Sunday, April 01, 2007

No Blogging, or More Than I Ever Wanted to Know About Vaginas

It’s been over a fortnight since this space was last graced with the wit, wisdom and brilliance known as Bookfraud, and a lot longer since it has been graced with actual wit, wisdom or brilliance.

If anyone actually bothers to read this, bully for you. I’ll send you a check, as you deserve it.

The actual time without blogging does not mirror the perception; i.e., it feels like I haven’t written anything since 1968, when I was four and wrote a story called “Making Poopie on the Toilet.” Actually, it was a finger painting, but it had a narrative.

I have a lot of fine excuses for this pause, and they don’t even include Wife giving birth, as she remains tumescent and waiting, as the due date is precisely two weeks away. But excuses do include a 12-hour, two-day class on labor & childbirth, an experience that included footage of several births, shot from the point of view of the person delivering the baby. After watching these, I felt fully confident that I could pass the medical boards in gynocology.

More importantly, these instructional programs convinced me I will hover near the top of the bed when Wife delivers Baby and ensured my fidelity to Wife, or at least ensured that I will never have sex with the women featured in the videos.

This educational summit also gave me new insights into meconium, cervix effacement, vernix, the episiotomy, birthing positions, and, last but not least, the epidural. The epidural sounds about the only nice thing of pregnancy — you get opiates — yet a stupefyingly high number of women reject this miracle of modern medicine for a “natural” experience. (Women, please hold the angry letters, I know it’s your choice, it's the right thing for you, etc. Also, the anti-circumcision “activists” please don’t tell me that Baby shouldn’t get the Big Snip. I got one, I don't remember the pain, and it fucked up my head for only six years.)

Time to write

I’ve also taken classes in baby CPR, newborn care, and breast feeding, the last of which convinced me that I will definitely have Baby sucking down formula before he nestles at my teat. In this vein, Wife and I have been shopping for things like bottles, nipples, and pumps. Who knew that milk was so fraught with financial and psychological turmoil?

Add to all of this has been a terrifyingly difficult stretch at the office, during which I have been working extremely hard, playing computer solitaire for hours a stretch while my superiors believe I am working my ASS OFF. HA! (Just kidding, for anybody from my office reading this. Although if you are reading this, it means my cover is blown, and it’s time for the cyanide).

This silly lament goes beyond mere bitching, of which I am eminently qualified at doing. I realize that for the first few months of Baby’s life, very little of my time will be spent at the keyboard. But I know of writers with small children who find time to work, and even some who find the time to write fiction and blog, and while it is tempting to assign such characters to the realm of rich people who don’t slave away at an office, it does make me wonder just how I’m going to write when I don’t seem to have time for it now.

Grace Paley started writing when her kids were ill, or when she was ill, or her husband’s Aunt Ida was ill, or something or another, but she managed a collections of short stories write while raising children, as did Alice Munro, or maybe Grace Paley started writing when Alice Munro’s children were ill, but you get the idea.

Grace Paley: more kids than books

Now, I know what some of you kind souls will write in the comment section, if I get more than two. “You’ll find time to write, Bookfraud, you’ll just find the time,” which is a nice sentiment, but if I can’t find to time to scribble before the little rug rat joins Wife and I, just when will I be able to write when he subjects us to a 24/7 existence of All Baby, All the Time?

I would like to commit to writing something new in this space every day until Wife begins labor, but I'm just too damn scared.

Uh, anyone want to talk about Opening Day?