I have always had a rule about pacifiers, and I have failed.
Kellen is almost two. And he loves his pacifier. I’m not opposed to it. I knew he would be a paci baby from the ultrasounds since he always had something in his mouth (probably because he was teething in the womb!). But I wanted to set boundaries with the pacifier. And I have. Until recently.
Pacifiers are for bed. Maybe for the car. Definitely for trauma. I even had Kellen trained to leave his pacifier in his bed in the morning. This made them easier to find at nap time, and it also created a boundary.
But now Kellen can talk back.
“Kellen, where does your binky go?”
“No,” he says, turning his back to me.
“All done binky,” I say, walking toward him to remove it.
“No-oh,” he says again. And then I pull the plug and he flings himself on the floor.
And god help me if he finds a pacifier on the ground or sees one on the counter.
“Minky,” he cries. Oh, it’s pathetic.
I’ve set a time limit of 3 when we will give up the pacifier for good with a visit from the paci fairy. Hopefully I won’t fail at that.
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We’re going away for our first real weekend, just the two of us. Sure there was that Fiesta Bowl thing, but we weren’t even gone 24 hours. This is a big deal. I’m nervous.
I’m also getting my PICC line today. Think I was nervous about leaving K behind? I might be more nervous about this, even though I really think this treatment protocol is going to be very effective.
I feel bad. Every year it seems like Dan is going to my doctors for his birthday. Last year, before I knew what was wrong, I made him go to the ER. I had been home writing notecards for Dan’s birthday scavenger hunt. We had a babysitter lined up. But my anxiety was really high… and I hadn’t been able to eat much in a day or two. The upside was that the ER docs gave me a GI cocktail that coated my tummy, and Dan and I happily went out to eat. I know he’s thrilled about having to tag along to PICC line placement and doc appointment tomorrow. But the trip should be fun otherwise, so it will make up for it.
I’m hoping the biggest challenge of the weekend is restraining myself from calling to check on Kellen once an hour. Although that’s kind of asking a lot as it is!
This is an appropriate post to link up with Anna, who has opened my eyes substantially to the business and insanity that is mommyblogging. I think I might have been happier in my little corner. And I’m going to try to do this with a partially chopped off thumb… yep, sliced off the tip yesterday. Jealous?!
If you don’t know Anna (or ABDPBT (yes I have to say “All but dissertation pretzel brain twist” every time I’m looking for her site)), she writes a lot about mommy blogging in general… and sometimes the drama behind it, and really, I love a little drama (that explains my love of RHoNJ).
Anyhow, she has written extensively about how to make it as a blogger, and the more I read, the more I’m convinced I’m destined for mommy blogging mediocrity. Sure I have some followers and a group of Twitter/blog friends from ControverSunday. But I am not doing very good at this building thing. And these are part of the reasons I think that is:
1. I’m not Mormon. Dan’s family is. Does that count? With as much as I cuss, probably not. So there’s like 1/3 or more of the mommy blogosphere that won’t come hang out with me in my little slice of cyberspace.
2. I didn’t breastfeed… nor do I hold Dr. Sears up on a pedestal. And not only did I not breastfeed, I actively talk about how I don’t think formula is poison and how ridiculous I think it is that there are discussions of Nestle boycotts (or, you know, pretend boycotts because those bloggers wouldn’t actually give up BlogHer, something they WANT, to make a real stand). Honestly I think that well over half of the mommy blogosphere is made up of APing, Breastfeeding, crunchy, holier than though moms. And they all visit each others’ blogs and praise each other for how long they’ve breastfed, baby worn, eviscerate the stroller… you get the idea.
3. My event has come and gone. I didn’t know much about blogging when I started the blog after the fire. And I was busy trying to find a rental and repurchase everything in my life and finish making a baby and then dealing with a paralyzed face and not go crazy. I thought that my 30,000 hits was impressive, but I’m learning that those numbers are pretty sad in the grand scheme of things.
4. I’m writing a book. And I’m sick. And reading enough blogs to comment and drive traffic is time consuming. And truly requires significant time outside of the hours that my son sleeps. We are changing around his daycare schedule in the fall, but that time will likely go to the book… and maybe blog design.
5. I can’t go to BlogHer. At least this year. My ten year reunion is that weekend, and hanging out with old real life friends is more important.
The good news is that I do have the skills that Anna mentions here and here. But I think it takes more than that. I really would like to build the blog, but I’m pretty sure I’m stuck in the middle where there are 8 million other mommy bloggers.
I am having a hard time sleeping, so this is an early Fess Up Friday.
I realized today that I have a problem with other peoples’ kids eating at my house.
I’ve been known on occasion to discipline other peoples’ children for not eating dinner (or lunch) when I’ve cooked. And while each individual situation may be benign, as a whole, this is kind of weird, don’t you think?!
As an older teenager I remember being told that I had to eat meat by my aunt. I didn’t eat red meat, and I was kind of annoyed that she would make me eat food that I didn’t eat as a general rule. And now here I am, that person, thinking PLEASE EAT THE DAMN MAC AND CHEESE. (or turkey lasagna as the case may be!)
I think the issue is that I cooked the food. I don’t want it to go to waste. And I really think that if they at least tried it they would really want the food.
Ultimately though, who cares?!? It’s not like I need some 5 year old to validate my cooking. And I’m not their mom, and their eating habits aren’t going to be changed by one meal (even if it is delicious!).
So thank you dear friends for putting up with me and for letting me have this major aha moment (which is now preventing me from sleep). I am willing to let me and my child be your lab rats as you discover your own neuroses! And forgive me. I’m a crazy person… reformed crazy person!
If you haven’t read the article (link above) in NY Magazine, you should (it’s six pages, yes, but if you have time to read mommy blogs and spend an hour on Twitter, you have time to read six very well written pages!). It’s a great piece about parenting studies and happiness… and how nearly every study ever done on parenting shows that it certainly doesn’t make you happier, and it might even make you less so.
To be clear, I love my son. I could never have known that such an incredible emotion existed without him. It is biologic, soul-baring, eternal. But, as the author says, “Loving one’s children and loving the act of parenting are not the same thing.”
Parenting is hard work. Parenting is all the time. Parenting is getting up after a night of throwing up with a smile and a feeble attempt to get downstairs, cook breakfast, and confirm that a car does go “vroom vroom.” Parenting is singing “Run run run it’s fun fun fun” over and over until you forget that other musicians even sing songs. It’s saying “no” one thousand and one times even if sometimes you’d like to just say “YES” already. Parenting is remembering that you can’t toss a dish towel at your husband for saying something crass because you’re teaching your son that you don’t throw things at people (even if it’s something as benign as a towel). Parenting is saying no to nice dinners out for at least the next ten years. It’s constant worry about school choices and structured activities. It’s an hour at the park spent jamming yourself through a plastic tunnel and scouring the wood chips for glass and nails. It’s an afternoon talking about worms. It’s reading the same book over and over to the point that you are changing the emphasis on different words to see if you can alter the meaning.
Parenting is also playing smooshy face and giggles, high fives and claps, jumping and dancing and singing. Those are the moments that make all of the rest of them worth it. It just seems that those moments are surrounded by a lot of “nooooooo”s and falls to the floor.
I was explaining to a group of young women this phenomenon of complete exhaustion in parenting and yet complete love for said child. It sounded like a lot of complaining I’m sure, though the moms in the room seemed to get it. (Though there might have been one sanctimommy there… and I’m under no delusion that there aren’t a million online who think that parenting is just wonderful and that a poopy diaper is just the absolute only thing left to make this day complete.)
I don’t think Kellen made me a happier person. Nor do I think he made me a sadder one, though there are certainly moments in the day when I am happier because of him (when he puts his arms around himself and says “I you”)… and others when I am sadder (when he flings his rice pudding across the room). And maybe this is an American problem… or at least a Western problem, believing that we have children to somehow complete us or fulfill us or make us happy. Ultimately having children is about the survival of the species. And it’s just a darn good thing we love them so much. Because I wouldn’t want to need to fling a dish towel at anyone!
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My birthday weekend was fabulous, complete with stomach flu and 48 hours confined to a bed. I swear we need to wrap ourselves in a giant Purell coated bubble for the next six months.
We had been at my dad’s, a joint party to celebrate my birthday and the 4th of July. I hadn’t felt well, but I thought it was my meds. By the time we got home, I was pretty certain that my meds had very little to do with what my stomach was about to unleash. I got Kellen in bed quickly and found my way on top of my unmade mattress (thankfully the top is plush!) where I waited for my husband, who was outside scoping out the fireworks scene. Our fire may have made me terribly afraid of fire and fireworks. Dan, not so much. We had to have discussions and compromises about the type of firework that was allowed in our neighborhood, that close to our house.
All I wanted to do was close my eyes and sleep. Or puke. Either sounded equally as appealing. But I couldn’t sleep until Dan made the bed. And if you’ve ever had the stomach flu, you know the safest place for me was to stay put until he was able to come to me! So I waited. And pretended to watch the 4th Fireworks show on TV. I’ve lived in both DC and NYC and never had the urge to sit in a crowd of a million people to watch colorful pollutants explode in the sky.
Finally Dan found me and gawfed about having to make the bed. Sadly, this did not bode well for the next 48 hours. I rolled out of bed, laid as still as possible on the floor, and eased myself back into bed.
For the next two days, I begged Dan for Gatorade, of which I am happy to report I drank at least twelve (and have the red tongue to prove it!). And Ritz crackers. And dear God, some Wonderbread. And the TV remote. And the Playstation remote to watch Netflix. And, “Dan can you please hold Kellen? Any pressure on my stomach HURTS.”
For as sick as I am on a day to day basis, it doesn’t have anything on the suffering one does while enduring the stomach flu. I may feel tired or dizzy or achy everyday, but I still get up and do stuff. I have realized that this is a vastly different reality from my husband.
When Dan is in charge, the mantra is pure SURVIVAL. Doesn’t matter if the house is destroyed by the time mom is better. Those diapers? No problem. Mom can pick em up in a couple days. Clothes were strewn about as though the two were holding a fashion show for GQ. Dinner? Who needs to plan when we’ve got some Annie’s Mac and Cheese and Digornio pizza? (I would like to note that never in my adult life have I kept frozen pizza in my house… until Dan decided that he needed it as a staple to his diet.)
On weekends like this I look at people like Matt Logelin and wonder how he manages without a wife. And then I wonder what our life would look like if something happened to me? I’m pretty sure Dan would need to get remarried fairly quickly because if this weekend was any indication, the beds wouldn’t get made (or changed), the clothes picked up, or the TV remotes found.
I’m happy to report that I have been able to eat for the last day. I’m still a little queasy, but at least there is food.
One of the many arguments I hear about formula is how it is dominated by corporate interests who want to make women fail at breastfeeding so that they will continue to need their product.
Ok, maybe that’s true. I prefer to look at it as a company discovered a need (usually how it works, thank you Mr. Nestle) and filled it. Despite many public effusions that women have always been able to nurse without problems because, gosh darnit, our species has survived thus far, the reality is that breastfeeding issues go back, WAY back. Ever hear of a wet nurse?
I want to counter with the idea that breastfeeding has also become an industry that is now infused with corporate interests. I know that I’m going to get publicly flogged for this statement because the breastfeeding industry is “good” and the formula industry is “bad,” but let’s just think about this for a minute.
The lactation consultant profession is growing, and according to salary calculators and online job industry analysts, the pay for a LC doesn’t look so bad. The women I know who have tried exceptionally hard to make breastfeeding work (as opposed to the ones for whom breastfeeding was easy), spent upwards of a thousand dollars, investing in the time of various LCs and sometimes, numerous contraptions meant to help the baby learn to nurse. I’m not saying this is bad, just don’t act like there is no money in breastfeeding. It’s naive.
In fact, it seems to me that the breastfeeding market is primarily aimed at the same women that formula was meant to: women who struggle with breastfeeding. Can’t breastfeed? Don’t worry. For $1000 in consulting fees we can hook you up to a several hundred dollar pump. Here are some breastfeeding herbs. Inverted nipples? No problem. For $15.99 you too can buy an inverted nipple shield. And here is a professional scale to measure your child before and after you feed her. (Can’t afford the scale- well, how can you afford my $1000 fees? – no problem, just drive here everyday and we’ll get a weight.) Don’t forget your breast pads, storage bags, and very stylish nursing cover!!
I know that people will argue that insurance should be covering a lot of these therapies. (Quite frankly, they should also be covering all of my Lyme treatment, but that’s another discussion altogether.) Ok. I think they should be covering the cost of formula then. I would have definitely been happier not having to pay $30 a can for my organic formula that allowed my son to thrive.
Do I want to see breastfeeding sabotaged by formula? No. Do I think that formula samples should be given out at hospitals? Probably not (mostly because I am SO tired of hearing about it). Do I think that breastfeeding should be encouraged? Absolutely. Do I think there is a breastfeeding industry out to make money. Yes. Yes. Yes. Let’s call a spade a spade and move on?!
– Brooke exclusively breastfed for six weeks. When her face went paralyzed from Bell’s Palsy, she introduced formula to avoid giving him milk tainted by steroids. She then realized that her son was hungry, very very hungry. She believes that formula allowed him to thrive. He continues to meet his milestones early and was sick once before he started daycare at 15 months.