Thursday, May 20, 2010

Boobies & booties: My wild night with the girls

Last night was a wild and crazy evening with my girlfriends. There was a lot of drinking, some bare breasts, and even some upchucking.

A few years ago, a night out with these same ladies would have been precisely as risqué as I just made it sound.

But that wasn’t the case last night.

You see, one of the women recently had a baby, making her my only close friend to procreate. I know this seems odd, considering I’m 35 and the bulk of my friends are my age and married. But for whatever reason, most of my girlfriends have chosen to remain childless. This is my only friend to buck that trend, and since she moved to another state two years ago, it was my first time meeting the baby.

I was nervous.

Babies scare me a little. They cry and I want to cry, too, not knowing what they need. I’m terrified of that soft spot on top of their heads, and the idea that their little brains could be dented.

My friend – serene with the wisdom of new motherhood – offered sage advice. “Don’t poke her in the head.”

In addition to her new wisdom, my friend has now acquired the upper body strength of a prizefighter. I waited all evening for her to collapse from the sheer exhaustion of carrying a small human around the kitchen, but she never flinched.

Nor did she flinch when the baby suddenly did what babies do as we sat reminiscing about the night we got escorted away by concert security for clambering on-stage to dance with Loverboy.

The storytelling stopped as we watched our friend change a diaper with the efficiency she once reserved for polishing off a margarita and a platter of hot wings.

“You know,” remarked another childless friend, “I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone poop that close to me before.”

It’s true, last night was not one of our former wild evenings on the town. But it was no less awe-inspiring.

There are times I feel pretty cool for getting to spend my days creating imaginary people, giving them names and physical features and character traits.

My friend just did that with a real person.

I may be able to drink her under the table now – blame it on the breastfeeding – but I’m pretty sure she now outranks me in cool points. By a long shot.


Patty Blount said...

You are beyond cool yourself!

Patty Blount said...

Oops, hit the darn button a little soon. Here's why I think you're beyond cool:

So often, I've been on the receiving end of people who are too critical of my choices and I mean, critical to the point of absurdity. How refreshing it is to see respect for a choice you've already told us is not one you'll make, described in your usual amusing and provocative way!

*stands and applauds*

Janelle Alexander said...

i agree with patty! you are way cool!!!

middle child said...

Nah. You are the best YOU anybody could be!

Linda G. said...

LOL! I'll let you in a little secret: other people's kids terrify me, too. I could handle my own (more easily the older they got), but I don't tend to go all goo-goo eyed over the creatures in general. Bad me. ;)

LS Murphy said...

Isn't it amazing how some women can just jump into motherhood?
"The storytelling stopped as we watched our friend change a diaper with the efficiency she once reserved for polishing off a margarita and a platter of hot wings." - This line made me laugh out loud.
I love your style.

Anonymous said...

That's how I feel about my best friend. We were crazy, going out all the time and just being wild girls. When she had her first baby, I knew she would give it to me straight. I asked her how childbirth was and she was like, 'eh, it wasn't as bad as everyone makes it sound'...That's when I had this WHAT! look on my face. So it isn't as painful as pulling your bottom lip over the top of your head as Carol Burnett said it was?

Of course, I still haven't tried it soooo...obviously I believe a celebrity over my best friend. Sheesh, I'm a bad friend.

Harley May said...

I'm so proud of you! You survived an evening with a baby unscathed. Well done, Tawna. Now...when would you like to babysit?

Candyland said...

It really is funny how parenthood changes things, even if you're not the parent but a friend is. Like diapers and boobies.

Cynthia Reese said...

I'll tell you a secret: a 20-pound baby doesn't weigh as much as a 20-pound sack of rice.

How do I know? While waiting for The Kiddo, I pressed into service the aforementioned bag of rice as a substitute baby and carried it around in a Maya wrap. I thought, "Sheesh, I'll never be able to do this with a real baby."

But I didn't know one thing: real babies hold onto you as tightly as you're holding onto them. So the weight is more evenly distributed.

Glad to know you survived an evening with the wee one ... I'm proud of you!

Dawn Ius said...

That was a really amazing post.
And it sounds like we *could* have hung out in our younger days :-)

Unknown said...

Your awe of motherhood was touching. Your friend and her child are lucky to have you in their lives.

Elisabeth Black said...

That's so dear. I'm all verklempt about wiping bottoms now.

Susan said...

Well said!

Glossing Over It

WendyCinNYC said...

Aw, that's sweet. What a good friend you are.

Patrick Alan said...

OMG! You didn't HOLD it did you? Those things are contagious!!! You should go out and take a pregnancy test.



Patty, thanks for the kind words! Hey, I like it when people respect my choice, and I always try to be respectful of other people's choices as well.

Janelle, do I get a sticker or something that says I'm cool?

middle child, aw, thanks, but I could probably be a better bowler. That would pretty much do it for me.

Linda G, er, you didn't poke their soft spots, did you?

LS Murphy, it was pretty amazing watching this woman -- arguably one of the craziest in my group of friends -- just transform into this wonderfully skilled mother. Presto!

danicaavet, ouch. It hurt just reading those words.

Harley May, er, how does never work for you?

Candyland, yeah, the booby thing is a little terrifying.

Cynthia, you mean you aren't routinely grabbed by bags of rice? Happens to me every time I walk into the kitchen.

Dawn, let me know when you're ready to hit the town. I can still get my groove on :)

Jeannie, I don't know if she'll still think that when I start teaching her daughter dirty jokes, but thanks!

Elizabeth, have fun with the bottom wiping thing. You can skip mine for now, OK?

Susan, thanks for reading!

WendyCinNYC, I don't know about that, but thanks for saying so!

Patrick, nope - come to think of it, I didn't hold it. Does that mean I'm safe?

Thanks for reading, guys!

Claire Dawn said...

I've had one and I'm done. My issue is not so much the baby, but the fact that he/she is forever. I am just not that constant. And dragging a family to a new city/state/country/continent every few years hardly seems fair.

Liz Czukas said...

I'm a one-and-doner myself, which I think almost gets more flak than not having one at all. For some reason people HATE only children. I'm one myself, so I've always found this prejudice annoying and unjustified. That's hardly the point of this comment though.

You are my favorite kind of childless person. You don't want to do it yourself, and that's cool. But you respect that other people do, and that's cool, too. If people could just do their own thing without judgment, the world would kick ass!

As for your wild nights of yore, don't worry, your friend will be all for it when the breastfeeding is done. At least until midnight. LOL

- Liz

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Aww! That was about the sweetest (and funniest) thing I've read on the blogosphere in some time!

Just discovered you via @smoulderingsea's tweet, but I think I'll stop and stay a while. Thanks for your wit and honesty, a cherished combination.


Claire Dawn, good point about it being FOREVER. Long after my paperbacks have hit the recycle bin, my friend will still be a mom :)

Liz, I'm so glad to hear my friend will be all set for a wild night on the town before too long! Thanks for the kind words!

Katrina, welcome, and thanks for stopping by. Isn't @smoulderingsea the best?