Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You know, or maybe she just needs her mom

Kate has never been one to cuddle. Or snuggle. Or sit still long enough to do anything that could even remotely resemble such activity. It hasn’t been a phase; it has been her modus operandi since birth. There have been times that she’s been sick and after multiple trips to her in room in the middle of the night, we’ve brought her into our bed in a desperate attempt to get some sleep. While most parents battle getting kids out of their bed, Kate would spend these times thrashing, rolling, poking jabbing, and informing me that she WANTS TO GO BACK TO HER BED.

Yeah, if you figure this kid out, please feel free to shoot me some insight.

Imagine my shock when Kate developed a raging case of the I.WANT.MY.MOMMY every single moment of every single day. At first I relished my darling daughters newfound affection for me. Awww, she needs me. She wants me. This is what having a sweet and cuddly child is like. However, her requests slowly morphed into this pathetic and whiney, “I want yooooouuuuuu” about ten hundred million times a day. At dinner, she stealthily makes her way onto my chair, burying her head in my lap because “I want yooooouuuuuuu!” A few days ago, she’s whimpering, claiming that she needs me and my patience is wearing thin because she’s on my lap, with her head tucked securely under my chin, so close that I think she’s stealing my oxygen.
This cuddly, needy kid stuff is totally overrated.

The whole situation has been so bizarre, that I’ve started psychoanalyzing the entire situation. Suddenly, I recall stories of pets that instantaneously develop such an attachment to their owners, detecting life threatening tumors and such. Damn 60 minutes. If I die some unexplained death in the near future, someone come and claim this kid. We are sitting on a goldmine.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Further evidence that I am not normal

I’ve taken the last couple weeks of free time for myself, trying to enjoy the calm before the typhoon that is looming around the corner. A typhoon including academia, a possible move, and the impending end of our fiscal year at work. Instead of engaging in activities that a more normal person might, I relished every second of this time by immersing myself in reading FOR FUN. Can you believe the excitement around this place? Do I need to remind you yet again of how annoyingly bizarre and unexciting I am? I enjoy reading, I crave the time to do so, and very infrequently find it. So, when I happened upon this quieter time (quieter meaning the presence of only a dull roar), I read and read and read and read and read. So much so, that I think Craig contemplated just how to go about placing my face on a milk carton while wondering who this imposter was that had a neck with a paperback book attached to it.

Side note, I would highly recommend this one and should proclaim my disappointment a bit with this one.

The problem reading presents for me is that somehow it renders me utterly useless at writing. While on a normal day, my brain changes directions faster than Jon Gosselin changes girlfriends, reading makes me altogether ineffectual. I get so absorbed in the story, the era, the characters, and the setting, that it steals away any creative energy I have. So, when I sit down at my computer to write, I find myself an unfamiliar soul, writing in sync with the author I am currently reading. It is surreal and leaves me wondering who exactly the person that just wrote that was. Do you think they make a medication that could take care of this problem?

There is my excuse for being a lazy blogger.

Fortunately (unfortunately?) for you, the reading has ceased and maybe my wayward writing ability will make its way back home.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A guest posting we will go ...

Perhaps I've been singing too many nursery rhymes these days.

I'm guest posting over at Beth's place today; click on over and say hello. I must warn you, apparently I morph into a serious and heartfelt person when I take over someone else's blog. Gasp. You didn't know I had it in me, did you? That's what I thought.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Beep Beep

In a fluke moment, with luck reserved only for someone other than me, I caught a moment of unadulterated Kate on video this weekend. One minute and 30 seconds that sums up my daughter better than any combination of vowels and consonants on this computer screen ever will. It could be that I am just ignorant to the world of a three- and ONE HALF (emphasis on the half) year old, perhaps they all act this way. I am perplexed. In a minute and 30 seconds, she’s managed to “read” a book, seek approval multiple times, do backbends on the couch (by the pile of laundry that has taken up residency there … because, hate to break it, but I am normal), and sing twinkle twinkle while whirling around in circles.

We went to a family reunion on Saturday and I was convinced that the Wiley E. Coyote was totally going to make an appearance and claim his long lost child. Since he didn’t, I have no one else to blame but Craig. “Dude, she’s totally YOUR KID!”

I wonder why I continue to go to the gym. There is no doubt that any caloric intake I have for the day is expended by just watching this child. It makes my brain hurt. And makes me want to lie down for a nap.

But good Lord, could she be any cuter?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lowering the standard, one day at a time

As a novice in the world of parenting, one thing has been abundantly clear from the start: many mothers play to win. It is an unspoken game with tacit rules. It is a competition laden with assurances to the contrary. We internalize the pressure until the only person in the game is ourselves, with our own mounting expectations and little tolerance for our mistakes. It is about milestones (is being potty trained at 12 months old a prerequisite to medical school?), language skills, extracurricular activities (I couldn’t be more thrilled that little Henry is an aspiring German interpreter), manners, home cooked meals (organic, trans-fat and preservative free of course), limited television time, Martha Stewart-esque desserts for playdates, and birthday parties crafted to perfection.

Let me reflect for a moment on a day in our perfect household:

5:15 a.m. – Hit snooze and contemplate dismembering the alarm clock

5:30 a.m. – Wake and shower

6:00 a.m. – Do a load of laundry before we resort to buying new clothes because our closets are full of dirty ones.

6:15 a.m. – Open the fridge to see if the grocery fairy visited in the night; pack my lunch and make Kate’s juice and milk cups.

6:30 a.m. – Spend 30 minutes trying to make myself look presentable, then give up, wishing I had those 30 minutes of my life back.

7:00 a.m. – Wake Kate up and cheerily convince her that she DOES want to get out of bed, she DOES want to wear clothes, and she DOES want to brush her teeth. Oh and we are running late AGAIN … can’t you cooperate for mommy? What? You need to use the potty downstairs? What’s wrong with the one upstairs? Oh, this is funny, isn’t it? Why am I NOT LAUGHING?

7:15 a.m. – Get Kate a snack for the car. Wait. Of course you don’t want that. What do you want? Oh, not that either? Not that? What about this? I just can’t think of a better way to start the morning. How about you go pick? A blueberry Clif bar, just the thing I presented 13,876 offers ago. Interesting.

7:17 a.m. – Buckle Kate into the car seat, observe large blueberry stain on left shoulder of my shirt

7:22 a.m. – Emerge from the house with a wet, blue-tinged shoulder

7:39 a.m. – Drop Kate off at daycare and drive like a maniac to Starbucks

7:57 a.m. – Arrive to work and settle in to start my day

Start my day? Let's now fast forward through: making it through this thing called work, grocery shopping, cooking and eating dinner, juggling myriad appointments and phone calls, buying a birthday card for my Mother, bath and bedtime, sifting through bills, and contemplating calling into life exhausted tomorrow.

9:59 p.m. – Sit down on the couch perplexed while realizing it is the first time I have done nothing all day. Recognize that the only reward for that is a repeat performance at 5:15 a.m. the next morning.

10:01 p.m. – Wonder why Time Magazine isn’t knocking on my damn door to do a feature article on my superhuman mother-of-the-year accomplishments of the day.

10:03 p.m. – Interruption by my darling husband.

“Do you know what you forgot today?”
“No, what?”
“Shoes. You took Kate to daycare and you didn’t pack her shoes.”

Before I fell over and died, I said, “Oh screw mommy competition. Perhaps my sole purpose is just to make them feel better about themselves.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The non heart-attack

It was 2:40 a.m. Wednesday and I suddenly awoke to a crippling, crushing pain in the left side of my chest. For minutes, I laid there, taking tiny, shallow breaths, because the reward of breathing deeply was not unlike a group of elephants tap dancing on my chest. After a few minutes of this melodrama, I sat up with a sudden jolt, realizing that this was actually happening and not a figment of my semi-awake conscience, or overactive imagination. I went downstairs and ate some Tums, because that is apparently a reasonable thing to do when you are moments away from death.

Craig was not home (strike one Craig), but was still awake when I called him at 2:50 a.m. (redemption of strike one) with details of my predicament. In typical Craig fashion, he calmly asked a series of very annoying, practical, questions. “Are you sweaty?” No. “Are you dizzy?” No. “Does anything else feel weird?” No. “Well, it’s probably muscular; I’d just go back to bed.” When your wife calls you in the middle of the night, besieged by pain of unknown origin, serenely telling her to go back to bed isn’t all that helpful (strike one reinstated). While I concurred that it probably wasn’t life threatening, difficulty breathing and moving aren’t really conducive to sleep and watching the Golden Girls re-runs was only entertaining for so long.

I started contemplating what exactly I would do if I found myself in a medical emergency home alone with a 3.5 year old. How fun would that be? Do the hospitals have some nanny-concierge service? The pessimist in me started to think of how ironic it would be if I were having heart problems since I’ve never been in better shape, or on a healthier diet. Life’s a bitch like that. I also became keenly aware of the fact that I was wearing a shirt with a tie-dyed peace sign that my aunt made for me, oh, about fifteen years ago. While nothing about me screams TIE-DYE or PEACE-SIGN, it was the last time I saw her, so I’ve held on to it for sentimental reasons. However, those same sentiments suddenly don’t seem important when you realize that you could be facing your own mortality, only to be found in such attire.

Eventually I went to sleep and I miraculously woke up the following morning. By mid-day, the pain still wasn’t gone and I figured that I should probably visit the Doctor, lest I suffer a repeat performance at home again that night. I jokingly informed the nurse that I was having chest pain, but I was certain it was muscular, resulting from a fairly intense session at the gym on Sunday. For any of you who know me, you know that nothing ever works this easily for me. Suffice to say, my blood pressure, which is normally about 117/77, decided to show me who was boss and registered 155/93 when she took it.

Do you know what a 29 year-old with chest pain and sudden high blood pressure gets on her lunch hour? Blood work, chest x-rays, and an EKG. Isn’t life grand? Thankfully everything came back fine. The blood pressure was likely just the culmination of MY LUCK OVER THE PREVIOUS 24 HOURS, and has since returned to normal.

The final diagnosis? Costochondritis. If given the choice between costochondritis and walking over hot coals in my bare feet, I’d find myself in quite a quandary.