Sunday, October 31, 2010

Costume wars

This blog post is sponsored by today's cancellation with less than 24 hours notice. It is circumstantial compensation, sure, but I'm amused by the idea of being a paid writer. Anyone who can craft a noun phrase like that should be remunerated, don't you think?

It's Halloween. My pumpkins survived the night.

Thea is a chagrined ladybug who violently rejects the antenna doctrine. I really want to force them onto her head though, and I'm fighting with my better nature. Believe me, I have no illusions about this... the costume is for my benefit... and it's really just too bad she is too young for coercion and/or bribery and/or threats because maybe we could come to some kind of truce in which I win.



I've been chasing her around the house with a camera begging her to hold still long enough to have her picture taken at the very least. Begging doesn't work either. I think her costume will probably be in tatters before long and I'm just going to have to pick up the pieces and, you know...


...keep trying to shove them onto her.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

On Pumpkin Smashing

I don't want anybody to come and smash my pumpkins. There was smashed pumpkin on the street outside today and I almost, briefly, thought about bringing my jack-o-lanterns in for the night but that is a fundamental contradiction to the spirit of carved-pumpkinry, isn't it?

These ones this year matter to me a lot. Just like everything, Halloween has been recast in light of Thea. So yes, I do not want them to become ex-pumpkin street slime at the hands of our local turdface teenagers. However, these pumkins are also being crawled over and through by both slugs and perhaps a couple of ants, and THAT is just gruesome enough to say: leave them outside of the house, no matter the peril. Slugs! are crawling in! and out! of my pumpkin mouths! and pumpkin eyeballs! Agh!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I have some free time built into my schedule today, but not enough time to do anything or go anywhere off the trail between campuses. So I'm here, brushing crumbs off the cushions in the hallways and looking at enthusiastic student art of dubious quality.



The weather got me wrong again. Last night was so cold and wet when I wore a thin sweatshirt to the concrete campus on the windy hill. I swore today I would dress smarter but it turns out today isn't parka weather. Last night was. I historically have bad winter coating habits, often look out the window into a horizontal torrent and accordingly select comfy light-weight sleeves that served me well all summer long. This is my tendency my friend Sascha often points out, poking me maliciously, with her actual finger. She called me yesterday is perhaps the only reason I tried to dress appropriately today. And it backfired.

It was very nice to talk to her. Most of my friendships are mostly theoretical these days. This probably sounds sad. It is, I guess.



Anyway, pumpkins.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

For the birds

Our backyard is fenced in by chain-link and grown over with a laurel hedge. The hedge hides about 90% of the chain-link fence (which I hate), but the hedge is also ugly and prone to looking mildewy and diseased. I'd like to eventually replace the fence, removing the hedge entirely, however, the hedge is perfect habitat for the small song birds that eat out of our feeders. They sit singing in the bushes all day long. Does anybody have any suggestions on what we can do to keep these birds around? Are there other plants in which they are likely to settle? Honestly, I'd rather keep the hedge if taking it out means we lose the birds. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

----

Anyway, it wasn't any one molar coming in that caused all that anxious to-doing around here, it was three. Now all three teeth are in and, YAY! happiness EVER AFTER ever since. It's been so lovely in fact, that the day after that last grievous post, rose petals tumbled out of Thea's diaper and angels sang.

This is true too. She'd been out in the backyard with Ashley defrocking the roses. There were trails of petals around the half an apple tree, leading to the dog's water bowl, filling the water bowl, escaping through the fence, and, it seems like she saved a fistful of those petal down the front of her onesie. When I went to change her, oh pleasant day, there they were.

But yes, I didn't know until a few days ago that there were actually three teeth breaking through. I had Thea on my lap, head thrown back, laughing and I was like HOLY CRAP, LOOOKIT! TEETH! I do my best to anticipate her need for pain medication but it's not easy. I can only imagine that mouth hurt like a motherfucker.


Anyway, breathing easy.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

It's just a phase, right?



Things have gotten very exciting here. Owen is gated up in the kitchen with a shaved-naked and visibly withered drumstick haunch. He ranges emotionally between visibly depressed and thickly morose, depending on how tranquilized he is at the moment -- though he can rally a good swooping howl and nerve-wracking broken-legged leap, even from the depths of a drug stupor, when any of us come home. These moments are, you know, his only high points during this trial long convalescence... homecomings aaaand the radio... oh, and going outside long enough to pee! Three weeks down, five more to go.



Immediately after surgery, pre-atrophy

Also, we have more teeth: big fat molars = punchypunchy baby! It's a curious fact that toddlers haven't gone extinct. They seem to have an uncanny ability to know exactly when to come around hugging and kissing. Seriously, she is really fucking cute and cute works on me. And so does the feeling of insane, terminal-velocity mamalove. But, fuck!, it ain't easy. I actually banged my head on the wall today, about five or six thumps. At times, always lately, I feel like the most clueless, under-prepared, incompetent person to ever try mothering which is a double blow because I had gotten smug, I was going to be a better! mother! than all the mothers I've known. But hold that phone! The contest has hardly begun, and there is still plenty of wine.



This face?

I really don't know what I am doing! Today I just stopped trying to negotiate what I thought was a pretty fair compromise which went like this: okay! you got to brush your teeth, now it's mama's turn (to brush your teeth) (so cheery) and finally, because it was received with back-arching howls anyway, I just executed some street justice and wrenched the toothbrush out of her hands with my superior strength and we suffered the consequences together - on the floor, snotty, and streaming hot tears. Bonus, she still comes to me for consolation, even when the disconsolating event is of my doing.

So that, with scene reruns re: lotion, nail clippers, food, clothing (and other things I wasn't even given enough time to deny her of), was our day, week, month? year? How long does this phase last? So yes, I'm making a list of resources: The library is a discrete way of getting information. Parenting websites too, though maybe other parents aren't quite willing to use the same language I use to describe my toddler's behavior (badger in a dress) which makes the search results either dishonest, or upsetting, or both. Other parents? I need specific advice instead of platitudes. I want someone to tell me this: When A happens, then B should be your course of action, in which B is nothing abusive, or non-life affirming.

I think, as times have noticeably darkened in this struggle for independence, about that smug anti-parenting article citing non-parents self-reported higher levels of happiness, and I remember the quote "my family are like millstones around my neck" and, with a nod, I still wouldn't un-wish. This is not to say That. I just want to make it easier on us, me maybe mostly her.


this face?

holymother! so I had a dreams last night that was such metaphorical overkill! It was me at the funnest, swanky party but I could not, WOULD NOT stay because, no! this isn't like me!, and plus I had to get home to sleeping Thea. So instead I spent the entire party into the early morning hours searching the grounds for a to-go box, or even a dirty plate so I could bring home some of the amazing food from the banquet tables. But I could not find a container, or, then I could not hold onto a container, or find another... and all around me were people in various states of rapturous life-affirmation fun-having. And the food slowly disappeared, then the desserts disappeared, and the people started to disappear and I was still thinking I had to find this container because maybe the food had just been put in the fridge, and I could still make it home. And yet, my niece, who was supposed to be babysitting Thea, drifted into and out of the crowd, mentioning that she had told the neighbors that I would be right back and they weren't really keeping Thea safe, but had an ear out for her, so there was THIS too, this urgency to send my niece back to watch Thea, or to get back myself, but I just had to get this container! Why didn't I just eat the fucking food?

you guys! what is the food? did I have this dream because one of the classes I interpreted on Thoreau and his LIVE FOR NO-OTHER credo? is this just because I feel so weighed down and dispersed by the piles of things in my head I mean to get around to, but refuse to sacrifice NARY A ONE, EVEN IF IT MEANS I'VE THEN SACRIFICED THEM ALL?

Just... damn! I wish I had time for all the library books I have checked out. At least I can keep renewing them, over and over again. Eventually, I'll read up all the answers.

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