Saturday, May 31, 2008
On the way Whoozyerhusband and I managed to score a mini-date. The kids were asleep and we pondered them on the way. Graduations tend to make you think about the inevitability of your own children growing up and fleeing the nest.
We were talking about having children, enjoying one another and growing old together. We were talking about somehow, having this 2nd child doesn't seem to strain our relationship the way having the first one did. That passage into parenthood is difficult and trying even in the strongest of relationships. But Whoozyerbaby is a peach and Whoozyerdaddy seems to relish fatherhood more than he expected to. He calmed and soothed Whoozyerkid today at the party when her car-nap was curtailed--when I couldn't. Whoozyerdaddy wants to find some way to slow it all down. Life is moving disconcertingly fast. How do we do it? How do we slow down our sweet lives so that we can savor them, bottle the scent of our babies' heads, remember those long glances and the eager click of their jaws synchronized with the bob of their heads while latched at my breast? Or when, Whoozyerbaby swallows, pulls off and grins at me---as if nursing is getting in the way of her joy at discovering her mother is there smiling at her? Whoozyerkid did that--and I had forgotten. Does it take one more baby to make it stick forever in my memory? How can we imprint the feel of tiny fingers tightening around ours and actually stroking our hands? Could we please remember every cute, funny and brilliant thing that they do or say? Freeze dry the first "I love you"? How is it done? How can I make that last hug last...?
Friday, May 30, 2008
I tolerated your Harley. And your friends on Harleys. Coming to your house. At ALL HOURS. But now it's 11:48. The party is over. Turn off the music. I hate loud music from other people. That's where you have crossed the line. Turn. Off. The. Music. Or I am calling the cops.
The welcome wagon is rolling by and it's not stopping. By the way, your immediate neighbor doesn't like barking dogs, either. Interestingly enough, I think you have a little yappy one. Which. Is. Awesome! I can't stand your neighbor. And I love dogs. Did you know your next door neighbor sells sex toys? And she used to be a "life coach" dabbling in "abundance". And she also dubbed herself as "America's Sensuality Coach." After googling her I found she was involved in a Ponzi scheme via a channel 2 news article. WTF?
I may start liking you if you annoy her enough. But not enough to bake cookies.
I mean, some people are just born knowing from the pit of their appendix that they, the Kennedys are going to be wealthy politicians, FOR SURE.
Sure, maybe our calling is due to a life event; Rosa Parks ripped seams, she cross-stitched and hemmed and I don't think she was ever compelled to be a sock darner or had any idea in her early bus-riding career that she would be a national catalyst for change; a veritable institution. And I bet you--she was one HELL of a sock darner. It was a life event, the refusal to give up her seat on a bus that made her a civil rights activist.
Sometimes it takes a cataclysmic event to discover our true selves.
I am a born nursemaid. The pump-in-style sucked out the knowledge that Oh My God--I am a human Dairy Queen. When angered I don't give the "cold shoulder"; instead--I serve a soft blizzard with the "extra" in a steel cup on the side. I love to nurse and I would do it forever if I could. I've had visions of renting out my nursing size H's to celebrities and dignitaries and the wealthy. But then the harsh reality of the situation sets in. A job so intimate exposes a mom to the same working conditions the assistants of the entitled endure; being oncall 24x7 and untimately not being there for your own family. Depriving your own child of the milk made just for her --for financial gain would launch your very soul into a shadowy and sad world--the world where bad parents go--to stay. One that most of us need not enter for that particular misdeed in this age of Advanced Similac.
But maybe what it is--this "calling" to breastfeed is just a marker of my genetic predisposition to bearing and caring for children. That feeling of birthing Whoozyerbaby , no drugs--from deep within was so satisfying that I don't need another calling. It calmed me and elevated me, made me a better mother--one that visited the underworld through pain and dragged her daughter up and did what a divine entity--the goddess Demeter-- could not for Persephone--I brought my daughters home to stay---winter to winter, year after year. It is my greatest hope that my daughters outlive me and that I grow wizened with age and experience.
Demeter has NOTHING on us mortal moms...
This woman did what I think any mortal mom would do. She nursed the babies that needed her. Perhaps that's all any displaced modern nursemaid could hope to provide; sustanence for a hungry baby if ever one needs her.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I started to write about "The Man" and discovered I was boring myself to tears discussing the fact that I have "sold out" to that man. I don't even know who "the man" is. Because I work for "the man" and have stock in "the man" does that make me "the man"? Because last time I checked I was a woman. I will spare you any posts of the "Rosie the Riveter" picture and a tome about "girl power".
But dammit, I AM the mother of girls and I am scared that one day "the man" is gonna get them too. Cuz he's mostly got everyone else. I'm reading (yeah, in my spare time) "The Host" another Bodysnatcher-type novel and it got me to thinking(dangerous stuff, that thinking---I think SMOKE is coming out of my new-mom ears); But really---aren't all of those stories regarding the posession of body and mind an allegory for something bigger? Are we a species designed really to "lease" ourselves out to others of our kind--those who are stronger, smarter, wealthier, better-looking, more unscrupulous or just "lucky"?
Are we pimping ourselves out for Mickey-D's french fries (made via DESIGN and not NATURE, Lost and Tar-jay?
I was just thinking that maybe I need to break free, break my daughter free (see TV-watching Zombie post) and garden or something. Quick---hand me a shovel. And then tell me what to do (because that's the only way we proles know how to roll).
Whoozyerdog is a troublemaker It's not the kid who has me cursing this time. "This is the face of innocence," you say. But I say this is the dirty rascal that has Whoozyermama, a self-proclaimed slob, making friends with the broom. The damned dog is shedding again. And I can't tolerate tumbleweeds of fur. But this face, it begs for forgiveness (and sausage), doesn't it?
So... the babysitter's son was sick with a fever this morning--which makes me glad that Whoozyerkid stayed home. BUT
I'm still a crappy mom because the TV is on and I HAVE NO CHOICE. Plus---Whoozyerkid fell on her nose last night. That child has been TRYING to break her nose...
photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukeroberts/1355846096/
Time to send Whoozyerkid...my little creature from the digital LAGOON to find her non-TV watching, non-sugar-eating, non-sleeping-in-her-clothes sponsor. AAAAACCCKKK!
I also must remember to tell Whoozyerkid's preschool director (and expert nit-picker) that the little itty bitty bits of white substance that are sticking to her hair strands are NOT nits, in fact, as she may mistakenly surmise-- but melted marshmallows from our endeavor to make S'mores on the Chambers stove AFTER bathtime. I will have to remember this as I hurriedly drop my child off at the weirdest time ever for a kid to go to preschool--11:50 AM.
Some of you are probably aware of my weird preschool arrangement in which she can't go to preschool until almost noon Tues-Thurs--thanks SO VERY VERY MUCH to the SHARKS who tried to bleed our equity for their CRAZY REPORT which they ignored we refuted TWICE(I mean--what do you expect--the house was built in 1928! Earthquake retrofitting my bitten ass!) The sale of our house fell through and I was left to scramble for quality childcare. Because it's always Whoozyermamma who gets stuck with this kind of task. And thus, this crazy compromise.
Thankfully this arrangement will end in mid-June as I WAS PROBABLY THE FIRST ONE to sign up for summer and fall session and foist my deposit into the Director's freshly finger paint-splattered hands. Whoozyermama elbowed some other kids out of the program. Momma was jostling HARD!
This wonderful schedule--which I had been assured would be temporary until someone dropped out (wouldn't you know it?--since September not one of 30 kids dropped out!!!) effs up a number of things, one of which is uninterrupted WORK time (and probably my kid too--see story on BITING MY ASS). So, who has been my savior, my knight in plastic armour? Not just one, mind you---it's a bevy of caretakers; no one other than Curious George and Clifford followed by SuperWhy, Dragon Tales, Sesame Street, Raggs and then exactly one half of every one's favorite dinosaur, Barney! Yay!
We tried to have someone over to take care of both kids--she brought 2 of her kids--alright,I thought--playmates for Whoozyerkid! But I couldn't get any work done for fear that somekid would swing off a chandelier or break the original--circa 1928-- leaded glass in the built-in buffet by some Roomba-flinging contest. It was easier this morning to enlist the help of my friends at PBS. Whoozyerkid said she just wanted to stay home with Mommy and her "shows" and her eyes---those soulful hound dog eyes pierced me to my very vapid soul.
It's all my fault. I am crap for Mom. And a sleep-deprived pushover to boot. And on weekends Whoozyerdaddy lets me catch up on sleep so that I don't MELT DOWN so it's Callou, Little Bear, Wow, Wow Wubzy. You get the idea. We need an intervention.
Whoozyerkid's getting dropped off tomorrow. Somewhere. Where. The...TV ISN'T ON!!!!! and where the Mom isn't CRAPPY!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
I was dragging my feet about the birth of Whoozyerbaby... to the point where I think I almost pretended that labor wasn't around the corner even when small contractions came with more frequency and I remember thinking hours before--when Whoozyerdaddy and I were curled up in the bed watching The Soup that I felt just a wee bit strange. But no...it was something I ate. I wasn't ready, I thought, to spread my love a little thinner across a larger surface. So...any small contractions or stomach-ache were poo-pooed and I slipped into sleep.
Yes, Whoozyerkid and I had an exclusive relationship. The world stopped for us. It. Took. A. Lot. to get her to accept that Whoozyerdaddy was her "go-to" person for just about everything---from a cup of milk to the nighttime bath he was her guy. He had to be. I had coddled her--had selfishly stolen so many precious moments under the cloak of maternal duty. Whoozyerdaddy is one of those men who needs a lot of alone time--programming is his passion-- so I used that to keep my daughter close to me. But those last months before the baby I let go little by little to pave the way for our new arrival.
So--to honor that old relationship, to make my daughter feel special and to maintain that bond I like to carve out time just for Whoozyerkid and me. This time (and last time)--we got our nails done. Today, she had the works, the granddaddy of all kid mani/pedis---the Princess pedicure--during which she was the recipient of a crown and painted daisies with glitter and rhinestones on the thumb and big toe nails.
After this ten fingered and toed hoopla we trekked in the Odyssey to Chow to pick up some dinner to take home. I stood at the counter to pay for dinner (and a well-deserved bottle of chardonnay for Whoozyerdaddy and I) while keeping an eye on Whoozyerkid---she's too far away so I beckoned her back to me--I turned to sign for my food when...
I felt a jabbing pain under my jeans-- on my behind.
Whoozyerkid thanked me for a very nice afternoon by biting me in the ass. CHOMP! I kept my cool, avoiding becoming one of those parents who swat their kids publicly--especially in the affluenza-infected town of Lafayette (no one ever tells you that the instinct to smack someone who HURTS you at the very moment you are VIOLATED is so very strong --couple that with the fact that your children are the ones who 9.9 times out of 10 hurt and violate you the oh-so-generous giver and sustainer of precious life itself--which really, really sucks, the little ingrates!)
Of some comfort is this: The Child knew I was angry by the way she was ushered to the car. I kept my cool but SHE DID NOT. She DID NOT LIKE being lifted to her carseat. She scrambled down to the cheezit-littered carpet in a rage of FURY and pounced back up the carseat like a rabid mountain cat. THE DEMON SHE WAS POSSESSED BY saw to it that she BIT HERSELF leaving little red toothmarks on her soft baby skin.
Later, for your amusement (and mine) I will post a photo of the toothmarks she left (on herself, I will spare you my ass). Getting bit by you hurts, doesn't it, Kid?
And by the way, I am also truly, madly and deeply in love with Whoozyerbaby...sigh...they're extra-wonderful when they don't have teeth...
Saturday, May 24, 2008
This is a baby timer for your little egg; If, for some reason, you can't figure out what your baby's cries and/or body language are telling you, you can't feel or smell a dirty diaper or you don't understand why your newborn is mewling and rooting--(aren't babies just oral?--you ask).
Somebody told you that you needed to CHART your baby's daily activities so that when you do start getting sleep you have a lovely reminder of the period in which you lived on frozen burritos, catnaps and twice-weekly showers. That person--who seemed well-intentioned was just messing with your head, my friend.
If you are--by any chance considering purchasing the Itzbeen baby care timer let me just tell you this. Newborns have just a few basic needs:
- The diaper change and cleaning of girl parts/boy parts.
- To sleep.
- Close physical proximity to parent/caregiver.
- Time to master the basics like rolling over, laughing and batting at objects.
- To Bathe when dirty.
Heres how to tell when baby needs above items
- To eat---baby starts sucking on everything in sight.
- Change diaper---baby feels wet or smells bad. Diaper feels full.
- To sleep---baby yawns, tugs on ear or seems fussy/overstimulated.
- Close proximity to parent/caregiver---baby cries when put down.
- Time to master the basics---baby cries when you pick him/her up. Is happy when put down.
- To bathe when dirty. Check folds of skin for dirt. Wash baby if dirt is evident.
Supposedly this contraption also tells you what breast was last feasted upon if you so choose to breastfeed. Here's a tip; Use the hardest breast after you feel yourself up.
Really folks---babies are easy. Wait 'til your kid starts talking smack and sassing you. No timer is going to shut Junior up.
I mean...she's ecstatic. She's riding a carousel horse for godsakes! Is she formulating the recipe for the next economically and scientifically feasible generation of biofuel? Or considering who gets to come to her birthday party (in November)?
Your interpretations are greatly appreciated.
Oh lovely daughter of mine... you are a child. You are naturally beautiful, endowed with the dewy skin of a newly minted cherub.
You, so like that naked creature who came down to earth freshly nursed from the rainy breast of a mother cloud.
YOU DO NOT NEED MAKEUP. Not now, not for a very long time. And I don't need a makeover (at least, not from you.)
But, my darling, let's carve out some time. Just for us. Where a Vietnamese Mary Magdalene (minus the ho-ing) washes our feet. And adorns them...
Sang applies the color to your toes with the deftness and precision of a micro-surgeon. For you, little one, there's a flower painted expertly on your bunionless big toe.
Stay tuned, my heart. Our next lesson is regarding your hair...
He can sleep literally anywhere. The Daddy of our house is very, very tired at the end of the day after commuting to the city and back for his J-O-B. Notice the shoe...
That's my man.
He is so sexy because he does dishes... Here's some homegrown kitchen porn:
Notice the shirt tucked in in the front to emphasize the belly and untucked in the back for no good reason at all...
And he is a pancake-making virtuoso--replete with family recipe (torn out of a 1970's Sunset magazine article). Note to self: must school Mr. Whoozyer in the art of scraping carbon particles off of breakfast food before serving. Or the art of martyrdom--as the martyr, he eats the crappy pancake.
Friday, May 23, 2008
I feel sooooo sorry for you. When you pop your little soybean out of its salty, wet shell you will be in shock for months.
You are shopping solo at Whole Foods--serenely rubbing your belly with one manicured hand and ever so slowly and carefully examining local organic apples with the other. Because you are not feeding your baby pesticide-ridden, bruised apples from New Zealand.
You are the same mama who --without fail---every 2 weeks schedules massages with a hunky Swiss emigre with eyes as dark as soot; the same mama who made a plastered impression of your hennaed belly.
You are the mama who has never missed one prenatal yoga class in the 8-week series you purchased as a gift to yourself. Ommmmmmmmmmm
OMIGOD. Darling, you are in for a very rude, insistent and literal awakening. We're not talking about a demure Victorian awakening from the fainting couch. We're talking "The Mummy" here. For the next few years you will be one of the Walking Dead.
I was you. I arched my perfect brow at mamas like me, in the ill-fitting sweats with the enormous milk-filled orbs (good God, woman, find a bra that FITS--you may think).
You are going to make a mental note to self, you are never going to look like the woman over there. NEVER, ever... but see... looks aren't everything and if they really are to you, everything--I do look a little like Yoda. So you might want to heed my words.
Lesson 4: Don't buy this:
This is to collect the little nuggets of gold that celebrity children named "Peanut" or "Irish Spring Rose" are known to express into their g-diapers. The pail comes already deodorized with their parent's signature fragrance (that they, personally have spent many lab-coated hours developing themselves .) You are not a celebrity. You won't get this gratis. UsWeekly is not coming to take pictures of your nursery. 'Nuff said.
Put child in swing to ensure consectutive hours of sleep.
Gaze upon child #1 and resolve to call doctor. She snores louder than husband.
Use the loo. Notice milk dripping onto floor...
Leave milk on floor for cleaning lady.
Take handful of pills.
Take out contacts.
Wash, tone and moisturize face using expensive product--the only thing that keeps me from getting teenage acne. Notice gray pallor. Notice waning skin tone. Sigh. Nice. I will be 80 and still get pimples.
Say "crap" again.
Stand over sink.
Hand express dripping milk.
Go to bed--kamikaze-style without pads.
Who needs them?
Say "moo" again...
Thursday, May 22, 2008
No, because of my chosen (and only available) medium at the time and because it was the 70's-- some super-squeaky clean body part of mine was soundly spanked by the sauce-spoon (after the big decontamination hose-down and loofah scrub).
Attention daughters of mine: Don't ask me to draw a piggy in front of a big red barn walking single file with other piggies to only God knows where (we can talk about "where" later.)Here's your first lesson in the series I like to call "Mommy is not your perfect robot". Lesson 1: Mommy can only draw stick mommies, stick babies and box houses. And a daisy.
My hypothesis is-- the reason I can't draw is because I got a whooping after pooping and painting. And adding to the spectacular mural Mom made me. You see, my mother has infinite talent in the art deparment. Which corroborates my theory. Talent is genetic and it did not skip my generation.
I blame it on my mother. (because we always blame our parents for our deficiencies) Mom, I can't draw because of you. I was scarred. For life.
DISCLAIMER: this event may or may not have happened . Certain facts have been altered for your amusement (and probably not my mother's---sorry Mom--you know I love you and I know you probably didn't spank me with a wooden spoon until I was bigger and more ornery.)
Children are resourceful. And if not encouraged they will not unfurl their buds of talent. I could have been founder of a movement. My movement, the "Silent Spring" of the 70's.. Just think--if we all wrote in poo it would put bic out of business. We'd be so desensitized to bad smells that glade would glide away.
If we harnessed the energy that is baby poo we could perhaps save planet Earth. That's all I was trying to say, Mom. I wanted to write this message, to solve a modern dilemna and now it is hidden under blue 80's butterflies (how dare anyone wallpaper over that bucolic meadow mural?) and 14 assorted coats of Benjamin Moore.
I am sure I will be blamed for many of the deficiencies my daughters will claim. And that's OK because I would throw myself under a bus to save them (and displaced blame-placing is but a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. )But I would rather take the heat for somebody not being a very good tuba player or yard-raker. Or artist.