friends to help me do my hair for my wedding three years ago and today, I became a secret and devoted watcher of beauty videos on YouTube.

If you don’t know, these are four to ten-minute long videos where peppy, pretty, girlish women, largely in their early 20s, talk about hairstyles, makeup, fashion, and personal care products.

There are different kinds of videos, all variations on a theme. In tutorials, they show you how to do your hair a certain way or get a certain look with your makeup. In haul videos, filmed after buying a bunch of products or clothes, they walk through each item, laughing and telling you what they liked about it, where they got it, and how they plan to wear it. In “vlogs,” (video logs) they simply film and narrate their daily lives as they eat breakfast, go to the gym, hang out with friends, and more. If this sounds pointless and uninteresting, it is. I cannot honestly recommend them. (read more…)