Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Post-post-partum?

Today I lay on my couch when baby boy finally fell asleep for a mid-day nap that started out as a mid-morning nap...and I just lay there. I tried to go to sleep, knowing I probably really needed it. Baby boy hasn't been sleeping well since our return from our trip home. All our good work and routine we set before I left is gone to shit. Anyway, my mind was racing. I felt so on edge. I tossed. I turned. I thought I heard him and jumped up, then lay back down. I thought about how hard it was putting him to bed last night when he screamed for 2 hours straight. I remembered that that is when parents end up shaking their kids, so I panicked and wanted to go in and cuddle him. I shook my head to clear those cobwebs! I looked longingly out the window and thought of nothing. I felt like I should have been longing for something! That made me feel worse-this guilt in my heart like "I should be yearning for my freedom, the ability to just get up and go, have great makeup and sexy heels and just go out-my old life." I thought about missing my job. But I couldn't actually feel it. Instead I just felt empty. Like...too tired to bother. I drooled. I sighed. I sighed some more. I realized I had no friends to call, no one to see, no one who understood. Was this what post-partum was like? Did I have the 5 month baby blues?

Last night when I laid my head on my pillow I felt exactly the same way. My mind was going a mile a minute. Last week our good friends' father died. It made me think of my MIL and the horrible relationship we have. I blamed myself and worried she was going to die and my husband would hate me forever (not even possible!). Then my mind jumped and I compiled a list of things I will need for next month when my baby boy starts eating solids. I mentally compared pricing from different stores for the same items and tallied my purchases. My girlfriend's bridal shower is this weekend coming and she refuses to register anywhere-believing she doesn't want presents. I think she is foolish. So I visually registered for her. I went around the department store "ding-ing" everything with that bar code gun that I wish I had thought of asking for when I got married. Special things I would never spend the money on myself. It was a long list. In case you are interested, I'm posting the list soon. It was a good one.

Gladly, before I really fell into the depths of apathetic despair (is that even possible?) baby boy woke up from his nap. (Never thought I'd rejoice at that!). I threw him into the stroller and got myself outta here, stat, figuring the need for laundry detergent was enough of a reason to get out. I hit up Starbucks and decided I deserved to sit and sip for once-baby boy actually fell asleep on the walk there. Not long after I was sitting, still feeling slightly melancholy, in strolled a mommy I met at a mommy's group. She was with her mother. While her mom bought their coffees she rushed over and sat down, and hissed "If she asks, we had a coffee together here yesterday! Please?!?!" HAHAHA! I hardly know her! My kind of girl. I heartily agreed and my mood lifted immediately. Obviously her mother was driving her crazy and I felt all of a sudden there was a kindred spirit. And, it was an acting challenge-look! a glimpse into my old life just like that! After our 1/2 hour coffee chat, I left to pick up the laundry detergent and ran into a mommy from my old "mommy and baby yoga" class. Or as I used to call it "other mommies do yoga, and I do colic, baby" class. So within 2 hours of feeling sorry for myself I now had two new friends in my neighborhood to call upon for walks and coffees. Life is funny like that, hey?

Tonight when my MIL called I actually picked up. We chatted. I think I might be manic.

How to make a meal from a snack


Or a mountain out of a molehill. Here's my favorite conversation that I had with my MIL during my visit home. (background info: I have a wheat allergy. It's been 5 years since I've eaten wheat. I have to remind my in-laws of this EVERY time I see them. And it's not like they have a trillion daughters-in-law with special things to remember. Uhhh, I am the only one. Some credit given to them for their forgetful old age...but still.)

MIL: "Here...have some pizza!" (produces plate with 3 slices)
Me: (here we go again-I don't want to remind them again and make it awkward) "No thank you, I'm ok right now"
MIL: "Oh have some pizza, it's the best pizza"
Me: "No really, thanks, but I'm not hungry right now."
MIL: (in a sterner voice now)"Have some pizza. It's delicious"
Me: (sigh) "No, I'm sorry, but remember I have the wheat allergy? Yeah, so thank you, but I just can't have pizza. Thanks though!"
MIL: "Right. Oh well, this is the PERFECT pizza for someone who can't eat the crust!" (you
have to hear the tone of voice used here-like "oh yeah that wheat allergy garbage again, but I'll show her!"
Me: "Really? What do you mean?" (I'm confused? How can pizza be perfect for someone who can't eat bread?)
MIL: " These toppings are just gorgeous! They are delicious. Just slide off the toppings and eat them!"
Me: (uhhh I'm not that picky of an eater besides my allergy, but this does not appeal to me in the least. Greasy cheese with some veggies?) "Oh, no thank you..."
MIL: (getting frantic) "But they are delicious!!! Just eat the toppings! They are so good for you
if you can't eat the crust!"
Me: "No, no...thanks, but I'll pass..."
MIL: "Why won't you eat them?!?!? They are so good!" (This continues for many more rounds with me trying to politely decline each time...but MIL is getting more frustrated with me like
I am an insolent child. She is holding the plate out still with two hands and jabbing it towards me).

Finally-Me: "No really...thank you. But I just don't want to eat the toppings. I'm not trying to be mean...really I'm not. I just don't want the toppings. Besides they were baked on the crust and there could be some bread mixed in with them...so I don't want to get sick. I'm sorry." (here I am apologizing, for what, I don't know.) "Maybe someone else here (looking around at the group of people present for this weird interchange) would like to have the full piece to themselves!"

MIL: (In a whiny, depressed, almost sobbing voice) "But we ordered it for you!"

Here's where I finally lost my cool a little.
Me: "Well I'm sorry but that was silly, because you know I don't eat wheat."

At this point she tosses the plate of pizza down and walks away, miffed. My husband's friend, sitting next to me jumps right in-he looks at me and goes "So...heard you went to New York in October! How was that!?". See, it's not just me. The whole situation was awkward and strange...but this is how it always is with her and I. So I am glad that someone else finally witnessed it.

Then all of a sudden she comes back toward me wielding a bowl of chili. She looks at me with venom in her eyes and puts, not places gently, the bowl in front of me and says:

"Here is a bowl of your father-in-law's famous chili. If you are interested."

It is the tone of voice that she used that really sent the shivers down my spine. I ate the chili up, yum, yum! And smacked my lips. Delicious! I was scared she may next come at me with a carving knife.

Funniest part is...in telling my husband the story later he is laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, but most of all, the fact that he has never heard of, nor had, his dad's "famous" chili.

You PIG!

I just popped in my first "please shut up for a few minutes so I can go online" DVD. It's working! Baby Boy is enthralled by this "development hindering" show. I am sure to interact and sing along every now and then to help keep him "actively engaged". Anyways, the little puppet character is a little pink pig named, well, Pig. And the narrator keeps asking him questions like "What are you doing Pig?" emphasis on PIG. So it always sounds like an insult. It's striking me as funny, and kinda a weird juxtaposition of kid-friendly, sugary sweetness and bitchy, underpaid voice-over actor. I've officially got the giggles!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Where is the line drawn in the sand?

Warning: The following post in very politically INcorrect.

So I'm waiting for the bus today at my "safe", practiced distance from the stop, and a lady using a "visually impaired" cane approached. As she passed she stared me straight in the face and said "Hello" in chipper voice. So I replied: "hello". When we boarded the bus it ended up that we were sidled alongside the seat that "blind lady" occupied. She struck up a conversation. It is at times like this that I always have to take a deep breath. It always happens to me on public transit. I must have a sign on my forehead that reads "Lonely? Depressed? Homeless? Disabled...um sorry, ok: challenged? Talk to ME!" But I had a friend who always looked upon moments like this as opportunities rather than impositions, so I try to emulate her at least a little. She was a good soul. So it goes that "blind lady" kept asking me small talk questions. I answered, but really was not feeling into asking her reciprocal ones. Then the weirdest thing happened. She started feeling all of my belongings. Like, she started fingering my cup holder on my stroller. "Ohhhh you've got a little holder here, hey? For drinks and things?" She asked. Ummm yes. "And lookit here, what is this some kind of organiser you have here? For holding your cards and papers?" Ummm yeah. "WOW, this handle on your stroller seems very sturdy. (Feeling the buttons on the handle) it must reverse so baby is facing both ways, then?" ok, yes, yes, and yes (me hiding my rising distaste). I'm thinking in my head: It's ok, she is blind, this is how she looks at things in the world. We were chatting, she is just commenting on things like a normal person in her own unique way, breathe, breathe, calm down.

But then "blind lady" sees another person getting on with a stroller, and she points at him and then at the spot reserved for strollers on the bus and directs him there "You have to push your stroller all the way in there" she says pointing. Huh? So she can see? Ok, I get that she may not be totally blind. Then she starts commenting on all the things she sees whipping by us outside the bus window. Huh? So her eyesight is only bad close up and when things aren't moving, I guess? That's very strange. Then she goes back to fondling my things-she fingers baby's blanket and asks me all about him, she touches my bus passes shoved in my diaper bag, etc, etc. So my question here, and this is the politically incorrect part, do I gotta let a blind person fondle my things no questions asked? If I went around fondling people's belongings on the bus I'd probably be kicked in the crotch and arrested. As it should be. People are always touching my stroller on the bus. Old people always grab the handles for steadiness as they hobble to their seats (not smart since, oh, it's on wheels!) and people are always grabbing the blanket and peering inside at baby boy. So where do I draw the line? "Regular" people get a bitchy "back off!" but disabled people can touch away? Would I be prejudiced if I asked "blind lady" to stop? Would people write into the free newspapers about the injustices they watched this lady and baby commit on the bus? Or is it right for me to expect anyone, no matter their ability, race, age, to ASK before they F%^kin' touch my things?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Squishy bits and...


Saggy tits. Basically that's what you are left with after you have a baby.

I just spent two days shopping for a dress for an upcoming wedding. Lately I've really been feeling "so over" the whole 'care what people think' thing. I mean, I want to look nice but I also have other more important things on my mind, you know? Except my friend now asked me to sing at her wedding. So, whereas before I was just another guest and not the main attraction...now at least for a few minutes people might look at me. And I just wanted to look sexy, not soft. Problem is, I also needed to nurse in this dress since it is daytime and baby boy is still nursing exclusively (and no he won't take a bottle-I can post about that another time). Search "Nursing dress" online and apparently nursing women all morph into Laura Ashley lovers who want flower prints, fake rosettes, dropped waists, shoulder pads and dresses that are very OBVIOUSLY nursing dresses; flaps and weird buttons and "concealed" zippers for "access". Yuck.
Yeah, I might just wear a skirt and a blouse since I refuse to go into the bathroom and pull a dress over my head to nurse.. Further more, I'd like to avoid having to feed my son next to a flushing toilet just because I need privacy (Thank you mall "nursing rooms" situated right next to those automatic flushing toilets!) But for the first time in 5 months I wanted to put the effort in to look sexy. You know, shave the legs, do the hair, wear a thong...and goddammit wear a dress. Is that too much to ask? Well, a dress that covers the squishy bits and highlights the saggy (bigger though, I add) tits. I guess that is a tall order.

P.S. Above is pictured the "Sunday Best Nursing Dress by "Nursing Mamas" found on Amazon. Woooo-eeee, that's HAWT! Its the clear winner. Other notable mentions include the "Fun in the Sun Nursing Dress" and the "Nursing Sun Dress in Black and Pink". And thorough search results
on good maternity clothing sites proved no more, well, wearable. Surely there are women out there who are nursing and aren't living in polygamy on some compound? 'Cause that's what these dresses all scream to me.

The apple doesn't fall far from the f%$king tree!

So, after every visit with my parents (in the last 5 years or so) I come away feeling both proud and scared shitless that I am becoming more and more like my mom. We fight a lot and I've been able to distinguish that, for the most part, this is because we are so alike. And yet...so different. I suppose you could say that some of my mom's bad habits I subconsciously found to be endearing, and so I adopted them. And some of them I found to be abhorrent, and so I abhor them. The ways I have adapted to be opposite of my mom piss her off to no end (like being on time and organised!) so we fight, and the things we do the same are unfortunately things that cause fights (nagging, thinking we are always right, stubbornness, yelling, etc) and so...we fight. Oh yeah, and potty mouth-that comes from my mom too. So, when we fight it gets dirty.

In any case my organised, timely, cleanly self decided that this trip I would really need to let my preferences fall to the wayside. I did not want to fight on this special first trip home with my son. I think I did a pretty good job. But here's what made me vomit in my mouth every day I spent there (but I never let any snarky comments dribble out!):

My mom's car is like a hobo's shopping cart; Items loosely flying around the floor, long forgotten and ground with mud. Once useful and important enough to bring along, now so dirty and lost they are garbage. Here's the list: old graying pair of sport socks (including string-y elastic thread from ankle part strung out and tangled up in seat bolt), three pairs of shoes, an evening purse with a mud footprint on it, numerous used tissues, 5 or 6 empty water bottles, a crushed can of coke, 4 cd's, 2 winter hats (both leopard print), one glove, a plastic bag, a no-name MP3 player, a paint chip sample wheel (my mom was an interior decorator), a binder with papers crumpled and falling out (no doubt for her ongoing real estate deals), a broken umbrella, many receipts stuffed into the door pockets, a daytimer, of course loose change (or should I say sticky change?), an opened bag of gummi bears, and the piece de résistance-McDonald's lonely, spongy french fries. I'm not exaggerating. That's the list.

My mom is a successful woman. She can find shit in that disorganised mess, too. Kudos to her-I just hated sitting among it. Her car is new and I have no idea how you can let it get so bad, but instead of being snotty and judging her, I took her car for a car wash. Ok...that was mildly selfish. You see the car is two door and every day when I was climbing and crawling into the back seat to put baby in the car seat I emerged looking like I had a fight with a Pigpen from Peanuts.

Here's the best part- when I pulled up to the car wash and punched in the code, the automatic window got stuck. I started to panic. Here I was with that screen in front of me blinking "Put car in Neutral" and I could feel the rumblings of the track beneath me, with baby in the back- I pictured myself having to get out and pull him awkwardly out of this god-forsaking two-door car to save him from being soaked...and part of me wanted to send the car through with the windows down anyways because it was so rotten. Alas, after twenty or so frantic back and forths on the button, in addition to me pulling upward with my other hand on the window, it went up.

Yeah you could say it is relaxing to be home. It just seems this is how things always worked, or didn't, in my house growing up. I fondly remember the car my mom and I used to share. If you went into the mall on a sunny day but came out to find it had rained, you had to pop the hood and spray all the wires under there with WD40 to get her started. I couldn't tell you why...or what wires specifically-so we just sprayed them all. Good times. And now I almost insist on having things in a good working order around me. So call me anal if you like: I come by it honestly.

And don't even get me started on my parents basement. I went to do my laundry when I was on the phone catching up with my husband. I had to stop mid-sentence and just list things I saw. I won't give them all to you, but just for fun: A package of instant Thai noodles stuck up on a ceiling beam. Was my dad thinking he'd start hoarding non-perishables for a bomb shelter?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Skill vs. Luck

Skill: maneuvering baby stroller far enough away from bus stop as bus approaches so as to not wake baby when bus driver kindly hits the hydraulic system and lowers bus for you. Hydraulic system is LOUD. Think industrial "woooosh" air compressor exploding combined with air horn in the hands of a frisky, drunk frat boy during Spring Break. Now...if you go too far away the bus driver might think you are signaling that you don't want his bus and are waiting for another route. Ditto if you do any waving. You could be waving him away just as much as you could be flagging him down. You can't trust the sign language skills of overworked, underpaid bus drivers who deal with bums all day, and likely don't give a rat's ass if they make the wrong call. It's very likely they would choose to NOT stop more than they would risk stopping for nothing. So after much practice I think I have honed my skill.

Luck: Forgetting about your skills when you have been away from riding the bus for awhile, and getting a crusty, overworked, underpaid bus driver who does stop...but couldn't give a rat's ass that you need the bus lowered and so he doesn't. He probably wondered why I was smiling so goofily at him since he was trying so hard to be grumpy and make my day rotten by forcing me to (gasp!) tilt and lift my stroller up into the bus. But really, I'd forgotten and I had this sweaty panic come over me as the bus came all too fast for me to move away to a safe distance. I shut my eyes tight expecting the horrendous whoosh and the screaming baby that would follow, but relief was mine when only the door popped open. Yay! I'm so lucky today! Baby boy slept for another 1/2 hour after that! I should buy a lotto ticket and ride this lucky wave! Thank you asshole bus driver!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Macaulay Culkin wants to kill me


Ok...so I'm back from the cross country trip with infant in tow. All in all it was a success. My baby was ....different. As in good. As in that movie "The Good Son" (Which totally freaks me out btw) where Macaulay Culkin is a top notch lil' gentleman to adults, but then to the other kid he is Satan. Well I'm apparently that other kid. He never cried, he didn't fuss. He smiled and giggled and played. He exuded charm and grace. It was boring. Hahahahahaha!

Actually it was boring, but mostly because I've so left my hometown behind in every sense and do not enjoy it there. But, there are so many family things to blog about that weren't boring...more crazy, tense and frightening. I think the best thing to do is blog about them over the next few days as they filter back through my mind. (cue music) Meeeeemories, like the corners of my miiiiind. I may not have a lot of time though...seeings how my son has decided to start teething right on cue with our return. Yup...the little charmer is the little screamer once again.

Not sure if it's because I've had a taste of the good life (happy baby) that I am less able to deal with this (wailing baby)...but today I lost my cool. Picture me arriving at the bus stop turnabout, under the shelter, with baby screaming at the top of his lungs and the wind blowing so hard that it keeps smacking him in the face, making him catch his breath, and then scream harder once caught. Same wind is also blowing my hair all around, whipping me in the eyes, bringing tears, but my hands are full with screaming baby and a blanket trying to shield him. Of course I am figuring out at this point that there is no way to get on a bus in this state, so my choice is to find somewhere else to calm him then retry, or just turn around and head back home. While begging screaming baby to calm down (ok, in my head I was saying: shut up) lil' old Chinese lady came over, grabbed the edge of the blanky away from baby's face, and started cooing at him. I almost sent her flying in front of an approaching bus with my hip check. Actually, it was more of a shoulder shrug, hip bump "get the hell away from me" with glare attached. Anyway, it was effective. Hope her hip replacement is covered by insurance. I was really getting aggravated, but thankfully could see it happening. So I plunked baby in the stroller, wrapped him up and just started to walk. I picked a bumpy path and gave 'er. Two amazing things happened: 1) Baby eventually (15 minutes or so) stopped crying and, 2) I saw a dad strolling along with a goofy grin and when he came close enough I could hear (over the top of mine) that his baby was screaming too. Yay! Someone else is miserable like me!

Yes, teething. So this is why I may be distracted and not able to post. Sadly, I think I will have lots of current shiz to post about if he remains in this state for long, but the old stuff from my trip is too good to forget. Will do my best. Must do my best. My best is not so good with a fussy baby: I rode the train without a ticket today (gasp), and sweat it out the whole time, due to crying baby and the problem with accessibility in this city, or should I say "Inaccessibility"? That's another post there too. It seems I regularly steal things with my baby in tow. Vendors and taxpayers take note: it's not the bums ripping you off...it's the cute mom with her Starbucks Latte spilling down the front of her pants. Take pity on her, mister, she knows not what she does.

P.S. Yeah the picture is bad...but I have no time to care.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Organised shit!"

When I was a little girl I wanted to join the Brownies...well, because that's what all my little girl friends were in. My mother said "OH NO! Not Brownies! I hate organised shit!" This became a repeating thread throughout my childhood. "Oh no! Not birthday parties! I hate organised shit!". I didn't have birthday parties until I was 16 and my friends threw one for me. Basically the term "organised shit" refers to anything where writing an invitation, calling people, getting together with others at a specified time, wearing a uniform (that would then require being clean at a specified time) and being in the presence of anyone who liked to "organise shit" was required. Brownies for instance involves almost all of the above-women who would organise an activity and be right on top of things would just turn my mom's stomach.

Now that I am under this roof again I can clearly see why my mom doesn't like "organised shit". Simply, she is not, can not be and will never be organised. And she hates to be shown up. This morning my family all left to go to work, but it was "planned" (I won't say organised) for one car to be left for me, so that I could get up with baby boy, get ready at a leisurely pace, and then occupy myself with something until we all met for a nice lunch.

I just got my baby boy into his snowsuit (which he has never put on at home and so you can guess how much he likes it), everything ORGANISED and beside the door to grab on my way out and went to grab the car keys...........Ummm car keys? Did anyone leave me a set of car keys? Oh. Right. Of course not. So here am I stuck in butt-f$3k no where, with a screaming baby that I have to now remove from car seat and snowsuit, nurse AGAIN to calm down, and try to get to take a nap otherwise my life will be hell, and I haven't even gotten a coffee yet. That was my "plan" for when I left the house. So I guess the plan is out the window. A plan is just too organised. Shit.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Getting old.

I am home right now staying with my parents with the baby. I would like someone to tell me when I became so un-fun and so damn OLD. Besides irratating me to no end, my parents are just plain more fun than I am. Then again, maybe their idea of fun is just that much different than mine. Living with them now I can't figure out where the heck I came from. Last night my parents got drunk, had a few friends over to see the baby...I have never been so grumpy. I've settled right back into being the sourly teenager rolling my eyes at everything my mother says. Actually, that is a little bit fun to me. Not fun to my mom...see-we just have different points of view.

Overall the trip is going ok, except that I realize now how BORED I am with my home town. I could never ever live here again. by the end of this week I shoud be 15 pounds heavier, carrying baby on my left hip while stirring a pot of chili and yelling at everyone who comes in with their shoes on: "I just cleaned that damned floor-git out!" As I find the teeny windows of privacy I can here I will blog more!