The Wheels

Screen Shot 2018-10-22 at 10.20.15 PM

Creak, crick

Can you hear that?  It’s the wheels.  The wheels of our family routines fresh off maternity leave.

Day one: get dressed, feed the baby, wake the big kid, (big kid screams for Mama get her dressed instead of Papa), feed the big kid, get out the house, through the traffic, up the elevator, drop the kids, down the elevator, off to work.

Creeeak.

Day two: get dressed, feed the baby, wake the big kid, feed the big kid, get out the house, through the traffic, up the elevator, drop the kids (realize the nipples for the bottle are on the drying rack at home), down the elevator, off to work.

Wobble, Creeeeak.

Day three: get dressed, feed the baby, wake the big kid, feed the big kid, get out the house, through the traffic, up the elevator, drop the kids (realize the baby has had an explosive poop and poop is smeared up and down Mama’s right arm, sheepishly pass baby off to teacher), down the elevator, off to work.

Wobble, wobble, Creeeak.

Day four: get dressed, feed the baby, wake the big kid, feed the big kid (realize everyone is in the way and moving slowly, including the dog), get out the house, through the traffic, up the elevator, drop the kids, down the elevator, off to work.

Tic, tic, wobble, wobble, creeeak.

Day five: Wake up twenty minutes after the scheduled departure time.

Tic tic, wobble wobble, creeeak,  BOOM!  Wheels officially off.

Thirty five minutes late to work, and productive as hell from that extra sleep.

 

 

Advertisements

It’s the End of the World as We Know It

planet earth

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The end is near.  Really near.  Like three days away.  No, I’m not talking about the climate change report.  Nobody is. After all, Kanye went to the White House today so there are bigger stories.

No, I’m talking about the end of maternity leave.  My seemingly endless stretch of time with Baby 2 (and probably Baby Last) is doneski.

Calm mornings with warm fried egg breakfasts will become sweaty speed races with cold liquid protein.

Long lazy neighborhood walks will become daycare weight lifting sessions of babies, bags, and backpacks.

Quality time cooing and gooing will become lost time driving through Northern Virginia.

Remembering diapers and wipes when I leave the house will become remembering diapers, wipes, crib sheets, sleep sacks, binkies, bibs, milk for the day, 47 breast pump parts, ice packs for fresh milk, and sheets, blankets, and a water bottle for her big sis.  And if I’m lucky, lunch for me.

And cozy nursing sessions snuggling my babe will become solitary time in a dusty closet with suction cups attached to my breasts.

Oh, and I’ll have to work too.  And get there on time.

Yes, I’m concerned about the climate change report.  But I’ve also got the end of a different something beautiful on my mind.

 

 

 

Naked

When we simply exist, as a high school athlete, a research undergrad, a waitress, a housekeeper, a professional, they don’t see us.  They see the smile, the figure.  They don’t see the hard work, the determination, the excellence.  We are naked.

When the assault happens, we are scantily clad, too flirtatious, too drunk. We’re ripped of the clothes from our backs, our innocence, our humanity.  We are naked.

When we are finally compelled to report, not because it will help us heal or get justice, but because the highest court in the land is about to welcome our attacker, because the swing vote senator just said he’d vote yes, because the Senate Majority Leader promises to plow ahead with a vote this week, we bare our souls. In the United States Capitol.  In an elevator. In an airport. We are naked.

And vastly ignored.

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 8.49.33 AM

#BelieveSurvivors

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 9.51.21 AM

The #Metoo movement created a powerful sisterhood.  A pulling back of the curtain to reveal (to men) what it is like to navigate the world as a woman.  It came at a great expense.  Survivors, even those who didn’t say their truth out loud, having to relive their traumas.  It seemed to start a tipping of the scales, one sleaze bag at a time, toward justice.

I watched Dr. Ford.  I gasped when she recalled making eye contact with Mark Judge as Brett Kavanaugh pinned her down, covered her mouth, and groped her.  She was traumatized that night.  She knows who was on top of her.

He was drunk and probably didn’t see much wrong with copping a little feel.  It is not surprising he doesn’t remember, though his lack of calling for other witnesses or an FBI investigation show a crack of daylight.  He may not remember it, but he knows it’s a possibility.

As if the emotion and clarity of her testimony juxtaposed with his anger and conspiracy theories weren’t enough to induce women’s rage, the Republicans took their turn to respond.  With anger at Democrats, apologies to Kavanaugh.  But, their worst offense is what their privilege blinds them to.  Their response to Dr. Ford.

It was the oft repeated ‘I don’t doubt something happened to her,’  Left unsaid is what they don’t believe.  That their guy is the perp. 

That’s inconvenient.

Instead, they design their response to appease the rage coursing through the women of this country. 

A pat on the head to make the little lady feel heard.

And a slap on the back and lifetime appointment for him.

I write for the snuggles

My memory is bad.  Really bad.

It’s so bad I keep a list of recipes I know how to make and make well. Not whole recipes with ingredients mind you, just the title of the dish.  And it’s a short list.  With ‘spaghetti’ on it.

It’s so bad that sometimes my ‘to-do’ lists mention showering.

I look back at pictures of Ellie when she was a baby and I hardly recognize her.  At one point I couldn’t imagine her a big kid and now I can’t imagine the reverse.

I suppose there’s some good in that.  I live in the present.  I breathe in my little baby, Georgia. The feeling of her snuggling on my chest, legs scrunched beneath her, her gentle shudders spreading warmth on the crook of my neck as sleep overwhelms her.

To hold that feeling forever, I write it.

When I was 15, an ex-boyfriend of mine was shot and killed.  Once the grief downgraded from paralyzing to merely a cloak draped across my lungs, I wrote.  Lists.  Every moment with him I could conjure.  I refused to let his memory be snuffed out as quickly his life had been.

Recently my sister asked me my ‘why’ for writing.  It is purely selfish.  I write to hold on to my present.  Moments can never be lost forever if I write them.

img_4169-1

 

 

Alternative Facts

Today I…

Didn’t send my three year old, Ellie, to preschool because I just couldn’t get out of bed to get her ready.

Gave her three time outs, resulting in a loss of privilege for the day.

Forced her to leave a library activity early because her behavior was off the chain.

Fought with her about eating her eggs at both breakfast and lunch because I’m such a bitch that when she didn’t eat them in the morning, I saved them for later.

Snuck a cookie when she wasn’t looking.

Somehow lost the ability to put the baby to sleep, resulting in all kind of screams and wails and fits.

Yelled at a parenting book because the author wasn’t getting to the point fast enough.  I don’t give a hoot about “Janice”, “James” or “Oliver” and how they have to be rocked and cuddled and fed to go to sleep!  My kid is screaming!  Tell me what to dooooo!

Texted my husband at work telling him he could run away with the kids without penalty.

Blinked at my daughter about 10 times after she asked me to play with her, wondering how I could say “hell no” without seeming like I didn’t want to play with her.

And in the midst of this disaster of a day,  Ellie turns to me and says, “Mommy, you’re a good mommy.”

She must be Kellyanne Conway’s daughter, because whatever led her to that conclusion was based on some seriously alternative facts.

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 4.40.36 PM

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, who coined the term ‘alternative facts’

Such is Life

Growing up is like learning.  You approximate as you go, are often farther along the continuum in one area than another, and are benefited by a sense of humor.

I sat typing in my chair at the dining room table.  The one with a clear view down the narrow hallway.  A quick (and literal) flash caught my eye as my daughter dashed from the bathroom, naked from the waist down.

Never a good sign.

I gave it a minute.  I was writing after all.

“Everything ok?”

“Yeah!” she called from her room.

Knowing her copasetic claim was probably a false one, I got up and headed to the bathroom where I was greeted by a puddle next to the Elmo potty.  I sighed.

We should be past this, I thought.

I turned back around to see my daughter looking up at me from the hallway.

“What happened?” I asked.

She thought for a second, tilted her head, and exclaimed, “C’est la vie!”

And she’s right.  Such is life, such is growing up, and such is learning.  Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 10.04.41 PM

The Real Trauma

Change is hard.  For Mama, Papa, and our older daughter.  The baby, however, seems fine with it.

So my three-year old just started a new class at her preschool.

Day one: Excitement at home.  Shy guy at the classroom door, but goes in and gets on with her day.

Day 2: Loud tears at home, quiet tears at school.

Day 3: Wake her up early – she gets dressed, brushes teeth, eats a quick breakfast.  All seems well.  As I’m putting on her shoes, she asks, “Am I going somewhere?”  Apparently not realizing this school thing happens on a fairly regular basis.

“Yes.  You’re going to school.”

“No, Mom, no! I want to stay home with you,” she wails as I strap her in the car seat and my husband whisks her off.  Once at school, she wails some more and refuses to go in the classroom.

Then comes the weekend, when she cries on Friday night about going to school the following week.  Worse, she wakes herself up in the middle of the night with the thought of it.

This school is familiar to her.  She has been going since she was a baby.  Knows a couple of the assistants, most of the kids, only the teacher is new.

It is not as if she has traveled many torturous miles, arrived in an unfamiliar land with strange people speaking unknown words to her.  Been ripped from my arms.  I can’t imagine her trauma if she had.

My daughter will be fine.  I’m not worried about the long-term effects of starting a new school year.  I’m worried about the 500+ children who are still being traumatized because of the initiatives of our country’s callous and careless leaders.  Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, John Kelly, and Kirstjen Nielsen, I’m looking at you.

Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 3.29.02 PM

 

 

 

 

Greetings from Privilege

Since I got this blog up and running again, I haven’t known how to write about our current state of affairs.  I’ve been silent on them.  I’ve kept it light-hearted.  Funny postcards from over here in my life of privilege.

Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 2.49.28 PM

But my silence feigns acceptance.  I may not know how to write about it, but I do not accept it.

The climate change denials.

The treasonous meetings with dictators.

The trashing of the FBI, the disabled, the Gold Star families, the decorated war hero.

The hush money to porn stars.

The transgender troops.

The ‘sons-of-bitches,’ ‘very fine people on both sides,’ ‘low IQ,’ ‘not very smart’ racist rants and dog whistles.

The ‘grab them by the pussy’ mentality.

The Supreme Court.

But mostly I wonder how to write about the children.  The mothers, the fathers.

Theirs are horrifying images of grief and despair.  Suffering brought on by the hands of my country.  Like the suffering of so many families decades and centuries before them.  The circumstances may be different, but the grief is the same.  And there are still over 500 children separated from their parents. Alone among strangers.

You don’t need children to know the inhumanity of separating kids from their parents, but if you have kids, you can’t escape the inhumanity.

Though my privilege be loud, my keystrokes insufficient, I cannot permit my voice to be silent.

 

No Kinda Homemaker

When my husband and I went on our honeymoon, my mom surprised us by getting our condo professionally cleaned while we were gone.  It was very kind of her, but I have a sneaking suspicion she was trying to fool Chad into thinking I was good homemaker.

We walked in fresh off the plane and I didn’t immediately notice.  Sure, I thought the place looked clean, but I figured it was because neither we nor the dogs had been there to kick up our dust or dog hair.  It took me until I got into the kitchen and looked into the sink.  I had never seen a sink shine so brightly.  After I figured out what happened and called my mom, I was sold on a good housecleaning.

But alas, one move and five years later, I still couldn’t bring myself to pay for it (little known fact; I’m as cheap as my husband, he just talks about it more).

Finally, with baby 2 on the way, I pulled the trigger and contacted a housekeeper.  For $125 I could have that gleaming sink once more.  And I did. For approximately 27 minutes I had clean floors and surfaces and a beautiful sink (Why 27 minutes? Because, well, kids).  A month later, I scheduled her again.  I had 24 minutes of all that and fresh sheets.

But all told, 51 minutes of cleanliness wasn’t enough to justify the two fitty I just slapped down.  That could go toward some hot shoes to put in my dirty closet.  I pulled the plug.  No more housekeeper, at least for now.  It’s just some dust. I got this.

And I thought I was doing a pretty good job.  I really did.  Until I went downstairs and saw this:

img_4007

Yep.  A spider’s thread zig zagging from the couch to the table to the ceiling and back again.

The hot shoes will have to wait, cause this girl is no kinda homemaker.  At least I’ll have my sink.