Posted by: emjb | November 27, 2005

Outing, and introspecting

They cannot do iced tea in New York; inevitably, they make it in the coffee pot, giving it a lovely stale-coffee overtone. Or they chichi it up with herbs and fennel and god knows what. And tea is so simple: brew large pot. Add water. Pour over ice. Serve. Provide sweeteners. Allow free refills. Not rocket science, people.

So that was really my goal today: eat somewhere that served iced tea, and take the baby along. We did pretty well. He still prefers to sleep through all his outings. And I got to get me some new sweaters.

It was a bit hard trying on clothes; there’s still a lot of baby weight hanging around, and it makes me look odd and lumpy in the wrong tops. Also the stretchy jeans I’m still wearing are too big and give me a gianter ass than I actually have. Not flattering. Not that I worry about impressing the Kohl’s clientele. Lucky for me we’re into winter, so I don’t have to do form-fitting anything.

I’ve had some brief moments of regret since my bottle-feeding decision; not enough to make me reverse myself, just little flashes of sadness about it. I suppose if my milk made a surprise late appearance and I woke up bursting or something, I’d reconsider. But this seems unlikely; it’s only supposed to take max 5 days, and we’re two weeks in as of tomorrow.

And I do cheer myself up by thinking, “Hey! Beer!” because, yeah. I can drink now if I want to, or take cold medicine. My body is technically my own again, in all its lumpy glory. It feels strange for it to be unoccupied by anyone but myself; I find myself sort of wandering around a little lost now that I’m not gestating or trying to generate food for another person.

But then I’m also still feeling the shock of becoming a parent; if the responsibility is less crushing now that I’ve gone easier on myself, it’s still there. I have to not think about that all the time, just sort of let it settle over me, gradually. To part of my brain, this is still just an extended babysitting assignment. The rest of my brain is too tired to care either way.



  1. Going easier on yourself — very important. The guilt thing is kind of funny — every now and then I wonder if I have some terrible contaminant in my breastmilk that I will find about one day and think, god, what on earth did I go through all that for?

    A book that I found very enlightening and interesting is A Midwife’s Tale, compiled by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich from a diary of a Maine midwife in the eighteenth century. Several things emerge from her detailing of her job, including that women generally make it through birth fine (though some babies don’t, sadly), that women found breastfeeding as hard if not harder then than now (lots of visits to “break” a breast that has a horrible mastitis, many women who can’t nurse and some who just can’t stand it) … also the fact that premarital sex & babies was far from invented in the twentieth century.

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