aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Earlier this evening, a woman I follow on Twitter wrote:

BeckySays - Grumpy is such a useful word. It covers a lot of negative ground, and sort of warns people to approach gently.

I responded:

Aubreym  - @BeckySays - you know, I think people should always approach others gently. We don't do that enough.

I rarely write something on twitter that feels... thoughtful?  Meaningful?  I'm usually just tossing off a status update, a 'this is what's going on in my life in 140 characters or less' statement.  But there was something about Becky's comment that really touched me.  Maybe because I've been grumpy so often.  Or maybe because I recently braved both Union Square and Stonestown Mall lately.  (I am not a shopping mall fan, especially when there are crowds.)  

I think things would be so much smoother if we all approached each other gently.  There is not enough gentleness in the world.  I think this is something I'm going to work on.  

In less high-falutin' tweets: 

is watching 'The Big Lebowski' with Tom and Tai. Tom points out there are many f-bombs in. Tai replies "F-bomb". Also - we r good 'rents.

Also: The Dude minds.  The rug tied the room together.   (We called Tai 'the Dude' for ages.  Especially when we couldn't come up with a name in the first days after he was born.)

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Apparently I didn't avoid Tai's cold after all.  I'm sore-throat, mucus girl this evening.  And I'm tired - though that could be from the rough sleep night last night.  I need to remember to give Tai tylenol before bed since he's still working on his bottom molars.  So, instead of working on my novel pages that are due tomorrow, I'm posting the bits and pieces I've been thinking about for the past few days.

Tai has started saying two words together once in a while.  The other day Tom slept in the guest room (he'd been out drinking and if he comes home late and beer-full he tends to wake me up with insane levels of snoring).  When Tai woke up he wondered where Tom was.  I said we should go find him and called 'Where are you?'  After a minute, Tai echoed me - 'Are you?  Are you?'  Complete with sing-song tone and shrug.  I thought he just copied me, but today he was looking for me and he said, "Mama?  Are you?"  And then I died of the kyute.

He's singing more, and the other day when he started to play with his Little People farm he sang 'e-i-e-i-o' (of Old MacDonald) all of his own volition.

We've been going to Story Time at Red Hill books pretty regularly.  It helps to push his one nap to around midafternoon so neither of us loses our mind before Tom gets home.  And it's fun for him to hang out with other kids and sing songs.  It's hard though - he's so exuberant.  He likes to go right up to the person who is doing the story time and touch their legs or just be close.  He tends to vocalize his excitement and to race back to me, sometimes barreling right through other kids.  On the one hand, I want to teach him appropriate behavior (whatever that is) but I don't want to stifle his enthusiasm or make him feel like he can't be himself.  I want him to have fun, to express his enjoyment.  It is a story hour for kids his age, and usually the people who are leading seem to enjoy his pleasure.  I've spent so much of my life worrying about doing the right thing, acting the right way, fitting in... I don't want him to be stuck with all of that fear.  But I also don't want people to dislike being around him.  I know this push/pull is only going to get more obvious as he gets older and goes to preschool.   

I've also been reading a book about being fat in America, and one of the short essays is about the author who was told she was fat ever since she was three and four.  It stuck with her, the memory of being considered fat and therefore inferior, even from such a young age.  I am not saying Tai is fat - I don't believe he is.  But people often comment about how big he is.  Sure, he's sturdy.  I never worry about him getting run over when he's in a crowd of toddlers.  I do, however, want to avoid too much body commentary, even in ways that seem harmless now.  For example - so many people say 'he's so big!  He's going to be a football player!'  This sounds good enough - but what if he grows up to be average, or smaller than average?  Will he feel like he's not as good because he doesn't have that build?

I want to be aware as I bring Tai up.  I want to help him to feel comfortable in his skin.  It's not a feeling that's easy to come by in our culture.  
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

  All in all, it was a pretty kick ass Mother's Day.  It was my second, but the first where I feel like I'm really starting to get that I *am* Tai's mom.  It's surprisingly hard to transition from 'daughter' and 'child' to 'mother'.  I keep finding myself surprised when I refer to myself as 'Mommy' to Tai.  Yesterday morning we were having breakfast at Denny's (yes, I know.) and Tom and I were drawing on Tai's placemat to show him how to use crayons.  Tom was writing names, and he wrote 'Tai', then 'Daddy' then 'Mommy' with arrows pointing at the respective person.  Even 15 months in, I found myself giving a little start of surprise that Mommy meant *me*.  Not my mom. Not one of my friends who are also moms.  Me.  As I said to a friend of mine, "Does this mean we're adults?"  He (wisely) responded, "No, I think we're just smarter kids."  

Possibly taking the Jewish Sabbath approach, last night around dinner time, Tom handed me a drink and said that since it was mother's day, I didn't have to lift a finger until Sunday night.  I said, "but what about this huge pile of laundry?"  He said he'd take care of it.  (While he didn't, it was the thought that counted, because neither did I.)  While Tai had another 'let's be awake and party at 2 am' night, otherwise I've had a very relaxing 24 hours.

Tom got up with Tai at 7am, and let me go back to sleep (as usual).  He brought me breakfast in bed around 9:30.  We lazed around for the rest of the morning, then got an early lunch at the hipster diner.  I had my favorite vegetarian Reuben (spinach, mushrooms, sauerkraut, 1000 island dressing on rye) and a chocolate shake.  Thus fortified, we headed out to the Sunset to the zoo.  Tai hasn't been to the zoo yet, and it was free for Mother's Day.  We tired ourselves out and got to see a ton of animals.  Tai's favorites were the penguins and the kangaroos.  Both times when we were going to move on, he signed 'more'.  He also enjoyed the giraffes and the monkeys.  He wasn't so impressed with the sleepy lions, tigers, and rhinos.  I was disappointed to see that the gorilla area was closed.  When I was there (years ago now), I liked that best.

Tom also got me flowers (gorgeous sunflowers) and Tai picked out a picture frame for me.  We were stopping in a camera store a couple of weeks ago and Tai picked it up and brought it to me twice.

My favorite gifts, though, were the cards I got.  One from Mom, one from Tom's mom and one from Tom (also signed by Tai).  The one from my mom was funny - she wrote, "Happy Mother's Day to a great mom (It takes one to know one)."  Hee!  The one from Judy was sweet.  She wrote, "Thank you so much for being such an outstanding mother to Tai.  He is such a calm, happy, loving little boy.  I think he is so happy because he has a great mom.  Much love."  And Tom wrote, "You are an amazing mother  who is doing an exceptional job raising our incredible boy.  Thank you for staying home and making him.  I love you more than ever."

I treasure both of those cards because there are so many times I doubt myself.  It's good to know other people think I'm doing a good job.  Especially Tom.  I am so lucky.

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Bad Mood

Feb. 10th, 2009 09:22 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Nothing to say.  Grumpy.  Fit for neither man nor beast.  (Nor, probably, woman for that matter.)  However - in reading random essays on (one about Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Willow, from 2002) this quote struck me -

There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

-- T.S. Eliot, "The Waste Land"


And I wanted to remember it.    Maybe I'm developing a taste for poetry.

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
This Saturday, when Tom and I were out for date night, we were briefly listening to "A Prairie Home Companion" on NPR.  (Not one of my favorite shows; I find Garrison Keillor's voice annoying.)  Keillor read a poem by John Updike and it struck me as something I wanted to remember, though I'm not usually much of a poetry person.  I looked it up online and want to keep it here so I can find it again.

Perfection Wasted

And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market --
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories
packed in the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That's it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren't the same.

John Updike

In other news - Tai is definitely on the mend.  His whining was confined only to the hours we were at home - while we were out to lunch with Anat, Karen and Talya and while we were walking with Mom he was totally fine and charming (though still snotty).  I'm glad he's feeling better - when he's sick he's so pathetic, with his big, staring eyes and his little bottom lip tucked under.  

Oddly, he's been refusing the bottle the past couple of nights.  Not sure what that's about - it's a bummer because Tom likes to hold him and rock him to sleep sometimes.  And because I like to have a bit of time to myself.  I think he might be teething - or it could be that he just wants his Momma because he's still not feeling quite right.  Either way, I'm telling myself that this too shall pass, and trying to enjoy the quiet time while we rock.

At 2:30am on Thursday, it will be exactly a year since I went into labor with Tai.  I've been thinking a lot about his birth lately, needless to say.  More on that soon.  Also - I wonder if he has any sort of memory of the experience - our labor and his birth?  A physical memory, maybe.  I wonder if that could be contributing to his restlessness?  

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Feel free to skip this entry, considering I'm going to whine and be self-pitying.  Fortunately I've (mostly) contained that attitude to my brain and here.  I did snap at Tom a couple of times, but hopefully not too much.  I just need a little outlet, so this is the place for it.

cut to spare your brain... )
After Dr. Treece called me on Tuesday, he called the city to alert them about Tai's exposure to lead.  On Wednesday an inspector from the city called me.  They needed to check out the house.  He offered an appointment on Thursday morning.  Of course I agreed.  We want to find out what's causing the exposure as soon as possible.  So he came out and took a bunch of samples around the house.  Unfortunately I couldn't follow him around to see what he was doing because Tai was awake and wanting to be entertained.  He said he'll get the results in 5-7 days (hopefully not business days), which means we could know as early as Tuesday.  Then he'll call and we can figure out what needs to be done to get everything fixed.

In the meantime, Tai and I have been spending most of our time out of the house.  At the inspector's request.  He said Tai shouldn't be crawling around in the house and Tai isn't so much of a fan of just sitting on my lap anymore.  He's a boy on the move, let me tell you.  He's been spending more time standing without holding on to anything.  And he's even taken a step or two in between two things (like the coffee table and either me or Tom), though he's really cautious about doing so and prefers to speed-crawl everywhere.

As a placeholder - I want to write about the following in the next couple of days: 1) Further thoughts on my sexuality, and 2) the question someone asked me today, "Is it hard being a mother?" 

I'm too tired to do them justice tonight.

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I'm not sure what exactly contributes to the anxiety, it seems to pop up out of nowhere.  I know what triggers it - mentions of stomach flu or throwing up - but it doesn't happen every time.  Some days I can come across people talking about it and while I might get a momentary sinking feeling, but it passes through me.  Other days, like today, it sends me into a spin anyd I have a hell of a time pulling myself out of it.  I can be playing with Tai or surfing the web and my brain is yammering on about 'what ifs' and general feelings of impending doom.

Read more... )


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

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