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Millie takes over No. 1 spot in priority poll

Oklahoman columnist Jenni Carlson has found something tougher than pounding out 500 or 600 words with 20 minutes to deadline, interviewing angry coaches and surly athletes. And she wouldn't trade it for anything.
by Jenni Carlson Published: August 20, 2012

Russell Westbrook kept telling me to go home.

He was joking.

I think.

Throughout the Thunder's playoff run this past spring, I was noticeably pregnant. The big belly. The puffy ankles. The waddling gait. And every time Russ would see me, the point guard would muster up a serious look and a stern tone

“You need to go home,” he would say.

He'd keep up the ruse, but I'd just laugh. I took his words about as seriously as his Sally Jessy Raphael glasses.

But now, it is among the many stories that I plan to tell my daughter one day.

Yes, I'm happy to announce I've got a new job — motherhood.

Make that a second job. A much harder one, too.

The hubs and I welcomed our first child into our lives on the morning of June 13. Amelia Hazel arrived a couple weeks ahead of schedule — unlike her mother, she isn't a procrastinator — and from the moment we saw her, we were smitten by Millie.

We said she was perfect.

Then, we were validated; after examining Millie in the hospital, the pediatrician said, “She's perfect.”

The past two months have done nothing to change our minds about that. Even though there have been dirty diapers to change and sleepless nights to endure and tearful cries to interpret, we forget all of that when Millie smiles or coos or drools.

We're suckers for that stuff.

But I'll be the first to tell you that motherhood is a much harder job than this sports writing gig. Pounding out 500 or 600 words when you've got 20 minutes to deadline? Interviewing angry coaches or surly athletes? None of it is anywhere as tough as figuring out what a wailing 2-month-old with a full belly and a clean diaper wants.

Really, what more could she want at that point?

Even after two months spent on maternity leave, I still don't have the answer to that question.

Goodness knows, that's one of the many unanswerable questions that I'll have as a parent. Stuff like that is what makes this whole thing exciting and terrifying and amazing.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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