Tuesday, December 27, 2011

She hates me!

J. driving through the snow at the end of Christmas day, me crying silently in the passenger seat, and then he sees the tears gleaming in the soft orange streetlights.  He asks what's wrong and the words claw their way up my throat, burning as they go.  "She hates me!"

The rational explanation for this charming scene is that S is going through a quite normal developmental stage of preferring one parent (obviously not me) to the other.  I'm trying to be mature about this, but the fact is it really hurts my feelings and I'm starting to have trouble dealing with it.  Spending several full days with S. over the holidays made it clear she doesn't only prefer J. anyone is better company than I am. 

I don't really write about my relationship with my family of origin to respect their privacy, so I'll just say I have an awkward relationship with my mom in particular.  She's not comfortable communicating in my love language and I often question to this day whether she loves me at all.  She certainly doesn't like me much.  So I was excited to be having a girl - here was the chance to be the mother I wanted.

Yet every time I try to cuddle S. or kiss her, she twists away, looking for something fun to do, anything other than sit in her mommy's lap for a few minutes.  I know this is probably normal for an 18-month-old, especially my busy little bee.  And how wonderful that she has a daddy she adores and who lights up every time he sees her.

But my heart aches anyway.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I didn't hear the recess bell - where did everyone go?

Mama Kat had a great prompt this week:  How has blogging changed for you in the past year? What are your goals for your blog this year?

Mama’s Losin’ It

This was a timely prompt, as I've noticed a lot of my favourite bloggers have really slowed down on posting and in some cases quit altogether.  I'm always the kid left standing on the playground, yelling "It's still fun guys, I promise!" as everyone wanders off to a better game.  It appears blogging is no different, and I'm feeling sad about it.  I don't follow blogs I'm not going to read, so I really get to know everyone on my reading list and miss them when they leave.

My "following" philosophy also makes it hard to find new blogs.  I love blog hops, but it's surprisingly difficult to find a hop that includes lifestyle blogs and that doesn't insist that you follow everyone you meet.  I don't want people to follow me if they're not going to read and respond to my posts, and vice versa.  I'm not a photographer, foodie or crafter, and reviews/giveaways bore me.   Sometimes it feels like that's all there is in the blogosphere and I get frustrated. 

It occurred to me yesterday that I should just visit a bunch of the blogs that my current blog friends have listed on their blogrolls.  Kind of like finding a date through mutual friends - if someone likes both of you, maybe you'll like each other!  Sigh.  Thank God I'm married and don't have to actually date.  I think it's clear how successful that would probably be.

My blogging style hasn't really changed over the last year, other than the occasional dabbling in fiction.  I enjoyed it, but they seemed to be my least popular posts.  The strict deadlines to submit your piece also added a level of stress to my life that I decided I didn't need right now.  My job often requires significant, unexpected overtime, and when I found myself snapping at my family to be quiet so I could finish a story I'd had to leave to the last minute again, I knew it was time to dial back on that commitment.

Blogging goals for 2012...hmmm.  I've never had as many comments on my posts as I would have liked, so I'd improve that.  However, I don't know how to be more interesting and I don't want to change who I am.  I have visited blogs before that seemed very dull to me, but had TONS of followers and comments, so obviously my tastes and personality run contrary to the norm.  Meh.  I yam what I yam.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm here for your entertainment

Sherilin at laughing my abs off did an awesome post awhile back on some of her memorable mistakes.  I've decided to continue carrying the torch'o'foolishness and will outline some short cautionary tales for your holiday entertainment.

1)  Let's see if anyone will stop

I believe this is the stupidest and most dangerous thing I've ever done, and can only blame the sheer hormonal insanity that is a teenage girl.  On the way home from a shopping trip, my 14-year-old girlfriends and I decided to go stand on a street corner to see if anyone (Richard Gere, maybe?) would stop.  A car full of skeezy guys did stop, and we were fortunate to just run off laughing.  This is the kind of behaviour that terrifies me about S.'s teenage years to come.

2)  If I drive faster and turn the music up, the car will magically repair itself!

I was driving down the local expressway at dusk a few years ago, happily singing and enjoying the summer's evening breeze.  I noticed what seemed to be a small cardboard box in my lane, and although I didn't try to hit it, I didn't try not to either.  After the car did a fun little tip up on one side, it was clear I'd hit something a teensy bit more solid than cardboard. 

About 5 minutes later, the car began to make unhappy squawking noises.  My solution to this?  Turn the music up, baby!  Oh, and speed up so I could get home faster and J. could look at whatever was wrong.  After careening through the second in a series of roundabouts, the car stopped responding to my movements of the steering wheel and I somehow managed to pull over. 

Long story short, the car was irreparably damaged (something about a broken axle and some other mechanic-y gibberish), and J. was very not happy about my loud music and speed approach to the situation.  I think he thought I'd learned something from the infamous pinball incident, in which I used ricochet momentum to get my previous car up an icy apartment driveway.  Apparently not.

3)  That was so not candy

Right before S. was born, I was hanging out in her nursery decorating, fueled by a big mug of water and some Runts candy.  I was scarfing down that candy like no one's business and taking some big swigs in between.  On one gulp, I thought I felt something in the water, but assumed it was just a Runt candy still in my mouth.  So I took a big hearty chomp.  An incredibly bitter and revolting taste flooded across my tongue and I spit the whole mouthful out onto the nursery carpet. 

I then had to spend the next several minutes cleaning up the bits of wings and other debris from the ladybug I had just bit into.  That was it for the Runts candy too.  Just thinking about them makes me feel pukey.



4)  Can I assk you a question?

In my mid-20s, I had a mini quarter-life crisis.  This reached its peak while J. and I were driving through a neighbouring city, and I was whining as usual about how I never had any fun, because I was such a good girl and never broke any rules.  In a desperate attempt to shut me up, J. dared me to moon someone.

Well, we weren't in our own city and this was my chance to be a bad girl (yes I know this is pretty weak on the "bad" scale).  So I dropped my drawers and hung my ass out the window, laughing hysterically.  For some reason, J. then STOPPED the car.  In front of a bus stop full of teenagers.  The bus stop was in front of a retirement home, with the local high school a few minutes down the block.  This was the majority reaction:

On top of almost falling out of the car, my moon was left in full, non-moving view of many more people than I was expecting.  I still don't know what got into J.  Thank God this was before cellphone cameras had quite reached their current popularity level.

OH MY GOD.  While I was looking for pictures for this post, I came across this unbelievable photo. Some stupid woman on Toddlers and Tiaras has apparently dressed up her child as a prostitute!!  My apologies if this is an old story, but it's new to me.  Seriously, they should find some pill or something to temporarily sterilize everyone at the age of 10 or 11, and then you shouldn't be allowed to have the reversal until you've passed a parenting course proving you are mentally and emotionally competent to have the care and custody of a small human being. 

Here's the pic I found - how could anyone possibly rationalize this as being OK????  That poor baby.

This is the kind of mistake that isn't funny at all.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's just a prickly shell, y'all

Well, my first day of vacation has been a little different than I was hoping for.  I thought S. had just picked up my cold (which was bad enough), but her daycare called this morning and the poor thing has developed an eye infection.  A sick 18-month old with a puffy, weeping eye is a sad and pitiable creature.  I couldn't get her into the doctor until late today, so I'm just glad she's able to sleep right now.  Poor baby.

But I did stop by the video store and pick up some rentals - Bad Teacher, Friends with Benefits and The Hangover II.  I love raunchy comedies!  I laughed so hard at There's Something about Mary, it was like an ab workout.

I'm still upset about the community thing I wrote about yesterday.  I don't know why this bothers me so much, but I just keep thinking of these people who are so afraid and so badly need encouragement and instead they got this slap in the face and were told to shut up and be positive.  Someone in the group sent me a private message trying to explain how one person had been flooding the board with her fears, and had responded poorly to words of encouragement. 

All I could think was, OK, that person must be terrified.  It may be annoying, but doesn't she need compassion, rather than being told to get off the message board?  Don't know why this is getting to me so much, since I just joined that board and don't know anyone yet.  I guess there's a softie inside this bitch after all.

I'm just one big fucking ray of sunshine

So I was over on another board which shall not be named, and was shocked to read one mean post basically telling the "negative" and "whiny" people to shut it.  I hadn't posted anything yet, thank God, or I would have assumed they were talking about me.  And after that little rant, I knew I wouldn't be posting anything there.  The community in question is for people in a specific situation who are going to want support and might not have anyone in their life they feel comfortable talking to about it.  So much for that warm and fuzzy idea.  Better put your "ray of sunshine" panties on, or you're outta there.

Since this is my blog, I'll be as fucking negative as I want and I'm not a fan of pollyanna types.  Perky people make me want to slap them upside the head and force feed them CNN so they can wake up and grasp how fucked up the world really is.

Anyhow.  Despite the appearance, I'm feeling quite fantastic - I'm on vacation until Jan 3.  HURRAY!!!!  It's disturbing that the most exciting thing about this is that I may actually get enough sleep for a brief period of time.  It's a wild life I lead, alright.  Seriously, I am so so excited!!  I'm going to sleep, read some good books, watch the movies I didn't get out to see this summer, do some blog writing and reading, work out and generally laze around.  It's going to be the best Christmas vacation ever.  This calls for a happy bunny:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2011 laughs

Reverb11 continues...

Day 6 - What made you laugh?

Modern Family.  Damn you auto correct.com.  Horrible Bosses.  Bethenny Frankel.  Urban Dictionary.com.  Ramona Singer walking the catwalk.  Dinner with Schmucks.  Pearls before Swine.  Melynda at Craziness abounds peeing on her husband.  S. dancing.

Day 7 - Forgiveness

Who have you forgiven this year and what was the journey like that brought you to forgive them?

Honestly, nothing comes to mind.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Give him points for persistence at least

But guilt implies you did something wrong

I'm going to do my Reverb11 catch-up for today in reverse order, just to be wild.  Also because I don't want to dwell on the last one and would rather keep this light.

Day 5 - 5 guilty pleasures

I'm not ashamed of most of my pleasures - I know I'm smart and classy even if some of my leisure activities suggest otherwise.  Let's just say if "Pop culture 1990s-2000s" came up on Jeopardy, I'd be in decent shape.  So I've tried to pick out things that really are somewhat embarrassing.

1 & 2)  Oh, my sweet Westley!

I have a streak of melodramatic romanticism that goes unfulfilled in real life, due to my very normal and non-neurotic husband who I've been with for 17 years.  While I don't actually want to have a volatile, slightly psychotic relationship with a "true love" I barely know, I do enjoy listening to sappy love songs about one.  Ditto for reading about lovers who always get a happy ending, no matter how improbable.

Would you like some maple with that syrup?  Here's Can't let go by Mariah Carey and The Power of Love by Celine Dion:

I will say the romance novels have to be well-written (shut up - that's not an oxymoron).  Danielle Steel does not make the cut.  The plot can be cheesy, but the writer has to know how to string a sentence together convincingly and write a sex scene that doesn't make me laugh.  Jo Goodman and Amanda Quick know what they're doing.

3)  My stomach is growling right now

There's nothing like a properly made Caesar salad, warm bread and oil, a medium-well 10 oz striploin with garlic mashed potatoes and tender vegetables, followed up by a Marble Slab Creamery red velvet ice cream cone with marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Calories, shmalories.

4)  What's that sizzling?

You know you shouldn't, and the Mastercard bill is going to hurt, but you look so hot in that outfit, you almost want to take yourself to bed.  And if it looks that good in the dressing room, imagine how fine you'll look away from fluorescent lighting!  Yeah, it's not in the budget, but it can be an explainable variance, right?

5)   I'm afraid I don't feel well today

I work really hard at my job, and my hours are definitely not restricted to 9-5.  And the professions (accounting in my case) don't pay overtime.  So once or twice a year, I wake up in the morning and find I just don't feel well.  And the remedy is to lie in bed all day, watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reading a good book and eating ice cream before experiencing a miraculous recovery in time for my favourite evening aerobics class.

Day 4 - What have you let go of this year and how has it affected you?

I stopped taking my anti-depressant of several years in October.  Overall, it's been a very positive experience.  The fire is back, baby!

Day 3 - A moment in time 

Tell us about one moment in 2011 that you lived that you will never forget.

Realizing my 12-week old angel baby had just dropped into the toilet and searching through the blood to find him or her, and then holding the little sac in my hand knowing he or she was really dead.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Revving up

I found a great December writing prompt series on Random Girl's blog and decided to join in, fashionably late as usual.  Don't mind the summarized answers while I catch up - I'm going to double up the days until I'm on track with everyone else.

Day 1 - One word

Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?

The word is "coping."  I went back to work full-time January 4, 2011 to a company in the midst of major transition, including dealing with lawsuits and fraud allegations against senior members of my department.  S. still gets up at least once a night at nearly 18 months, and even though J. gets up with her, I'm permanently exhausted.  It often feels like life is a horrible, crushing routine of joylessness and domestic drudgery that never ends. 

The terror and excitement of finding out I was pregnant with twins in late July slid into a nightmare as I miscarried one on my friend's wedding day, then found out six weeks later the second had died weeks before.  I kept on going to work and parenting S. because I didn't know what else to do, and those things aren't really optional.  But I feel a kind of dreary misery now, like I'm soaked to the bone in a cold muddy wilderness, just picking up one foot after the other while I dream of earlier, happier times.

It's been a shitty year.  I don't have a special word for 2012, only a hope that I'll achieve something better than simply coping with my life.

Day 2 - My children will do it differently

If you could choose one thing that your children will do or experience in a different way than you have, what would it be and why?

I'd like S. to experience life unafflicted by guilt every time something brings her pleasure.  While I'm not looking to raise a complete hedonist, there must be something more moderate than my childish inquiry to my mother about whether eating sugar was "unChristian" (since I enjoyed it, I knew it must be wrong).

But more than anything else, I would choose that S. be spared from the bullying I experienced.  It changed me permanently, and not for the better.  On top of my worry for S. herself, I'm not sure I can handle re-living it through her and I hope I don't have to find out.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

This is what I get for joking about fire

The good news is that our house did not burn down.  The bad news is that leaving your cranky old laptop on your bed all day is really, really stupid. J. came home Friday afternoon to find it billowing smoke on top of one hot duvet cover. 

On the plus side, now I have a fancy new laptop that will probably be amazing once I get everything set up.  I'm a technical moron and this is not my idea of fun.  It appears we may have to buy a new wireless router, since I wrote the security key down on a post-it and now we can't find it.  This is actually very out of character for me, but the combination of motherhood and a professional job with lots of overtime has done a serious number on my normal organizational ninja skills.

The keyboard is also loaded with hot keys that I keep triggering like little minefields, so suddenly the screen will zoom in to 400% or change all the font to Pirate-speak and I don't know how it happened and therefore how to put it back.  Right now the font is so big I feel like I'm reading something for the legally blind.

This is why I'm on blogger, not wordpress or some other platform that requires any coding ability at all.  I had enough trouble figuring out how to make a button (I still can't copy them properly from other people either - and yes, I know you have to re-type the smart quotes, whatever the hell they are.  Doesn't make a difference.).

I'm just glad we're all safe (including the cats) and our house that we worked so hard for is safe too, along with all the memories it contains.  I'll leave you with my public service announcement for the day:  Don't leave your laptop on or near anything flammable!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fuck fuck fuck

There, that title should have scared off anyone who's easily offended.  I'm so pissy today that I kind of wish someone would start with me, just so I'd have an excuse to kick some ass.  And no, I'm not counting the fucking trolls who post inane comments on my blog.  Of course it's nostalgic, dumbass.  What the fuck were you expecting from a linky about cartoons? 

It's days like this that I miss my kickboxing club.  Beating up the heavy bag in my basement just isn't the same.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Princess of Power

 My first cartoon-related memory is really not age appropriate.  We didn't have a TV until I was 14 - my parents didn't believe in them and I kind of think they were right.  I love watching TV now, but I feel progressively stupider every year and I'm pretty sure a constant stream of The Real Housewives of Slutville isn't helping any.  But I digress.

When I was in elementary school, boxes of hand-me-down clothing regularly arrived from my cousins.  I was in second grade when a box arrived with a truly spectacular article of clothing.  The next day at school, I put the message out for all the boys in my class to meet me in the coat closet, because I had something to show them. 

And this was how my teacher ended up opening the coat closet door to find me standing on a chair, holding up my jumper to display my amazing new Wonder Woman underwear to a crowd of awe-struck 7-year old boys.  My parents must be relieved that I became an accountant, not a stripper.

With that auspicious start, let's move on to my top 5 favourite cartoons for a Listography from Kate at Kate Takes 5 - the linky's here if you want to play too.

1)  Thundercats

Can I just say how much I still love this logo?  My two favourite colours, crisp clean lines, and a feline vibe...it's all good. 

Thundercats was all about She-Ra for me.  My little control freak heart thrilled at the idea of being a Princess of Power, red cape and all.

2)  Popples

I don't think I saw the Popples show more than once, but it made an impression and my Popple was one of my favourite toys for years.

3)  Rainbow Brite

Cuz she's just so cute!  And that horse is magnificent.

4)  Inspector Gadget

I still remember the day I realized that Penny was the one who actually solved all the cases.  It just wasn't the same after that.  I felt sorry for Penny having to put up with such a moron, and it took the fun out of the show for me.

5)  Smurfs

La la la la la la, la la la la la....the best cartoon ever!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wishing for an Australian angel

After months of searching for a memorial box for our twin angel babies, I've finally found one that's just right.

Unfortunately, the only place that sells this box is in Australia, and they won't ship to Canada.  I asked them for their manufacturer or wholesaler so I could try to buy it directly, but they haven't replied.

So I'm asking my bloggy friends if you know anywhere else that sells this box.  It's called "Angel Kisses" and is made in Italy.  The alternative would be to find someone in Australia who would be willing to buy this box and then ship it to me in Canada and I'll fully reimburse you through Paypal. 

But I know that's a lot to ask, since you don't know me and whether or not I'm trustworthy.  Still, if there are any Australian angels out there, I'd love to hear from you.

*Update*  I just found another urn that would be perfect (actually better because it's for twins, which I had pretty much given up on) and this one's in the States...but again they don't ship to Canada!  I'm getting so frustrated.  Maybe I should buy one of those $1 U.S. houses online just to get a shipping address. 

Here's the U.S. one (called "Twins in Wings") - anyone know where I can find something like this in Canada?

Monday, November 21, 2011

These boots were made for tripping

The best thing about on-line shopping isn't the thrill of risking identity theft or finding some discontinued item you'd thought was gone forever.  It's the transformation of checking the mail.  Gone are the days of trudging mournfully to the mailbox, knowing that nothing but demands for your hard-earned money await.  Now you never know if a present will be waiting for you, sitting happily on top of all those annoying envelopes.

Especially if you buy something from another country, there can be a delay of several weeks between when you whip out your credit card and when the stuff shows up.  This is good because it takes away all the spending guilt.  By the time your purchases arrive, it feels like you didn't even buy them and some wonderful shopping fairy just came and put them in your mailbox to make you smile.

Last week I was excited to discover a large box on our front porch.  My favourite dark red boots had been scuffed beyond repair, and I had been searching fruitlessly for a year for knee high boots that were a polite enough shade of red that my office mates wouldn't mistake me for a prostitute.  When I found these on ebay, I snapped them up right away:

And they were finally here!  J. brought the box inside and I promptly tried them on.  They fit perfectly and I paraded up and down the living room to J.'s great enjoyment (possibly because I wasn't wearing anything except the boots).  I could hardly wait to wear them outside with a proper outfit.

On Saturday, S. was invited to a birthday party at a butterfly conservatory and I decided this was just the right occasion for my beautiful new boots.  After 10 minutes of wrestling my skinny jeans into the boots, I was ready to go.  When we got to the butterfly conservatory, I grabbed S.'s diaper bag, took her out of her car seat and headed toward the entrance.

Three steps away from the car, I tripped.  I couldn't see my feet because of everything I was carrying, so I just thought I had been my normal clumsy self.  But when I tried to keep going, I tripped again and could feel there was something wrong with my foot.  I put S. and the bags down and was met with the following horrifying sight:

The entire sole of the damn boot had come off.  For a moment I stood in the parking lot wondering why fate was so determined to stop me from ever feeling attractive again.  Then I took the boots off, threw them in the car and went on with the day.  From the butterfly conservatory to the lunch party at McDonald's, S. had a great time, and so did I.  In my socks.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's your weird?

This week's Listography is the top 5 random things you like, but they have to be really random.  As Kate (the linky hostess) said, we don't want to hear "I like chocolate."  Since I'm pretty weird, this shouldn't be too difficult.

Here goes:

1)  I get equal enjoyment from a serious philosophical discussion of the themes in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World as I do from a Britney Spears concert.  This means I often feel like some kind of cultural double agent, since the types of people I encounter in both situations don't tend to like each other much. 

2)  I love cat shows.  I don't just wander up and down the aisles either - I sit in the front row of the judging and take a great interest in the judge's examination of the cat and description of the breed standards.  Yes, they call me crazy cat lady.

3)  I like reading.  As in, I have 855 books in my house and may need to convert a second room into a library soon.  And I've read most of them and plan to read them all again.

4)  I like to eat potato chips only if they're all curled up, and will search through the whole bag for the ones that are "just right."  My husband thinks this is very odd behaviour, but I recently found a Facebook page called "I Prefer the Potato Chips Curled Up," so obviously I'm not alone.

5)  Speaking of being alone, I'm with Kate.  There's nothing I enjoy more than a solid 24 hours without having to talk to anyone.  I need and crave solitude and quiet to a level that's difficult to explain, and the constant deprivation of both has been the hardest part of motherhood so far.

Your turn - what are your random likes?

Friday, November 11, 2011

You gotta live it to feel it


Woot woot!  I try not to be a follower whore, but it did make me smile today to see that 200 people have chosen to experience my dysfunction up close and personal.  Hurray!  Now let's celebrate with a post that will no doubt offend a number of people and drop that number back down.

I think of myself as very empathetic and have always thought that I could put myself in another's shoes and appreciate what they're dealing with.  The flip side is that I also believed that others could do the same - basically that anyone could understand anyone else if they tried hard enough.  Among many other things, motherhood has taught me this just isn't true.  There's a line in this song where Eminem says "You gotta live it to feel it/you didn't, you wouldn't get it" and he's right.

Here are a few things I've experienced that have to be lived to be understood:

1)  Bullying

"Everyone gets teased on the playground.  They used to call me Stork Knees!" 

No.  You don't get it.  I'm talking about vicious emotional torture that continues for 5 out of every 7 days for years.  A relentless boot kicking your self esteem and sometimes your body into unconsciousness.  I'm talking about not having even one friend and knowing that every human being in sight despises you.

There's a coldness in me and an inability to forge deep friendships as an adult that I attribute to those years. Because how do I know you weren't the one making my life hell under a different name all those years ago?  And yes, I do hold a grudge.  Show me a grown-up "bully victim" who doesn't and I'll show you someone who thinks being called Stork Knees was being bullied.

Here's what I can't understand:

The experience of those who were abused at home.  I was fortunate to have loving parents to go home to and my house was a refuge.  My heart aches for all the children and teenagers around the world who have no safe place at all.

2)  Miscarriage

"The baby was only the size of a grape and a first-trimester miscarriage is like a bad period.  It doesn't really count as a death and you don't need to memorialize it." 

No.  You don't get it.  I'm talking about seeing your baby curled up on the ultrasound with that bright, beautiful heartbeat flashing life on the screen.  And then holding tiny, misshapen pieces of tissue in your hand and realizing those little white bits were your child's spine.  And those dark blobs on that lifeless round piece of jelly on your palm were his or her eyes. 

I'm talking about blood drenching your clothes as if you'd been in a swimming pool, and hunching over the toilet trying to breathe through contractions that you know will bring a corpse instead of an angry, triumphant cry of life.  I'm talking about the baby and placenta falling into the toilet and finding the strength to search through the blood for him or her, because you will not flush your child away.

Here's what I can't understand: 

The unimaginable agony of reaching to wake your 3-month old and receiving no response.  Waiting as the hours tick steadily by for a 10-year old who never makes it those few blocks home from school.  Opening the door at 1:00am, an hour after your 16-year old's curfew, to police officers with grim expressions.  These scenes are the real horror movies of life.

3)  Motherhood

"Why are mothers always whining?  They signed up for this after all!  Why don't they have time for their friends?  If they find it so difficult, maybe they aren't cut out for parenthood."

No.  You don't get it.  It's (sort of) OK - I didn't get it either before I had S.  Even that statement used to make me mad, but it's true.  The grinding day in and day out pressure of parenthood, and the fierce, bone-deep love that goes with it, are not things you can understand without living them. 

One of my dearest childhood friends just gave me a letter of encouragement that lifted my spirits more than I can say.  She told me how brave she thinks I am, and that although I'm struggling and feeling like I'm not getting by, she knows I can do it.  The most beautiful words in the whole letter were:

"I want you to know that you're not alone in this...and I know that your friends and family...cannot understand well enough to be all you need...But we are here."

It was a letter that could only have been written from one mother to another, and I will always treasure it.

Here's what I can't understand: 

The heartbreak of so many women who never get the chance to complain about parenthood.  Miscarrying over and over, with no baby at home to bring hope for the future.  The single mothers and fathers who shoulder all the responsibilities of parenthood without a partner to laugh and cry with.

I wanted to talk about a number of other issues - poverty, depression and other happy thoughts - but this is a post, not a book, so I'll leave those for another time. 

One last thought:

It's Remembrance Day and I've been thinking about what it would be like to be 18 years old in 1917, watching your high school crush march toward fields of blood.  And then 42 in 1942, married to a different man after your fiance never came home, watching your son again march toward fields of blood.  It's something I can't understand - the strength of the generation who went from World War I to the Great Depression to World War II - but I can certainly respect and honour them.

In remembrance of all who have fought for our freedom, past and present:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy awkward and awesome birthday

Yay!!  It's my birthday (go shorty, it's your birthday...) and I'm linking up with a new party for me - it's Awkward and Awesome Thursdays at The Daybook.

Awkward...While fetching coffee for our CFO like a good little 1950's girl, I accidentally terrorized the Starbucks cashier by handing her a piece of paper without saying anything.  She turned pale and then gasped, "Oh, it's your order!" with obvious relief.  Only then did I realize she had thought it was a hold-up note.  Oops.

Awesome...Going to renew my driver's license and health card and encountering the most efficient government worker ever.  I was in and out in five minutes...it was like I'd stepped into some kind of amazing alternative bureaucratic universe.

Awkward...Yesterday I went to visit S. at daycare over my lunch hour and gave her my pretty bracelet to play with.  She promptly ran to the kitchenette side of the room, lifted the bracelet over her head, and triumphantly smashed it on the floor.  All the other toddlers (who had been sitting quietly reading books and playing on the alphabet mats) had to be herded into the sleeping room, so the staff could clean up all the shards of glass.  I was mortified.

Awesome...While grocery shopping, I discovered Zehrs has already put out their Candy Cane Chocolate Fudge Crackle ice cream.  Hallelujah!

Awkward...We sometimes foster kittens for the local humane society and took our 5-week old foster baby in for her spay appointment.  I had been a little concerned that she seemed small for her age, but in the last week she had developed a nice big belly.  She's too young to be pregnant and both of our adult cats are fixed anyway, so I thought she was finally putting on some weight.  Um, no. 

The animal care co-ordinator called me to say 1)  the kitten has a "large worm load" (ew ew eeeewwww!!)  and 2) she can't be spayed after all because she hasn't gained enough actual weight.  I felt like the cat mother equivalent of this:

Awesome...I made it to the gym for 7 days straight Tuesday-Tuesday (including strength training classes) and I can see definition in my arms again.  Now I just need to get my appetite under control.

And that's it...A short list for me today, because I'm heading out for lunch with a good friend, then visiting another with a new baby and maybe hitting up Marble Slab Creamery (with money, don't worry) on the way home.  Yay for not working on my birthday!!