First Date

The anxiety.

The awkwardness.

The hope.

The humanity.

Ahhh, the joys of dating. For many of us, they’re but a distant memory. For others among us, they’re still very much a reality. Because we’re talking playdates here, that ingenious invention of late-20th-Century suburban parents.

Like their social predecessor, playdates come with their own worries and a whole new set of rules. So if you’re happily hitched with some growing brood to your credit, and thinking you’re out of the dating woods….well, think again, my friend.

Think again.

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First Date

The call just came – you’re going to meet!
Now:  What to do? Where to eat?
A morning stroll? A picnic lunch?
A dinner chat? A weekend brunch?

What to wear? What to say?
Meet at night? Or by day?
All these choices you must make
are stressful with so much at stake.

You hope you’ll click. You hope it’s fun.
You’re thinking this could be the one.
While on your way, you say a prayer
that all goes well when you get there.

You want this first date to succeed,
so best behavior’s what you need.
That means good manners, smiles and caring;
taking turns and nicely sharing.

You hope there’ll be no tears while dining.
And no tantrums. And no whining.
No fussiness, no arguments,
and please, oh please, no accidents!

It’s tougher than when you were single,
cruising bars to mix and mingle;
it’s hard, it’s brutal – even mean -
this merciless new dating scene.

For nothing sets your nerves aflutter
than meeting with another mother
and her child to know just whether
the four of you play well together.

And afterward it’s just as bad,
for if you liked the time you had,
you’re just more anxious, after all,
because, you know, she said she’d call

©2010 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

A Dirty Shame

Adjusting to the role of mom can prove quite a challenge, even for the most accomplished woman. Sure, we feminine types are famous for our multitasking skills, but there are some simple, everyday activities that are surprisingly tough to pull off with a kiddo in the casa.

Which is why, after a dozen years of motherhood, I’ll never, ever, ever take for granted a few sudsy minutes with my loofah.

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A Dirty Shame

As a modern working woman
you’ve accomplished quite a bit,
worked your way on up the ladder,
won acclaim with charm and wit.

You’ve managed projects by the dozen,
mentored people by the score.
You could do in just one day
what would take most others four.

Such a dedicated doer,
you could tackle any task;
so now that you’re a brand new mom,
the question must be asked:

How is it such an Amazon,
a paragon of power,
now finds her biggest goal today
is just…to take a shower?

© Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

What to Expect

I haven’t picked up my well-worn copy in more than a decade, but the now-ubiquitous “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” was my constant companion for the months leading up to both my pregnancies.

Thinking back to that time, I’m not sure that even that mostly comprehensive guide could have prepared me for what lay ahead.

In which case, a condensed version might have sufficed…
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What to Expect When You’re Expecting

many a question
indigestion

moods swinging
worries springing

room arranging
mind changing

tummy lurches
nanny searches

name choosing
noon snoozing

back aching
night waking

name trying
diaper buying

head reeling
heavy feeling

chubby clothing
hubby loathing

labor fearing
friends cheering

over-reading
overeating

spouse quibbling
late-night nibbling

weight gaining
Lamaze training

smell heightening
bra tightening

test enduring
daycare touring

swollen feets
stolen treats

due dating
anticipating

©2010 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz