the beat goes on

The baby shower was much less painful than I thought it would be. For one, only my boss and former co-worker were there, and of the two, my boss was the one to acknowledge my and Nathan’s presence. She was actually nice to me, but that’s not saying much. I’ve seen her applaud some executive director’s work and then when the ED was out of earshot, she added, “I can’t believe she’s taking so long to finish that project. I would have never hired her.”

And when she asked, “So you quit school spring semester, right,” I knew after that dreadful breakfast, she was probably running her mouth with, “Well, you know Mona got knocked up and had to quit school,” even though I did graduate early (and with honors, yo!) and walked at my departmental ceremony just four weeks after having Nathan.

But instead of firing off my oh-no-you-didn’t hand wave, I replied, “No. I didn’t have to take any classes during the Spring because I had finished. Early.”

It would be pointless to prove myself to someone who cherry-picks flaws and feeds on low points. I want to say that I had no intention of showing Nathan off to these women, but that’s about as true as my undying love for cilantro. But having my pastel-dressed, beret donning son there provided me with physical proof that my life is good.

And tangentially speaking, if you’re thinking about having a baby and need another item for the “pros” column, think of this: you’ll never be alone at a party. I didn’t speak Arabic (my pregnant friend is from Baghdad) and I didn’t want to rehash the few good times with ye colleagues of olde (because that conversation wouldn’t last long). Also, you don’t have to clean up the party because your hands are full of baby, giving you a very unselfish yet totally selfish way to say, “I would help, but you know, the baby.”

So Nathan and I babbled to each other while the Arab women belly-danced in a circle, moving to the music and a clap-driven beat. They danced in pairs; they danced alone. The women who had sat quietly, picking at their tabbouleh and hummus were called to life on the dance floor, their hips moving and jerking, arms and hands gracefully securing spots in the air around them. Unfettered by scarves and coverings their hair spilled down their backs and reached further when they arched their bodies.

When I was pulled in, I moved to the middle, taking Nathan as my dance partner. I shook my hips as much as I could while toting a 26-lb baby, and performed varying speeds of the “mommy-side-to-side-sway.” I lowered Nathan down and then quickly lifted him up in a grand, sweeping motion and my son’s laughing mouth said much better than I ever could, “Here I am, in yo’ face, ladies!”

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  1. thordora says:

    awww…that made me smile this morning. Good for you for enjoying yourself!

  2. Swistle says:

    I like a baby as company, too. Better even than a drink in the hand for “having something to do other than just stand there awkwardly.” Nice for standing in lines, too: can play with the baby instead of standing there feeling increasingly impatient.

  3. Mayberry says:

    Excellent rebuttal! Sounds like you & Nathan kicked some bitchy-boss ass. WTG.

  4. aeronwen says:

    I have passed on similar “mom” wisdom re: having baby company.
    It works well for big family gatherings that you want to get away from for a few minutes…you know, it’s baby’s nap time.

  5. Hey mona… glad to find another seattle mom blogger! love your blog… and your baby is cute too!

  6. I have encountered much negativity from other Moms here at the workplace. There was a time when I was paying full time daycare for two and coudln’t work weekends and I got talked about a lot. All of these women have older kids. All of these women have family that can help them out, which I don’t. Glad you took your little guy and had a grand time.

    PS Check out my blog. I am a new blogger.

  7. Butrfly4404 says:

    I agree about babies as company. They also keep you busy and away from the chip bowl!!

    But last night, a lady FOLLOWED me around the grocery store (seriously, like a foot behind me THE WHOLE TIME), saying “A-What is that? What IS that? A-what is that??” Over. And Over. And Over. I just wanted to say “SHE’S NOT GOING TO ANSWER YOU!! Just Shut It!!” or “Get off my ass!” Either would have worked. But I didn’t. I’m chicken. And didn’t want to scare the baby girl.

    That sounds like a fun shower!! Nobody ever belly danced at any showers I’ve been to!

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