Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Babytalk at AJ's
Up until this point, because I have had three C-Sections, I have always told my children that newborns are CUT out of you, but in this very moment, I decide to tell the truth, because of an exchange I had a few months back with my pediatrician, about how to explain your period to your children.
You see, much to my dismay, Hallie, my 9, almost 10-year-old, has developed pimples and "boob buds" and my pediatrician was telling me to expect her period and other unnerving maturation signs, and I was mortified. It was as if I had been punched in the stomach. I know that I, too, am a female, and that I, too, experienced puberty, at some point, although, you would not know it to look at me now, because I have the body of a twelve-year-old boy, but to actually imagine my eldest daughter, my baby, going through all of the hormone changes and body image bullshit I have experienced, was almost more than I could bear. I immediately feel guilt about all that hormone-filled cows milk, I fed her all those years, until someone told me to buy organic, so your girls will stay children forever, but it was too late.
You see, I just cut my teeth on EVERYTHING with Hallie. She is just so INNOCENT. She is not immature. She is inexperienced. And I just love that about her. The changes in her body are such a paradox to her personality, and that is unnerving to me. She is my first, and every milestone is an event, because it is as new to me, as it is to her. I do not want to think about what this is doing psychologically to her, and the other two, but I would be willing to bet that Eva (my four-year-old) will be hitting the "clubs" by the time she is thirteen.
"Haven't you ever talked to them about why you have tampons or ANYTHING related to your period?" the doctor was judging me know, I just knew it. Next was the scribbling in the file. I was used to this. "Well, with MY girls, I always just let it happen naturally. If I were needing to use, you know, something for my period, and they were in the room, I just explained it to them, then and there." she continued.
"Believe it or not, as much as they are in the bathroom with me, it has never come up." I countered.
"Well, maybe the next time a sensitive subject is broached, maybe just be frank with them, and tell them in a non-threatening, literal way."
Well, whatdayaknow, the opportunity presented itself at AJ's Seafood Restaurant, on Tybee Island as we are all eating dinner and looking out at the sunset. What could be more perfect than that? Who needs a cramped bathroom with four people in it, to give a tutorial on the childbirth, right?
So, anyway, Mills wipes the catsup off of her mouth, with the back of her hand, and says, "No, wait, Mom, you are not understanding me! HOW DOES THE BABY GET OUT? I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND!"
"Mills, they cut it out, remember?" Hallie chimes in. Eva is listening now. GREAT.
"Not all the time." I say, hoping a dolphin will jump from the water and land on our table.
"Well, then, WHERE?" Mills demands, "WHERE does the baby get out? Does it come out your MOUTH or something?" She is completely animated now, all arm gestures and rolling eyes.
"It comes out your Schwina." I try to remain nonchalant, as I crack open a crab leg.
Brad's mouth drops open, out of the corner of my eye, and Hallie and Mills look at each other with similar facial expressions and then Eva goes, "SCHWINA! That's funny!" and throws her head back and laughs.
"Schwina" is the medical term I have always used for their lady parts. I spell it with an "sch" because my maiden name is "Schell" and it is always capitalized because, you know, RESPECT. I feel this word is also appropriate because everyone's genitalia should be German. This is not racist, it is just my way of thinking.
Mills will not give up. "So Mrs. W's baby is going to come out her Schwina! How will it fit?" The interesting part, here, is that there is no giggling. The table is relatively quiet for the subject at hand, with the exception of Mills' exaggerated gestures and her voice has gone up an octave. Brad is silent. I am an island.
"Okay," I say, exasperated, because I just know that everytime they look at my sweet neighbor, they are going to think of her squeezing out a baby from her Schwina, instead of answering the detailed, and thoughful questions she is always asking them about their lives. "The body is made so that when you are having a baby, your Schwina opens up wide enough to allow the baby to come out. End of story. Now finish your chicken fingers." I am literally holding my breath at this point.
The waitress interrupts us, by the Grace of God, and asks if "everything is okay," Brad and I order two more beers. This is gonna be a long one.
"Wait. Mom." Hallie says. "One more thing...Umm, which hurts worse, when they cut you, or when your Schwina pops open?"
"Good question," I recover, without missing a beat. I am developing a rhythm, now. "Well, they BOTH hurt, but nowadays, they give you medicine so you don't FEEL A THING. I believe that when a baby comes out naturally, the hurt is over more quickly, but I'm not sure, because I have always had C-sections, but with C-sections is hurts longer because you have surgery." God, is this EVER going to be over?
"Well, then I want to have a baby out my Schwina," Mills concludes, as she takes a bite of her corn on the cob.
"Good luck to you on that," Brad finally speaks and we all giggle as the waitress mercifully delivers our beers.
I have no advice today. Obviously, I have no effing idea what I am doing. Oh, eat at AJ's if you go to Tybee Isand. The crab legs suck, but the sunset is amazing. There. Pics at AJ's.