Excerpt from Call Girl – New Mommy Misery

harried mom

I am suffering from a case of author identity confusion. My first book is middle grade/young adult, set during the Mexican Revolution, and ripe with opportunity for learning and thoughtful discussion. It’s full of prose and carefully crafted imagery.

My second book, Call Girl, is about a sassy woman named Julia who runs a call center and struggles with post-partum depression, work/life imbalance and a womanizing boss. She also has a tawdry tale of greed, money and blackmail to uncover. It’s filled with humor, but I hope it provokes some thoughtful discussion about post-partum depression, misogyny and challenges for working women. Clearly, NOT a book for youngsters.

Despite Call Girl’s complete pivot from Evangelina Takes Flight, I want to share bits of it with you (as I’ve done in the past), and hope it resonates with some moms out there, or at least gives readers a chuckle.

I am actively sending queries to Literary Agents hoping to find representation. The segment below comes early on in the book, chapter 2.

EXCERPT:

Someone on the consulting nurse twenty-four-hour hotline told me colic usually lasts about six weeks. I marked the days on the calendar with an “X” until the six weeks were up.

Trey screamed the first day after his six-week birthday.

At 2:30 a.m., I woke up to his crying, picked him up, and walked to the kitchen, where we kept the calendar. I turned on the overhead stove light to see it. Yep, one day past six weeks, and he cried off and on that morning, afternoon, and night.

Gah! Was there such a thing as twenty-hour-a-day colic, and was there such a thing as a baby that cried until he left for college? Because his crying seemed like it was on a non-stop repeat cycle from hell.

My days included the following, or a combination thereof:

  • Pick crying Trey up out of his crib
  • Nurse Trey . . . twenty minutes of quiet—yay!
  • Hold Trey in the rocking chair
  • Wipe Trey’s spit-up off my shoulder
  • Smell eau de vomit every time I turn my head
  • Hold Trey on the sofa
  • Hold Trey at the kitchen table
  • Sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “You Are My Sunshine,” the ABCs, a few Barbara Streisand songs and Broadway tunes
  • Tell myself, “You can do this!”
  • Lay Trey on his back, atop my thighs, his tiny feet against my weirdly stretched-out stomach, head the opposite direction, and talk to him, smile at him, grab his little feet and move them around, stroke his hair, touch his cheek, kiss his nose, tell him I love him, but feel guilty, because part of my heart feels paralyzed and in desperate need of emergency care
  • Beg Trey to tell me why he’s crying, so I can fix it!
  • Walk around our itty-bitty house with Trey over my shoulder
  • Put Trey, who is crying, in his stroller, and take him for a walk, thinking the fresh air will do him good
  • Bring Trey home in stroller, because he won’t stop crying, and I’m embarrassed the neighbors will hear, or the dogs will start howling
  • Change Trey’s diaper
  • Burp Trey
  • Change Trey’s clothes
  • Bathe Trey
  • Tell myself, “I can’t do this!”
  • Read Doctor Spock book, again, hoping there’s information I missed that will tell me what I’m doing wrong
  • Repeat

I cried every day, too, but I usually got my act together before Charlie came home, lest he think I was the most un-motherly woman on the planet. He knew it was exactly that though, an act. There is no “off” button for new-mommy misery.

One awful day ran into the next awful day until it seemed like one enormously long awful life. I had waited anxiously for this child. Couldn’t wait until he came. Then he arrived, like a little alien being, a total stranger, fragile and scary. My son, unable to talk, hold his head up, or even keep his eyes from crossing, scared me ****less morning, noon, and night.

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