7 Healthy Easy Meals That Every Brand New Busy Tired Hungry First-Time Mom Can Totally Toss Together With Her Eyes Closed (Or Swollen Shut From Lack Of Sleep / Crying) + A Few Handy Food Tips and a Shopping List
I’ve gotten so many emails from my readers asking, “How do I clip my baby’s nails?” Just kidding. I’ve gotten zero emails from readers asking that. But people always write that on their blog posts and I wanted, for one minute, to try pretending that I have lots of friends and followers and some kind of massive blog reading fan base of people who consider me some kind of authority on baby fingernails. Let me tell you – it was fun! Try it sometime.
OK, now back to reality. I don’t know how many people read this blog. It’s not monetized. I do it for kicks and to keep my brain moving, my fingers typing, my thoughts swirling and my time occupied in a mostly productive way.
If you like this tutorial, please pass it on. That’s my paycheck.
Oh, PS. I started a little Twitter account all about baby stuff. It’s called @TheCooNetwork. Get it? Because when a baby takes over your life, it’s “a coo”. Ha. Hm. Heh.
I’m one of those kooky moms who does things with a baby. Here is a picture of me last weekend cross country skiing with the poor little guy strapped to my chest. Trust me when I say these activities are for ME and not for him. It keeps me sane to DO THINGS. Not that I ever was 100% sane to begin with. But being a mom naturally reduces that percentage even further.
Let’s talk about these cookies. Macarons have a real attitude problem (after all they are French – HA!), and so I have concocted a recipe that has been simplified so that even people with babies (moms!) can make them. Have you ever tried to make macarons WITHOUT a baby, much less with one? They are as hard as the first month of breastfeeding to make. For starters, egg whites are “fussy” (says every recipe I’ve seen, none of these people have ever experienced the fuss of an infant at 2, 4 and 7 a.m., clearly, or the egg fussiness level would be about as mentionable as hiccups) and the bowls and dishes used have to be immaculately clean, which is so the enemy of having an infant. I don’t even remember what immaculately clean feels like. I’m barely sure what day today is. Just kidding now that my little guy is older, but 3 months ago I wouldn’t have been.
So, I got it in my silly head that I wanted to learn how to make macarons (not macaROONS, the sweet coconut lump treats) and I started Googling macaron recipes. The first thing I noticed was that they are all long as hell. So I condensed steps to help make them easier for MOMS or anyone with a little baby to make. My full recipe is below.
There are 15 speedy steps.
MOMMY AND ME MACARONS
- Strap baby to chest in sling. A Bumbaroo or a Beeble or any other weird sounding named or Scandinavian sling will do.
- Google “Macaron recipe easy fast”.
- Take 3 eggs out of the fridge. Change baby’s diaper. Try to plan this for when you’re sure it’s a #2 so it’ll take a few minutes.
- Measure out 1/4 c. white sugar, 1 2/3 c. powdered sugar, 1 c. finely ground almonds (buy Bob’s Mill Almond Meal and save yourself 20 minutes of grinding almonds. What new mom has time to ground and sift almonds let alone MAKE MACARONS?!?).
- Gather all supplies, lay parchment paper onto baking sheets, realize you are missing the cookie template, say f@#% it, you’ll have to eyeball them, there’s only a small window of baby cooperation here and that window is closing faster than you can say butter cream filling or goo goo ga ga, your choice.
- Crack eggs and separate whites. Toss yolks. Some people save yolks and do things with them, like some kind of super heroes. *Be careful not to get yolk OR baby saliva in the whites!
- Sanitize / wash hands 3-4 times, or more if you’re a BRAND new mom. Babies & raw eggs = bad mix. (You’re encouraged to eat salmon, DIScouraged to eat Salmonella.
- Set baby down because whipping egg whites while holding an infant is akin to shaking the baby, and you’re not supposed to do that. Dump white sugar into whites and beat those eggs but good. Use this as an excuse to take out any internal anger and de-stress. Think about your useless birth plan, friends who vanished, how much you miss martinis. Beat, beat, beat. When eggs turn the color of foremilk and the texture of yogurt, OR you’re crying, stop. Add “Buy an electric blender” to your never ending to do list.
- Oh, shit–Did you preheat the oven to 285 – 300? Do that now!!
- Sift almonds and powdered sugar into a bowl. Toss any little lumps aside. You’re a mom now.
- Fold almond / sugar mixture into whites the way you fold laundry — like it’s your new job. Fold quickly – 30 strokes with a rubber spatula. No, this is not a chapter in 50 Shades of Grayish or whatever it’s called.
- Dump the batter into a piping bag, or for us normal folks who don’t have access to a french patisserie, plop it into a sandwich bag and cut the corner off for an instant piping bag. Pipe onto cookie sheet covered in parchment paper in fast half dollar sized dollops. Some say use a silicone mat on a cookie sheet, but what is this, House Beautiful? Who the hell has a silicone mat kicking around? Pipe faster, the baby is whining from his play mat where you *might* have left him just a few minutes too long and you have about 30 seconds before it escalates into a full blown howl.
- Breast feed or give baby a bottle while cookies set for a bit, uncooked on the tray. This is apparently an important step. Some say let them sit the length of lap sit story time at the library, others suggest a good long cry in the shower.
- Place the cookies, one sheet at a time in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes each.
- You know the macarons are done when the baby is asleep, or after about 10 minutes, and every dish in the kitchen is dirty.
Enjoy! If you try the recipe, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below, or tweet pics at me @JessicaDelfino. For filling, by the way, a classic buttercream works, and easy stuff too, like peanut butter and jelly. You know. Like the sandwich you’re going to get really good at making with your eyes closed in a few years.
At approximately 9:14 a.m. this morning, I rolled my son over to do tummy time and I discovered this:
Yes, it appears that a bear or dog of some kind (though it could have also been a raccoon?) smacked or high-fived my son’s bottom. Perhaps it happened in the night or when I looked away for one minute?
I’ve been considering potential culprits and have determined:
-the animal had 3 fingers (perhaps it lost some in a forest fire? Or maybe it only ever had 3 fingers)
-it wasn’t too large judging by the size of the paw print
-it had access to blue paint or dye?
I don’t know if this bear/dog/raccoon is dangerous or not, but I looked online to see if anyone else has experienced this and I found that this creature, or others like it, have been busy.
Teddy Ruxpin. I’ve never trusted this dude. I mean, just look at those eyes–he’s totally on drugs. LCD? Ha, more like L-S-D. Plus, the desperation of his constant friend hunt, makes you wonder…just what kind of “friend” is he really looking for?
This guy may seem soft and lovable but if you ask me, he looks guilty. Yogi is a total trouble maker. Always stealing picnic baskets, trying to get with the ladies, causing scenes at the campground. I guess from this photo, at least we can guess he’s into ladies his age and species, unless that’s JUST A FRONT.
Smokey the Bear is a major contender. He is always hanging out with kids. Look how his hands are hidden behind the children’s heads so they can’t be ID’d. He may pose as a good bear who is always putting out forest fires, but if someone is too good you especially have to watch out for ’em.
Fozzy Bear. Sure, he dresses like a hobo and I highly doubt that he’s employed. But I don’t know if he is guilty of touching kid’s butts. I just don’t want to believe it.
I think my money is on Teddy Ruxpin or the bad guy from Berenstein Bears. If you have any leads, please call 1-800-PAW-BUTT. All calls are anonymous, because the number is one I made up.
As a new parent, I’ve noticed that pretty much EVERY SINGLE baby product includes a prominent, scary warning label. Words like DIED and STRANGLED and SUFFOCATED are in big and bold and are very SCARY to a new parent. I’ve surmised that not every single baby product is that dangerous, is it? I mean, they HAVE to write some of those labels for the percentage of nimrods and dolts who do for some reason think it’s OK to run off really quick while the baby is in the tub to finish that last chapter of their novel. But sometimes the labels are missing something. I want more information. Thankfully, these following labels really give you the what’s what and finally speak to us in language that makes sense. By the way, these labels came out kind of small. I’m not a graphic designer, just a dumb ass (or a smart ass, depending on who you ask) with Photoshop. So click on the image if you are unable to read it to enlarge and see it in it’s full glory.
Here’s one for the car seat:
Here’s one about plastic bags. Plastic bags! Who doesn’t know not to let a kid play with a plastic bag?!? Worse, who is that cheap?
Here’s one for the baby bath tub:
This is a new one for me, and a fear I hadn’t had prior to reading this particular label, so, thanks label people for giving me a new thing to have nightmares about. Apparently jackets kill the shit out of kids. Great. My kid will be wearing blankets duct taped around his body then, I guess.
Here’s another new one. I saw a warning label that was so weird. It was like, hey…there’s a small piece of this toy that you might not have noticed that could jump down your kid’s throat and cover his nose and, you know, kill ’em good. So, yeah. Maybe some warning labels really are kinda necessary.
Sometimes we have to decipher the warning labels on our own, because they have no words. I took the liberty for you here. How close do you think I got?
Sometimes the images don’t really fit the warning labels, or are just a great set up. In this case, the warning label for a box. Again. Weird toy choice, bro.
Just kidding. I totally love my kid. He’s really sweet. But having kids be HARD, yo. I had no idea. And I only have one. I see people with two or more kids now and I find myself accidentally and loudly making a “GULP” sound like they do in cartoons. I look at them like they just made a quarter disappear behind my ear. I’m like, “How did you do that?!?” Also, this post doesn’t really have 7 reasons why you should carefully read warning labels. It doesn’t even have one. It was just a click bait title. Did I get ya? If so, I win! But I don’t need to tell you to read warning labels. And most warning labels don’t need to tell you what they tell you. You’re not an idiot, and you know not to let your child stir the mac and cheese with his hand or let him taste small pieces of his toy. In fact, you don’t need me or anyone else to tell you anything. You can educate yourself, and make your own informed decisions. After all, we have a massive overpopulation problem, so SOMEONE is doing it right. Someone just like you. Oh, and by the way–it IS you. You’re doing a great job!
I looked online for sample schedules for babies and couldn’t really find many that reflected my situation, so I decided to make one to share. Enjoy!
5 AM Wake up to screaming baby. Stick boob into baby’s mouth in a side feed pose and hope he will fall back asleep for a little while, and maybe mommy can, too.
5:30 AM Baby fell asleep! But mommy won’t for awhile, so peruse Facebook, Google News and Twitter on iPhone until awash with a renewed sense of disdain for the world, which always helps induce sleep. Then, meditate. Mentally trace the back roads of childhood home town. And count back from 100. And go through the alphabet thinking of one word that begins with each letter. And play 1 or 27 rounds of favorite word game on phone. And read a book. And drink a large glass of water. Finally, finally, begin to doze off again.
6:30 AM Wake up to screaming baby just as a satisfying sleep is settling in. Run and pee really quickly before the baby starts to do the thing where he screams so hard he loses his breath and begins to cough. Don’t forget to stub foot on the bed / crib / wall on the way there / back / both. Refill water glass. Return to bed and side feed baby again, with the opposite breast, hoping he will fall back to sleep. Fall back to sleep with some ease this time.
7:30 AM Husband’s alarm clock goes off. Baby wakes up screaming. Side feed baby again, this time using opposite boob. Forget to note it in breastfeeding app. Feel a strange puddle on the bed and realize baby has somehow magically peed up and out of his diaper. Change and clean baby. Place a towel over pee puddle and lie on top of it, as changing the sheets after just one puddle is essentially futile. Side feed baby using the same or opposite boob, whichever one is currently leaking the biggest spot through shirt.
8 AM Husband sneezes in another room. Baby awakes and starts screaming. Attempt to side feed and fall back to sleep. Though mommy can’t keep eyes open, baby’s aren’t closing.
9 AM Husband leaves for work with loud door bang. He doesn’t quite understand the concept of “sssshhhhh!” yet, probably never will. Mommy opens eyes, like the scene in Ghostbusters when Gozar the Gozarian arrives. Baby is still side feeding, eyes wide open, even though breast is like a flat tire. Get out of bed, get baby and self cleaned up and dressed to best of ability using one arm. Boil water for tea and oatmeal, make and eat it as fast as possible before the baby’s coos devolve into whimpers and the whimpers crumble quickly into screams.
10:30 AM Feed baby breakfast boob while trying to fill out severely belated thank you cards with one hand. Give up eventually, both because handwriting looks like the cards were written in a dark room with a broken arm and because movement is waking the baby who is sleeping on lap.
11 AM When baby wakes up screaming, pump legs, assuming he must have gas. After he flatulates 5 or 6 man-sized farts, pick him up and burp him. Clean up the vomit he has launched onto mommy’s shirt off of his face and clothing. Note as he takes explosive wet dump into diaper, take care of that.
11:30 AM After baby is cleaned up, smiling and cooing with appreciation for having been saved from the hot wet mess that his butt was involved in, play with him for a while: tummy time, read him a book, bounce him on lap, smile and coo with him. Remember what makes him so lovable. Take his photo with phone and text it to daddy, mom and mother in law and a friend or two.
12:15 PM Get baby dressed warmly and take him for a little walk outside, for both party’s sanity. Talk to other human beings–the elderly women who say, “What a blessing! Enjoy this time, it goes by SO. FAST.” as if it’s a script that they’ve all been given. Go to coffee shop. Talk to barista like she’s an old friend. Get cup of decaf coffee so milk doesn’t dry up, though caffeine would do a world of good right now. Overestimate how much strolling time before baby implodes, then try to calm baby as he begins to have an apocalyptic level meltdown because he won’t wait even one more minute for food. Pick him up out of stroller and breast feed him in front of apartment building on random park bench. Wave hello to super when he walks by. Chat with him for a moment and try to remain calm as exposed breast catches a little of the fall breeze. Wave hello to neighbor when she walks by and try to keep the conversation normal sounding even though 2 new people in one day have seen breast, and thus have practically had a threesome. Try to put the baby back into stroller while he is asleep–carefully so he’ll stay asl–ah, shit, he’s awake. Get him into stroller and back into apartment before he realizes he’s still hungry.
1:30 PM He fell back asleep in the elevator somehow! Yesss! Wheel him into apartment ever so quietly and park him in stroller in living room. Take jacket off and pee without an infant on lap. Savor the moment. Wipe as he wakes and begins to cry. Quickly wash hands, exclaiming, “Mommy’s here, it’s OK!” over and over from the bathroom so that his development doesn’t get stunted because he lost trust in his caregiver or whatever that parenting article said would happen.
1:45 PM Pick him up and get his jacket off just as he loudly shits himself. Hold him close and put hand into wet shit that has leaked out diaper and through his pants. Get him cleaned up, calmed down, change his diaper and clothes. Sigh a breath of relief as he begins to smile and coo from his changing mat and then immediately shits himself again. Get him all undressed and begin to change his diaper as he pees a fountain of pee all over mommy, bed, changing mat, his clothes and his own face. Curse for forgetting to use damn pee pee cloth. Clean him all up, change him again, toss his clothes into laundry, redress him, don’t worry much about his pee on mommy’s clothes because a) it’s like rosewater, it doesn’t smell and will dry quickly and b) there’s no time or energy to change clothes now.
2:30 PM Feeding time again! Every 2-3 hours my ass. Put on some music, fill up a glass of water and sit somewhere calm and comfortable after the ordeal that just went down. Get snuggly with baby and get him situated and eating. See his eyes begin to droop closed as he calms down and even rest own head back and relax for a moment, but then cellphone rings loudly. Make a note to self to just leave ringer off on phone all the time for, say, next year or two. Baby is startled awake by phone and begins to cry. Make another note to maybe just chuck cellphone out window / into the river.
3 PM Baby is awake now, well fed and alert. He wants to play! Mommy could use a nap, but it’s not in the cards. Entertain me! His cute eyes say. But he must be tired, maybe he can be lured back to sleep? Nope, I want to play! He insists. Do tummy time with him. Walk around apartment with him. Bounce him on yoga ball. Lie him on activity mat and let him stare up at the ceiling. Observe with wonder and amazement at FUCKING BABY YOU MADE and ponder at how it’s like, TRIPPY AS HELL and beautiful and crazy.
3:10 PM Baby starts crying for no reason. Does he have to fart? Pump his legs to see. Pick him up and tell him, “It’s OK” which doesn’t help. Smell his butt. He stops crying. Phew! Look at him as he laughs and smiles. All is OK. But wait, no! He starts crying again, then screaming. Oh no! His diaper doesn’t smell, and he just ate. Does he have a fever? Take his temperature with the stupid forehead thermometer that gives different read every time. After 4 reads of 98.4, 98.7, 97.9 and 99.0 assume he probably doesn’t have fever. He’s stopped crying, thankfully, and is smiling again. Huzzah! Rejoice too soon — he begins crying again. What the fucking fuck!?!? Walk him around apartment. He can’t be hungry, he was just fed. Sit down and try to feed him anyway, will do anything to calm him down. He eats with a vigor like he’s never had food before and after a few minutes, passes out adorably with boob in his mouth.
4:30 PM Realize mommy food needs to happen NOW. Stand up holding sleeping baby in arms because experience has taught not to set him down or he’ll wake in screaming fit. Slip him into sling that was tied on this morning and pretty much is worn as a shirt every day all day. He should rouse briefly, then with luck, fall back to sleep. Eureka! He did this time! Go into kitchen, unwrap banana, dip it in peanut butter with each bite and make it disappear so fast if there were a speed banana eating contest, it’d be no contest. Rinse it down with almond milk out of container. Toss hand full of granola on top of it all. Take breath. Refill water glass. Return to comfy spot and assume that since baby is sleeping, maybe will try to put head back and close eyes for a few minutes.
5:30 PM Wake to baby turning his head back and forth in a sort of “Exorcist” style action and realize sleep did occur for 30 or so blissful minutes. Caress baby’s face, hoping maybe he’ll fall asleep, like a lobster. He does! Nice! This time he stays out for a good solid hour or so. While he sleeps in sling, read some fearful baby facts online, peruse Facebook, read a couple chapters of that French parenting book someone gave as shower gift, knock off a few more thank you notes, clean living room, bathroom and kitchen, strip pee / vomit / poop sheets off bed, FaceTime sister, put new sheets on bed, reorganize night stand, tidy up bedroom, get some rice started in the rice cooker and chop up veggies to help dinner along, write blog entry, Google 6 -7 questions for the internet to solve, drink a glass of water, return a few texts and pee.
6:45 PM Super mom! Did all that stuff in just a little over an hour. Daddy comes home! Overjoyed to see him because a) it’s nice to talk to another adult and b) really have to poop and it’d be so cool if he would hold / watch the baby for 5 minutes. He is excited to see and hold baby so he does so with joy. Scuttle away to bathroom for first few minutes all day without an infant. While in there, also brush teeth, brush hair, wash face, clip fingernails for the first time in week or so, clip toenails in — not really sure how long it’s been — and just stand still in the quiet for a minute longer than really necessary before going back out into the shit. Return to position, just as baby starts scream crying.
7:30 PM Shit, spent 45 minutes in bathroom!? Take baby back while daddy makes dinner. Change baby, which is why he was crying, maybe. His diaper was pretty wet and there was a faint confusing yellow streak – did he fart yellow? Or begin to poop and then change his mind? Ah, never mind. He is clean, smiling and happy again. Watch him play and set him into his crib, which today, now, he lets happen for some reason, whereas normally he screams and throws a fit like he was just abandoned in a dumpster instead of a nice, cozy, clean crib. Play with his soft hands and touch his little head for a minute as he looks up at sky with pure fascination and amazement at something unseeable by anyone else. A ghost maybe? Who knows. Who cares? If the ghost keeps the baby from crying for a few minutes, why mess with it? Thank the ghost.
8:00 PM Dinner is ready. Pick up baby and put him in sling. Eat dinner in the living room with daddy while baby eats boob dinner. Take care not to spill food onto baby’s face and hair as he eats. He falls asleep. Enjoy dinner. Contemplate keeping him awake so the family can easily go to bed together at new regular 10:30 PM bedtime, but so tired and appreciative of him finally relaxing, figure, let’s deal with 10:30 at 10:30. Watch a couple episodes of Frasier on Netflix as Husband / Daddy talks about his day. Try to listen to him and really respond with sincerity but so tired, mostly just nod and shove forkfuls of veggies and rice into pie hole. He does the same. Hope he knows love has only deepened for him and that he won’t want a divorce before this is all over.
9:45 PM Baby wakes and cries but just a little bit. Pump his legs, burp him, hug him until he calms down. The super moon is out. Contemplate going to look at it, and then decide to check it out in 35 years when it comes back next time. Daddy cleans up dinner stuff. Do a little bit of writing while baby chills in his swing for a few blissful not freaking out minutes for some reason although when he is normally put in the swing he reacts like he’s just been delicately set onto a bed of nails. Whenever he whimpers, take a break from writing to look at him and give him a little love, remembering of the old ladies’ words like they are a warning, and in a way they are–“Cherish every moment, they grow up so fast”. Close lap top. Watch baby look at the ceiling like it’s the most amazing thing he’s ever seen. Thank the ghost again for occupying baby’s attention, and watch in wonder and amazement, realizing once again, SHIT, there’s a KID here now–this is MY BABY. Peel off for a moment to brush teeth, pee without company, change into PJs and give daddy a hug and a kiss.
10:30 PM Take baby into bedroom, read him a book. Read him another book. Turn bedroom light down. Feed baby a little bit of boob but not too much because like the books say, put him down in his crib tired but not asleep and don’t let him associate food with sleep. How would he sleep ever if not for boob? Curse articles and make promise to self to stop reading them. After a few minutes of feeding, as his eyes start to droop, pick him up and gently lie him in his crib. As he protests, sing to him, turn on the white noise machine and let him suck on pinky. That all seems to work for once and he falls asleep in his crib after about 15 minutes. Fall into bed like it’s a velvet massage basin. Close eyes. Consider making love to husband if he shows any interest at all. Turn to make suggestion, note he is gently snoring. Be secretly relieved. Tell self in 2 years you’ll be rabbits again. Hope it’s true. Quickly slip into a dream.
2 AM Wake to scream crying. Reach over to crib and lift baby up, comforting him. He’s probably hungry and has awoken to find himself alone and his mama gone and he’s scared. Bring him into bed and side feed him, even though all the books and websites and sleeping with a baby in your bed is a vehement no no. But you’re fucking tired, god dammit, and side feeding is the only way that you can get any sleep at all. Otherwise, you’d be up every hour, putting him in and out of the crib that he hates. Make sure there are no blankets or pillows near him and confirm that you’re not drunk or on drugs. Both you and baby fall back to sleep, cuddled up as he eats and feels warmth and comfort next to mommy’s body. As you drift back to sleep, consider for one second getting up to pee, but decide you’d rather sleep in a bed full of your own hot urine than wake the baby again, if necessary, and just hold it. Repeat.
I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I’ve never gotten so many gifts in my life as I did when my son was born. Old friends came out of the woodwork to give us presents. Even strangers sent us mobiles, diapers and hand knit sweaters. It was really heartwarming and sweet and not expected and generous and gracious and took me by surprise and also, some people gave us really weird gifts. One lady gave us a talking toilet. It’s like, where are we, Japan, lady? Ha ha. We got 2 identical Misfits onesies (very cool, but still, unusual), a bouncy chair the size of a Volkswagen Bug that has so many different activities surrounding it, it looks like the driver’s seat to a space ship and a dog that is pre-programmed to say my son’s name, but it always says it like it’s always asking him a question? Like, Hey there (pause) Wyatt? Let’s play a game!
From these wonderful, kind gifts, I did some imagineering and came up with some baby toys and product pitches that have never existed and hopefully never will.
Little Tiny Tikes Talking Scale
It’s a talking baby scale, but one that tells you you’re a bad mom because your kid is underweight. It’s preprogrammed to say things like, “Maybe your breast milk doesn’t have enough calories, you should eat more ice cream”, “Try giving him some rice cereal”, and “You know, you were fed formula, it’s not poison” but in your mother’s voice.
Wee Wipes Terry Cloth Baby Towel
A baby towel that is not decorated with animal ears of some kind. Instead, these towels have large old man ears on them.
My Small One Baby Classics Book Series
A series of soft padded books including titles like, “The Little Catcher In The Rye” about a baby Holden and his hijinks, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being, for Babies” and “Nexus, Plexus and Sexus Go To The Market”.
I don’t know why anyone would want to have an ant farm. What if the ants got out? Is it fun to watch ants? If you really love ants that much, shouldn’t you set them free? But scabies on the other hand, they should be trapped in what is essentially your own private concentration camp, no? You could do things like, you know, starve them or shake them up or empty them out into someone you don’t like’s pudding.
Baby Booby Wipes
There are baby butt wipes, baby tooth and gum wipes, and tissues for baby’s nose and slobber, but why not baby booby wipes? After a child has a meal at the breast, you can wipe his mouth like a little aristocrat with a tiny boob napkin decorated with whales wearing top hats and monocles, dancing clown dogs smoking pipes or frogs playing the harpsichord.
BabyScope TM Child Binoculars
It sounds like these already exist, right? But no, these aren’t any old child binoculars. These are binoculars just for grandparents / mom-in-laws etc. to use to stare wistfully out the window when they know their grandchild is en route for a visit so they can get a glimpse of them from up to 2 miles away, before they even get out of the car.
MakeUp & Beauty Products For Infants By Mabelline’s Kid Line, Babelline
Maybe she was just-born with it? Maybe it’s Babelline. Tiny lipsticks, combs, eye shadows, jewelry, lotions, etc. all made with fair trade ingredients and chemical free dyes, “wink, wink”.
BabyFingers Finger Puppets
Tiny finger puppets sized just perfectly for baby fingers. Caution: This toy is a choking hazard. Do not let baby use unattended, or attended, or at all, OK?
The TellsYaWhat Baby Mom-itor
This product gathers information (also known as ‘spies on you’) using cameras and cross references the data using wifi access to hundreds of mom forums online to determine if your mothering skills are up to par, and reads judgmental comments to you to discourage you from doing whatever you’re doing that “could be dangerous”.
Coffee for babies! It’s got less caffeine than regular coffee but still some caffeine so that babies can act up all day but will then be so tired that they’ll surely ‘sleep through the night’. This product comes with a pin you can wear that says, “My baby sleeps through the night!” both so that people won’t ask you and so that you can impress people with the fact that you get to sleep, even if it’s not true.
To purchase any of these items, go to www.NonExistentBabyProducts.com.
Hey there, old friends.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written. I’ve kinda been busy, bringing life into the world and nurturing it and shit. Oh, and also really trying to get a handle on the whole, “being a mom” thing. I had no idea it was going to be as hard as it has been. I thought I’d be able to toss the kid into a papoose and not miss a beat. But boy (that’s what I had) was I in for a rude awakening (literally, every hour or less, all night long).
My mom had 6 kids the old fashioned natural way (through the vagina), so I just counted on an easy delivery. But, “Ha ha!”, life said, as it kicked me in the ribs and teeth. “C section for you!” it exclaimed, grabbing the decision randomly out of it’s big bag of mom names. It’s weird being known at least partially for writing a song called, “My Pussy Is Magic” and then having mine break down on me when I needed it most.
So, that’s the first thing no one ever tells you – your vagina might break at the moment of truth and then you’ll have to get that dang baby sawed out of you. With my situation, I had low amniotic fluid and the Drs. insisted we induce early. So maybe all would have been fine and dandy had we waited. But there’s an increased chance in cord accidents (umbilical cord wrapping around baby’s neck) if you have low fluid, and we didn’t want to risk that, so we did all the stuff – the cervidil and the pitocin and neither worked, so, we had a slice ’em dice ’em baby. Here are 5 other things NO ONE EVER TELLS YOU ABOUT CHILDBIRTH. WARNING: If you are afraid to have a baby and don’t want reasons not to, don’t read this. This is the spookiest blog entry to be written this Halloween season–the “Headless Horsemen” of parenting blog posts, if you will.
To add onto the above note, There’s A Decent Chance You Will Have A C Section. Yes sir!–or, well, ma’am is probably more apropos. 1 in 3 babies are now delivered via c section. If you are anything like me, the idea of surgery isn’t in your birth plan (ha ha, funny! plan!) in any universe. But here’s the good news: c sections are pretty much 100% painless. You’re given morphine (!?) and are totally awake to meet your newbie, albeit high as a frickin’ kite–and dig this, it takes about 60 minutes or less to get the little bugger out. C sections should be rebranded and called “Baby In An Hour” because that sounds way better and it beats the stuffing out of having 2 days of labor. Recovery takes the same as natural birth (6 weeks or so), and you can sit down (you just have a little trouble sitting “up”), after delivering, plus, all your, ahem, “goods” remain intact. So if your doctor says a c section is imminent, don’t fret — just ruminate on “baby in an hour” and try to enjoy the buzz.
The First Few Days Back Home With Your Baby From The Hospital May Very Well Be The Scariest, Hardest Days Of Your Life. When I returned home and held my perfect, precious, screaming little boy in my hands all alone for the first time without the care and watchful eyes of all the nurses, I broke down into tears. “What have I done?” I asked myself. “I’ve brought the world down onto my and my dear husband’s backs,” I thought. Every fear and terror that exists came into my mind. Dark, dark thoughts and scenarios unfolded in my drug addled head and played themselves all the way out. My stress level was turned up to 11.”Why didn ‘t anyone tell me it’d be like this?” I thought. Everyone said, “It’s the most beautiful thing” and, “It’s hard but incredible”. No one said I’d be sobbing teardrops the size of Necco wafers onto a newborn’s face as he screeched like a baby mountain lion into my swollen breasts like a metal band singer into my microphone boob as the hours melted away into days. No one said I feel inadequate, incapable terrified and lost, or explained why. I took some comfort in remembering that literally billions of people have had newborns, including people in places with no running water or medicine or who literally lived in caves, and they did ok. Just remember this mantra that every parent passed onto me like a sacred chant as I stared at them lifelessly through bloodshot, puffy eyes…
Things Get Easier After About 2 Weeks
While you’re panicking about becoming a new mom (or dad) and grappling with reestablishing your sense of normalcy, among many other things, it may occur to you that all the horrifying and mysterious feelings you’re experiencing are here to stay and this pit of confusion and uncertainty is your new life but fear not–“2 weeks” is every new family’s slogan / goal / magical date with destiny. As I lamented to friends about feeling lost, pained and emotional, they responded to me like Arnold Schwartzneggar posing as the lady with a bomb for a head in Total Recall–“Two weeks!” Never mind when you’re “in the shit”, as you are / will be, 2 weeks seems like a lifetime away. Finding myself just on the other side of it now, it feels like it was an eternity ago.
You Will Have To Poop While Holding A Screaming Newborn At 4 AM
This one doesn’t really need any additional commentary, but I’ll elaborate. My little sweetie pie hates being put down, ever, ever, and when we were brand new to each other, we had no idea how to operate our situation. My MO was to keep him from crying or just never put him down, and his MO was to always cry, no matter what. I could have pooped while he screamed in his crib, but that thought hadn’t occurred to me yet, and I didn’t want to torture my neighbors at an ungodly hour with the screams of an infant. So I pooped with him in my arms. More than once. Poor guy!
Everyone Will Offer You Baby Care Advice And Tips And Everything Everyone Says Will Annoy You
So, this is the thing. Childbirth and recovery hurts like the dickens. It’s really painful for 99% of the women who experience it (and no one, save maybe a 9 months pregnant woman, wants to hear your story about how wonderful and easy your 1% of pleasant child births was). In addition to dealing with mega pain, your world is literally turned upside down. Your moral AND physical compass are doing laps like the second hand on a cartoon clock. It’s a feeling I really can’t describe, and clearly most other people can’t, either, because even the people who tried to explain, aka, warn me, failed miserably in their attempts. But in short, everything is all willy nilly for a new mom during the time of child birth. She is pissed. She is in pain. She’s happy and excited and whee! too, but mostly, more immediately, she’s a woman with a body made of wet noodles trying to navigate her way around a blender. So, moms, step moms, cousins, sisters, etc., cut her some slack. Man, she needs it. Here are the things, and really, the ONLY things to say to a new mom:
- I made you a sandwich / plate of cookies / loaf of bread / dinner / smoothie
- I did your dishes / cleaned your house / got your mail / folded your laundry
- You are doing a great job!
- You look great!
- Why don’t you go take a shower while I hold the baby?
- In 2 weeks, I promise you’ll feel better
That’s it. That’s all you can say. Anything else and you are knocking on the devil’s door. Don’t be surprised when Satan herself answers. She doesn’t want to hear your thoughts on breastfeeding / how YOU were fed formula and you’re OK (can you prove that?), your advice about how you slept on YOUR stomach and you turned out fine (again, where’s the proof?), that the house is a mess, or your complaints about ANYTHING. Just zip it. If you’ve got to let her know how you feel about X, Y or Z, wait 1 month or 2 months or here’s an idea, go to Alaska and get stuck in a blizzard wearing only underwear for a couple months (yes, that was a metaphor for child birth) or so and then come back and if you still remember, if it’s still important, THEN tell her.
To sum it up, childbirth, and the following months, be hard, yo. I mean, harder than hard. I mean, REALLY HARD. That cute thing they had kids do in school–carry a bag of sugar around? Ha, what a joke! They should have them carry 15 bags of sugar, that’d be more like it. Even when they have to poop. For the people who say, well then, don’t have kids! I really didn’t know it was going to be the way it is. You have no way of knowing. Even this handy blog entry doesn’t shine one iota of a speck of light on what the hard parts are like. Plus, the coos and the first smile and the big eyes and the tiny hands and the soft cheeks and the adorable onesies and the love — the love and trust that you know is there, that you can feel must be there somewhere behind those sweet eye lashes and those little pink lips and that you slowly feel and see being revealed, and the good times you are certain are to come, even when it doesn’t feel that way–somehow make it all worth it. Good one, mother nature. Good one.
I haven’t seen you in awhile. You look thin! Is everything OK?
It’s been a pretty dope April-May, I have to say. Besides the fact that I’ve gained 15 pounds or so due to this impending baby (dropping late August), I’ve still managed to get some work done.
In April, Mindy Tucker, Marianne Ways, Carol Hartsell and a bunch of other ladies and I pulled off the first #WomenInComedy2016 photo shoot of over 200+ female comedians in the same room. It was a total blast, and here is a story about it in the New York Times, and some pictures, to prove it. You can read more about it here.
This Friday, May 13th, I will be part of the first Kotex Pop-Up Shop comedy show in downtown Manhattan with Sue Smith and many other comedians and I am bloody thrilled. (Sorry, sorry!) If you love period jokes and humor and stories, this is gonna be your spot. (Can’t stop, won’t stop)
Next week, May 19-21 is our 5th and final NY Funny Songs Fest. The line up is incredible and has over 60 comedic musicians performing in every genre from ska to classical to pop to Irish ballads. It’s been a great 5 years! Help send us off with a bang by buying 1 stinkin’ ticket to a show of your choosing. Shows range from $0-$10 and some include pancakes. (ok, ONE)
My last piece of news for today: (but don’t worry, you’re going to hear a lot more about it in the coming weeks. Oh, you weren’t worried? Cool.) Please save the date and buy an advance ticket for my comedy special, “Before My Water Breaks” which I will perform at Joe’s Pub on Sat July 23, 8 months pregnant. It follows me on the journey from empty to full wombed and involves finding a husband on Craigslist and all kinds of fun stuff. NOT TO BE MISSED.
OK, talk to you soon!
[Note: I had no idea that this post could possibly be conceived as an anti-feminist piece. My intention always was to express my personal experience in comedy. I’m rather fond of this piece, so I think I’ll leave it up for now for people to further commiserate on.]
I received an email from a woman who was seeking female comedians to share stories about being harassed by male comedians. I responded, telling her I had lots of great and funny war stories about being a comedian in NYC for the past decade. But when she elaborated on her project and reiterated she was seeking stories by women who’d been harassed by men / male comedians while in a comedy environment, I paused, took a bite of my sandwich and really thought about it, with width and girth, for a few hearty minutes. I racked my brain, ready to deliver all the dozens of stories of the waterfall of guys who’d wronged me, harassed me and brought me to the emotional breaking point in my 15 years of comedy. As I swallowed the mouthful, I also swallowed the truth–I had almost none.
Sure, there were stories about my ex, Kurt Metzger, who I have no problem naming because many comedians in the scene have heard the stories, either his version, mine, or some combination of both. He broke my heart and mistreated me, I was jealous and clingy, had zero boundaries and let him (and everyone) walk all over me. We were two young, determined assholes in love. I don’t resent Kurt, because we were just a coupla dummies who didn’t know any better. And at the end of the day, we had great fun and adventures together. We started comedy together, graduated college together, grew up together, learned a lot from each other and ultimately, needed each other at that point in our lives. And that is essentially where the list of men who did “done me wrong in comedy” ends.
On the contrary, the majority of stories I have about men in comedy are ones about men who’ve pushed me along, lifted me up, gave me words of encouragement and got me paid gigs.
Jim Norton let me sleep on his couch a countless number of times when I was essentially a starving homeless comedian in NYC and never even once tried to pee on me. He got me booked at clubs and even on TV. He gave me rides to shows and provided super valuable comedic advice when I needed it. Patrice O’Neal befriended me, was kind to me in his own way, and gave me wise words of comedy advice more than once. He steamrolled Big Jay Oakerson into letting me take the extra bed in his hotel room when I was booked to perform at Montreal Comedy Festival. Jay, an old Philly comedian buddy and former roommate, was happy to help. The festival had paid for Jay’s transportation and hotel room. I had hitchhiked, none of my expenses were covered by the fest. After the festival, they sent me a generous and unexpected check. I suspect that Patrice was behind that, too. Kevin Hart gave me a successful pep talk when I met him in tears at The Cellar after a rough night of comedy. Dante Nero drove me around like a personal chauffeur to more shows than I can count, and we joked and commiserated about the comedy scene. Matt Kirshen got me booked in the UK and LA, and offered me his couch more than once. Jim Gaffigan put me in his TV show and was a regular fixture, reliably lending his star power to a dinky monthly comedy show I helped produce. Colin Quinn read my script and gave me honest feedback. Neil Brennan and Dave Chappelle put me in The Chappelle Show pilot. The list literally goes on and on. Maybe their motives were of a horny kind, but if so, it never felt that way.
The sad and creepy truth is, it isn’t men who’ve been most cruel and unkind to me in comedy, it’s been women. And not just any women, but the most successful and powerful ones I’ve known.
A very famous female comedian told some mutual comedian friends that I’d “creeped her out” after I appeared at 2 shows that she happened to be performing in in one night. I was a new comedian at the time, trying to show my face at as many of the hot shows as I could, every night. She was visiting from out of town and apparently doing the same thing. I was devastated when I heard that I’d alienated one of my heroes. I have a photo of us together from that night, me smiling, young and happy eyed; her, apparently “creeped out” by an ambitious young comedian’s very presence. Years later I confronted her about it as politely as I could, and apologized for whatever I’d done wrong (nothing), and she accepted my apology and apologized herself, but the damage had already been done. I could never see her in the same light. She was such an inspiration, and she tried to sabotage me–a famous comedian, using all of her star power to smoosh the reputation of a tiny, insignificant newbie–she didn’t have to do that.
A female booker who was booking a decent club at the time befriended me. She passed me at her club and we struck up a close friendship. We spent afternoons having lunch together, running and talking about boys. I confided in her with personal details and problems I was having with my boyfriend. I later found out, while I had been opening up to her about him, she’d been literally opening up to him, and slept with the guy towards the end of our relationship.
I accompanied my ex-friend, a now very famous comedian, to therapy and was there for her when she was making sense of some personal issues she was dealing with. I called her a good friend for many years. I even introduced her to a friend who she ended up dating for several years. Then one day, she ghosted me, shortly after her move to LA, where she got a job on a big show. No explanation, no fight, no goodbye, she simply stopped communicating with me. It truly broke my heart and took me years to get over.
Still another very famous female comedian and I shared the stage a few times. We bonded at a show when she asked me intimate questions about an ex, or at least, I thought we had. I asked her if she was having sex with him, she said no, never! (Later, I saw in a documentary, she said she had.) She booked me to perform on a show, which led to a TV appearance for me. I saw her the evening of my appearance and she was icy cold to me. Was she angry that I’d booked a nice gig from her show? I brushed it off, convinced I’d imagined it. Later, when she got her TV show, I emailed her to say congrats and that I hoped we’d get to hang out again someday. I signed the email, Your pal, Jessica. She responded, “We were never pals.” I thought she was either kidding or had been mistaking me for someone else. The last email I’d gotten from her said, “You rock my world bitch!” I saw her at comedy clubs after that and she was weirdly hot and cold. One time she icily brushed by me, another time she smiled and waved warmly at me. I texted her a few times, determined to fix or figure out whatever was going on. When there was a scandal in the news about her, I texted, “Hang in there, we’re all doing the best we can.” She responded, “Thank you, new phone, who is this?” I replied, “Jess Delfino”. She texted back, “We are not friends. I’ve been more than clear with you. Don’t text me.” I was so confused. It was she who’d given me her number. I didn’t find it in a dumpster, though that’s where I left it. Another comedian confided in me that she knew of an incident where she had sabotaged a nice gig I was supposed to have been booked for by telling the people involved not to hire me. I’m still gobsmacked over it all, and I’ll probably never know what it’s all about. Luckily, she can’t hurt me at all, because I’m already dead inside.
Today, I find myself surrounded by a group of pretty cool and somewhat tight knit comedian women. The climate is different. We are more aware that we aren’t necessarily competing, or at least that we don’t have to. We have a better understanding that if we want to get paid as much as men, we have to stop acting like babies and work together. We share resources. We commiserate. We talk about tampons. It’s great. We make a good team. It hasn’t always been that way, but it has been pretty good most of the time, except when it’s been bad. I can’t imagine these women acting the same way the more successful ones had. I chalk it up to inexperience with fame, defense of an imaginary throne, perhaps, and the non-realization that you see the same people on the way up as you do on the way down. Or maybe I deserved it, because I did something terrible to them all, and maybe some day, I’ll find out what.
But in short, no comedy dude has ever really harassed me that I can think of or remember. Maybe I’m not hot enough. Maybe I give off a vibe that makes their penises go soft, like those vibrating machines that keep deer and bugs away from cars. I don’t know. But I like it, and I hope whatever I do to make them not harass or come onto me in undesired sexual ways, I can keep doing it.
Addendum: I acknowledge that there are a lot of really creepy and shitty male comedians out there who have done the whole spectrum of harassment to women in comedy, and worse. I have heard the horror stories, first hand. Just because that hasn’t been my personal experience does’t mean it’s not the reality for a lot of women. I know it to be the case for a countless number of women. Some nightmare stories have even gotten national press, as we all know. This isn’t a piece letting men off the hook for their bad behavior. If anything, I hope it will inspire men to continue to consider their actions, and look to the way their heroes mentioned above treated me as shining examples of ways to interact with and reach out to women in comedy (and to people in life).