I read most of this book this afternoon. Sitting in the cafe at Borders, not ordering coffee. I had planned to, I just couldn't stop reading.
Laughing out loud, crying real tears, pressing my hand over my mouth as I relived a period of my life that I was, frankly, pretty hard-pressed to live through the first time.
I could NOT put this book down. I had to wrestle it out of my own hand.
I was out running work errands, while World's Best Husband took World's Cutest Toddler home for his nap. We had purchased a potty earlier, and I stopped at Borders to spend A FEW MINUTES looking at potty training books. (Of course we have no freakin' idea what we're doing, and it doesn't help that every potty training tale we hear from our peers start with "well, for God's sake, don't do what we did" or perhaps "don't do what my parents did".)
(No kidding. I am scared. Of potty training.)
(And of course we are going to start talking about potty training during Holy Week, the crunchiest crunch time of my year. The plan is not to have actual potty use yet, but just to have it around, you know...build suspense. Create demand.)
Anyway, I read some excerpts from potty training advice books (ranging from jokey to Jeez, this is creepy) and then happened upon this book, The Second Nine Months by Vicki Glembocki, which I thought I would just glance through. Ha Ha.
I have no idea whether this book would be meaningful for anyone else. Part of me thinks that it was so stunning for me because her experience mirrored mine so precisely.
And then another part of me runs through the birth and new motherhood narratives that friends and acquaintences have shared, and I think - well, actually, I guess my experience, and the author's, were pretty average.
But when she talks about her rage - burning, utter rage - at her husband, her frustration and brokenness as her jaundiced kid fails to gain weight, her fears (well-founded) about fitting in with the other mommies, her yearning to return to work (I can only guess that the complications of working make up lots of the pages I didn't get to...)
Ian's first year was pretty much the worst year of my life (NOT HIS FAULT, I hasten to add. Well, not exactly. Not, you know, personally.) And I have told a lot of stories, mostly funny, about it. But Vicki Glembocki has put into words what I have never been able to.
I thought about buying a copy and STANDING OVER MY HUSBAND while he read it. And honestly, we pride ourselves on our communication skills, and even at our most contentious, I'd say we're pretty attuned to one another. And yet I know that he would understand me better after reading this other woman's book.