Monday, April 22, 2013
My stepdaughter was with us this weekend. She is 5 1/2. She can be very outspoken. We were going through downtown Salt Lake City on the train, and Ella thought she saw the Mormon temple. She said, "Someday I will get married there!" Hubby and I just made noncommittal noises to acknowledge her, as neither of us are Mormon,but don't want to discredit her beliefs. Then she turned to Hubby and I said, "Is that the temple you got married in?" I will admit for a moment I considered running away from the conversation, screaming. But I took a deep breath and said, "No, honey, your dad and I married each other under a tree on a sunny, blue sky day. We married ourselves."
Without skipping a beat, she immediately fired back, "Well, then you won't be with your husband in heaven when you die."
At that moment, my heart felt like it had been squashed. She said it so matter of fact, so bluntly, with no emotion behind her words. It was fact to her, and she was telling me I was going to be alone forever. So I decided to NOT lose the moment. I very calmly said, "Sweetheart, Daddy and I don't believe that. The way I married your daddy was right for us, and we believe something different. You can choose to believe what is right for you, and maybe someday you will have different beliefs. But Daddy and I believe that we will always love each other in every life, no matter what."
She didn't have anything to say back to that. I didn't feel angry or put off about her statement, just sad. I suppose I just wish children were given the ability to believe what their hearts tell them during childhood, instead of spouting doctrine before they have any idea what it actually means. She was parroting back exactly what she had been told. Did it mean she believed it? Probably. Did she know what it meant to tell someone their beliefs were invalid because they didn't match hers? No. Did she understand what it meant to us to be told that? Not a clue. But by golly, did she know how to preach it.
I don't ever want to discredit her beliefs, or make her feel like her relationship with her Creator is bad because we don't share the same beliefs. I just want her to understand that every person has different beliefs, even if they all go to the same church or share the same religion. I want to teach her to be sensitive to everyone's beliefs, and show her that they are all valid and important to each individual. And I want her to know that I believe in simply needing pure love to be with someone forever, and that I love her very, very much, no matter what she believes or how she feels about our choices. I think I'm on the right path.
Wish me luck.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
A hat! Does it fit me? Oh no! It fell off! Do it again. Ok, it's on my head. OH MY GOD IT'S ON MY HEAD. Get it off! I can't get it off! Scream! It's stuck to my head! Scream! No, Mom,I don't want your help from all the way over there!!! Scream! I can't see! I'm going to run away from this hat! (Runs directly into a wall.) My face!! I can't see and now my face hurts! Mom! Mom! Mom! Scream! (Rips hat off head.) I can see! Oh, hey! A hat! (Immediately starts crying.) I hate this hat! I hate all hats! I don't like anything! No, I don't want milk! Scream! (Collapses on the floor, slams head into wood floor.) Scream! Why did I do that!?!? It hurt so bad! Ahhhh! I'm so miserable, I'm going to kick this wall! Ow, that hurts my foot!! Ahhh! Scream! Oh, look, my puppy. I LOVE MY PUPPY!!! I kiss puppy! Aw! Mama, look at my puppy! I hug him! Puppy has dirt on his foot. Oh no! Puppy is dirty! Ahhh! Scream! I hate Puppy! I throw him away! I need a hug!
This was a 2 1/2 minute bit of my son, a hat, and the internal narration I had while witnessing this event. He may never forgive me for this someday, but it's so worth it.
Monday, March 4, 2013
I hurt. My body is tired, my mind feels like old glue. I know that parents go though this kind of stuff, but nothing can prepare you for the feeling of wondering if your kid is going to come back. I watched his spark fade, and it made mine waver and shake.
But my son is back, in surprising speed and fire. He is being his normal toddler self, complete with teething pain, picky eating habits and irrational behavior. For a brief second, I almost miss the the moments when he was sick that he just let me hold him gentle and still. And then I watch him smear peanut butter in his hair, and throw a balloon in the toilet and fall on the floor crying because his shoe fell off. And I remember that fading spark, and I immediately prefer the spitfire pissant that I call my child. He is all here, and more. I wouldn’t trade that for anything, no matter how much I dislike the very early mornings where his dad and stare at each other while he screams at us because he just doesn't want to sleep, but he doesn't want to be awake either. Such is life, and I am grateful.
Being grateful is hard. You guzzle coffee in the morning and wonder how you are going to survive your kid all day after a night from hell...and then the radio tells you about a bombing in the Middle East where a whole family died in one instant. You grimace, and tell yourself to stop being the asshole complaining about a whiny kid. You remember that no matter what, it could be so much worse. That there are people out there that would kill and die for what you have, and a moment ago, you didn't want it. Be grateful. Be grateful for the moments you have with your screaming baby, your cold coffee, your morning commute. They are so precious.
Anyways, I am grateful. I have a maniac baby, a husband who only sighs sometimes, and dogs that shed like crazy but keep the carpet cracker-free. I am so very lucky. Have a wonderful day,everyone.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
I keep holding my kid down to look at his erupting chompers. They never seem any better. They just look like they plan on making me certifiably crazy by the end of the month. I mean, come on! Move a little faster, would ya!?! I don't know how much more I can take! My kid bit me ON THE THIGH this morning. He was so enraged he just sunk his fangs into me, and I went down like a wounded buffalo. Moaning, thrashing, the whole nine yards. It was awful. Nobody believes me, either.
Anyways, if my level of writing descends into the pits of despair, this is my formal explanation. I am sleep deprived, riddled with tooth marks and in need of a vacation. Kate Out.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I used to bite my nails really bad. Like bloody stumps bad. High school was a bad time for manicures for me. My hands were eternally sore, and I would hide my hands because I was embarrassed at their scabby dry condition. Yuck. Eventually, I stopped. I found my hubby, who promptly told me it was a disgusting habit, and I should Just Stop That. So I did. And it worked. So now I have finger nails, but that didn't stop my self-destructive habit. I scratch my thumbs when stressed or worried. I've always done it, as long as I can remember. Needless to say, the inside of my thumbs are a wreck. I peel the skin right off, from the top of the nail, sometimes all the way down to my hand. Not good. Sometimes I get better. Not this winter, though. The dry air doesn't help, and I got stressed this winter. That explains the horrible fingers.
The bandaids keep me from scratching. It sorta works, but only if I keep from getting especially destructive when they come off. I go through a lot of bandaids.
So, today I am rocking a pair of bandaids. I am tapping this out on my phone with one finger, and it's making my hand sore. I think that's all I’ll say today. Wish me luck, poor neurotic, scabby me. I leave you with a picture of one of my thumbs, because it is impossible to take a picture of both your thumbs. Haha.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I gotta get better about time and planning. I feel like the weekends roll around and I just let the plans fly right out the window. Did I tell myself to keep a better hold on my money this weekend? Sure! Did I also go and buy a small jungle for my apartment because plants improve air quality? You betcha! Thank God for Ikea and cheap plants. I bought a bunch of palms, a jade, a small fern and a big money tree. It already makes me feel better about my apartment, on multiple levels. It filed in some empty space, looks nice, and improves the air quality. Can't go wrong there.
Speaking of air quality, the improving air quality has me thinking. A lot. Hubby and I have been talking about the possibility of our family growing again in the next few years, and while we certainly don't have immediate plans, we are still looking at the time line. And what's worrying me is how, this year, doctors are telling women not to get pregnant in Salt Lake City. Well, hell. That certainly is a bummer. I mean, what are our alternatives? Move away from the Valley? Don't have babies? Wear a hepa filter for 9 months? Yikes. For those of us who live here, that's tough. Hubby and I have already looked at the possibility of moving away, and for now, it really doesn't make any sense. We need to stay here for the next 5 years, minimum. And no offense to hepa filters, but I struggle to wear socks in the winter. How the hell am I going to manage that??
All this thought has me worn out. This winter has been the hardest one on me yet. I have never felt such deep despondency from bad weather. I lived in Buffalo! I should be able to handle it! The thing is, there were 22 red air quality days between January 1 and mid February. That's horrible. That's not bad weather, that's poison. So on top of bad weather, I had poison. No wonder I fell apart a bit.
So my problem is this: Do I pretend that the problem isn't all that bad and do my best next winter? Do I try for baby #2 sometime in the next 2 years and hope for the best? I don't know. I am very,very torn. Let’s hope a situation presents itself that isn't such a giant compromise on me and mine. Cheers, SLC.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I've written a bit about post-baby hair problems. I think, finally, I can write about post-hair meltdown repair and recovery! My baby is 17 months, and my hair is starting to feel like hair again. It has gone through some pretty strange transformations in the past year and a half. It was thick and luscious and amazing right after baby came. I have never had very thick hair, so I was loving it. And then the Great Fallout happened.
My hair was falling out in handfuls, and considering the somewhat sparse quantity I usually have, I started to panic. I avoided ponytails and restrictive hair clips. I barely brushed it, for fear of brushing it all away. My hair was dull as well, tired and limp. I hated it, and started considering cutting it all off and starting over. This was me at my worst, because I like having longer hair.
And then the Fuzz began. I started to grow hair back. It was first seen creeping in around my hairline. Tiny baby hairs dominated my face, creating a forehead fringe. Then they began poking out of my head, sticking straight up. I had a halo of light, downy hairs all around my head.
That's when I noticed the first White Hair. At first, I just thought it was one of my blonde hairs. Then I realized, with much shock and astonishment, that it was, in fact, pure white. OMG. So I ripped it out. And every single one I have found since. Sorry, I'm not embracing my white hairs yet. It just ain't happening.
Luckily, the white hairs have stopped. I think I was going through a stressful phase, and it makes sense. Whew. Anyways, the rest of my hair seems to be on the mend, too. I am growing out the Fuzz properly, although I still look funny with a ponytail. I avoid tying it up a lot, because it still seems fragile and easily broken. I haven't cut it in months, because I'm trying to leave it alone. Good plan? I don't know. I don't really feel the urge to mess with it in the winter. Come spring, that may change. For right now, I'm just going to leave it be.
So, yeah...that's the saga of Kate's hair. Rather typical, if what I've heard it true. Some suggestions for new mamas who are going through something similar: get decent shampoo. It makes a world of difference. Your hair will thank you. I got a nice one with keratin therapy for a while, and now I've got a moisture one for the winter dry air. It helps. I also leave my hair alone a lot. It needs time to bounce back. No teasing it all crazy everyday, and no intense products. (Although I don't really do that anyways...) If you saw me now, you'd be like, "srsly? Your rats nest needs a comb through." And I'd be like "woah! I've got half a cup of yogurt, some Indian food and a little blood in it, thanks to my toddler. I think it looks pretty nice, considering!!!" And it does, thank you.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
I listen to mama talk. Well, what I mean is that I listen to the way moms talk to their babies. I am always curious about the way they sound. Some mothers slow their voices down, speaking lowly. Some speed up, getting higher and higher. Some have little languages with them, blurring the lines of vocabulary to create something only they understand. Some speak more with their hands and eyes than their words. Some say almost nothing at all.
The reason it is curious to me is because babies understand their mama's speech so well that when someone else talks to them, they look at you like you are a Martian. They know the inflection, they understand the tone. They know the sound so well that begin to flap their arms like little birds if they hear it coming from far away. Being a first time mama, I finally get it. It's like watching a flock of sheep find their babies in a sea of white wool. How do they find their own lamb? Deep down, I know. I could find my lamb anywhere, and he could find me.
My son and I have a bit of a funny way of conversing. My husband says I sound a bit like a garbled hamster, chattering to him. I suppose to him, it might sound like that. (The funny thing is that he has begun to copy me a bit, so we are a family of insane hamsters. Ha.) To me, I am understood, and my son knows me. That's all I expect.
"Ciamar a tha thu, wee boyo? Ha we go have lunch? Yeah? Ok. No, no crackers now. Later. Take bite? Oh, good job! Chew, chew, chew. Ach! Leif! No! Dinna spit that out! *sigh* Ah well. Ha'mere, boy. Mama kiss? Nanks, baby. Ok, more food. Good job."
The little chatter we all have with our children is a huge part of their lives. They listen to everything we say, and eventually, will speak back, probably with a huge amount of our own little idiosyncratic mumbo-jumbo. But it also is our own unique pattern. It creates our own little space that our babies will never forget. They may not remember the way we talked to them, but they will remember how it felt to be understood, and to understand, from the very beginning. Our voices are very, very important, and little do we know how our words shape their lives.