January 31, 2007

Waiting For Waiting For Birdy

I have finally allowed myself to begin re-reading Catherine Newman's Waiting For Birdy. I have been eyeing it on the shelf, putting off reading it the way you would put off eating the last Dove bar in the freezer, knowing that once it's gone you won't have it to look forward to anymore.

When I read it, I laugh until I cry. I don't mean that I laugh until my eyes water, I mean I CRY: my lip heads up toward my nose, my nose scrunches up toward my eyes, my eyes squeeze to a squint and tears come pouring out, and I'm making a peculiar sob-laugh sound that reminds me of those old movies where someone needs to give the girl a good hard slap to help her get a hold of herself. Usually it ends with me coughing and gagging and needing to set the book down for a little while to recover, explaining to an alarmed Paul, "It's just so funny" and weeping some more into my handkerchief.

I didn't want to re-read it too early in the pregnancy, but pregnancy is the perfect time for reading it so I didn't want to put it off too long and miss it, either. I thought I'd wait as long as I could, ideally until I was in the stretch where it feels like I've been pregnant for a million years and there are still a million years left to go. And here we are, right in that place.

I can't help but oversell the book, even though I know that's exactly the sort of thing that, when someone else does it to me, makes me read the book too critically, thinking, "Well, it's good, but I don't know why she made such a huge fuss about it." It would have been better if you'd discovered it on your own, as I did. I don't remember how I found the column "Bringing Up Ben & Birdy" on BabyCenter--maybe it was mentioned in one of the newsletters BabyCenter sends out, or maybe I was just browsing the site as I sometimes do obsessively when I'm pregnant. In any case, I found it. And within 24 hours I was tapping my foot impatiently, waiting for the book to be shipped to me from Amazon.com as I read through years of archived columns, taking breaks only to email everyone I knew to say "Have you read this?" It was like finding religion, and I was the intrusive new convert who couldn't stop talking about her experience.

All right, that's enough of a break. I'm going back to reading it now.

2 comments:

desperate housewife said...

Ahh! That is exactly what happened to me when I discovered Bringing Up Ben and Birdy! I sat there, honest to God, and read four years of entries in less than a week. My husband thought I had completely lost my mind.

Swistle said...

Paul got so tired of me reading little snippets aloud to him. He liked what I was reading, but I was reading something to him, then letting 10 seconds go by, then reading something else, then letting another 10 seconds go by.