Saturday, February 7, 2009

Always, with the sickness!

I wish life came with a button I could press and everything would just stop for a minute or two. Or fifteen. So I could pee, or get a sandwich or maybe just cough my fucking lungs out.

Being sick sucks.

What does this have to do with motherhood? Everything. Cause when you cough at night so hard you make the walls shake, you wake the (also sick) toddler. Who then wants his most comforting comfort: mama's milk. Which you would want to, if you could have something that warm and satisfying when your chest feels like a pile of cold dog shit that's been stepped in by fifteen different people and dragged all around the block.

But the mama who provides said milk also feels like said shit, so...

"Life is pain, princess. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something."
~ The Princess Bride

Monday, February 2, 2009

This is why Woman invented the Mommyblog

Scene: Crowded suburban kitchen. Decor 1970s but dress is contemporary.

MAMA & POPS are in the kitchen teaming on pizza creation.

MOLLYBIRD: "Can I help?"
POPS: "Sure. Bring in the chair."

MOLLYBIRD drags/pushes a full-size adult chair into the tiny kitchen. MAMA & POPS finish the pizza and MAMA puts it in the oven. As they wait, MOLLYBIRD climbs onto chair and starts to sing and dance:
"Robot makin' pancakes on the roo-oof
Robot makin' pancakes on the roo-oof, yeah man!
Pop 'em in the o-ven for to-nigh-ight
Shake your booty behind your bu-utt
Shake your booty 'hind your bu-utt"

MAMA & POPS laugh until they nearly pee. MAMA suggests a synth-pop accompaniment, possibly trip-hop. MAMA & POPS continue to watch the concert, in spasms of laughter.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blogger FAIL!

Here we have a beautiful, awesome blog. And two mamas who are totally into the idea of imperfect parenting... and then there is me, who is just TOTAL FAIL when it comes to maintaining more than one blog. (I also let my son's blog go to seed...)

January resolution: I am going to reaffirm my commitment to this blog. I shall post at least once a week. I shall fail and bounce back!

This week's imperfection: I could not let my husband handle one night on his own. For fuck's sake! I have been the go-to night parent for so fucking long, and I couldn't just try to see if my husband could handle one night? I am afraid of becoming my mother, afraid of abandoning my child, afraid of being abandoned all over again...

My triumph is that I am considering going away for a weekend by myself. I haven't committed to it (we're still maybe going as a family) but I think that going on my own would be a Very Good Thing. Totally wabi sabi because I will be terrified at the huge change, but... I need it. And Rems could use a lot more daddy time.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Imperfect Podcasting: Night Issues

I recorded the only-second-ever Wabi Sabi Mamas podcast, mostly for Thordora:) I talk about night weaning success-in-progress and older munchkins' waking problems.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

... And a Status Report from the Land of Triangle Family

Firstly, with the exception of increasingly-spaced twinges of pumpkin-belly-missing, I am so on board with the single child plan. Triangle Family it is- so be it.

I'm calling night-weaning a success-in-progress. She still asks to nurse when she wakes (if she wakes, and lo! there are nights when she doesn't) but accepts the new rule: there are no nummins when the sun's down. Several clever family members and friends have observed that I sneakily chose the rule knowing the sun is waning and I predict she'll slowly wean by Winter Solstice. Now that I'm sleeping, I'm feeling a great deal more flexible about when/if/how/whatever to completely wean. I love that she's able to participate in this transition. It was a stroke of genius to find a time frame she can observe herself. I think I stole the idea from Martha Sears, but let's just credit my sun-worshiping pagan self, OK?

Ongoing thing: Single motherhood with a father in the house. The Bird will not let him coparent. Nor is he allowed to touch me affectionately in her presence. Observe:

Bu: *hugs and kisses me* "Love you."
Birdy: "Noooo!!!! MY mama!"
Bu: "Yes, honey, but she's my wife, too. I love Mommy too."
Birdy: "No! MY Yife!

All day Sunday I was her mommy AND her "yife." Meh. At least it was highly amusing, as was Bu saying, "You're a baby. You don't have a wife yet." (Not sure if this was silliness, or pro-LGBT language to please and entertain me, or if he didn't even notice...)

Adorableness aside, it's really frustrating both of us that she won't interact with Bu as much as she will me. We are both charmed by her new preference for being home with us. Since she's been in the grandies' care since almost birth during the work week, she's always been very attached to them. It's kind of a little parenting ego boost for us now that she blisses out when we pick her up. She says "My house! I home! Boo home!" and it's like Neverland with chocolate sprinkles or something.

Speaking of Neverland, I'm reinventing it with such wild artistic license Mr. Barry would either shudder with disgust or lavish me with praise... maybe both. We have no Peter Pan books in the house (which is a sacrelige) but I showed the baby a few minutes of the movie. She loves the story but the movie's too scary. She asks for a Pan story every night, so I get to exercise my inventiveness while she drifts to sleep.

Right now, the overall mood is a seesaw one between glowing, self-congratulatory awe and O Plz Goddess don't let us throttle the toddler. We're riding it, it's cool.

Mother Stories Are Their Stories, Too.

I just started a perfectly innocuous post, but deleted the draft immediately. My head filled with the blogger worries I know trouble so many parenting writers. It's not necessarily the safety issues that are weighing on me, although these are of concern, but I'm thinking of respect and self-determination and privacy. As the Bird grows, what will she feel about my writing about her life as if those stories are my own? Will it devalue her experiences for her if I share them so publicly? I've always written- first in notebooks and now online- that writing is my only way to process my experiences. It makes them more real, more valuable, more deeply mine to frame them in words, to craft exactly the language that reflects my experience of the memory. In doing that with Molly's babyhood, I'm documenting for her as much as I am reaching out desperately to other moms for support and community. As she grows, though, and is capable of making her own story-memories, what is the impact of my simultaneously broadcasting these stories? At what age is it appropriate and necessary to ask her permission and blessing to write about her?

I was pining for BlogHer this year more than the last two years since I'd first heard of the conference. I'm tackling blogging issues in a few different ways, and I'd love to meld minds with other writers in this still-strange new world. The conference this year featured a panel called Public Parenting and Privacy. (Links to good notes from an attendee's blog.)

It looks like some interesting topics were raised and debated, but I don't know if the philosophical nature of my worries came up. I haven't really seen this addressed in mothering or fathering blogs. It's probably an issue I'll revisit in the near future as I work through this.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Weaning Theory Part 1: The Summit and the Wisdom of Doc G.

The Bu and I held another Parenting and Wellness Summit in our Art + Junk Room. As all such meetings have been, it was chaired by Mr. E after finding his Mz. R.E. in full-on wigging mode while attempting to sketch a little bit during the Our Miss E.'s nap. Like all Parenting and Wellness talks, the conclusion reached is that a massive amount of my stress is due to sleep issues. The only strategy that seems available to us is to night wean at the least. The mister is gently lobbying for a total embargo of boobie exports to babybellyland in order to bolster relations between the elder E's and create a New Sleep Deal for mama.

As most weaning discussions happen on days of strung-out craziness, my side of the dialogue is a tearful chaos of IDUNNOWHATTODO! Only that's the crazy talking because it's clear what I need to do:
  1. Determine if, indeed, my own sanity is a priority. If yes, then
  2. Realize I must wean her at night.
OK. Only I don't know hoooowwwww. But that's more crazy, because, my doods, I totally did it. Successfully. I then caved during a tummy bug and nursed her back to health and back to our time-honored habit of night wakings. My tactic was Dr. Gordon's plan, which is tailored for crunchy, weepy, worn-the-fuck-out, toddler-nursing mommy-messes. His plan has logical steps and gentle, supportive language and theory. It worked beautifully at 18 months. I'm a little fretful that my 27 month old will be a harder sell, but I'll get into that in my next weaning post. I have several. Perhaps, for balance, Lexi can weigh in on life as a toddler nurser who does not have Teh Crazy?