Mama’s Watching Her STORIES, Sweetie

16 Feb

This picture does not fully convey the terror of his reign.

I have to admit, I’ve never quite understood the appeal of brain-candy, even though as a romance author I ostensibly write it. It’s predictable and full of drama and people getting in their own way, which gets under my skin in real life and somehow it’s even worse when it’s deliberately set up that way by a writer. Oh, you could have cleared up that misunderstanding about your love child’s paternity with a simple explanation to both your ex-husband (who happens to be your boss) and your secret lover (who happens to be your pool-boy), and yet you chose to lie and obfuscate instead? Moron.

But I recently had a baby. (I say “recently,” but it occurs to me that he’s eight weeks old today, so I’m not sure that counts as “recent.” It sure feels recent since I still haven’t figured out how to Get Things Done with him around gumming up the works. This entry? Remembered at 2:30 AM and typed at 2:45 AM. Yes. I should be sleeping. But I’m writing this blog. For you.) We had troubles breastfeeding from the get-go. I won’t bore you with the details, but the solution involved sitting on the couch all day every day with him sleeping in my arms, chubby cheeks pressed against my newly-abundant bosoms, keeping my ta-tas a “friendly place,” as my saint of a lactation consultant put it. What was I to do? Who could I turn to to keep me sane?

Oh, Netflix. You say you have 6 seasons of Desperate Housewives available to stream? You are my only friend.

Normally I would never watch Desperate Housewives. The next-closest TV show I’ve ever watched regularly is True Blood, which has, well, blood and nudity to dress it up. But something happened to me there on that couch with Mr. Chubbsy-Wubbsy occupying my hands but not engaging my intellect: I found I needed something to take my mind off my sleepless nights and endless hours of staring into the merciless maw of my breast-pump. Something fun. Something silly. Something about problems that are not my problems, but instead the sort of problems you wished you had. Big houses and lots of money and Maseratis and people getting in their own way. Also baby-snatching and murder. Definitely a far cry from am I going to produce enough milk to feed my baby? and I am never going to get to write again. Sure, I can predict person X is going to be framed for person Y’s murder while Z and W spend their time alternately breaking into each other’s houses and demanding explanations for the things they find hidden there while P thru V are engaged in dueling to the death over property lines and keeping secrets about who is boning whose ex, but…I don’t care. I don’t care that it’s predictable, or that fully half the main ensemble gets on my last nerve. I love watching these people get screwed over in the most ludicrous manner possible. Just how dumb can the characters get? It’s a bottomless barrel and I’m in over my head and then in the blink of an eye my baby is latching and sleeping longer and no one died (in real life).

So as it turns out, brain candy is not so bad! At least until you reach season 4 and person A is blackmailing person B into marrying her except B is sleeping with his ex-wife C who just married the mayor and what is wrong with you people??

I still love the show, though. I owe Marc Cherry a life-debt for keeping me sane in those first sleepless, thankless weeks. Brain candy, it turns out, is essential for the upkeep of the soul.

Gentle reader, talk to me. Tell me your guilty pleasure. Tell me your brain candy. Tell me what takes your mind off your troubles and that you couldn’t live without.

12 Responses to “Mama’s Watching Her STORIES, Sweetie”

  1. Mary Preston February 16, 2011 at 3:18 am #

    He’s a sweetie, but having had 2 babies I understand the caption ‘terror of his reign’. I wish you well.

    • authorheatherhoward February 17, 2011 at 7:55 am #

      Thank you! He finally slept six straight hours last night. It was a miracle!

  2. Maria D. February 16, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    Congratulations on the baby! He’s a doll. My guilty pleasure is Brother’s and Sisters…so much drama and it could all be cleared up at the dinner table if they would sit down and be honest with each other….lol…just love the show

    • authorheatherhoward February 17, 2011 at 7:56 am #

      I’ve seen that on the netflix instant queue! I’m totally going to check it out once I’m through DH and Ugly Betty, haha.

  3. Kaily Hart February 16, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Congrats on the baby!! And after having 4, all I can say is, you gotta do what you gotta do and if it’s brain candy? Then so be it! My savior was actually work and I wasn’t writing at that point. Work kept my mind sharp and reminded me constantly that I was good for something besides “milk factory”! Having a baby couldn’t even get me to watch TV LOL.

    • authorheatherhoward February 17, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      If I could figure out his nap schedule I’d be working, too, but as it is he resists being put down and I constantly miss the window to have him fall asleep in bed so I spend a lot of time with a baby in my arms and nowhere to go for two hours. XD

  4. Marilyn Campbell February 16, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Enjoy that kid while you can still control what he can reach! (Big grin) I’m definitely addicted to a number of shows and rely on the DVR to stop me from watching them when I should be doing something more productive! But as a writer you can always call it “research” and “inspiration”.

    • authorheatherhoward February 17, 2011 at 7:59 am #

      LOL I do that ALL THE TIME. I’m RESEARCHING, I swear! *watches twenty hours of WWII documentaries*

  5. Nara Malone February 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Awwww. So cute.

    When time is tight and I need something to read or write just to keep the writing gears oiled, I indulge in flash fiction. It’s like fast food for writers.

    • authorheatherhoward February 17, 2011 at 8:00 am #

      I love flash fiction! Thanks for the tip, I should do that. It’ll help me keep in shape without wondering just where I am in my giant pile of words.

  6. KJ Reed February 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Part of me looks at that picture and whines “oh GOD I miss the days when she wasn’t mobile, and couldn’t talk back to me, or pull the dog’s ears, or make rude noises on purpose…”

    And then the other part of me remembers those moments when, during the first 8 weeks, she slept NEVER, and needed to be held all the time or her world was crumbling, and my boobs didn’t fit into any shirts, and my husband would walk out of the bedroom all fresh and rested, take one look at me and say “Sweetheart, you kind of look like a cracked out streetwalker. It’s time to go shower and sleep now…

    And then I bless toddlerhood, where she can articulate what she wants, and walk on her own, and sleep for long stretches…

    Parenting is a catch-22. lol

  7. Lauren Fraser February 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Oh your little man is so cute.

    Gotta say KJ, your hubby is a brave man. If mine had said that to me when I was sleep deprived with our first he wouldn’t have been able to have a second kid. LOL

    I’m a little embarrassed to say what my no-brainer TV is. I kind of get sucked in to some of the train wreck shows on TV, thankfully not Jersey shores or anything like that LOL but none the less I still won’t tell. Let’s just say after watching them I feel like “man I’ve got my crap together” hehe.

    Enjoy your mindless TV, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

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