Saturday, October 29, 2005

the gift

So, I’ve been trying to think about motherhood as a form within which I need to write, like a sonnet or a slam poem. There are parameters, and, as some of you I’m sure are aware, structure can be freeing. My son affords me the opportunity to stretch my talents within an established framework. For example, I get to write in very small increments of time. I must write with little sleep under constant pressure of interruption. Babies, at least mine, don’t generally require iambic pentameter. According to Isaac, the rhyme scheme would be something to the tune of "Ba, ba, ba, Ma, ma, ma, mum!" (And for the record, every syllable is stressed).

Here’s my reality check: Had I never gotten pregnant and decided to have a baby, chances are good that I still would not have written the Great American Novel by now. So, Baby is not holding me back so much as he is propelling me forward, with all the grace of a human canon ball act perhaps, but forward nonetheless. And still I am held to this form, lest my trajectory be thought of as completely aimless.

Of course, on the average day, it can feel like the Universe approached me as I stood at the starting line of the obstacle course and presented me with a potato sack that She instructed me to put on, then walked away with her shoulders shaking from laughter. But at other times, I think what She handed to me was something very different. In my daydream, I can’t quite make out what’s in the tiny box, but from all accounts, it appears to be a gift.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

my expertise

Some days – especially with the teething – the only way Isaac gets a decent nap is on our walks in his carrier. However, he’s not the itty-bitty baby that sleeps through anything anymore. There are many obstacles (read: people) in the way of Iz staying asleep.

My first problem here is that this is Touristville. If you live in a town where the stores have signs in their front windows enthusiastically advertising the fact that they sell batteries, you live in a tourist area. The rec trail is full of laughing or bickering families riding those rented bike surreys, all ready to spring my boy awake from his midday snooze. It is also filled with couples dying to stop someone and ask him or her to take their picture. More times than not, that someone seems to be me. And there is any number of folks in a day who need directions to places that range from the beach to the drycleaner.

But my very favorite episode so far of someone unthinkingly approaching the woman with the sleeping child was the old lady walking her dog who stopped me to help her get a tissue out of her pocket. "Excuse me!" she said, the old lady tremble in her voice raised to a pitch that made Isaac stir and frown, though his eyes stayed closed. Her small dog jumped up, reaching my knee and bumping Isaac’s feet in his excitement.

I may have wanted to pantomime my dismay, to tell her I couldn’t do it, that if he woke up I’d want to die, that this half hour was the peace I had been waiting for since 5 am. But I smiled, imagined arthritis, whispered "Sure." I reached into her windbreaker to retrieve the Kleenex she’d asked for. Afterwards, she was ever-so grateful. Only then did she reveal to me that she’d needed my assistance because she’d managed to dip her fingers in dog poop, and so couldn’t reach in herself.

I guess I must have looked like someone who knew about poop.

Too cool for Mommy n Me.

Too cute for Mommy n Me.

we're breaking up

I’m reminded through motherhood just how many people find it virtually impossible to do anything alone – including having a baby. I’m done with the mommy cliques. I’m done with the little circles of women too insecure to sit across the room from their friends, who wouldn’t dare bring their babes to mommy n me class in the onesie with the poop stains – only the latest matching, overpriced outfit, who, actually print and wear tee shirts that read "Olivia’s Mommy", who are free of dark rings under their eyes because of the mercy of grandparents in close geographic proximity or lots of make up they somehow have time to put on. Have you noticed I haven’t even really blogged about the mommy n me class? It’s not even material.

"Does anyone have any questions?"
As a matter of fact…
Why aren’t women treated like the goddesses they are?
How is it that doing the dishes has come to take precedent over finding time to maintain your relationship?
Why does thinking about immunizing my baby feel like closing my eyes and crossing my fingers?

My "classmates" clap hands over budding "toofies" and confess to each other how they "don’t want to miss a thing!"

Do I have to say it again? I love my baby. However, early motherhood to me is nothing less than an insane onslaught of exhaustion and emotion punctuated by flights away from my baby toward chocolate. When I can’t get back to sleep at night, I create acronyms of imaginary disgruntled mom’s organizations, like BOOBS: Bothered by the Oodles of Outrageous Bullshit in Society. I don’t fit in. (BTW, Brain, Child magazine’s current issue has a feature on the why/when/if of a mommy’s "revolution".)

We’re breaking up. No more mommy n me. Isaac and I will spend Mondays at the park and call it even.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

electing chaos

I suppose the signs had been made well beforehand.

In the last month, my town has been covered with political signs for a candidate who was running for the school board. It was a little disarming. Everywhere I turned there they were, in front yards and vacant lots, lined up along the side of the road, vibrant red and white signs on small wooden posts, calling out in their mission of recruiting one more vote. I normally dislike this form of political advertisement anyway, but this time there was more at stake. I mean of all things the school board?? I couldn't help wondering if the signs were a sign...are they speaking to me of things to come? the challenges of having a child in school?

It's years in the future - roughly four or five, of course - before Isaac walks through the doors of an elementary school, provided we choose to send him and not take some alternative route to education for our boy. Nonetheless, this year is flying by - what's four or five more but a blink of the ever deeper set eye ringed by black circles?

So much to consider. Will his teachers have a clue? Will he make friends? Will he love it? Hate it? Understand enough to transcend it? Will he tell me what he really thinks about all these new influences on his little mind? And now, the school board to worry about.

The signs urged: Elect Katrina!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

cleaning up the spam

alright. it stops here. not only have i figured out how to delete the dorky spam comments from my blog, i hope we (and when i say "we" i mean my husband the computer whiz) have successful set things to avoid them in the future. i still have more to delete - they are all over my old archived pieces, but we're on our way. there will be no more ads for scrapbooking websites thinly disguised as new readers (do people really fall for this crap? does this work?? i need to know!) i know you are all disappointed but you'll just have to google on your own if you want more info on scrapbooking and stretchmarks.

and now, of course, my boys have awoken and here i go...

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