I figure that I have nine days left in 2006. And overall, it's been a damn good year.
After all, I got to spend endless hours watching my son spit up, learn to sit up, learn to roll over, learn to crawl, learn to talk and learn to walk.
I got myself back in the working game, and except for two minor breakdowns, adapted to my new life pretty damn well.
I got a stomach bug and lost five pounds.
I survived putting my third pet to sleep and made the wise decision to bring the most loving dog in the world home. For the sake of this post's happy thoughts, I'll leave out the fact that said dog loves to sneak into the bathroom when I'm half awake on the toilet with my eyes closed and sticks his cold nose in my crotch area, forever scaring the pee from leaving my bladder.
But despite all these accomplishments, I'm raising the bar for 2007. Here are the things that I vow to resolve to try to do. This is lawyer speak to ensure I can't be held accountable if I fail on all of these.
Resolution #1: I will pay off all of our credit cards and not charge them up again.
Resolution #2: I will get Little Man off of his bedtime bottle habit, the last bottle that we just can't seem to get rid of, so that his teeth don't fall out of his mouth by the time he's two, or so it sounds like from the way pediatricians and baby magazines make it sound. I will no longer use the excuse that Julia Roberts' twins are still pictured with Advent bottles out in public and they are two years old.
Resolution #3: I will lose 10 pounds and fit in that school girl costume I bought two years ago when I was fat and pregnant and vowed to one day look hot enough to fit in the thing.
Resolution #4: I will save up enough of my allowance (once the credit cards are paid off) to buy myself a ridiculously expensive camera like a Nikon D70. I will take loads of 10 megapixel pictures of Little Man that take everyone's breath away, not just mine.
Resolution #5: I will buy myself more cute shoes. I will demand Shoe Pavilion gift cards for mother's day, birthday and Christmas. I will be envied by my coworkers because I have really, really cute shoes.
Resolution #6: I will stay off cigarettes. I will not smoke until I am ready to get pregnant again, no matter how tempted I might be. Then once baby #2 comes out, I can reconsider going back to my daily cigarette, but not until then.
Resolution #7: I will continue to blog regularly, which was my 2006 resolution and which I accomplished. I will blog even when I have nothing to say, because well, when have I ever shut up, really?
Friday, December 22, 2006
I figure that I have nine days left in 2006. And overall, it's been a damn good year.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Yesterday, I was the busy little PR bee. I was so busy working and working and working, and doing all the things that PR people are supposed to do. And I did good, may I add. I did so good, that really, I've earned three months salary in one day if you ask me. Well, maybe not three months, but at least I earned my salary for yesterday.
But somewhere in the middle, I got a call from a reporter and was asked to comment about something that I'd sent him. And I did. And I did properly, thank you very much.
An hour later, his story appeared online. And in the middle it said "a spokesman for the company said..."
That would be me. I'm the spokesman.
Now, this is where I get a little confused. I sound like a screeching chihuahua when I talk. Definitely not males. And my name is clearly of the female persuasion.
And yet, neither one was convincing enough for this reporter. He looked at these two factors and thought "nope, no way, that wasn't a chick."
And now, I'm a spokesman. I need to go, I'm pretty sure I've got to fix my package or something.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I always hate this week. This is the week where Christmas is so close yet so far away. This is the week where Sweetie Pie finally has my gifts under the tree, and all I want to do is open them. This is the week where Christmas comes after an impossibly long wait and then it's all over and there's nothing to look forward to, except for vacuuming up the 10,000 tree needles that are now permanently embedded into our carpet.
And since we're going to Canada for a week, and no one will water the tree while we're gone, we'll come home to a dead Christmas tree, a way-too-obvious analogy for the season. And then I'll have to remove each one of the ornaments from those dead branches and pack them up so they can sit in the attic, unloved for a year.
But right now, I just want it to be Christmas day! And watch Little Man's face light up as he rips the paper from his presents and sees his Hummer and his basketball hoop and all of the other toys that I bought him forever ago and don't even remember...
The funny thing is, he'll get to play with his new toys for about two hours, and then he'll be whisked off to his aunt's house, where he'll open more toys, get to play with those for half an hour and then be forced to take a nap. Then when he finally wakes up, he'll get to spend a few more hours playing before bedtime and then the next day, it's off to Canada for a week, so by the time we come back, he probably won't even remember half of his new stuff...
Today it is pouring here. This makes the whole town have that depressing January feel. I don't want to be one of those people who looks at happy events by thinking of how sad they'll be when it's over. But apparently, as I sit here in my blue cubicle today, I am one of those people.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I love how funny my toddler is. If anyone had told me that the best reason to have a baby is that once they're over a year old, they'll do funny stupid stuff that cracks you up so hard, you stop breathing on a regular basis, I would have done this a long time ago.
Like the fact that Little Man loves to cover his head with tea towels. He'll do this, and look like Matthew McConaughey when he's about to cross the desert for some movie. But ever so often, Little Man will also cover up his face with the towel. And yet, oblivious to the fact that he is now blind, he will walk away, face covered, asking for furniture to stand in his way and smack him. And since I'm a horrible mother who doesn't keep an eye one her son every second of every day, he does regularly walk into things. And because I'm a horrible, horrible mother, I proceed to laugh at him, because really, it is funny. The good thing is that this causes Little Man to laugh at himself too instead of crying. I believe that I'm saving us both a lot of time with my inappropriate laughing. Plus, it prepares him for high school.
Little Man has also learned to shake his head "no" from some of his friends from school, because both his father and I believe in keeping our head immobile, like if it was caught in some invisible sliding door when we talk negative.
But Little Man, having learned it from other toddlers who don't have that great neck control, has therefore learned this bobblehead version of the universal head shaking signal. This is really funny, because unless you know him and knows what he means, you might think that maybe he's nodding his approval or following a drunk fly's landing.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Let me start out by saying that there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. I know there's a fine line there, even though, from where I sit, I can barely see the towns of confidence and arrogance, let alone that fine line between them.
But I can say this. I am over Fergie. Not the Weight Watchers, Princess of York, formerly lover of having her toes sucked Fergie. I'm talking about the Black Eyed Peas and now solo artist singer.
When her song "London Bridge" came out, I loved it. Little Man and I would bop to it in the car all the time, and 14-year olds who'd see me would right away destroy their iPods, figuring that they had to destroy the uncoolness as quickly as possible.
But even though I still loved the song, it was bittersweet, because I still wasn't over the "My Humps" incident. Really? A whole song about the different things that stick out on your body? The boys are spending all their money on you? Because of your humps?
I realize I'm going to sound very old and uncool here, but is this really what we want our daughters hearing as a message? That they should have boobs and butts and make boys spend money on them?
And now, NOW! Fergie puts out a new song. And this is where I have to pause to wipe the vomit from the corners of my mouth. The damn song is called "Fergielicious." Seriously? Seriously? SERIOUSLY?
You turn your nickname into an adjective by merging it with delicious? Who the hell thinks that of themselves? Does Fergie sit on her Louis Vuitton comforter thinking up this crap? Does she wake up in the morning and go "I rock! I'm awesome! I'm cool... OH! MY! GOD! I should totally write a song about that!"
Fergie, I'm warning you now. You write one more song about how great you are, and I will drive my cheerio and goldfish covered Jeep Liberty to LA and beat you to a freaking pulp with my car seat. I'm serious.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Sweetie Pie is gone this weekend. Some people might think "how horrible! She's got a baby, she's working full time and he goes and leaves her." But see, those people are also the ones who think that Britney Spears going out partying every night and showing her coochie is bad. Well, ok, that's bad.
But this isn't. Because I love it.
It's not that I don't love Sweetie Pie. Because he is the only person on this entire planet I could live with day in, day out for the rest of my life. Sure, he irritates me when I have PMS and have thought of stabbing him multiple times with a ball point pen because he won't feed me endless rivers of chocolate. But that's only a few days once a month.
When Sweetie Pie leaves, it means that it's just Little Man and I. And when he was littler, that was a bad thing. Back then, when it was only Little Man and I, it meant that I had to handle every night feeding and do all the quick diaper changes in dark rooms with exhausted eyes that won't stay open. It meant breaking down at five in the morning thinking I can't do this alone and wondering how single moms do it every single day.
But now that he's a toddler, I look forward to these weekends of just him and I. Our time, Little Man and Mommy time. I feel like it's a time where all rules are out. Where we can go to McDonald's and stay in our pj's and stay up too late and make funny faces at each other and chase each other around the house with hundreds of non-picked up items laying dangerously in our paths.
Now that I work, I especially appreciate these weekends as a single mom, because it feels like the "old days," when I stayed with him and it was just the two of us, and things were good. But, you see, I took that time for granted. And there were days I'd yell at myself to live in the moment, to breathe all of my baby's energy in and suck the moment in and laminate the memories in my heart, but somehow it's our human nature to whirlwind our way through these things.
But the world has granted me these two day weekends about once a month, and now, I appreciate a lazy morning on the couch, giggling at Blue's Clues and eating organic macaroni and cheese making "mmmmm" sounds with every bite, because really, is there a better food on Earth?
And then there are the evenings. Once the Little Man is in bed, I get to lay on the couch with all of the pets and watch whatever I want. Chick flicks. Sappy movies. News shows about mysterious murders. Whatever. I. Want. No The Unit. No World Series of Poker. There's no channel changing the second a commercial comes on.
And just when the world couldn't grant me any more happiness, I go to bed. And although the bed should be empty, it's not. Because Satan's Dog, knowing that I'm in need of some sweet, sweet snuggling, lays his body against mine in the perfect spooning position so that my arms are around his warm body and my head is nestled against his soft ears, and all night I get to feel the kind of unrequited love that can only come from an animal.
On Sundays, Sweetie Pie comes back, and I'm happy to see him, of course, because he's always missed.
But to claim that I hate that he left in the first place would be a lie, because he loves hunting and I love what I get in return of letting him go.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I don't get to watch a lot of the shows that are on at 7 p.m., because I spend most of that hour giving the Little Man a bath, putting him into his pj's while singing to him, reading him two books in French and two in English and then giving him his night bottle (yes, he's 15 months old and still gets one bottle every day. I'm not sure who it's more of a crutch for, him or me, but I'm just quite not ready to give that one up, because the few times I've tried to give it away, he didn't sleep through the night.)
On Tuesday nights, Sweetie Pie watches a show about football called Friday Night Lights. I usually get to watch the first 15 minutes or so and then maybe the last 15 or 20 minutes of it. Since we know that I'm not a fan of the pigskin sport, obviously I don't care if I miss this show about kids in Texas who play football and apparently nobody gives a rat's ass about their grades, because they play football, you see, and in America, that's way more important than studying, like chemistry or something, because who needs a cure for AIDS when you can teach people to throw the perfect spiral?
I will admit that the human drama aspect of the show is interesting. And that if I didn't have a baby who demands to be taken care of, I'd probably get sucked into the show a lot more.
Last night's episode did grip me. One of the popular cheerleaders had been going out with the gorgeous quarterback. Stereotypical? Sure. But then in like the first episode, the quarterback broke his back and became a quadriplegic. The girlfriend, still in love with her boyfriend, told him she'd stick by him, despite his pleas that she leave him.
And for the most part, she stuck by him. Visiting him everyday. Talking to him into the night. Holding his hand.
But at the end of the day, this is a teenage girl. Probably around 16 or 17. One who's been used to being popular and loved and having to commit that much to a non-rewarding relationship would be hard to anyone. And so one desperate night, she cried into the arms of her boyfriend's best friend. And they slept together.
Since I don't watch the show a lot, I'm not sure how word got back to the school's population. I know the wheelchair-bound boyfriend found out, so maybe he blabbed. That's not the point.
The point is that when the population found out, right away this no-longer-popular cheerleader was eviscerated. A Web site was created talking about how slutty she is. Boys made horrible comments to her at her locker. Terrible notes were left on her locker. The entire cafeteria silently gawked at her while she tried to eat alone.
And my heart crumbled. Because I've been that girl. Not one who slept with two boys, but the unpopular girl who the whole world turns on for no reason. The horrifying scarring that episodes like this can cause on a psyche can only be understood by other survivors. But as I watched the end of that episode, I wept. I wept for all girls who will truly find themselves in that position. I wept for my future daughter(s), hoping that I could someone keep the savage soul beatings at bay. I silently promised myself that I would make sure, come hell or high water that my Little Man would be one of the good kids, the ones who stick up for the uncool, the slutty, the weird.
And most of all, I wept for the 13-year old me. The one who had a weird haircut and uncool clothes, but could have actually been a great part of that school's population, if only she hadn't been ostricized.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Growing up in Canada, there were many things that I experienced, one of them being the tradition of nothing being on TV on Saturday night, except for Hockey Night in Canada. Hockey in Canada is a religion. We may not go to church a lot, but we bow to those who can hit a mean slapshot.
And you know what? We're a lot more peaceloving for it, go figure that. Apparently, the only fighting we like is on ice. Keeps the wounds from getting infected that way.
Anyway, the one great thing about hockey is that for us who aren't 100 percent fanatical (just 70 to 80 percent), it manages to stay out of our way. Hockey is a way of life, but in true Canadian fashion, it doesn't impede on anyone.
Unlike freaking American football. I don't get it. Why is it that the freaking football games don't ever finish on time? And why is it that the TV stations feel the need to accomodate the NFL for not understanding the concept of time management?
I have spent the past 12 weeks or so falling in love all over again with my favorite reality show: The Amazing Race.
But we were out Sunday night enjoying the expensive meal that I would later regurgitate in my best impression of Nicole Richie. And so I tivo'd it. And last night, when I turned it on, I realized that the first half hour of what Tivo thought was The Amazing Race, was actually 60 Minutes.
Which really, is not the same thing if anyone was wondering.
And so I'm all into the action, when the episode ends halfway into the race. And now, I've watched 12 weeks of shows, and don't know how it ends.
I do know who won, because Sweetie Pie accidentally heard it on the radio, but it's not the same thing. Now some of you might say this is Karma getting me back for screwing up the last two minutes of Rock Star: Supernova this summer for Sweetie Pie, but I make a voodoo symbol back at that thank you very much.
I blame it on a bunch of 300-lb sweaty men who don't understand the concept of not ruining regular TV.
This would never happen in Canada. I'm just saying.
Monday, December 11, 2006
So I thought I was better. I woke up on Saturday, and still had issues, since I went to a happy hour the night before and made the mistake of drinking two beers and having spicy chicken strips. Some people might try and tell you that I'm actually really smart, that I skipped two grades in school and learned to read at three. But don't believe them. That was the old me. The new me has intestinal issues and partakes in spicy fare so that her colon explodes from the shock of the stupidity.
But Saturday night, I was all better. We went out and ate, and I was actually smart about my choice of food, but only from some prodding from Sweetie Pie. I indulged in some lettuce wraps. Nothing bad in that, and there were shredded carrots, which I'm sure my body was in desperate need of some type of veggies at this point.
Anyway, the lettuce wraps were a hit with my innards and yesterday, I felt like I was back to normal. But see, it was all an illusion, because for breakfast I only ate two pieces of buttered toast and then for lunch I had a bowl of chunky noodle soup, but Little Man ate most of my noodles, so really, I had some broth with a couple of pieces of carrots, celery and chicken in it.
And then last night, my in-laws took us out for the second annual family holiday season dinner at some fancy-schmancy place, and we went to one of the big famously expensive steakhouses along the Dallas Tollway.
And since I was famished, I partook in everything. I inhaled my steak dripping in butter and coated in some amazing blue cheese crust. I ate potatoes au gratin. And apple tart. And chocolate sin cake. And lots of bread with butter.
And I had wine. Wonderful, wonderful red wine. Which usually I'm not a fan of, but this might as well have been a glass of melted chocolate, it tasted so good to me.
I left there, my pants leaving a permanent indentation on my swollen belly. I was happy.
Then the middle of the night came. And all I can tell you is that I've never thrown up this much. No, I take that back. I haven't thrown up this much since that incident in university where the 25 cent shots all involved peppermint schnapps and I slept with this total nerd name Vince only because I was madly in love with his best friend who had a girlfriend, but then I made out with the best friend and broke up their relationship and the best friend could never get over the fact that he'd messed up with the love of his life and treated me like shit and then never called me again.
But my slutty past isn't the point of this post. The point is that I threw up the following items:
- A $38 steak
- $7 worth of sides
- $7 worth of desserts
- and probably about $15 worth of wine
And like a bulimic, I greatly enjoyed the meal and then donated it to the porcelain gods. At this rate, I'm going to be a skinny mini by New Year's. Lucky for you, I'm not slutty anymore and won't be out to steal your spouses.
The best part is that the reason I woke up at all is because Little Man had woken up and was crying hysterically. So I puked my brains out, washed my face, brushed my teeth and then rocked my baby back to sleep. I have never felt like more of a mom than last night.
Friday, December 08, 2006
In case some of you were unimpressed by my crappy Tuesday, I can actually add an update to it that until now, I couldn't write about because it was too painful, and really, it's hard to write from a bathroom stall.
Just when the universe had decided to be kind to me again by sending me a guardian angel named Albertson's pharmacist dude, I made a frozen pizza for dinner, unable to cope with cooking real food.
I always buy the same kind of pizza. Every. Single. Time.
This is because in the past, I've experimented with the cheap frozen pizzas. And most of them tasted like cardboard or crap with cheese on top. Except for one that actually tasted vaguely of pizza. That brand is Red Barron's.
We always get the basic pepperoni pizza. I couldn't even tell you what the style is actually called.
But this weekend, I thought "oh look, for only a dollar more, I can get something called pizzeria style Red Barron's pizza." And so I figured, what the hell, I'm working now, let me live on the wild side and blow a dollar like it grows on trees just because I can. This is the mentality that led Donald Trump to cover his entire apartment in 24 karat gold. I'm only one step removed from him really.
Anyway, so Tuesday I crank up the old Pizzazz (the greatest invention ever by the way, I know it doesn't look that way from the commercials, but really, if you use an oven to cook your frozen pizza, well, I don't know if I can even associate with you.) and tear the packaging off the pizzeria style frozen pizza. Some say that I'm the next Martha Stewart because of these talents of mine. It's along the lines of my using my creativity in my sleep-deprived state when Little Man was two weeks old and trying to use surgical tape to stick his pacifier in his mouth so that he'd stop waking up every five minutes. This failed miserably, since medical tape only sticks mildly to skin and nothing else. So not only did the pacifier fall out of Little Man's mouth, but the remaining tape on his face made my newborn look like a mini Hannibal Lechter which freaked the shit out of me.
But back to the pizza. So we eat dinner. I'm starving because of my horrible day and the fact that lunch consisted of two store-brand oreo cookies (I guess the extra dollar spent on the pizza guilted me into buying the fake cookies), so I inhaled half a pizza.
When we go to bed, I begin to feel nauseous. I begin to think that if I don't get up right now, I might throw up all over our organic cotton sheets.
The moment passes.
The next morning I wake up and within ten minutes I throw up an insane amount of pizza. Twice.
The second time I'm throwing up, I can feel a serious diarrhea attack coming on and ponder for a second which end I'd rather clean up in case I can't finish one before the other.
I know, too graphic.
I go to work anyway, because one, I'm not willing to relive another day like Tuesday. And two, I literally had five meetings scheduled for Wednesday and if there was one day I couldn't miss all week, it was that day.
So I go to work. And during each meeting, I pray that I can keep my intestines in check long enough to cause the end of my career with the company.
And in between meetings, I sprint to the bathroom, and I the shy pooper no longer worry about humilitaing myself, because I sound like I have a very full bladder, that's how upset my intestines are.
I begin popping pepto-bismol cherry-flavored tablets when I get home like Satan's Dog when he manages to open the pantry where his treats are.
I spend most of the night being woken up by my digestive system which at this point sounds like I've swallowed a whole tiger cub.
And now, two days later, I can safely say that I have avoided going to the bathroom all morning. My system has successfully conquered the e-coli.
And the cleaning lady at the office is probably weeping with joy that her toilets will once again maintain their pearly white smiles.
On a completely different note, Little Man said the funniest thing ever. As all toddlers, he tends to categorize things that are similar in little ways. For example, when he learned the word "dog," all animals that had four legs, furry men and fuzzy plants would be called "dog."
Now, he's on a "Daddy" kick. And all men that remotely ressemble his father because of hair color, a coat they might be wearing, whatever are pointed out to me as "Daddy." This is handy, because should Sweetie Pie get tired of my idiocy and leave me, Little Man is already trying very hard to find me someone new.
This morning, we were driving to his school and my job when at a red light, I see Little Man in the rearview mirror point out the window and exclaim "Daddy!" I look to the right and in the car next to me is an extremely large black man.
That's when I tried to teach a new word, "mister," to Little Man in between my giggle fits.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Tuesday was a really, really bad day. It wasn't supposed to be, since it was, after all, a day off for me. Little Man had a pediatrician appointment in the morning and since I have vacation time to use up before the end of the year, I just took the whole day off.
I figured it'd be great, me and the little man together again.
But I've learned sometimes you just can't relive the past.
We headed for the long trek to the pediatrician office and made it there two minutes late. Since I didn't have my new insurance card yet, I told the receptionist they just needed to call my insurance carrier for proof of insurance. She said that they need all the info from me. Before I have a chance to argue with her, I get called in by the nurse and go back with the munchkin.
We proceed to spend an hour and a half being looked over. Why? I don't know... This nurse was very thorough and new to the practice so we were just there forever. Come to find out that the reason Little Man's eyes were welded shut with gunk when he woke up that morning was because he's got a double ear infection that has spread to his sinuses. Joy!
So I leave with two prescriptions. I've called the insurance company, written all the information down for the doctor's office, gave it to them and drove away. Little Man's pissed at this point, because dang it, it's nap time!
I drop off the prescriptions, give the pharmacy the little piece of paper with all of my information written down on the paper after calling the insurance company again, since I gave my only copy of the paper with the info to the doctor's office, and tell them that I'll be by after Little Man's nap to pick up the drugs.
Almost four hours later, I get an automated message from the pharmacy saying that my prescription has been delayed. EXCUSE ME??? I have a sick baby, your only job is to fill a bottle with some liquid and you can't do that in four hours?
Because Little Man is being an absolute nightmare, I throw him (gently of course, I'm not Britney Spears. I was also wearing underwear at the time) in the car and we head to Super Target.
On the way back from Super Target, I decide to go pick up the prescription, since at this point, it's been more than five hours since I dropped it off. The drugs are ready, but then the girl tells me that their system went down and she can't run my stuff through the insurance system, so I'm just going to have to $220 for the medicine. EXCUSE ME???
Not my fucking problem, I tell her. I then proceed to do something I rarely do, since I spent years in customer service and know what it feels like to make no money and be yelled at by somebody you don't give a shit about. I tell her how I have a sick baby and that they take close to six hours to get the medicine ready for him. That they have lost my business. That I want my prescription back NOW and they will never get another dime of my money.
She apologizes and gives me the prescription back. I ask her where the paper where I wrote down all my information is. She says she doesn't know. Seeing the look on my face that says I may tear her jugular out with my pinky at any second, she tells me she will look for it. She disappears for two minutes, comes back and tells me that she thinks it's been "discarded."
"DISCARDED?????" I yell. "That has my fucking private information on it, including my social security number. I want it back NOW!"
She disappears again and then comes back to say that really, they don't have it anymore, but that if it was discarded, it was done properly and that I don't need to worry about a bunch of people who are highly underpaid and hate their job stealing my identity.
At this point, I'm ready to rip the building off and toss it halfway to Austin I'm so pissed.
I leave, go across the street to our grocery store which also has a pharmacy and explain the situation to them.
I beg them to fill this quickly. They are sweet to me. Take pity on me and my cranky child. They tell me that they only usually take 15 minutes to fill prescription, but in my case, they'll do it in 30 seconds flat. And they do. At least they do with one of them.
Because they other, they don't carry. "No one every prescribes this," they explain.
And then, being the most wonderful people on Earth, who I'll never be able to thank enough except to bring them all of my prescriptions and make it clear in my will that no direct blood relative of mine shall ever go anywhere else, they offer to call another pharmacy for me and get them to fill the prescription promptly.
They call one place, no luck. So they offer to call a second. And a third. And a fourth. And a fifth. Because apparently, Little Man was prescribed the Hope Diamond by his pediatrician, or maybe some rare grade of plutonium.
The kind sweet folks at Albertson's (they deserve to be mentioned by name, since they are truly the greatest people on Earth) proceed to call a sixth pharmacy, this one way across town and locate these rare eye drops for me. "Please have it filled before she gets there," I hear the pharmacist say. "She has a baby."
I kiss the woman's feet and drive clear across the desert and the tundra to retrieve these eye drops. And when I get there, I wait. And wait. And wait. Finally an old man, smelling of pipe tobacco and Old Spice comes to me and sadly tells me that he's so sorry, but their eye drops are expired. "No one ever prescribes this," he says.
But he reassures me that he has called the chain pharmacy across the street and that they definitely have the drops. And theirs are not expired.
At this point, the Little Man is screaming his discontent at being strapped so long in his car seat. But I proceed. And drop f-bombs a long the way, some of them directed at my benevolent dictator. Since maybe if he'd keep his freaking ears clean, I wouldn't have to spend half my day off on the hunt for the Holy Grail of medicines.
When I get to the other pharmacy, they tell me they need 15 minutes to stick a label on the eye drop box with my son's name on it. And so I wait.
I drive home and it is now dinner time. I've left the house two hours ago. I am cranky, unhappy, neither emotion nearing the Little Man's levels of crankiness and unhappiness.
I get home and unload the baby, his medicine and all of my Super Target purchases. I walk into the house and decide to give him his first dose of ear infection antibiotics, hoping that will lift his spirits instantly. And then it happens.
The bag falls down. Hits the tile. And the heartbreaking sound of glass shatters my ear drum. And that's when I lose it. I start crying. I start saying the f-word more times than a Sopranos episode. I start slamming doors and throwing a hissy fit as I shove the bag that's now leaking antibiotic into a plastic bag and leave the house. I get myself together, walk into the Albertson's again, walk up to the counter, and one of the kids who'd helped me before says "How may I help you."
And that's when I start sobbing. I tell him that I just drove two hours to try to get the other prescription filled. And I'm so tired. And the bottle broke. And it says no refills on the prescription. And the doctor's office is closed now. And the baby's ears hurt.
He puts out his hand, takes the bag and tells me it'll just be a minute. He comes back with an unbroken bottle, filled with glass-free antibiotics. Gives it to me and when I had him my credit card he says "don't worry about it."
And they say the Christmas spirit is dead.
Wednesday, I went back to work, despite having food poisoning that our frozen pizza, eaten on Tuesday night, gave me, to punish me for being Hitler in a previous life (it's the only explanation I can think of). But there was no way I wasn't coming in. I needed a vacation from my day off.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Last time I wrote you this letter, you and I were still staying at home together, spending our days like lazy fat cats, spending too much time in places where I could spend money I didn't have, and hanging out until it was your bed time.
My biggest regret about having to go back to work is having to put you in daycare. Because, so far, you're really, really hated going there. I knew you were going through separation anxiety. I knew that it would be a difficult transition. But never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this.
Because germs are cruel that way.
And to make things worse, I couldn't nurse you back to health, because it was my first week in a new job, and your father and I felt that I'd be jeopardizing things if I stayed home with you. And so he sat at home with you and nursed you back to health, while I sat in my blue cubicle and cried.
Although you've always loved your Daddy, I feel that now you might love him more. I know it's not a contest, and at the end of the day, it shouldn't matter. But I can no longer get you to speak my name. When you wake up and see me, one of the first things you ask me is "Daddy?" When I ask you my name, you light up and shout "Daddy!!!!" It's Daddy this and Daddy that. Yeah, I get it, Daddy's cool. Now can you please freaking pretend that I matter at all?
Through it all though, you haven't lost your sense of humor. You love to entertain, and when I laugh at your jokes, you cackle in delight like you're agreeing that, yes, you are indeed the funniest person in the world.
You went through one heck of a growth spurt this month. You've gone from this fat baby to this tall skinny boy. The pneumonia definitely didn't help things and you now weigh less than at your 12-month check up. This drops you down to the fifth percentile in weight. That means 95 percent of 15-month old outweigh you. But you've got a brown belt in karate already, so I know you can kick their fat butts if you need to.
I've been able to teach you new tricks, including blowing kisses. You do this with such gusto, that sometimes I feel like I'll be blown away from the strength of your kisses. You also love to speak in your foreign language, making all these tongue swirls and speaking in alien and making us laugh when we respond to you by imitating you and you nod gravely, like "yes, that's exactly what I'm talking about.
Not that you don't speak lots of words now. You've got the best of both world where you can pick and choose your words. So you say "dog," but you say "chat," which apparently is easier to say than cat. You say "shoes" and "please", which are much easier to say in English, but you've chosen "fini" and "merci," because really expecting anyone to properly pronouce thank you is ridiculous.
You've shown us that your way is the high way this month, throwing tantrums that include Earth-shaking body throws if we don't understand you or attempt to appease you with things that used to make you happy like a cookie or a million dollars. We now choose to pretend that we have a tantrum-avoidance shield, sitting on the couch, carrying on a conversation like we didn't have a 15-month old turning purple on the carpet, who is repeatedly banging his fist in frustration against the floor, because really, one should be allowed to smash Maman and Daddy's new plasma TV with the dog's food bowl, just because one feels like it.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Apparently Satan's Dog must have bitten the Little Man a la Cujo, it's the only explanation for why my sweet, serious-yet-full-of-smiles baby has all of a sudden become possessed by the devil, complete with head turning 360 degrees while inhuman screams leave his tiny body.
Being around Little Man these days is a little like being a bomb squad. Hundreds of wires are interconnected and you even grazing one of them could mean the end of our little planet.
Anything can set him off. If he requests milk and you hand him his sippy cup, full of cow juice goodness, the world might end. Why this causes a tantrum, I've yet to understand, but then again, I don't understand basic economics either or why people think Paris Hilton is good looking, so you shouldn't expect much from me.
I do however know that even at my worst PMS, if I demand a five-foot tall giant chocolate Santa and it is provided to me within a 15-second time frame, I will not throw pots at Sweetie Pie's head. But nothing can appease our little benevolent dictator these days.
He has learned the art of throwing himself on the ground, no longer able to hold his body up under the crushing weight of his anger and disappointment in the world. He can sob the way one would sob if they were told Grey's Anatomy is about to go off the air. My reassuring him that in fact, there will be a new episode of Grey's Anatomy on Thursday only cause more screaming, like if I was peeling my son's epidermis layer by layer.
Which, in case there was any doubt, I am not.
The timing of this is a little suspicious, considering he started daycare almost a month ago. But at the same time, there was signs of this behavior before, it was only bubbling below the surface and I chose to ignore it, the way Californians ignore the fact that they're building multi-million dollar homes on ground that will one day be swallowed up.
Yesterday was a particularly bad tantrum day. I was covered in green pea soup on a regular basis, for crimes that include turning on the cartwheeling Tigger, offering a cookie and putting him on my lap instead of carrying him all around the house. All of these crimes, in the toddler kingdom, are punishable by death. Unfortunately, I'm not up on the latest laws of toddlerhood and my third strike means that I will be killed by overexposure to Elmo's supersonic voice. It's a painful death, one that melts your brain slowly and turns your saliva into cavity-causing sugar.
After trying hugging, distrating and time out, Sweetie Pie and I resorted to ignore the screaming toddler laying on our living room carpet, the way we ignore my mother when she makes a snide remark about the amount of dog hair in our home.
This tactic worked, although it did take 15 minutes of Sweetie Pie and I attempting small talk about the football game on television while the neighbors called the SPCA to report our slaughtering of exotic goats.
And then, just like that, the hurricane had passed again. Little Man picked himself up, babbled something about beating the shit out of his bouncy ball and then proceeded to pet the dog, his tear-stained face distorted into a smile.
Later, Sweetie Pie picked up "What to Expect the First Year" and we learned that 14 percent of one-year olds throw tantrums. I've always been the kind of mom who'd read each month of the What to Expect Books and would worry if my son hadn't reached all of the "This month, your baby might be able to..." milestones. But now, learning that 86 percent of parents out there have children who don't cause global warming with the sheer heat explosion that radiates from their thrashing body, I envy them and their normal children.
Friday, December 01, 2006
This is week three of me working out of the home. This week has seen me actually do real work and dive in to the pool while praying that I know how to swim, rather than just sat there learning, reading page after page of some foreign language to me that this place considers to be English.
And this week has been the turning point for me. This week, I've learned that I am no longer the person I used to be.
And I couldn't be happier about it. A number of things have happened to me during the past couple of years that could have led to this momentous change. I got fired for having a crapy personality (or so the crazy bitches I worked with thought, 99 percent of the population would probably side with me and state that they were the problem.) And most importantly, I've had a baby. And having this baby has taught me that work is such a small part of life. That at the end of the day, as long as I can make my baby giggle when I blow raspberries in his neck, everything else doesn't matter.
Just this week alone, there have probably been three or four incidents that would have make me climb the walls and spew venom in my previous life. But now, I just smile, shrug my shoulders and I'm actually ok with it.
When a coworker told me that someone else would probably take credit for one of my successes this week, I told her that it didn't matter to me. And the cool thing is, I meant it. Because it didn't matter. I'm confident in my abilities and the people who matter know what I do. If someone wants to steal just a little of my thunder, let them have it. They're probably a lot more desparate than I am. Plus, they'll never have a baby as cute as mine, so if some insignificant thing at work is what they need to feel good about themselves, well, I'm still way, way ahead of the race.
When someone went over my head to be part of something that I specifically told them they couldn't attend, I actually guffawed in my cube. And I meant the guffaw, every single note of it. Because once again, obviously this person has nothing going for them in their life that this tiny insignificant event at work is all they have to live for. I, on the other hand, get to wipe diarrhea from the cracks of a baby's nut sack. And that makes me happier than any of this crap.
In my previous life, little irritating things like this would get to me. There would be tears. There would be much bitching to Sweetie Pie who would respond to me time and time again "why do you let it get to you? It's only work!!!!"
Easy to say for a robot-man whose range of emotion only includes normal and asleep.
But now, I guess I'm officially a grown up, because when my coworkers come into my cube to gossip and bitch, all I can do is smile and nod at them and think "it's really no big deal! It's only work."
I just may avoid that massive stress-related heart attack after all...
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Sweetie Pie and I made one purchase this past weekend. Not a plasma TV for less than one-thousand dollars or a dirt cheap portable DVD player at Walmart that blue-haired ladies are willing to trample you to death to get to first.
We bought a Christmas tree. A real one. Our first one.
For the past 6 years of our lives in the same city together, we've put up my parents' old artificial tree. And for the past three years, we swore it would be the last year, because the thing looked like a beat up alley cat with missing patches of needles and branches that were held up dangerously, like a Jenga game about to end.
And every year, we'd pack up the Christmas tree instead of throwing it out and would bring it back down the following year, unaware that it was in bad shape, like if our collective memory could not retain 12 months worth of information and so each year, we'd be surprised when we'd open the box and find a crappy ass tree in serious need of retirement.
But last year, we actually did something amazing... We threw out the old tree, because when we took it apart, it turned to sand on our living room floor, afraid that we hadn't gotten the message to let it go.
So we headed to Home Depot, land of the drill bits, plywood and really cheap Christmas trees.
And while Sweetie Pie went hunting for some bolt of some kind, Little Man and I went about trying to pick out just the perfect tree. Which is hard, because they all look the same when they're sitting on concrete, their branches all huddled together from the shock of being cut down and forced into a life of slavery, decorated with cheap glass balls, shimmering lights and Hallmark ornaments with dogs and bears on them.
But I managed to pick one that promised me it would be a good tree, one that wouldn't let the puppy pee on its trunk and it swore it would keep my carpet needle free.
And so we hauled it home, put it in water and let it get used to its surroundings for a day. And then the next day, I dressed it from head to toe with lights, so that aliens could follow the blinding light to our little planet. Sweetie Pie now wears his sunglasses indoors and complains about retina damage, but I'm sure it's only a temporary problem. I like my tree bright.
Then I took out our mismash we call Christmas ornaments, some of them inherited from my parents and many bought throughout the years. Many of them have a story behind them, like the little snowman wearing a mountie jacket and holding a Canadian flag means that some day I'd like to go to Australia and hold a koala bear.
Anyway, for the past few days, we've enjoyed our tree and Little Man is amazed by it every time he sees it, oohing and aahing, the way an Oprah crowd attending her show would, even if she just showed up, farted and left.
And then last night, Sweetie Pie and I were in bed, me wearing my sexy "Canadian Girls Kick Ass" t-shirt, which has the power to make men within a 20-mile radius horny. Yeah, it's very hot. I was also wearing yoga pants, but really, this isn't a porn blog, so I'm just going to not even mention that part.
Anyway, it was midnight, which meant that Sweetie Pie and I were both asleep, away in dreamland, me dreaming of comfortable thongs and Sweetie Pie probably dreaming of doing the deed more often, Satan's dog snoring alongside me, his little heart beating next to my chest.
When all of a sudden, it sounded like the roof of our house had fallen. The horrible sound of breaking glass followed, but what really woke me up, was Satan's Dog rushing to see what it was and me realizing that the stupid dog would probably eat broken glass if I didn't follow him in.
And there was our tree. It had committed suicide, throwing itself as hard as it could on our tile floor. Unfortunately for the tree, all of our breakable ornaments broke its fall, killing themselves in the process but saving our 39.99 dollar tree with their bravery.
During this Christmas tree jihad, we lost our Mikasa crystal angel, the ceramic face of Sweetie Pie's no-longer-living grandmother's Santa Claus that we'd perched on top of the tree, Little Man's Lennox first Christmas ornament that his great-grandfather gave him last year as well as a bunch of cheap glass balls.
I spent hours carefully arranging the 50,000 bulbs on that tree, but now, they're all messed up. I'm so mad at that tree right now, I might pee on its trunk tonight.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Tomorrow, at exactly midnight, a bunch of money will magically appear in my bank account. This money is to thank me for showing up every day for the past two weeks and smiling and frantically taking notes while pretending I know what the hell people are talking about.
But the best part about this money, is that I am making more than Sweetie Pie right now. And this is the only reason that we are not getting divorced. Because a few days after I started my new job, Sweetie Pie found my hiding spot for the credit card bills and when he realized how far in debt we are, the only thing that kept him going is that my first six months worth of paychecks would get us back in the black.
I know that for some men, having your wife make more money than you is seen as being less of a man. I've never understood this. Who freaking cares who does what. Isn't a relationship being on a team and pooling resources? Who really cares what each figure is, what matters is the total bottom line and how many pairs of shoes at the Shoe Pavillion that bottom line will buy.
Luckily, I'm married to a real man. One that couldn't care less who makes what. Money in our relationship isn't power. And I don't see it ever becoming so. I guess the reason for that is that at different parts of our almost eight-year relationship, Sweetie Pie and I have taken turns supporting each other. I got laid off, we lived on his salary. He started a company, we lived on my salary. I got fired, we lived on his salary. And now, we're once again a dual income family, one with a crapload of debt and a high-cost daycare that Little Man hates.
But in a year, we'll be in a really good place. One where we can put money aside in savings. One where we can actually put some money down on my next vehicle.
Tomorrow, I will have money for a few hours. And then each and every one of those dollars and cents will go to people named "Visa" and "Mastercard."
Monday, November 27, 2006
Sweetie Pie's grandfather got remarried within six months of his wife of over 50 years' death. We were quite horrified by this, but we've since come to understand that the man just doesn't know how to be by himself, having been married since he was 18 years old. And that this new wife, his high school sweetheart, is really more of a roommate and companion than a story of true love like his first wife was.
The new wife moved into the grandfather's house and out went all of her stuff. Her porcelain dolls, her knick knacks, all the things that we women put out to mark our territories. These were divied up amongst the grandkids, most of us probably don't really want the stuff we were given, but being the only things to remind us of the grandmother that they all loved so much, all of us have made places for these little things with no monetary value, but priceless anyway.
On Thanksgiving day, we were over at Sweetie Pie's grandfather's house and, of course, the wife was there. And while she was talking to me, I had this horrifying thought that maybe, they have more sex than I do. After all, companionship or no companionship, they are newlyweds, barely married a year now. And despite the arthritis and the loose skin and the slow movements, they're still human beings and more than likely, they still have hormones seeping through their 80+ year old bodies.
And because I have a graphic mind that needs to display thoughts in my head like a movie, when I had this thought, I was picturing new grandma in lingerie a la Frederick's of Hollywood.
And then I silently screamed as my turkey dinner began to make its way back up.
Do old people have sex? And if so, do they have sex more often than new (and not-so-new) parents?
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I'm proud to be a Canadian, but I don't think that I am the kind of person who's constantly throwing it in people's faces. Sure, rare is the person who speaks to me for half an hour and doesn't find out that I am in fact from Canada. I'm not sure how it always ends up coming up in conversation, but somehow it does, like, for example if somebody talks about having a tree in their backyard, the logical thing to say back to them is that Canada has trees, and I am, in fact, from Canada.
But then there are people who bring the quiet patriotic zeal that being Canadian out of me, and I end up sounding like I'm recruiting for some crazy cult. I'm always aware that I'm doing this, but it's like I can't shut it off, like diarrhea of the mouth, but with a slight maple syrup flavor.
Right now, this person would be my senior team leader. He's not really my boss, he's just the person on our team who's got the most seniority and with our boss being out, he's kind of in charge. I have literally not had one conversation with the man without turning to rabid Canadianism. Even if I walk into his office urging myself to not bring up any countries that start with "c," end in "a" and have "anad" in the middle, every single time I'll leave spouting Canadian facts or educating him on how much better Canada is, because our Thanksgiving isn't right before Christmas, spreading the turkey goodness more.
I'm sure he's convinced I'm a total freak and wonders why I even live here if Canada is so damn great. After all, that's always what I think when I hear immigrants spout off about how horrible America is. I always think to myself "well, if your country's so great, why'd you leave?"
And yet, I am one of those people deep inside. I don't by any means think Canada is perfect, no. I like the idea of socialized healthcare, but find it alarming that my sister's baby doesn't have a pediatrian even though she's three months old, because there's such a shortage of them. Or that my sister couldn't get her in to see a specialist about her daughter's hand until this week, and the only reason she got to see one at all is because she's an interesting case that they want to study more for some medical journal.
No country is perfect and it's trying to make the imperfections a little better and enjoying the things that are good about the place you live that could make the world a better place. But at the same time, I feel that since my heart is still in the US of A's neighbor to the North, I'm not really cheating. It's really the equivalent of giving some guy on the subway an accidental butt squeeze.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
On Saturday, we took Little Man to the doctor's to hear the wonderful news that he caught pneumonia from those horrible cootie-infested kids he hangs out with in daycare. We were given a prescription and I rushed to the pharmacy to drop it off, knowing that each minute I wasted getting there, would be an additional minute spent with a sick, mucusy child.
When I picked it up, the cashier asked me if I needed to speak to the pharmacist about this prescription. Confused, since I'd never been asked this before in all of my years of picking up birth control pills and a few antibiotics, I responded "I don't know, do I?"
The cashier proceeded to go get the pharmacist, who came to the window and looked at me, looking rather annoyed at being disturbed from popping vicodins she steals from old people's vials.
She asked me what I needed. Which is an interesting question, considering I didn't know if I actually needed anyone. I smiled my most charming smile and explained the conversation between me and the cashier and my rather clever response of "I don't know, do I?"
She sighed, rather exasperated, the way I sigh at Satan's Dog when he snatches my underwear out of the hamper for the 19th time of the day. She proceeded to explain that I needed to give him Little Man this much medication twice a day.
"Uhm, ok," I meekly answered.
"But be sure to give him food first, so it doesn't upset his stomach."
"What if he's not eating anything, because he's sick and all."
Another exasperated sigh. "Then make him."
Ooooooh! Make him! Duh, why didn't I think of that??? Because it's so easy pharmacist lady to hold down a 14-month old toddler who's on a hunger strike from his pneumonia and force a big juicy steak down his throat.
I went home, gave Little Man a bag of chips, let him go at it and then gave him his medication. There bitch, I made him eat. You happy now?
Monday, November 20, 2006
On Saturday, the Little Man wasn't any better. His so called "cold" had brought his temperature up to more than 102 degrees and so it was time to see the on-call Saturday doctor. An hour after arriving in the waiting room filled with sick kids, we find out that my munchkin has pneumonia combined with a mild ear infection.
When I heard the word with the silent "p," my heart briefly stopped. People die from pneumonia! I know that much! But apparently it's not that serious in young kids, just old farts. So a prescription for antibiotics later, we went on a mission to make him all better.
And today, he is better. After a rough weekend where we did nothing but take care of a very angry toddler, I've learned that the silent "p" stands for pissy.
I've also learned that if you make your husband stay home with a toddler who coughs in your face because he hasn't learned to use his hand as a shield, your husband will develop ebola. Most of us would just consider it a mild cold, but to a man, it's the equivalent of ebola is what I figure, from the amount of moaning and complaining I've had to listen to. Around 9:30 p.m. last night, smothering Sweetie Pie with a pillow seemed like a good way to give us both relief. I'm kidding, of course. Well I don't know if I am. I'm pretty sleep deprived.
And so this morning, because Little Man was better, I brought him back to daycare. The place he hates most in the world. The place where he sits in the corner for most of the day, staring at the other children like he's thinking he's not one of them, that any second now, his Maman will rescue him and he doesn't want to be seen talking with these parentless children.
And every day, my heart breaks a little more at leaving him there, where I wonder if I'm strong enough to do this. It's funny, I really thought the first day would be the hardest, but in some ways, it was the easiest. Neither Little man nor I knew what we were in for, so it wasn't that bad.
But each day has gotten harder and harder and today and sat in my car and sobbed for five minutes, unable to put on my makeup, knowing that I'd end up smearing too bad if I tried before I was done.
I'm watching the little man on the Internet camera right now and he's just laying down on a cushion on the floor, still unwilling to participate with all of the other kids. Seeing him almost makes it harder and a big ball of grief is stuck in my throat. I wish it would get easier...
A rant by Catwoman at 11/20/2006 08:47:00 AM
Friday, November 17, 2006
In the past, I've had a mild case of letting guys treat me like shit. Not bad shit, not the kind where you're beaten up and scared for your life, thank goodness, but the kind where I'd sit all dolled up on a Friday night staring at the phone, hoping the guy would call because he'd said on Tuesday that "maybe we can do something on Friday night."
Usually when he'd call, he'd invite me to come out with his friends. But I was in love with this guy, I've never faltered from that, and I still google his name ever so often to see if I can track him down, not because I want to get back together with him, I'm smarter than that now, but just because I'm hoping that he's balding and fat and no longer has that awesome soccer butt I could have bounced quarters off of. Most of all I hope he's lonely and pines for me every day.
I don't really wish him the second part. Well, maybe a little, because it's always so heartwarming when it happens in Meg Ryan movies.
Three months after being told by hot-but-treat-you-like-shit guy (HBTYLSG) that I wasn't marriage material, I met Sweetie Pie. He wasn't overly romantic by any means, still isn't, but he was never a bad guy. He still isn't. This week, he discovered that I'd racked up a crapload of debt on our credit cards. He, the financially wise one, should have left me for being so stupid. He didn't even get mad. He did take my credit cards away though, sigh.
And then I got hooked on Grey's Anatomy. I could literally drink that show if they let me. I think it would taste like the nectar of the gods that I always read about in Greek mythology and used to close my eyes when I was 11 and try to imagine exactly what that would taste like.
Grey's Anatomy is to me the perfect escape. And when the hour is over, I hold my breath for the preview of next week's episode, needing those extra 30-seconds to hold me over for a week.
I loved the show from its first episode. And then entered Dr. McSteamy. And something powerful happened. I fell in love with him. He's none of the things I want. He's an asshole and he has facial hair, another big no no for me usually. But if there's one person who can make facial hair look like the halo of an angel. It is McSteamy.
I don't know his real name and I don't want to know it. To me, he is my ultimate fantasy man. Looks great with just a towel and will treat me like crap and make me cry and love him even more.
I agree that this is messed up. I'm a 31-year old woman in a great marriage with a beautiful Baby Boy. But Dr. McSteamy, this imaginary character on TV, can stir up feelings in me that I thought I'd turned my back on when I officially became an adult and decided that I was worthy of being loved and treated properly.
But that's the great thing about TV characters: no risks of succumbing to your stupidity.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
For the past two days, Little Man has been sick with a cold. Now, when I have a cold, my nose will spew slime and I'll cough, and that'll be the end of it. But in a 14-month old, a cold means a fever of over 100, constant cascade of boogers, more temper tantrums than usual and a highly irrational fear of being more than an inch apart from your lovey, in his case his green stuffed frog.
I've always been big on my kids having loveys, because I had a stuffed koala bear that I slept with until I was 13. The only reason I gave up that bear is because I started regularly going to sleepovers and even though I was a dork who went to geeks' houses for these things, I still knew deep down that bringing my lovey at an age considered officially part of teenagedom would condemn me to a lifetime of ridicule and ensure that I could never run for Prime Minister of Canada.
And so when Little Man was born, as soon as it was safe for him to sleep with a stuffed animal without dying, (sounds overdramatic, but if every magazine you read told you that a blanket is the equivalent of putting a Walmart plastic bag on your baby's head and tying it around his neck with duct tape, you'd take that crap seriously too) I gave him a couple of stuffed animals. He liked them, but then he met his frog, Max.
Max was a Christmas present from one of his aunts, and it was love at first sight. Little Man could not go to sleep without that frog. He only spent one night apart from it, and he was still fairly young enough where I was able to get him to sleep with it without too much trouble.
I won't however, let him carry his frog around. I worry about him being six and carrying a ratty frog everywhere and getting punched regularly by the bigger kids while being called "sissy freak."
So the rule is that when he wakes up, we say "Bye bye Max" because Max lives in the crib.
And he's always been fine with that.
Then he started daycare. And after the first day when he took his nap there, he hung on to that frog like he was sharing vital organs with it. And the teachers, really only caring about peace and quiet in the classroom so that they may discuss the K-Fed/Britney Spears without having to scream, happily let him keep the damn frog.
And so now, the same happens at home. Wherever Little Man goes, the frog goes too. I'm fine with it right now, since he's sick, but I can assure you that the minute we need to leave the house to go anywhere else than daycare, Max will not be coming. I can't take the chance of that damn frog getting itself lost and never finding its way home.
Like his daycare teachers, I need peace and quiet if I'm expected to remain tobacco free long enough to have another child.
A rant by Catwoman at 11/16/2006 09:47:00 AM
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I really thought that my baby was germ-proof at this point. Don't ask me why I'm that naive, but I figured with him regularly letting the dogs lick his tongue, playing with weird kids at the McDonalds' playland, having been Mr. Popular for six months where he attended a lot of playdates, attending an in-home daycare one day a week for the past nine months and well, just generally living with parents who would rather set their hair on fire than become neat freaks, that the only thing he hadn't been exposed to was ebola.
Little Man has hardly ever been sick during his short life, and I figured that wouldn't change with daycare.
On Monday afternoon, I noticed that Little Man had a cough. I wasn't concerned. People cough.
But yesterday, I come to pick him up from daycare and there's an ominous sign on the door that states "This class has 1 confirmed case of RSV."
You might as well have told me that the plague was back. I rushed home to look through my What To Expect the Toddler Years and was relieved to find that RSV for a 14-month old is really like a cross between the flu and a cold. Nothing too serious.
That was until the first yellow poop.
Now this may be a coincidence, but Monday's school theme was yellow. And so they did arts and crafts with yellow stuff. And Little Man is a lot like Ralphie on the Simpsons, where he likes to eat art supplies. So this may explain the yellow pooping. But combined with the coughing and then combined with a fever of 101 this morning and well, my whole world goes dark.
This is my third official day at work. I don't feel like I can call in because my Little Man is sick. Which freaking sucks. Luckily, Sweetie Pie can easily take off working for himself, so he's staying at home with the munchkin, and we're just waiting to hear from the pediatrician to find out if we need to bring him in.
Right now I'd love nothing more than to be in my pajamas, holding my Little Man in his little pajamas smelling the top of his head while reading him the same book over and over again, while he clutches his toy frog.
Never before has my baby been so sick, and now I don't get to be there for it. I know that there will be many things that I'll miss out on, being a working mom. And I know that the guilt of not always being there for him could eat me alive if I let it. But my path has been chosen, and now, I must do the best I can with the situation and hope that my kids grow up to be well-balanced adults who never doubt how much I've loved them.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Well, it's official. I'm now a working mom. And trust me, this transition has not been without its hiccups. I'm now expected to shower before 7 a.m. every day. This is different since I would usually be barely awake at 7 a.m. in my previous life. Showers occurred in the late mornings when I had plans with other adults who I didn't want to believe that it really is true, French people don't have good hygiene (in fact, we really do. I swear). On days where it was just Little Man and I, I admit that a little deodorant and a toothbrush might be the only two things that I encountered. Sometimes a little deodorant if I could smell myself.
But so far, I've managed to rise two days in a row, get myself not only dressed, but made up and changed the Little Man into a cute outfit, drive 35 minutes, drop him off to daycare (or as he calls it "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!" with an angry scowl and large tears streaming down his face) and get myself to work not only ontime, but early thank you very much.
But there are other things that I'm still adjusting too. The first one is pooping. You know this wouldn't be a complete Catwoman post if it didn't involve pooping. I have now been here three days. And I have yet to poop once. My body has long had the inability to poop in public, except for extreme lactose intolerance cases. When I became a stay-at-home mom, my body rejoiced and celebrating by pooping numerous times a day, giddy with all its pooping freedom.
But once again, my body has shut down and I no longer poop unless I'm in the sanctity of my own bathroom, with my Cottonelle toilet paper, and Sweetie Pie is out of ear shot. I have a very prudish colon, which is ironic, considering this next paragraph.
I'm a farter. Always have been, always will be. There are many reasons for my farts, none of which I'll go into except to blame the lactose intolerance and my love of cheese for a large portion of my gaseous stenches. For the past two years, I was used to being at home with dogs who farted way more than me, and so I partook in this release of excess air. Once the Little Man came along, he couldn't have cared less either and I didn't change my ways.
But now, I'm in a cubicle. With two immediate neighbors and three others within the vicinity of my potentially Hiroshima-like fumes. And so I'm conscious of my farts. Because I don't want to be known as the "new girl who fucking farts all the time" around the water cooler.
My cubicle has fabric walls. I'm afraid that they'll hold on to my farts and eventually my whole cubicle will stink of old farts. If my colon is so anal about pooping, why is it that farts are considered acceptable???
The good news is that I'm back to my old easily-brainwashed self. Cults beware! I can easily be convinced that being one of 50 brides to some fat hairy gross man is good because it's what the aliens want. I've only officially been in my new job one day, and yet yesterday I came home and told company news to Sweetie Pie that started with "We did..." "It's exciting because we're the first..."
Of course, I was forced to drink the Kool-Aid out of a fire hose all day yesterday, so what do you expect? At least it was cherry-flavored, my favorite.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Sweetie Pie is away being a Texan this weekend. That means that right now, his ass is sitting in a tree somewhere, approaching hypothermia, while he wears ugly clothes while waiting for an innocent animal to scamper by (probably on its way to lunch with a hot female) so that he can snuff the life out of it and serve it as dinner to Little Man and I.
In other words, he's gone hunting.
I started a tradition with the Little Man when Sweetie Pie is gone hunting, which I like to call How Much Money Can I Spend When I'm Unsupervised for two days? Since I'm starting work full time on Monday and will be making more money than Sweetie Pie, this no longer has the flavor of doing a bad deed, but I expect it will continue to be enjoyable for me.
Yesterday, I actually had a good reason to be out spending money. One, the holidays are practically next week, and my Christmas shopping is only 90 percent done. Secondly, I'm now two sizes larger than the last time I worked full times and all of my pants look like they've been painted on me, giving my new coworkers the ability to count the dimples on my butt cheeks if I wanted them to partake in such fun. My shirts are also now too short, so that they show off my un-Britney Spears belly, because I don't get tummy tucks at the same time as my C-section (although don't think it's because I'm righteous, it's really a question of not being worth 250 million dollars).
Little Man took a nap in the morning, and then we were off to the races! To make sure that he'd be happy throughout our day, I kept him fed with snacks. Fruit puffs, goldfish, dried fruit, nothing junky, but damn, that kid probably ate his weight in it, since he literally munched non stop for five hours straight.
I decide that since it's now 6:30, I'm going to swing by Blockbuster, get me a movie for the night and then grab some McDonald's for dinner for the two of us.
Little Man's had enough by this point. He's cranky, tired and I'm assuming, hungry. When I parked the car at Blockbuster, I realized he was asleep. After debating what to do for a minute, I decided that I'd wake him up and bring him in with me, because kidnapping is now my number one fear. And I'm a selfish bitch, who really wanted a movie for the night.
I pretty much had an idea what I wanted, so I grab a movie in under 30 seconds, clutching my very pissed off toddler and stand in line to check it out. Little Man notices the display of candy bars and asks nicely to be put down. So I let him.
He begins to touch all the different candy bars and all of a sudden, turns to me with a funny look on his face, a look I know very well, because it's the look of a giant baby turd being deposited into a diaper.
I ask him, a little annoyed, "are you pooping again?" Which I'm sure the people in line around me appreciated hearing.
Just as I look at Little Man and grin at him, he begins to projectile vomit. Not once. Not twice. But four times in a row.
My biggest concern was that he didn't throw up on his shoes, because really, they're very expensive and from France. They're so expensive, even 50 years from now, I will never admit to Sweetie Pie how much they were.
Little Man finishes his projectile vomiting, which luckily is on the floor next to the candy bar display, not all over 10 cases of candy that I would have probably been obligated to buy if his head was turned eight degrees to the left.
Surprisingly, he's completely unphased by his massive purging, despite the fact that half chewed penne pasta from his lunch six and a half hours ago are laying on Blockbuster's floor. There's no crying, no screaming, but he does point to the candy bars and asks if he can have one in his toddler language. After all, he did work hard to make room for it.
I tell someone to get an employee over here to clean this up, before the whole store gets sick. A woman in her mid-40's who was in line in front of me says that she's told the employees. She then says "I'm sure if you want to just leave your movie here and take him home they won't mind."
To which I reply without thinking "Oh, I'll still get the movie."
My puke covered child and I are asked to go to the front of the line, where I pay for the movie and decide to skip McDonald's.
It never even occured to me to not get the movie.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
A few weeks ago, Sweetie Pie asked me if I'd stopped loving him. Particularly, he asked me why I was no longer attracted to him.
This broke my heart, because if anything, I love Sweetie Pie more now than I did when we got married. I love him not only for the man he is, but when I see him with the Little Man, I know that I can spend the rest of my life with him and never ever have second thoughts about our commitment.
We used to have a pretty good sex life. We weren't one of those couples who did it all the time, we'd kind of fallen into a comfortable twice-a-week routine, but for crying out loud, I sell sex toys and sex manuals, so those twice-a-week sessions were pretty darn good!
But I have to admit, that since the pregnancy, I have been slacking in the wifely duties category. Some pregnant women have raging hormones that make them horny all the time. I was not one of them. All I craved when I was big and pregnant was sleep and tortilla chips with sour cream. Everything else could go to hell as I was concerned.
Then Little Man was born and I was told I couldn't have sex for six weeks. This was the equivalent of telling me that I could eat my weight in chocolate and not get fat: total bliss.
Then Little Man was a nightmare newborn who was up every two hours for the first three months, so both Sweetie Pie and I were too sleep-deprived to let our hormones bait us into any physical contact.
But eventually, life went back to normal and I was out of excuses. Yet, I still had no interest in sex. Some days, I felt like I could go the rest of my life without sex and be completely fine. And so, I went from being the woman who initiated almost every session of sex, to hubby waiting and waiting for me to show any interest.
Once, I even pretended to be asleep when he put the moves on me. I'm not proud of this, but give me a break, ok?
But when Sweetie Pie whispered in the dark, painfully asking me for reassurance that our marriage wasn't over, my heart completely broke. And I decided that it was time to get back on the horse so to speak.
I have to admit that it was a little like doing laundry. I hate doing laundry and will watch our hamper overflow more every day and eventually get down to my period panties and realize that I'm three days away from having to go commando. And once I do the laundry, I realize it's not so bad.
And so I've worked hard the last couple of weeks to have sex with my husband again. I know it shouldn't feel like a chore, but I swear that the baby sapped every drop of estrogen out of me, because I am never horny anymore. But the good news is that I'm getting into the habit again.
Yesterday, our satellite went out because of a really bad rainstorm. And so I took matters into my own hands, since there was nothing else to do. I seduced my husband. And he was so freaking grateful, that you'd think I'd given him the world.
I promise to give him the world at least twice a week now until the day I die. Whether I feel like it or not.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I feel like your fourteen-month birthday is a very big one, simply because this month will bring a lot of change to your life. I've been lucky enough for the past fourteen months to be at home with you full-time. You went to daycare one day a week during the past 9 months, but that was just so you could get some social interaction and not become one of those crazy antisocial kids that repeatedly their eyeballs for fun. And so I could waste the day surfing on the Internet and then tell your dad that the reason the house isn't clean is because I was so darn busy with work again. But that's our little secret.
But the time has come for me to get a full-time job. Not because I don't love staying with you at home, because I do oh-so-much, if anything, I love it more now than before, because we have so much freaking fun together and you're more entertaining than anything on TV, even Grey's Anatomy. But I want you to have the best in life and the only way that we can make sure we go and ruin your life by giving you siblings is by going back to work. Trust me, some day when you're 31 and your baby picks up a dog turd in the backyard because you turned your eyes for a second and you want to tell someone who won't judge you and will laugh with you and never tell another soul, you'll be glad to have a brother or sister like I am now.
But I just want you to know that you didn't do anything that made me decide to send you to daycare full-time. If anything, I know you get bored with me, and your eyes lit up when we visited the daycare where you'll be going like you were saying "this place has been here this whole time and you've selfishly kept me to yourself???"
I'll be able to watch you all day long if I want, because they have security cameras at your daycare that I can view over the Internet. I know that you will soon become my favorite TV show. And as my heart will certainly break as I'll watch you having fun with other kids, please look up to the camera ever so often and wave at me to let me know you haven't forgotten about me.
When I filled out the paperwork to sign you up at daycare, I cried twice. It felt like I was giving up the most important thing in my life. So I'm warning you now, there will probably be tears on your first day of kindergarten, high school and when we drive you down to college. Just humor me, pat me on the back and tell me that I'll be ok, will ya?
You've become the funniest person I know. You love to copy everything your Daddy and I do now, to the point that we've got to be so careful. The other day, I made a horrible mistake on the phone with someone. I was driving and when I hung up, I was so mad at myself, that all I could do was let out this string of expletives and bang on the steering wheel. All of a sudden, this little voice in the back began saying "uck, uck, uck" and you were banging on the car seat. I promptly Tivoed you back a few seconds and fixed the situation by singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Ok, I didn't, because you can't Tivo real life. But I did manage to convince you that we were talking about trucks. I'm hoping you don't recall the exact word I used at your grandmother's church for Christmas.
You've also grabbed a kleenex out of my hand after I blew my nose, held it to your nose and made this really loud noise out of your mouth. I should be offended, but I found it quite hysterical, and you were pleased.
You also confuse the cat, by following him around all day saying "wow, wow, wow." You're convinced that's what he says when he meows, but really, you're just confusing the cat who worries you think he looks so tasty that you'll stab him with your toddler fork.
Your vocabulary keeps growing exponentially, which is making life easier every day. You now say "ball" and "thank you" and "wat dat?" and "dodo" for sleep, which added to your signing for "more," "milk," and "please" covers many of the basics. Most of your vocabulary revolves around pets, you can say "Tata" for all animals and "dog" and "puppy." Why you choose to have three words for the same darn thing when you could be using that time to learn how to make Maman a cup of tea is beyond me. And of course, you haven't lost your enthusiasm, using "ooooooh" and "wow" for everything either new or interesting. I love your passion for life. My biggest fear is that the world will take that away from you. Nothing makes you more endearing to your family, your friends, even perfect strangers than that enormous genuine enthusiasm for life that you have. Besides your blue eyes, it's what makes you so beautiful.
This year marked your first real Halloween and your Daddy and I fought for a long time about what you would be. I wanted you to be something cute like a puppy. Your father wanted you to be a superhero. We finally settled on a cowboy costume and I have to say, you took your role very seriously, even developing a swagger for the occasion. I may be biased, but your costume rocked. Your cowboy boots even had spurs, because we're all about authenticity at our house. You attended many dress up parties, and I think by the day Halloween finally rolled along, you were as sick of your costume as I was. But hey, at least we got our money's worth on the $14.99 we spent on your hat.
You only went trick or treating at your Nonnie and Papaw's house, which you didn't think was the world's greatest experience. And since you were getting awnry about your dinnertime getting delayed, we chose to take you to McDonald's after that which made you much happier because you would knock down an army of other babies if they were standing between you and one McDonald's french fry.
Not that you're one of those toddlers who'll only eat french fries and chicken nuggets. Not my munchkin! You're the coolest kid ever because I get to boast about your eating habits all the time. You've eaten Indian food, sushi, cherry tomatoes, salad and much more this month all with a big "MMMMMM!" from you as you were tasting it. You're the baby who gives other parents false hope that maybe, just maybe, their kid would be willing to eat something else than Mac and Cheese. And I'm so lucky to have you as my baby, since to me, food is a religious experience and I can't wait to take you on many a culinary adventure, just you and I.
And did I mention you ask to go to bed now? You've grown into this cool toddler who now asks for naps and bedtime. I can't believe that you're the same person as that newborn who used to stare at me all day and who I used to beg to go to sleep for 30 minutes just so I could take a shower and wash my overly-greasy hair. Now you'll stop playing, look at me and say "dodo." All I have to do is scoop you up, put you down in your bed and you'll happily go to sleep. Considering I'm not that great about going to bed myself, you are everything I strive to be in life.
One thing we do need to talk about is the fact that you're becoming a neat freak. I'm spending a lot of money on little gym classes for you and your favorite part of the class is cleanup time after each activity. Getting to put the balls away in a giant trash can almost makes your head explode with the excitement. You run around, tearing the balls out of the hands of the other babies so that you can put as many of them away. And then you come home and should I leave anything laying out, a common occurence for my lifetime of messiness, you will put it away in places that I don't even think about. The other day, you put the remote control away in one of the kitchen cabinets. I couldn't see the buttons on our new tv to shut it off or change the channel, and so I missed my soap opera and was forced to watch Martha Stewart's show. I did learn how to turn a pumpkin into a fantastic centerpiece, so not all was lost. A few days later, you put my two hairbrushes away in the hamper and I was forced for two days to use your dad's comb to do my hair. I am excited that this might mean you'll ask to do chores later, but in the meantime, I'm stuck trying to ask a toddler where my stuff is only to be asked back "ball?"
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
When I was little, I used to always love the houses that were the "good houses" on Halloween. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that used to give the full-size candy bars, or a big handful of candy. Not the houses where the old lady would give you an apple or the guy who was a dentist and would give you a freaking toothbrush. I mean who does that? Did someone kick the shit out of you as a kid and now you hate all kids? It's Halloween, asshole. Pony up for candy.
When I was little, I swore to myself that someday, I would be that good house. And for the last few years, I strived to make that goal come true.
It didn't matter how broke I was, I'd always buy a huge bag of candy and some little candy bars and then I'd give the kids one candy bar and a huge handful of candy.
But the children were unimpressed. Apparently they'd seen better.
So this year, I went all out. I bought goodie bags people. Sure they were only 20 for a dollar, but the point is that I wasn't just some person handing out candy. I was the person handing out mother freaking goody bags.
When I was assembling the goodie bags, Sweetie Pie was horrified. "That's too much candy!" he said, the kid in him obviously dead.
He then went on about me trying to bankrupt our family but I'm pretty sure my persistent eye rolling shut him up.
And last night, I had my moment of glory. I had all my goodie bas laid out like little soldiers on a silver tray. And when the doorbell would ring, I'd open it with a smile holding my tray like Bree on Desperate Housewives would.
The kids were impressed. "Goodie bags???" they exclaimed.
"Yes," I said. "Goodie Bags, because we're the good house. You tell all your friends now."
I think this may have been the happiest moment of my life.
I've accomplished my dreams. I can now say that I can die happy.
A rant by Catwoman at 11/01/2006 01:43:00 PM
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Our grocery store always has a teenager or very old man who's too broke to retire push your cart to your car and load up your groceries for you. This is because their shopping carts are their equivalent to the Hope Diamond and they don't want you running off with them. At least that's what the cynic in me has decided. But they're probably trying to be service oriented really.
The other day, a teenage boy was pushing the Little Man in the cart towards the car and we were making small talk. As we got to the car and he was loading my groceries, he noticed that I'd bought two six-packs of beer and a bottle of wine.
"Wow," he said. "You're having a party tonight, aren't you."
"Uhm, actually I'm not."
Awkward silence back.
I take Little Man out of the cart, laugh and say:
"Yesterday, I saw a baby t-shirt online that said 'Mama drinks because I cry,' haha!"
Blank confused stare from teenager.
A rant by Catwoman at 10/25/2006 10:46:00 AM
Monday, October 23, 2006
Before you get pregnant, you keep hearing from people who have kids that it'll change your whole life, your life will never be the same again, and on and on and on.
Makes you think that if you like your life at all, you're better off not having kids. Because after all, change is bad, right?
But if I never changed anything, I'd still have horrid bangs, wear tapered jeans and love New Kids On The Block. So I'm thinking change isn't that bad.
Plus here's the thing about change. Maybe you're not always the one who needs to change. After all, before Sweetie Pie and I moved in together, he'd watch the O'Reilly Factor in bed every night. But now, he watches Sex and The City. He's accepted this change because ever so often, he gets laid. He didn't get laid in the O'Reilly Factor days.
So when I began to cry every time a Johnson & Johnson commercial aired (with their tagline "Having a baby changes everything" mind you), I just figured my kid would have to adapt to us.
And for the main part, he has. He's accepted that his mother is so forgetful she may have to feed him refried beans in a Mexican restaurant at only six months. He's adapted to the fact that sometimes there's no room for him on the couch because the dogs like to lay there with us.
But now, now, he's gone and tried to change my whole lifestyle. One that I've meticulously maintained for now 31 years and one month. I'm talking about my messiness.
I've carefully mastered the art of messiness. Read the Sunday paper? Don't throw it out for a couple of days. You might decide you want to read old news.
But then my son comes along and he's showing signs already of my biggest fear: he's developing into a neat freak.
I can't leave anything sitting out anymore, or else the Little Man puts it away. And where he puts things away isn't always logical. Like last week, when he decided to put the remote control, which I had put away, well, left on the couch, in a pot in the kitchen cabinet. Unable to find it anywhere, I was stuck watching the Martha Stewart show instead of the Young and the Restless.
Having a baby changes everything, particularly your television viewing habits and your right to messiness.