I read Vicki Glembocki’s THE SECOND NINE MONTHS in proposal form and LOVED its edge and honesty and attitude and humor and I wished there’d been a book like that when I had my first baby. And now I plan to buy it for all the new mothers I know, including my new neighbor who recently gave birth to twins and hasn’t left the house all winter and I hear is losing her mind. So I urge all of you to read Vicki’s post and then I dare you not to immediately run out and buy THE SECOND NINE MONTHS.
Thank you all so much for having me Deb, especially since I’ve never Deb-ed anything in my life and would have had nothing appropriate to wear had I not been able to Deb while sitting in my basement office wearing my black sweatpants. I love these sweatpants. I wore them the entire time I wrote my Deb book, The Second Nine Months: One Woman Tells The Real Truth About Becoming a Mom. Finally. (I was also pregnant when I wrote it. And I’m still wearing the sweatpants, which troubles me a little. In terms of sizing.) What I really love, though, is having the chance to share the experience of my first book coming out with other women who “get it.” Because, yes, it is so cool. But it is also SO crazy. Case in point:
I am on the phone doing a live radio interview on a morning show in Orlando. The hosts are Richard and Lori. We are talking about my book, which was released 5 days before, and about which I have spoken in the past two days to 13 different radio hosts, none of whom have read a single word of it. I’m not currently taking that personally, because Richard and Lori are very nice, and they are also laughing at many of the quippy lines I came up with during the week leading up to this “Satellite Radio Book Tour,” lines I workshopped while in the minivan, driving the kids to and from daycare, and to Target, and to buy organic skim milk for the 643rd time so far this month–lines that had completely bombed an hour ago on the talk show where no one called in.
My mother is here. I asked her to come and help out this week because of the odd hours of some of the interviews. And also so I could check my Amazon ranking every 27 seconds. And also so I could be available when Oprah called. (Oprah didn’t call.) Having my mother here has proven to be God-send since my three year old, Blair (who the book is about) seems to have come down with something along the lines of cholera this past weekend, and can’t go to school. As a result, my mother has one job and one job alone: Keep Blair occupied while I am doing radio interviews.
So I’m talking to Richard and Lori. And I’m telling them all about the book—how becoming a mom was so much harder than anyone said it would be and how I went through an identity crisis and how I wasn’t sure if I loved my baby and how I wanted to kill my husband. And Richard and Lori are laughing. I’m laughing. We’re all laughing. Then I hear a strange sound—the squeak of the doorknob on the door to the basement where I’m sitting at my desk. And then I hear the little voice–“Mommy?”—followed by her tiny red crocs thumping down the stairs.
“Mommy?” She says again, and I turn around. Blair is standing on the bottom step, staring at me, tears running down her cheeks, her mouth hanging open so far that I can practically see the enormously loud wail that is about to explode out of her throat. “Mommeeeeeeeeeeeee!”
“Is that a baby crying in the background?” Lori asks. On live radio. Because I am on live radio.
“Yes it is,” says the woman promoting her book on how she thought she was the worst mother on the planet for the first six months of her daughter’s life. “It never gets easier,” I say. Or, at least, that’s what I think I say, because I’m not sure if actual words are coming out of my mouth as I’m running to the other side of the basement, thinking, Where in the hell is my mother?
“Mommmmmmmeeeeeeeeee!!!” Blair follows me. She is louder now. And echoing. I’m trapped between her and the workshop. I am still talking, but I have no idea what I’m saying because the voice in my brain is screaming, I’m on live radio. I’m on live radio! Where is my mother? Where in the name of all things holy is my freaking mother? I dart around Blair, run back through the office and up the stairs, feeling on one hand that my mother is the worst mother on the planet and, on the other, that I am, in fact, the worst mother on the planet.
I see my mother walk in the front door. What was she doing outside? I think. And then I immediately reprimand myself: Vicki, you have to stop thinking these ridiculous things because you are on live radio. And then I remember I’m on live radio, and have been talking to Richard and Lori for the past minute, straight. My mother doesn’t see me. I can’t understand this because I’m flailing my arms. Still talking on live radio and flailing my arms. I stomp on the hardwood floor in the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen. She looks up. I give her a look that says, “You only had ONE job woman! Just! One! Job!”
And then, suddenly, I’m trapped again. Because Blair has appeared behind me, screaming now like she’s on fire, trying to get around me, as my mother runs toward me from the opposite direction to get to Blair. We become a human traffic jam in the kitchen doorway. My mother yelling, “Blair! Come here!” Blair yelling, “Mommy! Why do you keep leaving me?”
And me. In the middle. On radio. Live.
Vicki is an award-winning magazine writer, a columnist for Women’s Health, a writer-at-large for Philadelphia Magazine, and a contributing editor for The Penn Stater magazine. Her articles have appeared in many publications including Playboy, More, Parents, Fit Pregnancy, Scuba Diver, and Philadelphia. She specializes in personal essay, profiles, and all things narrative.She worked at Pitt Magazine and at Dartmouth College and, in places in between, waitressed and sold roses from bar to bar dressed in a tuxedo jacket and cowboy boots). She has a BA in English and an MFA in nonfiction writing, both from Penn State, and has been a guest on TV and radio shows, led seminars at conferences, lectured in college classes, given public readings, sung karaoke, and performed in more than 100 plays and musicals (including two where she danced on stage naked). She lives just outside of Philadelphia–across the Delaware River in Westmont, New Jersey–with her very patient husband, Thad. She is obsessed with yard sales, showtunes, yoga, DIY home repair, her Honda minivan, fountain Diet Coke, and her daughters, Blair and Drew.