Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Long Goodbye

Today I finally sorted through all of Noah's 0-9 month old clothes and took them to a consignment shop.

I'm not at all a sentimental person and I NEVER cry.

But going through all his little onesies and newborn footies, I came as close to crying as my cold robot heart would allow.  I had no idea it would hurt so much.

Saying goodbye to your little baby forever.  That might just well be the hardest thing about parenting.  Motherhood is like the ultimate exercise in ambivalence--I SO SO SO want Noah to grow up and develop and blossom AND I SO SO SO want him to stop growing and always stay the same.

Even as I cuddle his chub and inhale deep whiffs of his sweet fatness, I'm mourning that he'll never be this small, this cute, this baby-ish ever again.

It *almost* made me want to have another baby.

In which my toddler makes me question the foundation of my ethical stance on economic charity

[Judah opens up his mini-kitchen cupboard where he stashes his hoard of fake and real coins.]

Judah: I have lots of money Mommy.  I'm rich!

Spouse: Do you want to share some with us?

Judah: Sure!  Then I won't be rich anymore.


Judah: Mommy, I can be rich.  Or I can be generous.

Me--floored.  From the mouth of babes--what profound and interesting insight.  Even if one doesn't agree, you gotta admit that's a pretty heavy concept to wrestle with.

I can be rich.  Or I can be generous.

If you're rich and have more than enough, what is your obligation to your fellow man?
What does it mean to be generous?
How much do you need to share?
Should you share until the point where you're no longer rich?

[Note: I'm not advocating a political view, but rather asking about one's own private moral and ethical inclinations.  Please don't think I'm a commie.]

Monday, September 23, 2013

Nursing Noah

Last week has been pretty rough for Noah.

He had a couple days of high fever and then a little pink rash all over his tummy that spread up to his neck and face.  I attributed it to teething since he's growing out his top two teeth, but later realized that it might have been roseola (a viral infection).

Either way, I've been trying to nurse him extra much during his fever to prevent dehydration, but Noah is just not interested in nursing during his awake periods.  All I can really do is nurse him at night when he's too sleepy to protest.  So that meant a lot more night nursing sessions and a much more tired mama.  But the silver-lining is that I finally figured out the etymology of the phrase--nursed back to health.  It was kind of hard to miss it as I literally nursed Noah back to health.

The extra nursing was a little annoying, but what was REALLY awful was when Noah went on an all out nursing strike a few days later due to his gums being so sore from teething.  Of course I didn't figure it out until 12+ hours later and my boobs were dying from engorgement, ugh.

But after some squirts of Baby Orajel and a lot of pumping, we are pretty much almost all back to our normal selves.

All I have to say is--thank goodness for topical anesthetics!

Last week was rough, but we are back on our feet now!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Preoccupation with Occupation

There I was filling out the new patient form at top speed.

First name, middle name, last name.



Phone number.


Wait, what?


Um, um, pen hovered over the blank line for longer than felt comfortable.


Has my statute of limitations run out for writing my old occupation--attorney?  Two months into being a SAHM, there it was, punching me in the face--all my insecurities and misgivings about being a SAHM.

I hesitated longer than I would ever have imagined hesitating over something like this.  And then slowly I started to write "s" "t" "a" and then stopped cold.

I'm not going to write that.  I can't write that.  I guess I haven't made my peace with that yet.  It felt too personal to write that.  Why should I let strangers know about something that is still so raw and un-reconciled?

Why IS it still so raw and un-reconciled?

Why is auto spell-check telling me there is no such word as 'unreconciled'?  Tangent, sorry.

This is stupid, I thought.  Why am I making this such a big deal?  And yet I couldn't bring myself to finish writing the word 'stay'.

So I crossed it all out and wrote "unemployed."

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Lately I've fallen into a blogging black hole.

It's funny how sometimes I can't seem to write fast enough--ideas for posts pouring out of my ears.  And other times, like now, I can't be bothered to lift a single finger and type a single letter.

The only way to break out of a blogging funk, I find, is to just write.  The only way to get unstuck is to just type.  Without this perfunctory flexing of the metacarpals, I find that everything soon calcifies and a once somewhat healthy blog becomes pretty much extinct.  You turn around and realize...hmmm...I haven't written a new post for 4 weeks...and then 4 months...and then why bother anymore.

Sometimes the attempt to have a nice coherent blog entry pretty much obliterates the fun of blogging.  So to heck with that today.  Here's a random list of stuff that...well, is just random:

--I've been on a Cheryl Strayed kick lately.  Just finished Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things.  She's an amazing writer and her immense humanity and wisdom shines through in every sentence (but I definitely don't agree with everything she says).  I think I might buy Tiny Beautiful Things in hardcopy (everything I read is on kindle since the only time I have to read is while nursing) just so I can highlight phrases and read some passages over and over again.

--Noah is 8 months today.  We're finally digging ourselves out of a deep dark hole of baby care.  Most wonderfully he's now on a very predictable schedule.  He takes 2 naps at the same time every day and eats solids like a beast.  Oh how I love predictability.

--Judah has become an aggressive alpha male monster.  Everything that comes out of his mouth is about killing, hating, fighting, cutting off heads, etc.  I fear I'm raising the next great American sociopath.  And the tantrums.  They are stronger and more frequent than ever.  Terrible Threes, here we come!

--I just started watching Season 1 of Breaking Bad.  Fascinating.  Psychologically fascinating.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Through a Glass, Darkly

These past 6 days have been hellacious.  I officially hate Labor Day.

Because of Labor Day, Judah's preschool shut down on Friday and Monday.  That means I wrangled with both kids ALL DAY on Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon and Tue (today).  The vast majority of those days, all by myself.

By the time Monday rolled around I was pretty much ready to swallow a bucket of pain pills.  And wash it down with some good gin.  Just kidding.  Not really.  Just kidding.  Only sort of.

It's hard to explain to people who haven't had the "pleasure" of dealing with babies and toddlers why it is so particularly painful to care for them for long periods of time.  And to be fair, Noah is really not the main pain.  His only contribution is his gargantuan heft (21 lbs!) that must be hoisted around the house, up and down the stairs, in and out of contraptions, etc.  He's so heavy that I literally brace myself for the upcoming physical pain as I prepare to pick him up.  Ever watch olympic weightlifting--how they scrunch up their face before lifting the barbell?  Yeah, like that.

But the real assault on my sanity comes from Judah.  Clingy, whiny, prone-to-trantrumming, disobedient, limit-testing, super-active Judah.  Plus he's gross.  I totally know what Tina Fey means when she says she's like a human napkin to her kids.  Boogers, pee, poo, snot, drool--it all gets wiped on me.  I am constantly being violated and I shudder to consider what's on his grubby little fingers.

Probably the hardest thing about Judah is his extreme need for attention.  I would probably be really down on my parenting ability because of this, except for the fact that (a) he's been like this since he was a baby and (b) Noah is nothing like this.

Noah can play by himself, as early as 3 months, longer than Judah can at 3 years of age.  Crazy right?  So crazy it made me google--kids who need too much attention--to try to figure out what the heck is wrong with Judah.  And that just reminded me why I find parenting advice so infuriating.

Nothing is clear, everything is vague.  It all "depends..."  Every article said some variation of the following--There's a fine line between giving your kid the love and attention he needs and giving him too much  and thereby spoiling him.  And where is that fine line exactly?  It never says, of course.  It depends...on temperament, personality, each individual child, etc.  Um, thanks articles, for NOTHING.

Anyway, just so I don't end on a sour dark note, here are some bright spots in our days:

First tandem brother bath time!  I hope this journey doesn't end with games of "slippery fish" in their future.

Please ignore Judah's naked butt and just focus on the fact that they're both engrossed in independent reading.

Sweet moments like these are all too brief.  Seriously, like only 0.15 seconds long.

Oh how I love (and put up with) my precious two and a half men.

As these pics prove, we do have our brief (make that very very very brief) shining moments. But still, all I can say is--Thank GOD Judah is going to preschool tomorrow.