Reading & Writing

The Resolution to Write (Or, I Give Myself Very Good Advice But I Very Seldom Follow It)

advice.pngWhenever I talk to a writer, it seems like the topic of writing time is broached. Granted, I don’t talk to a lot of writers anymore (though I’d like to change that); most of my conversations revolve around preschool and poop. But whether conversing with a writer or a mother, I find that the tone is often the same:

How often do your kids poop? How often do you write? Is once a week enough? Have you tried sleep training? I start an egg timer and I stay at my desk until it buzzes. I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. I’m taking a parenting class at the Y. They say things happen in their own time. Have you tried probiotics? Have you read Burning Down the House? Charles Baxter is a genius. I hate Dr. Sears. All you need is fresh air and exercise, and things will fall into place. Continue reading “The Resolution to Write (Or, I Give Myself Very Good Advice But I Very Seldom Follow It)”

Fun & Games

Caption Contest with Myself

I drew this doodle the other day but I didn’t know how to caption it… too many options! But I figured I don’t have a large enough readership to have a caption contest, so I thought I’d have one with myself. No matter how it turns out, I know I’ll win!caption contest

“Okay team: Babysitter removal strategies. I’m thinking Stewie Griffin. I’m thinking Home Alone. Go.”

“First, I’d like to say that nobody’s on trial here, but which one of you keeps drinking all the tea?”

“Let the first meeting of the Bedtime Buddies begin. I wanted to call us the Lullaby League, but apparently that was already taken.”

Friends & Family

A Last-Minute Letter to Santa

santaDear Santa,

It’s been a while since I wrote a letter like this, and I understand that you primarily take requests from children, but I have a lot on my mind this year and I thought I might as well take a shot by sending you a good old-fashioned Christmas list. These aren’t the kinds of things that can fit into a stocking or a brightly wrapped box. No, like most grown-ups’ Christmas lists, mine is full of intangibles. And before you crumple this up and throw it out, I’ll tell you I’m not asking for peace on Earth. I know that’s impossible, or else it would manifest like it did in that one Simpsons episode where peace meant everyone on Earth had died. I’m not asking you to change the nature of humanity, nor do I expect you have the power to tinker with the clockwork of world or local politics, any individual human heart or the nature of groupthink. My requests are much more selfish than that. Because while I know you’re not a miracle worker on the grand scale, I’ve got to hope there are some sparks of magic in that sack of yours, and I could certainly use a little magic this year. Continue reading “A Last-Minute Letter to Santa”

Friends & Family

The Countdown

Baby Number Two

My baby is due in twenty-nine days. That means:

I am the size of a manatee and keep getting bigger.

My son is doing all he can to take advantage of me as I waddle around with a child’s feet wedged into my lungs, too tired to take away the granola bar he just stole off the counter or find an alternate activity when he wants to watch yet another episode of Daniel Tiger.

My dog runs through my house with muddy feet every time she comes inside because I can’t catch her to wipe them down.

My husband is getting yelled at almost every day.

All I want to do is eat but everything I eat gives me heartburn. Even water.

Every day I wish the baby would just come already, and then I feel guilty for wishing that because she needs every moment she can get in utero until her due date.

I’m getting ahead on Christmas shopping because I’ll have a newborn for a huge chunk of the holiday season.

I have no problem with businesses decorating early this year, because I figure I’ll probably miss most of the festivities.

Then I feel sorry for myself because being so pregnant means I won’t get to travel for Thanksgiving and no one is coming here, plus I’ll be bleeding and achy and leaking milk through Christmastime, and my son hates Halloween so I missed that, too.

Then I watch Christmas specials though it’s November and my son protests the whole time unless there’s a dog or a truck on the screen.

And, of course, I feel guilty because those partially watched Christmas specials still count as screen time and I’m turning my kid into a TV addict.

In fact, he’s watching me type this and that counts as screen time, too.

So he’s going to grow up to be not a doctor or lawyer or teddy bear salesman, but a zombie.

So I do my best to get him out of the house and active and having fun in the real world, even if it’s raining, even if I feel like a giant slug.

So I cried this morning because I couldn’t get my son’s boots on but he remained calm and we got it done.

So, I am now officially less reasonable than a two-year-old.

Friends & Family

Off the Registry: Baby Shower Gifts Every Mom-to-Be Wants (Even if She Doesn’t Know It)

DSCN1174I think four of my friends are pregnant right now, and I am, too. One friend and at least one acquaintance had their babies this month. Babies are kind of on my brain–so, of course, consumer that I am, baby gifts are on my brain, too. I know it’s considered most polite to follow the registry, but let’s face it: new moms don’t always know what they need (I speak from experience). Plus, whatever they have on the registry, they can later buy with a registry fulfillment discount (unless they registered at Joe’s Baby Junk, Etc.) These gifts are all in some way material, but they come with the additional gift of motherly wisdom.

The Little Green:

Babies are messy, right from day one. Starting with milk, formula, spit-up, and poop, they will mess your carpet and upholstery up. Goldfish crackers, once chewed and spat out, make an amazing orange crust that is no fun to clean. In a baby’s hands, any substance can become a sticky, slimy mess. Once, the boy got a crayon stuck in the undercarriage of his push toy and drew a long purple line across our living room rug. Without the Little Green, our house would look like a Jackson Pollack painting. (And, no, no one is paying me to say this. I’m sure there are lots of other fine brands of portable stain removing, carpet cleaning devices, but we have a Little Green.) Continue reading “Off the Registry: Baby Shower Gifts Every Mom-to-Be Wants (Even if She Doesn’t Know It)”

Friends & Family

The Multiple Faces of Mommy

Baby Number Two

From the third day of my son’s life, I was convinced that I would only have one child. He had health problems. He had nursing problems. I had several breakdowns and found that I possessed less patience and stamina than I had imagined. I started thinking of all the reasons that having one child was better than having two.

Less work. Easier to find a babysitter. Cheaper to travel. More room in the car. More room in the house. Not to mention the environmental issue. Earth’s population is exploding. Why add to it? Only children often score better on tests, they have nicer things, they have higher self-esteem. Fewer diapers to change. No more pregnancies. No more nursing. No more nighttime feedings, diaper rashes, or tummy time. No siblings fighting in the backseat. A cheaper, easier life overall.

Even when my son was eighteen months old, I firmly believed he would be an only child. Continue reading “The Multiple Faces of Mommy”