Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I'm ba-ack!

Hello blogger, my old friend.
I've come to write in you again,
I guess I've been a little occupied,
Since my husband and I multiplied...

It feels weird to be in this blogger window. I know this sad little spot on the web needs to be improved aesthetically and maybe a little cohesiveness with the subject matter, but, and I don't mean this in a pathetic Charlie Brown kind of way, nobody cares. If I ever decide to write about a subject all of the time, I'll worry about a pretty, presentable website. For now, I'm just going to enjoy any of the time that I'm not chasing a fast and curious one year old. For the record, I am completely in love with the time spent doing that, too.

So, just some random thoughts tonight...

I needed a toilet brush and I remembered this fact as I was driving near this local grocery store that I rarely visit. I love going shopping with my daughter. There are almost always sweet old ladies who tell me about their grandchildren and dote over my kid. My girl waves enthusiastically at all of the big kids and smiling adults. It's very sweet. Anyway, I pick up the toilet brush and almond milk and I head to the register with the shortest line. You know what? From now on, I think I'm going to pick the longest line. Maybe these people are keenly aware of something that I don't know. Maybe they know that products dropped on the conveyor belt of aisle 9 are going to be handled by someone with an infectious cough, bemoaning that they sure hope they're not coming down with something, hack! cough! hack! SNIFF! blech. Or maybe the people in this particular grocery store, knew that the kids working the otherwise vacant aisle were seriously creepy little shits. The cashier seemed like a typically aloof teenage boy. He was annoyingly texting with his phone on top of the register while I waited for him to tear my receipt off to sign. Whatever. The kid behind him, bagging groceries? I felt a chill in my spine as he willfully avoided eye contact. He was smirking as he stared into the distance. I try to believe that most people are good (I totally do not believe that, but I want to,) and I try not to let a person's appearance influence how I feel about them, but he just gave off the creepiest of creepy vibes. I wondered if he was 18 or younger. I wondered if he recently visited the gun shop around the corner with the big sign saying, "Hurry! Get your assault rifles before the ban takes effect in October!" I wondered if his mother hugged him when he was a baby, or ever. Oh God, my baby with her pure little heart is starting to wave and squeal and say hi to this guy. I can't explain intuition and The Gift of Fear and avoid people like this. And then I wonder if it's the right thing to avoid him? Maybe I should also be persistent in trying to make eye contact so that he can see a friendly face smiling at him. I'm really anxious because of the mass shootings and bombings and threats of war and freaking watching Breaking Bad. I'm anxious about the things that I cannot control. (Okay, I can control the Breaking Bad anxiety by not watching, but I can't not watch now!) I felt desperate for my smile to be reciprocated by this kid so that I could convince myself that I would not see his face on the news next week. I am desperate to know how to heal this broken world.

Believe it or not, I'm in a good place. Despite the fact that I'm stuck in a boring dead-end job and I'm really tired a lot of the time, and I don't know how to make time for all of the things that I need and want to do, I am feeling very fulfilled as a mother. I am still hopeful that the bad things will change, and grateful that the bad things aren't worse. Sometimes it's a comfort that nothing is guaranteed in life. I know that I need to embrace the beautiful moments that make up my day. My kid is crying right now so I need to go comfort her. I can't solve the world's problems or even bother to make this ending paragraph relevant to this post,  but her crying? I've got this.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Baby, Baby, Baby.

Before I had a baby, I wasn't sure if I'd ever have a baby. I didn't know if it was something that I wanted to do because the world sucks and people are terrible and I like going on vacation. I was defensive about not having children. I didn't know if it would ever happen, and I hated the pressure that I felt as a 30-something married woman. I was a regular reader of the blog, STFU Parents, and I still enjoy the snarky fun that the blog pokes at oversharing or otherwise obnoxious parents. This may seem a little mean-spirited, but usually, a point is being made. Nobody ever needs to see pictures of your kid's explosive poop diaper. Parents are often featured if they make Facebook posts that suggest that the world revolves around their child.

When I found out that I was pregnant, I swore that I would not be one of those parents featured on STFU Parents. Ten weeks into this parenthood thing, I am often apologetic about posting excessive pictures of my girl on Facebook. I try to insert a little bit of humor in some of my posts, but sometimes, I just want to share that my daughter is damn cute. The thing is, and this may be obnoxious but I'm way past caring, I am so deeply in love with this baby. She really is the best part of my world right now. I think that I'm doing a reasonable job of balancing what I am sharing and who I am sharing with. For example, nobody needed to know how relieved my husband and I were when our uncomfortable daughter finally pooped after a couple of unproductive days. That news, and the method that I employed to help create that movement, was communicated only by text to my husband. When my ten week old baby discovered her lower lip and made her first pouty face? That was all over Facebook. I knew my family would laugh at the absurd adorableness and I could care less if friends didn't "like" it. I'm over being apologetic about it.

I still have other interests that I want to talk about. I'm still paying attention to world events, listening to music, reading books and looking for a job that I love. Without a smidgen of guilt, I look forward to getting out of the house once in a while. I was even looking forward to going back to work until that actually happened and I remembered that I really don't want to do this job for the rest of my life. I established a goal to be on my career path by the time my daughter enters Kindergarten. What an epiphany! Imagining the possibility of my future has been a breath of fresh air after such a long time spent lamenting my job history. I still have 30-some years to do something I love for a living! I have my daughter to thank for helping me reframe this ongoing dilemma.

I still think the world can suck, people can be horrible, and I really hope I will go on more vacations, but none of those things matter (except for the vacations part), when my gorgeous baby is gurgling and smiling and cooing. I hope that my close friends keep me in check and I'll always consider whether my FB posts are potential submissions for STFU Parents, but there's no way I am going to feel bad about sharing my greatest source of joy. She may not be the center of anyone else's universe, but she's the bright spot in my formerly dark world.

Keeping people who suck from sucking the joy out of life

My friend has a friend who is kind of a jerk. Jerkface has some redeeming qualities, I guess, but Jerkface takes my friend's friendship for granted and I think that sucks. It amazes me when high school drama rears it's pie-faced head in adult lives. I always liked Oprah's quote, "Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." Of course, nobody is perfect and everyone lets you down sometimes and we would all be pretty lonely if we ditched our friends the first time they disappoint us. Still, if someone consistently makes you feel bad, and for no good reason, why keep them around? There must be moments between those two that keep my friend hanging on. I just hope that she knows that she's worth more than the bullshit that she puts up with.

My friend's friendship came to mind when I thought about a certain relationship that I am in that I have to tolerate.  It's a long story and this person, let's call her Queen Bitch, she has Google so I'm leaving specifics out of this, but I am working on escaping this toxic relationship. (Before people get stupid, I am not playing a pronoun game and secretly plotting a divorce or anything like that. This person is not someone I have *ever* held in high regard.)

Anyway, I was talking to my friend who is friends with Jerkface about how it makes absolutely no sense that I give a shit that Queen Bitch is such a bitch. Why do I care that someone who I have no respect for has a personal problem with me? She is a terrible person. She is selfish, obnoxious, and still possesses that high school mindset that being popular trumps being kind. She hasn't figured out after a few decades on this planet that being a popular bitch doesn't mean that people like her. They may be entertained by her, but there is no question about her character. Bitches be bitches.

Sometimes, I am amazed by how small this world is. It's weird when I find out two acquaintances who I think have nothing in common, know one another. Here in Baltimore, they call this phenomenon, Smalltimore. My worry is that if someone doesn't like me, she is going to make sure people that I care about have a tainted opinion of me, too. Cripes, get over yourself, right? This notion was kind of put into perspective today when I saw a certain comment on Facebook. A woman was complaining about President Obama's re-election saying that "Everyone I know was voting for Romney? How did he even win?" Thankfully, the world is actually much bigger than whatever local radius you want to assign to everyone that this genius knows. (That person is going to find this blog post and then *shudder*, she isn't going to like me anymore, either. Oh, well.) Me imagining that Queen Bitch's influence matters is just as dumb as someone thinking that all of her local, Republican family and friends represent all of 'merica.

QB probably has some redeeming qualities. She is... um, well, ... I don't know what they are, but I refuse to believe that she is inherently evil. Maybe she wasn't hugged enough as a child. Maybe she is sensitive like me, but chooses to be an icy cold bitch instead of internalizing everything the way I (and all good, polite ladies, as they should) do. (I don't really feel that way.) (I like parentheses.) Until I can walk away, I am going to hold my head high, knowing that I am a good person. And while I'm probably not bringing anything positive to the relationship these days, I'm going to try my best to not drop anymore poison into this dying, obligatory acquaintanceship.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Adolescence, Part II.

This is a long time from now, but I was just wondering how in the heck am I going to prepare my daughter for the douchey little kids she'll go to middle school with when they say and do cruel things. I remember being that age and thinking that it only happened to a few unfortunate souls, and then as I got older, I realized that nearly every middle schooler is a tortured, awkward little fledgling. (But yes, some more than others.) Having a baby is awesome. Feed them, change them, make goofy faces at them. Happiness. But 12-16 year olds? Oh shit. I guess I have to relive the torture of adolescence through my kid. Just when I got over my own... I probably don't have to worry about this for at least another decade but, here I am, worrying.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Venting.

Hi. I'm 33 1/2 weeks pregnant, exhausted, hot, and cranky as hell... I need to get some stuff off of my chest.

Things that are getting on my nerves:

1. The Chik-Fil-A debate. Oh my God, shut the hell up about this already! I mean, unless you know what you are talking about, shut up about it. There are people who seem to think that this debate is about freedom of speech and that it's ridiculous to think that Mr. Cathy or any Christians/Republicans who side with him are homophobic. Of course this guy has the right to believe whatever bigoted shit he wants to believe in. Being a CEO doesn't exclude him from the right to say what he wants. People who do not agree with him; however, have the right to not fund his donations to organizations like Family Research Council. Knowing what happens to your money after it leaves your hands and making a decision to control where that money goes is a concept called voting with your wallet. You're not just getting a tasty fried chicken sandwich when you go to Chik-Fil-A. You're donating to a group that wants to make homosexual behavior (between consenting adults!) illegal. I'm not going to beat a dead horse here, but my God, mind your business. Nobody is forcing you to have gay sex. If you don't believe it, don't do it. For those saying, "I don't hate gay people," I'm sure gay people are THRILLED to hear that even though you think their lifestyle is an abomination, they shouldn't have any rights, and they are surely hell-bound, you love them. Ugh. Just stuff some waffle fries in your mouth. Don't forget to say grace.

2.  50 Shades Of Grey, Red Solo Cup, reality TV, Call Me Maybe, Uggs, Coach. There's more to this but I just can't even talk about it. Just, make it all go away. MAKE IT ALL GO AWAY!

3. Lazy people. Okay. I admit that I can fall victim to the curse of sloth. These days, with my swollen ankles and pained hips, especially. Still, when I witness how coddled and entitled people are, it drives me INSANE. There is a sense of satisfaction when you accomplish something, and if you can find a way to turn even the most mundane actions into challenges, life feels much more rewarding.
A friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook today and I love it. I will never be perfect about any of these things, but I think it is well worth the effort.

4. Unsolicited advice. I'm sure most people think that they are being helpful by giving me mom advice. Sometimes I want to know how different people handled different situations and I ask, but in the hive-mind world of social media where I get a multitude of opinions about everything from cloth diapering, breastfeeding, television watching, children's nutrition, etc., the one thing that I have learned is that there is no concrete right or wrong answer, but everyone feels the need to justify their own opinion. I am here to say, I'm not judging you. (Ok, maybe sometimes.) I just don't want to break my baby. There is no "best" baby carrier/carseat/parenting method. We all wing it and I suspect we're mostly aware of the hyper-scrutinization of the parenting police otherwise known as our "friends" and therefore, very defensive. Let's just take it down a notch and realize that most of us just want happy, healthy kids. This is easy for me to say since my kid is still safely nestled in my womb (or ribs, depending on the time of day). Oh, and stop telling me that I'll never sleep again. I'm not sleeping NOW so your scary "words of wisdom" are just making me more anxious. Also, you know what? I know that nothing can prepare me for this adventure, but I chose this, and I am looking forward to it. Please don't bring your sleep-deprived misery out on me. I have my own sleep-deprived misery, thank you.  I know it's going to be hard and I take discouragement to heart. Please stop.

5. Whiteheads. Pop that shit. It's gross.

6. Awe vs. Aww. If you don't know the difference, don't use either word until you learn. You're on the Internet. Look it up. I know you're not amazed that someone thinks that you took a nice Instagram picture.

7. I am a planet. Being a short chubmeister to begin with, growing a baby has not been especially becoming. There were about 10 minutes in my second trimester where I felt all earth-goddess feminine, but I am not feeling womanly at all in these last weeks of pregnancy. Everything is uncomfortable. Childbirth always seemed unfathomable and scary. Now, I am looking forward to the relief of having this baby live on the outside. Obviously, I am looking forward to seeing her, dressing her, getting to know her, but selfishly, I'm looking forward to evicting her. Anytime after September 1, babe.

My inadequate attempt to balance the bad with some good, Things that are not getting on my nerves:

1. Watermelon.

2. Pineapple.

3. Air Conditioning.

4. The pool.

There. I feel better now.