Tag Archives: family dynamics

My Uterus is Wearing a Catcher’s Mitt and Now We Can’t Go to the Beach, Part 2

(Follow-up to My Uterus Is Wearing a Catcher’s Mitt and Now We Can’t Go to the Beach)

Now that the day has arrived where my entire family heads down to the annual vacation in the Outer Banks without us, I think it’s important to revisit this conversation, first posted here but recounted for your convenience below:

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.”

That conversation took place on December 18th, arguably with plenty of time to make some new vacation arrangements in terms of dates, but Mom preferred the “let’s just see what happens” approach, which I assume was wishful thinking that the baby would come a month early (not exactly a healthy thing to wish for) or a month late (not a thing, period), we’d still be able to go, and no one would have to put forth any kind of effort to rearrange plans.

Well, the vacation starts today, August 19th, and goes through September 2nd. I am exactly 39 weeks pregnant. My due date is still August 26th, despite my family hoping that the baby would decide, in utero, “You know what? I’m just going to go ahead and be a month older now.” Due to my gestational diabetes, the doctors will not let me go past 40.5 weeks, so if I don’t go naturally this week, I will be induced before the 29th.

All of this meaning that this baby has an indisputable, 100% chance of being born during this vacation. I, of course, can file this under “Things I Knew 8 Months Ago” but I guess sometimes it’s fun to take the “let’s see what happens” approach in the face of knowing pretty much EXACTLY WHAT WILL FUCKING HAPPEN.

Now, in my family’s defense, there was a major caveat involved in moving the vacation dates. We have been in the same rental house for about 8 years now, and the house is freakin awesome. We all love it. And the problem is that if we were to give up our two end-of-August weeks THIS year, we would then lose the house during this August block for future years. Since end of August is (typically) the best time for all of us to take off work and be there, we want to secure the house on those dates for the future, and giving it up this year would jeopardize that. So I kind of get it.

But the other way to look at it is that my family had a choice– us, or the house.

The house won.

(I originally wrote that as an extremely dramatic Sophie’s Choice metaphor, in which my family clung to the house for dear life and sent me and Eric to the gas chamber, but I decided to dial it back a bit. But still mention it here. In whispered parentheses. Where it doesn’t count as actually having wrote it, so no one can be offended.)

I also can’t help but be slightly resentful that despite over 25 years of our harassment on the topic, my parents have not just sucked it up and bought an awesome house down there already, instead of renting each year. Because now, thanks to my dad’s stubborn unwillingness to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars (over a million? I don’t know what things cost) on a home he’ll realistically use 1% of the year, I CAN’T GO THIS ONE TIME.

That’s some fucking selfish, twisted logic, DAD.

But ok, again in fairness, I suppose Eric and I should take some responsibility here. As my brother-in-law Andrew pointed out right before hitting the road:

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Fair.

But honestly, in the Seychellois-rum-infused moment, we legitimately did not realize the due date would be smack in the middle of family vacay, because, guys, pregnancy math is actually pretty complicated. Math in general is pretty complicated!

I’m a math tutor.

Whatever, the damage is done, and there are lots of things to blame: Dad’s blatant frugality and selfishness; Mom’s nonsensical wait-and-see strategy; math; Seychellois rum; Eric’s sniper-like, one-shot accuracy; my desperate, aging, catcher’s-mitt-wearing uterus; God; Lerman’s Law (like Murphy’s Law, but only applying to Lermans); and, last but not least, the baby.

No, I’m kidding. We would never blame the baby.

She just better be a good one.

(Disclaimer: if you think any of this post is serious, I really can’t help you. I like to assume my base is more Hillary-esque than Trumpian– aka, smart enough to know this. But there’s always that one, and for some reason (anxiety) I’m still afraid of you. On that note, One, stop reading my blog. Try this one instead. )

Well This Derailed Quickly

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:

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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.”

Me: “Ok…”

Mom: “Ok.”

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:

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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 img_2021-6.

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.

Really.

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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.”

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

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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

 

My 21-Year-Old Self Was an Idiot. Here’s Proof.

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?”

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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” (img_7593) 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. ( shrug_1f937)

Yes I wrote this for an academic college course

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

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.

Love,
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.)

robindel