Hello, I’m 2 Months

I turned 2 months a few days ago, and have made some progress. I smile a lot more now, and put on a show for others. I’m always smiling at my cousins, aunt, and uncle at daycare, but I still frown a lot at mom. I coo and say “lai” or “leh” a lot (“lai lai lai leh leh”) and Mom asks me if I’m trying to sing The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkle. No, I’m not, Mom. That song is for old ass people. Much older than you, even. Dad heard Mumford’s version of it on a Pandora station and didn’t even realize it was a cover. Mom went back to work on October 30, and I spend Mondays and Wednesdays at my aunt and uncle’s daycare with other pals, Tuesdays and Thursdays at home with Mom and Dad while they work, and Friday with Grandma and Grandpa, so I have an active social calendar.

Mom and Dad took me to a pumpkin patch over the weekend. Mom said I wouldn’t remember or understand any of it and pumpkin patches are dumb but they took me anyway, because everyone else was taking their babies and Mom didn’t want to feel like a grinch. It was abnormally hot for the end of October and I went without clothes again. I tried to sleep through the experience because the sun was too bright. Those infant sunglasses still don’t fit me.

A couple of days later, they put me in a furry ladybug costume on Halloween. It was too big and made me look like a giant puffy ball. I was not impressed. They walked me around with uncle, aunt, and cousin Sage in a nearby neighborhood, but I slept through the trick-or-treating festivities for the most part. I don’t have teeth and can’t eat candy anyway.

The weather started getting colder as of Halloween, and I have to wear clothes (more frequently) now. Mostly hand-me-down boys clothes, not that I care. I have some cool stuff with robots and animals, but Mom passed on making me wear the onesie that says, “Lock up your daughters.”

I’ve developed a somewhat stubborn personality in one respect; I began refusing almost entirely to drink out of a bottle. I don’t like it, so I’ve resorted to a semi-hunger strike during the day, as much as I love eating. I am still sleeping through the night and wake up pretty hungry. Mom used to say “Good morning, Sunshine,” when greeting me in the morning but the consensus between my parents was that after sleeping 8-9 hours straight and waking up starving, it wasn’t accurate to describe me as a ray of sunshine, so Mom now calls me “Moon.” She admits she’s a moon too, because she loves sleeping and is grouchy in the morning.

My cat sister stepped on me again recently. I have observed she is used to encroaching on human personal space and stepping all over them as she pleases, so it seems she now has come to recognize me as a flesh and blood human. It also seems to me she has been spoiled these past 10+ years, so I gave her swift kick to ensure such behavior does not occur again.

First 24 with Baby V

The first 24 hours at the hospital in hindsight feel like a fast-forwarding DVD, in that I remember everything that happened, but it felt like it was on super speed.

You barely can handle the excitement from being responsible for a tiny human and the new information and activities just come flooding in without respite, including blood tests, hearing tests, breastfeeding advice, medication administrations, birth certificate paperwork, etc.; it’s a nonstop, intense learning experience. People complain about not being able to sleep because of disruptions from nurses coming in and out, but honestly, we were able to sleep through anything at that point, and when I couldn’t sleep it was from being too excited, not due to external stimuli.

The first thing I did after transferring from the labor suite to the recovery room was take a shower. I felt like I’d hiked Mount Whitney and a hot shower never felt so good. In her first 24 hours, Little V got a hepatitis vaccine, received a vitamin K shot, had a blood draw for various required screening, passed her hearing test, and had her first visit from a Pediatrician. Both sets of her grandparents also came to visit the lucky lady just 4 hours after she was born.

This was my first time staying in a hospital and it was interesting seeing nurses and care providers execute various processes in real life as opposed to reading about them at work. The nurses in Labor & Delivery were great with helping us learn to swaddle and get breastfeeding started. They also took Little V to the nursery for a couple of hours that night so we could get a smidgen of uninterrupted sleep after probably the only double all-nighter we’ve done.

We had the option of staying an extra night at the hospital, but things appeared to be relatively smooth and straightforward, and I really felt it would be more relaxing to be at home. Plus, the hospital food was pretty mediocre. After we felt we’d received enough instruction from nurses on breastfeeding and swaddling, we left the hospital early afternoon and returned home to finish off Labor Day weekend.

Wonder Woman: A Step Backwards for Feminism

Wonder Woman isn’t a step forward for women; it’s a step backwards.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the entire culture surrounding it, including the contrived all-female screenings, hype about the female director, and hype about the “strength” of the leading lady, reeks of a patronizing and condescending appeal to my feminism. The lead is a woman! The director is a woman! Woman woman woman, vagina vagina vagina, girl power and stuff!

I’m supposed to be excited because the movie outwardly promotes female empowerment (to call it an “unsubtle” effort would be a gross understatement). Right. Because my self-worth depends on Hollywood’s validation and interpretation of empowerment and female competence. Also, apparently I’m so fucking retarded I need Hollywood to beat me over the head with shallow and pretentious “feminist” messages to fully understand the issue.

Strong female leads have not been absent from Hollywood. Anyone remember Ellen Ripley from Alien, Sarah Connor from Terminator,  or “The Bride” from Kill Bill, just to mention a few? These characters, played by Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton, and Uma Thurman, for whatever reason, have not remotely garnered the same kind of attention as “feminist” icons. Perhaps this is partly owing to the fact they were powerful, badass people not because they had vaginas, but because they simply happened to be women, unlike the new iteration of Wonder Woman. Alien, Terminator, and Kill Bill did not need all-vagina screenings, a female director, or a superficial marketing campaign to convey that women can get shit done, because the script, plot, and character development spoke for itself and unmistakably communicated female empowerment in a much more compelling and effective, yet underrated and subtle manner.

This is the essence of the issue. Ripley, Connor, and The Bride lead fantastic movies in which having a vagina is incidental, thereby faithfully and gracefully presenting the idea that women are human and equally capable of overcoming insurmountable circumstances. To contrast, Wonder Woman and its entire marketing scheme relies on segregating women as a special class of people and insisting on particularized treatment and accolade on the basis of the lead being a woman. There is nothing less feminist, simple-minded, and frankly, embarrassing than this in 2017.

It’s also notable that Ripley, Connor, and The Bride were normal human women who crushed opponents (be it alien, robot, or human) in a spacesuit, wife beater, and a ninja jumpsuit, respectively. This is to contrast with Wonder Woman, a superhero with perfect hair and special powers prancing around in a corset and miniskirt. I’m not about to knock corsets and miniskirts per se (because they are awesome), but if you think I’m going to unquestioningly accept Wonder Woman as a sign of progress, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

Film critic John Scalzi described Ripley best:

She’s not a sidekick, arm candy, or a damsel to be rescued. Starting with Alien, Ripley was a fully competent member of a crew or ensemble — not always liked and sometimes disrespected, but doing her job all the same. As each film progresses, she comes to the fore and faces challenges head-on — she’s the hero of the piece, in other words […] Ripley isn’t a fantasy version of a woman. Science fiction film is filled with hot kickass women doing impossible things with guns and melee weapons while they spin about like a gymnast in a dryer. As fun as that is to watch, at the end of the day it’s still giving women short shrift, since what they are then are idealized killer fembots rather than actual human beings. Ripley, on the other hand, is pushy, aggressive, rude, injured, suffering from post-traumatic syndrome, not wearing makeup, tired, smart, maternal, angry, empathetic, and determined to save others, even at great cost to herself. All without being a spinny killbot.

Can Wonder Woman top that? When I see the movie, I’ll decide whether it’s actually a good movie, but if it is, it will be despite its attempt at a feminist message, not because of it.

Moon Shadows

Her shoes were the color of sunshine and she radiated beams from her forehead

After a night of boxed wine and vodka

She lost her fading resolve in the moon shadows and fog while seagulls flaunted their freedom and mocked her

And the waves sighed like tired gods at the resignation of human existence

Taking cold pizza out of the refrigerator at 2:00 a.m. she heard him say

Hey Beautiful and she smiled at what she felt to be a hidden bitterness in the kitchen

She sat on a boy’s lap, twirled a strand of pearls in her palm and her friend said

Remember us, the bunny girls? We are notorious for last weekend 

And another voice told her

I can smell your pride from a mile away