Swampwater Poetry

I hate neediness, sometimes in others, always in myself. It feels like a sticky, leechy organism turning my control center into a swamp, wiggling occasionally out of my mouth in search of fresh blood to suck. It makes my bones extra-porous, as fragile as spidered glass. It makes me feel infantile, like some hideously anorexic, hormonal version of a baby. Helpless.

But sometimes I can’t help being a choking, splintering, blood-sucking mess. (Look for Dan’s upcoming book: Vampire Wife: Why Mommy Lives on a Dustpan in the Basement Now.) I run through the checklist of “I Needs”:

  • A nap every morning.
  • A nap every afternoon.
  • Some illegal, trucker-endorsed substance to keep me upright between naps.
  • A maid.
  • Regular exercise.
  • The energy to begin contemplating the idea of potentially starting regular exercise.
  • The energy to get up early, and thus be dressed and hygienic before breakfast, and thus feel less like a flea-ridden hag all morning.
  • My own personal motivational speaker. (That means you, Matt Foley!)
  • A lobotomy, or
  • A happy switch.

I hate this list. It’s like a swampwater poem. It makes me crave a chemical bath for this brain that can’t seem to find its self-sufficiency. It makes me want to tattoo a disclaimer on my forehead: WARNING: Flea-ridden hag, four months post-partum. Take her words with a grain of salt and/or a hormone pill, and if you value your own blood, KEEP AWAY FROM THE FANGS!!!!!

The doctor we talked to says that yes, of course, not to worry, this is all perfectly normal for a pregnant woman. Which–and let me be perfectly clear on this subject–I am not. Please, someone, tell me that yes, of course, not to worry, this is all perfectly normal for me, in my definitely and completely un-pregnant state of non-pregnancy. Please tell me that you’ve been here, done this. Please tell me that daily life will get easier and that I will be able to do a whole sit-up again and that this squirmy, slimy neediness will abate before I suck my family and friends dry.

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  1. Hormonal… in OUR family?



  2. I’ll take one of each on your list, please.

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