Our house is 90 years old. The place has character. It also has the telltale signs of old homes. PartnerA and I have been fixing the place up room by room since we moved in three years ago. So far, one of the by-and-large untouched rooms has been the third bedroom, which we jokingly refer to as “The Cat Room”. After all, it’s little more than a play room for our brood of mismatched felines and some office furniture left over from our college days.
With Bingo on the way, though, I decided to make Bingo’s bedroom my big project. So as PartnerA has been working at creating a mini-human, I’ve been working at creating a livable space of the third bedroom. Like Bingo, now at 19 weeks and one day gestation, Bingo’s room is coming along slowly but surely! Continue reading
For almost my entire life, barring the first moments of infancy and the brief stage between 6-8 when almost everybody is lean, I’ve been round. Chubby, pudgy, fat: however you want to phrase it. And in this body, I’ve spent plenty of time dealing with fatphobia: both the fatphobia of the world around me, and the internalized kind that creeps in when you aren’t watching and leads to a particularly pervasive kind of body hatred. The kind of body hatred that leads you to waste a great deal of time as a child and teenager wishing yourself into a different body, always to no avail.
But then I learned that fatphobia was both a word and a system, not a natural response to something bad. I met a lot of fantastic folks, who were not only fat but also activists radically embracing their fatness. I thought of the many fat people who I found attractive, and began to consider how that might also be applied to my own body. It occurred to me for the first time that I could be fat, that people could like me and– more importantly– that I could like myself. Which is how I moved into an adulthood of relative body acceptance: believing that I had conquered fatphobia.
But then, I had never grown out of my pants in the span of four months.
It had been five weeks since my last medical intervention.
After being cut loose from Clinic One at 12 weeks, I found myself anxious in the absence of regular blood draws and ultrasounds. It’s true that I had my blood drawn twice during those five long weeks, but these tests were swift wam-bam-thank-you-ma’am blood lettings requisitioned by Clinic One and the midwife, Diet Coke. Nothing more. I was feeling a little twitchy.
So it was with some relief that I met up with Sea to head to the third visit with Diet Coke at the midwifery clinic last week. Due to a hectic schedule, this was the first visit that Sea was able to attend. She was nervous both about what the clinic would be like, and my ability to find my way there. I scoffed in the face of her fear. This was my third visit: I was an expert.
A pair of dress pants from the back of my closet that I could still button (barely) under my belly.
A dress shirt with impressive stretch.
A tie instead of a bowtie to hide the strained buttons.
Coordinated shoes. Always coordinated shoes.
Result: Relative success, I think. The first photo of me (neck down, granted) on this blog, and my first pseudo-belly shot.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and take off my pants.
I should be on my way to work, but I’m still in the clothes that I slept in. In a few minutes I’ll go upstairs, shower, dress– but right now I’m dreading it. Why?
Because tonight I have to attend a fancy dinner.
I know, I know: poor me. I have to go to a fancy dinner. The food will probably be delicious. There will be dessert. Somebody else will do the dishes. What’s my problem? Well, clothes.
Homophobia is nothing new. I’ve been intimately familiar with it since I came out. Actually, since well before I came out. Homophobia and I became acquainted when I was fourteen and went to get a haircut. My mother was out of town. Under the more permissive, and slightly oblivious, gaze of my father, I instructed the hairdresser to “cut it all off”. Which she did. Having your hair cropped above your ears does nothing to support the presumed heterosexuality of a teenager, and I became familiar with rumours and suspicion. Suspicions were confirmed and rumours turned to blatant homophobia when I came out at 18 and slowly began to give up the vestiges of femininity that had always been unnatural to me.
At 30, I get sir-ed as often as I get ma’am-ed. I get stared at in bathrooms. I hear slurs and snickers. I’m so used to navigating the world in my body and my identity that I don’t notice the stares, though when Sea and I go out together she points them out. These microagressions are a part of my daily life.
The thing is, for the most part, I don’t care.
Bingo is now somewhere between the size of an avacado and an onion, according to the internet. Bingo is also still firmly rooted in my uterus. As a result, I’m having a fairly easy time carrying Bingo with me at the moment. But I’ve been told that transportation gets trickier after the graduation from fetus to baby, when the parents-to-be suddenly find themselves transporting a small breathing, wiggling, crying person up stairs, over icy sidewalks, through narrow doorways, etc. So, strollers.
I don’t own a car, but I imagine purchasing one must be similar to purchasing a stroller: comparing different makes and models, looking at the available colours, finding yourself torn between function and form. In fact, last week I listened to an ad for a car on the radio and thought “Huh, there’s a stroller with the same name.” Sea and I try to compare features (of strollers, not cars) on websites. We read about one-handed folds and breathable bassinets, but the truth is that we don’t have a clue. We inevitably find ourselves going back to the dubious reasoning of, “Ooh, pretty!”
So, internet, I beg your help. Do you have a stroller? Do you like it? Which brands are good brands? Which brands are to be avoided? What’s the difference between a Graco and a Stokke? A Stokke and an Uppababy? An Uppababy and an i’coo? A 2010 model versus a 2013 model? How bad would an orange stroller be? Please, tell me more.