After sending some ultrasound pics to the family….
After sending some ultrasound pics to the family….
Eric decided to add a little friendly fun to this pregnancy experience (as his role has mainly consisted of fetching me things and being the human crane that lifts me from couch/bed/uber/toilet) by starting a family Baby Pool. The instructions were as follows:
Here’s what has happened so far:
1. Dad became instantly confused by the Venmo situation. He doesn’t know how to use it and asked that somebody show him. My uncle, trying to be helpful, suggested “download it. It’s pretty self explanatory from there.” I am certain he lost Dad at “download.”
2. Mom remained silent on the Venmo topic but I already know she’s confused, because the last time I was home the following conversation took place:
Mom: “I need you to show me how to buy Venmo.”
Me: “You mean download Venmo?”
Mom: “No, I know how to download things, thank you very much. But I need you to show me how to buy it.”
Me: “But you don’t buy it, you download it.”
Mom: “I know that.”
And then nothing happened.
3. My mother-in-law texted separately with her own Venmo questions, but I’m still not quite sure where we stand on me being allowed to make fun of her on my blog, so I’m just going to let that one marinate.
4. Zack sent in his due date guess for August 28th, despite Eric and I sending these follow-up emails beforehand:
So either Zack doesn’t read our emails, or he is banking on me being induced the 26th and laboring for 48+ hours. Either way– fuck you, man.
5. Jeremy hasn’t given even the slightest indication that he has read the emails or plans to participate (or is alive). This might be because Eric called him poor (in highlighted font), or it’s simply Jeremy being Jeremy. I’m banking on the latter. He’s pretty fucking aware that he’s poor.
6. In a shocking turn of events, nothing from Steph. We know she read the email and text conversations because Andrew has been actively responding while in her presence, but we imagine that she is this exact level of interested .
7. My 3-year-old nephew The Boog, however, was the first to submit his entry. He thinks the baby will be born on August 10, at 10pm, weighing 10 pounds and measuring 10 inches. He also insisted on paying $10. We tried to explain to him that the entry fee is $5 (and that numbers other than 10 exist), but he told us to keep the 10 and cover Uncle Jeremy’s entry, who he heard is poor.
8. As for our niece, we have been informed that she has some follow-up questions for me and Eric, as she would like to collect a bit more information before entering her submission. She is 3.
So bottom line we only have 2 submissions so far, as this whole fun baby pool idea has derailed into a bit of a shitshow and likely won’t actually come to fruition. To be clear, this post, which I will link to Facebook and tag every single family member in, is not at all a passive-aggressive attempt to spur everyone into action. Because I’m above that.
Our kid will be born knowing exactly how to get her home cleaned (call 1-800-Steamer), book a car to the airport (666-6666) and who to call should she find herself needing to file a lawsuit (Cellino and Barnes, injury attorneys), as these are Eric’s go-to jingles when I tell him to sing to the baby.
And I gotta say, at first I rolled my eyes (particularly when he followed one of these “lullabies” with a lecture-warning about the gender pay gap), but then I was like you know what? That information is WAY more practical than knowing the detailed comings and goings of Mary’s lamb (and if I can avoid having to eventually break the news that nobody ACTUALLY has a lamb, and that if they do, they’re probably going to eat it with some mint jelly at some point– yes, even Mary– then great).
And why does baby need intricate knowledge of Miss Muffet’s breakfast ingredients? Particularly since they consist of curds and whey, two words our kid will use approximately zero times in her life. If Miss Muff wants to go ahead and slip some bacon and tots into that bowl and pair it with a bloody, then I’ll consider getting on board with a lesson on how to brunch like a boss. But until then, her sad little Amish meal is a waste of everyone’s time.
And don’t get me started on the old woman who lives in a shoe. It’s called homelessness and I’m not about to suggest to baby that there’s anything whimsical about not having her own apartment.
So this led me to rethink my daily singing of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to my belly. Like, does she really need a song to inform her that stars twinkle? No. She’ll look up one night and get the point (and if not, at some point while in the Outer Banks, Uncle Zack will explain it to her in a weed-induced, hours-long oral disseration that she will understand approximately 2% of). So I’m keeping the melody but replacing the lyrics with directions on how to avoid subway rats, and a reminder to clean her toothpaste spit from the sink before leaving the bathroom, because no one wants to see that shit. I also threw in a stanza about how to get money from her maternal grandparents without actually asking for it, but making it seem like it was their idea to offer. The song ends with specific instructions for Facebook and Venmo privacy settings, because that shit gets confusing and BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING, BABY GIRL.
Bottom line, songs are great but let’s not waste baby’s time. If I had spent less hours getting intimately acquainted with every single fucking animal on Old McDonald’s farm (zebras, mom? No. Now you’re just tired and everyone is getting dumber) and more time learning how to embellish a résumé when the only “job expereince” you’ve had is camp counselor and SDT Pledge Master, I probably would have had less of a nervous breakdown at age 26.
From here on out, no more impractical ditties. If baby wants a soothing song, she’s going to learn a useful life skill in the process.
So twinkle, twinkle, baby girl. Tie your hair back before you hurl.
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.
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! (for me. Stupidly expensive for my parents.)
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”:
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:
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?!!
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.”
Mom: “Yeah, it’s cute, I like how it matches. Look how cute that is.”
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.”
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!!!!!!!
“I mean, she’s looking prettttttty fat. She’s huge! Her belly button’s got a belly button!”
— my brother Zack, while we’re FaceTime-ing with my mom, reassuring her that I’ll probably give birth early and still be able to go on the Outer Banks family vacation.
Eric found this proudly displayed in my parents’ house last time we were in Potomac.
My family members wanted to get us a baby gift we’d actually use, so I sent an email letting them know what we need….
Follow up, 3 weeks later:
We are moving apartments tomorrow, so the past week has been a lot of packing and cleaning out old crap. All of which has been done by a constantly sweating yet not ONCE complaining Eric, while I sit on the couch rubbing my belly, drinking ice water, and grumbling that I’m overwhelmed.
Yesterday Eric pulled this huge dusty box out of the depths of the closet and said “Hey, Emily from 1990, here are your files. Maybe go through them and see if this is something we can throw in the garbage, since we now live in the computer age, and have for 20 plus years?”
So I just went through the box and he was right– I do not, in fact, need a paper copy of the 1-year-warranty for the Sony Vaio laptop I bought in college, nor a receipt for a Gap cardigan purchased in January. Of 2004.
It took me over an hour to go through, rip up, and discard all the blatantly irrelevant crap this box possessed, but my hard labor was rewarded when I reached the end of the files and came across THIS little gem, posted below (in the form of a PDF link. Sorry, after a whole 2 seconds of trying, I couldn’t figure out how else to post it).
It is a paper I wrote during my senior year of college, entitled “The (abridged) Autobiography of Emily Lerman,” and it is ABSURD. Absurd because it is exactly the kind of sarcastic, self-deprecating shit I would post on this blog, except I HANDED IT IN TO A PROFESSOR. AT AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL. FOR A GRADE.
Now, granted, I got an A. So my professor was either awesome (don’t remember that being the case) or EXTREMELY bored (more likely). Or maybe she appreciated seeing something “different” come across her desk? Most likely she was just drunk. I don’t know, but there’s no doubt something was amiss, because this shit is less a paper for a college course and more a bad audition for Last Comic Standing that ends with the comic sweat-stuttering offstage to a chorus of “You suck!”
So naturally, I need to share it.
A few parts are redacted to protect the innocent, but otherwise I left it in its purest, this-was-definitely-written-by-a-21-year-old-moron form. It’s not even that the writing is that bad (save for a few blatant grammatical errors), it’s just VERY dramatic. Not sure if that was for comedic effect (important in a paper for HISTORY CLASS) or because I was a CHILD when I wrote it, but I do feel the need to clarify that I probably wasn’t THAT miserable as a kid, and Potomac was not THAT absurd a place to grow up (furthermore, the random unneccesary dig I took at my mom, saying she was a real estate agent “when she felt like working” was completely unfair. I can make that joke NOW, but back then, the woman hustled).
Or maybe I was that miserable and growing up in Potomac was that absurd but I’ve now had 15 more years of distance from the “trauma” () and kind of just want to smack my young self across the head and be like, “Lighten up, Sassypants. Your life wasn’t hard. You drove a 4Runner.”
Anyway here it is. Enjoy. ( )
P.S. Future daughter– if I send you to college and this is the kind of shit you produce on my dime, you’re paying your own way.
Dear Camp Robindel,
Sleep-away camp season is upon us, so I’m filling out an application for my daughter. She’s still in my womb. No, I’m not crazy.
It’s for NEXT summer.
She’ll be almost 1 and, much like all the Lermans starting camp far younger than the suggested age, she’ll be fine. But also like all the Lermans starting camp far younger than the suggested age, it won’t REALLY matter if she’s fine or not, the point is more that her mom needs a break. So she’s getting on that plane, goddamnit.
If my kid is anything like her mom, she’ll be a bit confused, under-showered, and questionably lice-infested for the first few weeks, wondering if Ann and Nat are her new parents and if this bunk is just where she lives now. Or, if she’s like her Uncle Zack over at brother camp Winaukee, she’ll wear one Teva all summer, be covered in weeks-old temporary tattoos, smell like the dubious roped-off section of the lake, and spend all her free time, voluntarily, with the camp nurse.
The adjustment will be slightly jarring, but then the first time she receives a “free” foot-long Charleston Chew at canteen without having to write the required letter home (because is this dirty, gap-toothed, bowl-haircut kid even old enough to write? No one is certain), she’ll smile and be like, “Oh, ok. I got this. I’m going to run this place now.”
She won’t even bother to wipe the chocolate drool from her chin. It will remain there, crusted over, for two months.
So reserve a spot in Hemlock for Summer of ’19, please. Top bunk. Don’t even waste your time with a guard rail. Kid’s gotta learn.
Emily, aka “Lerman”
(9-year camper, 3-year counselor. Owner of 3 CR necklaces— 2 actually earned, and 1 because you forgot you already gave me a gold at 9 years, so you gave me another at 10. I did not correct your mistake. I just quietly pumped my fists and gleefully snatched my third necklace, which would be excusable behavior had I not been 19 years old and in charge of roughly 40 middle schoolers at the time.)
My endocrinologist means well but is the oldest person on the planet, with the oldest views in the universe.
Endocrinologist: “Remind me– this is your first baby, correct?”
Endocrinologist: “Wonderful. And how many do you want to have?”
Me: “At least 2. But maybe more, who knows.”
Endocrinologist: “Well, if you want more than that, remember you are 36.”
Me: “I AM?! Well that is brand new information!”
Endocrinologist: “Yes and the clock is ticking. My wife and I had 4, but we started in our mid-twenties.”
Me: “Ok, well. My mom had 4 and started in her mid-30s, so….
Endocrinologist: “REALLY? And how old was she when she had the youngest?”
Me: “Almost 41, I believe?”
Endocrinologist: “And everything is ok with him?”
Me: “EXCUSE ME?! That is extremely offensive.”
Endocrinologist: “I apologize…”
Me: “I will have you know that Zack is the LEAST of our family’s problems.”