Jan 27 2009

Powerless

Last weekend, John, Cole, and I went to the closest larger town/city (which is about 1.5 hours away) to do our Costco, Target, and Trader Joe’s shopping. It’s a trip that we make maybe once every other month or so.

Understand that this town/city happens to be in one of the hardest-hit regions of California when it comes to job losses and foreclosures. But still, when that man approached me in the Target parking lot asking for money so that he and his wife and child, a girl- 8 years old- could get a hotel room for the night because he had lost his job and his home, well… I was caught totally off-guard.

I told him the truth, that I had no cash on me. Quite honestly- I had about 15 cents in my pocket and maybe another quarter in the car, and I sincerely doubted that would help him any. I’m sure he didn’t believe me, but he didn’t press and he walked off across the parking lot with another target in sight.

I looked at what I had just purchased in Target- some nursing bras, a couple of replacement bowls (why are we constantly breaking bowls?!), two cheap but adorable baby sleepers, a packet of Obama trading cards (a silly, “can you believe this product exists?” gift for my husband), and a packet of Raisinets as a very special treat for Cole- and felt frivolous and silly. And then I gave my son an extra-big hug and breathed in the smell of his baby neck while trying not to cry.

There was nothing I felt like I could do. I cuoldn’t give this man my credit card and tell him to send it back when he was done. I don’t know the area well enough to have been able to suggest a good shelter or some other organization that could help. I felt powerless.

But I want to know what you think. Is there something I could have done that I don’t see? What would you have done?

Jan 23 2009

Random Poop

Yesterday, Cole walked in to my room as I was putting on my underpants. He circled me once, with his finger on top of the waistband, then stopped and announced “Mom- your underpants are the GREATEST.” Good to know that bright green, maternity undies are the height of fashion, even if it’s only in the preschooler set.

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My pregnancy dreams, once sexy and nice, have taken a turn to the dark side. They are still as vivid and real as ever, but now they are nightmares. Most recently, I had one where I was at work doing some horrible, last-minute, super-important project and I really had to pee, and another where my father called me and told me that my sister had died. I AM NOT DOWN WITH THIS. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. PLEASE RETURN STEAMY SEX DREAMS ASAP.

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Regular pooping appears to be a thing of the past (thank you VERY FUCKING MUCH, iron!), but regular baby movement seems to be a thing of the present and future. How do I feel about trading one regularity for the other? Not too bad, all things considered.

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I have to be “booth babe” for a Wine conference next week (out of town, and away from my boys). Can you believe the unfairness of that? Sending the one pregnant person in the whole company to the WINE CONFERENCE?! But they won’t let me out of it no matter how much I waddle and wave the growing evidence of my “condition” their direction. So instead, I will try to enjoy myself as much as possible by having dinner with friends at least one of the nights. It’s not often that I get to go out to dinner and don’t have to ask for crayons or a booster seat. I am almost finished with the conference rounds for this year, and they won’t be able to make me do it next year, thank fucking goodness.

Because of the conference, I will also not be able to write much next week, but I hope you all have a better week than I will.

Jan 20 2009

Inauguration

I didn’t get to watch. In fact, I didn’t even get to listen. I would have loved to, really, but I didn’t.

Almost worse, though, is that my son DID get to watch and listen, but he did so without me. Instead he watched and listened to that amazing, historical event in the presence of two of the worst bigots I know, and that makes me sick.

I hate that I have to send my child to a daycare where the teacher openly stated to me on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day that “We need to have more WHITE PEOPLE’S holidays.” This is the same woman who, after a black man delivered her new refrigerator, claimed that he stole money from her, money which she later realized that she had hidden from him, and herself, too well.

It’s these things, and others, that make me wish I could possibly stay at home with him, and wonder why he goes there at all. I then I remember why he goes there- because everywhere else is worse. Really. This is my best option. At least he’s undeniably white and therefore worthy of her care. Fuck.

I have not been a victim of racial hatred, but I have lived around plenty of it, and know from that experience that it is ugly. So I am extra thankful today that there is an African American as president before my son knows what it means to not have that be a fact. Even though that’s not at all why I voted for him, and not how I hope he is remembered. But for the chance to have it be so normal and so commonplace that it doesn’t matter to anyone anymore. For the chance that my son won’t have to defend his choice of president to people who can’t see past skin color or gender.

So I will take the hatred that she is trying to teach and show it to him for what it is. I will be thankful that we have her bad example to show him how to be better. And I will have hope for future generations, because people like her will die soon and beautiful people like my son will still be here to make the world better.

She is the old generation, he is the new. I am the transition and will be the teacher. It’s up to me to do my job.

Jan 16 2009

Not “It” Anymore

I think I’ve figured it out. Before we knew that Cole was going to be…well… “Cole,” we called him “Piglet,” not really after the A.A. Milne character, but mostly because he 1) Made me so hungry that I ate like a pig, and 2) At a certain point in his development, as all babies do, resembled a fetal pig. Strange, I know, but there it is.

But this time, I really wanted a new name for the tiny passenger in my body (no, not the tapeworm) but was having a difficult time thinking of anything that seemed quite right.

But just last night, I found myself thinking about how much my lower belly feels like a pouch this time around, which lead me to think about kangaroos, which lead to remembering that Cole has a kangaroo with a baby in the pouch that he got when he was very small (maybe newborn… can’t remember), which in turn brought me to A.A. Milne.

So the new baby’s “before we have a real name” name is “Roo.”

Jan 14 2009

SPOTLESS

Oh yes- and we had the housekeeper come to our house for the first time yesterday, and all I can say is ABOVE AND BEYOND.

She is AWESOME. She not only cleaned Cole’s tub, but she also cleaned the mold out of his tub toys (yes I know- should have been done a long time ago. What can I say? I really hate being around bleach). She polished every surface, must have vacuumed the floor a gagillion times to get it looking so good, and cleaned my shower doors (one of my most hated tasks of ALL TIME).

I really thought the house was clean before, but DAMN was I wrong. I wish I had her for more than once a month, but I’ll certainly take what I’ve been given.

Jan 14 2009

Double Prejudice

Yesterday was my second midwife appointment. My midwife is super gregarious and talkative (which I like a lot), so her appointments tend to run long. I got there on time, but had to wait at her dining room table for a while (her office is in her house).

During the first appointment, John and I stayed in the room where she holds all of her appointments, and never got a look around at the other parts of her house. We had gone over all of our relevant personal information, including the fact that John and I are atheists.

This time, while sitting at her table and waiting for my turn, I glanced around at her bookcases and decorations (which were numerous and eclectic), and noticed the undercurrent of a theme.

I believe that my midwife may be a “Jew for Jesus.” I come to this conclusion due to the number of hebrew spiritual texts alongside the rather large, framed picture of Jesus.

Does it matter? No, I don’t think so. She’s given me no indication that the quality of care she will give me is diminished in any way because of the mis-match in our beliefs. But it gave me pause, because I have come to realize that I live in constant fear of being retaliated against for my beliefs.

At the same time, I recognize that in feeling that all religious people will be prejudiced against me, I have a prejudice against religious people. Rationally, I realize that not all religious people care of you are of their religion or religious at all, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying every time I’m in a situation where I must reveal that I am not.

I didn’t say anything to my midwife, and I will not unless something comes up that I can’t ignore (trying to pray at the delivery or something). I know that my first midwife was religious also, and I got wonderful care through her while I was pregnant with Cole.

But I can’t stop thinking about this double prejudice, something that I think is more common than we’d like to believe. So I am wondering: are there things for which you feel you are judged unfairly by a certain group or groups, and do you judge them for your perception of their judgment in return?

In happier, more non-thinky news, our baby’s heartbeat was good and strong, and my midwife was able to find it immediately. Everything looks good, which was nice to hear because I was going through one of those times-between-visits-when-you’re-sure-it’s-dead things. I’m looking forward to being able to feel its movements daily so that I don’t have to feel quite so paranoid every month.

And lastly, I really think that we need to come up with a “before we know the gender” name for this child, because I’m sick of calling it “the baby” or “the child” or, the worst of all, “it.” Cole’s came to us naturally (we called him “Piglet”), but this one just hasn’t named itself in the same way. Any ideas? Nice ones only- I’m not going through several months of calling it “Leech.”

Jan 12 2009

Come Out, Come Out!

I have a WICKED headache, and my neck is killing me. I so want to write, but I can barely bring myself to type because the key strokes sound so painfully loud today.

But today is delurking day, so there’s that. It’d be great if you participated. I’ve tried- really I have. I may have to make it delurking week, which- why not?

I know I haven’t given you much to work with, but I’d love to get a peek at everyone who may visit this horribly-in-need-of-a-blog-makeover place.

As always, thanks to Chris for getting this started again this year.

C’mon. Won’t you say hi?

Jan 08 2009

M/F?

The absolute, number ONE question I get regarding this pregnancy is “So, will you find out what it is?” A part of me always wants to say something snippy like “Well, I’m pretty sure that we can guarantee it will be human, though you never know what those alien experiments might have done to me.” But I never do. “Yes, will we try to find out if it cooperates.” (Because you know that you can’t always tell if baby’s feeling shy that day.)

Following that, I nearly always get that person’s determined opinion about the baby’s gender. “You’re having a girl.” TO A PERSON, they all seem to believe that this is a female I’m carrying. Cole was the only dissenter, and he refused to believe that a girl baby was even a possibility.

That is until last night. Last night, randomly, as I was buckling him into his carseat, Cole announced that I will be having a girl baby. Not just any girl baby, though- a BEAUTIFUL girl baby.

Of course he also declared that he was cooking a boy baby in his belly, so his opinion may not be the most reliable or informed.

But I’m interested in prediction reliability, so I wonder- did you think you knew the gender before the ultrasound or birth when you or your loved ones were pregnant? Were you right? Or are you one of those perfect predictors? I met someone yesterday who claimed to be, but he said he’d have to see me when I was bigger to tell. Actually, what he said was that he’d have to check out my backside when I was really big. He’s a coworker, so I refrained from making any comment, but it was really difficult to hold my tongue.

Jan 05 2009

Three Year Old Logic

Cole has been obsessed with shows about people traveling around in other people’s bodies lately, like in The Magic Schoolbus and Futurama. When we’re driving, he’ll announce that we’re in some portion of “the Giant’s” body, such as his arm, stomach, or nose (and the only proper response for when we’re in his nose is “Ewww! Boogers!”).

This morning, he came up to me with a pained look on his face and said something about an “evil pop in his leg.” When I pressed him for further information, I started to realize that probably his hip popped when he sat down, and it didn’t feel very good (there was some confusion because his grandfather is also known as “Pop.” and I wasn’t sure if he was telling me that Pop was in his leg or that his leg had popped).

Then he raised his pointer finger, said “Wait a minute!” and then said “If there was an evil pop in my body, it MUST mean that there is a man in my leg who made it pop!” just like a tiny little logician. A logician who believes that people can shrink and enter your body for a look around, but still… The way he was practicing the logical thinking, no matter how wrong the conclusion, was totally fantastic. We’re clearly going to have to be on our toes with this boy.

Jan 02 2009

Observant? Or Demon-Posessed?

Cole does this thing in grocery stores, and has been doing it for about a year now, where he will suddenly stop everything else, look up at the ceiling, and shout “NO!” I could not figure out what he was doing the first several times, and I seriously considered starting to believe in God just so that I could believe that perhaps demons were taking over my child’s body because SERIOUSLY I could not think of anything else that could cause it. But then I stopped, and thought about what had happened in the few seconds before he shouted, and realized that he was still hearing and paying attention to something that I had long since stopped noticing even a little bit.

The in-store PA system.

You know- like when they holler about the clean up on isle 17, or for Deborah to please come check on lane 3? Well Cole, it seems, believes that they are always talking to him, and he refuses to give in to their demands. My tiny contrarian.

But isn’t, at the heart of this, one of the great joys of parenthood? Getting to experience things for the first time all over again through your child? Granted, I could do without hearing every broadcast in the grocery store, but if that’s the price I have to pay to also get to see his delight in discovering every new detail, I’ll gladly pay it. And it’s yet another reason to eagerly anticipate the new baby.

Speaking of the new baby, and of Cole, Cole poked at my belly yesterday and asked “You cooking a baby in there, mama?” I said yes (because… whatever. It’s as good an explanation as any to a 3 year old), and after he ran off again to do whatever busy thing he had to do, I had a giant laugh over it. My father and his friend happened to be visiting and asked if that’s what I had told him and I had to admit that I have absolutely NO idea where he got that notion. School maybe? I can’t think of any other way.

So the baby is about a third of the way cooked, and I’m so happy to be entering my second trimester. My belly is beginning to look less like I’m horribly constipated and more like I’m actually pregnant, which is a huge improvement.