Friday, March 26, 2010


Primo’s Kindergarten class is doing this unit of study called “Family Study” and every week one student’s family comes in and gets interviewed by the kids. You talk about the members of your family, what your child was like as a newborn, a toddler, a preschooler. You bring in photos, baby books, even video footage.

When I heard that video footage was admissible, I got very excited. That’s because David edited this amazing video of Primo’s first three months. It is not your everyday home video. The soundtrack features Tom Waits, the Flaming Lips and the Drive-By Truckers, there are all sorts of visual effects edited in, time-lapse work: it’s some serious stuff. There is a scene with me sitting on top of the radiator, with newborn Primo on my lap, staring out at the blizzard outside, and every single time I watch it I begin to sob hysterically because it takes me back to the wonder and the joy and the insanity of those first few months of motherhood. I love this video and I want the world to see it. But I will settle for Primo’s Kindergarten class.

So we unearthed the DVD and, since we haven’t seen it in awhile, we took a look.

Hey, here’s something I forgot.

I am half naked in this video. That’s what I said out loud when I saw it, “Oh my God, I’m HALF NAKED!!!”

I will hasten to qualify.

The aforementioned partial nudity takes place in a scene where David and I are giving one-week-old Primo a bath. I am not actually naked, I am just not wearing a shirt. Instead, I am in this maternity/ nursing bra. It’s not indecent because it’s not lacy or anything, more like a sports bra, and plenty of coverage but still – I am NOT WEARING A SHIRT. I normally don’t agree to being filmed topless but in this particular instance, I was actually deranged by severe, ruthless sleep-deprivation. The baby was a week-old. I probably didn’t even register what the word “camera’ meant.

But it’s really not just the indecency of me not wearing a short that makes the video objectionable. It is the fact that, seeing as I just had a baby, I am also sporting a big old postpartum flap of stomach flab which literally hangs over my sweatpants as I lean over to bathe Primo on the coffee table. It is incredibly gross.

Primo thinks it’s amazing, of course, and can’t wait to show everyone the whole video. I tell him that as long as we advance through that section, it is ok to screen. Great plan, Nicole. Way to trust a five year-old.

So we get up in front of the class and I open my computer to play the DVD and Primo announces to his whole class, with total glee, “We’re go9ng to show you a video and my mom is NAKED in it!””

Huge wave of laughter from the 5 and 6 year-olds. Not tittering. Chortles.

“Primo!” I exclaim, laughing nervously, “That’s not true.”

“Oh, yeah, she’s HALF naked,” he added, “Play it Mommy!”

I managed to skip over the nude part but the whole time the kids were wild and out-of-control, exclaiming, “nude!” and “booty!” and “underpants!” And Primo’s teacher was looking at us like we weren’t the wholesome folk she always imagined us to be. I wanted to explain about the nursing bra and the postpartum flab flap but it seemed better just to say nothing.

Fun times in the old Kindergarten classroom.