Authors: Lela Davidson
Blacklisted from the PTA by Lela Davidson
Printed Edition ISBN: 978-1-936214-43-3
Library of Congress Control Number: 2011923314
©2011 Lela Davidson. All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles or reviews.
Author Photo: Calotype-Photography.com
Published by Jupiter Press, imprint of Wyatt-MacKenzie
For John, Alexander, and Gabriella, my daily support and inspiration.
HERE IS A CERTAIN ACTRESS IN THIS MONTH
striking a glamorous pose in her perfectly appointed Tribeca kitchen, preparing “YUMMY!” locally grown, organic, butternut and beeswax after school snacks in an $865 Michael Kors crepe flounce skirt and 7-inch Louboutins. Her hair looks amazing, her skin sun-kissed, and while there appear to be a few toys tossed about, there is not an actual child to be found. Curious. In the interview, the starlet suggests several times that the key to all this happiness is finding balance.
Duh. When will women ever learn?
Is it bad that I want throw a greased watermelon at her to see how well she maintains that balance in those platform heels?
The moment I met Lela Davidson I knew we were kindred spirits. She lives on the perfect cul-de-sac in the perfect suburb where the lawns are pristine and the neighbors always wave. But here’s the thing: she’s no perfect mother—and proud of it. While some moms spend entire evening tirelessly manufacturing impressive crepe paper peonies for the bake sale centerpiece, our gal would rather laugh than fret. She understands that a smile on her kid’s face is more important than a gold star on a chart somewhere, and if she’s wearing Louboutins in the kitchen, you better believe the kids are at Grandma’s and she’s not making after school snacks. While her Prada bag may fake, she’s the real deal. And if those women in the PTA can’t handle it? Well, their loss is our gain.
The stories in this book are self-deprecating, honest, and funny. Lela Davidson opens up so we can too. You’re going to love it.
T PLAN TO WRITE THIS BOOK
WANTED TO WRITE
was a novel, one of those quirky romantic titles that get made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon or Kate Winslet. I didn’t know how to do that, so I set out to learn. Write what you know, the experts said. But what did I know? I knew how to quit a real job and pack up a family to move from Seattle to Texas, and that the Pampered Chef was not the vehicle to my self-actualization. All I seemed to be good at was sitting on the driveway drinking boxed Chardonnay and talking to my friends. So that’s what I wrote—the stories that made us laugh. I hope they make you laugh, too.
More importantly, I hope that each and every one of you find your way to the PTA’s blacklist.
Learn more about Lela:
ROSE WITH THE SUN
, listened to birds singing, and timed contractions. Then I called my doula, whose job it was to ensure that all doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, surgeons, friends, family, and husbands, stuck to—The Birth Plan.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, The Birth Plan consists of detailed instructions regarding how your baby will enter the world. It is formulated in the comfort of your living room while you and your doula sip tea and admire each other’s pedicures. The actual
takes place in a greenish room where instead of chamomile, you would gladly accept heroin from a street dealer should one conveniently appear.
After suffering through one unplanned cesarean, I wanted to actualize my womanhood by pushing that second baby out. Most women worship the doctor who offers a scheduled CSection. Not me; I’m special. I opted for a VBAC—vaginal birth after cesarean—and in so doing also made my choice for
minimal pharmaceutical assistance
“Natural childbirth was fine, Honey,” my mother told me. “But that was before we had the drugs.”
I told myself I didn’t need the drugs. For hours I labored according to The Birth Plan. I breathed, counted, and groaned. It sucked. I got stuck in the bathtub, unwilling to move. Even when the water got cold I stayed there moaning like an injured cow. The contractions came so fast and lasted so long that they merged into one continuous, gnawing, increasingly unbearable pain.
After eight hours, the physical torture finally brought me to my senses. I agreed to take the drugs. Just a little mind you— just enough to blunt the edge. But Demerol, it turns out, is a gateway drug. Forget natural; I wanted the needle. My Grape Nut eating, placenta-planting doula was disappointed when I requested the epidural, but she supported me anyway. It was, after all, a legitimate stipulation in Plan B, paragraph 3 of The Birth Plan.
I spent the next several hours turning from side to side, elevating one or another part of my body, and visualizing my baby descending the birth canal. This is WAY easier when you’re high! But my baby didn’t want to come out. We would get her just to the brink and she’d twist herself back around, sunny side up. After hours of monitoring and measuring and changing position, fearing that without intervention she’d be stuck in there forever, we made our move.
My husband smiled. The doula frowned. I surrendered. Nurses shaved me and counted instruments, then rolled me to the operating room. Suddenly I felt a sharp popping sensation unlike the slow and steady agony of labor. When I told the doctors about it, eyes opened wide and the surgeon ordered the nurse to check the baby’s heart rate. Again.
“You’re going under,” the doctor snapped. I watched the mask cover my nose and mouth.
Before I was fully aware, someone handed me a wriggly, sweet smelling bundle. Her fresh skin peeked out at me from beneath pink flannel. She squirmed in my arms and arched her disproportionately large head toward my breast.
I couldn’t have planned it better.
, I mean that’s it. I won’t be one of those women taking prenatal vitamins and Boniva at the same time. I don’t have the energy.
I waited until the ripe old age of twenty-eight to have my first child, then followed up with a second only twenty-two months later. I had to work quickly because way back then we were afraid to get pregnant after thirty-five. A lot has changed in the last ten years. Pregnancy over forty is now accepted and, if you believe the celebrity photos, easy.
As I inch toward forty, the biological clock still ticks. Instead of, “have-a-baby-have-a-baby,” it now says, “just-onemore-just-one-more.” I fantasize that I’d do everything right this time. I would coordinate perfect outfits, offer only breast milk and homemade organic baby food, and bathe myself every day. I’d even blow out my hair and put on makeup.
I indulge this dream for about a minute before I remember the sleepless nights, continuous feeding, and emotional extremes. Between post-partum, PMS, and peri-menopause, I can’t imagine what older moms—even celebrities—are going through, but I suspect if you knocked on their doors at nine in the morning, they wouldn’t be red carpet ready.
Despite the realities of baby rearing, glitz and ease is exactly what we see in those magazines we sneak read at the grocery checkout. People complain that Hollywood glamorizes young pregnancy by holding up Jamie Lynn Spears and Ashlee Simpson as role models, but I’m more offended by the forty-isthe-new-twenty-two celebrities that are selling us regular women a bill of goods.
Brothers and Sisters
. She’s pregnant with her third baby and like our homegrown celebs, she has a penchant for unique names. She already named one son Banjo. Let’s hope age has wised her up. If not, she may end up with a cute little Fiddle or Harmonica.
I’d love to see these A-listers before their morning triple tall latte. Show me the beautiful people frantically chasing down a toddler, trying to get neon poop out of the carpet, and dripping in spit up. Then I’ll be impressed.
My advice? If you’re planning to get pregnant over forty, do yourself a favor and cancel your subscription to