Monday, November 24, 2008

Shades

There comes a time in a young mother's life when she realizes that it is indeed NOT all about her. Generally this realization hits the exact moment the baby's head rips through that thin envelope of perineum, or, in my case, the moment the doctors yanked Zoey out from between my sliced open abdominal wall. There I was flayed on the operating table like a glistening Christmas ham, puking into a kidney-shaped plastic bowl from the wallowy drugs of the spinal tap, and Bryan was over in the corner with his back turned to me, weeping over a brand-spanking new Zoey.

Had I been able to see from behind the sheet the nurses had tented around me I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to blame him. Stare at the innards of your wife and listen as the doctors complain about a particularly sticky placenta, or feast your eyes on new life? If you think about it, there was no competition really.
It's been two years and seven months since that day. My scar has shrunk and turned silver, the baby has grown into a little girl. In the mornings now when I get dressed it is with only an obligatory satisfaction. Like, okay, great, good job self, now I won't catch a nipple in the zipper of my coat. However, when I dress Zoey, it is with the excitement of a pre-teen going to her first dance.

Should she wear the smocked sweater dress or the pink one with giraffes? Hat or no hat? Boots with dingleberries or maryjanes? Purse, yes, definitely the owl purse! Who-who!
The truth is it still is about me. I see my reflection in those oversized eyes, in the way that she bites her lower lip before laughing. And I catch myself sometimes, trotting her out for show, presenting Gypsy Rose Lee at the American Kennel Club Classics. Cute dress! And I smile demurely, mmmm, thank you. Because in some ways I am now forever flayed open, my guts exposed and drying from the breeze. And the only way I know how to protect myself--protect her--is with distraction.
But those glasses--oh. Did you see how cute she is in those glasses?

12 comments:

Charlee said...

I can relate 100% to your post today. Yes, she is all that and an amazing accessory too!

I *Heart* You said...

she is amazingly precious. you guys must have the best time!

Becca said...

Those glasses are amazing!

Jules said...

Definitely the cutest little girl ever to walk the planet earth. {I've been having out with Mikey too long; that's one of his lines.}

Jules said...

Hanging. I've been hanging out with Mikey for too long. Stupid typos.

zakary said...

Sassy pants! Love it!

Mer said...

I love this post. C-section, check. Beautiful toddler baby girl child, check. I relate. What a great writer you are, to spin a yarn with surgical anecdotes and toddler fashion highlights and it all makes sense and is beautiful. And she's gorgeous. So thank you.

Megan said...

She is one stunning young lady. Her personality comes right through in those photos, and you, miss, do a not half bad job of it bringing out the rest with your splendiferous words.

karey m. said...

someone needs to make her the face of, like, jcrew or baby gap or something.

put that cuteness to work! and then you can stay home and write....

i'm kidding, i think. unless you think it's a good idea. xoxo!

Sschraed said...

Of course i am a huge fan and always always love your posts. So where do you shop for Zoey's clothing..I am sick of the same old places (TArget, Old Navy) I could use a little bit of different.
:)

Petunia Face said...

Sschraed--I get most of her clothes at Old Navy type places: Baby Gap, Target, Gymboree...
But the clothes in those photos? Oh you don't even want to know. Or you do because you asked. They are from a store in SF called Fiddlesticks. They have the cutest clothes in the world! My mom treated Zoey to a small spree there. Here's the website:
http://www.shopfiddlesticks.com

Minxy Mimi said...

Just substitute 2 boys and my experiences are similar... minus the puking!