Not So Much Boring As Brain-Numbing Tedium
More Ponderous Pontificating on Mommyhood

In Which Words Fail Me

Before Noah was born, people used to tell me that having a child is like having your heart living outside of your body.

And I would nod because, yeah, I can totally see that. Their joy is your joy, their hurt is your hurt, blah blah weepcakes.

But then Noah was born, and this sentiment doesn't even come close.

My love for him is so visceral and deep that it's almost violent. It consumes me. It makes me want to swallow him whole. To put him back in my womb where he belonged exclusively to me, where I could keep him safe and secure.

Now that Noah is here, I feel like someone scraped off the top layer of my skin and created a little person with it.

I feel everything that he feels -- every hug, kiss and mean old needle prick.  And I'm standing over here with no skin at all -- raw, exposed and vulnerable.

Being Noah's mom is like nothing I ever expected.

I expected to be sleep deprived, since that's the favorite horror story people love to tell pregnant women. (YOU WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. YOU WILL PRAY FOR DEATH INSTEAD.)  I figured I'd get maybe two hours of sleep a day and be grateful for it. Instead, I got a baby who sleeps through the night 90% of the time. (The 3 am feeding snafu of last week has been rendered moot by the irresponsible introduction of the abusive rice cereal.) He lets us sleep in on the weekends as long as he's in bed with us in the morning, spooned against my chest, with his arms outstretched and his fingers curled around his daddy's hands.

I never expected to find the sounds of two snoring men in my bed to be so damn comforting.

I expected to never leave the house again. Instead, we found a great babysitter almost immediately. And we got a baby with such predictable eating and sleeping patterns that we can take him out to (appropriate) restaurants knowing he'll sleep the entire time, and even if he does wake up, he loves watching people and is so damn smiley and good-natured that the waitstaff and people at the next table over routinely ask to hold him and fuss over him, even if they gave us dirty looks when we walked in, carseat in tow.

I expected a small chubby baby. Instead, I got a humongous boy, all lean and muscular, who wears six- to nine-month sized clothing already and looks just like a little man when we dress him in jeans and hoodies and MY GOD, I can't keep his feet out of my mouth.


I didn't expect my baby to be kind of gross. I thought babies just kind of stayed perfectly smooth and white and sweet on their own. Instead, I spend hours mopping up big lines of drool and clipping his talon-like nails and cleaning his ear wax and digging out boogers and picking lint out of his toes and scrubbing his underarms and wiping dried spit-up out of his neck rolls.  Other women talk about how they don't even think their babies' poop smells. My baby's poop smells. Bad. And I'm always a little relieved when he has his daily diaper-rattling poop at daycare and I don't have to deal with it.


I didn't realize it was possible to be so intimately acquainted with someone's hind-end business and still think that they are the most beautiful and delicious person on the entire planet.

I didn't expect my baby to be so smart. I didn't expect it to take every fiber of my being to not be one of those parents who won't shut up about how advanced their baby is. Babies develop at their own pace. Delays are not the end of the world. I didn't ask about his APGARs until he was three days old  because honestly, who the fuck cares?  But oh my GOD, this child has the verbal skills of a six-month-old and can sit unsupported momentarily and balances on his legs like a real live person and reaches for toys and rolls over in both directions and blows bubbles and opens his mouth for a spoonful of cereal and plays with his feet and amuses himself with rattles and seriously, when you look in his eyes he's just trying to figure you out and the little wheels are turning Where did this big giant brain of his come from, and how do I not fuck him up with my own numbskullness and reality TV habit?


I expected to be able to make my baby laugh. Babies have always liked me, and I am the creator of the famous "OOPS" game, a game that has gone down in my family's history as one of the most hilarious things ever. To play, you will need: one ultra-patient Aunt Amy, one little baby niece named Allie, one of those plastic stacking rings. Put ring on baby's head. Wait for ring to fall off baby's head. Say "OOPS" when ring falls off baby's head. Wait for baby's hysterical laughter to die down, put ring back on baby's head. REPEAT ONE FRILLION MILLION TIMES.

Jason can make Noah laugh. His daycare teachers make him laugh deep, ringing belly laughs just by talking to him. It's absolutely amazing to witness. But I cannot make him laugh. I can evoke beautiful and beaming smiles -- full-body smiles that involve the flailing and drawing in of limbs, but he won't laugh at me, no matter how stupid I act for him.


I expected to maybe feel weird about being a mom sometimes. To fight the tendency to let it define me. I never expected that, on my very first night out with a girlfriend at a bar last week, I'd whip out the camera phone to show off pictures of Noah to every single person who spoke to me because I simply could not help it, BEHOLD WHAT I HAVE WAITING FOR ME BACK AT HOME.

I expected breastfeeding to suck. And...well, it does. It certainly never went like I wanted it to, although I kind of always expected my supply to suck absurd amounts of ass. But I never expected breastfeeding, in the rare, precious moments when it works just fine, to be such a powerful bonding experience. Nursing is no longer about food. When he's hungry, he wants eight solid ounces of milk and has no patience for the four ounces or so that I can provide. But when he wakes up in the night or early morning, or when we arrive home after a long day apart, or when I accidentally ding his head on the door frame, or when the dog jumps on his chest and scares him, he immediately reaches for my shirt, mouth open and panting, his eyes searching my face in a plaintive plea for boob, Mama, boooob.

I never, ever expected to love him so damn much.




*weep, sob, blubber*.

Beautiful words. As a fellow mom of a 15 month old and a faithful reader (lurker) you just gave me the full-on chilly bumps.


Beautiful. I'm so envious.


it is awesome isn't it. you have perfectly described how I feel about eamon. we play oops too. thank you.


Oh my goodness... my mommy hormones are so cranked up right now that it's not fair! Thank you for sharing little glimpses of your life (and Jason's & Noah's too) with us!


Very sweet. These entries are really going to make me want one of my own.


Once again, you nailed it. Seldom have I heard momming described in such accurate terms.

Just wait until the first time some stupid little kid accidently bonks Mr. Precious with a stuffed animal. You will turn into a homicidal maniac and want to rip the heathen's arms off. And that's just the beginning...


DAMNIT got me crying at work, AGAIN!
He's very beautiful but I suspect you already know that! Funny that even though he's kinda a stranger to me (I mean, aside...)....I don't ever tire of hearing about him from you. It's just cool like that!

Have a good day!


my boyfriend would probably hate you for this entry. (baaaaaaabyyyy)

i'm all teared up :)

you lucky lucky girl.

Lisa V


The amazing thing, it's no different when they are great big teen-agers. There is this great big person who gives you crap, and rolls their eyes, and so acts like they don't need you. Then they have to get a shot or stitches or a broken heart, and they look at you with big teary eyes , reach for your hand and say "Mommy" again like they did when they were a baby and you know they are still your damn baby.


just please don't tell my fiance that I read stuff like this..he wonders why I want one of my own so badly!


sigh.... so true.


Suddenly my husband and I's proposed plan to start trying this summer seems WAY too far away! You are very lucky I and I hope I can be too someday!


So right on. There are just no adequate words for the love. And then, I remember being pregnant with my second, wondering how I was going to love them both, and it just happens. The same way. How cool is it to have that much love in your heart??


Yeah, I think you just about summed it up perfectly right there. :) Welcome to motherhood. :D

Lisa B

Awww. Great entry. mommyhood is full of all kinds of sweet and precious and wonderful and stinky, and gross things. :-)


I am so happy that you are so happy.

(and damn, that kid is cute!)


wait - what is this about your hair falling out???!!


That was just perfect.

mom on a wire

It is such a cliche, but motherhood is really the most wonderful and amazing miracle in the world. Just wait until he starts saying "Mama!" Never has one word been able to induce such melting and blubbering.


My future niece Anna is eleven months old and also loves the "Oops!" game, only the ring has to fall off my head instead of hers. Apparently she relishes in the humiliation of others.


I love the way you describe this love. There is no way I could have described it any better. Having your heart on the outside, really doesn't quite cover it. Being a mother, experiencing that kind of love..what a gift. We are blessed to be women. And those who do not yet have babies...well, they have SO much to look forward to.

I am so relieved to know I am not the only one who cannot refrain from eating baby feet.


Wow. I was fearing motherhood a little, but this definitely makes it seem all worthwhile. Maybe I won't keep trying to put it off for so long. He's so adorable!

Irony Queen

Thank you for pointing out the huge gaping hole in my life. Actually, I'm pathologically single, so we've got a long way to go before a baby would be appropriate!

Seriously, I'm happy you're happy, and you managed to put words to a pretty incredible feeling. Yay for you!


That was perfect. And Noah's adorable. (love his t-shirt in the last photo).

Pomme Granite

Beautifully written, powerfully touching.

BTW, if it's allright w/you, I'd like to incorporate "blah blah weepcakes" into my future conversations every chance I get.


Delurking to say:

Why didn't you title this "not safe for work"?

Trying not to cry.

Heather B.

And your great babysitter spent saturday evening showing off pictures of your adorable child to her friends.

You and Jason are very lucky, he really is a wonderful little boy and thank you for allowing me to hang out with him.


Everything is true. When my 17 month old son was a year he slipped (damn pjs) on a speaker and had to get 4 stitches on his lip! I felt like a failure. How dare I let him walk in pjs with the treads on the bottom, so now bare feet at home. And last week he slammed his toy on his big toe. Ugh! So now he wears shoes at home.

Oh and the hair thing- it does finally slow down but my god I was covering the bathroom floor!


great post. You say it all queen of everything!
I have to ask, does Noah's shirt in the last pic have a liger on it? bred for it's skills in magic? Noah rocks!!!!


As always, your work is a joy to read.


The hair thing? That will pass. Your body held onto every precious bit of it during pregnancy, and this is what you would have lost over the nine/ten months you were pregnant had you not been pregnant. (I hope that made sense.)

Your tribute to mommyhood was right on. My "Noah" turns 14 tomorrow, and despite all the roller coaster rides being the mom of a boy can send you on, it's been the single most incredible experience of my life.

What an incredible baby...what an incredible mom.


Your words did not fail you one. little. bit.


I'm crying and my biological clock just sped up about five years!

Silly Hily

For words to "fail you," that was pretty damn good! But I know what you mean. Even with all of that said (and it was very beautiful) it still doesn't even begin to describe the love a mother feels for her child/children!
I tell myself all the time to just shut up already when I get to rambling about my 18 month old daughter but I just can't help it!
Welcome to motherhood.


Thank you for this post. I've been trying to figure out the words to describe that aching love I feel for my son, but there really aren't any. You came pretty darn close though.

"I feel like someone scraped off the top layer of my skin and created a little person with it."

I love that sentence.

I'm crying at work now. Thanks again.


now THAT. is a face that would melt any woman. or man. wouldn't it? it's easy to see why you want to get the HELL home every damn day. ;)


Yes, that's it exactly. It's amazing and terrifying - and mostly overwhelming - in the best way possible.


LOVE the comment "I never expected to find the sounds of two snoring men in my bed to be so damn comforting." Too true, too true.....

Beautiful, eloquent post. After the drugs wore off (day 5?) and the full brunt of that extreme love hit me like rock, I SOBBED because it is so freakin' scary to have so much of oneself tied up into one little person. My husband thought I was a hormonal mess at the time, but I think he is starting to understand the rawness of that feeling a little better now.


P.S. The worst part of having all your hair fall out?? Finding those very hairs in your kid's diaper, his clothes, his own hair and wrapped around his teeny, tiny finger. GRRRRR.......


You know, more people need to tell you this sort of thing when you're pregnant! I've heard enough of the "you'll never sleep again" and "get ready to change a bagillion diapers" and "be prepared - boys are high energy bundles of trouble." Anyways, thanks for this post... it made me SO excited to be a mom.


Beautiful post. Absolutely beautiful.

Oh yes, I remember the 4 months after hair falling out experience. A coworker even commented on it, and I almost hurt her. Sheesh, like I don't realize it's happening. Good thing is though, it really does grow back.

That pic of Noah in the hooded towel & in the bouncy seat is so freakin' adorable.


Simply beautiful, Amy. Every word you said is so true. There is just so much more to being a mom than pregnancy and midnight feedings. And I'm sure it's that way because if it wasn't who'd want to do it.

Noah is just one of the cutest babies, which I know you read all the time!! And what more could a baby want or need than 2 parents who are crazy about him and each other.


Cagey - I keep finding my looooong hairs in his diaper, and I only WISH it was his finger that they're wrapping themselves around. OUCH. Poor little dude.

If I loved him, I'd get all my hair cut off. Too bad I don't though.


Welcome to Motherhood. "Ain't" it grand? This was beautiful.


Gah- had a client on the phone, listening to his blah blahs, reading your post and trying to explain why I'm suddenly sniffling uncontrollably. Need a warning label on these! Noah gets more adorable every day! Thank you for sharing him with us!
And you will stop shedding like a Pekinese after about 2 weeks.


Thank you so much for writing this. I'm due in several weeks (if the child doesn't come this week due to the regular contractions I've been having), and have been worried about all of the things that your post so eloquently put to rest. What you wrote makes me actually look forward to the birth of my own son instead of dreading it like I have been because I'm so scared. Thank you for being totally transparent and honest with us, and letting us know that yes, it's scary, yes it's hard, but DAMN, it's worth it. Seriously... Thank you :)


WAAAAHHHHH can I go pick my daughter up from day care now? I miss her SO MUCH while I'm at work. :(

I have an irrational fear of SIDS. Not that being afraid of it is irrational, it's the level of my fear. It HURTS. I want to stay awake 24 hours a day and stare at her to make sure she's still breathing. Who needs sleep? Certainly not me.


Yeah, that totally made me weep. My husband is sitting next to me not understanding at all. After reading that, I don't know how I'm going to wait the 12 more weeks before my boy is born.


Tear jerker!! But I think you summed it up perfectly. Nothing is more perfect than being someones "mommy"


This was *beautiful.*

About the No Laughing For Mommy thing? My 1 year old did that, too. He would press his lips together to KEEP from laughing, no matter what I did. Then, one day I shocked him with an impromptu, high pitched disco-y "Shake Yo Groove Thang." That did it.


What a lovely, lovely expression of what I think so many of us feel but can't put into words with such eloquence. You're so right. That heartstopping love is just an amazing thing, a thing that you can't even imagine until you're knee deep in it. We're looking at pre-schools right now and I am having huge anxiety about having my boys out and about in the world without me. How on earth will I survive as they grow to be adults with lives and addresses of their own? That fine line between pride and fear is very tricky to navigate.
Oh, and the hair falling out thing had me freaked too. My hairdresser was also quite concerned, as it was coming out in clumps. We cut off about 6 inches and things seemed to get much better after that. Not sure if had just run its course or if it helped to have it shorter. Either way, I salvaged enough, yet still avoided the dreaded "Mom Haircut".


Perfect. Thanks for that.

Lisa Ann

When words fail? I think not.

Beautiful post. Beautiful child.


delurking for the first time.
that is so sweet! Let me just say Noah is the cutest! What a face!
Can't wait till I can have one, maybe in like 2-3 years. Or maybe I should let DH read this tonight!


I absolutely,positively cannot wait to read yourposts when Noah first says "Mama HUG."

cheryl b.

Yes. That's it exactly. And about the feet? I'm 4 months along with my 2nd (unbelievably wanted) child and all I can think about are tiny little baby feet to nibble on.
Beautiful writing as always.


Perfect post! That's exactly what it feels like to be a mom.


GAAAHHH!!! Wonderful. You summed up mommyhood to perfection. Words absolutely did not fail you this time. My little punkin turns 1!!! on Saturday and as much as I love the big hugs, sloppy kisses, and the insane chaos of my day, I miss the days of her flinging her head to my boob frantically searching like a little kitten. Thank you for your tribute to baby love!


Isn't waking up with your baby snuggles against you and the man of your dreams lying next to you the most imcredible thing ever? Makes you feel that all is right in your world.
That's how I woke up on New Years Day. It was amazing.


Stop making me cry at work!



Nothing But Bonfires

Would jumping on the bed while he watched make him laugh? While singing? That's what my baby sister laugh for the first time years and years and years ago and I still remember it.

Nothing But Bonfires

That's what MADE.......damnit.


Oh, I am crying.
Being a mom can be so beautiful. Beautiful even when it's hard. You reminded me of that!
Thank you!


My husband is so sick of me following him around the apartment chanting, "Baby. Baby baby. BABYBABYBABYBABYBABY. baby." It's posts like these that fuel that kind of behavior. But it was such a beautiful post. I've been married for 2.5 years, and went into I-want-a-child mode about three hours after the honeymoon was over.

I will get my degree in a couple semesters, and then we can try, but until then I live vicariously through my friends that have kids. I'm so jealous, and you just made it worse. Even though you're a complete stranger, I AM happy for you.


Absolutely lovely. My baby is due February 5th and your blog makes me remember that the sciatica and the up-four-times-a-night-to-pee-sessions will be so worth it. Thanks for that.

Wacky Mommy

you made me cry again.


If this is what happens when words fail you, I'd love to be there to witness when they succeed.

For great justice!


You have written in words exactly how I feel every day. I only wish I could describe it as well as you did. Noah is one lucky boy!


you made a fat pregnant lady cry, you mean mean lady.

what sweet things you have to say about your sweet beautiful boy.

Bozoette Mary

All that love will come in handy in about 14 years. Heh. Seriously. No, really. (Smartassedness aside, this was a truly lovely post.)




Every time I read something like this, it makes the waiting that I go through every month even harder. But I am so happy for you.
Thank you for writing so beautifully about motherhood. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Because of you, I know that when it happens for me it will be amazing and incredible and hard and the best thing I have ever done.


I'm so with you on the sentiments here, except for the part about being able to leave the house. Gosh that sounds ever so nice.

Also, now I can also confess that when I see the "BM" written on Riley's daycare report thingie, I pump my fist in the air and shout "YESSSS".


Me being in the middle of a hormone meltdown has left me ridiculously vulnerable to posts like this. I'm all choked up and trapped in the memories of my own son's infancy. There is no feeling in the world like holding your child in your arms, touching their little velvet cheeks as they nurse, smelling their sweet, just-been-bathed smell... all the while knowing that this little person is the most amazing miracle in your life.

*sighs* I say this as I look over at my 7 year old, who is loudly playing Spyro the Dragon on the Playstation 2, and wonder where all the time went. I could still eat him and all, but now he's big enough to fight back. And the toes? Not so ridiculously cute anymore. Now they're more like regular feet. (...)


I just found out today I am having a son. The way you described your feelings is already what I am starting to feel. It's an amazing feeling!


Where is the damn KLEENEX when I need some?!?!


absolutely awesome....i am going to send to my sister who has 3 little ones (and is trying for a 4th!!) and like you, really really really really loves being a mommy :)


That was beautiful. I am so envious and can't wait to have my own. I have been TTC for a little over a year now and I sure hope it happens soon so I can have the same amazing feelings.


I loved that part about his whole body smiling for you. It gave me chills.



Amalah, Noah is very beautiful!

Noah is very lucky to have a Mom like you, like I feel I'm lucky to have a baby sister that I love so much, but not when she poops, because that stinks, so I open up all the windows, like what I do after grandma visits.

I think that it's so amazing that Noah spoke at his young age! The most amazing thing about my baby sister is her fur, because it makes her look like a Furby, which is probably why she can speak Furbish, because her favorite Furby words are "Gooly Mo Ga Do", whatever that means, but she always goes in her pampers after she says that for some reason, then I take a deep breath! I'm not sure, but I think my baby sister has the verbal skills of a six-month-old Furby!

I think that's so cute that Noah smiles at you, like what my baby sister does to right after she beats me up, but I'm not smiling.

I remember how much my baby sister use to love my Moms boobies, that they got so big they was as long as grandma's, but Mom got them fixed with a crane job at a hospital, so now they look normal, but my Dads is starting to sag, so I hope he gets his fix before he starts looking like a monkey, but we plenty of bananas, what my Mom says.

Anyways, Amalah, have you smelled Noahs head? I don't know what it is, but I love the smell of the top of my baby's sisters head! I love her so much!

I hope you and your family have a great day, and have a nice week, Amalah!

Great post!


Awe that was beautiful:)
That whole part about "your heart walking around outside your body"...totally true - and my son is 4 and it still holds true. I'm expecting it to be like that for awhile (like forever).


Christ, it's like a one-two punch, with the cute baby and the pitch-perfect description of what it's really like. Damn, woman.


Amen to that. You nailed motherhood right there. It is completely overpowering.

PS: I always have baby feet in my mouth too, kissing and chewing on them making my guy laugh like a little girl. So cute.


*will now have to find a way to describe to my husband exactly why I am sobbing uncontrollably, staring at my computer monitor and babbling "buh buh buh buh buh baaaaaaaaaaaybbbbbbbbbbeeeeeeeeeeeee"*

Day-ummmm gal.... these posts need a "keep kleenex close" warning....


i don't have a baby, but i can relate to your desire to eat baby feet.

i am often caught munching on the feet of my friend's babies, and my nieces and nephew.

really, it's amazing i can keep myself from grapping stranger's babies at the grocery store...

guess maybe i should try having my own.

until then, i enjoy living vicariously through you.
your writing is inspiring.


grabbing, not grapping.
sorry bout that.


I'm so glad I found the link to your blog from Finslippy. I think you're hilarious and totoally great. On top of that, your son is so adorable! I just love babies. :)

for Joke!


Kate The Great

He's so beautiful, and he's yours =) How could you not love him so much? =D


My dried up and shrivelled ovaries just skipped a beat. This feeling doesn't change when they are older either Amalah. It is an emotional rollercoaster from here on. Hang on, its a bumpy ride :)

crazy mom

You summed up my every feeling over the last eight years! God I wish I hadn't let my girls get on the school bus this morning, now I'm so lonely. As a frequent lurker, I just had to drop in and say thank you. Thank you for saying what my less eloquent voice has never been able to put into words!


Thank you. Reading things like this remind me not to give up on the punk ass ovaries. You are one lucky little family.


Very well said.




well said, Hon. Know what else? I never thought I'd be cosleeping (something I mocked endlessly). And when MrZ suggested we let NikkiZ cry it out the other night? Something I always supported before? I was APALLED that he would suggest such a thing.

I'm much more of a wus than I predicted I'd be.


"Now that Noah is here, I feel like someone scraped off the top layer of my skin and created a little person with it." SO SWEET, but really, when you think about it, is actually kinda gross.

My mother said you fall IN LOVE with your children: beyond romantic love, platonic love, and any other familial love you'd previously known; loving a being that is love, and being love herself, and love love love. But she's an ex-hippie who also said the only reason she had kids is so they could grow up, go to college, and score her good weed, so you can take the whole baby love thing with a grain of salt.


Shivers...I know exactly how you feel and it only gets better. Mine is 5 now and I love him more and more all the time.

"I feel everything that he feels -- every hug, kiss and mean old needle prick." - this is so true and when Noah starts have bigger emotions it will be so amazing for you. When he shares stories and what someone has done to them. And when they say "I love you so much mommy." Melting - that's what happens!!




You are in big touble, missy. You just made me want to have babies! BABIES! You are so blessed to have your little man (and Jason). Neverending love affair, that's what it sounds like.

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