The Opponent

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After feeling alternately crab-assy, depressed, exhausted, anxious and vomitous during pregnancy, it’s astonishing to be deep in the throes of new motherhood again. I am so madly in love with this little beast.

And he adores me. I can tell, because he gives me huge gummy smiles. He cries when I put him down, and he saves his most voluminous diapers for me. These are definitely satisfying rewards for going through being woken up every few hours, and having to shoot liquid out of my boobs at a moment’s notice.

I’ve even included a diagram of our sleeping arrangements over the past 3 months, to clearly illustrate the joys of a “family bed”:

Lately, though, I’ve noticed a change in his behavior, which seems to have coincided with his eyesight becoming rather more honed. When I place him on his changing pad, eager to see what he’s produced for me, his adoring eyes shift from me to this:

I bought this cheap piece of crap mobile from Ikea, but he’s mad about it, specifically, the Panda. At first I thought his drawn-out gazes and attempts at grabbing it were sweet, but then came that first big, open pie hole. I couldn’t believe my damn eyes, because he was smiling at that thing. That wretched piece of eye candy that I picked up on a whim was now proving to be a malevolent opponent.

He can lay there for minutes on end, carrying on what is seemingly a conversation in a “secret special language” with this panda. It’s maddening. Pandy the fucking tiny panda can’t carry him around and pick wax out his ears with a fingernail. I can. And who ever heard of a panda that would agree to limit the amount of caffeine he drank so the precious baby wouldn’t be affected?

A mother needs some sort of assurance that her baby’s not going to cheat on her. Is it so wrong for me to fantasize about getting rid of the competition? I think not. For now though, don’t pity me. I will find a way to persevere. And no need to call me a hero, as all I really want is to get my story out there, to show that every scorned woman can find in her soul the strength to overcome the devastating allure of the Ikea decorative object.

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