My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Confirmed Mother of TWO


Scene opens on an empty stage. Velvet burgundy curtains are closed and gently swaying in the background.

A microphone is positioned center stage. A lone spotlight shines down on it.

Background noises: nothing but the faint chirping of crickets.

FreshHell takes the stage and shades her eyes with her hand to ascertain whether anyone is in the audience tonight. Perhaps this will be another empty house?

She steps up to the mic. Taps it two, three times.

“This thing on? Hello? Anyone out there?”

Nothing. No coughs heard, no rustling detected. No elderly patrons unwrapping a Werthers Original or asking the person next to them, "What'd she say?"

FreshHell hangs her head and begins her monologue, once again to an empty theatre.


I visited a friend yesterday for lunch. The friend who recently had a baby. The baby for which Sir Granville Sock Monkey was created. Brought veggie sushi and organic chips. She made fruit smoothies and we compared notes on Motherhood while we ate.

She’s feeling what I felt when Dusty was about six or seven weeks old: like someone had pulled a fast one on me.

You can read all the books, talk to people and still you cannot prepare yourself for life with a newborn. You simply have to go through the tunnel of fire and come out – hopefully not too burned – the other end.

I gave her what sympathy I could, acknowledged that, yes, she was doing the right things and that each baby is different. Who knows what sets them off and what will calm them down. You try everything and hope you hit on the right thing. For her baby, loud noise helps. Running the vacuum cleaner seems to stop the crying so she keeps it close at hand.

When Dusty was teeny, there was a night when she just cried for hours. Around 2:00am, my husband turned on some classical music and cranked it up to eleven. It was like being inside a concert. It seemed to help. Dusty shut the hell up. Of course, we were afraid to remove her from the carrier for fear we’d break the spell. With Red, she’d fall asleep in the car and there was a night when I just drove and drove down dark country roads (it was frog season and they leapt out of the path of my car for dear life but I think I squooshed quite a few anyway) for more than an hour.

Red stopped crying and seemed to fall asleep for awhile. Until I got home and shut off the car. You can’t win, you just have to suffer through it and hope it’s all worth it at some point.

And, luckily, it is. But I must say that my womb shrunk three sizes yesterday and my fallopian tubes waggled a decisive “no” when I picked that baby up after a diaper and spit-up change. My head seems to be in agreement.

It was nice to come home to my large (Dusty is weighing in at 42-freaking-pounds!) children, most of whom can tell me what the hell’s the matter with them. Never underestimate the power of communication.


Now, let me know you’re out there, dammit!


9:31 a.m. ::
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