Single Mom: “I Was Bitchy”

October 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Family, Single Parents

By Evie Peck

Single mom

Have you ever run into someone you used to know and they aren’t nice to you?

My friend Marie just told me that happened to her. She ran into someone she had known for a period of time who pretended she didn’t remember her and at first I was like, “Ugh, what a bitch.” And then I remembered… ooops. I did that, not too long ago. It had nothing to do with the woman I ran into – it was all about me.

I was in my baby class, feeling a little nervous about being the only single pregnant woman in the room. I tried to exude confidence and security. Fake it till you make it. I reminded myself how excited and happy I was and it didn’t matter what any of these expecting couples thought of me.

As I was relaxing a bit, a very pregnant woman came up to me. “Evie! Hi, remember me from high school? I’m Tanya Lester?  I was a few years younger.”

OK. First of all, reminding me that I’m so old was off putting and second of all now I’m reminded how high school Evie didn’t have a boyfriend, didn’t really even date and felt weird about it – it was as if I was the same single person.  When I was 17 assumed I’d have a conventional family and a successful acting career…. Would Tanya think I’d failed at both? Was I a failure? I felt like a total freak.

All of a sudden, I felt defensive, like I had to prove that I was better than old high school Evie… except, was I?

“Oh, hi,” I said, in a distant, bitchy tone, as if I didn’t remember her but I was humoring her and being friendly to a stranger. So many levels I was playing – (I was such a good actress.) I remembered Tanya. I didn’t know her well, but under other circumstances, I certainly would have been more friendly. My instinct was to act cool and I guess, superior – like I was so awesome and successful, I didn’t have room in my brain for old high school acquaintances. I needed to feel stronger, so I was a bitch.

She introduced her husband and asked me when I was due. We were due days apart. I was distant and well, bitchy. I just really shut it down. I just kind of nodded and didn’t say much and let her feel foolish as she tried to bring up ways I might remember her.

I didn’t want her to see I was scared or think I was a failure or feel sorry for me.

For the strangers in the class, it didn’t matter so much what they thought of me, but this girl knew me in high school. I wasn’t prepared for that.

Maybe I missed an opportunity to have another playmate for my son.

I guess the real point of this story is if someone you know is rude or bitchy to you – it’s probably not about you… it’s about them.

That was over two and a half years ago. I was a different person back then; so excited but also scared and nervous. I was learning how to be a Mom Solo and what that meant to me.

Being solo isn’t such a huge scary thing anymore at all. I don’t really give it much thought – except when I blog.

Now, it’s all about my son. It’s all about being nice, setting a good example and making the world a wonderful place for him to live in. I don’t have too much time to worry about what people think of me. I like it like that!

Photo credit: www.maracaseyshoots.com

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Mom Flying Solo

August 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Family

By: Evie Peck

play

The other day we went to gym class. I LOVE our gym class and more importantly, so does Spenser.

During some structured (yet unstructured) play with blocks, a more aggressive boy kicked Spenser after S knocked down his tower. Spenser’s favorite thing to do… knock down stuff. ANY stuff! I’d told him not to knock down the other kids’ towers, but the teachers were building towers for the kids to knock down and… well, it was confusing. And so he got kicked. Not hard, but still, it was not good.

Spenser looked at me with that what just happened? expression and my stomach dropped and I panicked. I looked at the boys mom and  she was talking to someone else, and had missed it.

I thought of my wonderful readers Madgew,  Jebhow515 Dean B Naima who gave me such great comments on MINED - giving me support, encouraging me to push through and not worry about my son becoming an aggressive kid from these interactions.

It’s funny, but I nannied and babysat and taught kids for 16 years. The girls I nannied – five different girls over 13 years- I really didn’t deal with much of this kind of conflict. Is it because I was dealing with girls? It was more about bruises and bumps than aggression. This is new to me.

Thinking of my readers, I said, “Spenser, he shouldn’t have kicked you.” I wanted to say something to the boy, but instead, I passively said, “He should say he’s sorry.”

“Yeah,” Spenser said and turned back to blocks.

The boy ran away.

I leaned over and told one of the teachers what had happened. “You can tell his mom,” she said. I looked over and all the boys were playing happily. I felt like the opportunity passed me by. The teacher didn’t witness it so she couldn’t intervene.

I thought about my lovely reader Naima’s comment on my entry MINED: make friends with the parents. Yes! If only I had made friends with the mom I could have said, “Hey Sue, Justin just kicked Spenser,” instead of me freaking out like a scaredy cat. This group is usually on top of their kids, but sometimes they aren’t.

I knew I should have taken charge of that situation a little better. A kid kicked my son and I didn’t know what to do. Maybe I handled it alright. I know that this is part of growing up. Me growing up, I mean.

After the class, I talked to the owner of the gym. She encouraged me to speak up to the other parents and to keep empowering Spenser with the right words – “Don’t kick me,” or “I don’t like that.”  I know this. Why didn’t I remember this? She also encouraged me not to have Spenser just avoid these aggressive kids – “You don’t want him to feel like a victim.” she said.

I agree. I don’t want to leave this great gym class just because of one boy. So…  I started up a friendly conversation with his mom, after class.

Today, it was one of those perfect times to go to the aggressive kid library. I decided to go and not be victimized.  I walked in, armed with the phrases “Tell him you are still playing with it” (in case of a grab) “Tell her you’d like a turn next” (in case of a non sharer) and “Tell him you don’t like to be pushed.” etc. I took a deep breath and we went in.

Kids pretty much left S alone and he did his own thing and we played with puppets a bit.

There was one indecent of a boy not playing with a truck that S wanted and then grabbing it when S touched it. The boy was like 7. “Tell the boy you’d like a turn, please,” I coached.

“I turn pweeze,” S repeated.

The boy reluctantly handed it over. He wasn’t using it anyway. I was elated even though Spenser played with it for 10 seconds.

There was one girl who grabbed a pretend pretzel out of S’s hand but the mom was right there and told her not to grab and gave it back to S.

It was good. I felt better… but I know it’s still a process.

Thank you for your comments and help. You guys are awesome!

 

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Moms That Judge

July 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Single Parents

By: Evie Peck

judgmental moms

I was at my friend Kelly’s party; mostly moms and kids. I didn’t really know anyone there. Spenser was the youngest kid by far so I watched him as he played happily by himself.

Kelly introduced me to some of the moms and at one point told them, “Evie has a great blog.” The moms seemed interested, “It’s a single mom blog,” Kelly told them.

“Oh! Terrific! I should tell my single mom friend about it,” a woman named Anna said, as she walked over to me.

“Yeah, great,” I said, expecting her to ask for the name of my blog.

“I’m a single mom… only for a few months, anyway,” Anna said with a laugh. “I know that’s not the same.

I smiled and shrugged. I didn’t really care if it was the same or not. If it feels hard to her to be on her own for a few months, who am I to tell her she doesn’t feel “single” … because I don’t actually  feel single.  I forget all the time that the norm is to have two parents. And also, I’m not a martyr about it; I really don’t need people saying “you’re so brave,” or “I admire you” or “It must be so hard” or whatever.

I CHOSE this because I wanted to be a mom.

“My friend just adopted a baby,” Anna explained. “She adopted as a single mom.”

“Yeah, I chose to be a mom on my own too,” I told her. I said it with enthusiasm, to encourage her to pass my blog along to her friend. I expected her to ask for my blog name now, but instead, she said:

What fun.”

It took me a few moments to register her tone; sarcastic.

Not like: “I can’t have toppings on my frozen yogurt because my teeth are too sensitive to chew them… What fun,” kind of sarcastic.

More like: “My house burned down, I’m filing for bankruptcy and my dog is lost… What fun.” Like the worst.

As soon as her judgment sunk in, I responded as calmly as I could… “Well, you know, I’ll bet you at times, it’s easier than having a partner.”

She seemed taken aback, “Well, huh,” she laughed in a it’s not funny way, “I guess…  But you have nothing to compare it to.”

Weird. Why did this woman need me to know that she thought choosing to be a single mom was so horrible? I had to assume Anna was having some kind of struggle with her husband; maybe she was secretly jealous of my freedom.

“True,” I said. I said it as cheerily as I could. “I’ve got nothing to compare it to.” I’d had lots of boyfriends but I’d never co parented.

“It’s nice to be able to hand your child off once in a while,” Anna said… in kind of an angry way.

“I guess,” I smiled, walking away. Why get into a thing with her? I never really felt like I needed to hand my son off. I figure out ways of getting stuff done.

A few minutes later I overheard Anna talking to the other moms about their friend’s new boyfriend, “Where did they meet?” Anna asked.

“At a bar,” a woman answered.

“Oh. Well at least that’s better than on the internet.”

 

WHAT??? I mean, yes, I had no luck on the internet but some people do. It’s not a whorehouse. It’s just OK Cupid.

So judgy, that Anna. I didn’t understand her need to critique single people and their choices. Maybe she was just very angry at her husband for leaving her alone with their child for a few months.

I decided to let her have her judgment and to not care about it. She didn’t need to understand why I love my life, and why it actually, it IS fun.

 

 

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Car Shame

July 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Family

By: Evie Peck

 

My car is 12 years old this month. Happy Birthday, old car. You’ve been quite reliable and loyal… but now that I’m in my 40′s and a mom AND most of my friends have fairly new and much nicer cars and everywhere I go, every class I take with Spenser I notice all these nice, newer cars. Of course, I first just assume their husbands bought them these nice cars, but it’s not always true – it’s just my way of making myself feel a little better about myself.

I’m self conscious when I valet or drive someone or have someone help me to my car. “It’s not usually such a mess,” I say. But it actually is. I’m self conscious in the parking lot of our kids’ gym or when I leave swimming lessons, parked behind a new Mercedes SUV.

I’ve never cared about what kind of car I drove. I never used to view it as a status symbol or measure of my success. And I’ve never cared what kind of car other people drove. I guess, as I got older, I was curious to see what kind of car my dates drove – but it wasn’t that big of a deal; you fall in love with a person, not their car. The first time I was ever impressed with my date’s car, it was a convertible Porsche and the guy was the biggest jerk in town – at dinner, he told me I ate a lot (I ate the same amount as him) and he said, “You are an actress right? So cry. Right now, cry.” When I wouldn’t cry at the dinner table, he told me I wasn’t a real actress. So whatever with the Porsche.

crying
After twelve years, a car can start to look it’s age. After you have a toddler in the car for a while, the inside can be a disaster; socks, toys, books, empty sippy cups, sand toys, Joe’s O’s, cracker crumbs and spilled milk, juice and pureed fruit on the cloth interior. Not to mention the front seat which has tons of CDs (car’s too old to have an MP3 hook up,) sweaters, coats, shoes (his and mine,) my drinks, bags, papers, flyers, Bed Bath and Beyond coupons and general messiness.
The trunk. I can’t even describe it, because I don’t understand it. I go through it to clean it out every few weeks, leaving towels, umbrellas, sand toys, changes of clothes and extra diapers and my reusable market bags. But somehow, the trunk still seems stuffed. It still seems like a huge mess.
Aside from not being able to afford a new car, I feel like I shouldn’t get one until I can really keep mine clean.
What kind of car would I get? Of course, I’m assuming that I’m going to make a LOT of money soon (I’m not sure how) but if I could choose any car, what would I get? I don’t know. I don’t really care about cars, but I don’t want my son to be embarrassed of me and my car – but I don’t want him thinking about material objects as status either. I just don’t want him to feel like I’m not doing as well because I’m a mom solo.
A few years ago, when Hybrids were first all the rage, I noticed that the wealthy and struggling alike were driving the Prius (at least here in LA.) Going green was far more important than being fancy. That was my solution – get a Prius and no one would be able to guess my means. But now, there are so many Hybrid options and it seems people have mellowed on the Prius and all…

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Drums

June 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Family

By Evie Peck

toddler_music_site_117_w640

We went to music class today. I LOVE Spenser’s music class! The kids play drums and bang sticks and dance while the teacher sings and another musician plays guitar… it’s a mini concert every week.

Today, there were a few new faces. One 2 1/2 year old kid and his mother or maybe nanny. I don’t really know which. Normally, it wouldn’t matter if she was a mom or nanny, but you’ll see why I cared.

During the drum time, the teacher puts lots of different drums out for the kids to play. There are many drums. As the music played, Spenser happily decided he wanted a drum across the room, right by the new boy. I guess the new boy thought it was his drum, but he wasn’t playing it. He wasn’t even sitting next to it. He was curled up on his mom/nanny’s lap with a sour face.

So as Spenser picked up the drum across the room and brought it over to where I was sitting, the new boy lost his shit; screaming, crying, carrying on, pointing …. very dramatic, as if Spenser had swiped it out from under him mid play. Yeah, it annoyed me. The mom/nanny made eye contact with me like he really wants that drum.

I put on a big fake smile and mouthed across the room, come share it. I nodded encouragement as the 2 1/2 year old scowled at me. The mom/nanny helped the 2 1/2 year old across to us where Spenser was happy to share the drum. The boy cried and carried on and tried to grab it, of course. “Can we play together?” I asked him.   I looked at my sweet happy boy* having fun in his class and felt so proud of him, sharing so well. The 2 1/2 year old pounded the drum once or twice and whined like it was torture. Then, in a second, the kid grabbed the drum right out from Spenser and picked it up and brought it across the room back to his seat. Spenser seemed confused and a little ruffled. The mom/nanny looked at me and she said, with a big smile, “Is that OK?”

Um, is that OK? Is that OK that your kid grabbed the drum like that or is that OK that you are not going to tell him he can’t do that? Is it OK? Like you want me to tell you how to parent??? Because I will! I will if you ask me to…   But… I didn’t know how to respond. I tamped down that little rampage.

“Well, my son needs a drum!” I replied, not looking at her and got up (wanting to grab that drum back from the kid … but I didn’t, you guys) and found some other drum and brought it to Spenser, who played it, undisturbed.

And then, I should have just let it go, but I didn’t. You know what I did? I stared that 2 1/2 year old down. Yep. I just stared at him, and he stared back, looking at me as if he was smelling a bag of old dead fish. He just sat there, not drumming the precious drum, glaring back at me. I gave him a dirty look. A long, dirty look. (I know, I’m horrible. I’m not proud.)

Through the rest of class, I could see the mom/nanny trying to catch my eye to smile at me. I avoided her glance.

I know everyone has a different parenting/nanny style… I am going to have to deal with that better. I tried to let the drum situation go; Spenser had.

As we walked to the car, I heard Spenser’s little voice say, “Bye! Bye!” as he waved. I looked over and saw he was waving to the bratty drum snatcher… I mean, the 2 1/2 year old. It was so sweet. Spenser is so pure. He touches my heart so deeply. I waved too. “Bye,” I called.

Then, I took my sweetheart out for frozen yogurt.

What would you have done?

*It is slightly possible that others viewing the situation would say Spenser took that kid’s drum. That’s not how I saw it… and if I had seen it that way, I would have had S find a different drum.

 

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Bradley – One of the reasons I’m happy to be a single mom

May 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Family, Single Parents

By Evie Peck

JawDroppingDog

When I was about 29, my best friend from high school, Tia, set me up on a date with Bradley, a guy from her husband’s work. Tia was obsessed (as only a best friend can be) with the fact that I wasn’t close to finding a husband and starting a family. She had a one year old son and she was very happy with her new family. “What are you going to do when you are older and single and want to have kids?” she asked… like she was some kind of fortune teller or something.

We decided we would double date. We all met at a Bandara; Tia and her husband, with a sleeping child in a car seat carrier and me with my best game face and Bradley.

So Bradley arrived. He was a short, curly haired blonde, in a tight, black, short sleeved, nylon t-shirt that accentuated his biceps. “Hey,” he smiled at me. He and Tia’s husband shook hands. “I didn’t know you had a kid,” he said, pointing to my sleeping one year old godson. I realized then he didn’t know Tia’s husband very well. It was a nice summer night and it was still light outside at 7pm.

We all followed the hostess into the dark, atmospheric dining room. Bradley and I walked behind, slowly. “I had a lot of shrimp last night,” he said to me. Good opening line.

“Oh, wow,” I said. “I love shrimp!”

“No, I don’t think you understand,” he said, “I ate a LOT of shrimp.”

“OK,” I said, “I get it, because shrimp is delicious.”

“No. But I ate A LOT of shrimp.”

“It’s OK. It’s good protein.”

“No, no, no,” he said, dismissing my efforts to be agreeable, “I ate… SO MUCH shrimp. I mean SO MUCH!”

“OK,” I said.

We approached the table. “So I probably won’t eat much tonight,” he said, “because of all the shrimp.”

“Right,” I said softly. Was there any way this guy could turn things around and become someone I wanted to hang out with, let alone, love?

The waiter came over and Bradley informed the rest of the party that he wasn’t going to order because he’d eaten so much shrimp last night. I sat quietly.

“Get something,” Tia said, trying to be encouraging.

“OK,” Bradley relented, picking up the menu. “Come back to me.”

We all ordered and I wondered if Bradley really didn’t want to eat because he felt sick from the shrimp or if he thought he’d eaten too many calories. Like maybe they were fried shrimp?

“I’ll have a side of mashed potatoes,” Bradley announced, happy with himself.

Butter, cream, potatoes…. that’s how you make mashed potatoes. Bam. this guy had food issues.

The conversation flowed as I noticed Bradley eyeing the table bread. He played with the cloth napkin in the breadbasket.

“Where do you live? Do you live alone?” Bradley asked me.

“I am living at home with my dad, right now,” I said.

“Evie’s mom died 3 years ago,” Tia told Bradley.

“Oh wow,” Bradley said, “You’re so lucky. I hate my mom.”

We were all silent.  That could have been the moment I got up and left. Was he joking? When he started ranting about his awful mother, we had our answer.

Then Bradley thought of something really important he needed to share with the whole table. “I used to be really fat.” He ate his mashed potatoes with delight.

Muscle flexing, tight shirts, food issues, mirrored elevators, a side of mashed potatoes, too much shrimp… made sense.

“Wanna know how I lost all my weight?” he asked.

We did. I was guessing there’d be a story of exercise and eating right, but I was wrong.

“Besides being fat, I also used to have this really bad under bite.” Bradley pointed to his now well aligned jaw. “Most of my teen years I begged my mom for jaw correction surgery, but she was too cheap to get it for me.” Bradley’s disdain for his mother was sharp and unapologetic,  “But when I was 19, she took me to a medical facility at the Army base near our house. She got some kind of deal, letting medical students do the operation. After the surgery, it got infected and I had to go back. Turns out they’d left a surgical sponge in my sinus cavity! My fucking mother.  And they had to shoot this blue Windex-like stuff up my nose. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.”

I ate my BBQ chicken salad, horrified and also riveted.

“My jaw was wired shut for about 2 months and I had to eat everything in liquid form, out of a straw so I lost a ton of weight.” Bradley was so proud.

We Oooed and Awwed.

But his story wasn’t over.

“About five years later, I was over at my girlfriend’s parents house for dinner and as I opened my mouth to take a bite of food, my jaw unhinged and my chin dropped to my chest. I looked like I was giving a blow job to Godzilla.”

Bradley wiped the remnants of the mashed potatoes, out of the dish with his finger and sucked it with a smack.

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A Park and Some Dads

April 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Family, Single Parents

By Evie Peck

dump truck

It was an overcast morning.

“Wanna go to the park?” I asked, when I saw that my 19-month-old son Spenser had pulled everything out of his kitchen cabinet (all the stuff that is child safe like my Gladware, boxes of jello, bags of pasta etc.).

“Yeah!” he said, but he would have said that if I had asked him if he wanted to go to the doctor for a shot. He’s just enthusiastic.

So we went. We went to the nicest park near me, which is in a super rich neighborhood. This park is just a little cleaner and it’s smallish and I just convince myself it’s great because it’s surrounded by mansions.

There was no one there.

About five or six utilities trucks and one Prius stopped at the park and different men over the age of 50 tried to use the men’s bathroom, but it was locked. Creepy or smart? A little of both, I think.

Spenser and I played. We went down the slide together and I got soaking wet (from the drizzle and dew).

Then a dad and kid came along. “We love this weather,” the dad said to me. He had a British accent.

“I like it too,” I told him.

British dad’s child was 2 and so S played with her and British dad and I chatted. He seemed like a nice dad. Then he asked, “Are you going to have another child?”

OK, um, so personal!! But thank you for thinking I’m young enough to have that option (who knows, maybe I could).

“Maybe,” I said. I wasn’t going to tell him I was a single mom or anything.

Well, British dad wanted to really get into it with me. “My wife wants to, but I don’t.”

Wow. That was super personal!

“It’s hard to believe you could love another child as much as this one.” I put words in his mouth, so he wouldn’t horrify me.

“Yeah,” he said. “Right.”

“Well, everyone I know with two children says they felt that way, but they love the second as much.”

British dad nodded.

I think it would be really hard to be married to someone and have such a huge disagreement where one person might be really unhappy with the outcome. I mean, that’s part of marriage, I know, I’m just saying, marriage seems so difficult; like how are you expected to live your whole life with someone and compromise all the time??? I can’t help but think about how if I wanted another baby, I could just have one (or try to). There’s a lot of freedom in being a mom solo.

Another dad and child came along. This dad was pretty handsome -tall, rugged, athletic, lots of nice hair… his child had brought a bunch of trucks that Spenser wanted to put sand on and push around.

“Share, Patrick,” Handsome dad said to his son.

Patrick reluctantly let Spenser push around one of his toy trucks.

“You have the dumpy,” Handsome dad said to Patrick, pointing to a toy dump truck.

Dumpy? Eww.

“Thanks, for sharing the truck, Patrick,” I called as I saw S was not going to give it back anytime soon.

“Sure,” Handsome dad said, “Patrick’s fine. He has two dumpys.” He pointed to another dump truck toy.

Ewwwww. You are calling it a dumpy, to me?

“Patrick, get the dumpy!” Handsome dad called.

Patrick pointed to Spenser, pushing his truck. His non dumpy truck, I guess.

“Patrick, there’s a dumpy here and a dumpy there. You’ve got two dumpys! Go get a dumpy.”

He must have said, “play with your dumpy,” 25 times!!!

Handsome dad was looking so much less handsome. What if I were married to a guy who kept saying dumpy and probably called other things gross names too like during sex and stuff like “nippies,” or “yum yums” … I don’t know. I guess you can say, to your husband, stop saying that word, but once the damage is done…

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Single Mother By Choice: The Baby Book

October 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Family, Single Parents

By Evie Peck

 

When I was 9 months pregnant, I walked into a major chain baby store and I saw something I really wanted: a BABY BOOK – the kind where you write down everything that happens- first bath, first smile, first solid poop… It had a hard cover, thick pages and places to add photos… I started scrolling through:

Page 1: Baby’s birth statistics.

Page 2: About mom

Page 3: About dad

I was a single mom to be. I did have a dad in the picture; my best friend of twenty years was my sperm donor. Though we wouldn’t be co-parenting, I would put him in the “ABOUT DAD” page.

Page 4: Mom and Dad’s wedding

WEDDING???

Well first of all, my best friend was gay, so we weren’t getting married! And what about the same sex parents who can’t marry! I was livid. I was hot and sweaty and HUGE and outraged.

“EXCUSE ME!” I yelled to an employee; she was maybe nineteen and this was most likely her first job.

“Yes?” she came over with a bright smile, “How may I help you?”

“Um ,” I looked at her name tag. Carrie. I gave a sarcastic laugh, “Well, Carrie, you can tell me where the baby books for alternative families are, THANK YOU!” I shot her an iron glare, knowing she would NOT be able to deliver.

“Yes! Our baby books are right here. I see you are holding one.” She was so naive.

“This is the only baby book you have?” I was gonna get her; I was like Johnnie Cochran with the small glove.

“Yes,” she said as innocent as a kitten.

I opened the book to the incriminating evidence. “Do you see that this book asks not only for the information for both parents specifically as MOM and DAD, but also asks for information about a WEDDING?!”

The salesgirl blinked. Clueless.

“Do you understand the problem here, Carrie? What if you are a single mom, like me? Do you just rip the dad page out? If you do, you miss out on the grandparents’ info on the back. And what if you are a gay couple? You can’t legally get married in most states, can you?” I was yelling at this poor girl, who was turning red.

There was silence and then a nervous laugh. “Ummm…. we must be out of them.”

“Out of them, huh!? But you said this was the only one.”

“Ummmm. We must have run out of the other kind.”

I was going to make her show me the other kind on the computer… I took a deep breath. I looked at the poor girl. I was having a hormonal rage and I was yelling at someone who was completely innocent. “I’m sorry, Carrie,” I said. “This isn’t your fault.”

“That’s OK,” she said happily, probably because she could tell I was leaving. Then she added, “There really should be a book that all families can use.”

I left the store feeling hopeful… and entrepreneurial. Maybe I’ll make that book.

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Insemination Cookies

September 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Family, Single Parents

By Evie Peck

I know it sounds crazy, but once I got up at 5am to bake cookies for my new fertility doctor. He was supposed to be the best in town and I guess I was over compensating, because I was nervous about being a single woman trying to get pregnant… and… our first meeting didn’t go so well.

I waited in the lobby of The Fancy Clinic for an hour. When I finally met Dr. X he barely let me say hello before he launched into a lecture of percentages and facts about fertility in women over 40.

“I’m doing this alone and my best friend, who is gay, is the sperm donor,” I said, not caring about the statistics but needing him to know who I was.

Dr. X held up his hand, “Don’t interrupt. I will ask you questions after I’m finished.”

Interrupt? This was supposed to be a consultation, not a sermon. I didn’t like Dr. X. He was rude and cold and I certainly didn’t want him sticking his fingers in my vagina. But this guy was supposed to be the best so I wanted to stay.

And I started to cry.

“Why are you crying?” Dr. X demanded.

“I’m just overwhelmed and emotional,” I told him between sobs.

“Well there’s nothing to be emotional about… yet,” he replied.

I wanted to stand up and yell, “Would you be so condescending if I had a husband sitting here next to me?” But mostly, I wanted him to like me so instead I got up at 5am to bake cookies for him. They were M&M chocolate chip.

The day of the insemination, Dr. X and his female assistant walked into the room with quick hellos. Dr. X grabbed the catheter off a sterile, silver tray and lifted up the paper cloth across my lap and put his head all the way under it, so that it was just his head and my crotch under the paper tent. It was unnerving. Why was he up so close in there?

I was lying back, looking at the ceiling trying not to think about this unpleasant person with his nose in my most private spot when all of a sudden, Dr. X spoke. His words echoed as they bounced off the thin cloth on my lap.

“Mmmmm, it smells good in here!”

EWWW!!! WHAT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I shuddered and almost pulled my legs off of the table.

How can he say something like that to me!!!!!!????? My face got hot and red. I looked at the female assistant and then…..

Then… I remembered the cookies. The hot cookies I had just baked had made the room smell like a bakery.

Oh my god. I started to laugh.

Dr. X continued his work up my snatch as I looked at his assistant for at least a smile. She gave me nothing.

When Dr. X was done, I pointed to the bag in the corner. “I made you some cookies,” I said.

He selected a cookie out of the bag and took a big bite. “Thanks. I have a big sweet tooth.”

I guess the cookies worked. He seemed to like me now. I inadvertently squeezed my legs together.

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Why Do You Assume I Have A Husband?

September 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Family, Single Parents

By Evie Peck

The woman at the counter handed me two nametags.

“One for your husband,” she said.

“No husband,” I said, pushing the extra nametag back.

At the age of forty, I decided to have a baby, even though I was not in a relationship. My best friend of twenty years was my sperm donor. Though choosing a nontraditional family was the right choice for me, I was still getting used to certain potentially awkward situations; like baby class.

I went into the classroom and sat amongst many pregnant ladies and their partners. The instructor Pam came in yelling,

“Husbands! Husbands! There’s beer for the husbands! Husbands, go get a beer!”

She said “husbands” with a lot of force and frequency.  I wondered if the word “husbands” bothered anyone else.  Was “dads” better?  “Partners”?  What would she do if there was a lesbian couple?

I had a little bit of that I’m missing something feeling. I had to give myself a quick, internal pep talk:

Remember, you can do this and you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone. Remember, you are doing this your own way and you are going to be a mom!

“Is your husband coming?” Pam asked me, as men started leaving the room to get their brews. I wanted to give a cute answer like, “I don’t know, you tell me.” Or “I haven’t met him yet,” but I didn’t want to sound bitter, so I just gave a little smile.

Soon, the room was full of boozing husbands. Crap. I wanted a beer too. I silently pep-talked myself again.

Then it was time for group introductions. When it was my turn to introduce myself, I spoke loudly, “I’m Evie. I’m a single mom and my best friend, who happens to be gay, donated the sperm, but I am parenting on my own.”

Pam stared at me with a frozen smile. After a minute she asked, “No husband?”

I shook my head with pride and Pam moved on to a lesson.

Pam launched into a whole rehearsed bit about something called The Witching Hour. She dramatically set the scene: “It starts in the early evening. Moms, your baby is screaming and crying and you can’t make her stop. You are starving but you have no time to eat.

Husbands, you call from work and say you are bringing home dinner – don’t ask what they want for dinner! Just bring something! You know your wives! Bring them what they like. Then when you get home, you take the baby so your wife can eat!”

Pam looked around the room, making eye contact with all the moms and husbands, until she got to me. She paused and then said… “For you… Trader Joe’s is your husband.”

I was horrified and yet… now I had a husband! Trader Joe! Well, maybe I had husbands - I have all the Trader Joeses. I’m a polyamorist.

I could do worse.

At the age of 40 I decided to become a mom, even though I was not in a relationship. My blog tells stories of how I got here, the bad dates I used to have, and how it is to be a mom solo.

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