In which we start to move, but slowly, because we get head rushes these days
|Claire Zulkey||Apr 9|| 1|
Evil Witches is slowly, as I have threatened, moving to a paid subscription model, so I hope that these free samples so far have gotten you hooked, but we’ll see, right? This issue I’m moving from Wix to Substack, which is a subscription newsletter platform but lets you publish for free which I’ll do for a bit longer.
Anyway as I write this I’m also observing my kid’s Tae Kwon Do lesson, answering emails and monitoring Twitter. Because baseball season has begun there are a lot of dude names trending and they inevitably reference a baseball player I don’t know. (Ask me about my idea for a Twitter feature that says “<—SPORTS GUY” next to a trending name on Twitter so you know whether to click on it or not.)
I used to be a sports girl. Even though I was a fully formed adult there was a part of me that assumed responsibility for my team winning the World Series in 2005 because I attended so many games that season.
Before having kids I assumed I’d imbue my children with my sports enthusiasm and preferences but since becoming a mom I now give…so few shits about sports. Going to games is fun and so is the occasional game on TV but these days it’s hard not to see pro sports and even college sports as a just contest between two companies. Buying sports gear, you’re buying company swag. Rooting for individual players, you’re just picking your favorite employees. It just feels very not real or consequential.
But being so cynical is not fun. I miss when it seemed like a good idea to go to the first game of the season in Chicago (when it was often snowing), to care whether we left before the game was over or not. This disconnection also applies to pop culture too. It’s almost as pop culture and sports don’t care about crabby middle aged women and I know it and I’m rejecting them first.
Will it come back? When will I stop being such a spoilsport (or spoil nonsport?) I need a new form of entertainment because the danger of walking away from the pretend sports heroes and fave celebs is that you end up with very little to root for, and in my case that was RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars which is even more disappointing than Chicago baseball.
Y R Spouses.
Ask the Witches: Don’t.
Q: “Any advice on taking a 15-hour flight with a one-year-old? Other than, you know, DON'T?”
“I did a 13-hour flight with a 17-month-old who didn't understand English! Advice would be lots of snacks, screen time, toys like stacking cups and scotch tape (there's a lot of funny/silly/interesting stuff you can do with pieces of tape), and trying to sit in the bulkhead so you have more room at your feet for the child to play (consider bringing a blanket for the floor). Also, of course, changes of clothes for everyone. I have hardly ever been as nervous for something as I was for that flight. While he didn't scream, I did put his diaper on backward (#novice) and he peed all over my lap. Special moments.”
“I used to take a bag of pink frosted animal crackers, which were a special treat only for boys who were good on airplanes. As long as little boys were being good, they could have cookies. It's okay to throw out the normal rules. Also: dose your kid with Tylenol before the flight, which can reduce any ear pain at takeoff and landing. (You don't really know if your kid will have a problem or not until you take a flight, and so much of it is due to the shape of the ear canal rather than the personality of the kid.) If your kid has a known ear problem, your doctor can give you drops to numb the eardrum. Buy your kid a ticket, because you will really appreciate having the space. We had one really bad flight because it turned out my kid had an ear infection, and I offered to buy drinks for everyone sitting around me. No one took me up on it, but they seemed to appreciate that I was trying.”
“Snacks. New small toys that are surprises to open on the plane because they will keep attention longer, maybe two or three of these. If the kid is old enough to walk, don't underestimate the joy of walking up and down the aisles (for the kid, not you). Might be too young for a screen, but worth a try: there are some good dumb apps like popping bubbles, playing with an aquarium, that my kid liked at 18 months. Also, do whatever is in your power to get some naps in.”
“The bulkhead is great for space. I literally laid my least inclined to sleep kid down on the floor when he was finally zonked to get my own decent hour or two of sleep. I’m a believer in Benadryl or melatonin for encouraging sleep in such extreme circumstances as international flights and adjusting several time zones. Be prepared! Talk to your pediatrician about it and try it out in advance. Said floor sleeper was the wild child who I had to wait out the Benadryl high before he crashed. If you can at all afford a seat for your kid, buy one! And then it is worth it to drag the car seat on the plane to strap them in comfortably. This is the safest for the kid (even just keeping them safe from getting hit by a cart in the aisle) and most likely to encourage their sleep and thus allow you to sleep. A small and lightweight car seat is a major bonus, and a stroller for the airport is a must in my opinion. If you don’t have a stroller, a carrier is necessary to keep them safe and arms free but you cannot have them strapped to you for take off and landing. What the bulkhead makes up for in space, it lacks in access to your stuff. You can’t even take your shoes off for take off and landing, no bags underneath seat and no pockets to hold even a water bottle. You have to retrieve and return everything from an overhead bin behind you. Eating and drinking is a challenge with a toddler lap child, at least with the active kind, especially in the bulkhead where trays come out from the seat arms. Nurse, drink, suck on something during take off and landing to help pop ears. If your kid has a pacifier still, this is not the time to wean them, but bring extras and fasten one to the kid. Same with nursing!This is not the time to wean. Use it to your benefit! Bring a garbage bag for dirty clothes in case of poop and puke. And extra diapers of course!”
“My husband's brother and his family, bless their hearts, fly from Bangkok to New York twice a year to visit us with their now-2-year-old. I know she SWEARS by bringing the car seat on the plane; the flight they did without it, he was an absolute mess and slept not a wink for the full 26 hours. With the car seat, he was more comfy and actually slept. It still sucked, but you know.”
“If you have a window seat, those gel clings are good for distraction.”
“Rarely is there a child that will scream the whole time - they will give up at some point. Feed them whatever. My 14 month old ate 5 Snickers ice cream bars on the flight from Prague when he did not sleep a single minute the whole flight, but he did not cry. The flight attendants kept bringing them whenever he seemed to be losing it. Be nice to the flight attendants. Flip the flap books were awesome. Don't make your carry on so heavy that you can't carry it and child at the same time. You can do it. Prepare for it to suck terribly and they may pleasantly surprise you.”
What’s weird and gross about your body now that didn’t used to be?
ITCHING HEAD AND NECK AND LEGS!
Night sweats. I am always cold going to sleep and then wake up in a pool of sweat. It started when I was pregnant/nursing but has never gone away. It's so gross.
Itchy soles of my feet. Also, swollen labia during ovulation and menstruation. Just so lovely. And dry eye. Holy hell: waking up with my eyelids stuck to my eyeball and having to peel them off was not cute. Thank God for prescription Restasis eye drops.
I poop every morning like clockwork. I know that some might be envious, but I can no longer sleep in ever because I gotta shit at 6:30.
My hair is so much thinner than it was and I hate it. And my fucking eye bags are getting wrinkles, which is so rude.
Weird skin tags in my armpits. Randomly placed callouses on my feet.
I’m convinced my labia is getting bigger and I fear it’s the aging female equivalent of saggy old man balls.
Neck pain--like a strained muscle of some sort--that comes and goes with seemingly no cause and makes it hard to sleep. Yay 43!
Omg, I have a fucking laundry list, including but not limited to sunspots, dry eczematous patches on my chest, insomnia, poor tolerance of alcohol (barfed after three glasses of wine/champagne on Saturday despite not having the benefit of experiencing a buzz), inability to wear 4 inch stiletto heels on city sidewalks with no pain, and random excruciating crotch bone pain while running (started while pregnant and has never gone away). 🤦🏻♀️ It is horribly unfair that my metabolism is failing at the same time my body has decided to reject aerobic exercise.
receding gums, peeing myself every single time I work out (I wear period undies now), and gigantic uncomfortable abdominal bloating. I am a sexy goddess.
Huge pores on my under boobs. I think because my boobs were so huge when I breastfed that when they shrunk the pores stayed huge?
I don't even know where to start but many of these things, and also my feet have betrayed me. They just hurt. They hate me when I walk around in, say, clompy ankle boots, even ones that fit perfectly that I've worn forever. I now have to wear Danskos or ugly Crocs flip-flops when I cook. Even "fashionable" sneakers without good arch support aren't ideal. This is how middle-aged ladies end up in Keen's and Easy Spirits all the time, right?
If I have more than 3 drinks, I will wake up for at least 45 minutes in the middle of the night.
Random soaking sweat between my boobs at night. Sleep shirts are drenched when I wake up. Bleh.
Calf and shin pain. Nothing fixes it. NOTHING.
Can I also add periods from hell to this list? Last month I put in a super plus tampon and ran on my treadmill for half an hour. Then I sat down on a chair and left a huge bloody butt print.
Wrinkly neck, sun spots, melasma, feet turning into stumps feeling, joint pain, liver spotted hands, hip pain, neck pain, weird belly button, hairy nips....I mean, I could go on.
I have also noticed that I wear my glasses on my head more and more (than on my actual eyes) like Carol-at-work and not sure if it's because I need readers or because my glasses are just always dirty with toddler fingerprints.
F'ing sciatica! (also: trying to bone with sciatica leg is... sadly hilarious and/or awkwardly exhausting). Also: hair on neck/face, yet eyebrows won't grow (coooool....), bumps on eyelids, hair on scalp is a thick blanket of oily-yet-dry residue at all times whereas bottoms of hair are shoestring potato chips, despite doing all the things for conditioning/cleaning/existing with hair.
A sweaty crotch. HUGE leg pores.
periods that come every three weeks (or every two weeks of I’m super lucky), lactose intolerance, water weight gain when I look at a potato chip
Having the pee feeling and then having to pee RIGHT NOW. Having to push out the last of my pee. Pee.
Bunions. They seem to get worse every day.
I got Charlie horses when I was pregnant, and now I get foot cramps ALL THE TIME, every day, and Charlie horses once in a while. I eat a lot of avocados so I don’t think it’s potassium but 🤷🏻♀️.
Because I’m a 70 year old man that sleeps with a CPAP for apnea, i have air blowing on my nose all night and it makes it extra dry and peeling and red. I moisturize SO MUCH but it’s always dry
My face gets tomato red and perspires most times I drink alcohol. My FUPA seems to have its own zip code these days.
I have developed allergic reactions to mosquito bites. I have welts where others just have bumps.
I get clammy sweaty when I ovulate, particularly my palms, feet, nose, armpits and chach. It's a very sexy time for me.
I realized today that my butt stinks more than it used to.
I started getting weird vision migraines during my second pregnancy and it hasn’t stopped a year postpartum. I don’t get the headache part, just the blurry vision patches.
If I ride in our car for more than 90 minutes my back becomes extremely unhappy. Which is going to be so great on our family road trip tomorrow.
My eyes water and my tears burn like acid
Also, I plucked a shimmery, luminous white eyebrow hair this morning. I'm Gandolf.
Re: Kids, being the worst
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This issue is brought to you by when you can hear your family coming from the car to the front door and you are trying to finish that one last text/Facebook post/Instagram comment before they open the do
One witchy thing.