Putting the "MO" in MOFO since 2004

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

 

Hold my bazooms

We play a WHOLE LOT of Winnie-the-Pooh at our house. The CD runs constantly in Maggie's room. It seems to have a soothing affect on her. The music helps her to play contentedly without screaming, gnashing her teeth, or throwing things. We like it because it seems to contribute to an overall sense of toddler calmness. Like an audio baby quaalude.

We pop the Pooh CD in, light some incense, turn on the lava lamp, and Jim and I don patchouli and Guatemalan knit skullcaps. Then we play hackey-sack while wee Madge works on mastering the sitar. It’s quite lovely.

Most of the songs are just great in their quintessential Pooh-ness. However: There is one song that I loathe. HATE IT. It grinds on my nerves like the very sharp Williams Sonoma cheese grater we got for a wedding gift. It leaves said nerves in a jangled, finely shredded bloody pile, throbbing and seizing on the floor. No matter when I enter the child’s room, this song seems to be playing. It’s like I am stuck in some G-rated kid-friendly twilight zone song warp.

The songs refrain is sung in the most nauseating trembling church-lady falsetto soprano. You know those women who sing in church and make you wonder “Does anyone think this lady sounds GOOD?” Because she doesn’t. She sounds like a one-toothed stray cat in heat. The cat who is losing her courageous battle with the mange and sharing it all with us in a high-pitched trembling broken wail.
THAT voice.

She really wants someone to hold her balloon.

The refrain is “Hoooold my Bah-Looo-ooo-ooo-ooon, Hoooold my Bah-Looo-ooo-ooo-ooon, Hoooold my Bah-Looo-ooo-ooo-ooon, and touch! The sky”

Jim and I have substituted our own lyrics:

Hooold my poo-poo-ooo-oooo, Hooold my poo-poo-ooo-oooo, Hooold my poo-poo-ooo-oooo, and shat! My eye”

Hoooold my hoo-hoo-ooo-oooo, Hoooold my hoo-hoo-ooo-oooo, Hoooold my hoo-hoo-ooo-oooo, and don’t! Ask why”

And my personal favorite:

Hooold my Ba-zoo-ooo-oooms, Hooold my Ba-zoo-ooo-oooms, Hoooold my Ba-zoo-ooo-oooms, and rub! My stye”

So far, we have been able to stave off Boo-bah and those weird tinkie winkie creatures but I fear we are in for it. This is only the beginning.
 

Early Mother-Daughter Mentoring


















In case I ever forget to tell you, Maggie. It never hurts to get your bitch on.

Love, Mom

Monday, August 29, 2005

 

Poop. Poop poop poop. This post is about poop.

This post is about poop, but not just regular poop. Giant FLOATING poop. It's also about ice cream, cigarettes, coffee, and prune juice. Oh and Scalding. This post is also about scalding.

Maggie and I met my family for ice cream yesterday. We shared a small scoop of blueberry yogurt and Maggie sampled the wares of everyone else at the table who couldn't resist her hopeful gaze and gaping little-bird mouth.

We followed up the ice cream with a visit to a small toy store that carries all sorts of fun things for kids. This should have been a happy experience, filled with wonder and giggles, but alas, it was not to be. Something was wrong. Maggie stood red faced, with tears straming down her cheeks. Her nose started to run. She screamed and screamed. She crouched and winced. She was trying to work out a poop that was just not working out. It was not working out and it was wreaking havoc on her little insides. It's very distressing to see your child in pain and not be able to help. This disruptive terd had taken on five adults and a child, and it was winning. We were helpless.

We were also desperate. We tossed some ideas around.

Fruit? No. That would take too long. Coffee and a cigarette? No. Not until she is at LEAST 8 years old. Liquids! Prune juice! That's it!

We walked to to the co op to find some magical prune elixer for my little backed up baby.

I gave her the prune juice. Nothing happened. On the way home she seemed to calm down. I fed her a dinner of fruit, fruit and more fruit. More prune juice, more fruit. Then it started up again. The screaming in pain. In desperation, I started a warm bath.

She sat in the tub and instead of her usual larky splashing about, she stared at me as though to say "THIS is what you came up with? A BATH? Do they let just ANYONE have a kid? Will you just help me already? This giant terd is about to kill me and you start a BATH???? WHAT THE HELL? THIS HURTS! DON'T YOU GET IT?"

Perhaps that was more my own inner dialogue.

Maggie started wiggling and wailing in the tub. Helpless, I could see her pain was escalating. She stood up, screeching in agony. She gripped the side of the tub with both chubby hands, pressed her head to it, crouched over, and out it came. Emerging from sheer toddler willpower and the mouting pressure from within her tiny little colon.

This poop had no business coming out of the bum of a one year old. It was the meanest, hardest, biggest, ugliest poop ever created by a butt that small. So compacted, I thought the pressure must have formed a diamond inside. I was SHOCKED by the sheer size of this monster. Tommy two-tone. A marbled combination of three days worth of toddler meals. I nearly cried with relief for her. Having seen the sheer size of this fucking thing, I wanted to buy her a toy or a sticker just for getting the damn thing OUT. My daughter, the bravest strongest, most determined pooper in the world. The diminutive queen of extreme danger-pooping.

I was feeling rather proud of myself for figuring out that a warm bath would help relax those muscles and move the poopy beast along. Jim donned rubber gloves and victoriously searched through the bubbles to fish out the massive logs of excrement from the tub. We were quite pleased with ourselves. Giddy, in fact.

My pride turned to horror as I pulled Maggie from the tub and saw her red little legs. Overzealous in my efforts to work the fecal frankenstein out, the warm bath I had drawn was TOO WARM. I may have coaxed the culprit out, but seemed to have scalded my daughter's lower half in the process. "Is there no end to this madness Dear God?" I wailed, "WHY? WHY??"

Why? Do you know why? I think I do. It happened because, as a parent, you can't get too cocky. You think for one moment, you have it figured out. You and your co-parent are high-fiving eachother, oblivious in your pride and self-congratulations for emerging, victorious, from battle. And out of nowhere, you get knocked with a left uppercut you NEVER saw coming. This is to keep us on our toes. Ever vigilant of the next totally fucking stupid moronic thing we, as parents, are about to do.

I carefully pulled Maggies Pajama bottoms over her chubby red legs. Mercifully, Her red legs slowly turned to pink and eventually back to their lovely normal white color. We let her play while we ate dinner. I picked her up for her bedtime bottle and story and she laid her head on me as if to say "Please. Just put me to bed already. This day. Let it be over. The poop. The burning hot water. enough already." She struggled to keep her eyes open through "Goodnight Moon" and I put her to bed, exhausted. She was out cold within seconds.

Another day of well-intentioned but grossly mediocre parental blundering behind us.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

 

a guide to mindless parenting

I am reading a book that was suggested to me by an instructor in our "getting ready to have a baby" class. I really liked the woman. A diminuitive former hippie with two grown children. She had been an OBGYN Nurse for a long time and had coached many women through their pregnancies. She recommended a book called "A guide to mindful parenting".

I like the book. It reads well, and the theories make sense. The authors talk about living in the moment. It seems like a Utopian version of parenting though. It sounds like a good idea, but I wonder if it's possible. Its theories calls for Zen-like training. The authors earnestly try to get the reader to consider meditation.

I have tried meditation, but it's never really worked. My brain just won't be quiet. Which is ironic, because I am having a hard time coming up with anything of interest or substance to write about.

What does that mean? I think it means my mind is filled with junk food. Twinkies and hohos and work stuff and paperwork and meetings and passwords and e mails to insurance companies. Junk that doesn't matter much to my quest for self-actualization. Herein lies my conundrum.

Is it possible to lead a thoughtful life... a mindful life... in the midst of all the day to day bullshit we muddle though to pay the fucking bills? The fuckety muckety muck that pollutes the mind? Do I have to work HARDER so that I can hire a personal assistant so they can take care of the crap while I seek out my own little peice of the self actualization? Do I have to wait for retirement to find the time for self-actualization? What if I get hit by a bus when I am 35 and working three jobs to save money for my personal assistant which was supposed to be my first step in the quest for self actualization? What a waste that would be! Why wasn't I born a trust fund baby? That would have REALLY helped me in my oddyssy for a mindful mind.

Maybe I will just have to lock myself in the bathroom once a day to meditate while my child screams outside the door and my husband bellows my name over and over because he needs me to hold a piece of drywall for him, and our relatives stop by unannounced.

Not now guys! Mommy's meditating!
 

Take a load off, Annie

It’s been a bad week for the girls in my life.

I have always been surrounded by girls. 3 sisters, 4 cousins on one side, 3 on the other, 2 nieces, my mother, grandmothers, my daughter Maggie, all my best friends (sisters included), my mother-in-law, 4 sisters-in-law and the daughters of my friends. We had a barbecue a few weeks ago and took a picture of all the kids. SEVEN little girls in the hammock. Not a boy to be found. Girls everywhere. They are my tribe. My people. I have always been surrounded by remarkable women. Always.

It’s been a tough week for some of my favorites. The kind of week that left me sobbing in my car out of sheer sadness and helplessness. I am usually alarmingly good at stuffing my emotions. Yesterday, however the reservoir overflowed and it all came out with a shocking life and velocity of its own.

There is my Aunt Karen, who is in the process of getting rid of her cancer with the help of some rather unpleasant chemotherapy. She is duking it out in her signature reserved, strong and independent style. Her hair has fallen out, but that is temporary. I think she looks more beautiful than she ever has. To see her sick from the treatments is very difficult. It hurts me to see her suffer the physical and emotional traumas that cancer inflicts on good people. It hurts me to see her working so hard to deal with it on her own. She is not one to welcome sympathy, and with her fierce independence she seems determined to show everyone she can do it.

There is the daughter of some of our best friends. She is two and a half and spirited and independent and trying to cope with a brand new baby sister. She was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She was drinking water in alarming quantities, and had gotten very thin, and her parents brought her in to the doctor and got the diagnosis Tuesday. Starting immediately, they have her on a regimen of three injections a day, and a never ending stream of finger pricks, which remarkably, she seems to be taking in stride. They have been thrown into a sea of glycemic education and are subjected to words like “life expectancy” and “diabetic coma”. No one wants to look at their child and think about things like life expectancy. Hearing that was like a knife in my heart. I can’t imagine what hearing that did to them. Their sweet little girl. The first baby born to a close friend. She is the oldest child to all of us.

There are my beautiful, sassy, witty, talented nieces. The demigoddesses. They are twelve and thirteen. They are both funny and sensitive and creative and thoughtful and kind and whip-smart. Their parents are divorced and their father moved an hour away and married someone without discussing it with them first. He just came back from Vegas married. To a woman who seems to be shamefully self-centered and immature and unwelcoming to the girls. He has spent a total of two weekends with his daughters all summer. He says they understand his need to have a new life. I say what they understand is something much larger. Larger than anything they should be dealing with at their young age. It bothers me when adults expect children to take on their own burdens. The carelessness and selfishness of that behavior makes me want to scream. It’s nonsense. The rationalizations and reasoning. It hurts to watch them try to get their minds around his looming absence. I think to myself what a disservice he is doing to himself, because these girls are amazing. AMAZING. To squander any opportunity to spend time with them is the pinnacle of foolishness. I think to myself that it’s his loss. But it’s their loss that is larger and far reaching. I just want to smack some sense into him. Mostly I want the girls to understand that none of it is their fault. I want them to know that adults can be really stupid sometimes. That their dad is making a lot of mistakes at their expense and it’s NOT THEIR FAULT.

It’s been a brutal season for the girls in my life. I love them all. They are my peeps. So yesterday I drove home from work with a heavy heart and the tears flowed and fell with an energy and a life that was independent of my body. They were being pulled out of my eyes by a strange life force from a faraway galaxy. I cried for them, I cried for me. I cried for all the little girls, young and old, who are carrying burdens not of their own making. Girls who have adult neurosis and hang-ups carelessly spilled all over them. Who take on more than their fair share. Because they have no choice in the matter. They just have to pick up the load they were given and carry it. I wish I could help them.

Maybe I could start by getting rid of some of my own load. Come to think of it, those tears really didn’t come from a galaxy far away. They came from me. I think somewhere in me there is a small person still staggering under a heavy load. She just can’t figure out where to put it. Maybe if she does, she can find a way to help take the load off the rest of the girls.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

 

Drunko












Every four weeks the neighborhood ladies in Subdivision One, Suburbia, get together for a rousing game of Bunco.

Bunco is a game played with dice. It requires intense skill and intellectual capacity. You have to be able to roll a die and count up to 21. Yahtzee is more difficult than Bunco. So is Finger painting.

Bunco has to be easy to play so we can all consume large quantities of wine and still keep score. This may SOUND easy, but it’s not.

The neighborhood husbands parlayed the name “Drunko” upon our regularly scheduled get together. Bunco / Drunko is really an excuse for everyone to get together and get a little sauced and talk smack about people.

We all take turns hosting Drunko. Every 4 weeks I get to tour another rambler in the Subdivision. All the ramblers in our subdivision seem to have been built by the same guys. So far I have seen my pink bathtub and toilet in about 5 other people’s houses. The exact same tub, dating back to 1955. I think it’s fascinating to see how many people have the identical, impossible-to-match-a-paint-to salmon pink tile in their bathrooms. Finding coordinating paint for multi-colored salmon pink hued tile is a doomed quest. DOOMED.

You can tell a lot about the home’s owner by assessing the color they opted for in their vain effort to coordinate the walls with their cantankerously colored pink ceramic tile. One can gauge the final result on a few different categories. Creativity, Bravery, Conformity, and full-blown defeat. All of us have had our asses kicked by this tile.

Ours is a not-quite-right orangey brick red. Last night’s host chose was a not-quite-right beige. I think I have also seen not-quite-right yellow and not-quite-right peach.

If I ever see someone get it just right, I will suggest we have a block party to celebrate and alert the local media for a write-up.

When I first moved to our subdivision and was invited to play Drunko with the neighborhood ladies, I had a little trepidation. I have never felt like a suburban mom. I didn’t want to hear about everyone’s stinky kids and the politics of children’s sports. I wasn’t interested in becoming a cookie cutter.

I was certain I was the only democrat in our zip code.

I have to say though, the group is winning me over. At least most of them are. I do avoid talk of politics, but I suspect that there are two other left-leaning ladies in the group. It makes me giddy to know I am not the only one. I want to start a suburban mom democrats club with them. This ability to sniff out like-minded folks. I am getting very good at it. People who are gay must have this kind of experience all the time. They have Gaydar. I have Goredar.

Regardless of the dread I initially felt, my Drunko friends have really grown on me. They are mostly really funny and kind. Can I overlook the fact that last night’s Drunko hostess had a Bush sign in her yard last October? Well.. It’s been a year, and yes, I wanted to spit on it and hold up my middle finger every time I jogged past their house…. but Damn it! She is gentle and kind and sweet as can be. And her husband is from the East coast and really freaking funny. Once you get to know certain people it’s awfully hard to dislike them regardless of their political persuasion.

Don’t get me wrong. I will always think Anne Coulter is a fucking imbecile. And the devil incarnate. And a sociopath. With a borderline personality disorder. And she’s ugly. And mentally unstable. Koo-koo nuts. Did I say she is hideously ugly? Anne Coulter is HIDEOUSLY ugly. From the inside out.

But my Drunko friends are not ugly. I was certain I would dislike these people but I have to admit I don’t dislike them at all. In fact I LIKE them. A lot. Except for the one who used the term “Jewed down”. I reserve the right to dislike THAT one.

And that’s O-KAY. I can be a democrat and like my predominantly conservative neighbors. At least until November 2008. Then it may be a little touch and go. I try to be good. But I am not sure if I'm THAT good.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

 

Mission Accomplished: Cake demolished


The cake, part one.










Dare I sat I just pulled of an idyllic first birthday?

I am sitting here reflecting on the first anniversay of the birth of our daughter and I have to say, aside from a nap inducing spell of exhaustion at about 3:30, that day went off swimmingly.

The weather: Beautiful. Backyard: decorated. Cake: Baked. Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Gradnparents: all present. The wagon we got her: Big hit.

Once again, the star of the show was Maggie. She actually looked at and touched every single gift. In doing so foregoing the plague of many first birthdays which is the "I don't care what this thing is and I don't care who gave it to me what are all these people doing here? I will just throw your stupid present across the yard and continue playing with the geraniums you insipid fools. Are you leaving yet?" I have seen it happen. I have seen children cry at their own birthday cakes causing their poor mother's to hold back tears of disappointment. These are the risks we take procreating.


The cake part 2.










Not our Maggie. She plucked the berries off her cake and plundered it wholeheartedly. There was cake everywhere. She clutched huge boulders of confetti cake and smashed them into her mouth like John Belushi in Animal house.
After she was done, she burped loudly, asked for a toothpick and leaned back picking her teeth for a while.


The Cake Part 3.










I have to say, after putting her to bed, and checking on her, whispering "good night birthday girl", I truly feel like a million bucks. She won't remember the day, being only one, but I do think she knew it was all for her, and she takes it all very much in stride. I think I am proud of my daughter.


The cake part 4.










I understand it's quite possible that on her second birthday she could behave like some kind of posessed orangutan. She took a nap today and we got lucky. I understand that as a adult, I do need to have my own life and not live out my feelings of inadeqauacy through my child. But GOLL-DANG if I didn't get a kick out of her sweet, smiling, cake-covered face. Yum. I just love that child.

Good night birthday girl. Sleep tight Miss Maggie.

Friday, August 19, 2005

 

And Then Madge Was One!




















August 21, 2005
An entire year of lovely Maggie-ness. Our little stinker. Madge. The Smooth Madgerator. Our little amazon baby.

They say that every cell in your body renews itself every seven years. Every seven years each cell changes over to a brand new cell. Every two thousand five hundred and fifty five days, you become a whole new person.

In this one year, I think all of my cells changed over. That is how much I have changed this year. I am a whole new person. And I don’t want to go back. Ever. Because if I did, I would miss you too much.






















Oh how life has changed since you came onto the scene. That quiet August night a year ago. I woke up to what I thought was going to be massive diarrhea and guess what? It wasn’t diarrhea. It was YOU.

I called the nurse to tell her I was ready to go to the hospital after only about 15 minutes of labor. She told me to wait two hours. I told her I was coming anyways because I KNEW something was going on. And I was right.

Then came one delicious epidural and three hours of not so delicious pushing, and a few other unsavory things I will keep to myself for now, and THERE YOU WERE!

Oh my. I had no idea the amazing ride I was in store for.

You are a year old and I am completely smitten, gob-smacked, crazy in love. You are a treasure, Maggie. You truly are.














Here are some fun things you do now:

You tackle your teddy bear, who is bigger than you are. You tackle him and give him these wonderful gleeful baby bear hugs. Zany. That’s the word. Zany.

You size people up with a discerning eye. When you see a new person you look right at them. Straight in their eyes. You gaze at them, deciding for yourself what you think of them. It’s a sight to behold. You are very direct and straightforward in doing this. You make no effort to be subtle or dance around the subject. You just stop, stare for a solid minute or so, and after making your assessment, you go on with your business.

You have a wee bit of a temper. If I take my time getting you out of your crib in the morning you pitch a fit and throw your binky, and whatever else is in your crib, across the room in protest. You are not afraid to voice your displeasure. Oh, not at all.

You like to pull hair. HARD. When I try to firmly tell you “NO” you look at me and break out into maniacal laughter. It’s as though you already know I struggle with discipline and find my efforts to be strict hysterically funny.

You stand in your crib and greet me each morning with “Hi Yere”! You can go from miserable wailing to grinning high-beam “Hi Yere!” in about a nanosecond the moment you see me enter your room. It is the best way to wake up in the morning my dear. I never thought I liked mornings until I had you as my early morning greeter. You are so genuinely happy to see me. It just makes my day.

You have the best happy scream EVER.

You have the most amazing look of wide eyed wonderment I have ever seen. It makes my heart swell with love and gratitude.

You like to eat. A lot. Blueberries and cheese. Can’t get enough of them.

You really like things that SPIN. You will spin a coaster on the carpet. Then you will take it to the kitchen floor to see how it spins there. Then you will take it to the tile on the fireplace hearth to see how it spins THERE. You are a methodical little coaster spinner.

You are also a tough little thing. You have battled the coffee table and lost. You can fall into the corner of the table so hard it leaves a nasty looking bruise, but you only cry for a minute. You are too busy to cry. You have things to do for crying out loud.

There is not much that you are afraid of. You love to explore and you hate to be restrained or restricted in any way. You climb stairs with wild abandon. I am certain I will lament this at some point due to the worry it will cause me. But it seems to be who you are, sweets. I love who you are.

Here are some of the things I want for you.

I want you to be comfortable in your own skin. I want you to know and like yourself. To love and be loved. I want you to laugh and cry and sing in your own voice, with your own words. I want you to learn and discover and grow and wonder and marvel at the world. All at your own pace. I want you to see the world as a friendly place. I want you to know that no matter what happens that you are loved. That you are good. That your soul is perfect, even in its imperfection.

Here are some things I want you to know. Remember them always.

Your heart. I see it and I know it and it is pure and good. Not in an only-if-you-remain-a-virgin-until-you-are-30 kind of a way. Your heart is pure and good in the way that I know no matter what experiences you have and survive, no matter how shameful you may think your behavior has been, NO MATTER WHAT, your soul is good. And sweet. And pure. This is true even when you can’t feel it. I know this because I am your mother. Mothers just know these things. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Ever.

The best things in life are usually a little scary at first. Take motherhood for example. In the beginning, I didn’t quite take to it as I had envisioned. I was scared and panic stricken. I felt alone, and I was ashamed that I felt so confused. I didn’t feel like I KNEW you right away. It actually felt a little “wrong” at first. I cried a lot.

After a while though, we got to know each other. I can tell you with certainty that I am happier, better, and I am more filled with love and purpose than I ever was before I became your mother. I would not go back for a zillion dollars. Not for anything.
You are the very best thing I ever did.

No matter how mad I get at you in the years to come, know this: I love you. Your Dad loves you. We love you. Always and forever and in everything we do. No matter what you do. We love you.

I always wanted to be your mom. Always. And I always will be.

And I WILL get mad at you. And you will get mad at me. OH YOU WILL get mad at me. It’s my job as a mother to make you mad at me. And it’s okay to be mad at me.

I have to keep reminding myself to live in the moment. I get so excited thinking about how much fun we are going to have. How fun it will be when we can make blueberry pancakes, and when I can take you to an amusement park, and when we can paint together. But then I look back in how fast this year went by and I want to savor each moment. It just went so FAST! I heard someone say once that when you have children the days are long and the years are short. I know what they mean.

Last night we went to your cousin Jane’s 12th birthday party. Jane chose to celebrate her birthday in a buffalo wing bar because she likes chicken wings and trivia and because she is now 12 and she is just fun like that. In the midst of all the chaos and trivia and chicken wings you held your arms out for me to hold you. I picked you up and you did something you don’t do very often. You sat STILL. You rested your head on my shoulder and let me hold you and rub your back and it was the dearest and loveliest feeling I have ever experienced. Ever. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be your mother.

Happy Birthday Maggie.

Love, Mommy

Thursday, August 18, 2005

 

The stealth silent stalker

There is danger lurking in our suburban rambler.

It is the enemy. It terrorizes and maims. It is dangerous and menacing. Yet it does not make noise. It is a silent and ever present threat. Yet it does not emit harmful gasses or fluids of any kind. It does not make sudden movements. In fact it makes no movement at all. It sits there in plain view. Benign in appearance. Don’t be fooled.

The enemy lurking in our home. It is…… the coffee table.

What, you may ask, can be dangerous about a coffee table?

The coffee table sits idly in the TV room. Its twin brother sits innocently in the living room. They look functional and innocent and decorative. They dutifully hold your magazines and glass of water. Your cup of coffee. Your sandwich on a plate. Duplicitous conniving little bastards.

They lie in wait. The coffee tables. They wait silently for your just-about-one-year-old to walk up to them. To fall on them. Fall over them. Fall into them. They bruise her cheek with their nasty little sharp corners. They leave mean looking black and blue lines on that irresistible kissable chubby cheek. Right where your sweet little girl unwittingly toddled up and fell for no apparent reason. No apparent reason but that toddlers are very toddly and wobbly. And coffee tables are terrible and mean and sharp.

The coffee tables sit there indifferently and wait for the child to walk up. They gleefully aniticipate the inevitable. Then it happens. Those tender dimpled knees buckle and they greedily nab a piece of those fragile little gums and brand new teeth. They are not satisfied until they bruise or draw blood from your sweet small unsuspecting child.

The coffee tables. They call from across the room. “Hey there little tyke! Come on over and hang on to my sides! I am just your size! You can walk around me AND see over me! You can crawl under me! You can find all sorts of contraband on me! Like US Magazines to tear and eat! Like Coffee to drink, to stunt your growth and then spill on the floor! Look at all this succulent contraband I hold! Just for you little one! Then WHAM! They get a piece of forehead, cheek or chin. Greedy rotton mean nasty ratty old coffee tables.

Then they cackle evilly and say to me “AHA!!! THAT’S gonna leave a mark! Explain THAT one to the neighbors! NOW you’re gonna get some looks in the grocery store! You will be ruined! Social Services will come take your child, you will be labelled an abuser, an outcast, a pariah! My plan will be complete!!! And no one will we the wiser!”


Mean nasty sharp cornered coffee table. Innocent and benign my ass.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

 

Yah. Only in Minnesota. Yah.

Only in Minnesota would you leave a Target store and have to spend 5 minutes looking for your minivan. Not because you forgot where you parked it, but because it’s difficult to determine which silver minivan is YOURS in a VENERABLE SEA OF SILVER MINIVANS.

I think I walked up to five. “Oh! There it is! Wait… no. That’s not it. Oh! There it is! Wait…no. That’s not it. Oh! There it is! Shit! What the Fuck it wrong with these people? Oh. Wait… What the fuck is wrong with me? How the Hell did I end up to be THAT PERSON? THAT PERSON who can’t find their silver minivan in the TARGET PARKING LOT??? OH MY GOD I AM THAT PERSON!!!!”

The only way in which to differentiate your minivan from the others is to find a large, bright, unusual item to dangle from your rearview mirror, or to purposely damage the exterior of your own silver minivan. I think I will put a remote control strobe light on the hood of mine. Then I will have those fancy hydraulic tires put on and every time I hit the remote to turn on the strobe light the song “Lowrider” will boom from the stereo system and my silver minivan will heave itself up and down on its fancy hydraulic tires, alerting me to its whereabouts. Yeah. I am so doing that.

On the way home from target I saw two personalized license plates. THEY WERE BOTH ON MINIVANS. No I am not kidding. Again, only in Minnesota.

I can only imagine the circumstances that led up to that:

“OH! Mama won the jackpot at the Little Six Casino!! HOT DAMN! After I finish adding the cream of mushroom soup to this hot dish, I’m gonna get me that minivan I’ve had my eye on! The silver one I seen all over the Target parking lot! Yah ! You Betcha! Mama’s gettin’ a new minivan and I’m gonna get one of them fancy license plates. It's gonna say "Mama’s Van"! UFFDA! The ladies at the sewing circle are gonna be SOO JEALOUS!”

Only in Minnesota.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

 

Check ch-check check

It's been nearly a year since Maggie was born, and I am still 8 pounds away from my former pre-mommy figure. Bollucks Bollucks Bollucks. Fat-Ass Bollucks.

I also discovered I still struggle with another lingering problem.

I was hanging out at my parents house Sunday with 2 of my sisters. I got sucked into the strangely entertaining cheerleading movie "Bring it on".

One would think this movie would be the pinnacle of cheesiness. So cheesy that you would have to take a steaming hot shower and scrub vigourously with a loofah to remove the coating of cheese left by watching it. That however, is not the case.

For some reason, I find the ditzy craftiness of the character played by Kristin Dunst to be alltogether endearing. It's also fun to watch all the cheerleading moves that I can't do, and never have been able to do. I was never a cheerleader. Cheerleaders at my high school were NOT cool. Not at all. People made mooing sounds and threw snowballs at them at pep rallies. The one exception being the Basketball Cheerleaders. They totally rocked.

The basketball cheerleading squad was made up of about 8 girls. All eight women were black, and nearly half of them brought their children to school with them. They were a sight to see. They didn't just lead cheers. These women could FUCKING DANCE. They put everyone to shame. They made the danceline look like a group of large breasted Scandinavian white chicks with no sense of rhythm. Which was what most of them actually were.

The basketball cheerleaders had attitude. They were good and they knew it. They would strut out, the music would start and they would GO OFF. All in unison, all perfectly coordinated.

Check ch-check-check
Check ch-check-check
Check ch-check check
Check us out check us out.....

So in this movie, the squad from Compton was the best BY FAR. The Suburban white girls were good, but not as good as the girls from Compton.

At any rate, after watching this movie, My sisters Molly, Betsy and I were inspired to go out in the front yard and try out some moves. None of us sisters were ever cheerleaders. We are all totally uncoordinated and three of the four of us would be considered tall. Tall and uncoordinated makes for really bad cheerleaders.

Ironically though, the tallest and probably MOST uncoordianted sister, Molly (sorry Molly), is the best cheerleader, but more in a comical Gilda Radner Physical sketch comedy kind of a way. She gets this exhuberantly dingy expression on her face, jumps up with her entire 6 foot person and does that #1! thing where she bounces and points her index finger with alarmingly convincing mock enthusiasm. Then she does this jumping thing with her long arms and legs. It's quite a sight, three full grown, tall, uncoordinated women in the front yard of their parents house leaping around like idiots and doubling over with side splitting laughter. Making a mockery of themselves and their cheering ineptitude and seeming to find it all hysterically funny.

This is how we entertain ourselves.

This is also how I discovered that I still have some bladder control issues.
My first ad-libbed cheerleading move left me covering my crotch, and running to the bathroom laughing.

Except it's really not funny to pee your pants and have your sister recommend "Depends" as an option.

I know I am supposed to do what are called "kegels" which are exercises that you are supposed to do to remedy this. Basically you clench and unclench the muscles you use to pee. Over and over and over again. I always forget to do them, and when I DO, I feel like I look like my daughter Maggie when she takes a poop in her diaper. Pause, look off to the side, concentrate hard for a moment, and then resume what you were doing. I always forget to do them. When I do remember, I try to make up for lost time and do like 50 at a time, which makes me worry that I will get a muscle cramp in my urethra.

Can a person get a muscle cramp in their urethra?

If it's possible, I will find out. I am certain of it.

If I want to at least make the B squad without cheering in a puddle of pee, that is.

Monday, August 15, 2005

 

Letter to Manufacturer

Letter to Manufacturer:

August 15th 2005.

To whom it may concern:

This letter is regarding the female child my husband and I received August 21, 2004. We seem to be having some kind of program malfunction or electrical glitch. I thought it best to contact the manufacturer directly for assistance.

When the child brings me a book and sits in my lap, I understand that the proper course of action for me is to read the book. This all seems to be functioning correctly and according to plan. What happens next is the part I find puzzling. Each time I get 6 or 7 pages into said book, the child turns red and shakes, snatches it, throws it across the room and screams loudly. Only to return with another book, and repeat the whole process over again.

It can be described as a high pitched whine that increases in decibel as it goes on until it hits a glass-shattering sinus headache-inducing crescendo. As soon as the book is thrown across the room, the noise stops, and the child produces a new book. The whole cycle starts all over again.

We hope to keep the model we already have. Would it be possible to have someone come out and take a look at her? I thought it might be fuel-related, but after further consideration, I wonder if perhaps a software upgrade will remedy the problem? Please send out a repair person immediately. I believe we still fall under the one year warranty. Thanks in advance.

Best regards,

Maggie’s Mother.
 

sick and wrong

Saturday, August 13, 2005

 

Forecast at the Fecal Factory: Blue

Not to continue a poopy conversation, but much of my life these days is mired in manure. I can't help it.

Got a pint of blueberries at the grocery store yesterday. In an effort to keep Maggie happy during a sit down dinner for Jim and I at an actual TABLE with NAPKINS and a TABLECLOTH, I fed most of them to her. Volumes of blueberries, a handful at a time. Apparently we all went a little overboard.

I just changed her diaper and her poo was blue. Not just blue-brown, but BLUE.

So blue that I thought her little bum might be stained with blue.

It was not. Phew.

Friday, August 12, 2005

 

Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?














This morning began like any other. I awoke to the sounds of Maggie chattering away in her crib at 6:00 a.m.. I got up bleary eyed, let the dogs out and fed them, made the coffee, and prepared Madge’s breakfast bottle. Had the usual early a.m. playtime with Madge which consists of her drinking her bottle, sloshing it around, dropping it on the bed, crawling to the edge of the bed to precariously dangle a limb off the side until I pull her back in. Lather, rinse, repeat.

She approaches me as though coming in for a hug, but instead grabs a fistful of hair in her sticky little hand and pulls AS HARD AS SHE CAN. It hurts. I say “NO MAGGIE!” in my most stern voice, and grab her hand. She stops abruptly, looks at me wide eyed, pauses, and breaks out in uproarious gleeful sinister laughter. My miniature masochist. Again, lather, rinse repeat.

I put her in baby jail while I shower. She begins to bellyache from the boredom and I remove her from her crib and let her roam around a little as I dry my hair. We are pretty well baby-proofed so she has the run of the kitchen, the hallway and the bathroom, at least while I am in it.

She toddles back to me in the bathroom, grinning with all the might and magical powers of her juicy fat little cheeks. She has what appears to be a soggy raisin stuck to the front of her thermal t-shirt. She also has remnants of this substance smeared on her nose and mouth. I pluck it off and toss it in the garbage. Then the smell hits me. It’s POOP. POOP. My daughter has ingested POOP. Where for the love of GOD did Maggie find POOP in the house?

We keep a clean home. When I say clean, I mean my husband should buy stock in Clorox and soft scrub with bleach, because we keep them in business.

There, on the kitchen floor is the smear of poo. Evidence of the source. The source which seems to have been tracked in by the shoe of an unknowing accomplice.

I hold back the vomit as I frantically wipe the POOP from her face and hands. MY BABY! SHE ATE POOP!!! I KNOW SHE ATE POOP BECAUSE SHE IS BREATHING HOT POOPY BREATH ON ME!!! AAAAGH!!!!!! ACK! HACK! BLECH! YYYUUUUUCCCCKKKKKK!!!”

I wonder to myself “Can you give Listerine to an eleven month old? No. There’s alcohol in Listerine. Toothpaste? Gum? Bleach? Soap? HELP!! MOTHERFUCK! MY BABY ATE POOP!!!!! MY BABY ATE POOP!!! ”

I resort to frantic scrubbing with soapy washcloth. I give her a cracker. I throw up a little in my mouth.

I finish getting ready, and get her in the car, Praying that grandma doesn’t notice the smell. What kind of a mother let’s her child eat poop?

The kind of mother who let’s her child pull her hair and then laugh maniacally at her. Yeah. That kind of mother.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

 

Mercury. Yeah. That's it. Mercury.












What IS the deal with Paris Hilton?

Can someone please tell me what the fascination is? Because I am terribly, terribly confused. In fact, bewildered would be an understatement.

Her parents have money and she is super skinny and wears clothes really well. Having stated this, we have seem to have run the entire gamut of her talents.

She has, perhaps and overdeveloped sense of self esteem. I glean this insight from the manner in which she solemnly holds her teacup tinkerbell and ceremoniously declares "that's hot" as she flips her hair to the side and averts her eyes. She carries this declaration out as though she is bestowing her profound wisdom unto blessed chosen disciples. She is a self declared oracle of fads. Orwellian in her insight into the bleak future of fashion. She predicts who will remain standing when the designer shit hits the fan.

She also seems to be an exhibitionist. If I look at her through my lens of psychological disorders, I must admit I do find her more interesting and slightly tolerable.

She might be better served by a few hours with a therapist than by gangs of paparazzi. It seems they just feed the beast.

Personally, I think I might be better served if I saw less of her, but how can one know what one has yet to experience?

I see her skinny mug everywhere. From MSN to US Magazine. Do they have no decent content? Do people actually want to see her picture everywhere? Do they want to know her thoughts? Fears? Dreams?

I can tell you all of them:

Here goes......

"That's Hot"

Is this what I want my daughter to see and admire? To strive for?

Hmmm... Let's see:

Is she funny? Not that I have seen. Perhaps funny in her airheaded antics, but she certainly lacks WIT. WIT is funny. Paris is not.

Is she intelligent? A resounding NO. I have yet to hear her utter anything remotely coherent.

Is she talented? I suppose that would depend on your opinion of her self made movie. Based on anecdotal evidence of an unofficial poll of people I know who have seen "the video", that answer is no. I heard she just sat there like a stoned carp. I was told that if her costar had any wits about him, he would be embarrassed by her painfully obvious lack of enthusiasm throughout their well documented evening of fornication.

She appears to have TERRIBLE taste in men. Based on the above paragraph, this is redundant, really.

Do I want my daughter running around flashing her bare crotch with wild abandon as light bulbs flash? No. Not even if she does it all while very well dressed.

Where does the Paris Hilton preoccupation come from?

My theory: DENIAL. The world is a scary place. Our minds are full. They are full with a smattering jumble of passwords. They are full of questions. What to make for dinner, how to get through another day with too little time, too little money. The disappearing ozone layer. Terrorism. And then there's that whole issue with not trusting our own elected leaders. Or is that just me?

My point: People don't want someone who makes them THINK.

You know, this "the world is a dismal place and we are all going to die poor" thing happened in the late 70's / early 80's. Back then, people coped by making funny movies like "Airplane!" as a diversion. Movies worthy of cult classic status. We get Paris Hilton.

My conclusion: Mercury. There is too much mercury in the water we drink. This reduces intellectual capacity and explains how our coping strategy has been reduced to Paris Hilton.

Whadd'ya think of them apples?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

 

Where's the love my child?

My daughter Maggie is getting to be more and more fun every day. I hate thinking about all the fun I am missing when I am at work. All the tackle-hugs, and wobbly drunken sailor walking, The open mouth toothy "kisses", the grinning "HI YER!"s, the pre nap- snuggles and bottles, the stories, the crawl-chase-stop-look-over-your-shoulder-and-giggle's and the tiptoeing around the house while she naps. The occasional peeking in on my adorable sleeping amazon baby.

It's hard to miss that stuff during the day.

When I get home from work, it's the typical working mother mantra / complaint. It's a bit of a tired hungry rush to get dinner on and cleaned up, and get ready for the next day and spend some quality time with Maggie. Sometimes I smile when I don't feel like smiling. On rare days I can't even fake it. On these rare days I am tired and defeated and it's too taxing to muster up a smile and a sing-songy voice.

I am fortunate to have a husband who is a neat freak. He gets home from work about 1:00 each day and when I arrive home at 5:15, our house is usually spotless. I am lucky that way. I honestly don't know what I would do if I had to clean up the house every day in addition to the regular dinner / bath / pajama stuff. On the other hand, it's hard to hear my dear Baby's Daddy talk about how hard it is to be home with her in the afternoons. It kind of makes me want to cry in frustration. I really would love to be the one to hang out with her every afternoon. It's just not in the cards at the moment. It's hard to hear that he doesn't love it all the time.

You know, nearly every day when I get home I am greeted by an enormous, gargantuan, blindingly sweet, enthusiastic high-beam, only-for-mommy smile. In that second, 99% of my angst about working falls away. I am there in the moment and it really seems to make everything okay.

Last night I didn't get one and it sucked. I walked in to find Maggie in her high chair. She looked and me, popped a Cheerio in her mouth, and stared out the window. It was such a letdown.

That part of me that sometimes feels like an unfit mother whispered in my ear: "Psst! Hey you! Yeah, you. The working mother! She would rather be with Grandma! Grandma sees her every day for FIVE HOURS! Grandma gives better hugs! Grandma teaches her where her eyes are! You have only gotten to the nose! You work, you aren't around enough, and when you are around you are tired! You are stunting her intellectual development! She wishes she was at Grandma's house instead of here with you!"

I think this is the voice that feeds the mommy beast. The beast that posesses women to judge their own mothering skills harshly, and the beast that posesses mothers to judge eachother harshly. Epidural vs. natural childbirth, breastfeeding vs. formula, cloth vs. disposable, Working vs. stay-at-home, TV vs. no TV, Organic vs. commercial, French immersion school vs. Open school, in-home daycare vs. day care center, pacifier vs. thumbsucking, bottle vs. sippy cup, spanking vs. timeout.... the list goes on and on and on. And on. And on. How do you silence the beast? How do I stop being my own worst critic?

Maggie may be teething, or perhaps she was tired. All night she was like Attila the Hun with bipolar disorder and a borderline personality. Going from happy to whiny to inconsolable at the drop of a hat. One minute she was happy in my lap being read to, and the next she was screaming and lobbing the book across the room.

I am the adult in this scenario. I understand that as the parent, I need to be loving and patient and kind and warm even if I am not getting anything but accusing screams and wails in return. I love my daughter all the time, no matter what. I hate to admit that her feedback helps to keep me going. I mean, she is only eleven months after all. I can't rely on her. That's way too much responsibility for a child of that tender age.

But those 5:15 smiles sure make it easier. Just one day without one made me realize how much they help to keep me going. They help to keep that voice of insecurity at bay. I hope they come back soon.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

 

Know anyone like this?

Do you know anyone who asks you for your honest opinion.... NO.. Actually begs for it... and when you give it to them, they tell you why you're wrong?

It's like someone asking you "Please tell me, what can I do to make your life easier?" And you pause, and respond:

"actually, I hate it when you fling rotton terds in my face, okay? I hate it! It makes my life really hard when you fling rotton terds in my face. Like last week when you flung rotton terds, it really made me miserable, and then yesterday, you did it again, and I really don't like it. It makes my life really hard, all of your terd-flinging"

and the person responds with:

"Well... You weren't where you were supposed to be when I flung the rotton terds in your face! If you had only done what you were supposed to do, you would not have been there and the rotton terds would not have hit you in the face! See, it's because you were doing things WRONG! Now, not only will I continue to fling rotton terds in your face, but I will bring you into the main lobby and flog you in front of your peers for bringing it to my attention and wasting my time!"

If you know anyone like this, please run for your life.
 

It takes a special person

It takes a special person to discourage you from taking a shower at 8:00 at night.
It takes a special person to tell you that if you get up to take a shower, they will go to bed early, leaving you alone in the dark to watch Law and Order with only your Sunday night angst to keep you company.
It takes a special person to nonchalantly walk up as you lie sprawled on the couch, stroke your exposed armpit with degree solid deodorant and walk away as though nothing just happened.

A special person I tell you.

Monday, August 08, 2005

 

Where the sidewalk never begins

We live in a suburb. A suburb that is considered by many to be prestigious. A suburb that is at times considered by me to be terribly wasp-ish and boring. There is much talk in my neighborhood of the politics of children's hockey. How you have to know someone, or have some kind of wealth, prestige, or power to get your kid to the pinnacle of Hockey. The High School Varsity Hockey team. There is also much talk of whose children misbehave on the bus (okay I do find this subject entertaining), and which mothers have had "work done".

My husband Jim Grew up here and is well versed in the nuances of this competitive waspy society. I mentioned to Jim once that Maggie might have a natural talent for tennis. Having Amazon parents, and appearing to follow in their Amazon footsteps at her tender age of not quite one, I think she could be good at it. I pictured her long legged and graceful in a cute little tennis skirt, ponytail swinging and she lobs the ball around the court. Jim's response to this was "There is NO WAY we can afford private coaching and tennis camp and NO ONE makes the team here without private coaching and tennis camp! NO ONE! There is no point in even TRYING! FORGET IT!" Tennis. How silly of me. Are there private coaches for how to maintain some semblance of self esteem in a High school where only the rich can play tennis? Sign us up. I think we are going to need it. My vision of Maggie suddenly changed from sun streaked leggy ponytail sporting tennis player to dark haired goth reject who wears black lipstick and writes poetry about inflicting cruelty to puppies and kittens.

Sadly, These are just a few of the typical characteristics of Suburban society. Perhaps the characteristic of Suburban life I find the MOST loathsome is the bizarre absence of sidewalks. I never understood this. I am left to believe the the city planners felt the citizens here were so prestigious, they would never have to walk anywhere. Walking was for poor folk. The welfare mothers and deadbeat dads. Walkers. Every damn one of them. Lice-ridden prostitutes? I heard they walk EVERYWHERE. Ragamuffin dirty faced ill-behaved children? TOTAL PEDESTRIANS. The unemployed and disenfranchised? ALWAYS WALKING. Walking, and providing people space in which to do so was seemingly considered tres gauche. Banish the thought of not being able to see the neighborhood soleley through the window of your sedan or SUV.

I grew up in an urban area. We had sidewalks. I learned to ride a bike on the sidewalk. I measured my progress by counting the squares I made it past before falling over. We played kick the can in the alley. We used the sidewalks all the time for walking, running, hopscotch, and yes, I admit it, recycling the occasional discarded wad of gum (how I managed to avoid getting TB is beyond me). Sidewalks are terribly practical in the function they serve of SEPARATING YOUR CHILDREN FROM TRAFFIC. Practical and tacky apparently.

Not in our suburban neighborhood. We plop our kids on their bigwheels and send them careening down the driveway DIRECTLY INTO THE FUCKING STREET. The street where oblivious soccer moms gab on their cell phones as their 6 foot tall SUV's whiz by.
"Here little Jimmy! Consider it your first lesson in surviving the Suburbs! Dodging Ford Expeditions while akwardly pedaling, wobbling and maintianing an upright position without training wheels! It will make you really good at Hockey! Maybe you will make the B squad and make us proud!"

Our children learn to ride their bikes in the street where they amateurishly wobble their Huffy’s directly into a head-on collision with the neighbors mini Humvee. Because suburban dwelling white collar bourgeoisie really NEED Humvees. How else would they make their neighbors feel financially marginalized while simultaneously squashing those pesky neighborhood kids like pasta dough through a fettucini machine? THIS is multi-tasking for the upwardly mobile. This is the way educated white collar folks should live! We are just so wealthy and SMART we don't need sidewalks. That would imply that we don't own Humvees! That would insinuate that we (gasp) have to WALK. WALKING IS FOR THE WEAK AND POORLY DRESSED! WALKING IS FOR LIBERALS AND COMMUNISTS AND WE DON'T NEED ANY OF THEM AROUND!

Some of my neighbors set out these little green plastic neon faux-children in the street with signs that say “SLOW DOWN! CHILDREN AT PLAY!” And every time someone smashes into one, we are all breathe a sigh of releif that this time it was just a green neon facsimile of a child and not the real deal. PHEW. That was lucky! Then we pat ourselves on the back for having the fortitude and bravery to live this rebellious suburban life. A priveleged thrilling high-intensity life without sidewalks.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

 

My Enthusiasm? You ate it. On a bun. With relish.

I was just asked by a coworker what happened to my enthusiasm. Apparently I used to have some. Here is the response I gave:

"My enthusiasm was led blindly to the slaughterhouse where is was decapitated and turned in to hot dogs to be eaten by my coworkers."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

 

Is it wrong?

















Is it wrong to want to lick your new glass-paneled china cabinet?

Can I tell you how happy I am to be the recipient of a new-for-us dining room table? An exquisite glass paneled china cabinet? A beautiful four poster bed? All in delicious mahogany?

Is it wrong to be this excited by furniture? I try not to be too wrapped up in "stuff". Yet, I still practically choke up in tears of gratitude every time I walk into the dining room.

We are the grateful recipients of the stunning pieces our family members are parting with to prepare for their pending move and re-decoration. These particular family members have very very very good taste.

I am not sure if any of you know this about me, but many of my friends joke about my "Martha" tendencies. Martha Stewart that is. I now have a china cabinet displaying all the delicate glassware and serving dishes that were previously hidden in a pile under the counter in our kitchen. I can’t decide whether to host an elaborate dinner party to show it all off, or stay home and go to town licking the brass handled drawers of my mammoth mahogany stallion with glass panels. Stroking the soft sheen of the table large enough to seat twelve comfortably. Pole dancing on the new four poster bed anyone?

Is it bad that my new dining room makes me so happy? What does that say about me? Frankly I don't even care. All I know is that I love my dining room. I FUCKING LOVE IT.
 

Further evidence of my not-cool-ness







Like the world needs any further evidence of my chronic dorkdom. The following is a list of 5 characteristics that contribute to the overall geekiness of me.

And by the way, I am taking back the word "geek" to mean uncool. The word Geek should NOT mean technically savvy and witty and rebellious by not admitting that you are in truly fact cool, but call yourself a geek in an effort to be self-deprecating. I am not technically savvy. I am not cool. I am however a geek. And a dork. Akward? Don't get me started.

Here's the list:

1.I stand on the periphery of any group of people I am talking to and sssllllooooowwwllly get edged into the most uncomfortable spot in the room. The busy walkway where I get knocked around like a pinball, in front of the door that keeps swinging. Getting smushed into the back of the next group (perhaps doubling my akwardness factor?). Then getting DIRTY LOOKS from the person I am being mercilessly pressed into. I think this happens because I am tall and try to stand back so people can see. Or it could be that being a dork, people tend to edge me out in an effort to distance themselves from the dorkiness. DORKINESS. The next think I know, I am staring at everyone's back and feeling like a loser because no one is making eye contact. I have flashbacks of the 6th grade. Whimper.

2. Look at the photo at the top of this page. See that fraction of a head in the back? The one that keeps trying deperately to move to be in view of the camera? The one who seems to be wailing “me too! me too! I want to be in the picture too!” Yeah. There are a lot of pictures of me like that. Again, I could try to pull out the “tall” thing, but that only get a person so far.

3. My favorite game is called “my favorite thing about you”. I like to take turns and go around the table and tell everyone what my favorite thing about them is. You would save a lot of money on therapy if you spent time around me and fed me red wine. Who needs Pollyanna when you've got ME? You want to know what's great about YOU? I'll tell you! And I will go ON and ON and ON.

4. Have you seen any of my elementary school pictures?

5. I love showtunes and I am not afraid to sing them.

6. There are more. OH, THERE ARE MORE.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

 

Would you stop growing so fast? Dude. You are freaking me out.








I left for the infamous Blogher conference on Friday. Jim was out of town and getting ready to leave for my trip whilst chasing Madge around proved to be a taxing endeavor indeed. I got her ready for her weekend of adoration, first by one grandmother and then the other. I said goodbye to my daughter in her car seat. She was wiggling and whining and looked at me like she didn’t know me from the mailman. She was cranky. I got no love at all. Walking through the double automatic doors at the airport I was surprised by the unexpected pang in my heart.

I had anticipated a gleeful rush of “Halle-freaking-lujah! I’m Free!!!! No diaper bag to lug! No atomic poopy butts to wipe! Woohoo! ”

Instead, I found it hard to breathe and my eyes stung with tears.

I was worried. What if she was confused by her new surroundings? What if the teeth she was cutting bothered her? What if her runny nose turned into a full fledged cold? What if she cried and cried and I wasn’t there to calm her down?

I was one of those people that just didn’t quite take to motherhood right out of the gates. I was awkward and didn’t feel right. I didn’t know this baby girl at all, and every time I went to retrieve her from her bassinette and found her trying to nurse the side of it I felt really weird and freaked out. What did she want from me? What did she need from me? I felt ashamed that I didn’t have a white-light experience the moment I became a mother. I didn’t hear a choir singing the hallelujah chorus the moment I first saw her. Frankly I felt panicky and anxious. I didn’t know what to do.

I remember a morning about a week after we got home from the hospital. I was trying to pump breast milk for her. I didn’t recognize my own body. I was attached to this milking machine and it felt really weird and icky. I sat, pumping and stared wistfully out the window at my neighbors. I watched them doing normal things like mow the lawn and bring groceries in. I thought to myself “How nice for them, to be so normal.” I wasn’t sure what I was feeling but I was sure it was not normal. I had a machine attached to my boobs and Maggie laid tiny in her crib like some Romanian orphan. It felt like my life was over.

I earnestly fulfilled all of my motherly duties with care and thoroughness. I made sure I did everything I was supposed to. In the back of my mind, I was terrified. I was scared out of my everloving mind that things would never feel right. I was afraid I would forever be this detached mom who was always forced and awkward. What if I could never distinguish a hungry cry from a cranky cry? What if my inability to feel in sync with her scarred for life? Would her relationship with her Dad be enough? I felt like everyone could tell I was struggling. I felt like a fraud. I felt like a horrible mother.

It didn’t change in a day. It actually took a few months. I don’t know if that’s bad, or if it comes as a shock to anyone, but it is the truth.

So, Friday morning I sat on the plane and cried real, surprising tears because I missed my daughter. I missed her so much it hurt. I was taken aback by the open floodgate of my own sadness, and by the overwhelming anxiety I had leaving her. It was oddly very reassuring. I am normal! Perhaps overly attached! Hooray! I am miserable!

Late afternoon at the blogher conference I saw a man holding a baby girl. I blinked and shook my head. It looked like my daughter. I STARED. I wanted to run across the room and get a closer look. No… It couldn’t possibly be….. It was the spitting image of Maggie. Hair, eyes, everything. It was surreal. I was afraid the man holding her would notice I was gaping and think I was some kind of mommystalker. I had to go over and see her close up after the final comments at the Blogher wrap up. No, it was not my daughter, but she DID look a lot like Maggie.

I got home Sunday night and crept into Maggie’s room to look at her as she slept. I stopped breathing for a moment and my stomach jumped. OH MY GOD WHO REPLACED MY LITTLE BABY WITH A 27 POUND ELEVEN MONTH OLD Who WALKS?? She looked HUGE. She was lying on her back with her arms sprawled out. She filled up half the crib. It was alarming how big she looked to me. I accidentally-on-purpose woke her up so I could hold her and rock her. My little amazon baby. I can’t remember anything ever feeling so good. Or right. Or perfect. EVER.

Monday, August 01, 2005

 

Mommyblogher recap

Blogher was a smashing success. Many thanks to the panel and the attendees and to all of the lovely and talented writers I had the pleasure of meeting. It was such an honor to get to meet you all in person. Thank you to Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins, Purvi Shah, and Katrin Verclas for putting on such a well run, inspiring event. It was obvious that there was a whole lot of love invested in this event. You are amazing.

Thanks to
  • Jenny

  • Jenn

  • Donna

  • Mindy

  • Grace

  • Amanda

  • Alice

  • Melissa

  • Jen

  • Tracey

  • and everyone else who shares their stories. Also thank you to
  • Heather Armstrong

  • who inspired me to start writing and who I was too nervous to approach for fear of gooning all over her and making a total arse of myself. One thing I have always been very good at is making a total arse of myself. Particularly in front of people I admire.

    A special shout out to my peeps, the mommybloggers. Some of whom are referred to by their peers as “She’s a mommyblogger, BUT she’s a really good writer..”

    I am not sure when the term Mommyblogging became the bullseye which many people aim for when they squat to take a huge steaming, sanctimonious crap on their fellow writers.
    Seems to be a favored sport by a few. Thankfully, not all. To those of you who read and like what you see, thank you for your support and thanks for having the self esteem and general wherewithall to not have to step on our little mommy heads to make yourself feel successful. You’ve got it goin’ on.

    In an effort to reclaim the title “mommyblogger” on my own terms, I would like to officially alter my title.


    From now on I will only respond to the following titles:

    “MOFOmommybloggerbitchasshobutshe'sareallygoodwriter”

    Or if you prefer :

    “MOFOmommybloggerbitchasshoandshe’satotalhorseshitwriter”

    Feel free to choose the one you feel is most appropriate.

    Word to all you motha’s out there. Peace out.