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Archive for November, 2010

thanks

It seems fitting while ruminating on baby’s first Thanksgiving to mention how amazed I am. A Mom. At last.

We drove back home this afternoon and she was sort of fussing in the back seat because 90 minutes is a much larger percentage of her life than it is mine, and I’m tired of the haul through Black Friday traffic too. So she’s sort of whining, and rubbing the top of her head with my occasionally free hand isn’t doing it for her anymore, so I start blowing raspberries loudly, for lack of anything else to do. And in between her protests she’s trying to blow raspberries too. This child is not quite 4 months old and can’t see what I’m doing and is peeved besides, but she’s doing her level best to imitate that silly flapping lip sound as we make our way through the last stretch northward.

So there’s this wonderful presence in my house every day now and while the cats are suffering mightily for my unapologetic lack of interest in them, the babe is flourishing and chortling and being vehemently wonderful pretty much 100% of the time.

Some 17 people were assembled at my uncle’s house for Thanksgiving this year and it occurred to me at some point, as my child was being passed around, hand to hand, that every now and then I’d look over at her and she’d lock eyes with me. Unflinching and No Two Ways About It. I’ve known some great babies in the past, but none of them sought me out across a crowded room like this. And when she got tired of people or her diaper was full or she needed another mouthful of boob, it was me she was after. That’s very cool. Still feeling pretty novel that after all that great lovin from all sides, she wants to cuddle up with me. Not a day goes by that I don’t relish the deep yummy satisfying wonderfulness of this life with my sweet girl in it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Expanding on the theme of aging lasagna, it occurred to me in the shower this morning that I was contemplating a bar of soap older than my daughter.

This wasn’t the first time this particular bar of soap had been subject to revelations far greater than its humble soapy ambitions. When I bought the soap and unwrapped it prior to Mom’s visit I mused, This soap will still be here after my baby’s born. Huh.

It washed my pregnant belly. It was a silent observer during labor when I attempted shower therapy and then loudly rejected it. It sits idly by in two adhered shards as I reach for the newer bar, peeking out at the babe in her swing. She’s hypnotized by the rotating fish.

Okay, some perspective on aging household objects… These potted plants have been around “observing” for some time now. So does the loose change I can never seem to get rid of, the river rocks I strew around my house, these 42 cent stamps. This small bottle of eye drops never seems to expire. These dull pencils I collect since I never think to locate a sharpener.

But I’m pretty sure my mom doesn’t have anything in her shower that’s older than me. Or even in her fridge. Though, now that I think of it, she does have a felted frog in her freezer that is actually older than me. It’s being quarantined away from all insect life, staring outward in a resigned sort of way from a freezer-burned plastic bag. Not actually edible, however.

What’s possibly funny is the perishables that are still older than my 3 month old. Let’s take stock:

. dijon mustard

. capers

. peanut butter

. limeade

. sunflower seeds

. frozen waffles

. veggie burgers

Well, that was fun. There’s probably more. It’s not like I got up to check or anything. As it is I’m typing this with one hand, you know. So fess up now, what do you have squirreled away in your shower/pantry/fridge that’s older than your loved ones?

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ch ch ch ch changes

I’m back to work and it’s not so bad. Apparently I kick ass at Compartmentalizing. And as in most situations, I make a much bigger deal out of things before they happen, just in case I happen to need the emotional armor when the change comes. I usually don’t end up needing it. Maybe I use up all my scary energy in Anticipation and so there’s nothing left when real stuff actually happens.

So that hasn’t changed.

But lots of other things have. Here’s an assortment, off the top of my head:

1. My cats are no longer my children. I’m so glad they have each other because I’m not too concerned about their feelings anymore, now that they’re cats and not actual Family Members. I still clean their litter boxes and take them to the vet and feed them. But I don’t answer their midnight cries and only occasionally break up their fights. I’m glad to see that the boy cat has reinstated his Carrying The Nasty Eye-less Stuffed Monkey Around While Howling routine, because I was secretly worried that he was broken since the baby arrived.

2. I no longer cook. I’m now one of those crazy people that go dashing around Whole Foods at rush hour while the clock is still ticking at daycare, spending way too much on a chunk of salmon because it’s cooked and not raw and that’s worth the extra $4. Anyway, the babe hates garlic, lentils, tomatoes, broccoli, tofu (or chard, not sure which was the offending ingredient that evening)… so my repertoire is pretty much at a standstill, and I already ate the food both grandmas left in the freezer months ago (hey kid, this lasagna is as old as you!).

3. I’ve learned to prioritize. Never having had a compelling reason to multitask efficiently in the past, I’d wander from room to room partially finishing various tasks while absently daydreaming of the next one and then end up on the computer researching cuttlefish for two hours before realizing my toaster oven potato was beyond done, even for a potato. No longer. Now I literally turn myself back around and say, Wasn’t That Your Bladder Speaking? Peeing is #1 on the List Of Things To Do Before The Babe Needs You Again. THEN and only then can you empty the diaper genie, pay bills, wash the incredible array of Dr Brown’s Bottle Parts (what the hell are these things I’m obediently scrubbing every night, anyway??), and pick up the cat vomit in the hall.

In that order.

4. I no longer wonder what everyone else is doing. I can spend the whole weekend indoors with my amazing young friend without picking up my phone to see what’s happening in the city, or anywhere else, for that matter. I’ve not been so provincial since I was four. We get out for walks. We’re happy if we make it to the farmer’s market. We’re also happy if we don’t. We cuddle up and nurse again and let the time go and reminisce about just how much this reminds us of our wonderful first three months together…

And this is how it’s not so bad going back to work.

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