Late Night Thoughts on Parenting

October 22, 2016

I’m not sure this baby is related to me. He doesn’t like sleep and he doesn’t like food. How could anyone not like sleep and not like food? Those are my raison d’ĂȘtre.

I am really seriously considering doing away with the crib and moving him into the toddler bed. Maybe he just doesn’t like baby jail? 

Red didn’t ever really sleep in the crib. He and Jack thought it nothing more than a bounce house. 

Maybe I’m not failing at this baby sleep thing any more this time than the other times it’s just that my fatigue dulls the memories. 

13 Months

October 19, 2016

I’m pretty sure cutting the umbilical cord was a part of my surgery last year, but it seems my little one never got the memo. I am never, ever alone. 

I do love him. To help me deal with the constancy of his needs I recall bathing him with my tears when he and Paul went home, leaving me in the hospital. Some day he will be bigger and won’t need me so much and I’ll be glad I gave him my everything. (And in the meantime I have chocolate.)

Of Glue Guns and Cleaning Caddies

October 16, 2016

When I left LA, I left my cleaning caddy and cleansers with one of the friends who helped me move. It was really a gift to me to not have to take it in the car, and with open products the movers wouldn’t take it in the truck; besides we were cleaning long after the truck was packed.

It’s now four and a half years later and the other day she texted me a photo of the caddy and told me that she still thinks of me and our friendship every time she uses it. To be fair, as young mothers a lot of our friendship did revolve around helping each other clean or talking to each other while we cleaned. 

Today as I pulled out my glue gun to work on my littlest’s Halloween costume I had to text her and tell her that I still think of her every time I use it. You see, she had been scandalized to discover that I was a card carrying Mormon woman who didn’t own a glue gun. Worried they’d revoke my membership she picked up a mini gun for me on her next trip to Walmart. It probably didn’t cost more than $5 but it continues to serve me well and remind me of her. 

As we chuckled today over the mundane items that remind us of our friendship it occurred to me that those are the best symbols of friendship. 

We weren’t casual acquaintances. Our friendship wasn’t based on lunch dates or mani/pedis. We lived in tandem. We served each other. We were there for each other at the crossroads as well as the minutiae. 

A cleaning caddy and a glue gun. That’s true love and living right there. 

The Lost Decades of My Life

September 14, 2016

Tonight as I reflected on a conversation I had today with my friend (and fellow den leader) Anna, I joked with Paul that I’m going to die very young. He replied “you’ll be fine” which is missing the point entirely of my search for support or validation. He can’t help me from his hotel room in El Paso, he couldn’t help me if he were here anyway because he needs to sleep so he can work and keep us alive and all that. The least he could do is provide a little sympathy. Is an echo chamber too much to ask?

Anna had been chiding me for not taking more control of sleep, basically. I tossed it off and said that none of my babies slept well until about 18 months but in the end they became excellent sleepers. She countered that in the meantime all those nights are erasing years off my life expectancy. 

Before I even read my scriptures tonight little man had awoken twice. I’m sure it’s that he’s teething but I acknowledge that we have some poor sleeping patterns and that I haven’t been vigilant at stamping them out. The reality is my sleep is just not as important as the sleep of the breadwinner or the sleep of the schoolchildren. I made progress this summer but regressed when the nurse raised the issue of insufficient caloric intake; I went back to feeding whenever and wherever even if it was hourly through the night. By the time things were back to pre-summer bad habits it was time for school again and my window of opportunity had closed. 

Sometimes it doesn’t bother me. I know this won’t last forever. And I know that I will never again cuddle my baby in the middle of the night once this phase is over with him. Usually I’m able to appreciate the sweetness and forget myself. 

Other times I feel like I’m being held hostage. It’s hard to not be a person equally important as everyone else. 

August 14, 2016

Poor Blue. He spent an absolutely blissful week in Michigan, just him and his doting grandparents. He had a perfect week and came home yesterday  so happy. 

This morning he is hiding under the covers, trying to sleep, while Babyzilla runs the roost. 

Holiday’s over, kid. Welcome back home. Sorry it kind of sucks. (He’ll be happy about things in a few hours.)


August 9, 2016

This afternoon I was talking with my friend about an experience I had had with Blue a few weeks prior. It was a shameful example of how not to parent and one that I hope I never forget (how could I?) so that I never ever do that again. I relayed to her how it had taken me days after, wondering how to deal with myself. Without the luxury of time I couldn’t wallow for long, feeling like an unfit mother, so I quickly went to wondering what to do about myself. What’s a good outlet for my emotions? (Screaming at children had become my outlet but it was exactly that I was trying to eliminate.) I honestly didn’t know. After days and weeks of questioning I’ve only come up with one answer: exercise. (If there are other healthy outlets for emotions please tell me because I honestly can’t think of any.) So as much fun as this summer has been, and it really has been, I’m counting down for school to start so that hopefully I can excise some of this crazy before I lose it over something trivial again. 

So this afternoon Amanda and I were discussing this, and this evening I found in my Facebook memories that on this day two years ago I opened up a discussion about self care, soliciting ideas. 

I see a pattern here in my inability and complete lack of knowledge in caring for myself. 

Seventeen Years Later

August 7, 2016

It’s important to never let things be too predictable; you don’t want your relationship to get stale, so last night as we celebrated our anniversary at Pappas Bros., the best steakhouse in Dallas, I surprised Paul and did not order the salmon. For the first time ever I ordered a steak, and I ate it all. 

(Donating blood earlier in the day was carefully planned with our dinner in mind.)

I probably didn’t record it anywhere because of my blogging hiatus last year — we went to Roy’s.