Spoilers ahead for House of Cards season one. Just in case.
My daughter is 8 and a half (she would want me to tell you that her half birthday is in two weeks), but I still remember those newborn days pretty clearly. Blearily reheating lasagna; eating it with one hand. That feeling of pride the first time I wrapped my baby carrier correctly. Bouncing the crying baby on my hip while absentmindedly singing “Unbreakable! She’s alive, dammit, females are strong as hell!” Switching my nursing baby from the left to the right as Frank Underwood murdered the congressman from Pennsylvania on “House of Cards.” Deftly sneaking out of the sleeping baby’s room while wondering if my husband and I could be Russian spies like Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in “The Americans.”
Yeah, I watched a lot of TV as a new parent. I’m assuming you did, too?
There’s something about the shows you watch during that ethereal neverending time. They’re yours, you know? Yes, millions of people watched “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” in March of 2015 but *I* watched it while sleep-deprived and hormonal in the middle of the night when everything is louder and bigger and has more meaning.
People talk about how the music you listen to as a kid alters your brain a little bit. The other day “I’ll Remember” by Madonna came on in the freezer aisle at the grocery store and in a split second I was at a Limited Too with my mom, running my hands over a shelf of velvet scrunchies.
I haven’t experienced that phenomenon with much else, but just now I looked up the “House of Cards” theme song and got goosebumps after the first note. Suddenly, I was there — no, not at the White House, but on my old IKEA couch (good riddance) on a snowy Minneapolis night, a 10-pound sleeping baby sucking at nothing in her sleep. It was a simpler time: Sure, I was exhausted and sweaty, but on the flip side, I didn’t have to explain, say, the concept of taxonomy to a child like I did this morning, or what Judy Blume was talking about when she said “tits” in “Starring Sally J Freeman as Herself” like I did last week.*
Now, after giving birth to my second daughter earlier this year, I find myself with a newborn again, embracing the simplicity and drowning in the exhaustion — and already anticipating the year 2030 when I hear the phrase “yes chef” somewhere and think about watching “The Bear,” balancing the baby monitor on my lap, ready to spring into action at any moment.
*I ended up skipping the scene, in which boys are looking down girls’ shirts to see their “tits”, entirely but I feel like that was the wrong move and have been worrying about how to explain tits to my 8-year-old ever since. See?! Newborn days were simpler.
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