Tag Archives: baby

Things Should Be Called What They Are, Part 1

So I actually have two stories that fall into the “Things Should Be Called What They Are” category but I will post the second one at a later date because I’ve learned that when one post gets too long, you people don’t read it, even if I’ve done my damnedest to keep it entertaining throughout.

But fine, you guys are lazy and busy. I get it. I don’t read stuff either. Because Instagram! And texting! And staring at walls blankly whilst in the grips of crippling anxiety!

Anyway a few months ago I was working on my baby registry with my sister, when I noticed something was missing from her list of newborn essentials.

“I’m no expert, but doesn’t the baby need, like, clothes?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she answered, “But Mom will get you all those things when she takes you for the layette.”

“Oh, ok, cool,” I said. And then, the second she left the room, I googled, “What the fuck is a layette?” because seriously WHAT THE FUCK IS A LAYETTE.

I’ll tell you what the fuck a layette is– it’s buying stuff.

That’s it.

There is absolutely no reason for it to have a name other than “we’re going to go to a store and buy some shit the baby can wear for a few months so she’s not always naked and so your neighbors don’t call the police.” I guess referring to it as a “layette” makes it sound fancy and whimsical, but I personally found it unnecessarily confusing and, for lack of a better word, dumb. And to be honest, it caused me a bit of anxiety, like there must be something wrong with me and it must say something about what kind of mother I’m going to be if I don’t even know what a layette is. Which I know is crazy and totally over-analyzing but hi have we met?

But ok. Layette. Free stuff! 52a0e87bb80b3b54af4cff0f2a2266bb (for me. Stupidly expensive for my parents.shrug_1f937)

So I gave my belly a gentle pat and whispered, “Don’t worry baby girl, I’ll have this shit all figured out by the time you get here,” which was obviously a lie but luckily she knows zero things.

My mom and I went to Lesters on the Upper East Side, where you make an appointment to have a person walk you through what you’ll “need” (in quotes because we all know the only thing newborns NEED are diapers and a boob). Having already done this with my sister, my mom warned me that the saleslady was going to be pushy and try to get us to buy a bunch of unnecessary crapola, so let’s just be as practical as possible. This is easy enough for me– I am generally the queen of practical. What amused me is that my mom was giving me this warning, as when it comes to buying stuff she is about as practical as she is speedy (that’s funnier if you know her and have ever tried to walk alongside her. It’s literally impossible to stay at her snail’s pace if you have more than one working leg.)

So we’re halfway through the layette, and I’m being a total Practical Patty and turning down the more ridiculous items being presented (“Oh, that’s something I throw over my shoulder that she’s going to repeatedly barf on? It’s literal purpose is barf collection? Yeah I’ll take the plain, cheap rags then and forgo the patterened organza and no I don’t need it embroidered because WHAT IS HAPPENING”).

Mom was also totally behaving herself, aside from a few absurd comments such as suggesting that this onesie I picked out was “really more for a boy”:

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Me: “Why do you say that, dare I ask?”

Mom: “Well, the animals at the bottom. They’re boy animals.”

To be clear– these. She meant these:

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I nodded and tried not to be disturbed by the fact that my mom lives in a world where a girl can’t possibly sport a monkey in a bee t-shirt riding a polka-dotted crocodile, and quietly placed it in the “definitely buying this with your money” pile.

Mom was also confused by my excitement over this get-up, also found in the boys section (because as we all know, fruit is gender-specific), but honestly what is NOT exciting about YAWNING BANANAS HAVING A HEARTY MORNING STRETCH?!!

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If you can’t appreciate a sleepy banana waking up to greet the day then your soul is dead and I’m sorry.

But my favorite part, in terms of Mom reminding ME to be practical, was when the saleslady presented us with baby’s “going home from the hospital” outfit choices. That’s fine, I can get on board with purachsing something cute and special for this moment, but I drew the line when she tried to pair it with a $75 matching blanket.

Me: “Oh, I really don’t need the blanket. I already have some blankets.”

Lady: “Yes, but this one MATCHES the outfit.”

Me: tenor-1.gif

Mom: “Yeah, it’s cute, I like how it matches. Look how cute that is.”

Me: giphy.gif

Mom: “Why don’t you just get it?”

Me (confused, thinking the plan was to be practical seeing as though SHE TOLD ME THE PLAN WAS TO BE PRACTICAL): “Because, again, I have blankets. Plenty of blankets. And it will be August.”

Saleslady: “But what about for a picture? It’s nice to have a matching blanket and take a nice picture.”

Mom: “Yeah, for a picture, it’ll be cute if it matches. You can put her on the blanket in the matching outfit.”

Me: fckery.gif

I did not get the blanket.

And personally, I feel my mom owes me $75.

But all that minor nonsense aside, the layette was a surprisingly pleasant expereince. I say “surprisingly” because generally I hate shopping and making decisions and being overwhelmed and doing stuff that isn’t on my couch.

But I totally recommend it for all you first time moms out there. Let me be clear, though– I’m not recommending “doing a layette,” I’m recommending what it truly is: “getting some shit for your newborn and letting someone else pay for it.”

I guess “layette” looks better on the Lester’s signage.

P.S. Thanks again Mom I lovvvvvveeeee youuuuuuuu!!!!!!! 2c469354-bcfa-488f-bd41-a860f9f87e38-596-0000001613c064d72c469354-bcfa-488f-bd41-a860f9f87e38-596-0000001613c064d72c469354-bcfa-488f-bd41-a860f9f87e38-596-0000001613c064d7img_8546-5

 

It’s not you, Yoga. It’s me. But also you. Well, MOSTLY you, really.

I went to my first prenatal yoga class this morning.

I hated it.

I’ve been having some back pain for the past 2 weeks so various sources, including my therapist, recommended a prenatal yoga class to “open up the body.” I’ve tried yoga twice in the past (over 10 years ago) and didn’t particularly enjoy it at all, but I will always follow my therapist’s advice in the same way Michael Scott followed his GPS into a lake, which is to say that even if my instincts tell me this is not going to be good, I have no choice but to obey the all-knowing robot.

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So I nodded as if I knew what “open up the body” even meant, and signed up for a trial class.

The first thing I was instructed to do was put one hand on my heart, one hand on my belly, and send an “intention” to baby. In hindsight I realize that this intention was supposed to be something along the lines of “I intend to love you forever,” but mine was “I intend not to piss on this floor in front of all these people, so get off my bladder.”

After that was just a calling out of a series of poses I did not know, so I just kind of helplessly watched the person in front of me, which worked just fine until we all turned our bodies and I was the person in front img_2021-6.

That’s when I just sat down and pretended I needed water. Water was in fact the last thing I needed, given the aforementioned urge to piss myself. But I sat there sipping until I increased my odds of a public pants-wetting to about 98%.

The last 15 minutes of just lying back on an incline and breathing were fine, but I sort of felt like I could do that at home, alone, with a huge bowl of egg salad on my lap, like I did last week.

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Not sure why I need to add a $35 fee and a bunch of far-more-in-shape-and-confident-than-I pregnant ladies to this scenario.

Bottom line, I spent most of the class feeling anxious and wondering if I was doing everything wrong (which, to be clear, I was). I hear anxiety is the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to feel during yoga. Well, I’ve always been pretty good at feeling the opposite of what one is SUPPOSED to feel, so I guess this falls right in line.

And this is all meant with no disrespect to yogis. I wholeheartedly respect your love and appreciation for yoga, and I hope you are not offended by my distaste for it, in the same way that I am not offended when people tell me that running is boring, horrible torture and they’d rather stab themselves in the face with Satan’s fiery pitchfork than run a marathon. I don’t agree, per se (and honestly, calm the fuck down, you’re being a little dramatic), but I totally get it. Not your thing.

So, Yoga, we’ll just have to leave it at that. You’re not for me. I gave you several tries, I wanted to like you, but deep down I just know there’s something better out there for me. I had that mentality while dating, and I managed to land this guy:

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So let’s just say I trust my gut.

I’d Stay In There if I Were Her

Apparently our baby can now fully recognize my voice and maybe even the voices of the regular characters in my life.  Here are the thoughts I imagine she is having as she processes information from the outside world:

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  1. My mom has a lisp. Christ.
  2. My dad keeps saying he hopes I look like my mom. I guess he thinks it’s bad to be something called “prematurely bald” and have something called “stumpy Corgi-legs.” I really hope I look like Mom too, because if I do, Dad said he’s already planned a gift for me on my 16th birthday. It’s called a “rhinoplasty,” and it’s very expensive. I can’t wait to open it! I have the nicest dad.
  3. My mom’s favorite chair is the oval-shaped white one with the hole in the middle that makes a whooshing sound when she stands up. She sits on it all day. Sometimes I wonder if she has time for a job.
  4. My mom has a best friend named Sauvignon Blanc. For some reason, this friend went away. I know this because my mom talks about how much she misses her, pretty much all day every day and sometimes even in her sleep. But the exciting thing is that her best friend will be back, quote, “the second this thing (that’s me!) comes of her vagina.” She says they’ll reunite right there at the hospital bed. It’s nice that Sauvignon is coming back just in time to welcome me to the world.  She sounds like a good, dependable friend. I get why my mom relies on her so much.
  5. There’s only one other kid in my mom’s family, and they named him “The Boog.” I am fucking terrified to be named by these idiots.
  6. I don’t know what a couch is yet but it sounds like something you binge-eat and complain on.
  7. My mom isn’t thrilled about what I’m doing to her body. I know this because whenever my dad politely asks to take a picture of her, she makes a noise that’s kind of a mix between the frantic wailing sound I plan to make once I climb my way out of here, and the sound of a tortured, vomiting animal. She reassures me that she still loves me, she just wishes she had $100,000 so that she could pay for me to destroy someone else’s body and sanity, but then still get to take me home after. It’s something called a “surrogate” and she does a lot of research about it because she’d, quote, “rather manually drill holes through her eye sockets than have to go through this again.”
  8. My mom is pretty fucking dramatic.
  9. My dad’s job is to bring stuff to my mom when she points at it. Sometimes this pointing is accompanied by a whimper or a grunt, but rarely by actual words.
  10. My dad’s other job is to tell my mom about investments, 401Ks, budgeting and savings plans while my mom sits quietly. She’s so quiet while he does this, in fact, that sometimes I think she’s asleep.
  11. Mom loves to be asleep.
  12. There is someone in this family named “Uncle Jeremy.” I don’t really know who he is or what he does or where he goes, but I already understand that at some point down the line, I will be responsible for providing him with food, booze and a place to stay.
  13. Uncle Zack takes four years to say one sentence.
  14. Aunt Steph is the one whose voice never changes. She might be the happiest person in the world, or the saddest. I cannot tell.
  15. Big Steve has all the money. My mom is the best at getting that money. She will teach me, and I will be even better at it than she is.
  16. This family has a tiny pet bird with a very soft voice. Its name is Charla. Cha Cha for short.
  17. My mom has this thing called a blog, where she writes down all her thoughts and feelings and everyone in the world can read them. She seems to love to write and to share her writing but I don’t know, man….seems like this might mortify the shit out of me someday. I think that because I’m family, though, she’ll be careful about what she says, and she won’t purposely embarrass me. But the Cha Cha bird says these are “famous last words.”

 

The Doughy Tire Before the Bump

So Eric found this app that will take a 1-second video of my belly every day, and then, at the end of the pregnancy, we will have a short video of my stomach’s evolution. I was obviously horrified by this idea but, even though Eric rejected my proposal to do the same video for his belly, I reluctantly agreed to it because he has been so wonderful and supportive throughout these past few months, I can’t not throw him a bone on this one. He was just too excited about the idea. And yes, this is a guy who gets excited about puppy butts (just received this photo from him , IMG_4780.JPGone of 12 for the day), but still. This felt like excessive excitement, even for him, so I had no choice but to indulge it. Plus, I think he’s still upset that I did not, in fact, surprise him with a corgi for his birthday yesterday, even though I have stated “I am not going to surprise you with a corgi on your birthday,” very calmly and firmly every day for the past year. He has always nodded in what I perceived to be an understanding of my words, but then I received this text when he got home from work yesterday:

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So all this is to say, I felt I owed him the courtesy of his belly movie.

I did not, however, agree to make this FUN for anyone.

Every single night, the ritual goes like this:

Eric: “Time to take the photo!”

Me: “Ugggggggh whyyyyyyyyyyyyy 6meqk.gif

Eric: “Come on, it’ll be quick.”

Me: Even-when-he-throwing-tantrum-he-cute.gif

Eric: “If we skipped this whole dramatic whining part, we’d be done already.”

Me: “Ugggh FINNNNNNNNNNNNE. AptInsidiousFennecfox-max-1mb.gif

Then we actually take the photo and before, during and after is a series of me moaning some variation of “ew,” “barf,” “gross,” “this is disgusting,” and “how is this even a shape a body can be!?” It should be noted that around this time in pregnancy, babies can actually hear you talking, and while some moms-to-be might worry that the baby is taking in all this negativity, I hope she is taking notes on how she destroyed Mom’s body forever, and therefore owes me her soul. Because THAT’S WHAT A GOOD JEWISH MOM DOES.

It occurred to me today that I typically start to feel better about things once I share them, so instead of continuing to detest this daily process internally, I decided to put it out there for the world to enjoy  experience  tolerate unwillingly.

Here’s one of my favorites from the series so far, because I looked at the photo and screamed “Oh my god, do I already have stretch marks?!” But it turns out that no, those were just temporary indentations from my aggressive couch-laying. Aka bed sores.

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This one’s also great because, even though I threatened Eric that he better not get my face in any of these photos, the mirror betrayed me and perfectly captured my acute unamusement and contempt.

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Now, I’d like to take a moment to reassure all of you (and Eric, who repeatedly asks in a confused tone, “You’ve SEEN a pregnant person before….right?”), I do understand pregnancy makes you gain weight, and I am, in fact, TOTALLY on board with that. I actually look forward to when I have a very obvious baby bump and can sport that sucker around town (town= 2 block radius from my apartment).

But see, there is this weird belly phase during late first trimester/early second trimester, where you are gaining weight but haven’t actually popped, and the result is that you look less like a pregnant person and more like a person who got tired and gave up. I don’t have a “bump” yet, I just have a doughy, amorphous FUPA-tire that does not fit into my pants anymore, but is not yet ready for maternity wear either. And please, spare me the “Every part of pregnancy is beautiful!” nonsense. There are other blogs out there for you liars people. This isn’t it.

So yeah, I get it. I’m going to gain weight. I’m beyond cool with that, which is odd considering I am a white Jewish girl from the east coast, meaning that body-image issues aren’t something I picked up from society or the media, they are inherent in my DNA. A tale as old as Jewish time. My breed is born with a gene for body (and general) dissatisfaction, so I actually give myself credit for WANTING to get big. I’ve even enlisted Golden Grahams, a daily 2pm pepperoni pizza (being shoved down my pie hole as we speak), and Ben and Jerry’s straight from the carton to help me get there, which just goes to show that I am totally comfortable with getting big AND making terrible decisions for my health, mental well-being and digestive tract. TROPHIES ALL AROUND. imgres.jpg imgres.jpgimgres.jpg

So here’s to the hopefully-near end of the lumpy dough-tire phase and on to the good stuff!

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( backhand-index-pointing-up.pngAccurate because once I get there, I too will refuse to wear pants)

My Uterus is Wearing a Catcher’s Mitt and Now We Can’t Go to the Beach

This post is intended to serve as both a PSA to those of you who do NOT want to get pregnant and perhaps a reassuring bit of news for those of you 35-and-ups who hope to have kids (or MORE kids) at some point and have underlying anxiety about the non-stop, aggressive warnings from the medical community that it is much harder to conceive after age 34.

Now, I’m not here to argue with science. Clearly, there is medically researched backing to the idea that conception becomes more difficult as you get older. I’m just here to make you aware of the less-talked-about phenomenon that occurs in your mid-30s, but is just as real* (*have no scientific backing for this claim, based solely on personal experience and, you know, “what I’ve heard”)– it’s called Catcher’s Mitt Syndrome** (**not a real syndrome. Don’t quote this to people without a sense of humor– they won’t get it, and then they’ll research it, find out it’s fake and report me to Snopes).

Catcher’s Mitt Syndrome is when your geriatric*** uterus (***not my term– actual medical term for when you are 35+ and trying to have a child) overperforms. See, thanks to your 17+ years of popping birth control pills like tic tacs and/or using other means to impede its life work, your uterus hasn’t been given any opportunity to fulfill what it believes to be its life’s purpose (I am not saying this IS its life’s purpose, I’m just saying that’s what your UTERUS thinks. I fully support a woman’s choice to never have kids, and in fact encourage that choice. Trust me, I’m a teacher– I’ve met far too many parents who probably shouldn’t be parents.)

And so when your Guterus (celebrity couple name for geriatric + uterus) DOES get that one opportunity to shine, it gets so fucking excited that it dusts off the cobwebs, sprouts 27 limbs, and slips a catcher’s mitt on each of them. Then it does everything in its power to catch one of those incoming suckers because it knows this might be its only opportunity. This “last chance” mentality also causes your Yogi Berra uterus to text-alert your ovaries, encouraging them to release every available egg from their dark, abandoned storage room, which is why twins are more likely**** as you get older, even without the assistance of IVF (****statistic based on what my 35-year-old friend who just had twins told me. But she claims her doctor told her that, and I believe her because it sounds legit, and also this friend is a general knower of stuff and we used to share custody of a bunny when we were teenagers, so let’s just say I trust her. Yes, we ended up giving that bunny away because it was too much work and not as much fun as we thought it’d be, but that’s a story for another time and hopefully not at all reflective of our parenting abilities).

Needless to say, Eric and I did not know about Catcher’s Mitt Syndrome when we headed off to our 2-week South Africa/Seychelles honeymoon in late November. Like most people with a Guterus, I assumed that making a baby would take about 6 months if we were lucky, a few years with medical assistance if we were less lucky, or just wouldn’t happen at all. In fact, as proof of the absolute and utter uselessness of anxiety (my therapist would be so proud right now), I have spent the past 8 years worrying that when the time came for me to start a family, I would be unable to. This fear was based on absolutely nothing other than the knowledge that I would probably not get married until my mid-30s (because when you’re having a mental breakdown, living at home, and sleeping in your parents’ bed at age 27, you can safely assume marriage isn’t happening for a while).

Eight years of worrying I’d miss my chance, only to conceive on the first try. Anxiety, you deceptive bitch! Don’t get me wrong, I am EXTREMELY grateful that it turns out you’re nothing but a lying whore– I’d just like those 8 years of wasted energy back. It was exhausting.

So before we left for the honeymoon, I looked at my handy dandy ovulation app and noted that my “fertile days” would begin and last right through our 5 days in the Seychelles, at the end of our trip. Smack in the middle of paradise seemed like as good a time as any to get started!

Well, in true-to-me fashion I managed to contract a stomach bug of death during our last day in South Africa, which had me projectile vomiting through 2 countries, 3 airports, and 2 aircrafts (one of them a 20-seater so again, fellow passengers and unamused flight attendant who aggressively tried to block my path to the toilet during taxi, I’M SORRY.)

We finally arrived in the Seychelles, where I threw myself dramatically onto the sweet salvation of the bed and, with this exact level of energy and enthusiasm r7qewnm.gif , turned to Eric and said “Sooo….I’m ovulating…”

I still had dried throw up on my chin.

“Alright, well….maybe not tonight,” he replied gently, from the furthest corner of the room he could find. Because even Eric has his limits.

While I did stop puking that night, I never fully recovered from my illness in the time we were there, but we still put in some minimal baby-making effort because it just felt irresponsible not to.

It was only on our last day in the Seychelles that we decided to actually consult a calendar and calculate when this baby would actually be born, should we conceive. To our horror, we realized that it would be during our annual 2-week trip to the Outer Banks, the family vacation to end all family vacations– and, more importantly, the one that is fully financed by Big Steve. My siblings and I literally spend the year counting the days until this trip, and it’s pretty much what gets us through life. Eric has grown to love the Outer Banks as much as I do, so the idea of not going was unacceptable to us both.

Me: “Alright, well, we only tried once. Luckily the chances of getting pregnant on the first try when you’re 35 are zero*****.” (*****Again, all quoted statistics are based on NOTHING.)

Well, you know how this story ends– I never felt fully recovered from that stomach bug and by our second week back in the US, I decided that I definitely contracted an African parasite. Shortly thereafter, we confirmed (via 4 separate home pregnancy tests, because reading lines is hard), I DID have a parasite, but technically it was of Seychellian (Seychellese? Seychellite?) origin, and that parasite was going to turn into a human.

So, of course, we’d like to thank Catcher’s Mitt Syndrome for this blessing that is our daughter-to-be, but we also wish we had known about this phenomenon ahead of time, as we would have scheduled accordingly.

“Yeah, but your parents will just switch the vacation dates, right?” many of you have queried.

Oh, you sweet, naive people from normal families.

Here’s how the conversation with my mother went:

Me (right after taking pregnancy test): “So…we’re pregnant! The only issue here is that the due date is August 26, literally smack in the middle of the Outer Banks vacation…”
Mom: “Well, we don’t know that’s the due date.”
Me: “Ok. We do, though.”
Mom: “Let’s see what the doctor says.”
Me: “The doctor is going to say that’s the due date, because I used the exact same calculation method a doctor uses.”
Mom: “Em, let’s just see what he says, ok?”
(after going to doctor)
Me: “The doctor says the due date is August 26.”
Mom: “Ok, well let’s just see what happens.”

So no. No one is switching anything.

The takeaway from all this? It’s six-fold:

  1. Ignore research-based science and listen to my unfounded generalization that is based on one thing that happened to me once– conception at age 35+ can actually occur very fast, because your uterus has now become Hamilton and it is not throwing away its shot.
  2. Be grateful for this phenomenon, but schedule life plans accordingly. All-expense-paid vacations are precious. Yes, so are babies, but I’m just saying– shifting things a month never hurt anyone.
  3. Everything I’ve presented in this post is based on stuff I heard/experienced. I don’t know if it has any general merit so do not quote me, unless you’re doing it in a light-hearted, jokey way. Like, don’t tweet this at NIH.
  4. If you think these theories DO have some merit, google them and see if you find anything to back them up. I’d love to know what you find! “But why didn’t YOU google them to see if they have merit, Emily?” Because that’s not my job here. I write a blog, not a medical journal.
  5. No, this post is not an ungrateful, whining complaint about missing a vacation to have a baby. We are of course thrilled that this happened so easily for us, know that we are extremely lucky, and this post is all in jest. It annoys me that I even have to include these disclaimers, but there is always that person who takes offense, and while I don’t understand then why you continue to read this blog, I still feel the need to address your complete misunderstanding of how humor works.
  6. For this entire post, I am sorry, Eric.

Dear God No

My OB sent me to a hematologist, who I saw today, because I tested positive as a carrier of Factor 11 Deficiency, which means I could have an issue with blood clotting…

Hematologist: “So the reason we test your Factor 11 levels is because of the epidural. If you test below a certain level, it will not be safe for you to have an epidural when you give birth.”

Me: “Umm…so then what do I do?”

Hematologist: “Well. You just give birth.”

Me: tenor-1.gif

Hematologist: “That was the end of the sentence. You just give birth. But, obviously, without the epidural.”

Me: tenor.gif

Hematologist: “It’s perfectly fine. People give birth all the time without–”

Me: 200.gif

 

So yeah. I imagined the birth going something like this cxX0Knc.gif but apparently it’s going to be more along the lines of this:

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May god have mercy on all our* souls.

*Eric’s

My Philosophy, Part 2

Quick update on this lady, who, as you will recall, inquired about a reading tutor for her 1-year-old…

We have a phone appointment this afternoon to discuss what it is, exactly, she means by “reading.” If it is a sane notion (aka “I’d like my baby to be read to, and perhaps exposed to the alphabet song”), then I might just consider taking the job. No one needs to tell her that these are tasks she– or an iPhone app– can handle for free.

She also mentioned in our email exchange that she is pregnant, so I expect to be asked about options for in-utero tutoring.

Stay tuned.

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