My sister just drove away and I’m not sure when she’s coming back and I have a post lined up for later today but first I have to stop crying.
As they were getting ready to go, she sat down beside me , and I was holding Olive and we both looked at her and started bawling. If I thought it was hard letting her go before it’s just a million times worse now.
Bye Aunt Loulie- hopefully we’ll see you soon.
I swear this child will never be able to sleep anywhere but in the arms of female relatives at the rate we’re going.
This weekend my mom visited again for her usual dose of baby whispering, and my sister and her boyfriend drove out from Alberta to meet Olive for the first time.
With Lizzie’s visit, Olive has now met every single one of her aunts and uncles on my side of the family, and is just missing a snuggle from Adam’s twin sister Leigh, which she will get at Christmas.
As I posted yesterday, my sister’s boyfriend Eric has a pretty intense mustache. And for some reason, although Adam is very fond of Eric himself, the mustache elicits a strange sort of rage in him. Every time Adam sees a picture of Eric on Facebook he points angrily at the offending facial hair and exclaims loudly, “Why?!”
As we sat in my living room yesterday, my mom, sister and I cooing over little Olive, Adam sat staring at Eric’s mustache growing more and more incensed by the minute.
Finally he leapt up, “I’m going to teach you a lesson.” he muttered ominously, and stomped off to the bathroom.
Five minutes later he emerged like this.
Adam has done a lot of weird shit, but nothing has bewildered me more than this. Because for the rest of the evening yesterday, and all throughout today he has insisted that he is wearing this mustache “…to punish Eric.”
How is this punishing anyone aside from me, who woke up to get Olive in the middle of the night, rolled over and in my sleepy state mistakenly thought I was in bed with my DAD (who had a mustache for the first 18 years of my life)?
HOW IS THINKING I’M IN BED WITH MY DAD PUNISHING ERIC?
Of course Eric, the one this abomination is supposed to be punishing, thinks it’s awesome. Adam keeps saying he’s going to shave it off because it looks so horrible but simultaneously threatens to keep it forever out of spite.
OUT OF SPITE? WHO ARE YOU SPITING? WHY DO YOU HAVE TO COMMUNICATE YOUR SPITE WITH YOUR FACIAL HAIR? I WANTED TO DO NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS PICTURES YOU’RE RUINING EVERYTHING WHY CAN’T YOU SQUEEZE YOUR IRRATIONAL HATRED INTO A TINY BALL AND SHOVE IT DEEP DOWN INSIDE UNTIL ONE DAY YOU HAVE A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN LIKE A NORMAL PERSON?
Also: I am quickly on my way to becoming the first person to gain more weight after having the baby than while actually pregnant. I haven’t gained anything yet, but its the only logical conclusion to the wicked sweet tooth I’ve developed lately which had me calling Adam “dickface” for eating my last L’il Debbie snack cake brownie.
Internets, what have I become? Six weeks ago I didn’t even know what a L’il Debbie snack cake was! I’m embarassed. But also kind of happy, because there’s a happy reason for this ridiculousness - I’m pregnant!
I kid! I kid.
No, it’s because my Gitelman’s is cured! Sort of.
(New here? what’s all this about Gitelman’s? Click to catch up.)
Right before my c-section, I tested for the highest levels of Potassium I have ever had. Ever. To the point where I made the anesthesiologist triple-check the results to make sure they were in fact mine.
I thought it was a fluke. Then I got my regular monthly bloodwork done about three weeks after Olive was born and I was testing in the normal range for all of my electrolytes. This has never ever happened - even after being in the hospital getting IV’s all night.
I spoke with my Nephrologist and he thinks that a hormone released by your body towards the end of pregnancy and while breastfeeding ,triggering my kidneys to keep electrolytes, so after taking a million pills a day for the past eight years I am now taking exactly zero. I’m not craving salt. And my tiredness is normal “I have a newborn baby” tiredness, nothing more.
It’s so weird. But also so fantastic and I kind of want to be one of those women who breastfeeds till her child is eight just so I can keep these benefits going.
Side effect of all this though, is that those crazy salt cravings have been replaced by crazy sugar cravings, which is way way worse. Because sugar is the devil and I know this, I swear that I know this, but also? Brownies.
I’m going to give myself a week or two to gorge myself on sweet, sweet refined sugar before I reign things in. I figure I have earned that for all of the pregnancy cravings I missed out on with the Diabeetus. That’s right, I amretroactivelysatisfying pregnancy cravings.
No, YOU don’t make sense!
Anyway. I’m going to go sniff my babies head and eat some ice cream and try and persuade my husband to shave that thing off of his face.
Olive loves giving Lizzie the stink eye apparently.
Young Woman Listening To God by Brent Schreiber
Tonight at work the air crackled and pulsed, we all had our ears tuned to some strange undercurrent that went beyond speech or sound. We were on edge, defensive, picking up on each others tension and helplessly multiplying it like an echo gone wrong, repeating again and again what was better left unsaid.
It was palpable. Our newest youth worker lowered her voice to a whisper when everyone had left the room, “Are you feeling like it’s really…intense in here right now?”
I wonder sometimes if, beyond the mens-magazine jokes about women having their own language, we do somehow trade more often in subtle changes in the air or emotional frequencies, rather than words themselves.
What are we reacting to when surface interactions run smoothly but there exists an unspeakable air of treachery, of opinions being audibly formed while you speak?
Is this innate? Is it imagined?
I wonder sometimes, about women. About the bonds between us that are formed and resisted and angrily destroyed. How emotions seem to be felt more intensely - or perhaps, arguably, just more readily acknowledged.
I used to say that you could tell if a man had sisters. These are men that grew up privy to the secret lives of women, they feel comfortable treading upon that hallowed ground- willing to buy tampons, happy to wait in the lingerie section. They seem somehow aware of the invisible currents that run between and around the women in their lives. They knew when to walk lightly, when to push.
There’s a strange energy when all of my sisters and I are together, all five of us. Beyond the chaos and the anarchy there exists an audible noise, a powerful howl, a strength that goes beyond names or numbers.
For the men, the closest I can get to articulating it is with a Transformers analogy. Imagine that point when, faced with a formidable opponent, all of the individual transformers combine to make that one, giant Transformer (Optimus Prime? Decepticon? Is this painful for you? Adam’s not home to ask, I’m coming up empty here, but you know what I mean, right? The big one, the Mega-Transformer)
Each piece clicks into place, interlocking into an arrangement that’s simultaneously awkward and natural. This is the 5 sisters together, we fall easily back into the roles we’ve been playing since birth, shrugging them on as easily as childhood nicknames: Toad, Lucifer, Sunshine, Fatty and Poopie.
No matter how much we deviate from those old roles in our lives, being together somehow sucks us back, playing our old parts, spitting our old lines, old rhymes. Despite any vows to the opposite, I always end up trying to wrest control, police things, Lizzie makes peace, Claire stirs the pot, Hilary leaves a wake of chaos behind her and Mawney desperately careens between being caught up in the whirlwind and trying to resist it, escape it.
It’s at once unsettling and deeply comfortable. It’s unsettling to see yourself revert so quickly, completely. It’s deeply comfortable to know, at this one place and in this one time, exactly what is required of you. To know precisely what part you are expected to play in service to the greater whole.
I think for a long time my brother felt left out of this circle. Shipped off to boarding school he missed many of the running around years, years where my sisters were growing up. We were close, me and him, tearing around our neighbourhood on bikes two sizes too small, stealing rhubarb and walking busy Calgary streets like catwalks, dressed in our finest. But for a while I think he felt separate from this entity, one Transformer fighting a losing battle against the monolith Mega-Transformer (It’s got to have a name, right? Anyone? Beuler?) and being subsumed by it, devoured, lost in the noise.
It’s been interesting to see him rise up in the past few years. I see it visually; him straightening his back, squaring his shoulders and taking on his position as the eldest, firmly removing it from his bossy younger sister’s white-knuckled grasp (I imagine myself a squalling despot unwilling to relinquish power, no matter how small). I think his wife made him comfortable within the fold of bewildering women, and we’re glad he’s back. He’s needed, missed.
So here we are. And here, hopefully, we will soon all be. Crammed into my tiny house, plus seven people, minus a dining room- a cacophony of gifts and shouting and lounging, legs entangled and intertwined, old confidences and rivalries rising and falling. The building of empires, ground into dust.
Mega-Transformer rises again!