You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.
And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.
(counter melody to above verse):
Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.
Teach your parents well,
Their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.
It must have been a particularly hard night. Or maybe a day filled with teething and tantrum-ing. Maybe it was one of those long winter days after the snow has turned from fluffy-white to drudgey grey. Whatever. The exact setting isn't so important. There is no need of a scene to help frame the memory.
posted by susan at Thursday, November 18, 2010
Boog, what do you want from Daddy and me for your birthday?
posted by susan at Saturday, November 06, 2010
posted by susan at Friday, September 17, 2010
-I quit coffee. I was down to two cups of half-caf a day, so giving it up really wasn't a huge deal. But maybe it's making a difference in my sleep? Hard to say when I'm only on week 1. It's definitely making a difference in my mornings. I'm lost with out my stumble-out-of-bed-and-down-the-stairs-to-the-coffee-grinder routine. Too much spare time makes me jumpy, makes me worry about what I'm forgetting to do. Mornings aren't supposed to have time for breathing.
-The pain in my hip is at the lowest it's been in at least 5 years. It's been two, maybe three weeks since I woke myself up by trying to turn over. I have mad respect for people who go through physical therapy to recover from major injuries. That shit is hard. True, I'm learning to walk all over again, but for me, it's just a matter of unlearning bad habits. I can't imagine the pain/frustration of starting from square 1 because of something out of your control. On the flip side, the pain and frustration of knowing that I did this to myself because I couldn't see myself as worth taking care of is seriously debilitating. I have no one but myself to blame, no one to "show". The soreness in my muscles echoes the frailty of my self-trust. Both are a work in progress.
-I've been writing and writing and writing and writing through things. Not here, obviously, and not there, but over on my "secret" blog. It's probably not so hard to find if you were really interested in finding it. There's something very tantalizing about writing over there. Sort of like having sex in a public place but only after you've walked as far into the trees as you possibly can go and brought along a big, dark blanket to cover your nekkedness. Oooh, I'm such a risk taker. I've worked through a lifetme worth of anger and frustration and guilt over there. Not that it's gone, but at least it isn't still just rattling around in my head, drowning out every other emotion.
-I've been sleeping better. Okay, so tonight doesn't count, but in general, I'm getting more sleep. Deeper sleep. Probably as a result of all of the above. With the possible exception of the meds. We're on a new track of diagnosis now, working through the possibility that I might be more broken than originally thought. In which case the citalopram is not at all what I need to be taking and could very well be responsible for my sudden lack of focus on even the most mundane of tasks. I'm journaling my moods carefully, since mania doesn't necessarily present itself in loss of inhibitions and exorbitant spending sprees. Could be the irrational bouts of anxiety are what I'm supposed to be looking for. Could be that the irrational bouts of anxiety are because I could potentially be looking for irrational bouts of anxiety. Any way you look at it, it's all in my head. Hah! That's my new favorite joke!
Mmmm. Last sip. Grainy. Bitter. Too sweet. Sort of poetic. A jarring end to a comforting drink; a sudden end to a post that didn't go where I thought it might. Just enough of a jolt to push me up the stairs instead of snuggling down further in the couch cushions. So I guess it all works out in the end.
posted by susan at Thursday, September 09, 2010
posted by susan at Tuesday, August 03, 2010
July 5, 2010
Today I found a message in a bottle. I was so surprised! I am sending my message out so that you will be surprised, too. If you find my message, I hope that you will let me know. You can email my mommy at email@example.com and she will read it to me. I hope your day is very good!
Aaron, age 4
Benicia, CA (USA)
posted by susan at Tuesday, July 06, 2010
"Hey lady. I'm always thinking of you. I love you and miss you and wish you weren't so damned far away."
"...How'd ya know I was feeling all alone and lonely tonight?" I replied.
"I miss you too and daydream regularly of being home so we could bump into each other. Someday soon, I keep telling myself! How are you?"
"I'm psycho. Er... psychic. I pray that [josh's work] closes everywhere but here so that you are forced to come home. (That's not a joke.)I'm okay. Overrun these days, but I'd be bored if I wasn't, I guess. How are you?"
"Trying to slow down a bit. It's harder than I thought it would be, though. I kinda miss having 14 things spinning out of control all at once. The weather is perfect for taking it easy, though. Why don't you pack a toothbrush and the boy(s) and come and hang out in my backyard for a month or so?"
"I know that feeling. Like 14 spinning things was the factor that made me special and different from the masses..."
posted by susan at Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Grab a box of tissues, click on the post title, then hold on to your seat.
posted by susan at Tuesday, May 25, 2010
(In my blog post) I hastily tossed out words, trying to capture a snapshot of what I was feeling at that instant. I wish now that I had been more deliberate, had taken the time to elaborate more fully. That’s what I’ll try to do here. Bear with me, please. The original post is indented, my explanation of each part below.
I try to figure out when it all started. Maybe the key to the end lies in its birth. Birth. Heh.I am often guilty of following rabbit trails: The word “start” leads me to the word “end” which makes me think of “death” which somehow leads me to the word “birth” which I associate with the birth of my son. I usually recognize that the connections I make aren’t necessarily obvious but all too often I fall into the trap of assuming that everyone else thinks the way I do and that I don’t need to explain what the fuck I’m talking about for others to get the full picture. It certainly sounds like I am blaming you for my depression. I am not.
Four and a half years later, I'm still resentful.I am resentful that my memories don’t live up to the Madonna and Child image that I had envisioned. I wanted so much to be that “natural mother”. To be bathed in an ethereal glow with a choir of heavenly angels singing “hallelujah” as I gazed tenderly down at the babe at my breast. I am resentful that no one bothered to share with me that it just isn’t that way all the time. That I’ve had to spend so much time wondering what was wrong with me, why I was such a failure when in fact that isn’t the case. The horrible truth is this: Motherhood sucks. Literally. It sucks away at your very soul. It leaves you grasping. Gasping. It keeps you up all night and makes you want to bury your head under the pillows in the morning. No matter how detached you try to keep your own baggage, it keeps spilling all over your best intentions and all those things that your brain and heart and gut tell you not to do, you find your very innermost primal instincts urging you to do. It's not about me or my pride, you tell yourself. But it is, oh, it is. It's not deliberate, you remind yourself. But it feels so calculated, so determined.
Spoil or stunt. Hover or disengage. Coddle or break.
You bounce from one extreme to the next, hoping, praying that it all averages out to some sort of balance. You hear the voices, that nonstop chorus made up of well meaning sisterneighborfriends cutting you down, shaking your already pitifully unbalanced house of cards. Maybe she's right, you think. Or she could be right. She could be onto something , you think, but that totally negates what she saiddoesthinks. You’ll never be the best at this rate. Although, really? It's not the best that you’re even shooting for. You’d be more than happy with good enough if the line of good enough would stop drifting. Sometimes you wonder if you've ever seen it at all or if you're so far away that you've really just been chasing a shadow. Maybe you're headed in the wrong direction altogether. When do you know for sure? And when is it too late to turn around and start over? No one ever mentioned that side of it. No one ever hinted that while there are blessed moments, motherhood is too complex to be simply defined as a blessing. I'm resentful that such a big piece of the picture was glossed over so easily.
Angry. Furious.I am angry that I was so caught up in how it was “supposed to be” that I tried to force it into something that it could never be. Ours is not the close family of sisters sharing shopping trips and cruises. Even if proximity would allow for that kind of involvement, I don’t know that we would have that kind of relationship. There are no Rockwell paintings depicting the American Dream that include a family that is really three different families bound together by common genetics. Of siblings spanning close to two decades with god only knows how many foster children thrown in to fill in the gaps.
Of all the times to choose to voice your "concerns".In the middle of an already emotionally tense time, you said some things that were thoughtless. “Thoughtless” meaning not fully thought out. I believe you when you say that your intention was not to hurt me. I believe that your motivation was to be genuinely helpful -- to encourage me to consider things I might not have considered, to play the “what-if” game because you believe(d) that I could have a happier, fuller life if I were to make different choices. Your timing sucked.
Seven (whoops, eight) plus years we'd been married and in all that time, you never said a word. You never once acted like there was anything about him or me or the two of us together that bothered you until the three of us sat down to order Chinese the week before our son was born.And I was naive enough to believe that just because you hadn’t said anything to my face, you didn’t have a problem with some aspect of us. Nevermind that you and I had spent countless conversations discussing the shortfalls of the relationship of others. Yet another thing I wish I could undo -- all that time wasted on putting others down to pull myself up. It’s beautifully karmic, I suppose, that it turns out that you were engaging in the same kinds of conversations about me.
I don't even remember who didn't get what. I just remember the grilling in the days following. Having to explain, to defend our relationship. Doing everything in my power to prove to you that my decision to marry him was acceptable on the eve of giving birth to his son.Why, oh why, was your approval so important? I hate that I was so insecure in my own choices that I felt compelled to find a way to change your perspective. I guess the good that came out of it was that in the long run I rediscovered what it was about my marriage made it work so very well for us. I’ve played those conversations over and over in my head, recognizing more clearly each time what it is about Josh that first drew me to him. And? I’ve come to the conclusion that if I had it to do all over again? If something were to happen to him and me, and I were in the position of looking for someone else? I’d be looking for someone just like him. We’re not perfect, but together? We’re pretty damn good.
Those seeds of doubt that you so carefully sowed? They took root fast and quickly began to choke out every remaining blade of self-confidence. Pestilence. Soul-sucking. You were supposed to be there to support me. You cut me down at the knees and I've been questioning my every move since.You did not cause my depression. Some toxic combination of personality, circumstances, and perspective put me where I am today. Possibly some genetic predisposition. Your poor timing simply served as the catalyst to get the ball rolling. Postpartum hormones, the exhaustion that goes hand in hand with raising a small child, a limited support network, not recognizing in time that these things were not normal and that I wasn’t, in fact, somehow broken because I couldn’t manage them all on my own -- too much everything and nothing at the same time, that’s what pushed me over the edge, headfirst into a spiral of hesitancy, guilt, and self-doubt.
You ended your phone call to me by saying that you would always be available if I needed you. But the thing is, I don’t. I don’t need you. It would be comfortable, enjoyable to have a great give-n-take kind of relationship with you. But it is not necessary. Our lives are not intertwined in such a way as to make it necessary. This is not yours to fix and you can’t help me with it. This is a journey of self. Self-discovery leading to self-assurance and, hopefully, culminating in self-reliance.
I am sorry that I angered and embarrassed you with my post. It was thoughtless, immature, and cowardly for me to call you out in a public forum without first approaching you privately. I recognize and accept that our relationship has been irrevocably changed as a result of my actions. If there is something that I can do to repair your feelings, I will do so happily and willingly. I will be more respectful of your feelings in the future, bringing any grievances to you before sharing them with others.
Because my offense to you was public, I feel that you are due a public apology. I will send this to you first, privately, then publish it to my blog. It is yours, of course, to share it as you see fit.
posted by susan at Tuesday, May 18, 2010
One of Dr. R's favorite ways to pass the time
while I am snuffling incoherently on his couch is to ask me questions intended to get me to be more reflective and less reactive. At least I think that's the purpose. Maybe he's just trying to distract me so that I will STOP. WHINING. ALREADY. Last session he kept asking me "But who is nurturing you?" I rattled off the poor souls who are currently being sucked dry because they haven't yet had the sense to run away or pretend they aren't home when I call this person and that person and her and her and him and threw in her for good measure. Don't want it to seem like I'm over burdening any single person, now do I. He nodded, as he does when I've given him an answer but not quite answered the question, but didn't push it. Which was odd because he's nothing if not pushy. But we were nearing the end of our session, so maybe he just didn't want to get me started again. The tissue box was getting dangerously low. "Allergy season" and "therapy" must ring beautifully in the ears of KCWW, Inc shareholders. But I digress.
On my way home I was struck with the realization that I didn't, couldn't, count myself in that list. Blah blah blah, epiphany, blah blah, resolution, blah blah blah, squared my shoulders and decided that needed to change. If I'm going to have a chance at beating this monster, I probably better start taking better care of myself. Better sleep, better food choices, more sun and exercise, etc. And topping the list, being a little less rigid with myself. Yes, the kitchen floor probably does need to be swept daily, but it's probably not going to catch on fire if I wait until after I've had my coffee. I am not a horrible lazy slob because I choose to eat breakfast before cleaning out the litter box. That sort of thing.
I did pretty good with it through the end of the week and then through the weekend. By Monday morning I was almost reflexive as I shooed away the muttering gnat that wanted to remind me that it was 10:30 and all I'd done was put together a (rough) blog post that I didn't even take time to re-read and edit before publishing. Sloven. Shoo, shoo. Go away.
Tuesday = more of the same.
anal careful about the amount of screen-time that I get when Aaron is home, though, so Wednesday morning looked decidedly different. Balancing what needs to get done with what won't make me pull my hair out because he's along is sometimes tricky. But the service bell in the Jeep had been dinging for almost a week and mygod the buildup of bug-guts on the front of the poor thing! So off we went for a day of car maintenance.
All of that and an oil change for the low, low price of $39.99. Wednesday was shaping up to be a pretty easy-going day.
As I was paying for the
I briefly contemplated whether or not it might be just as appropriate to light the whole fucking thing on fire and start over with something, oh, I don't know, WITHOUT A RATS NEST IN THE ENGINE? Sadly, we'd never make it home in time for lunch on foot, so I signed the receipt for services rendered and headed for home.
We parked the Jeep at the curb. A short 3-block walk away.
Nap time was spent typing in one variation of "how to get rid of rats in your engine" after another into Google. Nap time was cut short because OH MY HOLY FUCK THERE IS A RAT'S NEST UNDER THE HOOD OF MY CAR, THE VERY CAR THAT WE HAVE BEEN PARKING IN THE GARAGE THAT IS ATTACHED TO MY HOUSE BY A DOOR THAT SEEMS ALTOGETHER VERY INSUFFICIENT CONSIDERING THERE IS A RAT'S NEST UNDER THE HOOD OF MY FUCKING CAR!!! A trip to
We perused sprays and powders, baits and traps, and finally came home with a bottle of granules guaranteed to encourage the little critters to rebuild somewhere else. Josh disposed of the nesting material when he got home
I'm totally okay with having to climb over the console to get out. Sometimes a girl has to be flexible like that.
posted by susan at Monday, May 17, 2010
For me, the hardest part of writing has always been coming up with a way to start. I generally know where I want to go -- which witty little anecdotes I'll throw in along the way to keep the journey lively and what my big close will look like. I've always been proud of my writing; invigorated by the way the words just seem to wrap themselves around each other, painting a picture. Whether or not the reader sees the same picture remains blurry and vague and somewhat inconsequential. It's been a long time since I had a paper returned to me, marked up with suggestions for improved clarity and punctuation. My (appropriate) use of punctuation is abysmal. I tend to write the way I speak and I'm never quite sure if I just said a comma or if that was just a breath so I could keep going.
I wish I could take you on a tour through the inner workings of my mind. I wish I could take a tour through the inner workings of my mind. I'm not really sure what exactly goes on in there, but we would all need ear protection and there would be absolutely no way anyone could board the tram without signing a waiver re: injuries due to not keeping hands and feet safely inside the tram at all times. There would also need to be something about "participating at your own risk. Management does not assume responsibility for any lingering emotional or psychological trauma blah blah blah".
posted by susan at Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I thought I had neglected this space long enough that I would be posting essentially anonymously again, so I was somewhat shocked by the handful of emails I got in response to my last post. The free version of Sitemeter that I've been running must only list certain types of visitors, keeping full disclosure for paying members. Whatever. The bottom line is that I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to reach out to me.
posted by susan at Monday, May 10, 2010
posted by susan at Saturday, May 08, 2010
posted by susan at Sunday, April 11, 2010
Guess who decided to be proactive re: the whole dropping of the nap thingy?
Guess who decided to get up extra early to get a head start on all those things that are usually taken care of during naptime?
Guess who planned FUN! ACTIVITIES! for the time formerly known as "naptime"?
Guess who had it all worked out so that we would have that done and be on our way to this place and subsequently arrive at that place on time, except we need to be at the first place in 10 minutes for any of that to happen?
Guess who is napping today?
Is it wrong to want to poke your sleeping child the eyeballs?
posted by susan at Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Translation: The Nap is dead. Long live the Afternoon Rest*.
Alternately: What the f*ck is Mommy supposed to do when her head starts to feel like it's going to explode and there is no grand, glorious, sparkly, shimmery blessed beacon of peace and quiet in the not too distant future?
Or, In Other Words: How much longer until Kindergarten?
Also: Don't tell me to enjoy this time, it's going to go by so fast and then I will miss it or I will be forced to POKE OUT YOUR EYES WITH A RED-HOT FORK.
And: No, I am not excited that I will have my afternoons free from having to get back home in time for nap. Quite simply: If he's not sleeping, neither can I.
*Hahahahaha a ha ha ha. Let's just not even pretend that there will be uninterrupted moments of quietly reading books in bed as we "rest". Unless the current definition of rest is "jumping madly on the bed until that gets boring and then moving onto jumping from the dresser to the bed and then from the bed back to the dresser ending only with the total loss of parental sh*t and/or a trip to the emergency room".
posted by susan at Wednesday, March 03, 2010
I took Aaron to the pediatrician this morning -- a follow up to the follow up to his annual appointment back in early December. At that time I had brought up my (slight) concern that he sounds stuffy all the time ("Mommy" sounds more like "Bobby") and frequently snores. It probably doesn't help that he keeps that damned blankie shoved in his mouth at night, but that doesn't explain why he doesn't seem to hear the subtle differences between "m" and "n". So I brought it up. I also brought up his "itchies".
He was diagnosed at his very first well-baby checkup with a mild case of eczema and at the time, that pediatrician explained to us the close connection between allergies, asthma, and eczema. With that diagnosis, our sensitivity trifecta was complete. If you've spent more than 5 minutes around me and we've come within 200 feet of a flower, you know which one I have. I remember 60% of summertime as a child through a Benadryl induced fog. The other 40% I don't remember at all because that sh*t knocks me out cold. Josh has asthma.
We were actually pleased, all things considered, that Aaron's predisposition leaned toward something we could deal with topically*. And his case was so very mild that we were pretty lax (read: I think we bought the lotion) about the whole treatment thing. He did get a bath every night for the first two years of his life (suggested so that we would remember to apply the lotion every day. As I said, he got a bath every night...) and we were always careful about lotioning up when his skin seemed dry
and we remembered where we had put the lotion. So, yeah. Definitely easier to manage than inhalers/pills/shots.
Anyways. Back to December. As the doctor got out her little flicky light to look in his various orifices (orifi?), I mentioned the itchy/snory/nasaly talking stuff. So she took a look. Might be allergies, she thought, but didn't feel confident with making that the official diagnosis since she couldn't see past the earwax in his right ear. Do you know how bad of a mother you have to be to allow your child's earwax to build up to the point that the pediatrician is visibly disgusted? But, damn it, q-tips are evil! She sent us home with instructions to use drops to clear the ear (the only one ear thing still puzzles me, but I can't argue -- I saw the crap that drained out of my poor baby's ear after using those drops for a week) and the recommendation to start him on a half teaspoon of cetirizine hydrochloride (Zyrtec, OTC) once a day, then come back in a month to see how things were going.
Fast forward to a week and a half shy of a month later. Aaron's getting dressed one morning (taking longer than usual, if that is even possible) and he keeps stopping and holding his head in a funny position. "Shhh, Mommy. I'm trying to hear but there's a bubble in my ear." To my credit, I immediately though "ear infection". I was plagued with them as a child (or at least that's how I remember my childhood winters. Is it any wonder that fall is my favorite season?), so I asked what I thought were the sensible questions (Does it hurt? no Is it a ringy sound? no Does your throat hurt? no) and took his temperature. No fever. As we were tying up his shoes, he exclaimed "There! It popped! Now I can hear EVERYTHING!" Ah. Problem solved. Probably just a drop of water. Why it didn't occur to me that water from his bath the night before shouldn't still be in his ear, well, see above where I discuss being this close to having my mommy card confiscated re: earwax buildup. Instead, I just smiled at not having to deal with something else on a morning that we were already late for school and hurried him downstairs for a healthy breakfast (Carnation instant + a banana, no doubt).
A week and a half later, the Dr. pulls out her little flicky light to check his various face holes. Throat and nose peeks still lean her in the direction of allergies, but let's check the ears and hey! Looks like this child is just getting over an ear infection! In both ears! Has he complained of any pain? no No fever? no Wellllll, looks like his body was strong enough to fight the infection off without antibiotics which is what we'd prefer to see, but there is still fluid in there so we can't really get a good picture from which to assess whether or not the allergy meds are making any sort of a difference. But we're still leaning that direction, so come back in two weeks. In the meanwhile, let's add in a dose of fluticasone propionate (Flonase) to see if we can give his system a boost with whatever else it is trying to clear.
Fast forward to last Thursday (8 days before today's follow-up). Guess who wakes up with sniffly and congested? Who comes home from school all pissy and complainy (well, okay that's fair. Who besides me?) and has started intermittently hacking into his elbow? Who's cough has become so bad by the weekend that he's waking himself up in the middle of the night? And who's mommy decides to "give it a day or so to work itself out"? (In all fairness, by Sunday night the cough is much better and he is back to sleeping through the night, lumberjack-snores notwithstanding.) On Tuesday I'm in "he's already got an appointment on Friday, so no need to panic, his snot isn't that green" mode. On Thursday afternoon it (finally) occurred to me that this "cold" might interfere, yet again, with our as yet unassessed allergy trial. Too late to call in and move the appointment, of course.
So. I took Aaron to the pediatrician this morning. Little flicky light confirms that the nose and throat are dealing with something non-allergy related and possibly some underlying allergy related stuff. Ear still has fluid. This time she described it as "thick orangey fluid". Is it wrong that my mind immediately went to "Orange Julius"? And then she asked him to take a few deep breaths while she listened to his lungs. And then she asked him to pretend to cough. Which he did, except he didn't pretend. And then she asked him to stand on the ground while she listened to his lungs because "it helps them take deeper breaths because it opens up the lungs". And then she asked him to sit back down on the table and wait for Joanne to bring in the nebulizer machine. And then he had to hold that tubey thingy up to his mouth and breathe in all that fine misty medicine for 6 minutes which at first he thought was "cool because it's just like the medicine that W has to do at school and Miss K won't let me watch because that might make W embarrassed to have me watching him take his medicine" but after about 2 minutes it was more like "how much longer do I have to hold this thing and keep breathing and why is 4 more minutes such a LOOOOOOOOONG time". And then she still couldn't hear what she was listening for or maybe she heard exactly what she was listening for but was going to give us a chance to get clear out of his lungs before she sent us home with $100 worth of prescriptions for inhalers with scary sounding names like ALBUTEROL and FLOVENT and also for a spacer chamber and a mask to make sure that he is breathing in every chemical particulate because MY GOD WOMAN, YOUR CHILD IS WHEEZING. Also, a prescription for a 10-day course of penicillin which, by the way, he could likely have an adverse reaction to because his mother is extremely allergic to penicillin but because he's never been prescribed antibiotics before and therefore hasn't had an allergic reaction to any antibiotics, this is where we will start him but please keep a careful watch and call us immediately if you notice a rash or any other reactionary indications such as difficulty breathing but we hardly expect you to notice that one given the state that you let your child get to this time. Also, please bring him back on Monday for a follow-up visit.
It's early to draw the conclusion that he has asthma. Not that my mind hasn't already jumped there and set up camp. There's the possibility that it's "asthma-like symptoms" brought on by seasonal allergies/respiratory stress and we'll only have to deal with it on a once-or-twice a year basis. God knows, asthma has done little to slow his father down. So it's not a life sentence even if it turns out that he has to start "managing" his respiratory health before he starts kindergarten. But it sucks and I hate it and all the guilt-driven "what could/should I have done differently" paths that my mind insists on exploring. I keep flashing to images of my little baby lying there in the NICU, so strong, so big, so healthy, so mysteriously unable catch a full enough breath minutes after he was born to clear him to go home with us that very first night. All these other little babies around him so much worse off that I couldn't very well ask "why me". Couldn't very well whine to the mother who had spent the last 3 months driving back and forth every single day to spend time with her new baby girl during "visiting hours". Couldn't very well cry on the shoulder of the parents of the little one so fragile that you had to use those special gloves built into the sides of her "crib" to touch her. Everywhere I look, someone's got it worse. And yet there it is -- the anger and frustration of not being able to shield him from pain and discomfort crushing my own chest, constricting my own breathing.
I'm going to be a basket case when he goes to pick out his first pair of glasses. He is totally f*cked when it comes to the vision genes.
*Yes, yes, I know that eczema can be as frustrating to deal with/treat as either of the other two, but in his case we were looking at having to buy and remember to slather on unscented lotion after each bath. Totally doable.
posted by susan at Friday, February 05, 2010
I've spent the majority of my free time this week frantically typing out some of the pea-soup that, in my head, passes for thought. Trying desperately to make sense of my feelings re: political correctness. 2000+ words later and still only about halfway through, it occurred to me that I was writing more of a manifesto than a post. So I'll sum it up this way:
Think first, then talk/act.
Treat others the way you would want to be treated.
Does it really take that much more energy to use the phrase/label/title that someone else has chosen as least offensive when referring to him/her? We each face our own limitations. Wouldn't you like for others to see you (or at least refer to you) the way you see yourself? And so what if it does take a little more time, a little more effort? Aren't we always complaining about the pace life seems to be moving at? Maybe if we'd all pause for long enough to really get to know the person we are talking to/about, we could dispense with the labels altogether. Seems like this world could really be a better place if we'd all try harder to just get along.
posted by susan at Friday, February 05, 2010
Checking through my email just now, I found this gem:
I know some of you have seen this on my facebook status, but I wanted to share it with those who haven’t. I only wish I could take credit for it, but I “borrowed” it from a friend. I simply can’t get over the truth it holds while at the same time causing me to chuckle out loud each time I read it!!
Hope it makes you chuckle/think too!!
Love y’all!! EE
The attached quote:
"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end." - Unknown
Certainly made me think and what I came up with was this: Somewhere, someone had to be the first person to look at that thing that had just fallen out of a chicken's butt and think "Hmmm, I wonder how this tastes fried?". Perhaps it is impossible to pick up a turd by the clean end. I'd rather get my hands dirty, focusing on the possibilities that I might uncover than hide behind the relative safety of the status quo.
It's really all in how you look at it, isn't it?
*point of view
posted by susan at Tuesday, January 26, 2010
If you've spent more than 3 seconds with me, you know I'm a creature of habit and it should come as no surprise to learn that we have a specific routine that we go through most mornings. I say most because although Mama likes her routine, there is nothing quite as unpredictable as a 4 year-old with his mind made up to do things his own way, whichever way the winds of preschool rationality might be blowing at that very instant. Mostly we deal. Boundaries and structure and expectations, oh my! keep us more or less within the box of normal-to-us (aka that comfortable zone wherein Mama doesn't freak out too much).
Most mornings look like this:
Josh gets up and the countdown begins. Sometimes I'll get another 3 minutes, sometimes another 15 before I hear the unmistakable smwoosh-smwoosh-smwoosh of footy pajamas scuffling across the carpet. On a good (dry) morning, I can pull up the covers just enough that Aaron can scoot in and then we have a 5-15 minute snuggle before he can't stand it anymore and then we're off and running. Other mornings involve a jammy -n- pullup change first and then all bets are off re: snuggle time. Josh leaves, we get dressed, breakfast, blah, blah, blah, morning routine, Mommy why does (this) and where does (that) and how do (those), and then it's lunchtime. Unless it's a school day and then there's a whole 'nother set of possibilities. But for the most part, there's comfortable regularity. And regularity, much like my morning cup of coffee, is critical for setting the tone for a day of general happiness and unburned dinner.There are, however occasional exceptions. This morning looked like this:
Josh got up and left for work early. 45 minutes later, smwoosh-smwoosh-smwoosh, butt pat to check for dryness, covers lifted and snuggling denied with a sweet little whisper: "Mommy, I don't want to go to sleep again." Whaa? "Mommy, I want to make breakfast." Ugh. Well, he did go to bed early last night and didn't eat much dinner. He probably is hungry. "Okay, Bug, what do you want for breakfast?" "No, Mommy, I want to make breakfast. For me and you to eat in your bed. Are you hungry for breakfast?" Awww! "Sure, Bug. You know what sounds really good? How about a banana?" "And, and a cookie?" "Ooh, that sounds delicious! Go grab a banana and a cookie and we'll have breakfast in bed." Shweew! If I find PBS or Nick Jr. before he gets back up here, I can snooze for at least another 15 minutes before he runs out of banana and cookie. Glad Josh made oatmeal cookies this weekend. That's practically the same as cereal, right? Now where is that remote... Meanwhile, downstairs, I can clearly identify the sound of the cookie jar lid being set on the counter top. Seconds go by, then hmmm. Was that the sound of refrigerator door opening and shutting? Metal crashes against metal. Crap. I better get down there. Silence. A little too silent. Door/drawer slams. Cookie jar lid again... this is taking far longer than grabbing a banana off the cabinet and one cookie should. Where are my socks? Brr! It's cold out here. Better grab a sweatshirt, too. Joiiiing! What is he doing down there? Oh wait, here he comes. Stomp, stomp, stomp, smwoosh-smwoosh-smwoosh "Here's your breakfast, Mommy!"
Probably no nutritional value to it whatsoever.
and four blueberries (that's two for you and two for me, Mommy),
generously drizzled with honey.
"But it needs to be cooked, Mommy. Remember? I'm the chef. I'm the one who makes things. But you are the cook. So let's go cook it. Come on, Mommy."
So we did. And let me tell you, it was delicious.
posted by susan at Tuesday, January 26, 2010
- Less "never" and more "better late than". Just because I didn't get the thankyou's out for Aaron's birthday doesn't mean you don't deserve one. Is there a tactful yet endearing way to grovel?
- Less "yes" to everybody else so that I have more time available to say "yes" to my Most Important People. **MIP status subject to random and arbitrary change at a moment's notice, highly dependent on what I'm being asked to do and whether or not I like your tone.
- Less reading between the lines. I'm horrible at guessing games and even worse at drawing. Drawing conclusions is a guaranteed disaster and even if I get it right, I don't usually know what to do with it. If it's that important, you'll eventually come out and say it.
- Less gossip. If I wouldn't say it with the person present, it's not worth saying.
- Less time spent asking questions that I already know the answers too. Especially when I know those answers are just going to get me riled up. I'm not going to change your mind and I'm fairly comfortable with the way mine is fitting right now.
- Less MeTime = Me+TechnologyTime. More often than not I'm on here to escape my status by checking on yours. Messy things tend to happen when I'm focused on what you're doing instead of watching where I'm going. Messy, messy things.
- Less in my mouth. Less on my hips. More (time) on my feet.
- Less talking. More listening. Even if no one else is talking. Especially when no one else is talking
- Less stuff to sort. Physically and mentally. Use it or dump it.
- Less watching. More doing. Even if I do it badly.
posted by susan at Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Mommy, I am going to make you my famous peanut butter and jelly water now.
Mmm, that sounds delicious.Yes, it is. And it is very hard to make.
It is?Yes, it is. It is very hard to make because it is water. So it doesn't have very many 'gredients. So you have to get it just right.
Thinking: Hmmm. Seems like someone else had a similar problem once. Except that wasn't about making something else into water, that was about making water into something else. So this is kind of the opposite. Hey wait, does that make my kid is the Anti-Christ?
Aloud: That does sound difficult.
Thinking: I just mentally compared my kid to the Anti-Christ. And it didn't really phase me. What, exactly, does that mean?
Yesterday I received that horoscope email that's been making the rounds. It begins:
AN ACCURATE 2010 HOROSCOPEThen
This is the real deal. Try ignoring it, and the first thing you'll notice is having a horrible day starting tomorrow morning . . . and it only gets worse from there.
(blah blah blah a bunch of stuff about everyone else blah blah blah)And so I casually hit the delete button. But not before I read the "bottom line"
AQUARIUS - Does It In The Water (Once. Didn't like it.)
Great kisser. (Well, I wouldn't be the one to judge.)
One of a kind, loves being in long-term relationships. (I guess 14 years counts as "long-term.)
Tries hard. (Too hard, some would say.)
Will take on any project. (Yup.)
Proud of themselves in whatever they do. (Say what now?)
Messy and unorganized. (Wait, I think I might have skipped a line... Is this still Aquarius?)
Procrastinators. (Got me there.)
Great lovers, when they're not sleeping. (...)
Extreme thinkers. (And hence the therapist.)
Loves their pets usually more than their family. (Mmmm, no. Or, poor family if that's the case because the poor cat has been on a steady diet of "just enough attention so that she won't poop on the carpet" since the kid was born.)
Can be VERY irritating to others when they try to explain or tell a story. (Dear god,yes. I annoy myself when telling a story. Tangent, anyone?)
Unpredictable. (Probably not as much as I like to think I am.)
Will exceed your expectations. (Depends on where the bar is set.)
Not a Fighter but will Knock your lights out... (More than likely because I was trying to be cool and toss something nonchalantly across the room to you.)
2 years of bad luck if you do not forward. (Come on now, who believes this crap?)
1-3 people= 1 minute of luck...and forwarded it to three of my alternate email addresses because somewhere in my brain it made sense that although I don't for a second believe that I might have bad luck for breaking an email chain,maybe I do believe it a teeny tiny bit and just in case I should probably send it along to the minimum number of people necessary (although now that I look at it I could have gotten away with just one of those email addresses since the actual bare minimum is 1). You know, because the internet won't know that those addresses are all mine and then I've technically followed the instructions even though I didn't really. And now, guess what? I'm stuck in an endless loop of my own illogical making because when I checked my email this morning? I've now received that email THREE. MORE. TIMES. So now I either have to really ignore it or go on and do something about it and this could very well be what it meant when it said "it only gets worse from there".
4-7 people= 1 hour of luck
8-12 people = 1 day of luck
13-17 people = 1 week of luck
18-22 people = 1 month of luck
23-27 people = 3 months of luck
28- 32 people = 7 months of luck
33-37 people = 1 year of luck
38 and more = a very lucky life!
You aren't laughing at me, are you?
My siblings and I draw names at Christmas time.
Each year a different sibling has the responsibility of drawing and notifying the givers/recipients of their respective names.
I drew the names for 2009.
I posted the necessary information on our family blog. In March.
In October, I began my normal Christmas shopping routine.
In November I began bugging my little brother about what he would like for Christmas. He emailed me back with a fabulous little list of his top wants.
In December I pulled out his list, crossed my fingers that I still had time to get a package to Afghanistan before Christmas, and crossed him off my list.
Everyone had a very merry Christmas. Including my younger sister in Indiana. The one who I was supposed to be sending a Christmas gift to this year. Hey, sis, how does Christmas in late January/February sound to you?
posted by susan at Tuesday, January 12, 2010