Diane Flacks is a writer/performer. She recently completed her first book: Bear With Me... What They Don’t Tell You about Pregnancy and New Motherhood, published by McClelland and Stewart; and available nationwide. In the fall of 2006, she adapted it for a live solo performance, which toured to London’s Grand Theatre. It has also been invited to Montreal’s Just For Laugh’s Festival. In April/May 2006, her play, Care, written and performed with Richard Greenblatt, ran at the Tarragon Theatre. Diane is writing a new screenplay, The Progressive Dinner, with director Laurie Lynd, and a new play, The Five Stages, with Bev Cooper for Nightwood Theatre.
She is currently developing a new comedy television series called Here It Is, with the Heroic Film Company. She has created and toured three hit solo shows: Myth Me, (which toured nationally and to HBO studios in Los Angeles), By A Thread produced at the Tarragon (which twice toured to La Mama Theatre in New York City, was adapted for CBC television, and was nominated for a Dora Award), and Random Acts, produced by Nightwood Theatre, directed by Alisa Palmer. Random Acts was published in an anthology by Playwrights Canada Press in 2006.
Written and performed with Richard Greenblatt was the critically acclaimed play Sibs, produced twice by the Tarragon to sell-out crowds. It was nominated for the Chalmers Playwrighting award, and published in spring 2002 by Playwright’s Canada Press. Diane and Richard adapted Sibs for a CBC television movie that first aired in the fall of 2003. As an actor she has appeared in films and Canadian episodic TV series, and in numerous roles in Canadian theatres including The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine for Theatre Columbus, The Theory of Relatives (which she co-created) at the Tarragon, and The Serpent Woman for Theatre Smith Gilmour.
Toronto comedy writer/performer Diane Flacks has written a frank and funny account of her pregnancy and the first months with her newborn. In the twenty-first century, it is hard to imagine that having a baby is still shrouded in secrecy and mythology. And yet many women go through their pregnancy with a sense of isolation and without an outlet to …
Once I was showing, I suddenly noticed that pregnant women were everywhere: on the bus, in Swiss Chalet, at traffic court. Janis pointed out that they were always there, we just never gave a crap.
I recently had lunch with a woman who was coming out of her first trimester. She looked at me conspiratorially, “You know what they don’t tell you?”
“What?” I whispered back equally furtively over a stack of creamers that my eighteenmonth-old had erected and was in the process of destroying.
“Pregnancy is so much fun!” she hooted. My son bellowed, “Okay!” and a creamer exploded in his mouth.
While I wholeheartedly agree that being pregnant is one of the most joy-filled, aweinspiring things a body can do, “fun” wasn’t where I was at by week sixteen.
My lunchmate was aware of this and said, “You’re sort of my benchmark. Nothing in my first trimester was as bad as yours, so I figured I was doing okay.”
Glad I could help.
By week sixteen of my pregnancy, I had begun to chart days: barf (b), not barf (nb), partial barf (pb). I meticulously measured and recorded these details in a futile effort to weave order and control into the unpredictable tapestry that was my stomach.
Then, slowly, through a cluttered tunnel of charts and graphs, I realized that I was starting to see some light.
It began the day I took a ride on my bike to the corner store. While I had to lower the gears to “Grandma with a bad hip” levels, and I had to grunt and heave and sweat my way up my street (which was on a slight, but definite incline, something I was determined to complain to the city about) I made it to the store.
The only thing I can compare it to is when you have one of those long, ugly winter flus. You start to feel like you’ll never have energy again, and you regret that you didn’t really enjoy your life before. An endless wasteland of sick stretches before you. Until one day, you get a little pep back. Three days later, you forget what the flu was like.
Yet, I wanted to hold on to my experience of the first trimester. I was thrilled that I might get my personality back, but I didn’t want to forget the magnitude of the change that had occurred in and to me.
I needn’t have worried. The changes continued.
interviewee Single Moms Group; Chris Veldhoven; Anne-Marie MacDonald & Thom Vernon
edited by Rachel Epstein
The essays and interviews in Who's Your Daddy? give new meaning to our understanding of queer parenting. Contributors bring into sharp focus the multiple and meaningful ways that LGBTQ people are choosing to become parents and raise children. This is without a doubt a timely and important.