In which I expose myself to the 120 bus

I am the only person in my mom’s group who doesn’t have power-lock doors. To suffice for this lack of technology, I hold my keys and the imaginary remote, aim at my car and go, “Bloop bloop.” I hope this works and they never catch me unlocking the passenger side door, then reaching in to unlock the back door so I can secure my son, who doesn’t care how he gets in the car, into his snugride car base.

My camera is broken. The battery compartment door won’t close. Technically it still works if I hold the side and I’m sure it will be perfectly fine if I secure it with duct tape. But how ghetto is that? I’m going to take it in for an estimate but I’m scared that the diagnosis will be: Get a new camera, cheapskate.

And now I feel like I’m between a rock and another rock. What if I have to buy a new camera? Do I buy a super sweet pricey camera that will mean my son will not have diapers but at least the pictures will be awesome or do I buy a camera that gets the job done but leaves me longing for the sweetness of expensive gadgetry?

I feel this need to take pictures of my son every single day. I’m scared that I’ll slack off and he’ll flip through these photos and ask me where the hell month four went. My parents weren’t exactly trigger-happy with photos. I know there are only a handful of baby pictures of me, but I was the youngest of five so maybe they were worn out. My oldest sister offered a different opinion, claiming I’m really adopted and those pictures are actually documentation of when Mr. Kim handed me off to Mr. and Mrs. Concepcion.

When I was in the second grade, she typed out an adoption certificate to prove I wasn’t really part of the family. You know what my real name was? Chew Ing Gum. How’s that for overt Asian racism?

I received a call yesterday from Sister Mary who informed me that my mother’s order of “Novena in a Time of Difficulty” was out of print. I find this very odd. No one has had a time of difficulty? Isn’t that what drives this scriptural novena market?

Sister Mary said she’d send me a list of available novenas for my mother to choose. Before she hung up, she said, “God Bless.”

“Right back at cha.”

I said “right back at cha” to a nun! I guess I should have expected that, she being a nun and all, but I’m not used to people saying that to me, like I’m not used to people saying “Happy Birthday” on my b-day so I end up saying, “You, too.”

Which reminds me of this snippet:

Jesse: Grandma, what kind of meat do priests eat?

Mom: I don’t know.

Jesse: Nun. Get it, Grandma? Nun?

Me: Jesse, stop telling your Grandma jokes you heard from Cheech and Chong!

This baptism is giving me a headache. Catholicism on Saipan is so much easier. When I flew home for my god-daughter’s baptismal, my sister and I attended the “interview” with the priest during which he said, “Oh I know your mother.” And that was it. I was a godmother because of my mom knows how to hip-hop-till-you-don’t-stop with the clergy. But at the baptismal class here, they showed a 70’s-style-conjunction-junction cartoon explaining the history of baptism because I guess a regular lecture would have been too difficult to understand. I’m sure during the baptismal curriculum planning, someone said, “You know what this class needs? Animation.”

It is too hot. I am not okay with the weather. I moved here to Seattle because the rain meant I could wear layers, thus eliminating the exposure of my back fat. But no, it was 100 degrees today even with the wind-chill. Back fat shirts, it is then.

I called my lactation consultant after I had a breast pain so excruciating I wanted to cut it off. I told her that Nathan’s been pulling away and wants to eat all the diggity-dang time.

“Oh, he must be going through a growth spurt.”

“Oh really? Is that what this incessant screaming is?” I mean, come on woman. I knew that. I could have sat here watching Little House on the Prairie re-runs and known that.

On the way back from the gym, Nathan started his “fill my mouth with boob now” cry. We had about ten minutes before we were home so I tried something I heard on Surviving Motherhood: breast-feeding in the car. We were driving down a secluded street, naked except for a few cars. I unbuckled my seat belt, leaned over my son’s car seat while bracing myself on the headrest. Using my right hand, I freed my “good boob” (Come on ladies. You know you have a “good boob,” unless your breasts are perky and symmetrical, which in that case, I hate you) and proceeded to feed my son in the most awkward and uncomfortable nursing position ever.

If you were on the 120 bus heading toward West Seattle, you most likely were afforded a view of me spidered over my son with one boob in my hand and a face red as a tomato. That’s more skin than my husband has seen, so count yourself lucky.

Sometimes I wonder what will become of my breasts when I stop nursing. Will they be flat and lifeless? Will my husband be reminded of his grandmother? I saw my grandmother’s breasts once, and believe me, I do not want my chest to look like an unfurled fruit roll-up.

Sorry, Grams.

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