Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cool Moms Care: PPD - Reach for the Light

This week's Cool Moms Care post is up. I'm just a little ray of sunshine this week - I wrote about Postpartum/post-adoption depression. It's an important topic so click here to read it. Share your own experiences. REACH OUT.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"We"


Apparently, Zoey and I have become a unit, a single entity. Like Brangelina, but less hip and with less skeezy facial hair. I catch my self saying things like, "We're working on sharing" and "We just started potty training." And yet I know how to share (Demetri may be laughing his shapely ass off right now). And I know how to use the potty. It is, in fact, my lovely daughter who is learning to do these things. I am already a functional member of society; I don't walk around with crap in my pants or hit people on the head when they so much as look at my My-Pretty-Pony.

But I am a SAHM. I spend almost all day every day with Zoey. And somehow, with all that time spent being Zozo's mom, I have lost some of who I am. I love my daughter and I would gladly give up at least half of who I am for her, maybe even more. It's when I start giving up all of who I am that I get a little less glad. Frustrated and angry might be better descriptors. And then I feel guilty. I feel like I should be grateful for every minute I get to spend at home with my daughter. I feel like I should be cherishing things, and baking pink cupcakes, and scrap booking. But I'm not. And then a thought wafts into my mind, a teeny, tiny wisp of a thought: maybe I don't like being a stay at home mom . . .

Usually I turn my back on that thought. Brush it away. Pretend it never happened. But then I'll be forced to go to some kind of schmoozing/mingling event and find I have nothing interesting to say beyond, "Yes, I have a daughter. She's 2. No, I don't work outside the home." Or I'll get my high school update in the mail -- the one where they tell you what everyone from your class is doing so you can feel inferior about your own life: "Susie started a school in Afganistan! Chad is running for congress! Janet just purchased a home in the Bahamas!" And that teeny tiny thought will come back.

Lately that thought has been more insistant. What was a wisp is now more like a brick hitting me on the side of the head. And I wonder, Is it OK? Is it possible to love my daughter and not feel fulfilled by being a SAHM? Am I allowed to want to be something other than Zozo's mom? I have to be honest, a lot of times it feels like those things are not possible, are not OK. It feels bad to want more than I already have because, well, I have a lot. But when I can think instead of feel, it seems OK. At least I think it probably is. I hope it is. OK, fine. I still have a lot of guilt. Here's the truth: I really want it to be OK.

So I'm thinking that maybe once we're in Boston and we're settled and Zoey is in a school program and everyone is feeling OK about the world, I might get a job. Maybe. Or I might not. But I might. I might try and use my graduate education that I'm still paying off. Or I might volunteer at a worthy non-profit. Or I might enact my plan to take down the republicans. But whatever it is, at the next cocktail party I want to be able to say something like, "Yes, I'm Zozo's mom. She's 2. We just mastered the potty. And I'm writing a book."

P.S. - If your a SAHM, I'd love to know how you feel about it. If you get paid to work, I 'd love to know how you feel about that to.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ta-Don't

I am in a foul mood. FOUL. So, what better time to do a blog post! Wheee! I am sitting on my parents' screened-in porch while Zoey is napping (finally). And I am trying to improve my mood/console myself/get really, really fat by eating Oreo funstixes. That's right, funstixes plural. And no they are not as good as regular old double stuff Oreos. And putting an 'x' in stix really doesn't make them more fun. It makes them ANNOYING.

It was a hell of a morning here. Shortly after waking up Zoey decides to blatantly break the one and only rule that exists at Gramme and Pop-pop's house: no jumping on the couch. She knows this rule. She knows it well. And in fact I had just said, "Zoey. NO. JUMPING. ON. THE. COUCH." I even used my stern mommy I-mean-business voice. So what does she do? She jumps from the couch to the coffee table. Which, by the way, is glass. After she lands, and somehow miraculously does not break the glass, she raises her arms triumphantly above her head and yells, "TA-DA!" She does all this while looking directly at me.

Ta-da my ass.

So Zoey goes into time-out. Her butt is in the chair faster than you can say 1-2-3 Magic. Then she looks at me, while I am giving her the mean mommy stink eye no less, and laughs. She laughs. I begin to tell her that it's not funny, that she is in trouble, and that she had better shuthermouthandstayinthatchairORELSE. Zoey stands up and begins jumping on the chair. While pointing at me. And laughing. I was not amused. I set her in the chair again and decided to go look busy so she has less of an audience. Zoey promptly climbs out of the chair, runs over, and hits me in the stomach. Hard. So I become A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. I potato sack her into her room, put her on the floor, and perhaps yell something about not wanting to see at her, not wanting to hear her, and not wanting to be in the same room as her. Thank god she does not yet posses the vocabulary to point out that the last part of the previous statement was repetitive and, well duh, obvious. I slammed her door, she on one side, me on the other. Zoey cried. And for at least 30 seconds I felt good -- somehow vindicated that I had made her cry, that I had made her feel punished.

Then, as what I was feeling started to sink in, I felt . . . shitty. Shitty and ashamed. What kind of mother wants to make her daughter cry? What kind of mother suspects her daughter of being spiteful at times? And what made it all a bit worse was the fact that my parents witnessed all of it with something, I suspect, close to horror.

After two minutes (standard time out protocol) I went back in to Zoey's room. Even though she was sniffling into her arm and wouldn't look at me, I picked her up. I hugged her. I told her that I love her. She clung to my shoulders and cried into the soft cradle of my neck. When she finally looked up at me, shame softly wafted between us, and then blew away. I wiped away her tears and she murmured, "Better."

And although Zoey has forgiven me, I'm still thinking about what I could have done differently, done better. I know I could have done a lot worse. But something about the whole thing was less than good-enough. And now I have a tiny little hole in my heart. A tiny little hole which the Oreo Stixes don't seem to be filling up. I think, and I hope, that it's one of those holes that will fill up with time and with practice. And with doing better next time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Let It Be Known


Dear Joslyne,

I just turned two. 2. T-W-O. Yes, I know you were there. But, much to my disappointment, you still don't seem to get it. Please, allow me to clarify:

This year I shall rule with an iron fist of TERROR. The two's are called the Terrible Two's for reasons that go beyond alliteration. "Terrific" also starts with 't' and yet it is rarely associated with the two's. Know that every single day I am getting bigger, faster, and more whiney.

We are 10 days into my Reign of Terror and I think it's high time I stop calling you by the sentimental title of mom. In fact, I can't believe I've let it go on this long. Instead, when I choose to acknowledge you, I will use your first name. If I do not choose to acknowledge you, please, for the love of god, TAKE. THE. HINT. I am ignoring you as I do not wish to be tainted by your meager presence or pithy demands. Subtle hints that I do not wish to recognize your existence include slamming the door in your face, pushing, and the freakishly high-pitched screeching of "NoooooOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

As Ruler of All Things I reserve the right to make absurd and profoundly disturbing demands. That's right, I will only eat macaroni and cheese in a tent in the living room and I will wear your underwear on my head whenever I choose. And WOE IS TO SHE who does not immediately do my bidding. WOE IS TO SHE.

I also expect you, and all whom I rule, to become fluent in Whine. Please learn the various meanings for "EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!" and "UUUUHHHHHHHeeeeeeeeAAAAAAAAAAAA!" immediately. It should go without saying that when I choose to converse and communicate in Whine I still expect to be adored and revered, as I would be at all other times. I am adorable. Always. Yes, even when I fling my poop across the room. ADORABLE.

I decide when I am finished eating, not you. And I may sit and play with my food for as long as I like. It addition, I expect to be offered up to 5 different meals at any one meal time. Also, I do not need to sit in my chair. I can stand in it, climb on it, lick it, and/or push it over at my discretion. You, of course, must ensure that I do not scathe myself in any way. If I do incur any kind of injury, no matter how small, know that you are a FAILURE and a SHAM of a parent.

Please take note and respond accordingly.

Your supreme and most adorable ruler,
Zoey

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cool Moms Care: A True Mother's Day

This week's Cool Moms Care post is up. I'm kind of nervous about it and would appreciate some love. Click here to read it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm an Adult! And I Have the Wallet to Prove it!


For Mother's Day Demetri gave me a wallet. An actual, real, live, adult wallet. It has all these sperate compartments for . . . stuff. Like cash. And credit cards. And all the other important cards I might want to carry. Like, the Lenny's Sub Shop sandwich card (buy 5 and get one free!) and the business card of my former (like 5 years ago) therapist. I don't see her and I don't talk to her but it somehow makes me feel better to carry around her card and stare at her name every once in a while when things get really tough. Plus, it's purple. The wallet, not my therapist. The thing that is most adult about the wallet is the comparent for change -- it doesn't zip shut, it clasps. You know, like an old lady purse. Every time I clasp it or unclasp it I feel very mature. Very in control. Very Hey look at me and my new adult wallet with a snappy clasp thingy!

But enough about that. My favorite thing about the wallet is the coupons it came with. That's right, my delightfully charming, kind husband with a hot ass made me home made coupons. And one of them entitles me to WIN AN ARGUMENT. Not that I generally need help with this. But, man oh man, do I have big plans for this coupon. True, I can only redeem it once and it has a rapidly approaching expiration date, but imagine the possibilities (especially with our upcoming move):

Scenario 1:
Demetri: Oh! I really want to live in ______ town.
Me: I don't.
Demetri: Well, I do!
Me: WELL TOO BAD MISTER! (waaa-tsshhhhh!!!*) Say so long to that little dream!

Scenario 2:
Demetri: I think we should have another baby.
Me: No way.
Demetri: Yeah, it'll be so fun!
Me: WELL TOO BAD Picasso! (waaa-tsshhhhh!!!*) Did I mention that you have a very special doctor's appointment next Monday?

Scenario 3:
Demetri: Hm. I think I'll buy these peg leg jeans.
Me: But why?
Demetri: Because I'll look good in them.
Me: No you won't.**
Demetri: Yes I will.
Me: WELL TOO BAD BUCKAROO. (waaa-tsshhhhh!!!*) Tim Gunn wants me to tell you you can't make it work.

Ah yes! I can rule the world! Bwhahahaha! I am now taking suggestions for coupon use.

* This is the sound of me 'whipping' out the coupon. You know, in case you didn't get it.
** Because NO ONE does.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cool Moms Care: Cliff Jumping

A new post is up at Cool Moms Care. Click here to read about a "discussion" I won (!!) and about change/fear.

And click here to go to the Cool People Care site to learn about how you can help victims of the flood.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In Which I am the Mother of a 2 Year Old

Today my daughter, Zoey, is 2 (!!) years old. And she is already making the world a better place:

She teaches birds to fly . . .


She tends a garden . . .


She has excellent fashion sense . . .


She shares her chocolate . . .


She is safety conscious . . .


She excels at hand-holding . . .


She's not afraid to get her hands dirty . . .


She helps people celebrate . . .


She remember to stop and chat with animals . . .


She comforts babies -- Shhh! Shhh! Shhh!


And she dances like she means it . . .


Happy Birthday Zoey!!!
We are so lucky to have you as our daughter!


We met you the day you were born . . .

And have loved you every day since.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Birthday Eve


So, I'm in the middle of writing a post for Zoey's birthday tomorrow. There's some things that don't quite fit in that post but that I don't want to forget.

I want to remember how Zoey says "Thank you very much" when she hands me something she no longer want and how she grabs for my finger when we're walking. I want to remember how when Zoey clunks her head, stubs her toe, or barely grazes her elbow on the table she pushes her bottom lip out and says, "Kiss please." Once she has been kissed she nods her head and says, "That's better." She pats my cheek and pulls on my ears during story time before bed. I want to remember how it feels when she grants me a kiss -- like silvery stars, like unicorns exist. I want to remember how her lips form a tiny 'O' when she sleeps. And how she flails around during the night so that her feet are over the bed rails and her shirt is up to her arm pits. I want to remember how she hugs me when she's half asleep and her back is sweaty from the car. The pitch of her voice when she says "Mommy." The exact temperature of her hand casually perched on my knee -- like I'm just a bigger extension of her body. I want to remember how she looks scrawny in the bath and how she tilts her head back, eyes squinted shut, to let me rinse the shampoo from her hair. How she eats strawberries -- with huge drippy bites and golden joy. I want to remember the soles of her feet. The tiny half moon birth mark on her lower back. The smell behind her ears. The tiny pink poke of a tongue as she makes faces at me. Her laugh. Yes, I always want to remember the trill of her child laugh -- like the magic and surprise of a firefly cupped in my hand.