23 July 2009

Vocabulary Police, Dawdling, and Over-thinking

If you had been at our house this morning, you would have seen me standing over the washing machine with my arm in almost up to the shoulder, frantically fishing through cold, dark water for my drowned cell phone. Already late for work, you would have heard me say a lot of things to myself. And you would have heard me end with "FUCKING STUPID."

And then, you would have heard a firm little voice in the kitchen say, "Mom. We don't say 'stupid'."


Ah, my Bird. She is a piddling, dawdling, piddledawdler in the mornings. A. puts up with most of it since I (theoretically, anyway) start my paid workday earlier than he does, and it is more frequently becoming a power struggle/ battle of wits/ tangle of wills between the two of them. They argue like teenagers. He asks her to put on her shoes, she puts on five finger puppets. He askes her to go get dressed, she spends her time jumping on the bed. He asks her to brush her hair, she ends up in a puddle of tears because she's found her winter coat in the too-small box. He asks her to put on her listening ears, and she says, "I left them at school." He counts to three. She complies at the final second. And more than a few times, Bird says, "Daddy. Settle down." Which, if you know my mild-mannered A., is especially funny. Except not to him.


So, about that too-small box. Looks like it's going to be seeing a lot of action starting this winter-- baby #2 is officially a girl. Time to start naming, sorting, wrapping our heads around what's going on around here. Two girls. Yay and yikes.


No time like the pregnant to over-think some shit: In halfway following a discussion board comment thread, I read the words that push the overthink-buttons of WOH mamas around the country: "evaluate what you give up to go to work and decide if it's really worth it." I'll spare you the details of my rabbit-hole thinking-- my ever-changing and always hazy list of gains and losses that never declares a winner.

All this talk of giving up and gaining. Of worth. How much of it is truly about the benefit to the child and how much of it is about having sorted laundry and clean sheets and time to slow-cook a meal? How much is about parenting and how much is about physically being in and keeping up a home? How much is just straight-up personal, on both sides of the decision?

I have wrestled with internal and external voices that both encourage and challenge my choices as a working-away-from-home mama, and I can tell you with complete honesty that sometimes, the desire to be home with my child during the day really does boil down to having naptime to myself and getting some flowers planted. Running an errand in the middle of the day without paying for it with my lunch hour. Spending enough time in my house to clean it and enough time in my neighborhood to enjoy it. And having time for actual, personal, non-facebook connections with my actual, personal friends. That is what I am missing-- or feel like I've given up-- the most right now. I have time with Bird every night, but I haven't seen some of my dearest friends in months.

13 July 2009


I made this, and I made this.

The first one, simple/ fresh/ delicious and still yum on day 2-- though if you are going to carry over into lunch territory don't mix the roasted cherry tomato mix in with the soup. Keep 'em separate and mix up bowl by bowl, ya dig?

And the second one, HOLY HELL elastic thread, first my enemy and now my friend. Pics and pattern review to come soon, maybe. The dress turned out nice and light and summery, just the right shape for my getting-bigger belly but also the right shape for my non-baby body. Versatile.

10 July 2009

In the garden

"Hey Bird, try one of these tiny orange tomatoes. They're sweet, like candy."

"This one has a butt."

02 July 2009

Well, well, look at THIS! She decides to just SHOW UP again, eh?

I do have an excuse. I haven't been writing because I haven't really been awake for 3-ish months. Completely exhausted and sick as a damn dog and hardly able to construct a quick email sentence about whether or not I am available for a conference call. I mostly needed to be in a quiet and more private space for a bit while I wrapped my brain first around surviving the day and on a bigger scale, the impending whiz-bang close to 2009. At which time, I will be a mama to TWO. 12/13/09, baby. I can't (and won't) say we're ready or that we know how we're going to swing this, but it's what we want and it's good. We'll know what to do when we do it. Things always come together and I'm just trying to pay attention to the signs and opportunities. The excitement is different and more peaceful this time.

One of my to-do lists currently includes the item, "list of demands." I have no idea what I meant when I wrote that, but I like knowing that, at some point, my demands may be met if I would only submit them in list form.

I shopped at a grocery store in the college neighborhood on Monday. It was heaven: clean, bright interior, landscaped parking lot, well-stocked shelves and Fage yogurt availability. I was asked --MORE THAN TWO times-- not for change or cigarettes but if I could be helped in my food search (the staff must have sensed my wide-eyed wonder). There was actual eye contact as my food was passed over the scanner by the kind hands of a Harris Teeter associate, and polite conversation, even an offer to help me to my car with my seven very manageable bags-- an offer that, admittedly, first tripped my initial "DO NOT follow me to my car, M*f*kr" defense before I realized there is also a HELPFUL kind of following, not just the creepy, "can I have a ride" kind. The icing on the cake? This particularly well-lit, friendly grocery is open until ELEVEN o'clock-- hardly noteworthy to some, but the dingy yellow ghetto groceries close at 9pm due to the sometimes unsavory late night patrons, and visiting at 8:30 leaves you waiting to pay for your mealy, pink tomato in the one open checkout lane, inhaling the scent of a 7-pack per day smoker as she unloads an entire cart of Hungry Man dinners onto the belt while behind you, a ferociously strong person gives you the crazy eye, all of us prepared to accept complete indifference from the disgruntled check out girl with tattoos on her neck who will hear the sound of a dozen eggs being crushed under a watermelon as she bags your items, and throw your tortilla chips in the mix, just for good measure.

Shopping until eleven, like it's the most normal thing in the world. The luxury of it! After a lovely dinner out with old friends, I entered the friendly and well-lit grocery at 8:30pm, childless and free to roam about among the micro-brews and the bok choy, the non-sticky floors and pleasant, non-gaggy smells. It was like a past life. It was like checking into a spa. A spa with more than one kind of yogurt.