Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unstoppable Object

Jump forward to now. Everything is different. Thea sleeps through the night, all night, in her own bed after minimal fuss and least, compared to what I was expecting... and now sleep deprivation can only be the fault of my own self who won't put herself to bed.

And now that she sleeps through the night, she wakes up at exactly 5am. It wouldn't be hyperbolic to say at the very second 5:00:00am. She is accurate like an atomic clock. I've found the easiest way around this problem is straight through, so on those days when I want to do things the easy way I just get up with her and get on with my day. Other days I try to bring her to bed with us and then suffer a miserable half-sleep that is a worse fate than death: being gouged, kicked at with shrieks of joy, hair pulled, head-butted and sometimes bit. Also, wrastling to keep her from leaping out the second story window.

Other things are different too. Everything, that is. She has taken some steps but still mostly holds on while making her way around. When you try to put her down on her feet, the lower half of her body arches and bucks and her feet take off, forcefully pushing off the surface to get somewhere before you can release her top half, and making it impossible to do so. Great care must be taken when setting her loose. It's a good thing our sizes are what they are to each other or we'd both be badly injured.

She also says (said twice) MAMA, but is most inspired by the kitty -DITTYDITTYDITTY. She signs MILK, DOG and sometimes MORE... pathetically few for the child of a sign language interpreter. She leans into my face with her drooly open mouth when I make kissing sounds. On Easter Sunday for the last time I spent the whole day making baby food. She has six teeth, and uses them to eat finger foods now... no more, that lovingly prepared organic veggie gruel I used to schlep in my kitchen.

Also, the mimicry has begun. She is doing things I didn't remotely think had caught her attention. She brushes her hair and puts my sunglasses on her face. It's friggn amazing and on top of that, unbelievably cute.


But now, having prepared this to be posted on the internet, I have to address the nagging voice of dissent in my head. If you have read this far, Thea probably doesn't offend you. And if she does offend you but you read all this anyway, let me just say that if you met her at a party, you would like her. She would like you too, in a really satisfying way. So go easy, eh?

The other day I was working with another interpreter. Our client asked me about Thea and I made a short comment about how sweet and happy she was and whatever. My team started to say that she didn't want children, absolutely noteverwhatsoevernever because she doesn't like children and they are bad for the planet. She went on to say that people should adopt and not have their own kids and when I pointed out that adoption costs are prohibitive and the process time consuming she only shrugged and said so is having a baby.

Plus, I know everyone hates mommybloggers except they, their-selfcongratulatory-selves, and plenty of sniggering and derision happens on these internets in the general direction of people like myself.

I've actually given these opinions a lot of thought and fair consideration. The truth is, that two people having one child actually equals negative population growth. Of course, for the time being there are three where there were two but in the big picture the returns are diminishing, even accounting for my step-daughter, counting three people for a total of two offspring, or my step-daughter's other sister, three offspring for four people. Anyway, I don't think we'll be having another kid, no matter how much fun it's been (more even than two is absolutely out of the question), and even if we did [have two], we'd still only be replacing our own selves (stagnant growth). You can bet Thea will be raised with a similar conscientious ethic.

But that is sorta missing the point anyway. I don't have to justify for my colleague or for random internet cranks why I had a kid, or the fact that I love her like crazy. It's easy to make arguments against the having of offspring, from crass and hateful to complex and socially acceptable, and every time I say anything publicly about being a mom I hear all those harsh criticisms in my head. Maybe, in part, that's because I once made them myself, and I guess that's why I am mentioning it at all.

Still, it's my blog and I'll post whatever I damnwellplease.

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear other people's opinions about this matter. I wonder if I have lost any readers since having had a baby. I once had a stat counter but when I changed my format it dropped the code and I wouldn't even know where to go find it if I even had the time or interest to do so, so I have no idea the limits of the influence I wield. Minimal to be sure.


Roy said...

I wish I had written stuff down when my son was growing up. If I was blogging way back then, I probably would have blogged about being a new father and all that. I have to fight off the impulse to blog about him even now, and he's grown up. I agree you can post whatever youdamwellplease, and I'll probably keeponreading.

We actually sort of lost a few friends when my son was born. I guess they didn't like the imposed change of our lifestyle. It was kind of weird, but I think I had the better deal.

nina said...

I love your posts and especially those about your little one. Don't stop. I want to hear your stories from when she is sixteen.

Kristiana said...

Thanks Roy! I know I will wish I had written more and unfortunately, besides what I have written on the internet, there isn't much more. Oh well. Time and attention are major factors... I'd rather give them to Thea.

Thank you Nina! I'll keep posting. I'm glad you are still reading.

Don said...

I'll never stop. Seeing the world through your windows is always a joyful experience (and not joyful because you are joyful, because you aren't, but because the view is through a lot of different panes of glass and you write with a freedom I still only aspire to).

I was never sympathetic to the anti-child brigade. I'm only glad people like that don't have kids. Yes, there are too many humans, but when the rich and educated curtail their breeding it only means there will be a higher proportion of the angry and uneducated. My two kids are both studying engineering now because they are interested in helping find the solutions, so I like to think the impact of my providing a replacement count will be more positive than merely using up space. Oops, I sound elitist. Well, I'm also with the vast unwashed in that I will do what I damnwell want and breeding is a fundamental human right and there is a lot more we can do to fix things than angrily sit around decrying population growth anyhow, so there.

No Tequilacon for me (thought I was, but no), presumably not for you either.

Oh, to finish my thought on pop growth. It's an economic thing and the global pop will stabilize in another generation or so. There really is room for eleven billion people on this planet, but only if they cooperate. My opinion the most important thing we can do is be economically strong enough and have enough focus left over from trying not to get killed to establish economically independent off-Earth space colonies. Someone's going to f*ck the planet up real bad some day and humanity needs somewhere else to go.

Kristiana said...

I'm not joyful?? No, I'm not really except in a subdued, esoteric kind of way.

No, I'm not going to Tequilacon. I've been kinda out of that loop recently, out of every loop actually.

It does scare me that people are out there having 19 kids (google 'duggar' but I won't link to them) for both political and environmental reasons. Of course, 19 kids is extreme but it nails the point home. I guess I should shut up now because the aroma of controversy is getting strong.

Anyway, NO, your comment wasn't lost... I'm moderating comments because of spam attacks.

eclectic said...

I wrote an angry, angry blog post a few months back after having experienced some pretty-difficult-for-me-to-take prejudice against children and the parents who beget them.

Suffice it to say that we feel similarly to you, only our little Carter-Surprise puts us into the "over-populating" category by one. The thing is, if I had it to do over again under the same circumstances, I'd choose to carry him again, so I can't say I feel bad about having him. We make ourselves feel better though by noting that my husband's brother has no children, so the ratio if we include him, is intact: 3 adults, 3 children.

*sigh* Reproduction guilt. Ugh. And I thought it was only the Catholics who suffered from that syndrome. ;)

Now... as for TequilaCon, I'm so sorry you won't be there. I'm going, but honestly feel awkward already, and I haven't even left home yet! I really wish you were going too. But I get it, I do. Well, give Thea a big hug from this internet "auntie" please. Hopefully I'll get down to Portland this summer and maybe we can go for a bike ride or something, and I can give Miss Thea a hug in person. :)

Don said...

Sweet. No, I'm all against the 19 kid thing. Personally I think going over four or five indicates some serious emotional problem, whether encouraged by some codependent religious leader or not.

Anyway, every single one of your pictures of Thea is amazing. (I almost said Althea because another blogfriend had a daughter about the same time with almost the same name.)

Kristiana said...

Shari - If I am correct, you are at TC right now?? Isn't it this weekend? I only hope someone remembers to drunk-text me at some point. Sigh.

During my new mother summer-heat brain-melt last year I remember reading all these bitter, vitriolic articles and posts by/about moms and anti-moms and I felt awful for ever having had an opinion I wasn't qualified to have, and for being caught in the middle of some inescapable and uncomfortable truths. Feelings definitely run deep around the issue, and it is easy to get caught up in the abstract of it. But then I look at Thea and it seems so stupid to argue about whether she has a right to exist, or that I have to justify that she does. Still, just the existence of the whole controversy makes me feel queasy.

I hate to say this, but I haven't been reading much of anything on the internet and hadn't been up to date on your blog especially because for some reason I can't add it to my Google Reader, though I have tried time and time again. Ugh. I went back and found the post you are referring to and read it. Rawr! Curious, what prompted that rant?

Yes, if you come to Portland bring a bike. I have a Burley Solo trailer for Thea and love to take her on the road... of course I am more cautious now with my helmet mirror and other such dork-gear so I'd feel a lot of gratitude if you'd be seen in public with me. I'm the anti-sleek rider. Haha.

Don - I too think there is a line somewhere with the having of babies. I'm sure some people cross it with the existence of a mere one! But, yeah, baby-having and baby-havers sure can be creepy.

Thanks for the nice comment about my pics of Thea. She's very photogenic.

someone said...

You are populating the better end of the gene pool -- which is almost certainly getting outnumbered. Besides, and I know I say this as a less than conscious decision maker, there is something to be said for joy.

Roy said...

Speaking of joy, which I hadn't addressed, I like your joy. It doesn't go back slapping and skipping and dancing off. It dutifully dons the silly hat, turns and winks at me. (so to speak.)

Speaking of the other thing, I doubt there is any politically reasonable alternative to rampant, indiscriminate breeding. You can only say, as the gentleman in the cartoon said to the woman with ten dirty, unruly, children at the bus stop, "Madam, I would have thought that one of those would have been more than enough."

nina said...

Well, I only had two, but I wonder if by the time of the fourth or fifth I may have significantly calmed down about everything.

I am awfully envious of people who have babies in the digital photography age. I mean -- you can just shoot away!

One more thought -- I've been reading your blog for many years (really!) and you seem, if not more joyful, then at least less unjoyful. But always nicely punchy.

Anyway, I never went to TC, but I make up for it by keeping a glass(es) of wine going in fraternity and support.

vahid said...

I am still here and reading regardless of what you are writing about and when is Thea going on her first Reach The Beach ride/run anyway? She's about old enough now right?

Kristiana said...

Nina - Digital photography is the greatest thing! I have enough pictures of Thea that I can spend my retirement reliving these best years of my life. There are no such archives of me or my brothers as children.

Kristiana said...

Vahid - Thea is in training. I'm not sure about age but she's got to be a least as tall as the cartoon cut-out says. She'll be outrunning me soon.

Ashbloem said...

I like your mama blogging best of all.

Kristiana said...

Thanks chica! I love hearing that!


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