April 2008 Archives


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Another perfectly good white boy goes to waste. And a talented one at that.

May 15th

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On May 15th the new babysitter/ Love Of My Life will be starting the Summer of Love with us. On that day I expect I will pace around the bedroom a few times wringing my hands, repeating "So much time! So much peace!" I'm not going to say that I won't know what to do with myself. The list is long.

This also means that I will have to fire the current babysitter. And it may surprise you to know that I find nothing fun about that. The problem has become, not so much her lack of creativity with August, but Augusts lack of respect for her. August bosses her around like a servant. It's true that she has been trying this Cleopatra persona out on everyone lately, including me, but I get to dish it back to her or ignore her completely when she's over the top. The babysitter... she's a bit lost with this. As a result, August has been telling me that she doesn't like the babysitter. Hard to argue with that. 

But what to say? "It's not you, it's the kid. She just doesn't like you."  A bit harsh, right? 

On the other hand, judging from the way my child has been acting the last few days, the babysitter might have to stifle a huge sigh of relief when I tell her she longer has to endure August's unreasonable demands for - well, everything.

Out of Order

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I'm pretty sure I talked about this on my previous blog but what the hell. It's happening again.

We all have heard the being pregnant makes a woman more emotional. But to say that's what happens with me is like saying that the main result of the fall of the Berlin Wall was that it made a small section of Germany more breezy.
See what I mean? If you were pregnant, you'd get that.

Anyway, what happens to me when my hormones are messed with is that my emotional filter dissolves. Meaning, all the self control and wisdom I use to keep myself from being angry, crying or generally drawing too much attention to myself or my insecurities is gone. If I feel angry, I lash out. If I feel happy, I laugh. If I am moved or saddened, I cry. And no matter how much I prided myself in my ability to remain stoic and unfazed during times of stress in the past, these present days are littered with moments when my true emotions jump out there for all to see.

It's maddening for a self control freak like me.

That being said, the worst possible place for me to be is a family gathering. A  gathering  where I am not actually blood related to the family. One where dinner is served at 8:30 - 2 hours past my normal time to eat and a half hour past my daughter's bedtime.

The truth is, even on a good day, MJ's large family gatherings unnerve me. They yell and interrupt each other a  lot. The atmosphere is chaotic and stressful compared to how I grew up. Each get-together sets me back a day or two on whatever discipline/schedule progress I've made with August. When I'm with them, I sort of feel invisible because I lack the energy or desire to scream loud enough to be heard. Baring in mind that these are totally nice people and I know I am lucky they are so kind and well intended. It does not change the fact that even after sharing their last name for 2 years, I still feel no more a part of their clan than I would feel a part of the Boston Red Sox if I attended all their home games.

And I think all of these things are the reasons why I left the Seder Saturday night and  sat in the downstairs bathroom crying while everyone else was eating matzo ball soup.

Admitting that I am this lonely for some familiarity and this irritated by lack of connection to a family I should be able to trust and feel secure in is not something I ever wanted to do. Were I not pregnant and my emotions able to be controlled, I believe I would be still convincing myself that none of this matters. I would have eaten my soup, stumbled through the rest of the Seder with a convincing smile and possibly even enjoyed myself once I blocked out the fact that I have no meaningful conversations with anyone that do not revolve around my daughter. I wouldn't have been angry; I would have been numb. I would have liked that because with the stoic scenario, there is no possibility of hurting anyone's feelings.

But I don't have that luxury. I cried like a baby when we watched Juno in the cinema a month or so ago because I have an enormous amount of sympathy for teenage moms and mom-hopefuls. And I cried harder Saturday night because that is truly how sad I am most days to not have the relationship with my husband's family that I wish I did.


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At the park today I actually broke a sweat. The sun came out like a rescue plane on LOST and all the mothers and toddlers flocked to the playground. They were weeping, tearing at their clothes. August looked at me with wide eyes and asked if God had come back.

If it goes back below 45 degrees in the next two days, I'm afraid there will be mass suicides in NJ. For now, life goes on.

aj sunglasses.jpg

I'm sort of in love with Twitter. This is likely because it doesn't make me feel guilty for writing short, meaningless sentences. 

A sampling:


littlehitler.jpgI've been Googling this sentence:
"2 year old hates babysitter"

That should tell you how my afternoon is going. 

Before I type the rest of this story, I feel obliged to inform you that everyone I know considers my daughter to be the best behaved child in the county, the country, the universe... okay EVER. She sincerely is adored and worshiped by all who know her. And so I can't, for the life of me (as my mother says), figure out why she has succumbed to the commonplace actions of a typical two year old. 

I remember the first few times I heard her say the word "No". It was cute. Look at her, I thought. My daughter, asserting herself. She knows what she wants!
But here lately, when she says it robotically, repeatedly, what I am thinking is, You will not win, you little turd. I am bigger, wiser and I will not let you break me.

Thankfully, she cannot read my mind - though I swear she's trying. She looks at me with the contempt of Stewie. She searches my eyes for any sign of weakness.

But the hardest part of parenting these days is when she is acting the opposite of what I've just spoken. She clings to me as if we are on a sinking ship and I am her only hope. And at no other time is this drama higher than when the babysitter arrives once a week to give me a much needed three hour break from mommy-hood. You would think our 15 year old, cheerleader babysitter is a 300 pond monster who wields a cigarette as a disciplinary tool. Granted, the sitter isn't exactly the brightest star in these polluted skies, she is certainly nice. And I am always here, within listening distance, all three hours of this torture. I am merely upstairs, typing a blog entry for example.

The Great Wise Internet tells me this is just a phase. I've concluded that is what most of parenting is. Outlasting the Phases without damaging you or the child too much. I've given up on not damaging her at all. I dig my heals in for her early teens. At some point, I expect her to hate me.

But not now. Right now she adores me, needs me. If anything she is dependent upon me as someone with who she can safely try out her newly discovered ability to demand M&M's and "One more book". She needs to practice reading minds. She will need this ability when she gets married someday or tries to work through health insurance problems.