My girls were home sick from school today. Enzo cut a lonely figure walking to the car at pick-up time. As he was climbing in I recognized the truth about the colorful oversize truck parked behind me. It was a snow cone truck, and it was open for business.
Maybe it was because he didn’t beg (or even ask) Maybe it was because I had just been doing Halloween research and so his pledge to go as The Doctor was fresh in my mind (He’s not a particularly devoted Doctor fan, but he is particularly devoted to choosing things that make other’s happy. In this instance, me) Maybe it was that lonely figure from before. Whatever the reason, I knew one thing; I wanted my boy to have a snow cone.
It is a rare occasion that I have cash on my person. It was a stroke of luck that a craigslist transaction from the previous weekend left me with a spare fiver.
I watched him in my side mirror. The smile I felt on my face he danced in line grew to double when his turn came and I saw him stretch to reach the window.
As he returned to the car my change flopped half-in half-out of the pocket of his red denim shorts. Maybe that’s why I wanted to buy him a snow cone. Those are my favorite shorts. They look straight out of a 60″s beach movie with their straight silhouette and frayed hem. Every time he wears them I count my lucky stars he’s willing to wear what I chose for him.
When he got to the car he announced “I got Tiger’s Blood!”
That’s my boy, choosing the best flavor like a champ. Then he said “Ahhh, there’s nothing better than a cold treat on a hot day,” and later; “Don’t worry mom, I won’t brag to the other kids about this.”
Every word out of his red stained mouth affirmed to me that I had made the right decision. An over priced snow cone has never made me so happy.
I miss blogging so much. SO. MUCH. But dag yo, it’s hard!
Why is it so hard?
One Sunday (at church) we talked about not comparing ourselves to others and how when you do it you’re generally comparing your weakness to another’s strength and that’s a bad recipe. Then again, maybe your comparing your strength to another’s weakness that’s another bad recipe. (no one mentioned this in the discussion. Admitting you think you’re better than other people is aparently taboo?) Anyway what I was thinking was this; What about comparing yourself to yourself? Strengths and weaknesses have peaks and valleys. Things that were my strengths 4 years ago are weaknesses right now and that SUX MAN! (strong language)
You know what’s cool about having babies? The healing process. Not just the obvious physical part, though that’s pretty awesome too, but the emotional part.
Roxy had been gone for three-ish months when I got started making Duke. I was given a miraculous easing of pain when she left. It lasted through the first month of her absence and then pulled back little by little. After you’ve been carried, God sets you back on your feet gentle and slow while you get used to walking again. As I was finding my stride and stumbling a bit, having Duke in my belly pulled me through. That joyous reason to feel horrible helped me come to grips with the grievous. You see, I could easily forgive my lack of productivity on the grounds of pregnancy whereas grief didn’t garner any such lenience. Self forgiveness makes a big difference and pregnancy granted me that.
During the three years that have followed Duke’s arrival Roxy and I (and the rest of the family) have been working through the break in attachment that was the result of her seven month absence from our family. This has not been easy. Reforming and repairing attachment is hard work. Trying to get by without making the repairs is even harder. There have been casualties along the way. Blogging is one. Sewing is another. Basically, all my productive hobbies fell to shambles during this period.
We finally reached a turning point a few months ago. I was relieved to see the improvement in our relationships but pregnancy was so cumbersome mildly pleased was the best I could muster. Joyful was out of the question. Then the baby came and the weight (both figurative and literal) lifted and all of that progress caught up with me.
My midwife checked with me faithfully for signs of postpartum depression, but there was none of that for me this time. Unexplained sadness? No way! I felt (feel) so good. Suddenly I can access the whole of my brain when for so long swaths of it have been partitioned off, unreachable behind velvet ropes of stress and hormones.
One of the mental processes wasting beyond the barrier was my inner monologue. Giving Rox the attention she needed to keep her from flying off the handle and then dealing with the fallout when she flew off the handle anyway was so utterly exhausting there weren’t any resources left to tell myself stories with. If I’m not telling stories to myself, then I ask you, how can I expect myself to write them down and share them? It’s not really reasonable but I tried to do it for quite a while.
It was such a relief when I gave up trying to post regularly. I think I’m ready to come back though. Proof? I’m at 573 words right now and didn’t even have a plan when I started to type. I’ve just been letting my mind wander onto the page. To be honest, I’ve written and lost 2 conclusions to this post already (frustrating) The result of this is; between the lack of planning and starting over halfway through x3 I don’t have any idea whether this post makes any sense or not and I’m so mixed up in it re-reading doesn’t lend any clarity.
I’m forging ahead though because for one thing, the fact that I can continue to spew words onto the page is really encouraging and for another, I’ll never get back in the habit of posting if I don’t start somewhere. So I’ll start here, with this piecey, wandering blather of a post. You’re welcome (sarcasm)
A few of unbelievable things going on right now. First of all. I feel better at 36 weeks than I did at 30. A few stretches for sciatica plus a magnesium supplement for heartburn equals; I had no idea 36 weeks (and four days) could exist at this level of comfort…not that I’d call it comfortable.
Unbelievable number 2; It’s only 83 degrees out. It’s May 9th. This is the Valley of the Sun. Yesterday the high was 77. I don’t know how this is possible but I am grateful. Also, I don’t even feel bad for anyone living in a more northerly climate bemoaning the slow onset of spring. Not even a little bit bad. In fact, if you guys got another little bit of snow I’d be cool with it. (selfish)
This brings us to unbelievable number three.
On Fridays the kids are allowed to watch tv. limiting it to one day a week is how we keep it from overrunning our lives. It also gives me an easy answer to stop begging in it’s tracks ie. “Moooom, can we watch somethiiing?” “Is it Friday?” and that’s the end. Conversation over.
Today happens to be Friday. We went to a midwife appointment first thing this morning. On the way home Roxy asked the question, “Can we watch our shows when we get home?” I said “Yep,” but I also remembered the mess in the tv room. The mess that belongs solely to Rox and Duke, the other kids having not even set foot in that room since it was cleaned up last Friday. So when we got home I told them they could have tv time as soon as they picked up the toys.
Wailing ensued. Roxy started it “WE NEED HELP!” echoed By Duke “We need help!” “WHAT ABOUT ZIZZA AND ENZO!?” “what about Zizza and Enzo?” Followed by my answers; ”You didn’t have help getting the toys out so I know you’ll be able to put them back on your own,” and “Ziz and Enz haven’t even been in the room so It’s not their job.” ”BUT WE JUST WANNA WATCH SOMETHING,” “we just wanna watch something,” The wailing was followed by whimpering “mama, mama” and clutching at my arm.
I can’t abide arm clutching. It does things to my brain. Hostile things.
Long story short. Roxy was unwilling to put books on the shelf or toys in the bin and Duke was in a following mood so he couldn’t do those things either. Rox also couldn’t content herself with the idea of not watching a show on Friday, which was the alternative to not cleaning, so she moaned and wined and clutched.
Meanwhile all that clutching meant I had to keep a firm hand on those hostile things in my brain.
This whole cleaning up story is really just a lead in. Here is the unbelievable. Currently both of those children are napping.
I fed them lunch, then I tucked Roxy into bed. She was indignant about it. The two of them share a room see, and as the bigger kid she is the one who rests elsewhere during quiet time. But elsewhere wasn’t going to work today. Not with me holding the hostile back with a piece of scotch tape and her in full tilt moaning and clutching. So I tucked her into her bed and then I laid down with Duke on my bed.
She protested by taking Dukes toy dragon ( the noisiest toy in the room ) to bed with her. The dragon was roaring and doing it’s best to devour her bedding. The only way I knew to keep her from a full scale jailbreak was to be as boring as possible so I lay there, watching Duke practice increasingly dramatic face palms every time he heard her make a noise.
Eventually, the weight of drama in his palm as it met his face forced him back into the pillows. He was done in and failed to sit up to meet the next dragon’s breath. His eyes closed, and soon in spite of the fact that the dragon roars had ceased and been replaced by the monotone-monosyllabic yelling of my own Roxanne my eyes began to close as well.
It was the silence that woke me. She stopped! I felt triumphant and groggy thinking smug thoughts to myself about how she’d yelled herself to sleep. That’s when I heard her in the hallway. I’d been had.
I ended up hauling the piano bench down the hall and sitting out side her door until she gave up trying to come out. Even then it was touch and go. Things could easily have gone the other way. They have done in the past, but I had a steel determination today. I knew how exhausting the fit throwing, moaning, clutching, and monotone yelling must have been, and I knew how miserable we’d both be if the hostile things beat their way out of my brain so I held fast.
Still it’s unbelievable.
Roxy is napping.
I met with my midwife today.
She told me I need to eat more snacks.
Protein rich snacks specifically but more snacks.
You wouldn’t think this would be difficult. Have a cheese stick, a handful of almonds. Would spoonfuls of peanut butter and chocolate chips count do you think?
The problem is I don’t really like to eat.
Is that crazy?
I feel like that’s crazy.
I remember liking to eat. I remember loving it. My general state of being includes a love of food…and a love of shoving it in my mouth. In the past pregnancy has heightened that love.
Last time, even when I was mountainous and in a constant state of acute discomfort/pain, I still cooked things just so I could eat them. I don’t remember ever being more in love with food.
I remember working through experiments in my kitchen on a regular basis and thinking to my self “know what would make this even better? Butter. Next thing I’mma do to this deliciousness is add a few tablespoons of the good stuff.”
I usually talked myself out of that. Not always. Sometimes more butter really was a good idea and in those cases I followed through joyfully but I learned to recognize the butter hunger and curb it when it wasn’t helpful. There was an instance with curry for example. The curry didn’t need added butter. Another time it was hot fudge sauce.
Anyway the point is. I don’t currently like to eat and it really weirds me out. Who am I? What’s happened to me? Why do I always have to find space inside my body for things like cheese sticks and almonds?
In conclusion; bleh
7;15 AM Human Rights Day and I was exercising my right to lie in my cozy bed rather than face the cold floor and bustle children off to school. What’s better than a warm cocoon of sweet smelling flannel sheets?
That’s when it started.
The rooster next door let out a good long crow. And then another. The crowing was relentless. I don’t normally mind the rooster. I can easily sleep through his best efforts at ruckus and he does me a service most nights. See, when I wake up to go potty I like to know whether I’m in the uphill or down hill half of the night, but my bedroom does not currently have an actual clock in it. If I go the trouble of checking my phone then I’m that much closer awake than I’d like to be during what is hopefully the middle of the night.
The rooster makes it easy. If he’s making himself known then daylight must be within a few hours distance of arrival. If he’s quiet, then maybe I had a big glass of water before bed. Or maybe I’m just pregnant.
This morning he was really enjoying the sound of his own voice. I started counting crows (heh heh) and gave up around 200. “What is going on out there?” I wondered. It was much too late in the morning for coyotes. Besides, by this time any coyote worth his salt should either have A) been home free with his feathery breakfast or B) realized the futility of the attempt and run away. But on crew (crew?) the rooster.
Honestly how was that bird still alive? He wasn’t even stopping for breath. Realistically, he should have dropped dead minutes earlier.
At this point the dog was awake so I faced the cold world to let him out.
The strangest thing though, as I moved to a different part of the room it seemed that the rooster’s cries were actually coming from inside my own house. (have you checked the children?) More specifically, from Zizza’s room.
Girlfriend, it seemed, didn’t want to miss out on a chance to watch a little early morning T.V. so she set her alarm lest she inadvertently choose this morning to sleep in for the first time in her life. However, a few minutes before it went off my alarm (read; Roxy and Duke) woke her and the three of them were off to exercise the right (granted them by their sleepy mother) to equal opportunity viewing of Ninjago and My Little Ponie.
The moral of the story, I suppose, is that if your child is in possession of a device with a rooster alarm try to be aware of the fact. Either that or “Be sure to acquaint yourself with the timbre of the voices of any and all neighborhood roosters such that impostors will not have the chance to play you for a fool when you’d rather be sleeping.”
I think I’ll needle point that last one on a pillow.
A mother has many roles. We all know this, I won’t bore you with the list.
Currently my most important role in Duke’s mind is that of furniture.
He cannot reasonably be expected to sit on a surface that is not me. He insists this is true. He wants me, or at least some physical portion of me, available for his sitting needs in every circumstance.
Meal times he considers to be lap times, play time also falls under the lap time category, as do reading time, coloring time…and dancing time.
“The ground is cold and hard mother,” he seems to say,
“Come here and place yourself beneath me that I may have something warm and soft on which to deposit my adorable person.”
He still prefers his cozy bed for nap times so that’s something. Though yesterday he did try using my face as a pillow.
This situation will become more difficult as weeks pass and my lap gradually vanishes from existence.
He was suffering from a miserable cold last weekend and spent the bulk of his time cradled by one parent or the other. I could blame it on that but I’m not convinced it started there. No, I’m pretty sure the previous week’s abundance of snuggle time merely fanned an already burning flame.
I’m writing to report not to complain. This furniture job, though difficult at times is not all bad. Yesterday as I knelt next to his bed, one cheek resting on his pillow, the other smooshed beneath his, I found myself wondering; “Is this sublime or just sublimely uncomfortable?”
Friend, I didn’t have an answer
Yes, it’s true I’m posting.
Yeah I thought not. I’l go ahead with it anyway.
It turns out that being pregnant is like to becoming a zombie only without the appetite. Though to be fair I’ll bet brains taste about the same coming up as they do going down. So I dunno, maybe it’s worth a try?
Think about it though; Death pallor? Check!
Shuffling steps? Yes.
Indecipherable moaning? We’ve got that too!
See? practically the same.
So what’s new with you?
I have half an hour before preschool pick up. I spent my morning with paint and dust (not at the same time obvs) as my companions so I decided I’d put this time to use checking in here.
Moo’s birthday came and went during the crazy. I’ll have to get back to that another time. Right now I’d like to share with you Zizza’s birthday wish list. Here’s what happened; I was trying to make a plan for birthday shopping but every time I thought I had a handle on it she’d come forth with another declaration of what she wanted more than anything in the world (name that show) and back in to birthday shopping limbo I’d go. Finally I asked her for an itemized wish list. She took the assignment very seriously and soon after proffered forth the following;
1-$20.00 Target gift card (with which to buy clothes) OR a sleep over with her bestie
3-Catty Noir (the newest Monster High doll)
4-Color me Creepy Monster High Set
5-Ulta gift card (no recommended amount this time)
6-Shopping trip to the mall
7-Playdate (she’s been sad about the infrequency of these since the move)
9-American Girl haircut chair and polk-a-dot robe
10-Monster High movie “3 in one”
11- A pet Chinchilla
Her list was rather enlightening for me. I knew about all the Monster High stuff. (We’d been on a browsing trip in Target’s toy department earlier that day) I was surprised though that cookie dough ranked #2 and that she’s desperate enough for a play date that she’s willing to count it as a birthday gift. Also, the chinchilla was a surprise.
My favorite thing happening with Ziz right now is her newly acquired appreciation for fashion. Girlfriend actually wants to go clothes shopping! Also, she likes cute stuff! It’s a dream come true
The other day I was doing some kind of hard manual labor and inflicted this blood blister upon myself. Lame.
Since then every time I’ve changed a poopy diaper I’ve caught sight of that dark speck and momentarily freaked out that I mis-wiped and have poo on my hand. Seriously. It happens every time.
When I was in forth grade, as a getting to know you exercise during the first week of school we traced our bodies on sheets of butcher paper and then colored ourselves (I know it was forth grade because I remember the outfit I was wearing) There was a boy named Michael in my group. He had a blood blister on one of his fingers and made a point of representing it on his paper twin. He was very proud of his blood blister and talked of it quite frequently.
Now, after every mini “there’s poo on my hand” panic attack I see Michael’s face in my mind. In these visions he’s smiling and holding out his blistered paw for all to admire.
“But Eva,” I know you’re asking, “What was the hard manual labor that inflicted this grievous poop splatter mimicking injury?” ( how’s that for a segway?)
I’ll tell you: We bought a new house, and when I say “new” what I mean is old. Old, and smelly and caked in dog hair/pee. I’m going to tell you something now and I want you to know that this is no exaggeration. After prizing the baseboards from the walls in the living room area the visual impression left was that rather than simply removing those boards I’d actually replaced them. Replaced them with boards made of fur.
Think about that.
Now, If you’ll excuse me, there’s a shop vac I need to purchase.