Family Go-Away

Family Go-Away

At first the quiet sounded as though the little-girls-giggles, shrieks, and tattles that normally fill the house might cut through the still air at any moment. I sat listening expectantly. It took half of the first day to settle into the silence. Once I accepted it, I couldn’t get enough.  I remarked aloud to nobody how gorgeously quiet it was, standing in the middle of the living room feet slightly apart, knees bent, shoulders slumped with my arms at my sides, hands turned upright like I was holding something heavy, my eyes rolled back, my head tilted towards the ceiling, mouth agape, as though  I was being knocked over by how much I couldn't believe how awesome it was. “It’s sooooooo quiiiiiehhhhhht,” I said in slow motion. 

Read More

Push and Pull-now with video

Push and Pull-now with video

(This is the piece I read on stage for Listen To Your Mother:Portland 2015. Video coming in July. )

...I envision taking a walk through our neighborhood as something involving free movement and an even pace. No thirty-five pound struggling toddler on my hip or pushing the equivalent of my weight in a loaded double stroller.

Already, everyone in our house can visit the bathroom by themselves. (Please note the difference between ability and actual practice.)

Any moment now, my youngest will stop plunging her hand down my shirt to hold my breasts for comfort, in public. (It’s like her security blanket. The right one, mostly. My husband has asked me not to talk about it at dinner parties anymore, but this is fine.)

Soon, I will enjoy a meal without that same child awkwardly planting herself on my lap between me and my dinner, so that I have to cut and eat with my non-dominant hand, trying not to drop my lasagna onto my little girl’s head, while she slops hers down the front of herself and onto my pants.

Instead, there will be no little girl on my lap...

Read More

Under Construction

Under Construction

In late 2009,  after being married two months and spouting off about how we were going to wait to have children, I got pregnant.

My firm was facing cutbacks and I volunteered to be laid off so I could revel in the miracle of life’s beginnings, absorb the peaceful last days of un-motherhood, and act as the general contractor for our basement remodel.

I finalized designs, hired subcontractors, secured permits, scheduled construction and shopped for materials.

I got to use a clipboard.

At first, I was as a conductor. On a perfectly orchestrated afternoon, the electrician would pull up as the plumber was leaving, and the driveway would clear out in time for the lumber delivery.

At second, I ran into an enormous energy deficiency.  Thankfully, once the construction was set in motion I was able to rest in the company of strange men blasting pneumatic nail guns.

The incubating baby must have interfered with my brain’s ability to pick up common sense signals.  I hadn’t entertained the possibility of a glitch in either my pregnancy OR home renovation. Any bozo in their right mind knows that neither of those two things ever go as planned. This pregnant bozo did not.

A few months in, my crotch gave out.

Read More

Evolutionary Failings

Evolutionary Failings

Dear Mr. Darwin,

I’m no good at math but if humans have been here 100,000 years and have been wrangling offspring all that time, shouldn’t we have more than two arms by now?

Arms. We need more of them. Our jobs as parents demand it.

Every day at 5 o’clock, my two-year-old stands in front of me in the kitchen and wails that she’s hungry.  Every day I tell her that she is supposed to be hungry for dinner, that we will be eating in an hour, that I am making dinner, right now, so that she will no longer be hungry and that I need her help, because in order for her not to be hungry I have to make the dinner and I can’t make the dinner and attend to her screaming at the same time. Every day she suggests through sobs, that I should simply hold her with one arm and cook dinner with the other. She weighs thirty-five pounds. I can barely hold her with all the arms I’ve got.  

With these two inadequate arms, I managed the feat of  breastfeeding while  ________. (Go ahead and fill in the blank with anything except driving. ie: pooping, cooking, wiping the bottom of another child, paying bills, doing laundry...)

Just imagine what could be done with the proper number of appendages.

Read More

Disgusting Places From Which My Toddler Drinks

Disgusting Places From Which My Toddler Drinks

A toddler on the go needs to stay hydrated. Fortunately, my child does not discriminate. When it comes to her fluids, she will drink from any source she can find.

I have witnessed my daughter...

1) Slurping from the mossy slime puddle formed on the BBQ cover over the winter.

2) Licking water off the car.

3) Chugging bath water, every time she takes a bath. (Bonus points for sucking stale water out of water retaining bath toys...)

Read More

When You Care Enough to Stress out over Mail: Holiday Cards

When You Care Enough to Stress out over Mail: Holiday Cards

This year, the children are "helping" me get the cards done. Our table is splayed with cards, envelopes, and postage stamps. A list of names and an address book are buried somewhere in the pile. There are sealed envelopes that contain neither card nor address, cards with scribbles over our family photo, and envelopes with postage stamps everywhere but the upper right hand corner...

 

Read More