Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On Being Present

You can't multi-task motherhood. That's one of the things I'm learning. I mean, I joke around that daycare is outsourced parenting (and frankly, that's really only half-joking, as my kid spends more time with his teachers than he ever has with me since my maternity leave ended). But daycare allows you this false sense of what it is to spend time with your child. Being at home with them isn't enough. When you're home with them, there's still dinner to make, laundry to do, bills to pay, and sometimes, as I sheepishly admit, TV you want to watch.

All that's fine when you have an infant. Wear him in a sling while you do laundry. Cuddle him on your lap while you watch TV. Coo at him in his swing from the kitchen while you make dinner. Then toddlerdom hits and it's game over.

So I'm trying to be present in the moment now. Sure, there are still chores to do, but I'm trying to save the ones that can wait until after Rolo has gone to bed, even if that means a later bedtime for myself. Because kids know. Sometimes we'll be reading a book for the 11th time and my eyes will drift over to the television, or a magazine and I answer "Uh-huh" to his questions one too many times. And Rolo will put his hands on either side of my face, look me square in the eyes and say quietly "Mama. Mama." His meaning is clear: I can tell you're not really here, Mama, and I need you to be here.

I remind myself constantly of what has become my mantra: he'll never be this little again, or need you this much. And that will always be true. When he's a teenager and barely acknowledging my existence I know I'll look back on these times I tried to watch an episode of House Hunters while playing with him and wonder why I was such a fool.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Rolo: Howl! Howl! Mama, howl!

Me: Howl?

Rolo: Howl!

Me: Do you mean towel?

Rolo: Nuh. HOWL!

Me: I don't get what you're saying. Are you really talking about howling? Do you even know what that is?

Rolo (getting irritated): Howl. Whooo. Whooo.

Me: Wait, OWL? Do you mean owl, like the bird? Goes who, who?

Rolo (rolls his eyes): Yesh.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

The Complainer

I read Dooce a lot, at least a couple of times a week. Often I find her funny, many time meladramatic and whiny. And good God, has she been whiny during this pregnancy.

Take this post for example. Each woman is different I suppose, but cervical checks are not that bad. Honestly. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not a warm and fuzzy feeling either but it's nothing really painful. For me, it didn't feel all that different from my annual exams. I was "checked" twice at weekly appointments--my last two--and then at least twice while I was in labor but before my epidural. And until I read this post, I had forgotten all about these checks. Maybe time has made my memory fuzzy but I really don't think it was as bad as Dooce describes here.

Let's hope she gets an epidural before she even goes into labor because methinks someone has an exceedingly low threshold for pain.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Crack for All You Non-Drug User Types

My parents had very definitive ideas when it came to food for their kids. Not to say, they were health-freaks. Oh no, we had our fair share of fast food. They did have very particular rules though. Drinking soda before noon, for example, means that you must be living in the ghetto. Milk was to be drank with just about every dinner--even the aforementioned fast food. Sometimes even with pizza. Yeah, shudder with me now.

But perhaps they were most strict about cereal. On rare occasions, maybe in the summer as a treat, we would have Frosted Flakes. Other than that, it was always either Total or maybe Rice Crispies. Now you can argue that Rice Crispies may not be the most nutritional cereal, but it's better than a lot of others. At any rate, what my parents were trying to avoid--an addiction to junk cereal--worked. To this day, the likes of Trix, Fruit Loops, and Coco Puffs have never passed my lips. Understandably, I was outraged when they tried giving Fruit Loops to Rolo at his old day care.

For years I've been eating Kashi Go Lean Crunch, but the last couple of months to spice up the morning routine, I've occasionally gotten Total's Cinnamon Crunch. I like my cereal to stay crunchy in milk, which sadly, most Total cereals do not. But Cinnamon Crunch does plus it still have 100% daily intake of just about every vitamin and nutrient known to man.

The other day I asked Ron to pick up some bananas and some Total Cinnamon Crunch while I was at yoga. Instead he brought home Cinnamon Toast Crunch because they "didn't have" the Total kind. Right. That's really just man-talk for "I'm a man and can't find anything even if I'm staring right at it".

So yesterday morning I bust open my box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, not really thinking there would be much of a difference, and HOLY GOD, is this crack in a box? It's so...sweet and sugary and....how about I have another bowl? This is what I've been depriving myself of all these years?

Once I had gotten my fix this morning, I noticed that the box says something about it being a great source of calcium and vitamin D. Now, I knew that Cinnamon Toast Crunch wasn't going to measure up to Total in terms of nutritional value, but I decide it can't be that bad right?

Yeah, it's great source of calcium and vitamin D if you freaking add milk (and presumably drink all the milk from the bowl) and even then it's only 25% of your daily intake! In fact, without milk, it has between 0% and 10% of your daily vitamins. Compare that to Total, which has that 100% of everything under the sun.

Oh you are bewitching, you Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with all your great, seductive flavor. But I'll be going back to my Total and Kashi when you're done.


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