Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What I did Today when Booberry Was at Daycare for Four Hours

Well it finally happened!  She’s all grown up and off to school.  Well, daycare.  Well, part time daycare.  Today was her first day at the daycare I lovingly chose for her after hours and hours of research (NOTE: all research conducted by my neighbor who sent her daughter there for six months before I finally pulled the trigger since she brought home lots of cute art and never got a concussion).  I did not start teaching today but wanted to start her at the beginning of the month and week, so today was my TCB (taking care of business) day and also a buffer in case they call me to tell me she’s fear puking everywhere (IT COULD HAPPEN! It did at her 18 month appointment when they tried to measure her height).

            How I thought it would go down: Booberry sobbing and reaching for me as I abandon her in the arms of a stranger and spend four hours weeping in bed.

            How it went down: We show up right as the kids are headed out to the playground and Neighbor Toddler greets Boo.  I ask Booberry if she wants to go play on the slide and she nods, goes into the playground area, and begins playing.

That’s it.  No crisis.  No tears…from her. I cried in the car as I drove away.  SHE’S FINE!  I warned the teacher about her passionate embraces (hugs and hair pulling) and it’s been four hours and they haven’t called to expel her.  I have to go get her soon.  So here’s what I did while she was gone that I would not otherwise have done:
1.       Went to the MUTHAFOOKIN GYM WOOHOO! I asked the guy at the front desk if I should get a membership and he’s all, “Well it’s worth it if you come more than twice a week.  How often do you come now?” and I’m allllll, “LIIIIIIKE never but I’ll try to come at least twice a week.” And he smiled at me because I’m sure that’s what they all say. 

2.      Took a shower.  Yes, I do this even when Boo is at home, but this time I did it right when I got home and not several hours later when the sweat is good and dried. 

3.      Used my blender!  Booberry’s list of “not afraid of that” includes dogs, heights, cars, stairs, older children, and being injured.  Her list of “FUCK NO! SCARY!” includes the ball machine at the Children’s Museum, being measured by the nurse at the doctor’s office, me going to the bathroom without her, and the blender.  TODAY I made a GREEN smoothie and it wasn’t gross and therefore I…

4.       Ate a VEGETABLE.

5.      Ate lunch.  Yes. Lunch.  Not a bite of mac and cheese to test coolness and leftover crackers found in my car.  LUNCH.  WARM lunch.  And I ate it as soon as I was done cooking it and was very quiet while eating it and…

6.      Got to go on my phone and watch videos with the sound ON.

7.      Went grocery shopping at midday on a weekday.  And I got to go at my pace, slowly, reading the ingredients and prices of things, not just randomly throwing crackers into the cart while trying to keep Booberry from noticing the pile of pouches while leaving a trail of discarded cheerios in my wake. 

8.      Texted the Doctor a million times asking him his opinion on if she’s still alive and if she ate and if she napped and if she’s scarred for life and that I miss her and that I only have one hour left of freedom.

9.      Sat here and blogged and it’s 3pm and I’m not at the Children’s Museum (though I do love that place).

10.  Cried intermittently for four hours because I miss her and she’s SOOOOO BIIIIIIIIIG.

Shit.  I’m almost out of time.  I should get some actual work done.  (checks facebook)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The First Day that Wasn't

Today Booberry was supposed to have her First Day of School (daycare).  But she didn’t.

I used to teach all day errrrrry day and make no money but my time was mine. 

I did the math.  If I worked full time now and put Boo in full time day care…at the end of the year…I’d bring home…$6,000.  Woo.  Granted I’m not the only income…but for the sake of math we don’t count Doctor. 

Now I teach after school classes.  Only one class an afternoon.  But paying a sitter for the time I’m there and the time I’m rushing to and from there was getting difficult.  So she was to start part time day care.

But my class got cancelled today.  I’ll teach another day, sure, but this one hit me hard. 

She was dressed.  We’d taken pictures just like every other parent on facebook.  And it was cancelled.

I can barely justify spending $35 on an afternoon of daycare in which time I only make $25 (BEFORE taxes).  I can not justify spending $35 on an afternoon in which I have nothing to do.  So she will start daycare another day.  The amazing daycare is cool with it. 

I was not cool with it.

So I watched Wild and ate ice cream while Booberry napped in her own bed.

Why did I watch that movie?  It contains (SPOILER ALERT):
-          Dead horse
-          Dead mom
-          Hiking.

I hate all those things.  But it did contain:
-          Oregon
-          Feeling sorry for yourself.

I always like Oregon and, today, I liked feeling sorry for myself, too.

You may be thinking, why are you feeling sorry for yourself? You can stay home with super cute and funny Booberry and not be destitute and also watch tv and eat ice cream in the middle of day in your sweats.

But I wanted to go out and do something that looks good on paper and is also fun and requires real pants.  I know, I know, I hate real pants.  But I like being able to tell people I DO something besides sing the Elmo Song while I change diapers.  Granted, the something I do when I’m working is sing “Do Re Mi” and pretend to be flowers and stuff.  But they PAY me, so it’s WORK. 

I know, I know, I’m tutoring tonight and have a class to teach on Friday and start my next term of my Saturday gig on this Saturday.  I have WORK.

It’s just the first day of school.  Earlier today, I was crying about taking her.  I was crying picturing her crying as I left her there. I was crying picturing her not crying at all when I left her there.  I was crying imagining them telling me she can’t come back after the first day because she pulled everyone’s hair (could happen).  I wanted her to have a little school. 

And I miss my own first days of school.  I always wore blue because my mom told me blue made a good, neutral first impression.  I was always nervous.  I always knew which kids were going to be awful and I never knew which ones would be perfect because you don’t usually notice those on the first day.  I was always sweaty and uncomfortable and exhausted. 

This is better.  Little Booberry hugs are better.  Sweat pants are better…ice cream isn’t the worst.    She’ll have her real first day soon.  She didn’t know what she was missing today.  And then she’ll go to kindergarden someday and I’ll LOSE MY SHIT.  I’ll miss days like this.  

It’s beautiful outside. 

Maybe we will even go for a little hike this afternoon.  Stupid hiking.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Poem

An Ode (or Eulogy) to Flippy and Hambone on this, the day Booberry (mostly) stopped nursing

(in the style of BS Poetry 101)

O Flippy (right) and Hambone (sinister),

How I will(willnot) miss how you double-boobedly kept Booberry alive for a year.

after roll
after rolling rolly roll
Of baby fat.

All because of you…

To Hambone, the dominant: 
Sure, you took the mastitis hit, but you came back stronger, too strong.  (Way too strong, actually.  Fill a baby’s ear strong.  Hit Doctor Dada from across the room strong.  Hence, living up to your namesake.)

To Flippy, the overactive: 
You never let ME down.  (BF joke, LOL. Hashtagboobies)

To thee I bid adieu.

True, you haven’t traveled far.  Just southward of your original home
…Slouching toward the ground.

But I thank you. Booberry thanks you. 

While you can no longer fly free in a summer breeze, your nursing cover ripped off in valiant passion by Booberry, I will always remember our times spent making strangers and male friends uncomfortable.

We’ll always have Value Village. 
(“DAT” she cried, freeing Hambone from his sports bra in front of some dude in an employee vest).

Enjoy your quiet time out of the public eye.
Convalesce in a non-nursing bra.
Sleep through the night, my friends. 

As I said to my OB, “Let’s do this again sometime.”

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Questions During the Non-Nap

            Yesterday afternoon, Booberry didn’t want to nap anywhere but on me.  She wanted chest to chest and face to face contact.  Then she gave up on the idea of sleeping all together and decided she wanted to stare deep into my eyes.  Unable to turn on my phone for fear of her eyes being drawn to the evil and unholy screen, I stared back.  Her eyes, by the light of day blue pools of mirth, were solid black orbs of nothingness.  She was basically asleep with her eyes open.  So I held her for a while.  Soon she did close her eyes.  I tried to put her down, but she had none of it, so we had a little staring contest.  And I began to question…

Why do I want to escape this perfect little creature so badly right now?  Oh yeah…work.

Why won’t she sleep on her own today?

This is the second morning she’s woken up in her own poop.  Have I trained her to shit herself whenever she wants attention?

When she’s a teenager, what will she look like?

What if I have to take her to the gynecologist when she’s 16 because she needs birth control?

Does she like mac and cheese so much because I ate too much of it when I was pregnant?  Or is mac and cheese just universally good?

Did letting her watch 15 minutes of Sesame Street turn her into a sociopath who will never be able to connect with others on a social level?

Am I failing as a parent?

Is someone going to come take her away forever because I’m screwing her up and just am too ignorant to know it?

Does it actually hurt her when I wipe oatmeal off her face?  She cries like it does. 

Isn’t this better than getting stuff done?

What’s for dinner?

Did they put makeup on the royal baby to make her skin look better or do princesses not get baby acne?

Should I get a zoo membership?  Yes.

If I fall asleep here, will my arms relax, causing her to plummet to the floor?

Oh!  Her eyes are closed.  How long will she sleep like this?

And then she woke up.  

We looked just like this.  I like to wear all white around the house so I can better tell how clean it is.  And I like to match my baby to my decor.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I Promise I'm Still Cool

Sometimes I feel insecure around my childless friends because I’m poorly groomed and almost never night drive (bedtime is 7pm, yo).  I worry that I’ve lost my edge and that I am no longer cool.  Who are we kidding?  I wasn’t cool before.  But I could fake it by showing up at a bar and pretending not to have a sensory overload by nodding my head and nursing an adult beverage.  Now I am constantly RSVPing no to spur of the moment get-togethers and all my clothes are from Target and are made of jersey.  And the one who nurses beverages…also regularly poops her pants…and it’s not me (NOR HAS IT EVER BEEN!).

But then I got to thinking about all the things I do that actually make me the pinnacle of cool. I’m pretty sure the young folk don’t refer to themselves as cool.  They probably went back to groovy or something…but I can dig it. 

Things I do that are cool:
1.       Eat at trendy restaurants.  Portland is one of those super cool places where the best restaurants don’t take reservations so you have to wait two hours on a Sunday to get in.  NOT ME!  Because I go on Thursdays at 8 am!  No line!  Same food.  I’m up anyway. 
2.      Get drunk on weeknights.  At home.  In my basement.  On one large glass of white wine. 
3.      Wear leggings as pants.  That’s what the young people do, right?
4.      Rock the #ijustwokeuplikethis look.  I rock it best at 6:30 am.  And then just keep rocking it all day…and all niiiiiiight. 
5.      Have sick dance moves.  Or at least that’s what Booberry thinks.  She especially likes the pony, aka, when I pretend I am one and she’s “thrown” “WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”  It’s like the greatest thing that ever happened to her. 
6.      Do drugs.  Just kidding.  Hugs not drugs. 
7.      Trash my house!  With thrown food and beverages. And toys.  And books.  And socks. 
8.      Over-exercise.  Triceps extension: lifting Booberry onto the slide. Squat: pick her up.  REPEAT ONE MILLION TIMES.  Cardio: wet swiffering my kitchen once every other day to help break up some of the crusted-on oatmeal.
9.      Go to parties:  I go to so many parties, you guys.  I went to two last weekend!  TWO! ON THE SAME DAY!  They were one year old bday parties.  Oh…does that not count?  Fine.  I can go to your adults-only party.  But I need to know about it a month or two in advance so I can lock down the in-laws to babysit.  If the in laws aren’t free, fine, I’ll just get a sitter.  But I’m only staying at your party until 10 pm because it’s not worth $15 dollars an hour for me to get drunk in your basement when it only costs me $15 over the course of three days to get drunk in mine off that one bottle of wine.   And I’m tired and have to get up at 6:30 no matter what day of the week it is. 
10.  Arrive places fashionably late because of oversleeping.  Booberry’s oversleeping , that is. 

I mean, do I really care about being cool anymore? NO.  But do I sometimes wake up on a Saturday and wish that slight headache and queasy feeling was due to hangover and not just being awoken from deep sleep by “DADA?!” echoing through the baby monitor?  I mean…no?  Did I even care before about packing my social calendar?  Not really. So what’s the deal?  Our lives are different but we are still the same people.  Aren’t we?  A year in (two, if you count the DD preggo months), sometimes it’s still surprising when the Doctor and I turn to each other and exclaim, “WHAT?!  A baby lives here?!”    Then she staggers drunkenly over to us, plants a wet kiss on each of our faces, and shakes her booty to the music.  And we party on.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Little Lessons from One Little Year

Beware the ides of March.  March 15, 2014 was my due date and not the day my Booberry was born.  I shudder to look at the picture of me taken on this day, way overflowing with life and so deeply uncomfortable in my own super stretched skin.  But looking back on the day got me reflecting on all the little things in my small world that I’ve learned this year. 

1.        Dresses are stupid for babies who are too little to crawl, and also for those who can crawl.  When they can’t crawl, they’re too squishy to look good in the dresses and, when they can, they get pissed off by tripping on the dress.
2.       You will still buy and receive and dress your baby girl in ONE MILLION DRESSES.  Because they are the cutest.
3.       You will get embarrassed/proud when people complement your baby’s accomplishments and beauty
4.       You do not know how to respond when people tell you how much your baby looks like you.  It’s awkward. 
5.       Baby girls can pee on you during a diaper change, too.  GENDER EQUALITY, PEOPLE!
6.       Your PJ pants are for at home.  Sweat pants are pharmacy acceptable.  Yoga pants are for almost everywhere.  Jeans are for social events.  Clean jeans are for meeting new people or childless friends.  Well-fitting jeans are cause for a night on the town.
7.       You will own a special pair of “nice yoga pants” which are for fancy times.
8.       All shoes must be slip on. Or at least slip off.  Slippers are good, too. 
9.       The swing is God…until she outgrows it…
10.   If you name it, you can say you sleep trained your kid.  “I used the ____ method.”
11.   Your baby’s throw up is not a big deal.  Someone else’s baby’s throw up is just as gross as all throw up used to be.
12.   You maybe have eaten after changing a poop diaper and only using hand sanitizer, not hand washing.  And by maybe, I mean many, many times. 
13.   Somedays you won’t care AT ALL about getting your “body back” (where’d it go?) and some days you will cry while getting dressed. 
14.   All your clothes will have weird stains.  Always.  And if they miraculously don’t, you have something in your hair anyway and you don’t even know what it is…and, best case scenario, it’s scrambled egg. 
15.   You get small pleasure out of telling your childless friends “don’t google mucus plug” knowing that they will. 
16.   You can never have too many zippy pjs.  Footless for walkers.
17.   You didn’t think it was possible to love your pets less than your baby but you do and you feel guilty.
18.   You didn’t think it was possible to love your baby more than your husband but you do and he knows it and both of you are cool with it and still love each other plenty.
19.   You cannot prevent her from attempting to kill herself and you cannot always catch her before she whacks her head on a chair leg and you have to be okay with that…but you hate yourself every time.
20.   There will be a day where you see your little squish walking in the living room, playing independently, chatting to herself and you will see a person, not a blob of a baby.  And you will be terrified of this person who lives in your house and all the ways you can screw her up and let her fall.  How big is baby? SO BIG!  How’d that happen so fast?

Happy Birthday, Baby Booberry!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Not about Babies! About BOOKS!

    Back in my childless teacher phase, I read at least a book a week.  They were almost always young adult and I would do book presentations for my class of gifted youngsters (future X-men).  Now I am in two book clubs and am so overwhelmed with reading those two books a month that I hardly have time to read anything else.  But I try, oh I TRY, to carry on!  Thank you, father, for the kindle a few years ago.  I can usually manage to read a chapter in the dark whilst rocking Booberry to drowsy.  And thank you to the Multnomah County Library for making it possible for me to save a few bucks and read some of these for freesies.  Because babies are expensive, yo, and they lick my books.  Booberry personally threw up on three board books last week.  One wasn’t even hers.  So it’s good that libraries exist and have e-books even though I miss the smell and the tactile satisfaction of paper books…mmmm….sensory bliss.  It’s ok.  I’ll have to get my jollies with board books and get on the e-book wagon. 

                Here are some books I read this year that I want to discuss.  In no particular order:

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowl.  She is so hot right now.  And this book is great.  It’s a quiet young adult (some mature content) romance about a ginger (you know I have a thing for those) girl and a non-ginger boy.  The ginger thing isn’t a big part of the story really.  It’s about LOVE.  And I enjoyed it. 

Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer.  I have read 2/3 of the trilogy.  This is also one of those trendy ones I heard about on the internets or somewhere.  IT IS WEIRD.  The pitch: it’s like X-files mated with Lost and did shrooms.  Which sounds like the best thing ever, right? But the style is self-proclaimed “weird.”  It’s about a scientific expedition into a mysterious Floridian Area X that has creepy, maybe alien, maybe nature-gone-mad elements.  There’s repetitive imagery and lots of mysteries.  And deadly fungus.  I had to take a break before doing the third book because the book sorta took me over like one of its spores and I couldn’t sleep. 

Where’d ya Go Bernadette by Maria Semple.  I read this AGAIN.  Why haven’t you read it yet?  It’s like if Desperate Housewives were written as a novel by a writer for Arrested Development (which Maria Semple was) and set in Seattle.  It’s light and easy to read without being stupid or “a girl book” as The Doctor would say.  

Red Rising by Pierce Brown.  This book got a lot of good buzz but didn’t actually catch on the way other YA violent sci fi has for whatever reason.  Reviews often say that it’s like a Hunger Gamesy Harry Potter. But it is SIGNIFICANTLY more violent than either of those.  Like, cringing while I read violent (which last happened to me during American Psycho to give you reference).  BUT IT’S COOL.  I am planning to read the sequel.  It’s about future colonists of the planets and has a Brave New World class structure with Capitol on crack type physical enhancements.  And there’s a school for training but it’s not wizards it’s WARRIORS.  It’d say it’s more male than a lot of YA today but I don’t mean that in a good or bad way. 

Sleep Donation by Karen Russell.  I HATED HATED HAAAAATED Swamplandia.  I threw it across the ROOooooom when I finished it, I hated it so much.  But I very much enjoyed this novella and wish to see the movie/read the whole thing should she ever flesh it out.  It had a Fahrenheit 451 vibe to it and is about what happens when people stop sleeping.  Cool concept well executed.

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld.  I like alllll her books.  I recommend all of them.  This one is her newest and it really stuck with me because the characters seemed very much like people I could know/be.  It’s about twins who are psychic but not in a YA paranormal way, just in the way some people seem to think they’re psychic and you either believe them or you don’t.  One sister grows out of the novelty of her power and lives a pretty straight forward suburban life.  The other makes money on her gift and predicts a big earthquake which sends the community into a panic.  The plot is about the days leading up to the predicted event.  It’s quieter than my normal YA adventures and is much more grown up, albeit a light read.

Looking for Alaska by John Green.  He’s having a moment, of course and I love him and his books and his vlog and his run on sentences.  This is one of his earlier novels I hadn’t read.  It has echoes of Fault in ours Stars greatness but is more like a dark Abundance of Katherines. It’s heavy.  It has a pixie dream girl, of course.  It’s moody.  I liked it. 

Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. NOPE!  Worst ever.  I voted for it in book club and could barely finish it.  The only reason I did is because there wasn’t an adequate Wikipedia summary.  I like her short stories and this is the first full novel I’ve read.  HATED.  Everyone in book club for the most part took issue with the main female, a cold, depressed person whose grief basically ruins everything for everyone for their whole lives.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry.  Because I voted for the horrendous Lowland, I was coerced into picking this dud as the next book.  Nerds love it.  I am a nerd.  It was a huge waste of valuable reading time for me.  It takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  So basically, it’s filler.  SO ANNOYING.  Enjoy it if you like fan fiction. 

On Immunity by Eula Bliss.  Maybe the most important book I read this year.  As you know, I get really RAGEFUL when I think about anti-vaxers and their bioterrorist ideas about killing us all with pox parties.  Sometimes I think about Booberry getting measles (her heat rash yesterday set me off…she had epic heat rash and I was concerned) and I get whipped into a panicked frenzy and murderous ideas come popping up.  So I try to keep it civil.  This book helped. A journalist and mom, Bliss wasn’t sure about vaccines so she did her REAL research (not reading Bob Sears’ blog) and has come to the conclusion that, DUH, vaccines are a good idea.  The book explains why from a historical, lightly scientific, and emotional standpoint.  Basically this book gives me ammo when anti-vaxers start talking about “natural immunity.”  Too bad I bought the kindle version—otherwise I could just throw the book at them.  Like at their faces. 

Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples.  My first non-political allegory graphic novel!  The Doctor picked this for book club and I devoured over two days.  I let Booberry crawl around her room with her toys while I read it in the glider.  She kept coming up to me and wanting me to read it to her…but it has boobies.  Breastfeeding boobies, sure, but also sex and monster boobies.  It’s about star crossed future lovers who have a mixed race baby and have to flee their enemies and raise their girl in the midst of interplanetary war.  It’s super fun and amazing.  Plus it’s fast and has cool pictures.

Next up: Station Eleven. The premise is that it follows a group of traveling Shakespearean actors in a post-apocalyptic North America.  Basically, I’m pretty sure this book was written JUST FOR ME.