Poems vs. babies

On Saturday, I went to Babies R Us, which is kind of a hellish-overpriced place, but I’m not going to lie and say I hated it. I can see why people spend THOUSANDS of dollars in such stores, but who needs a $60 baby bathtub? Can’t you just use a hose? I’m kidding, I’m kidding, but I liked the looks of a $20 mesh cradle/seat looking thing you stick in your already-installed-with-it’s-own-faucet-and-everything adult bathtub. And why are top sheets for crib mattresses $24?! I could buy an entire adult sheet set for that! And a body pillow for $50, a diaper bag for $70, a crib for $500! Who are these people spending this kind of money? I just sort of went in on my own to check the quality of a few things I saw online and there were pregnant women waddling all over the aisles with scanner guns in their hands pew-pewing all the crap they could find to put on their registries.
I’ve done my research already, went onto my mom’s consumer reports, found a “best buy” crib at Ikea for $119 that transitions into a toddler bed. BOOM: crib and mattress for $220. And honestly, the only things I need new are car seats, possibly a stroller (but if I found a good used one, I’d grab it for sure) and diapers. Diapers definitely.
I suppose the other thing I need new is a breast pump. They give me the heebie-jeebies already. I swear they are part of the robopocalypse, but I think I can get a free one from my main man, Obama, so that works out.
Anyway, I posted something silly about going into Babies R Us on Facebook and wondering what the hell I’d gotten myself into with this whole kid thing, but that 6 of my poems coming out in Menacing Hedge’s Spring Edition made everything right in the world again and I’ve realized that when it comes to babies vs poems on Facebook, babies win. I think every person who commented said something about breast pumps or borrowing them or an experience with them, which is not really what I wanted to talk about, but I guess that’s my own damn fault. And here I go, mixing poems and babies again. But not one person commented about the poems themselves. I’m sure they didn’t even look at the link. Which is fine, it’s just curious to me how universal talking openly about babies is and how universal poetry is, but no one wants to talk about it.
A few weekends ago, Pat and I went camping with his cousin’s friends (a group of moms, one a few weeks ahead of me and expecting her 2nd child) and at this point, we hadn’t told many people, so no one there knew, but we were all sitting around the fire, the pregnant one talking about breast milk and how breast milk was squirting out of her uncontrollably with her first and how she had gallons of the stuff in their fridge and all the husbands are looking on, sipping tequila or beers inching closer to the flames. I don’t blame them, I wanted to jump in too. After we got home, I looked to Pat and said, “Is that what I’m going to turn into? Is that what happens?” He assured me, “no, you are too smart for that. You have too many intelligent things to say.” But there’s line. I don’t blame or judge these women that become all-consumed with dirty diapers and poop stories and breast pumps. Already, it seems so easy to get sucked into the vortex. I just want to have a balance. I’m finally getting some energy back, finally taking the train, watching people. I haven’t written a new poem in months, but I’m trying to yank that part of me open again. It’s been happy hiding, but it’s time and I realize that most of this post was in fact about babies, but I hope the poems don’t get too lost in all of it.

So here’s the link again Menacing Hedge

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4 Responses to Poems vs. babies

  1. Ms. Moon says:

    Ah. I just love your poems. Your way with words knocks me out.
    And I’m sorry, but you ARE going to get sucked into the vortex. Maybe not the consumerism vortex of baby-having but all of the rest- yes, you will. It is the way of the mammal mother. You may not discuss breastmilk around a campfire but you will be thinking about it at times. More times than you can imagine.
    I never had a baby bathtub. My favorite thing was to get into the regular tub with my babies. To hold them and let them float, their heads and backs supported by my hands, their eyes opening in wonder as they felt the familiar sensation of the warm water, their arms and legs relaxing and unfurling so sweetly.

    • rachelvb says:

      Thank you, Mary! I need a kick in the but to get myself writing again. There’s a submission opening for a chapbook that’s on my radar. I have more than enough poems to get that going.
      oh you’re probably right. I guess I just don’t want to lose my ability to have conversations other than liquids falling out of my boobs. I guess that’s my worry. I’ll need to maintain mom friends and non-mom friends. It will be a good balance, I hope because I have no doubt there will be times where I absolutely need to talk about breast milk. Eek. I love the image of you and your babies. That’s what I’m looking forward to, not so much discussing the latest gear and what burp bib is best, but watching my baby take a warm bath for the first time. I could get used to being consumed by that stuff. xoxo

  2. I was never consumed by that stuff. I never owned a breast pump either but I was single so my baby was always with me. I never gushed to other mothers about my son but I gushed to my son about himself all the time. I read your poems at MH first I was so proud to see your name there. Kelli used to be one of my students! She was in my workshop for four or five years. You did good.
    xoxo

    • rachelvb says:

      There’s a really good second-hand kids store around here. I’m hoping to get most of my stuff there. As for the breast pumps, they still frighten me, but I think I’ll be forced into using them once I get back to work after my maternity leave. They at least have little private rooms in the bathroom at work with a fridge, so I don’t have to carry around my bodily fluids. It’s a weird concept. I wish I could stay home until I dried up! I think gushing to your son about himself is the best thing any mom could do. That’s where it matters. I’m already poking my belly, saying “hey, I think you’re pretty cool. You’re stealing all my food, making me fart a lot, but you made your own heart and that’s pretty bad ass.”
      Thank you for reading!!! And thank you. I still edit with you in mind =). I love Kelly. She and Menacing Hedge have been so good to me! My second time in one of their issues and they included me in their anthology. Unreal! She’s so wonderful and amazing things are happening to her and it’s so cool to see. xoxo

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