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Issue 34: Good Linen

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Last night I slept in a hospital gown on top of a tablecloth.
 

Woman About the Internet

July 27 · Issue #34 · View online
I am a writer, mother, and decent human being living in Seattle, Washington. My monthly newsletter pairs perfectly with the everyday and the End of Days. I think you're swell.

Last night I slept in a hospital gown on top of a tablecloth.

My decent bedclothes had already been spit up on and I was left to don the robe I’d stolen from the hospital when the baby was born. The tablecloth came into play once she vomited approximately one gallon of half-digested milk onto the mattress. The back up sheets were in the wash, having met a similar fate the evening prior. Jacob rushed to pull my least favorite tablecloth out of the linen closet. The one I’ve begged him to throw away every time we move. There, as I cried along with the baby in the dark, I was so grateful for that ugly tablecloth with its bunches of grapes and faded green vines. I counted each fruit with my eyes closed as Frida nursed in my arms, Jacob cleaning around us. Always soaking up our messes. At dawn, when the summer sun cracked through the sagging blackout curtains I whispered to the room, “I am lying on a tablecloth in a hospital gown.”
It has been much better than this. I have been much better than this. It’s okay. Let me reassure the both of us.
For example: As I type to you I am hiding out in the welcoming womb of an air conditioned pizza joint drinking a vodka tonic after thoroughly dousing a slice of pepperoni in parmesan. Frida is at home napping between Jacob and the dog.
The tablecloths here are vinyl, in case you’re wondering.
This is the first time I’ve been completely alone in three months. The experience of leaving the house without a baby in tow is akin to a hungover morning in your early twenties, accidentally stepping out the door without shoes while rushing to work. Except instead of heading back inside to don ballet flats, you just keep stepping forward, feet slapping the wet pavement. “Do you see my bare feet? Should I explain why I look like this?” you ask yourself, looking down. But of course to any other self-consumed stranger I’m just existing. Perpetually tired with a bold lip.
I want to tell you about the specific moment when the Rock & Play Sleeper drops the beat before transitioning into an elegant rendition of On Top of Spaghetti. I want to tell you about the morning a barista asked me if I had any fun plans for the weekend. Our hands touched for a single second too long before I replied, “I’m just happy to be here.” Last week Jacob sprayed laundry detergent on the clean clothes in the dryer.
It has been much better than this.
After every baby-related hurdle I take a step back in awe and think “well, I guess we’re really all in on this parenting thing!” Recently I referred to something as happening “since we got the baby” as opposed to “since the baby was born” and it often seems that way. As if we threw her into the weekly grocery order three months ago and arrived home after work to find her on our doorstep. Of course I’m oversimplifying, but I’m also attempting to describe the impossible.
I wore a hospital gown. I slept on top of a tablecloth. My daughter is better than everything.
Elsewhere
My family compound was featured in the New York Times last weekend. Click over for a photo of my parents’ backyard cottage, Frida’s hair, and a quote that pretty much sums up how delightful it is to live with me.
I love you and you are deserving of great things.
xo Drew
Need to catch up on an issue? Explore the archives right here. Some of my other writing lives here. If you’d like to follow me on Instagram, you can do so right here. I also hang out on Twitter.
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