Monday, September 29, 2008

Four years ago today

  1. I was only a wife and woman, not a mama
  2. I never understood how far baby poop could shoot across a room.
  3. I didn't know how many tears I would cry any hurt inflicted upon another person.
  4. I didn't have any idea that a crying baby would make milk shoot three feet across a room.
  5. I didn't know how much fun it would be to shoot my husband with my front loaded bazooka boobs.
  6. I didn't know that I could walk five miles in a circle around our living room, half asleep, holding a small, whimpering person and still rise for work the next day.
  7. I didn't know that peeing a stick would become an obsession.
  8. I didn't know that watching my husband with our child would be the sexiest thing I had ever seen.
  9. I didn't realize that I would see my lost loved ones in the eyes of my baby.
  10. I didn't realize my heart would swell and break so many times, no that I would gladly pick up the pieces and prepare for the next time a chubby little hand grabbed my heart and shattered it with just a word.
  11. I didn't know that I would sneak into the baby's bedroom at night just because I was afraid he wasn't breathing.
  12. And I didn't know I would stay in there just to watch him sleep.
  13. I didn't know that my mind would photograph and memorize every mark on my child's body, refusing to let loose of the memory of even the smallest scrape.
  14. I didn't know I would search frantically online, worldwide, for a lost beloved toy, and then pay an exorbitant amount to get it.
  15. I didn't know that I could love someone so selfish, independent, and sarcastic more than life itself. I didn't know how my heart would warm to hear myself called "mommy" and I didn't know I would look so forward to everything my child does.

Happy fourth birthday, Bug. I love you whole bunches.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Eye of the Beholder

What defines beauty? Who decides who is attractive and who was hit with every branch of the ugly tree before smacking into the ground--HARD!
This has been on my mind since my youngest child was born.
Punk has a birthmark. It is in no way disfiguring or grotesque. She has a vascular birthmark on her nose and upper lip that, when she was born, was angry and red, but in the past nine months has faded to a sunburn like quality.
I took her to the plastic surgeon yesterday to discuss options and treatments. He advised to wait and thinks its will fade naturally without help.
After our appointment, we ran a few errands.
Now I admit, I think I have pretty good looking kids. I'm proud of how they look (how they act is a different story entirely!) and enjoy making sure they look nice when we go out.
I enjoy having people comment on Boo's brilliant blue eyes and Bug's winning smile.
But after the appointment, I was mulling over the doctors words, and was more aware of people and their response to her.
I can't tell you how many people stopped to tell me how pretty she is. None of them commented on her birthmark, even though its not hidden in any way shape or form.
They just seemed to see a happy, pretty baby in a shopping cart with a frazzled, muttering mama.
I admit, when I see some adults and their children, I think to myself, "How could they even think of having kids?" or "What an unattractive child!" I'm guilty. We all are. I personally know of a toddler who looks like a Muppet. (Kid freaks me out every time I see her.)
But who defines beauty? Is it society, the media, who decides how we weigh beauty and who is found wanting?
I'm shallow enough to admit I like to hear people say my babies and beautiful.
Hell, their mama's one hot mama, so why wouldn't they be?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where has my baby gone?

Bug will be four in less than a week.
I'm having a tough time with it.
I keep looking at this tall, quick boy and expecting to see the crying, squishy baby I held not so long ago.
I listen to him announce his intentions, his likes and dislikes, and tell me about his day, and remember when I was so ready for him to talk. Now I can't get him to not talk. About everything.
I look at those size ten feet and remember the feel of his mutant monkey toes lodged in my ribcage as he performed prenatal acrobatics in my womb.
When he reaches for my hand, I remember the feel of those wrinkled baby soft fingers curling around my finger for the first time.
Four years is an eternity to Bug. It's been a time of growth, development, and discovery. He's gone from a newborn to a boy in a heartbeat, or so it seems to me.
I always hated being told that I was growing up too fast, that I should slow down.
Now, as a parent, I find myself thinking these same thoughts.
Four years is a second to me looking back.
Four years is a blink of an eye in the life of a child.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saving Grace

"Who are you and what have you done with my children?"
I found myself daintily and in a very ladylike way screeching that at all three of my children yesterday.
Haven't you heard that a threatened aneurysm does wonders for the complexion.
My children were not just bad yesterday. They were not just horrible. They were epic.
Add to that a bad day for The Man and I (you know the days. He breathed, I snapped. I blinked, he griped.) and it was the stuff of disaster films.
The saving points which kept my home from becoming an Okie Chernobyl?
A kiss from Bug.
A "nuggle" from Boo.
And my baby girl stood up.
Even though I was seconds away from putting them all --The Man included--on a corner with a sign saying "Free to a Good Home (hell! I would have PAID someone to take them at that point), I had one of those small thing moments laying in bed after the heathens were asleep.
Every night, I lay in bed and try to remember one good thing that happened. It doesn't have to be big (but hey! I'm open to winning the lottery, ya know!). It can be as simple as the fact that i didn't flip the bird to the crazy old lady driving in front of me with one blinker on (sorry, mom, but you know it's true!).
Yesterday, the good things were little rays of sunshine coming right out of my derriere. It was better than chocolate, sex, and an insatiable Latin lover combined (joking honey--even Pedro has his limits!).
Of course, I was half asleep, heavily medicated, and totally alone in a king sized bed, so it may have been a hallucination.
And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Even in high heels

It never ceases to amaze me how strong people really are.
Take my mom for example.
My Daddy was ill most of my life, in and out of hospitals for surgeries and tests and procedures. I remember the first trip when I was eight and the last almost two years ago.
My mother stood as solid as a rock with scared children clutching her for support, with my father looking to her to handle it, with the world weighing heavy on her shoulders.
She did it with style, with grace, and with a smile.
Not to imply she did it perfectly. My brother and I still have the residual after effects of growing up with a seriously ill parent, but she protected us as best she could, and, for the most part, we're normal, well adjusted people.
Well, I am. My brother's a chauvinistic capitalist pig. But he was that way to start, so I can't really blame her for how he turned out.
I find myself looking to her example right now, faced with my husband's impending surgery, three children that are still babies, and know that I will never compare to her in handling it. But I learned a lot watching her juggle the impossible and make it look doable.
Not easy, but feasible.
A friend of mine has a seriously ill husband. And three small children herself, and she's at the point of wondering if she can put one foot in front of the other just one more time. And I find myself thinking of my mama, and her two children clutching her skirts, silently begging her to make it all right.
And somehow, she did.
Somehow, I will.
And so will my friend.
A lot of things are left out of that mother's instruction booklet that we are handed along with a slimy, screaming newborn.
But one thing is in there that a mama should never forget.
When push comes to shove, we can move mountains.
Even in high heels.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The meaning of respect

According to not quite four year old Bug (I've cleaned it up and clarified a few points, but this is how my oldest son's mind works!)

1. Respect means don't bite your brother. Even if he bites you first and even if he just happens to fall on your teeth, don't bite down.

2. Respect means don't take your brothers toys, even though throwing his best friend bear and watching him cry is so much fun!

4. Respect means shutting my mouth. (Even when I eat cause my mommy is tired of seeing the half chewed food rolling around in my mouth while I vividly describe my day's activities)

5. Respect means saying excuse me for everything. When I toot, I say excuse me. When daddy toots, I say excuse me. When anyone makes any strange noise, I say excuse me.

6. Respect means politely telling mommy she's wrong, that there are monster in my room and they come out and play with snakes and drive cars all night so I can't sleep and feel compelled to crawl into mommy and daddy's bed.

7. Respect means that I do not spin my captive baby sister round and round in her activity center, even after I'm told to stop that, because if she blows chunks, I'm going to be cleaning it up.

8. Respect means standing at the front door yelling at the dog to shut it, 'cause the neighbors are sleeping and no one wants to hear that loud of noise while they are sleeping.

9. Respect means convincing my brother to try new things, including furniture diving. If they don't work out for him, mommy and daddy will still have me to love, right?

10. And finally, respect means that although mommy occasionally slips and calls me and my brother and sister baby cockroaches, I should not repeat that to anyone, ever, for fear that DHS will come talk to my mommy. And if they talk to her, she'll be talking to me and my mommy loves to talk for a very long, long time!

Monday, September 8, 2008


My kids sometimes just amaze me.
The Man is having another surgery this week on his hand. The ring finger is not healing correctly and is causing considerable pain.
Last night, we talked with the boys about it, trying to make them understand that the doctors are going to fix Daddy's hand and that it will be okay, just different.
My egocentric, normally self centered little heathen stepped outside of themselves, crawling into The Man's lap and asking about his hand. They asked if it hurt. They asked if they could touch it. They even held up their chubby little hands and asked if the doctors would fixed their fingers too.
Throughout this ordeal, I have refused to lie to my children about what is occurring. I don't tell them everything and I make the information provided age appropriate, but I am honest about what is happening.
And last night, as I surreptitiously wiped the tears from my eyes, my boys made their mama proud.
I realized they are turning into amazing little people and felt a surge of pride in them.
And then Bug belched and Boo farted, and the Hallmark moment died in a blast of boy gases.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Banshee Baby

My daughters super power involves a phenomenal temper and an ear piercing scream.
Last night, moments after I walked through the door, my supposedly happy all day baby girl morphed into a crying, screaming, child made purely of undirected rage and Velcro.
She didn't want to nurse, but she wanted my breasts out an available, just in case.
She wanted to be held, but only in the most awkward and painful of positions imaginable, guaranteeing that my arm would break and my back would be permanently bent.
She did not want her father, her brothers, the neighbor, or the band of traveling gypsies I offered to sell her to.
She didn't want food.
She didn't want a bottle.
She wanted me, focused completely and totally on her, preferably singing her song ("Hey There Delilah" , but I substitute her first name) over and over until my lips bled and my throat was as dry as a nervous virgin.
Punk held me hostage as surely as if she had pressed a gun to my head. So I walked around last night, bare chested, carrying a sobbing, hiccuping child and closely resembling a National Geographic pictorial. You know the ones--all I can say is orangutan titties.
I want my baby back. I want her back now. I'm offering a reward. If you find a sweet, happy, chubby cheeked baby girl who answers to Punk, send her to me. If not, give me an address to send this child to.
With sugar on top?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Impending doom

Bug will be four years old the end of this month.
For some reason, I now feel old.
I don't have any gray hairs--the five that I have had since his birth have been duly plucked and sacrificed to the appropriate deity.
But my oldest turning four is very bittersweet for me.
I find myself looking at his chubby cherub baby picturesd and comparing that sweet face to the devil may care grin I see every day as he's running amok in my house and tormenting his baby brother.
It's hard to believe that child ever resided in my body, digging his mutant monkey toes into my sides and making me run for the bathroom to pee and/or vomit.
It's bittersweet, watching my baby on his journey to becoming a man.