Archive for August, 2010

Little Warrior…

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Usually when my husband and son take an outing, they return with a new something-or-other kind of toy for T. Usually this toy is, say, a neonic noodle (you know, the obnoxious foamy things you take in kiddie pools and bang other kids on the head with), or a cheap glider that falls apart after the first flight, or a Matchbox type of car to add to the collection under the couch. Yesterday, however, was different (cue sinister The Omen theme music). Yesterday, my spouse and T returned with THIS (cue crescendo of The Omen theme music):

En Guard, you bow and arrows toting swine!

Not man, not elf, but Melf (I suppose) with a completely untrusworthy expression, sword, shield with terrifying coat of arms and hatchet (not pictured). Not to mention those bows and arrows. Into the house runs my son with this THING still in its package. “Pweeze, Mama!” he shouted, meaning open it immediately, Mama, or I will have a fit. Grrrrr, I thought as I smiled at my son and said, “Sure, baby, sure.” Grrrrrrrrrr.

Upon interrogating my husband in my nicest voice (so as not to alarm our child) the second he stepped across the threshold, his arms loaded in bags of groceries, his expression harried from his time in the food aisles where our son loves to run wild, I was informed that T had picked out the Melf, not my husband. “Babe. He wanted it. Badly.” Arrrrrrgh! I thought, handing the Melf to my delighted child, who played with it for about 5 minutes, then discarded it to the train table. To my relief, bows/arrows/medieval weaponry are either too complicated or foreign or boring for him. At 2 years and 3/4, he doesn’t play with action figures yet, it’s true. Mostly he plays with the Sodor trains, his dirt trucks, his Diego submarine, his stuffed animal collection, his cars, cars, cars. Plus, HE LIKES READING BOOKS WITH HIS PARENTS. Whew. My baby! He still is one! Sort of! Tears in my eyes, I watched T bang out the back door to run and play on the lawn in the cool, glorious evening. I quickly made off with the Melf, tossing him and his dastardly tools in a dark cupboard until after T’s bedtime, when I took these photographs and numbed, then overpowered and utterly conquered the pathetic Melf with my Toshiba’s power thingy (cue Stars Wars theme music).

Surrender, Melf!

Yes, that’s right: With my Toshiba’s power thingy (cue Chariots Of Fire theme music).

Ha ha ha, Melf! I win, I win!!!

And then I put the Melf deep, deep in the Goodwill pile in the garage—but only because tossing him in the trash seemed wasteful and I wasn’t sure if he was recyclable. The Melf may live to see another day, but hopefully not with my child—at least not for a long, long time—which in toddler-time probably means next week. Arrrrrrgh! (cue Shock The Monkey by Peter Gabriel)


The Other Island

Sunday, August 29th, 2010


This is actually the movie we were supposed to watch. Not “The Lost Island”, but this, a comedy. How did I confuse the two? Well, I was too lazy to leave my bed office to find the DVD and the correct title, so I Googled Andy Garcia and his bloody darn movies and got Lost instead of City, didn’t even see City, and who knew Andy Garcia would be in 2 movies with the word City in them, anyway? But since we didn’t watch the movie, who cares? I HAVE NO OPINION TO GIVE. Now it is Sunday and we still have not watched the movie and will probably return it to Redbox unwatched. We did, however, get more sleep than usual—which for some reason is making us more tired. The good news is that the toddler has taken to weaning like a—root to water? Cat to tuna? Like a Mama to her imagined BMW? Although last night, as Mama slept the sleep of drugged horses, my husband (working at the living room table) “felt” a presence behind him. He turned around and there was our son staring at him, holding his blanket and blue glow stick. “OH MY GOD,” my husband reacted. The toddler promptly cried, scared by his dad scared by him and had to be soothed back to sleep. Usually the toddler does not wake up in the middle of the night and when he does, I am very aware of any waking. However, I missed my husband’s cry of fear and the toddler’s wounded cry, which is very unlike me and a little disturbing—because I am a mother, NOT AN ISLAND. I close this scintillating Sunday post with these vital statements:





Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Da Movie

Am so looking forward to an impromptu (i.e., S showed up tonight with movies) datenight with my husband. But it’s been an hour since he and T did their now nightly night-night routine. My husband has fallen asleep in T’s room. I am so SO loving my new freedom of not having to do rocking every night, of T letting his dad put him down instead of me—it’s a whole new world! I made it to book club on time last night, meaning I actually socialized beforehand instead of staggering in all bleary-eyed from rocking darkness and utterly late to find most of the good goodies and non-book conversation gone. I had dibs on conversation and goodies. Lovely! I so like this change! I—I mean, it’s sad, too. But going to book club on time was nice…Gah, the conflicting emotions! They’re like knives (cue “Psycho” music) and—Pygmy People blow darts!

I am very happy to be in such a situation, this will-we-or-won’t-we-watch-a-movie-because-I-don’t-have-to-rock-and-nurse-my-son-every-night situation. You know? Of course you do. While S put T down, I showered, dressed in freshly washed (and dried) pajamas, I have a glass of wine. But I’d really like S to wake up and come and watch the movie. Ha ha! Parenthood. Blrrrrrrgh. Yes. That’s right. Blrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

PB WRITES (yeah, yeah, yeah)

Weaning, III…

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Yeah, it’s hard being a toddler. First, your friends come over for a playdate and you surprise yourself by really enjoying their company and freely sharing all your toys and jumping on your bed with them and splashing everyone in the kiddie pool and getting splashed back with no one crying, and eating TJ’s Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies because your Mama was too tired to bake anything with hidden nutritious ingredients like spinach or beets and all the kids eat the cookies too and you discover this is what a cookie really is, not fruit bars, which your Mama has been calling cookies for as long as you can remember, and you run and shriek and roar like lions with the others and then they all leave and you are high on chocolate chips, don’t want lunch or “Nemo” and can’t nurse anymore to calm down. The injustice. It would make anyone, even a grown-up, cry and resist napping. THEN, your Mama takes you into your bedroom to nap, despite your having told her this is absolutely not acceptable, unless you can nurse! Well, for the love of gummy bears! What IS this pewpy kind of day?

But THEN you surprise yourself (again) by lying down with Mama on your big-boy bed and, although you adamantly, stubbornly repeat NO when Mama repeatedly, patiently requests you nap together, you discover you really are tired and can flop onto your tummy with your stuffed otter, bear, Diego, dinosaur, tiny bunny and sock monkey and—sleep—without nursing.

Yeah, it’s a confusing, painful world—but one also full of miracles that really aren’t so bad.

Already driving! Such a big boy now.


Weaning, Part II…

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Last night S stayed in the room with T to do night-night, T once again not happy about this, about no rocking chair and spigots—but when I left the room, he didn’t cry. At. All. S lay down on the bed and T fiddled with his books, ignoring his dad. Finally S called T over and HE WENT TO BED—tossed and turned a bit, but went to sleep in a timely manner (so did S). When my sleepy spouse finally stumbled out of our toddler’s room, I told him I had once again underestimated our son. “He totally gets it and is adapting,” I said. “Blrrrrrgh,” answered my husband. Today at naptime, T asked for his blanket. I said, “Nap? Sure!” Of course he wanted to rock and nurse, but again I told him the milk was all gone. He whimpered a little, but lay down on the bed with me and—WENT TO SLEEP. For the rest of the week, S will take over the night-night shift and then next week I’ll try it. I would still love to rock T and sing lullabies, sans nursing. We’ll see what happens.

How do I feel, with this new milestone in place? Not weepy—freer—relieved—coping with a stinging sort of nostalgia I’m sure will stay with me forever, through every upcoming milestone. I’m doing my best to roll with the changes and relish each stage. A woman I met at a park recently told me that the day her 23 year old son moved out of her house was the most emotional of her life—and that it still feels like only yesterday that he was my son’s age. I so, so believe her.

My baby!


Just Another Milestone…

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Around 8:15p.m. this evening, my son realized he was not going to be breastfed before night-night time.

T never did pacifiers. He never did bottles (except in the middle of the night the first few months, when S would take over the night-shift feedings). We nursed. And nursed. And nursed. And it was fine with me—and I was going to wait on the weaning until he was 3, but the first major Mama/son milestone of me leaving for an extended stay out of the house for the first time in 2 3/4 years happened—and for the 2 nights I was gone on my Mom’s Weekend Out, I told myself I was ready for the 2nd major Mama/son milestone in 2 3/4 years: weaning.

However, listening to T’s devastated sobs coming from his room as I cringed on my bed feeling like a monster? Like Nurse Ratched? Like Mary Poppins off her meds? Agony, of course. “Arrrrrrgh,” I whispered, which is the gut-sound of the actual gut actually turning itself inside out.

This 2nd year of T’s life has contained so many changes—growth spurts, chattiness-spurts, so many new words, sentences, songs, identifying the letters of the alphabet, shapes and colors, making his first egg carton caterpillar, finally sleeping through the night—such a tremendous year. And now this. My baby. My not-so-baby. My bigger boy. I rejoice in the changes! I celebrate T’s progress. I’m excited to get my boobs back to myself again. I am joyful. I am—arrrrrrrrrgh…

The problem: Over the weekend, T’s naps and night-nights were initiated by car rides—he fell asleep in the car and transferred to bed without waking up. Therefore, his dad never had to explain about the boobs, that they were on permanent hiatus, that Dadda was now on night-night duty, not Mama. Tonight marked the explanations and T was not, as I’ve stated, happy about the news. With his red, teary face and down-turned mouth he kept pointing pitifully at my chest. “All gone,” I told him with a shrug I was terrified seemed callous. “The milk’s all gone.” Yeah. I lied to my little boy. And then I left the room, the back of my hand pressed to my mouth, choking back my weeping.

For a while my husband rubbed T’s back as our son lay on the floor confused and crying, refusing to get into his big-boy bed. Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore. I knew T was exhausted and needed to go down. I went in the room, picked him up and placed him on his bed, all the while saying soothing things. S slipped in next to the flailing arms and legs as T’s protests became more vigorous. “Dadda’s doing night-night,” I kept repeating and, once again, left. I closed the door quietly, then fled down the hall and into the kitchen, hovering before the squeaky refrigerator, the empty sink, the dubious stove, guts twisting.

I don’t know if my husband and I followed appropriate weaning-procedure. I told this to S when he emerged from T’s room after about 15 minutes, T completely passed out. “Listen,” my husband said, hugging me as I sobbed. “Whenever you feel like you weaned him too soon, or should have waited until he was 3, just remember that British comedy where the grown-up son says to his mom, BITTY? BITTY?”

I will miss nursing T, miss rocking him as I gazed at his face and stroked his sweet fingers. I don’t regret nursing him as long as I did. It was right for us, according to my now thoroughly-twisted-up-into-tiny-unreleasable-knots gut-instinct. It’s time. It’s time. I know it’s time.

We’re all growing up around here. It should be an interesting week.

Life is so sweet and simple!


On Folding Laundry…

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Before T came along, I folded laundry meticulously—meaning even briefs and all t-shirts turned the right way out.

After T came along and I experienced severely broken sleep, laundry wasn’t folded, dishes weren’t washed, socks were shoved into whatever drawer and although I never iron sheets anyway, the term ‘balled-up-in-linen-closet’ definitely applied.

I knew the sleep I’ve been getting lately was catching up to me when, after 2 1/2 years, I caught myself turning my husband’s t-shirts the right way out again. Then I sorted the t-shirts drawer, putting plain, tanks and t-shirts-with-writing-on-them in separate stacks.

I once again wash dishes before my husband returns from work, so that he won’t have to do them, which he was, quietly and diligently, for which I’m very grateful—but since I don’t feel the need to collapse with exhaustion and acute brain fuzz when he arrives home, I can do them (we bought the only house on the block without a dishwasher…).

I’ve caught myself playing the piano every evening, while T and S are doing the bath thing. I’ve caught myself working on my writing until after 10p.m. I’ve caught myself remembering to put on fun CD’s in the morning, so that T and I can dance to the music. I exercise every day and have lost much 2 1/2 year old stubborn pregnancy weight. I’ve caught myself admiring my husband as he plays with our son—struck as though for the first time by how much I enjoy his laugh, his jokes, his storybook reading style.

Most importantly, I have more energy to devote to my toddler, meaning not feeling as though I’m lifting a giant boulder from my head in order to drive us to the playground in the afternoon. This means everything to me.

A suburban Rumplestiltskin, I’ve woken up due to receiving more sleep. I am relieved. Although my synapses aren’t firing at 100% and may never again (if they ever were), although I buy too many loaves of bread, or find my cell phone inside Julian’s bird cage, although the windows need cleaning of small, sticky handprints, the good news is in:

If, like mine, your child is a waker instead of a sleeper and your t-shirts and most of the rest of your laundry are the wrong way out and your sheets are balled up in the linen closet, don’t worry. When sleep returns (and it will return, even if you think it will never, ever return, it will return), so will you. Pretty much. Most likely. Seems to be the case! Ha ha. Whew.

Now THAT’s sleeping!

PB Writes

New Blog (Yeah, That’s Right!)…

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Since my little petunia has decided to—for the past month especially—keep to his sleeping through the night until 6, 6:20, sometimes even 6:45a.m. schedule, vs. waking up several times in the night or waking up at 5a.m. to start the day—since this miracle started happening, only 2 1/2 years after birthing my son—since I am getting more sleep, I have been procrastinating much more than usual about my writing and all the many projects involved therein.

So I’ve started a “writing blog”, in which I will chronicle my writing progress—keyword, progress.

Here it is:

PB Writes

It’s still quite fresh, so changes are taking place—but I’m happy I’m doing it, happy I’m turning procrastination into action, not just with a new blog, but due to a new blog and it’s Operations and Tasks for———-moi. No little guy pictures or stories there—it’s the all-writer in me speaking, struggling, finding a means to publication for some of my other babies.

Sleep. It’s a whole new world. Or something like that. zzzzzzzzzzzz…

2nd ice cream of his life (from a soda shop, that is)! Santa Monica Pier.

What’s that you say? My link covers almost the entire page? No! How did that happen! So embarrassing. Sorry.

Fashion Watch: The Man In The Yellow Hat…

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

What is up with this guy?

Camping shirt. Gah!

At least in Ron Howard’s animated movie, “Curious George 2” The Man In The Yellow you-know-what is given a girlfriend who tells him (basically—she’s not too bright—look at her choice in men): “Lose the job-obsession, or lose me. And, er, upset George.” Of course, Hat Man doesn’t get it. Unless you count the end of the movie—when job-obsession wins out with a promotion and a smattering of I LOVE MY MONKEY AND WILL SPEND MORE TIME WITH HIM type of emotion (bye-bye, girlfriend).

But who could TMITYH (The Man In The Yellow you-know-what) be paired up with, anyway—male or female? And why bother pairing him with anyone? George, the color yellow, his hat and new furniture and rugs are the only objects of any of TMITYH’s affections and he almost kills George in every single episode or movie, through carelessness, gross (nearly tragic) neglect and the inability to not be swayed by others (“Sure, send my monkey up into Space on a mission he might never return from! George! Here’s your Space helmet! Get the hell on that rocket! We’re serving science! NOW!”).

Spacewear. Gah! Vomit.

And yet, when I was a child and reading “Curious George”, I did not notice TMITYH’s flaws and pathological bone-headedness. I had eyes only for George being curious. I was never afraid for George—more pitying. I was too new to the world to blame TMITYH for putting George in life-threatening situations. If TMITYH gave his permission for George to play with the radioactive stub of nuclear waste fallout, then it must be okay—and if George started glowing and feeling sick and shed all of his monkey hair, well then it must be his fault, right? Because TMITYH is authority. And when I was a child, I was made aware that Questioning Authority was not a good idea.

However, now that I am a parent—i.e., authority—this much is certain: If it was me and TMITYH in a dark alley, I know who would emerge with George perched on her shoulder, kissing her head and making happy, grateful monkey noises to the tune of, “THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY LIFE!!!”

Unless, of course, George is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, which is probably more the reality.

Peace wristwatch! Fashion, baby! Fashion!

(Peace sign wristwatch—now THAT’S fashion, baby!)

Day Out: Nemo…

Friday, August 6th, 2010

I flow with an attitude of serendipity through all kinds of experiences.
—Louise Hay

Seals! Or Sea Lions! Couldn’t read the placard. Too much going on!

Today being a prime example of attempting to make “flowing” a reality at the overcrowded Long Beach Aquarium Of The Pacific and its magnificent, child-endearing cases and cases of fish, coral, anemones, jellyfish, weedy sea dragons, super weird s*** with mouths and tails you can touch and even a bull shark with restless twitches in a tank big enough for a convention of hermit crabs, maybe, but—a tank big enough to house that many sharks? (Turn Mind Off After $20-something admission fee, just: Turn. Mind. Off…).

So many fish, so little a guy to view it all…

Having been on a serious Nemo kick since Catalina Island and the charming rentable house we stayed in with The Movie he had never seen before because Nemo’s mother is wiped out in the first two minutes and I hate that—

Ah, the mighty sea turtle! He can never hang around long enough…

Having been on a serious Nemo kick (we own the movie now, oh yeah—but I fast forward through mom’s fatal chomping by a barracuda), and not having been to the aquarium since October, 2009, when the giant water squirting squid was all he wanted and we ate next to some kids atrocious to birds

Fish! Fish! Fish!

Having been on a serious Nemo kick due to worry that my son watches too many DVD’s while mama stares blank-eyed into her 6am cup of coffee—I am on a serious outings kick. Because of T’s current Nemo fascination, where to go BUT the aquarium and its sweetly caged aqua-beasts and (don’t know why it’s there, but it’s nice) Lorikeet Forest?

Birds and fish! Birds and fish!

I knew I wouldn’t be getting a nap and I was prepared for that, prepared to go a few thousand extra miles this day, but I wasn’t prepared for my son’s enthusiasm. He told anyone and everyone standing at every case HI!!! FISH!!! WOOK!!! FISH!!! And, when we found the Nemo case, HI!!! NEMO!!! WOOK!!! DURY!!! (i.e., Dory—many, many Nemos and Dorys swimming together beautifully, making kids BALLISTIC with excitement—they must have planned it that way, right? Those diabolical-aquarium-planner types? Or—Disney?).

Nemo! Dory! OMG!

Enthusiasm that, several times, accelerated into chaotic emotion preceding (as I know from experience in Target and malls) tantrums, during which my son shouts STOP IT STOP IT STOP, as though I’m beating him in public (instead of just standing there with a slump in my shoulders and a glance at my wristwatch as he enters serious turmoil). Arrrrgh! I felt bi-polarish the entire fish-viewing: Utterly elated by his elation, then sunk (pun intended) by his own tot-bi-polarish angst. Little guy!

OMG. TG for fake ones.

However (and I’m not patting myself on the back with big whoops or woots or however we spell shizzzz—I’m simply stating my own experience): Despite my frustration at my son’s frustration with Listening-To-Mama, I was pleased with my TONE when dealing with his—well, with his tone. True, I did use the, “We’ll have to go back to the car, then, won’t we?”, but I did not raise my voice, did not accuse him of grievous wrong-doing, did not beg or plead or argue or lie on the darkish aquarium carpet in the fetal position, sucking my thumb before a gathering crowd. I did what I’ve been practicing since he turned 2 and startled me with his first tantrum–only this time, today, it was easier for me—my parenting method was easier—it flowed: I talked to him. And talked to him some more, whatever his reaction—until he calmed and the angst receded from his eyes like (yes, I’m writing it and sticking by it!) a minus tide…

Way up there, fish. And more fish. Way up there…

And then I bought him a Nemo.

Just love you so much!

Blog Break #17,000,00?: Naked Ladies

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Cue the Muzak—again! Ahhhhh. Hello Naked Ladies. It really is summer.

Ahhhh! So nice.

These resilient flowers (I don’t know where they came from, did not plant them myself) are perfect to ponder when one’s brain is a brick, one’s creativity having run off with one’s sleep having run off with one’s “buck-up, Buffy!” approach to certain worries. Flowers, arriving. Flowers thriving in cement-hard dirt. Overnight: flowers. Voila! I stop, study them, sniff centers, sneeze. Thank you for choosing my rose garden, Naked Ladies. Give me a poem, stay awhile. Breathe.