Sunday, May 31, 2009

Parenting Errors, Part II

Dear Ms. Decker,

Per our letter dated March 15, 2008 you have been monitored in order to assess your continued eligibility for the title of Mom. We regret to inform you that you have been placed on probation, effective today. This probation is a direct result of the Parenting Errors (PEs) you have made in the last week (we usually expect the severity and frequency of these errors to be spread over years. yes, year with an 's').

Below are the PEs that have either been reported to us or observed by us:

1. You observed your daughter taking food out of the dog's mouth and then eating it. Not only did you do nothing to stop this, you did not react with appropriate levels of disgust.

2. While supposedly 'watching' your daughter and checking your email, your daughter opened the dishwasher, took out two paring knives, and began to dance around with them. While this does demonstrate adequate development of your daughter's fine and gross motor skills, it does not reflect well on your skills as a mother.

3. You have been observed driving around town with your daughter while listening to 'Gettin' Jiggy Wit It' by William Smith and 'Add it Up' by the Violent Femmes. These songs are simply not appropriate for children under the age of 16.

4. Your mothering skills at the pool have been a travesty and are a true embarrassment to us. Upon the first visit to the pool you neglected to bring any pool toys whatsoever. Upon the second visit to the pool your daughter did a face plant in the baby pool. Twice. Clapping and saying 'Yay!' once you picked her up out of the water did not convince anyone that what had occurred was fun or a good idea.

5. Your child has been seen wearing the same onsie two days in a row. Frequently.

6. Your daughter has chicken at at least 10 of her meals a week. Please be more creative in the kitchen. Please note: Goldfish crackers are not an acceptable side item at every meal.

7. You have allowed your daughter to climb on the kitchen island shelf, a rocking chair, up onto an end table, and onto the 'adult chair' in the play room. Your child then fell off of the adult chair, rocking chair, and kitchen island shelf. You framed these falls as 'lessons on gravity'. We here at the Organization for the Protection of Basic Parenting Skills feel that it is perhaps you that needs a lesson in gravity.

8. Your daughter burned her hand on a light bulb. We would recognize your improvement that at least you were in the same room when it happened (unlike the above chair incidents), but this only underscores your utter failing as a mom.

9. On more than one occasion you have suggested that Zoey go show her book to the dog so that you can check Facebook.

As a result of your probation, you will be re-enrolled in our Basic Parenting Skills class and will be assigned a case manager. If you have questions or concerns please contact me at the below address.

Sincerely,

Priscilla F. Perfect
Organization for the Protection of Basic Parenting Skills
100 Blissful Way
Nashville, TN


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jesus, Bowling, and Mean Mommy Bloggers

Do you want to know why my last two posts sucked? Do you? It's because I've been trying not to write this whiney, cynical post. And I don't think that's even how one spells 'whiney'. Consider yourself warned.

For starters, Niki and Charlotte are out of town. Visiting another baby. Gasp! How could they do this to us? The other baby happens to be Niki's twin sister's new baby, so I guess we should cut them some slack. Operative word being should. Even if we did cut them some slack, Niki is still not sending pictures like SHE SAID SHE WOULD. As if that's not bad enough, since Niki isn't here to hang out with and isn't sending pictures for me to look at, Zoey and I were forced to go to the pool yesterday BY OURSELVES. Zoey's loser mom didn't even think to bring toys to the pool*, so we had to make 'friends' with a Good Mom who did have a plethora of pool toys. This mom also happened to be a bible-beater-you-are-going-to-hell-if-you-don't-go-to-my-church type. People, I had to talk about JESUS while AT THE POOL. Don't get me wrong, Jesus was a groovy guy. I even sort of like the sentiment of Jesus as the first social worker. If Jesus is your savior, that's fine by me. Just don't tell me he has to be mine. And please, please, for the love of god, don't tell me I'm going to hell. Basically, I think Jesus and hell just aren't appropriate pool talk. For once, I think Miss Manners might agree with me. I mean, can't we talk about the weather, or how cute our kids are, or how the lifeguard has no control as evidenced by pre-teen boys throwing chairs into the pool?

Kara left this morning for a funeral. I can't hold a funeral against her but I can say that I am no good without our runs. You think I have a teensy bit of rage now, while I've been able to run and have my chats with Kara? Wait a few days. Feel sorry for Demetri. Very very sorry. And yes, I can run without her, but it doesn't hold the same therapeutic value. Plus my knee hurts.

Up next on my list: Demetri worked from 8 AM to 8 PM yesterday. They're having some kind of in-town leadership 'retreat'. He also got to eat at a fancy restaurant for dinner. Me? I had half a PB&J. And today? While we're still home ALONE? He's going bowling. Yes, bowling. Really, it's "team building", but who are they kidding? It's team building disguised as WILD FUN THAT I DON'T GET TO HAVE. I suspect they are also going to have brownies after lunch but I'm trying not to think too much about that. Otherwise what is the point of going on?

Lastly, I've HAD IT with mean mommy bloggers. HAD IT. Seriously dude, it's bringing me way down. I actually had to remove a couple of bloggers from My Heroes list. It made me sad to do it but I just can't take any more of moms railing on other moms or on me. Is it really your job to tell me breast is best? I know for certain it's not your job to tell me that I should have used donated breast milk. There are just some things I don't like to use from others: underwear, a toothbrush, and now I am adding breast milk. And do we really need to blame the bad behavior of legal adults on the mother? Can't we blame the legal adults? Or BOTH parents? Or can't we write about stuff other than how every one else is a crappy mom? Do you really need to tell me that because I only have one kid I don't get 'it' (it being parenting)? Um . . . have you met me? Have you met my kid? What I really want from the mommy blogs I read is humor, honesty, and a sense that I'm not alone in my day to day struggles. You meany-pants mommy bloggers can SUCK IT.

What I want, what I really really want, is my pit crew** back. Niki and Charlotte to play, laugh, and commiserate with. The grandparents to get advice from, go to the pool with, and just have around. Kara to run and talk with. Demetri home before dinner with hugs and stories from his day. And I want my usual blogger life lines: Motherhood Uncensored, Finslippy, Looky Daddy. In the meantime, we are heading out to Publix to do some shopping . . . and to talk to anyone who makes eye contact with us.

*If The Grandparents had been in town surely they would have known to bring toys. But no. They are out of town too.
** I got this term form Anne Lamott -- meaning the people who take care of us and get us through our days.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Animals Weigh In

Gilmore: Zoey's awake!! Yay! Zoey! Zoey! Can I smell your butt? And lick your feet? Yay Zoey! Where are ya goin'? Can I come? Let's go in the play room! Yay! Wanna bite my ears? Yay! Wanna sit on my back? Bounce on my belly? Yay! Wanna pull out my fur? Wanna drool on me? Yay! Oooh! You're in your high chair! I love it when you give me cheerios! And grapes! And graham crackers! And whatever that was that just came out of your mouth! Yum! You're my bestest friend ever!



Boomer: Oh dear god. That Thing is still here. It does not amuse me. Why is It not intimidated by me? Does It not know that 5 of my 6 ends are sharp and pointy? Why must It follow me? Why must It try and 'pet' me? It is not schooled in Swedish massage techniques and is an insult to my very existence. It should not be allowed near me. It should go without saying that I can't be bothered to move away from It because of my vast superiority. That Thing has poor personal hygiene and can not be tolerated. How will I survive another day with It?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

(A non-post post of all things random)

1. Over the weekend I was talking with a fabulous woman who had on a pair of fabulous bright red heels. I complemented her on her footwear and she said, "I always have to have a pair of red shoes in my closet -- they make me happy. " I decided that I, too, must have a pair of shoes that make me happy. Especially since the only shoes I've bought in the past TWO years are two pairs of running shoes. I don't wear heels, so my new happy shoes are a pair of pink chucks. Aren't they great? (That is a rhetorical question. If you don't like 'em, I don't wanna know).




2. Yesterday I failed as a mom as evidenced by Zoey burning her hand on a light bulb and falling out of a chair. I was in the room for both mishaps. Demetri tried to re-frame my failures as 'Important Lessons That Zoey Must Learn' but I was still feeling pretty bad about it. Until I read the below facebook status update from Corey* (Hi Corey!), Charlotte's dad:

While on my watch, Charlotte bit the head off a snail. Great. How do you think Niki's gonna react?

Then, as they say, I LMAO and felt a wee bit superior. For .2 seconds when the bulb burning and chair falling all came rushing back. You can read more juicy details of the snail tasting here.

3. I love, adore, worship, revere, and am madly jealous of this post about Disney princesses.

4. Zoey has entered Climbing Phase. This does not please me.

5. This week we have been or will be deserted by Niki and Charlotte, The Grandparents, and Kara. It's not looking good for our survival. Call us! Email us! Serenade us! We are lonely. (sniffle, sniffle).

* It should be noted that Corey is a great dad and wonderful friend to our family. Even though he let CJ eat a snail. And it should also be noted that now we have something to tease him about. Until we do something worse. Which will be any day now.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Silver Thread

Last week at Gymboree there was a parachute catastrophe. Well, maybe not a catastrophe, per se . . . maybe more like a debacle. It was a big class -- 20 or more kids (including Charlotte), plus their 'accompanying adult' (including Niki). It was such a big class that the big parachute* was taken out. The parachute is supposed to be the highlight of every class. It is supposed to be the most fun. And we, as accompanying adults, are supposed to think it's the cutest thing. Ever.

So there we are: 20 kids and at least 20 adults, all abuzz with big parachute excitement. We get to the part where the kids are supposed to sit in the middle of the chute while we, the accompanying adults, lift up the edges, walk in a circle, and sing a song about a monkey. But this time, there were so many kids, that they were scattered all over the parachute. So when we lifted up the edges a bunch of kids (Zoey among them) went tumbling into the center. The highly trained Gymboree teacher assured us this was OK. Although it seemed less OK to me as the kids continued to tumble over each other. It was a giant pile of babies -- which might have been cute if many of the babies hadn't been screaming. Zoey among them.

Zoey looked up at me from the center of the melee, tears streaming down her face, and wailed, "Na-na!" ** My vision tunneled, and there was only Zoey, scared and needing me. At that moment if anyone has gotten in my way they would have been leveled. Leveled. Her little butterfly of a hand closed around my index finger and that invisable, silver thread that always connects us, always pulls her back to me -- touching or not, became steel. Just as I was about to do a slow motion, layout jump into the parachute screaming, "GET AWAY FROM MY BABY", Niki grabbed Zoey's other hand and we pulled her out. *** We will be getting a bronze statue of Niki installed in our front yard later in the week.

This 9 seconds was one of the most intense and best experiences of my Reign as Mom so far. I can say 'best' because a) no one was hurt and b) Niki prevented me from making a fool of myself. Another reason I can say 'best' is because there was a time I didn't know if I had the capacity to do what I did -- the tunnel vision, mama bear thing.

Did I love Zoey the first moment we met her? Yes. Did I feel connected to her? Not so much . . . I felt overwhelmed and scared and like I had to hold part of myself back in case the adoption didn't work out. Even after she was legally ours, I felt 'other' and wrong and like I wasn't the good enough mother. Post-partum/post-adoption depression is real. Hormonal, situational, whatever. It's a dark and lonely place to be. And it's one hell of a hole to climb out of.

But deep in that muddy, messy hole is where I started to weave that silver thread. I often fumbled it, had to tie knots, had to start over. It's hard to weave when you can't see. But I got better at it -- learned to go by touch, by heart. The thread got longer and stronger and I climbed up to the light. I climbed out of the hole and was ready to kick ass at Gymboree for that same little baby I used to hold at night, numb, thinking You don't know me.

Zoey's little butterfly hand is getting bigger and bigger. Already, sometimes instead of reaching for me, she swats me away. Even though that silver thread will have to get longer and longer -- maybe even stretch across continents -- that thread is forever. And we both know it.

* For those of you not familiar with Gymboree, the appropriate response to the big parachute is 'Oooooh! Ahhhhhh! Ohhhhh!'.
** The fact that she can't yet say Mama is the subject for another (bitter) post.
*** Charlotte was unharmed and remained very serene during the parachute madness


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The B Word

The scene: Joslyne has just returned from a run and spies a lot of shredded tissues under the kitchen table. She points it out to Demetri.

Demetri: Uh-oh. Did that happen while I was babysitting?

Joslyne: What?

Demetri: Did that happen while I was ba -- uh-oh.

Joslyne: While you were WHAT? What exactly?

Demetri: While I was looking after our child's needs like a father does and should and definitely not babysitting.

Joslyne: Better.

Demetri: You're still upset...?

Joslyne: (stony silence)

Demetri: Gah! FINE! You can blog about it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mom Goodness

I think I'm scaring the crap out of one of my BFF's who is in pursuit of momhood. I mean, I can see how all my being-a-mom-is-so-frickin'-hard talk/postings/venting may be scary. So, behold!, a post (and pictures!) about some of the good things about being a mom.

1. Babies basically come with (read as: people will give you) lots of cool bath toys. You too can use them when you take a bath!



2. You can wield your staggering power (and creative genius) as a mother and dress your baby however you want.



3. Your cute baby will have cute baby friends so you are assured to get your cuteness quota each and every day.



4. Baby feet. Who can get enough of them? They are good for tickling, zerberting, and gently chewing on.



5. Babies (if in the mood) can be easily amused. This makes you, the amuser, feel like the funniest, smartest, most beauteous person in all the world.



6. Baby faces. Babies make great faces. And some babies have very squeezable cheeks.


7. Similar to #2, babies are really the only beings that should be wearing ruffle-butted anything. And YOU can make that happen.


8. Babies are always doing surprising and amusing things. Like making soup of themselves.


9. Babies have cute, soft, baby bellies. And they like to show them off. It makes a mother proud.

10. You get to buy the ginormous box of goldfish and partake in the eating of the yummy, cheesy deliciousness without feeling guilty.



11. Your baby will reach for your hand and (sometimes) you will hope the sidewalk never ends just so you don't have to let go.


12. Cute baby pajamas. Some of them even have feet!

13. What is cuter than baby curls?



14. Little baby diaper butts will make you say things like cutie-wootie-woo-woo; your vocabulary expands and becomes increasingly creative.


15. You will have a fan, a groupie, an admirer extraordinaire and you will be looked at like this (often):

More positivity and mom wonderfulness to come!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

demetri

This is probably not the best way to begin a conversation with one's kind, loving, involved husband: "Just so you know I have large amounts of internal rage -- and it's mostly directed at you." Thankfully, I followed this great conversation starter with "I know my rage is waaaay disproportionate to what's going on . . . BUT I CAN'T HELP IT." Then I cried.

The 'final straw' to my boiling over with rage involved grapes. The night before at dinner I had gotten up 3 different times to get Zoey more food, cut it up into a bazillion pieces, and then watch her throw most of it on the floor. I was sick of cutting up grapes and I just wanted to sit and eat my dinner which was still mostly untouched. Demetri was sipping his wine, was mostly done with his dinner, and hadn't yet been up to get Zoey more food. And I was pissed. Now I knew, I knew for certain, that if I asked Demetri to prepare Zoey more food he would do it. He would even do it gladly. But I didn't want to ask; I just wanted it to happen. So instead of asking Demetri for help, I turned up the heat on the already boiling red rage inside me. Over cutting up more grapes.

For me, asking for help (in some cases) seems to imply that it's my primary responsibility. And yes, I know this is a tad bit crazy. I should be able to ask for help. I need to be able to ask for help. I do for many things. I ask for help with code brown diapers ("Oh good god! Can you hand me some more wipes please!") and with baths ("Ok you distract her while I rinse the shampoo out."). But there are some things it makes me CRAZY to ask for help with (feeding, dressing, nap time). A good friend articulated it well when she said, "I shouldn't have to ask my husband to look after our baby's basic needs."

Before everyone gets all upset, Yes, I stay home while Demetri goes to work. He goes to work to provide for my needs and Zoey's needs. He does a lot more than meet our basic needs. We have comforts and luxuries (like 4 different strollers and bags of Dove chocolate) because of his hard work. He mows the lawn (and does poop patrol before hand). He fixes leaky things in the house. He takes the recycling. He shares in the cooking. He takes the trash out. He waters the plants. He vacuums. He does a million other things I take for granted.

I stay home and Demetri goes to work. And that right there skews the child care responsibilities significantly. As it should. My job is Zoey. My job is not cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc. Demetri has always been very clear about that. I, on the other hand, have a lot of guilt about that. As a Women's Studies minor and a forever feminist, I have guilt about the guilt. Very productive, I know.

But just like Demetri is glad when his work day ends, I look forward to that too. I look forward to not being The Mom In Charge Of All Things Zoey. This, I think, is where it all goes to hell. We both need and deserve a break. Demetri comes home tired but happy to see us. When he gets home I'm ready to hand Zoey off and take off for a run. Not so fair to him. And not so fair to me if I have to keep being the Mom In Charge.

For the record, I routinely run 4 times a week. Usually after Demetri gets home. My husband has my back. He'll even tell me I look sexy in my running clothes before I slam the door on my way out. He has never been bitter about my running. Not once.

So what is my problem? Why all the rage? Demetri's cousin, Damaris (Hi Damaris!), sent me a great book that is helping me navigate it. Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman. Go buy it. Now. I'll wait. (hmmm hmmm la la la). Okay? Okay. My 'problem' is that being a SAHM (or SAHD) is hard and mind numbing and tiring and lonely and filled with failure and judged harshly by others* and doesn't invole much (or any?) positive recognition and we won't know if we're doing a good job for years. And I'm just so tired. And I also do a million things that are taken for granted.

The good news? My rage was met with understanding. Demetri has been making a HUGE effort to notice Zoey's needs. We now alternate putting her to bed and getting her food for dinner. We talk more about who does what and why. We both try and give each other some down time and space. We make a point of all playing together and having a dance party before bed. Do I still have rage? Sure, moments of it. But less of it is directed at Demetri and less of it is directed at myself. And that seems like progress.

*This week there seems to be an unusual amount of mommy blogs ripping down other moms either in the post or the comments. I'm SO SICK OF IT. Can't we all just high five each other for doing the best we can? PLEASE!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Praise to the Cake God

As if my ego wasn't already big enough from RUNNING A HALF MARATHON, I am still feeling quite smug from throwing Zoey a successful first birthday party. This is no joke people. Birthdays are hard work. If there was such a thing as a mom resume, successful birthdays would be HUGE. Markers of major achievement! Evidence of highly specialized skills! Proof of tremendous intellect! Especially when one's husband cancels TWO cake orders and then decides to make the cake himself.

Now, I'll spare you the suspense and tell you the cake turned out great. Wonderful even. But we had quite a few 'discussions' about it, if you know what I mean. I pretty much lost all the 'discussions'. So much so, that I was dragged against my will to Bed Bath & Beyond three nights before the party to purchase "professional cake making supplies" (i.e.-frosting tubes and tips). In the car I was forced to listen to a one way conversation about "cake crumb strength" and "icing consistency". In the store I had to put on my patient face while my dear husband read every box/book/pamphlet about cake decorating. And then I had to pretend to seriously debate the merits of the 3 cake decorating kits he was deciding between.

As a result of our 'discussions' it was decided that I would have nothing to do with the cakes or cake decorating. I have an extremely low frustration tolerance for all things culinary and we agreed that my special skills would best be used entertaining Zoey during all the cake madness. Except that, while my husband has numerous wonderful talents, time estimation is not one of them. When he tells me something will take X amount of time. I double it. And then add a bit more. So while Demetri estimated that he could bake 3 cakes, cool them, shape them, frost and decorate them in about 2 hours, I thought not.

In an effort to make up for some of my less that stellar moments during the Cake Discussions ("WHYCAN'TWEJUSTBUYTHESTUPIDCAKE?!?!?! DON'TYOULOVEYOURDAUGHTERENOUGHTOBUYHERACAKEONHERFIRSTBIRTHDAY?"). I offered to bake the 3 cakes during the day while Demetri was at work. With the help of the trusty red Betty Crocker box of course. I baked for 3 hours. That is a major record for me. At the time I thought, There should be a parade in my honor. I should be given a medal. My picture should be on the Wheaties box.

But then Demetri shaped, frosted (with frosting made from scratch), decorated, and in general did amazing things for 3 hours. THREE HOURS. He even made a little yellow duck with an orange beak out of frosting. OUT OF FROSTING PEOPLE! Really the parade should be for Demetri. And instead of just feeling smug about the successful party, I'm feeling pretty gosh darn smug that I have a kind, smart, creative and cake-decorator-GOD for a husband.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Poopy-schmoopy and Pride

So a few days ago I reached a new mom milestone. And, as one might gather from the title of this post, it involves poop. And, as one might further gather, I am going to share this wonderful and monumentus moment with you.* Because you are beautiful and smart and oh so thin and the nicest person in the whole wide world (and will now be racked with guilt if you don't continue reading).

I was changing Zoey's diaper. It was a Code Brown with a major poop log. Somehow between tranferring the dirty diaper to the trash, wiping, creaming, and putting on a new diaper, the poop log rolled out of the diaper and got wedged between the changing pad and the raised edge of the changing table. Except I didn't notice. For quite a while. I did, however, keep thinking I can still smell it . . . How odd . . . When I did discover the log some time later, I wasn't even mildly horrified. In fact, I almost picked it up with MY BARE HANDS. But didn't. At the last second. When I did pick it up WITH SOME TISSUES, not only was I not grossed out, I was sort of facinated. I mean there were peas and carrots and beans, WHOLE beans, in there. It seemed like something astronauts would eat -- a meal all packed into one freeze dried nurti-log. Except this was a little too damp to be freeze dried. . .

Ahem! ANYWAY. I feel sure that moms the world over have had this same experince.** A mom is a mom is a mom. It takes a lot more than mere poop to gross us out. Ha HA! I am now officially part of the Real Moms Club. I accept my membership with pride.

* Please note that I am kindly not providing a picture for this post.

**If you've had this experince, SHARE! Otherwise, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF and don't rain on my parade.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All about ME

So you may have noticed that I have not blogged about the half marathon yet. Partly, because I'm sad it's over. And partly because I'm proud of my accomplishment. Well DUH! one might say. But I'm a little too proud and I was trying trying to shield you from my bragging sickness.

Any and all frames in our house are being filled up with pictures from the half. Who cares about our wedding, the adoption of a baby, a beloved (but dead) grandparent? I RAN A HALF MARATHON. Look! Here I am sitting in traffic on the way to the race! And here I am putting on my race number! Oh! And here I am in line for the port-a-pottie! You may have to step back to get a good view of this wall mural but here I am RUNNING A HALF MARATHON.

Tragically, the madness doesn't stop there. Oh no. I have been wearing my finishers medal around the house. While reading. While vacuuming. While Facebooking. I might be wearing it right now . . . In a supreme act of self control I have yet to wear the medal out of the house. But that might be next as I think it will go nicely with the shirt I got for RUNNING A HALF MARATHON.

When I got my hair cut last week I said, "I want more layers because I RAN A HALF MARATHON." At the store when they asked, "Paper or plastic?" I said, "I brought my own bags and I RAN A HALF MARATHON." Friends, relatives, and those unfortunate enough to make eye contact with me have had to hear all the grueling details: And then, at mile nine, I dropped my chap stick! I hung up all the signs people made to cheer me on in the closet right at eye level. Each time Demetri wants to get dressed he is assaulted by neon signs reading Run Joslyne Run! I didn't wash my arm with 13.1 temporary tattoo for days and I pushed my sleeve up when out in public just so people would see it and know that I RAN A HALF MARATHON.

So, in case you were wondering: I RAN A HALF MARATHON. I finished. I didn't puke. And lucky for you, I have absolutely no desire to run a full marathon. Because, you know, then I would be insufferable.

Monday, May 4, 2009

One Year

I remember the call at 7:53 AM: "You can come to Connecticut get your baby girl." I remeber not breathing. Then chaos. Getting the last two seats on the next flight, throwing dirty clothes into a suitcase, packing a baby bag. I remeber looking at one of the diapers -- could anything really be that small? I called Victoria from the car to tell her we were on our way. She sounded tired, very tired. I sounded frantic, giddy.

At the airport I clutched the baby bag, I wouldn't let it out of my sight. On the plane Demetri and I held hands, skimmed a book about babies, made a list of names. We stopped in Chicago and split a turkey sandwhich -- lettuce and tomato on my half, onions and hot peppers on his. We flew on. Demetri's mom met us at the airpirt with a car seat. She had tears in her eyes. Our rental car smelled like smoke and we drove with all the windows down.

We got to the hospital at 8:04 PM. It was big and brick and had smoke satcks. On the 5th floor behind the glass in the nursery there were two babies . . . Calls were made and we waited waited waited. Then they turned a baby to face us, our baby. She was there, inches away from us -- pinched face with red cheeks, eyes squeezed shut. The nurse picked her up and plucked off her tiny striped hat and Oh! the hair! Lots and lots of straight back hair. Then the nurse peeled away the blanket so we could see our little girl's tiny hands, chicken legs, and fragile little belly.

Later they brought us back to a room. I remember washing my hands and feeling responsible -- like a parent. They wheeled her in. I wasn't sure how to scoop her up out of her little plastic tub. But then, there she was, the little burrito baby in my arms, sleeping. She rested her head on my chest like she knew me.

The nurse taught us to feed her from a tiny tiny bottle -- we looked for little air bubbles to see if she was drinking. I tried to burp her by gently tapping her back with my index finger. The nurse smiled and laughed and told me I wouldn't break her. But didn't the nurse know? Didn't the whole world know? This was the most precious, most important thing I had ever been given.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Locked Out

Last night Demetri and I were presented with a unique and amazing opportunity. A once in a lifetime opportunity even. Picture it: Demetri's mom, Nancy, (who flew into town yesterday) and my parents were all sitting out on the porch. They asked if Zoey and Gilmore could go out and sit with them. So they were all out there and Demetri and I were in here. Alone. With only the cat to take care of. So we did what any self-respecting parents would do. We locked all the doors. Or rather I locked all the doors while Demetri laughed manically.

But the grandparents didn't notice. They were too busy applauding Zoey's very existence and telling each other how genius she is. My dad has been known to say with total sincerity, "Look at that! Zoey is holding her sippy cup upside down. That child is AMAZING."

So while the grandparents continued to not notice us, we lounged on the couch, soaked up the silence, and, wait for it, HELD HANDS. It was one of the few times that 3 or more of our collective hands were not busy wiping a snotty nose, changing a diaper, making dinner, cleaning up some kind of mess, holding Zoey, or holding a beer.

And the grandparents continued to not notice. Demetri began to worry that if they ever did figure out the doors were locked that my parents would take Zoey back to their place and, not having room for a fourth in their small car, leave Nancy for dead in our back yard. I had to admit that it was a possibility. I mean, my parents adore Nancy, but Zoey is number one. Even I, their only daughter, am a very very distant second. We could both picture my parents loading Zoey into the car, waving goodbye to Nancy and saying, "Hope it doesn't storm too bad tonight."

My kind husband began to contemplate unlocking the doors. So I tackled him. And while I had him pinned to the ground I explained that SOMETIMES I DON'T WANT TO BE A MOM AND ALWAYS HAVE MY NEEDS BE LAST AND HAVE SOMEONE CLINGING TO MY PANTS FOR ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION AND I CAN'T FEED MYSELF OR SLEEP OR PEE WHEN I WANT TO BECAUSE THIS OTHER LITTLE PERSON NEEDS ME ALL THE TIME AND SOMETIMES IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I CAN'T BREATH AND SOMETIMES IT MAKES ME CRY BECAUSE IT'S SO HARD AND I CAN'T LEAVE THE ROOM WITHOUT A CERTAIN SOMEONE SCREAMING AND SOMETIMES I DON'T WANT TO SING ALL 8 MILLION VERSES OF MISS AMERICAN PIE TO GET HER TO GO TO SLEEP AND SOMETIMES I DON'T WANT TO CUT UP HER FOOD INTO 1000 LITTLE PIECES I JUST WANT TO EAT MY FOOD AND SOMETIMES I DON'T WANT TO CHANGE ANOTHER POOPY DIAPER OR STICK A THERMOMETER UP HER LITTLE BUTT OR GIVE HER A BATH OR CLIP HER NAILS OR READ THE PICTURE DICTIONARY ONE MORE TIME OR DO A MILLION OTHER THINGS THAT I AM SUPPOSED TO DO EVERY DAY AND THAT I AM SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD AT BUT OFTEN FEEL BAD AT AND AND AND AND.

In the end, we let Nancy back in because we love her. And we let Zoey in too because we can't imagine life without her. We can vividly imagine a weekend without her, but not our life. So now we do what any self respecting parent does: keep going.