Monday, January 26, 2015


This is my body, broken for you.

That's the phrase I recite in my mind every time I lift Noah's bulk weight.

My back aches. My shoulders are tight. My neck is stiff.

He's a heavy toddler but demands to be held constantly like a much younger baby when he's not feeling well. And it happens often now that flu season is upon us.

Also, it doesn't count if your biceps aren't burning. Noah accepts nothing but the toughest workouts (for his mother) - none of that sitting on the couch and holding him. Woman, you are standing up! I need to feel the full weight of gravity!

Sometimes I can't hold him anymore and I just have to sit.

He wails in protest. Angry hot tears streaming down his face.

I endure his screams for as long as I can. And then I gird my loins and endure his weight again, for as long as I can. This is how we pass the hours. The days, weeks. Another season.

This is my body, broken for you.

This is my life, poured out for you.

These are my best years of productivity, set aside for you.

Go ahead and take it all my child.

Stumbling around with you, I am growing into a version of myself that I like much better than the person who was here before you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Reverse Weaning, if there even is such a thing

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but hey, if it helps another mom out there, all the better.

I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that I am the only mom in the history of motherhood to have this "situation" happen.

About 3 months ago Noah stopped nursing after he got terrible sores all over his mouth. It was sudden and abrupt, but I was fine with it seeing as how he was already 21 months anyway. And because I love and miss wearing high-neck clothing.

But about 3 weeks ago, he started asking for "boo-boo" again. At first I thought it was just a joke and played along with it, lifting my shirt up. But his funny 5 minute joke turned into 15 minutes and then 30 minutes. And before I knew it, he was asking for it multiple times a day - especially when he needed some extra comfort - before and after waking up, when he had major meltdowns, etc.

And now we are back to square one. It's as if he never weaned in the first place!

Funny enough, Noah looked up at me once and said "There's no milk mommy." Yep, that's right son. I explained that "All mommy's milk is gone! All gone!"

And then he chuckled and kept right on nursing.

And then asked for "regular milk" from the fridge.

Obviously I feel conflicted about this. Happy to provide an easy form of comfort to Noah (it's a thousand times easier to soothe him with the boob than holding a 30 pound kid and walking him around for 30 min). Unhappy to go through the inconvenience of "nursing again". Happy to keep "bonding" with my kid. Unhappy to lose some bodily independence.

And then there's the fact that he's my last baby.

But then there's the fact that he's not really a baby anymore.

But most non-modern cultures don't wean until age 3 or 4.

But it just feels weird/wrong to be going backwards.


Friday, January 16, 2015

I Yayu Noah

I've tried and I've failed, again and again.

How can I possibly write a blog post about you, Noah?

To do it justice I would have to fill volumes of books and spill oceans of ink. You have only just turned 2 this week, but already you inspire in me a universe of new worlds ranging from the goofy to the glorious.

As poor and paltry as this attempt is, I must record something before the mists of time dissolve it all.

My sweet Tenders - words fail me when it comes to you.

At about 15 months you learned to say "I yayu (love you) mommy."

At about 18 months you learned to tease "I yayu this much mommy! Big!" [arms open wide] "I yayu this much mommy! Little!" [stingy fingers pinched close together]

Around that same time you liked to ask "Wha wrong mommy?" when I frowned (which was very frequently - at crums, at spills, at disobedience, etc.)

You also picked up the expression "Gotta go!" and "Ready...go!"

When I asked if you were a baby or a big boy you'd look at me coyly and say "I big boy!" and waited for me to fake cry until you said "I baby!"

You cry the hardest and loudest when I scold you for blatant and deliberate disobedience (throwing food on the floor, wiggling around to avoid diaper changes, running through the house with your shoes on, etc). In those times you rebuff any offer of comfort from me, but cry loudly for Judah.

If I tell you that a babysitter is coming, you always ask "Judah be with me?" His presence is as good as ours.

Around 19 months you learned (from Judah) how to pout. When I force you to take turns with a toy, you sit down in a huff and scowl "Oh! I get nothing!" It's pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Your most frequent phrase to me used to be "Eat me mommy! Tickle me mommy!" but recently it's been "Count to 3!" because you want to play hide-and-seek.

The first time I told you a story I made up, you loved it. And then did something your brother never did even though I've told him close to ten thousand tales by now. You said "My turn! I tell you story Mommy." And then you proceeded to tell my story back to me.

And now it's your go-to story, the only one you tell, and you tell it to me almost every day. "One day...Noah a ("and") Judah...a Mommy...a Daddy...go to park. See the goat. A feed the goat a carrot! Goodbye!" (For the record, there really is a goat at our park and we do feed it carrots).

Around 22 months you surprised me when I picked you up from daycare one day. As I buckled you in, you spontaneously said "I come Mommy!"

And since that day, you've been a wellspring of emotional expression.

"I sad for you not come Mommy."
"I angry at you Mommy!"
"I sad. I cry for you in my crib Mommy."

And my favorite one that I first heard the very day you turned 2 "I mad at you Mommy! I want...a other mommy! I no want you!"

Is it strange that your most hostile expressions are the ones that charm me the most? To be honest I don't know why it amuses me so much to watch you ball up in anger towards me as I deny you freedoms for your own well being. No more candy Noah. No more scissors Noah. No putting batteries in your mouth!

I guess I love that you're secure enough in my love to display all your hateful rage.

Because I love you so much Noah. And the greatest joy you can give me is to truly understand that.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Of Marbles and Men

Judah got a twenty dollar bill from his grandparents over Christmas (among other things) and I told him I would let him buy a mom-approved toy the next time we went out.

So yesterday, feeling rich (and very unaware of the relative value of goods) Judah scoured the aisles of Rite Aid looking for a toy. I would have preferred to take him to a store with splashier toys (like Target) but alas, a prescription needed to be filled.

Judah was feeling generous and said he wanted to buy a toy for Noah too. "You can pick out any toy you want Noah, and I'll buy it for you, if Mommy says it's ok!"

After perusing the entire toy section Judah settled on a bag of marbles (50 little ones + 1 big shooter). Here's where I explain that my kids love all things small and shiny. They are like tiny dragons hoarding all kinds of beads, glass pebbles, coins, etc.

Judah previously found a single marble in the dirt at the park and told me it was his most treasured possession, so you can only imagine how mind-boggling precious a bag of 50 marbles would be.

Noah, being the perfect copy-cat, immediately cried for his own bag of marbles. I got one for him too and that's when the crazy-rage started.

For the rest of the time, Judah tried everything he could think of to get Noah to choose a different toy. He could not for one minute abide the thought that Noah would have just as great and awesome a possession as he was about to own. When Noah (reading his brother's desperation correctly and thereby guaranteeing that he would not be distracted from his own bag of marbles) would not be dissuaded, Judah was beside himself with grief and rage.

How was I going to get us out of the mess without someone descending into a giant puddle of kid-scream? I'm not going to lie, I felt like King Solomon himself.

I weighed all my options and decided the least offensive would be to let Judah get 2 bags of marbles while Noah only got 1. I floated the idea to Judah and thankfully it took! Judah was pleased that he still had something "better" than Noah and Noah was still pleased that he had a bag of marbles.

Preschooler treasure chest.

Since that moment, the kids have been hoarding and caressing their marbles like a miser his gold. Judah occasionally snatches up a stray marble that Noah loses in his clumsy grasp and adds it to his already giant pile. Over the course of 2 days Noah's pile has carelessly dwindled down to about 10.

And I'm just loving it. I love watching their naked, grasping natures on display. I find it hilarious and instructional all at the same time - like watching an Aesop's Fable unfold in real life.

The Boy and His Marbles - a cautionary tale of greed and ruin.