Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Maz's One Step Guide To Getting Your Pre-baby Body Back

Step One: Don’t have a baby.

And if it is too late for step one and you happen to have had a baby, the bad news is that without extensive surgery you will never get your old body back. Like mine, it might look all together on the outside but on closer inspection it is just weird floppy sacks of flesh rolled up and smooshed into black jeans and a tshirt with a jacket thrown over the top for posterity. In the spirit of full disclosure for those of you who have similar blobby bodies/are pregnant/just wondering what a post baby body is like, here is a blow by blow of how my body’s changed since childbirth.

Toes: Still ok, mostly the same. A little neglected from months of not being able to cut their nails due to pregnancy bigness, but otherwise still fine, still very hairy.

Shins: Hairy, but only halfway up my shin so, like, little socks made of hair.

Bladder: Far less control than I used to have. Someone ran into me at basketball recently and I had my first experience of ever so slightly weeing myself. Not enough that it ran down my leg, but enough to make me promise to myself that I'd start doing those kegel exercises you're meant to do. Since then I have peed a small amount, numerous times while playing sport. And while I've got around to playing sport, I haven't got around to doing those other exercises.

Breasts: I now actually lift up my boobs to wash under them in the shower. They are like little boob flaps. Which is useful when I need to feed Max while he's in his baby carrier in Coles because I can now flop a boob into his face and continue buying my Danish feta cheese at the deli counter.
Also, this is related to boobs and I don't know how else to segue into it, but when I've looked up tips on expressing milk the suggestion is always to stimulate your nipples while you look at a picture of, or think about, your baby. Is it just me or does this sound weirdly like masturbation?! Masturbabe-tion more like. Again, people think I'm a creep for saying this. It's not me suggesting you masturbate your breasts to a picture of your baby, it’s all the lactation know it alls.

Nipples: bled for a while. I only found out they were actually bleeding when Max spewed blood on me. Which was slightly daunting, and then being the perpetual over-sharer that I am, I wanted to tell people but they don't want to hear about my blood nipples. Same goes for when Max had a crack in his anus. Why can’t I just have a good convo with people about my nips and my son’s anus? Come on guys, be supportive.

Hair: While shiny and thick during pregnancy, a few months after birth my hair started to fall out. At first it was just a few extra hairs here and there. Then it was a small handful. Then, suddenly, I had enough that I could have spun it into wool and made myself a jumper. The height of hair loss came on the day of the Annual Josephans’ Chocolate Cake Competition. I capitalized that like it was a thing, but I’d never heard of it before I entered it and just wanted to make it sound like it was prestigious. Truth of the matter is that I saw someone’s article on Mamamia about all the things they thought they would do while on maternity leave and didn't. I got ultra-competitive and decided that I would achieve all the things they failed at, making me a better mother and human, and winning out over a stranger who didn’t realise they were in a competition with me. In the end, the joke was on me. As I entered the judging room to deliver my cake I realised that these were next level cakes, they looked like they were created by pastry chefs with years of experience. Mine literally looked like a packet cake made by a seven year old. I realised my error too late and was turning to leave and eat my cake alone at home in peace, when one of the women took it from me. I never even got to taste my cake, and definitely didn't win, but on the way out I dusted basically every cake I passed with a good sprinkling of my loose hair. Sucked in better cakes.

The bright side though is this, while my description sounds like my body is practically falling apart, I'm proud of it for doing what it was meant to do. I mean, it grew a tiny penis for fuck’s sake. (With a tiny human, who I quite like, attached to it.)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Shut Your Mouth When You're Talking To Me

Let’s get a little sciencey. Well, psychology actually, but close enough. There is this thing called the Dunning-Kruger effect. You may not have heard of it, but I guarantee you will know someone who is a good example of it. Basically Dunning and Kruger did a study on ignorance and found that a lot of people suffer what's called “illusory superiority”. Basically, the ignorant will often mistakenly assess their abilities to be much higher than they are, so they think they are clever as and doing an amazing job when they are, in fact, dimmer than the inside of an asshole and often, failing quite miserably. In a nutshell, the stupid are too stupid to realised they’re stupid. My favourite part about this unfounded belief in their own intelligence is that it is paired with an arrogance, so the idiots of the world are very likely to broadcast their ignorance to us, the geniuses. On the flip side you have said geniuses (that’s you and I) who slightly underestimate their abilities and, unlike the group previously mentioned, assume everyone else is of a similar level of high intelligence. So basically any time you think you are right about something, you are either completely right or SO wrong and no one has the heart to tell you. Over the years I have heard some amazingly incorrect assertions from these fools in all areas of my life, from fast food restaurants to university, and have been collecting them like precious gemstones, pulling them out to look at them when I'm not feeling great about myself. 

The McDOH!nalds Moron: I worked at McDonalds when I was 15 and while I had very little knowledge of tax law (I failed to get a tax file number for a year and was subsequently taxed half my earnings until I did) I knew more than this Dunning-Kruger affected nong. Tax time rolled around and we were told our group certificates were pinned to the notice board and to collect them at our leisure. As I went to find my own, so I could claim back the literally 50% I had allowed myself to be taxed (I got $2000 back that year, which I wisely spent on one shouldered Suprè tops and Fast and the Furious movie marathons) the girl beside me exclaimed “A certificate!! Oh my gawwwd, I knew I'd been working hard, and I finally have a certificate to show for it. I can't wait to tell my mum!” What sort of certificate she thought maccas offered you annually for just doing your job (and quite poorly in her case) I will never know. But I like to warm the hands of my mind on the image of her tenderly hanging it on her family’s fridge.

The Beautiful and The Damned: I had a really awesome friend who I worked with a while back. He had the dreamiest green eyes and all the girls loved him. And never has the demeaningly said “you're lucky you're so pretty” rang more true. One day, after another friend had taken a pregnancy test he approached me looking super quizzical and asked “Mazzy, do pregnancy tests say who the father is?” I am chuckling so hard even writing this, I just need a moment to catch my breath. 

That's better, sorry about that. I can't help but imagine that in his mind pregnancy tests were like magic eight balls and after you took one a random man’s name bobbed into focus on the little screen. 

Did You Get High Before School?: I did history in high school and fell in love with ancient Egypt. So much so that I actually went to Egypt in my early 20s. Did you know that the Sphinx looks directly at a KFC? Amazing. Anyway, one day we were learning about how, upon entering the afterlife in Egyptian folklore, your heart was weighed against the feather of truth. If it weighed less than the feather you could pass into heaven but if your heart was heavier you were damned to spend eternity in hell. Upon learning this one girl in my class, very correctly commented “but in real life your heart would always weigh more than a feather.” Yes. Thank you for that insightful comment. But wait, does that mean that people in ancient Egypt didn’t have human bodies with crocodile heads? And what is this “metaphor” word I’m always hearing echoing around the halls? Could you clear that up for me too, oh wise one?

The UniBLERGHsity Student: Ok, I ran out of clever names for this one so it sort of sounds like something you’d read in a Mad Magazine parody of Revenge of the Nerds, but shut up. I did a subject at uni called “the history of genocide” because I was just into studying really upbeat stuff at uni. In our second lecture after we had combed through all the actions which constitute genocide; mass murder, sterilization, forced removal of children etc. a girl in the back of the lecture theatre put up her hand and told the lecturer “I think you'll find genocide isn't always a bad thing.”
Unfortunately, he stopped her before she could continue and consequently the rest of my life I will be burdened with the desire to know what justification she had for genocide. And I'll never know if she was incredibly racist or just extremely optimistic. 

I apologise if you are one of the people in these anecdotes, because I know I’m friends with some of you on facebook, but I’m hoping that you were distracted by something shiny at about the point where I used the word “science” in the opening paragraph. And full disclosure here, I know I’ve just been a massive bitch to these poor idiots, but I thought that someone lived in the pylons of the Harbour bridge until I was in my mid twenties, and until around the same time also believed that trees made wind. So at least I’m kind of a dumb bitch too.