Marika Malaea

faithful marauder + fake royal

The Birthday Monster

with 16 comments

Eleven years ago today, I pushed El Monstre out of my angry girl parts, and now he’s insisting on growing up instead of staying small and adorable like the baby panda I’d originally hoped to give birth to. One day they’re making your nipples into an unrecognizable mess, the next they’re failing to breed in captivity. The issues never end.

Luckily, I have a really terrific kid. He likes: fast food, strategic video games, R.L. Stine, science fiction, S’mores, and staying up late. He loves: Lord of the Rings, zombie-slaying, history, sour sweets, Arrested Development, farting, other people farting, talking about farting, making fart noises,  imitating what a fart might sound like in a cave, in a cave on Mars, or while eating a Mars bar with a caveman and, finally, poop. My son has an entire catalogue of farts to celebrate, and believe me, it’s as intellectually stimulating as it sounds. Welcome to Boyhood, Population: Every Man, Everywhere.

I don’t feel old enough to have this almost-tweener for a kid. He’s already talking about what kind of car he’s going to drive in high school, and thinking about my kid in high school makes me break out in tear-shaped hives. I said, very calmly, ‘So how do you expect to pay for that?’ He shrugged and said he would get a job, and I was like BUT HOW CAN YOU GET A JOB WHEN YOU’RE STILL IN DIAPERS. And then I had one of those dramatic meltdowns that change absolutely nothing except the make-up on your face, which I wasn’t wearing at the time because I’m old and crippled and lazy.

Giving birth was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done. Oh sure, it was a rewarding miracle and all that crap, but seriously – I can’t believe I signed up for it. If a woman’s face isn’t grotesquely contorted while telling her birth story, run for your life. That woman will spin you an on-going tale of heartwarming falsehoods about the joys of childbirth.

My favorite one was a girl I used to work with who told me she had an epidural and gave birth four hours later while sighing with contentment. She said this in a condescending, you-wish-you-were-me kind of voice, like ‘Tra-la-la, life comes so easy to people like me!’ She sighed, and gave birth to a human baby.  That’s when I tried ripping her lips off, so she wouldn’t have an instrument in which to broadcast her terrible lies. I remember looking at her, head cocked to the side, wondering if I had it in me:  Could I punch this smug bitch in front of her adorable baby? Morally, yes — legally, no.  I decided that ‘sighing with contentment’ was code for ‘I have an enormous  vagina that things fall out of all the time,’ and that made me feel much better.

I had an average 15-hour ordeal. Water broke, went in, no drugs, three hours of pushing. It sucked, because it’s supposed to. When it was over, I didn’t care what I looked like, or what was going on in the world. I didn’t care about anything except 1) Oren, and 2) food. Mostly the food. I’m pretty sure my first words after expelling the demon was “THIS BABY SURE IS BURRITO-SHAPED.”

Oren was perfect. He looked like a discolored, wrinkled monkey who had swallowed an old man; it was love at first sight.  My favorite moment was when everyone turned away, occupied with other things, and the monster yawned. That was when I saw his tiny little dimple for the first time in his right cheek, just like his dad. And I remember thinking, If I never do anything right for the rest of my life, at least I gave birth to one perfect dimple.

As I get older, everyone’s birthday — including my own — is tinged with something bittersweet, though it’s not wholly unpleasant. My son will get older and I will continue to be surprised, even though I know it’s coming, year after year. Selective amnesia helps you forget the pain of childbirth, so you can do it again. It also makes you forget that you had sex back in the day, right around the time your daughter gets her first boyfriend.

Oh god, sex — I don’t even want to think about it.  Hopefully we’ve got a few non-sex years ahead of us, and by a few, I mean I’m hoping for a 40-Year Old Virgin type of miracle. I had a sort-of sex talk with him a couple of months ago, about condoms and girls and The Penis, that we’re both still recovering from.

Me: So. You know about condoms, right?

Oren: We are so not having this conversation.

Me: Just say ‘yes’ and we can move on.

Oren: Can I just make my sandwich and go play my game?

Me: So you know about condoms, right?

Oren: This is so embarrassing.

Me: Yeah, I’d rather you were embarrassed over being someone’s under-aged, ill-prepared baby daddy.

Oren: Oh my GOD, Mom. I’m not gonna —


Oren: YES.  GEEZ.

Me: Just be happy I didn’t make you demonstrate how to put one on this banana.

Oren: That’s disgusting!

Me: Uh-huh. Girls are disgusting, too, right? But then one day, BLAM! You’re a slave to your penis just like everybody else.

Oren: Can I GO now?

Me: Name three people you can talk to about this stuff, preferably dudes. And by ‘this stuff,’ I mean your penis and what to do with it and how to keep it out of trouble.

Oren: (SIGH) Daddy, Justin, Da… Sam, maybe.

Me: Also, when girls say they’re on birth control, they’re lying. Or just assume they’re lying. Don’t let someone else, namely a baby, decide your future! If anyone’s deciding your future, it’s me and this Magic 8 ball.

Oren: Mom. You are insane. I’m not gonna have sex with anyone until I’m married, okay?

Me: I can tell you really mean that. Which is why I’m going into my bedroom to laugh out loud.

Needless to say, I’ll be getting a pinch-hitter for the next conversation, or maybe some tranquilizers. Children are the best and the worst, the way and the light. They grow up to be us, which is more frightening than a bag of severed doll parts that just shows up on your doorstep. Yes, this has happened to me.

Happy Birthday to the monster, who announced to me earlier that he wasn’t eleven years old just yet — he wants to wait until his birth time, because he feels it’s more official. I was like, ‘For an entire year you’ve been telling me to say you’re eleven, and now, on the day of your actual birth, you want to wait until it’s official? But no one’s going to know!’

His response: ‘But I’ll know!’ Oh, to be so honest.

Written by sn0tteh

August 24, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

16 Responses

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  1. how is it possible that you made me laugh, cry and want a burrito so ridiculously bad all in one post?


    August 24, 2009 at 2:20 PM

  2. I understand; burritos are emotional.


    August 24, 2009 at 5:17 PM

  3. lovely post 🙂 snarls and sweetness – sorta like (i imagine) you, really

    I belly laughed at “my angry girl parts” and then it got even better – ty


    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 PM

  4. An epic ode as only Snotty can do. Loved it – and so wishing my boys would age backward like some mutant-Brad-Pitt-disappointing-movie sort of way. Oh well – thanks for making me laugh at my future pain anyhow! 😉


    August 24, 2009 at 7:39 PM

  5. i didn’t cry, but i laughed. also: i farted. overall, i think i got the moral of the story, no?


    August 24, 2009 at 8:45 PM

  6. I think that all Moms should be like you. No one should assume their kids know anything about sex — or at least anything accurate.

    Hey, at least you didn’t START with the banana demo.


    August 25, 2009 at 10:46 AM

  7. @stinginthetail Thanks for the re-tweet, it was appreciated. 🙂


    August 25, 2009 at 12:25 PM

  8. @Anj You want your boys to be like Benjamin Button? But that movie was so bad…. however, I understand. I look at my son sometimes and think, ‘He was so cute when he was four… now he stinks like a man and rolls his eyes like a teenager. Good-bye, four.’


    August 25, 2009 at 12:27 PM

  9. @Matt Farting was what I was going for. You pass.


    August 25, 2009 at 12:27 PM



    August 25, 2009 at 12:30 PM

  11. I CANNOT BELIEVE HE IS THAT OLD. how decrepit does that make us?


    August 25, 2009 at 3:18 PM

  12. A divine post!

    And I also found myself wondering about the following: If you are brown and his dad is white, does that mean Oren is beige? Personally, I think he appears more brown than beige, so perhaps I should have substituted another shade (i.e. “a wheat bagel toasted on the medium-high setting”), but I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the matter.

    Please advise.


    August 25, 2009 at 11:05 PM

  13. Ha! That was the “disappointing movie” part. But really, I’m just keen to avoid the whole banana discussion. Perhaps I’ll just set the link now and when it comes up I’ll say, “Please refer to McSnotterson’s site for info regarding any and all details you might or might not retrieve regarding aspects of your bodily parts and said function.” Cuz that’s totally how I talk to my 2 yo & 4 yo. P.S. Jesus should know we have been missing her snarky all-knowingness on PNN.


    August 25, 2009 at 11:36 PM

  14. @Anj Thanks – it’s just been too much for me to post here, my ‘hood blog, our apartment website, and write ACTUAL ESSAYS on top of posting at PNN. I miss (some) of you, too! 🙂


    September 7, 2009 at 12:28 PM

  15. @Manthony I used to call Oren my mocha baby, which is a tad bit darker than beige. You interior designers.


    September 25, 2009 at 11:16 AM



    September 25, 2009 at 11:17 AM

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