The last of the binkie wars

I found this month-old gif (originally a cine via Cinemagram) of mine on my phone today:


That was the day before we moved, leaving Novogireyevo for the older and stranger neighborhood of Kuzminki, also in eastern Moscow.

Grandma had introduced Lev to the binkie when he was a few weeks old (without asking my permission, of course. Why should grandma *ever* do something like that?), and moving day was as good as any day to bid it goodbye. We figured that the thrill of a new apartment, new playgrounds, and so on, would distract Lev enough from his old habits – and we were ultimately not mistaken.

In the gif, he has just reclaimed the binkie after I had unsuccessfuly tried to hide it in the kitchen.

A reminder to me that even necessary change is often painful.

Money and the (pregnant) ladies: song and dance

I fell for you jiving and I too you in
Now all you’ve got to offer me is a drink of gin

Why don’t you do right?
Like some other men do
Get out of here and get me some money, too

Unlikes some other women I know, I have no problem admitting that I want a guy to pull his weight – and then some. Especially when you’re expecting a baby, geez. It sucks being a hugely pregnant breadwinner, when you’re not “winning” that much “bread” to begin with – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It sucks going to the readers of this blog, cap in hand, because your cashflow issues are about to ruin your credit history – and much worse. I mean, what’s a credit history when you’re going, “Hmmm, do I buy meat or do I buy prenatal vitamins?!” Though I am incredibly grateful to the readers of this blog – both ones I know, and ones I’ve never spoken to before – who have been so generous in these last few weeks. I used to get very embarrassed when accepting gifts, but now I am just absurdly grateful.

As I have found out, cashflow can also hinge on communication. When we found out about my pregnancy, my theater director husband expressed his wish to remain in film school – but said he would do odd jobs to help out. My response? I initially talked him out of it. I thought I could do alright on my own financially, considering the stuff I had lined up, and I thought that film school was ultimately more important. Which it is – especially if you want more contacts and job offers down the line – but it’s not the end-all, be-all of existence. Especially not with a baby on the way. This is what I’ve had to learn the hard way.

There used to be shame, for me, in admitting that I want to be financially dependent and taken care of every once in a while. That shame is loooong gone, baby. I don’t need to strike a pose and cock my gun and act badass – when I’m not actually badass. I feel rather like a girl in her mother’s too-big pumps and some clown make-up, playing a role. I suppose this is why so many women dread pregnancy to begin with.

The actual physical state I’m in, though, I don’t find dreadful. It’s been an amazing process, from the first flutterings to the karate kicks. “I am a little barge, bouncing on the big ocean waves, with a little passenger on board,” I tell my husband when I’m being particularly wistful and passive-aggressive. “I am a little barge. Water splashes on my deck.”  Sometimes, I go full-on Linda Hamilton in “T2,” when she’s having one of her moments: “You think you’re so creative. You don’t know what it’s like to really create something; to create a life; to feel it growing inside you…” She did have a point.

And all of that taken into consideration, I still don’t think that greater happiness is possible – when it’s just me, my husband and The Globe, and The Globe is all animated, making his father laugh. I’m glad I realize that now. It would be hard to look back on this years and years down the line, and go, “Well, damn. We were so happy. Funny how I never realized as much.”


So I was in a bad mood – because I’m on too many drugs, because I’m paranoid about being able to choose the right hospital to give birth in, because a film synopsis is not coming along, take your pick – and then I was reminded of how much I love Arnold Schwarzenegger:

There’s been too little Schwarzenegger in my life as of late. Maybe it’s because I married a dude who’s obsessed with Jim Jarmusch and Lars von Trier (oh, and speaking of that – um, yeah, Cannes…). Or because getting older means, to a certain extent, letting go of past joys. Or maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones. I suppose everyone has an excuse for having too little Schwarzenegger in their lives, and mine are all good ones, but still. In times of crisis, a lack of Arnold only makes your problems worse. Don’t let it happen to you.