The Hubs is out on a Beer Crawl in Brooklyn today.  I assume it’s similar to those progressive dinners like they have in the suburbs, only they do it with ale.  The “Crawl” probably has little to do with the rate of movement between breweries and everything to do with ones physical state at the end of the three-hour tour.  Good luck, Hubs!  Good luck, Hubs’s liver!

Me?  I’m hanging out with the Beast. My To Dew list is very long, but I wanted to stop by and put a post together. I need the practice.  I do have few things that I’m working on and can’t wait to share here, they’re just not ready quite yet.  In the meantime, I figured I’d take a moment to tell you the latest thing I crossed off my To Dew List:  Staten Island.

Okay, so there’s no fanfare with this one.  Traveling to Staten Island was never really on any bucket list of mine.  (Is it on anyone’s?)  Yet, in the time I’ve lived in New York, I had made it to Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn (even the Beast has been there).  But Staten Island has eluded me.  And I’m not alone.  As one friend noted, “I actually have relatives on Staten Island, but because it was Staten Island we visited them as much as we would have if they had resided in Downtown Antarctica.”  At least, it’s nice to have completed the set.

So, what brought me there?  A baby shower.  One of my dear friends is due any day, but apparently there’s a ritual beforehand where all the womenfolk must gather to eat really good food, sip coffee, and fawn over something called a “onesie.”  Think of it like an Oprah “Favorite Things” episode, only less screaming and no car giveaways.   Oh, and they play games.  My friend Crystal, who seriously loves these customs, told me of one game in which a diaper is filled with chocolate pudding and there’s a race to see who can finish eating it first.  I told her, if we played that, I was taking a smoke break.  (I don’t smoke.)  Thankfully, our hosts steered clear of the diaper games and kept the fun to trivia and Taboo.

Then came the presents.  My stepson didn’t come into my life until he was turning four years old, so babies are kind of foreign to me.  [True story, I once walked into a Babies ‘R Us, heard a baby cry, and thought, “Gee, they let babies in here like they do dogs at PetSmart.”]  Who knew they needed so much just to make it out into the world—diaper genies, bottle warmers, bath mats, stroller mirrors, iPads.  My friend made out like a bandit.  With all the sleepers and jumpers, she might not have to do laundry for six months.  Score!

Of course, when I see all the changing tables, strollers, and bassinets these days, I tell people about the Hubs, whose birth interrupted his family’s summer vacation.  On that hot August day, my mother-in-law left the peaceful confines of the timeshare in Upstate New York to come back to Manhattan and give birth to yet another baby boy (#3).  Undeterred, they resumed their vacation within days, using a banana box as a makeshift crib.  “Sometimes, we’d set up blankets in a drawer as a bed for him,” she tells it.  “You never accidentally closed it?” I ask.  She thinks for a minute, then, “I don’t think so.”

Our hostess asked us to write some words of support and encouragement for the soon-to-be mom to read during labor.  I’ve never given birth, but I have watched soap operas and if labor is anything like they show it on TV, I can’t imagine any woman in the throws of a contraction wanting to read anything, much less upbeat affirmations from friends who are relaxing at home while you’re trying to pass what feels like a watermelon.  But I know she’ll appreciate them all…at least I hope:

 

Very important things to remember whilst in the throes of labor:

• Take the drugs.  Giving birth naturally is for cavewomen.

• The tabloid magazines will tell you that you can lose your baby weight in two weeks.  This is an outright lie.  I’m still carrying the weight from when I was a baby.

• Everyone around you—your spouse, your family, your friends, the doctors—may annoy the hell out of you while you’re in the midst of a contraction.  Be nice to them.  You’ll want them to change a diaper at some point.

• True fact: God makes babies cute so we don’t eat them.

• Again, the drugs.

• They’re not stretch marks, they’re the fault lines of motherhood.

• You’ve now added two more names to your long list of titles:  Mom and Milk Truck.

• Invest in Cheerios.  They will be the only thing you find in your purse, your couch, your hair for the next three years.

• It will now take you no less than two hours to get out of your house—even if you’re just going to the store.  Plan accordingly.

•Ahem, drugs.

• Your conversations, which once consisted of the potential implications of unified string theory and Thomas Aquinas’s Ontological argument for the existence of God, will now be reduced to words like “Dada,” “Mama,” “poopie,” and “wubwub.”

• Kisses cure boo-boos. Studies have shown this treatment to be effective well into adulthood.

• Your baby is going to be more beautiful than all the other babies who have ever been born.  It is a known fact.

• You are going to be a fantastic mom, and you are embarking on an awesome adventure.

• Did I mention the drugs??

Copyright © 2011 What’s Camille Dewing. All rights reserved.

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