How (not) to behave when out with friends

Gavin and I had a full social calendar this week, but it didn’t turn out well for either one of us.  Let’s review:

1.  Gavin

The scene:  3-year-old birthday party.

The main character: my generally junk food deprived 3-year-old child hopped up on juice, birthday cake and Laffy Taffy (thanks for heads up that those were in the gift bag, host mom!).

Drug of choice

The problem:  party begins at 5pm, non-napping child bedtime is 7:30pm.

The result:  crash by 8pm.  Body, unable to adjust to the blood sugar drop, wakes up at 4:45am.

Most embarrassing moment: singing “This is crazy, but here’s my number (holds up two fingers), so call me poopy.” (get it?  #2?)

Photo that says it all:

I’m pretty sure this is exactly what he was seeing

2.  Me

The scene:  a spontaneous reunion dinner of sorts with two college roommates who live far away (Los Angeles and New Jersey – both beyond my daily travel capabilities).

The main character: my generally alcohol deprived self with a new found adoration for Prosecco.

Drug of choice

The problem:  dinner begins at 7pm, non-napping mom bedtime is 9:30.

The result:  crash by 10pm.  Body, unable to adjust to the blood sugar drop, wakes up at 5:15am.

Most embarrassing moment:  drunk tweeting Outlaw Mama demanding to know her astrological sign.

Photo that says it all:

Someone help us.

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To know my son is to love my son (it gets better)

It took me a long time to get to love my baby boy.  Unlike some moms, I was not engulfed by feelings of love the minute he entered the world.  And not because he tried to kill me (I don’t hold that against him).  Sure I felt something, I think, though in hindsight it is hard to remember.  Any feeling I had was completely overwhelmed by how much he needed me.  Nursing 24/7, colic, a disdain for sleep that he carries with him today – he was a high maintenance baby.  Or maybe I was a high maintenance mom who had just spent my entire pregnancy doing what I wanted when I wanted.

In any event, his dependence on me was crushing.

You might be shaking your head right now, little Miss “I-Have-All-The-Answers” and “it’s-all-so-simple.”  You probably think this was my doing.  That somehow I made him this way.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But I have seen enough first time moms at this point to realize something was off.  Not everyone had as hard of a time as we did – me and Gavin.

It’s true!

Now that he is 3, I realize he is just a particular person.  He likes things just so.  Without being able to communicate those preferences, I can imagine infant-hood was like prison for him.  These days, he communicates like a champ.  We can talk about things, I can reason with him, and we can generally come to a mutually acceptable agreement on any matter (except why he can’t have Italian Ices for breakfast).

And the fact of the matter is, I adore him.  My heart explodes with unconditional love at some point almost every day.  Making him laugh is like a drug to me.  His hugs warm my heart and soul.  Hearing his enthusiasm while singing invigorates me.  Watching him overcome a fear inspires me.

The beauty of wonder

One of our favorite things to do before bed is watch one of the HBO “Classical Baby” series.  Typically it’s the Art Show or Classical Baby 2.  On a rare but delightful occasion we watch The Poetry Show.  The last poem, narrated by my dear dear stalking target friend Gwyneth Paltrow, brings tears to my eyes each and every time.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

It took us some time, but our bond is air tight.

Love – pure and simple

Even when he drinks all my orange juice:

Let me tell you, this was a treat for me during Father’s Day brunch. An orange juice in NYC can cost more than $5! For a small! Please applaud my restraint here.

So to any new moms out there who might be struggling with this parenting thing I can assure you of three things:

1.  You are NOT alone; and

2.  All the pain you are enduring is SO worth it; because

3.  It gets so much better!

My forever baby love

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Don’t worry, the bible confuses me too Kimmie.

Ugh.

The novelty of the new apartment and new playgrounds has worn off and the kids are screaming for routine.  No one is sleeping, everything feels strange.  The heat is suffocating.  So I am stumbling through day by day, trying to figure it all out.

Here’s one lesson from this morning:  when your 3-year-old wakes up with a stiff neck so bad he can’t move without crying out in excruciating pain, try a little Icy Hot.  That intense, alarming, completely foreign sensation will make him actually crawl out of his skin.  Exorcism completed.  Problem solved.  You’re welcome.

In other Bible news, I’ll leave you with a wonderful story I heard recently.

Close your eyes.  Picture it. 

The late 1st century BC a young woman by the name of Mary married a man named Joseph at the age of 12 and accompanied him to Bethlehem.  They later divorced.  She engaged in sexual intercourse many times with multiple partners from the age of 14 to 31.  Some of these encounters were filmed and viewed by millions of people around the world.

At the age of 40 when Mary decided she wanted to have a child, she slept all night outside, waiting patiently for an opening at the local fertility clinic.  Once admitted, she was artificially inseminated.  Thus was conceived the baby Jesus.

This is the Gospel according to Kim Kardashian.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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Novel idea (setting)

Last month I boldly declared myself a writer, so I thought I should get to some actual writing.  One particular idea has been lingering in my mind for a few years and I’ve been slowly fleshing it out since April.

Over the last week I have been overflowing with thoughts and questions about my characters – their goals, their desires, their arcs, their obstacles.  Consequently I have little else on my mind so I hope you won’t mind this departure from my typical mommy blog fare.  If you mind, I’ll be back to it soon enough.  Check back in a few days.

If you are game for taking a ride into my fiction world, today’s topic is setting.  I, personally, am a city girl and most of my travel consists of visiting other cities around the world or tropical islands.  I have little to no experience with what I envision as the setting for my story.

The novel is a dark thriller – no mommies or budding romances here.  I might call it fantasy, but don’t worry, there are no goblins or trolls or vampires either.  I feel in my gut it needs to be in particular place, even though I have no first hand knowledge of this location.

This is the rough sketch I have in my mind:

-the town is full of big, old houses with rickety fences in disrepair.

-hot spots include a bar, a hospital and a university.

-the landscape is sparse.  The summers are blistering, the winters frigid.  No tree-lined streets.  No lush gardens.  Even if the climate would sustain them, the inhabitants couldn’t.

-there are wooded areas.  Or at least one.

-there may (or may not) be a lake.

-most of the residents have lived their whole lives in this town, though a fair amount have gone off to war and returned.

This is where I turn to you my friends. Have you been to this place?  Do you know it otherwise?  Where in the US is it (town, state, region)?  Are there other distinguishing features that pop into your head?

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My Tasmanian Devil baby

Daughter /ˈdôtər/.  Noun: a female offspring, known to produce excessive gray hairs and worry wrinkles, and inspire nightmares on a regular basis FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

Yep, that’s my daughter.

At the playground, she doesn’t seem to understand that she can’t just waltz off a 2 foot step.

This won’t result in a concussion, right?

To make matters worse, after discovering this spin-ny thing at our new playground she’s pretty sure she can fly.

Pure unadulterated joy

She’s not much better in the house either.  Since she first learned to crawl she can’t pass by an outlet without sticking her finger in it.

And now that she is older and so much wiser, she loves to pull those plastic covers out…and put them back in.  Over and over.

So much for baby-proofing. Do they have a ‘Chloe-proofing’ aisle at Target?

Basically, she’s always looking for trouble.

Don’t mind me, nothing to see here.

And when she finds it, it’s serious stuff – like poisonous chemicals, risk of electrocution or serious head trauma (see above for photographic evidence). So I scold her in my “I’m-so-serious-my-voice-is-three-octaves-lower-DO-NOT-TOUCH-THAT-EVER-AGAIN” tone.  It’s so potent my 3 year-old in the other room starts whimpering from the ferocity of my voice.  But Chloe?  This is her reaction:

“Awww, come on mom! Lighten up.”                     Then she pokes me in the eye or sticks her finger up my nose.  I’m not kidding.

I know she loves me, yet most of her daily effort seems to be directed towards ensuring my early demise.

What am I supposed to do with this child?  I cannot find a copy of “What to Expect When You’re Child is the Tasmanian Devil” anywhere.

According to Wikipedia, the animal by the same name will “eat household products if humans are living nearby.” I wonder if he enjoys lemon scented pledge as much as Chloe would.

 

Help?!?!

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