Writer, with Kids: RK Arceneaux

RK Arceneaux, author of: M.I.L.F.shake, a memoir-in-progress

Age of kid: 1

I bought a vibrator off of Groupon because it was $19.99 (regular $99.99!) and it had seven functions and it was an enormous upgrade from my last vibrator which had gotten lost in a move months ago and I was sick of using my hand to masturbate because I have weak wrists that usually cramp before anything exciting happens and it was 4 a.m. and I deserved a goddamn vibrator. Pretty much since birth my son who will hence be referred to as Fatty Chops, which is his legal name, has been pulling this stunt where he does not sleep and I read somewhere that not sleeping is the mark of (the BEAST) a genius because genius babies have a hard time sleeping since their brains are constantly doing mathematical equations and computing shit and I don’t really know too much about it, Einstein didn’t sleep much as a baby, but all I do know is that I don’t feel too bad that I haven’t slept decently for a year because my baby is so smart. Obviously.

A thing I have learned since becoming a mother that other new mothers might find useful: do not buy a vibrator off the internet at 4 in the morning.

Because my brain had been barely functional and my eyes watery it did not register that the vibrator had two silicone bunny rabbits attached at the base for anal and vaginal stimulation. In defense of Groupon the ad did say “RABBIT VIBRATOR” but I just thought that meant it was exceptionally fast or something and not like, that there were two smiling bunnies attached to shove into my rabbit holes. Perhaps in another life the additions may have been warmly welcomed but the fact of the matter is that exactly one day before this arrived in the mail I bought my son a new toy, a plush smiling rabbit from Anthropologie. Best purchase ever btw, has a little anchor tattoo on his arm, so cute. Anyway, I have become a woman who cannot masturbate with a bunny-shaped vibrator because it too closely resembles my child’s toy. I cannot even spank it anymore without thinking about my baby. Please do not quote that out of context. The point of my analogy (yes, I did italicize the ‘anal’ in ‘analogy’ just in case there wasn’t enough butt sex talk already in this paragraph) is to illustrate how deeply my brain has changed since I had a baby.

All I can think and talk about anymore is my son. I don’t even know what I talked about before I had a baby. I know this deep devotion to him is good and is necessary for survival. If I am not thinking about him constantly he will crawl off and get eaten by a bear or something. He’s really good at finding quarters on the floor, for instance. This often makes me feel insignificant—is the best I can do is blabber about my dumb baby? I used to read the amazing blog STFU Parents and be like, “hell yeah, dumb moms!” and now I paranoidly check to see if someone is screenshotting my statuses and sending it to the site to be mocked. It is that bad. 10/10 of my social media posts are about Fatty Chops. I used to be cool… and now I am a mom. And a young mom! You know how people always say to date and travel and experience the world before you have kids? Yeah, I didn’t do any of that shit. I haven’t even tried sushi yet. I met my huzzy huz when I was 19. I had my son at 22. I dropped out of college because I didn’t like my school and was majorly fucking up and once I got pregnant and had to constantly carry a bag around with me to vomit into, that was pretty much the end of college. No one else in my family had gone to college so dropping out was difficult. I am still a bit embarrassed to tell high school teachers and people who haven’t been in my life for a long time that I am a mom. It’s pretty shitty to think this but I don’t want to be grouped with the stereotypical young mothers who procreate because they don’t know what else they want to do. I try to justify my being a young mom with, “but my husband is much older, *really* old actually, and I am cool and write and shit.” I had never pictured myself being a stay-at-home-mom. Stay-at-home-mothership is incredibly thankless and boring and it makes me think about all the ways I have failed and am not living the future I had imagined for myself once upon a time, but I have learned to cope with the traumas of motherhood and the lack of the future I once saw for myself by writing about being a parent.

The annoying things my son does and the ways in which parenting fucking sucks, as well as the ways it totally rocks (Yo Gabba Gabba Live, anyone?), is an endless cornucopia of stories that basically write themselves. Writing about how annoying Fatty Chops is– he fed the dog his last piece of chicken and now that it is gone he is flailing about, screamcrying tragically because obviously that was the last piece of chicken EVER and how could I let him just feed it to the dog like that? The dog is evil and must be punished. WHY GOD WHY?! Why is he cursed with such a mean mother? And horrible dogs who eat the chicken he put directly into their mouths? It doesn’t matter that there is more chicken to be had because he wanted THAT piece and now it is gone! Woe be to Fatty Chops!—writing about how annoying he is is incredibly cathartic. It turns out lots of people have kids and can totally relate. While it feels like the only craft I have been seriously working on lately is the K-R-A-F-T that I am making for the fat baby who is sucking my soul dry, in all honesty I write more about my experiences as a mom and write better than I did two years when I had minimal obligation and was studying at a cool school in Chicago and spent most of my free time thrifting or leisurely holed up in a cool coffee shop getting served delicious mochas with the most cutting edge latte art by asshole hipsters, half-assedly writing stories in journals or plotting out novels I wanted to write.

It’s much harder to find time to write now that I have a tiny angel who cries when I leave the room, but the insanity of motherhood has given me a much better sense of humor (I hope… please don’t call DCFS on me) and has forced me to write more so I don’t totally lose it. Most of the writing I get done is spent hiding upstairs, pretending to be pooping, sometimes actually pooping, hoping my son and husband don’t notice my absence. The second they realize I am gone all hell breaks loose. We live in the stupid suburbs now too so I can’t even escape to a cool coffee shop because there aren’t any and I refuse REFUSE to be chatted up in a Starbucks about what I am writing. Today I put aside some time to write and just as I sat down on the bed to jot down a real number one hit novel I noticed all the spider webs on the walls, like a shocking amount of spider webs, like we basically have been sleeping in a spider hole. There was a giant death trap right by the son’s crib too, which might have made me feel bad if he ever slept in it, so I had to vacuum the walls and all the spiders up and by the time I was done the baby desperately needed my full and utmost attention because “MOM OR GTFO.” I can’t just leisurely skip off into the sunset to write best-sellers. I have to make executive decisions now: write or continue to sleep in SpiderGate 2014. Oddly I don’t remember there being so many spider webs before the baby, but then again I don’t remember thinking ADORABLE BABY TOY while putting a rabbit butt plug up my ass either.

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Writer, With Kids