Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lies and the lying mommies who tell them

Today Claire asked me for her pom poms, which are tiny little baby choker items I keep trying to throw away before they get left in the baby zone and choke my wee Hannah. I spirit them away and then I relent and put them up somewhere, and then Claire gets them back and I warn her about leaving small toys by her sister and then I spirit them away again. What a softie! I just hate to get rid of them even if they are meaningless little bits of fluff because she so enjoys them. She'll hold one up to me and say "Mama, wanna hear what a snowball says? . . . (silence, obviously) . . .Did you hear that, Mama?" I love that stuff. And I do so hate to disappoint her. When she asks if I've seen them I say "not lately."

I had dental work done last week, and the dentist apparently knicked a nerve giving me a shot, which caused that type of weird nervy sensation that could make a sane person lose it utterly. I keep thinking I had a melted cheese or caramel string or cobweb draped across my lip every time I ate something. After a dozen swipes to the mouth I realized I had no food smears on my lips at all, and figured it all out. Claire has two spots on her three year old teeth that look suspiciously like cavities, and I don't want her to fear the dentist so I tell her cheerfully that going to the dentist doesn't hurt at all, and keeps you healthy and strong. I skip the part about how it makes you bonkers and totally gloss over the whole tension in the chair waiting for the drill part.

This weekend Claire's big brother had a friend over, and these two boys, being clever in the way that eleven and thirteen year olds are, decided to jump off the garage and the friend fell and broke his arm. Older brother came shrieking in the house (saying his friend fell and skipping the jumping bit, initially) and I ran out, saw the curvaceous arm where a straight arm should be, and agreed he had indeed broken it. I told Claire he hurt his arm and kept her away while paramedics and then the boy's father came. She does not seem to know he jumped off a building for fun, and was of course fascinated and keeps talking about how he fell. Now I am struggling - do I use this as an object lesson about how dangerous choices lead to injury and she should be smarter? Is it too scary for a three year old? Should I keep the lie going that he fell or own up that he jumped?

I struggle with truthtelling when Claire asks me where her Daddy's Mommy is (dead) and why we don't see much of my brother, her only uncle (a lout by any other name is still loutish) or why I don't take a certain cousin's call and let the machine answer (guess) when she is so fond of her own favorite cousin she pretends to call her daily. For those of you with your fresh new babies, this is something to worry about later. For the rest of you, I am taking advice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Friday Haiku - birthday musings

My birthday musings
Holy fuck I am so old
but not too wrinkled

A word to the wise
It fills up the crevices
If you stay chubby

Body limps along
Aches, pains, and the gut problems
Must wear some good shoes

The freckles fool folks
But the gray hair gives me up
So I dye it red

Too old to have kids
who are at such a young age
I hope I can last

I can't quite retire
while kids are still in college.
Hope they find money

I will eat sushi
My favorite frosted cake
pretend I worked out

Yet I would not change
the path I have come along
I love my people

They might not have liked
me, when I was much younger
I am better now!

Go visit at A Mommy Story to link to more haiku. And eat some cake and wish me a good birthday. Make it with real buttercream frosting.

My brain writ large

Jaywalker at Belgian Waffle asked her readers to diagram their brains and post the results. The first time she did this she also posted her man's brain, which was decidedly different from hers. I thought you'd enjoy a peek into my marriage if I included my brain and my husband's brain. I feel in the interest of full disclosure I must tell you that Lord Honey does not know I am sharing the contents of his brain with you. Like most people who listen to talk radio, he thinks this stuff should be a secret, in case some one might be listening. Don't disabuse of him of this notion.

Now, you notice I couldn't fit all my thoughts on my drawing. This is because I am so busy. Well, really it is because my head is busy, but not necessarily in a good way. If I were more skilled technologically, you would see how the certain sections of the brain light up with color. Those sections are more active. The cheese sections for example, or the one for bread and butter (which includes cake, obviously).

This is the key for my diagram, including all the words that don't fit in little spaces (just like in my head, where the words tumble around alot)

1. This section is devoted things I want to do, mostly things I want to do at the same time as something else. This is how it goes in my head: What can I do while I do that? Need to pump some breast milk, OK, while I do that I will also blog and make a phone call using my headset so my hands are free to type, while I wear the handsfree breast pump. Here I am in court, lawyering, while I worry about my daughter's health issues. I think I'll have a smoke while I plan my next fifteen minutes of activity but I have to hide from my daughters and people who might judge me for being weak and smoking in the face of stress. Surely no one can see me behind my house, anyway I am gardening, not smoking. That is Lord Honey's smoke, not mine. I am blaming him. What else can I do while I cast aspersions on my man? Surely there must be an activity compatible with aspersion casting, maybe something I could do with one hand?

2. The laughing section. For example: How did Michael Jackson die? The glove choked him. HAR-HAR. Completely inappropriate. How did I get here? Letting the days go by? Ahh, nostalgic laughing. Mellow and pleasant. Hey, I have a baby! She is lovely! Thinking of even her name makes me smile. Now I am laughing at me smiling to myself. Oops, now I am crying because I love her so much. Arrrggghhh, wrong wave pattern. Go to a different section.

3. The crying section. This brain wave pattern exists simultaneously with the other sections, and involves visceral responses to pretty much any permutation of life situations of myself and those around me, including the funny, the poignant, the joyful, the gutwrenching, the grateful, and the anger based reactions. Damn, I am tired.

3A. Feelings of inadequacy. Just look at my belly, I am awfully rotund. Is my hair cute enough? People like curly hair, right? Right? Is my gray showing? I should update my wardrobe. People like short girls, right? My arms are too short, way. Don't call me short, I can reach the ground thank you very much. Yes, I am smart but am I too unappealing? Does Lord Honey grab my butt to make me feel appealing even if I am not? Oh, men just do that anyway? Oh. Ugh. I am yucky. Do people find me maniacal? Would I know if they did? Should I stop talking now?

3B. Look at my kids, aren't they wonderful? Look at them!! They are so beautiful, did I make those people?!? Really? Hey, I am damn cool if I can make such babies. Oh, listen to that intelligent squealing from the baby, and observe how Claire observes her world, and rocks it. They smile and laugh, and so do I. Wow, I rock!

4. Cheese. Comfort food. Playing on the internet to the exclusion of all other hobbies and interests. Cheese. Is anyone going to Starbucks?

5. Holy fuck, did I forget to worry about something? What is that nagging in the back of my mind? There must be something else I can think about here, what might it be? It's just on the tip of my tongue. Oh dear, everything, especially stuff that is years away, years!! Or completely out of my hands. Or random. Perhaps I'll take that out and chew on it anyway. I wonder if I knitted more if I would be calmer. Didn't I used to read a lot? Was I once somewhat more centered?

Grab a Sharpie and make a brain, and link back if you do. I bet you are no nuttier than the rest of us.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

When the crazy comes knocking don't answer the door

I've been thinking some lately about the nature of the crazy and how it comes for all of us. In fact, I love how so many people refer to it as "the crazy" which I first thought was one writer's tag phrase and have now seen it so widely I know that I need not give attribution, and it indicates our collective recognition of the thing we all battle. What I noticed this week was a variety of forms of the crazy rearing up at the people in my life, some near and some afar. What I am thinking of is not just the full on different view of reality wherein eyes are circling independently and voices in one's mind make with the head messing (I work some with the seriously mentally ill and can attest that the voices are never supportive but always derogatory, no schizophrenic has ever been told that the dress makes her bum look small or that women like him, ever) but also the head patterns that those of us who are well sink into, wherein we think the types of thoughts that should never be thunk, as no good can possibly come from those types of thoughts.

I'm skipping the tales of those of my people who are dealing with divorce, burying a parent who was not expected to die, and those about to rock (for you guys, well, I salute you. This week I saw a friend of a friend, somebody's old ex, standing on a street corner looking completely bonkers. I once, in a very vague sort of way, saw him at a party and thought, ooh kinda appealing in a skinny bookish man sort of way. I thought he probably made literary jokes and was gentle and kind. I had a conversation with him and thought he was sort of skittish and jumpy, maybe in a literary sort of way but my interest had waned, bookishness or no. I like men who don't skit or twitch, if you know what I mean. He turned out to be an old high school friend of a friend and I now hear something of him every few years. He went on to marry a drop dead gorgeous woman who is quite delightful as I recall from meeting her once at a wedding. He (ahem) went to work at my local public library. See, remember how I knew he was literary? See? Well, he just mighta got lost in the stacks of books for just a little too long. I heard a few years ago that he had dropped into the depths of paranoia, as in believing in black helicopters hovering and CIA operative creeping around behind him and so on. This part would be sad if it were not so funny - I saw him this week wearing one of those captain hats, a military shirt, sunglasses, and holding a corn cob pipe. If he is hiding from the helicopters he isn't very good at going incognito. A day later I watched a woman in a motorized scooter chair fall completely asleep in a public place, to the point where her entire upper body was slumped sideways and her head and arm lolled down like a rag doll. I saw this acquiescence to the pull of the power of the nasty, and it might be the medications or the lack of rest or the general state of unwellbeingness but just for a moment I wanted to be able to be so floppy. I wanted to check out that level of surrender to the forces of gray and rest a while so things didn't seem so big.

My friends and I have bemoaned this problem before - we want to wait for the real grown ups to step in and help us make choices. Where is the person in charge? I am waiting for direction. I don't want to decide that Hannah needs tubes in her ears, since it means for her an actual hospital admission overnight to be on a glucose IV while fasting before the general anesthetic, and then while there we might get an MRI if I play Mama Bear ahead of time and make a zillion phone calls to get the gods of scheduling to put the stars in alignment so we can do that test on the same day and save ourselves a hospital admission. I don't want to have to spend the night there with her but wouldn't dream of leaving her alone there or with her Dad, who will actually sleep on the pull out bed provided and not keep neurotic vigil, like I would. I don't want to keep discussing with my husband if she needs the tubes at all, since he is so laid back he would wait until the roof fell in to think it needed fixing. Who will step in? Who will make the call and make it happen? Me. This is crazy making for me. Most of the time I just step right up but now and then I have an urge to surrender to the pull of do nothingness. And while I am there I might drift away to the land of I am not in charge. But I won't.

So you, my e-peeps, what is giving you the crazy? Are you winning?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Haiku Friday - Claire the Magnificent

She wakes up laughing
ready to go anywhere
until she mood swings

Her eyes like thunder
everything disappoints her
for just ten seconds

Then, happy! happy!
"Where are we going today?"
"Who's coming over?"

Her fanciest moves
from dance class propel her past
and back, arm outstretched

She squeals with her joy
She proclaims heartfelt wonder
the world is all hers

Eats all her dinner
if I give her a good treat
like chocolate pudding

Her legs are so bruised
She needs many Mom kisses
To make owies heal

I tuck her in bed
"mom you're coming back to me
and bringing water"

Happy Friday everytbody see A Mommy Story for more haiku links, or post your own.

Monday, June 15, 2009

photo purse montage

If you find yourselves in need of a blog post, try this meme out. I got it from Jaywalker at Belgian Waffle, who actually had real girl stuff and a ball to play with and who surpassed my slovenly bag contents with . . . leaf mulch . . . and Alexa at Flotsam, whose purse contents were, I thought, notable in that she had multiple objects of sentimental value and she carries a handbag hook one might use to hang her purse from a table. I have one of those, in my armoire. My bag is noteworthy for its high number of products you can use to clean up bodily fluids or produce them, such as a drippy nose, crying eyes, a baby bum or a mommy bum (the flushable wipes I can't live without), a burp rag for oral ooze, three kinds of lip lard in various stages of grittiness (which has nothing to do with the "organic" ingredients), a baby spoon and backup binky. I have a Tide pen for necessary clothing cleanup, SPF 55 kids sunscreen, a strand of pearlish beads, and the sole remaining earpiece of my last pair of sunglasses. I have a toothbrush that I am certain constitutes a health hazard, some prescription drugs for unmentionable conditions and enough bobby pins for an entire updo, despite my lack of long hair. Two out of four pens work, and my albuterol inhaler is currently not expired. Now, both Alexa Flotsam and Jaywalker not just goddesses of the written word but they are vastly more fashionable than I, which is why they both carried actual makeup and girly things. Please don't hold that against me. I have way more Kleenex than either of them, so if you wanted to see a weepy French film you'd be better off with me, and I might be able to save your shirt from the butter stains if you spill your popcorn.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Haiku Friday - Hannah, aged 10 months

She loves her binky
Satisfyingly rigid
So sweet smooth and round

Yah yah yah yah yah
is the sound Hannah can make
When she gnaws so hard

The sharp new front tooth
like a knife on your knuckle
mashes blueberries

Its so nice to chew
She loves the pink disc of peace
and food with texture

See A Mommy Story for more haiku links

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Effing Fabulous

TeacherMommy gave me an award!! And it is both fabulous and profane! So, in order to put it on my blog I will answer the question as required, but because I am kind of lame, I am only giving one answer.

What I am obsessed with:

Blogging: I love it, can't stop, find it eminently fulfilling and thought provoking and soothing.

I love that the rest of you appear to be at least as whacked out as I am. My god, you people make me feel so much better! Every time I read that you can't keep your crap together, I feel so much better about the crap I can't keep together. Are you all aware of the common phobias out there? Not all of us share the same phobias, for example, I don't share the post office fear that many of you have, but try to get me there to drop off bills, well, let's just say I won't get there on time. Not because I am scared but because I am lame. And the blogosphere shows me about how I am just part of our collective lameness. Safety in numbers! Hooray! I loved finding out that others of you can't pay your bills on time, or cash checks you actually have in hand, or like your in laws or answer the phone and on and on. To see further proof, go visit Jaywalker at Belgian Waffle and check out the confessional in particular. Where truth be told, it will come out that some folks do have sexier lives than others, but still, we are pretty similar in our sins of omission and commission. And the rest of her blog will blow mine out of the water but go have a look, you'll see what I mean.

I love your drama. I am sorry about your pain but I love to read about it, even when it makes me cry on a day when I wasn't already full of weepiness. I guess I love the human condition. In the last episode of Buffy (the source of all of the best references) Anya once tells squirelly little Andrew that she loves humans because they just keep trying, even in the face of everything wretched, they just keep going. And so do you! It seems wrong to say it but it is a privilege to observe the courage of the mothers who lose their kids and then have to muster the courage just to go forward, and as they share their anguish the rest of us are compelled to not just to bear witness, but to offer an internet shoulder to cry on or an e-casserole. Really, this part is amazing and until a few months ago I had no idea the internet community was real. Witness a mother recognizing her need to give up drinking, a mother who deals with horrible health issues in her family, or a host of other gut wrenching and life affirming events. And then all that courage of the hilarious and small drama moments, the driving and the parking and the shopping and the spouses and all of that stuff that makes life full. Love it.

Also, I cannot deny that I love it when you aren't in pain. I love the posts dedicated to love for a particular wee human, or pet, or activity, or anything at all. Go see the fabulous Rebecca for an example of bloggers really digging in and loving it without pooping sunshine and bunnies. I enjoy your discourse, when a blogger with a following asks us and then we all chime in and say our piece and link to each other and find more friends. When I am all big and grownup I'll do that too. Just wait! Some of these discussions are thought provoking like Schmutzie's call to wake up about the impact of our insulting language or Her Bad Mother trying to get mommy types to call a truce in the mommy wars of good vs. evil, and some posts just plain crack me up.

Honestly, you are all so much more fun than TV. My husband might regret that I no longer want to watch "our" shows together as I blog away the evenings, but then he gets to have more fun watching Deadliest Catch without me. See, I know how Deadliest Catch episodes will end - a big cold wave washes over a boat pitching and keeling, someone will fall and nearly be washed away and drowned, some fish that were caught will be lost along with some equipment, and everyone will be wet. Now, contrast that with your lives, and really my money is on you for a tale well told, because anything could happen and your eye for detail and way with words will make it come alive for me, and you won't necessarily even be wet and cold! You really are more fun.

Work/life/self balance. Enough about that. It's all over the web and I am making my personal effort to absolve myself of guilt. Enough is enough. I should spend less time blogging. Oops.

Crying kinda blows. I've always known people who say I am lucky to cry and I say nuts to that, it gives me a whanging headache. But when I need to lay out my fears and my whines and my oh fucks I just need to, and when I do it here, you guys don't actually see me cry, which is cool, and you can cry a wee bit while you read it, and then hello, I've just done all kinds of introspective thinking and I haven't had to pay a therapist, take any non-breastfeeding compatible meds or cry quite as much as I would in therapy, and this takes way less time, of which I have little to spare.

You pay attention to me!! Oh thank you. Really, thank you! My own personal audience, I've been waiting for this for years. I am happy to let you laugh at me, hence this post and this post and probably loads more to come, if you'll just keep coming back. I appreciate the comments you leave when I wail about the condition my condition is in, which is harder than some but honestly not all that bad and here I am wanting to go on and on about and right now, you really like me! Thank you.

So now I've let you see what sucked me in to the blogging world, and why I wanted in. When I get around to upgrading my blog, I will create an avatar dooly-do so I when I follow blogs I have a wee face, and um, maybe create a blogroll, and maybe even a masthead with meaning, but, you know, for now I keep reading what you all write, and writing here and then you know, we get sucked into that work/life/self balance all over again and my blog still looks like hell with no personalized masthead.

So, if you follow me, or I follow you, consider yourself fabulous and give yourself this award, from me. Together we rock.

Monday, June 8, 2009


They already know how to do it. They are ready.No one can stop them.
They have a clear agreement to never smile at the same time when Mom has the camera out, ever, and just in case there might be a good picture taken, someone should be ready to stick something in her mouth at the last minute.

This post is dedicated to my sister, with whome I am always in cahoots.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Haiku Friday the third

I am so tired
for a girl who doesn't sleep
sure need ambien

pooped out but present
baby in growth spurt, nicely
my fam plugged along

Thursday rears its head
hernia! Daddy sit down!
now, don't paint the house

my mom sick with angst
Daddy's hernia repaired
she wants him cooking

he drives her places
how is she supposed to go
church, the store, back home

God don't let me get
so slow, old, and decrepit
she is now eighty

the poor man can't rest
or be sick and leave her stuck
then she is helpless

once he gets home soon
she can stare at him, weeping
and calm the heck down

I'll make casseroles
maybe a chicken pot pie
bland and less roughage?

my sister and I
agree, don't let us get old
smother with pillow

It's Friday again, so head over to A Mommy Story and check out the haiku movement and say to yourself, five...seven...five.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tinkle, tinkle from afar

My daughter's physical therapist came to the house for our session today, and of course, I didn't get home early to tidy up before the visit. After I told him that he had apparently been demoted to a person for whom I no longer tidied up, given the frequency of his visits, I gave him the baby and asked him to head downstairs to the family room while I made a bathroom stop. About halfway through what might have been a nice peaceful pee, I remembered that the baby monitor for Hannah's bed is just outside the bathroom door, and everything done in the bathroom can be heard quite clearly in the family room through the monitor. Now, at this point in our lives we just don't have a lot of visitors, or privacy, and certainly not in the bowels of the house, where the receiver is set to loud so we can hear the chirping baby when we spend our few hours downstairs of an evening. I decided it was better to just own up and so I came downstairs and said I was sorry about the oversharing. Mike kindly said he turned the receiver down. He also told me that he would never notice what was found under the sofa cushions should we disassemble my furniture for physical therapy purposes. My mind went towards what I thought we'd find here: popcorn, cheerios, used Kleenex, and small toys. He thought back to finding a crack pipe, and how he and the patient's mom just pretended it hadn't happened. Then I was full of smugness at my virtue in not having any drug paraphernalia and confessing my baby monitor FAIL. Roll of thunder, hear my pee. I'm sayin' it loud! I pee and I'm proud! And, he knows I wash my hands. Don't I just rock? Don't I?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lord Honey and the Gingerlings

Meet Lord Honey. He is so named because he so often freaks me out with his behavior that I often say "Lord, Honey what are you doing??" or perhaps "Lord, Honey will you stop that . . . " Now, shhhhhh, don't tell Lord Honey that his picture went on the blog. Lord Honey is shy. Lord Honey's natural environment does not involve being viewed by complete strangers. Shhhhh. Lord Honey is peaceful when he is not provoked. Shhhhh. Be vewy qwiet. He is hunting Forex tips on the internet.

See the Gingerlings in their natural habitats, exploring their environment and manipulating their handler. Gingerling the first is indeed a lion tamer, while Gingerling the second focuses her efforts on exercise, in preparation for her side job as an aerobics instructor. Ruthless, the both of them.

This post was intended to distract me from my infernal Google searching of things like "hypoglycemia cerebral palsy" and "breast milk smells like eggs" and "penance" and "potty training child small stature." It worked for a little while. I gotta go look into this stinky breast milk thing.

My internet nightmare

Only infrequently do I remember any dream at all. I nearly always have to be awoken in the course of the dream to have any recollection of what I might have been doing (except sex dreams, which I do remember, but right now I don't remember actually doing the deed, let along dreaming about it - my husband and I often remember those pre-baby days so fondly, as we promise to get snuggly again one day, and then promptly pass out holding hands).

Last night I managed to wake up and then panic about the dream I had shaken out of. In my dream I had become an aggressive blog reviewer and swag hag, the kind who gets and gives away piles of tasty woman oriented goods. Now, since none of you know me in real life, you might not know just how far from likely this scenario might be. I am headed to a party where items of fashion and fluffy bath shit will be traded and bandied about, to be held at an exclusive restaurant which will be rented out for the event (this must be directly related to my sister's having taken me to drug rep dinners handed out to the medical profession - its less prostitution-y but I have pretended to be a medical assistant in order to eat the prosciutto with melon appetizers). At my dream giveaway party, there is an item that all the ladies vie for, in some vague undefined party give-away exchange rite involving the swapping of stories and trying to get one's hands on the hot ticket, much like that white elephant party game where everyone tries to get the Chia-pet because the candles are dull. The hot ticket - a brown and turquoise dress and bolero jacket in a wild paisley print. Somehow everyone is leaving and I realize the clothing was left in the party place and I drive back drunk to get it even though it is not my size. I lie to the police about why I went back (claiming medical problems for the restaurant manager, who needed me) and then sneak into my house so my husband won't see the dress.

I woke up feeling thirsty and hungover and needed a Tylenol and a third of an Ambien to get back to sleep.

Does this story have any meaning, you ask? I think I am spooked. I am trying to upgrade my website, but I am slowed down some by my lack of tech skills. And, I am going to put the BlogHer ads and links to the BlogHer network on my site, just as soon as I can manage to work it out. But I THINK, this expresses my concerns about being ethical on my blog. Before you dump me as a sell out, know that my secret wish is to write for children. If I can one day do so, I'll be more proud of that than of anything I've done save create the lovely Gingerlings because I wouldn't be the girl I am now if I hadn't read the books I read in my youth. I see this blog as a stepping stone to my future writing, if for no other reason than to prime the pump and get the words out, but also to be able to perhaps launch into other writing forums because people can see what I do. And then, there is that whole free therapy thing, where you guys let me cry and hold my hair while I vomit and tell me I am good enough, strong enough, and doggone it people like me.

What I love about BlogHer is the links to other blogs in the ad connected "More from BlogHer" section. Like most of you, I have lost hours bouncing from link to link on the strength of blog post titles alone, and really enjoyed myself. So, that is why I'm pursuing it - to link my links with yours and get others linking here. I hope we like it. And I promise to try to keep my wits about me, not wear brown and turquoise paisley, not drive drunk and lie, and to never talk up Ambien unless I really took the Ambien. I did, by the way, and I've not been paid for that.