Check out my rants on today’s front page Wash Post piece on breastfeeding…on the newly launched and super cool DC Metro Moms Blog:’
Toddler Time August 29, 2007
So – by now we all know that independence is one of the double-edge swords that comes with toddlerhood. I’ve read enough to know that I’m supposed to keep hold of my patience and just let my daughter put her own shoes on, or get undressed herself, to encourage that independence. We’re not quite there yet – she can take off her shirt but not the whole outfit, for example.
But on this rocky road to independence, we’ve made some progress and I’m learning a few things too. For the past 5 months or so, darling daughter has resisted, quite aggressively, any attempts on my part to hold her hand when walking around. What is problematic about this is that we live in a old neighborhood without sidewalks. The homes were built in the 30s and there was no reason for sidewalks then.
Well now, I can think of many reasons WHY we need sidewalks but the main one is obviously for the safety of the kids. You can see why DD not holding my hand is a problem because she definitely does not understand the danger of cars.
So – I bravely fought this battle with her and it seems I’ve won this one, after five months of perseverance. She now, very sweetly, will hold my hand when we go walk to see a fake bunny at the end of one neighbor’s driveway every night, without fail.
And something really sweet has happened along the way. Everyone talks about how you need to slow down your life when you have a baby and move at the baby’s pace and respond to the baby. But what about the toddler? I’ve found that by slowing down to her pace and walking, hand-in-hand with her, every night, to see this fake bunny that gives her endless amounts of pleasure, we end up on a 20 minute adventure to walk the distance of two houses.
She stops and notices everything along the way. She wants to inspect the leaves, the puddles, a doggie walking by, so we stop and we admire and gaze and soak it all in. The best part is when she needs a break by the time she’s reached the mid-way point of our neighbor’s house. So, we sit on the curb, and we just sort of watch things go by.
We talk about the cars going by, we talk about her day, we talk about the “hop hop” that is going to go “nigh nigh” after we see it and say “bye bye.”
And this toddler time is like my version of yoga. It never ceases to amaze me how much time we can spend just slowly soaking in the little things that I would normally blow past. So for now, I don’t mind moving at her pace each evening and just seeing what’s in store for us en route to the “hop hop.” It’s cathartic and it’s precious and it’s always an adventure.
RXORIE*!*!*!*!F*!*!**SX:LCFPOF*#$ August 28, 2007
That, dear kittens, is the censored version of what I sounded like the other day when I was super pissed off at my husband.
I bet you are.
I’ve concluded that the American husband suffers from one shared trait. And bite me if your husband has never done this – oh- and also, I’m calling you a liar right now.
That shared trait is this: getting through life knowing that everything is just being taken care of for them. Now – don’t get me wrong – I don’t mean the big things like: salary, healthcare, loving the family, caring for us, providing, nurturing, being present. All that stuff.
I’m talking the small thing. And the cell phone generally plays a part.
Example – some evenings I am really annoyed by the time darling husband arrives home because well, I actually had NO IDEA that he was almost home. Why?
Oh, because he neglected to mention when he left, and when I call to inquire, usually the ringer is accidentally shut off or the phone is on vibrate so he has no clue I’m calling.
Meanwhile, over in reality land, I’m left wondering – how does he know I made it home? How does he know darling daughter is already fed her dinner, played sufficiently, is ready for bed and actually, would go to bed if she knew where her daddy were?
How can I get through a day not worrying about if daughter is being tended to, dinner being defrosted, and all is well? Really? Can someone sign me up for that life?
But like I said – that’s just a small example. But it’s a repeated one. We had a more exaggerated version of that very same scenario happen the other day – and again – I just can’t figure it out. I just don’t know, particularly when you are responsible for a life – how you can just “forget to call” or “not know the ringer was turned off.”
Me? I’m walking around constantly aware of what time it is, what needs to happen next, who needs to be where, and so on and so forth. The idea of just “Not knowing” where my cell phone is, let alone the fact that someone might be trying to reach me for any kind of reason, is just not something I have time to let happen. And it makes me CRAZY when he is inaccessible, no matter the reason I am trying to reach him – particularly when it impacts our daughter.
I mean – being that it’s 2007 – should I resort to carrier pigeons and smoke signals because the cell phone and even blackberry, sometimes, are useless?
As far as I’m concerned, since becoming a parent, anything can happen at anytime, and it’s just best to be accessible. So if you hear me screeching ROSDC:LXCE$LIHDSPLKIF!*Q****@$***DS !!!!
Oh, you know why, and odds are, you’ve been there too.
Nature Calls…. August 22, 2007
Is it wrong that I find that commercial with the people dancing about how they have the runs, upset stomach or heartburn, amusing? I think I even found it interesting and amusing to discuss bowel movements before becoming a parent, where nary a day passes without talk of poop. Fortunately for moi, the talk has progressed from obsessively keeping track of numbers of poops and pees a day, to fretting over constipation and needing to use suppositories, to the shock of how the poop changes when you introduce food (yes, kittens, it does get worse), to now talking about poopie on the potty like a big girl.
We’re big time in my house. Big time poop talkers.
So, all this talk of bodily functions has gotten me to thinking about how much I prefer natural remedies to common problems over and above using medicine. Now – let’s be clear on a few things. I like medical doctors, I go to one, as does my husband and daughter. I like hospitals when they are needed. I despise people who don’t get their children immunized. And before we go any further, I am not a naturopathic doctor. I’m just a gal who has an opinion and you’re going to get mine again…it helps that I have a sister who is fully commited to natural remedies and a mother, who is also a nurse, and is equally as commited to natural remedies where appropriate.
So, let’s begin. Today’s entry is really meant to give helpful tips, particularly with the Fall and cold season around the corner. I’ve gathered together my resident experts (read: my sister) to compile this useful list of tips:
For those with a stomach ache: peppermint tea or putting ginger in your food should help. Also ginger tea is a great friend to you.
For those with the runs: blackberry root tea (while sometimes nasty) will help you faster than you can believe.
For those with constipation, yes, I’m talking to you preggo’s out there in particular: flax seed is your BFF. Grind it up and sprinkle it over your cereal or into your yogurt and you wouldn’t believe how fast it will give you the relief that you need. An added perk is that it helps fight prostate cancer, so I believe it should be added to the husband’s food. If your husband is anything like mine, no need to advertise that you’ve added it into the pancake mix….just do it. And when he boasts on how regular he is, like a champion horse, indulge him and his powerful digestive system.
Also, I have sad news for you if you have constipation problems. I particularly hate sharing this with the preggo’s: you should avoid dairy. C’est vrai. Suggesting avoiding cheese on KT warrants severe punishment but sometimes sacrifices must be made.
Moving away from life without cheese, for those who feel a cold coming on: avoid sugar, it weakens your immune system, consume garlic like it’s going out of style (also a plus if you don’t feel like having sex with your husband, your stench is bound to offend at least him), consume Vitamin A for three days, and increase your Vitamin D intake.
If you, or your parents, have inflammation or arthritic problems, tumeric is your new best friend. C’est vrai. My own mother will attest to the relief its brought her severely arthritic fingers. Drop a tsp of tumeric into something, like yogurt, every day. Also pineapple helps, as does avoiding vegetables like potatos, eggplant, bell peppers. Cod Liver oil is also a help in the fight against arthritis.
And finally, in addition to eating your veggies and fruits, drinking lots of water and green tea, Vitamin D is a great vitamin to take on a daily basis because it apparently helps fight cancer. You can find out more at: www.naturpathic.org
And, you don’t need to worry about making a special trip to Whole Foods (or “Whole Paycheck” as my husband not-so-fondly calls it), most of these items you can find at your favorite local Safeway or regular old grocery store.
Nanny….where art thou? August 21, 2007
Like Romeo and Juliet, the end of the affair with the nanny can be quite dramatic. KT believes there are three ways this often complicated and dramatic relationship between mommy and nanny can end. There’s the “blindsided” ending, the “long slow goodbye” and the “diplomatic treaty.” From KT’s perspective, few end the diplomatic route but I try to be positive every now and again. So let’s begin. Those of you who have been in the ring know how each of these end.
First, the “blindsider.” That would be the nanny that calls you out of the blue, like an unsuspecting Sunday night, and informs you that it’s not working out and then really gives you no notice. It’s over. Done. You’re left wondering if it really happened. If you’ve been through one nanny before, you skip over the “was it me, not her” mourning and jump right into rage. If you don’t believe me that you can be abruptly blindsided by your nanny quitting, go read Self-Made Mom. Her nanny literally quit by phone on Sunday night. After her second week of vacation.
I’ll get to the evil role of vacation later. Think of vacation as “the other woman.”
Then there’s the “long slow goodbye.” I, personally, experienced that route with my first nanny. Again, there was the vacation. In fact, this was a 6 week vacation and then she didn’t show up on her scheduled return date, only leaving me to conclude worst case scenario: she was stolen by bandits and was tied up in the jungle somewhere. Turns out she just changed her plans, never let me know, and didn’t seem to think anything of it. Meanwhile over in reality, I aged about 15 years trying to get to the bottom of the great disappearing nanny of early 2007. Then she quit about two weeks later. The truth is, all the signs were there that it was going to end, I think I just shoved my fears into the back of my mind and she needed the time to work up the courage to end it all.
I think you’ll note two commonalities in both of these scenarios: vacation. I’ve grown to fear the dreaded vacation on the part of the nanny. Sure, if they are taking vacation when you are taking vacation, then it’s just regular vacation. But I swear, out of the blue vacation is the first major red flag that something is afoot. Where are they going? Do they have a lover in another town? Are they traveling to their homeland and ultimately spend a lot of time with their children only to return with extreme vacation brain: the reminder of why not working is good? Whatever the case may be, vacation is like infidelity. It’s just the beginning and it just gets complicated and ends in divorce.
Now about the third scenario – the “diplomatic treaty.” Again, I’ve yet to find anyone whose nanny relationship ends in an amicable agreement but I’m sure it exists – probably among the school-age set of kids, such as the youngest goes off to school and the full-time nanny is no longer needed. Seeing as how I’m just entering the mean halls of preschool, I’m not there yet and just don’t run with the older crowd. But I have to believe there is a drama free ending to some nanny relationships.
Sure, I’ve covered the role of the nanny breaking up with you, the employer, but we all know that many parents break up with the nanny. It’s a two-way street, this dramatic relationship we enter into.
I think that one of the worst, most stressful parts of working and parenthood is managing the relationship with your child’s caregivers and dealing with the stress of when it ends. Particularly when blindsided like SMM on a regular summer Sunday evening. That is just wrong.
At the end of the day, however, it always works out. There is a nanny out there for all of us, a good one, and one of KT’s older mommy mentors advised me that each nanny just gets better. That truism is the one thing we have to hang our hat on, especially when you start seeing the red flags that the long slow goodbye is upon you…..
Are the R’s the new D’s? August 17, 2007
Ok seriously – I actually WAS NOT going to blog today. But it’s impossible for me not to now. Surely some of you have noticed that I skipped over Rove’s mysterious departure from the epicenter of all Satanic activity, known as our West Wing. My PR skills kicked into gear, however, with the bland Monday morning announcement (on a sleepy humid August when Congress is out of session and everyone who is anyone is on vacation day) here inside the beltway. We know there was a reason it happened on an August Monday morning.
I think I didn’t blog on it because I was so confused. Rove has a family? For real? Satan can love? And someone can love him back? Are they real or some made-up family? Did they just land from outerspace? Have they been living where Cheney goes to hide whenever there is a pending terrorist threat?
Anyhoo….so I skipped over that this week. But then, see, what a bookend of a week. It started with Rove retiring on Monday (I can’t wait to learn the real reason) and then came yesterday’s late breaking news that Jenna Bush is engaged.
Ahhh…..drug and alcohol loving, chain smoking, fun loving Mini-George, got engaged! For real. Are we meant to really believe that her time as a first daughter started with her underage drinking in college and sticking her tongue out at reporters..and is now ending with her being a mature young woman, traveling to Africa, penning a book with her mom (she knows how to read?) and then walking down the aisle in a white gown, pure as the freshly fallen snow, with her former drug addict father at her side?
This one is too good to skip over. IMMEDIATELY KT smelled a rat. I mean – come on people. This one’s too good. And so where did I head?
Why, over to my fav DC gossip blog, Wonkette…..and it seems I’m not alone. The cruel, mean blogosphere is all over the idea that young princess chaste republican Jenna is engaged because she is PREGNANT.
And naturally I always head to the comment section (after laughing my ass off that the French Press, who naturally hate us because they are French, have the best evidence of her growing stomach), and here is my favorite one-liner about what they’ll name Jenna’s bastard child:
“They’re going to name the baby George Donald Bolten Paul Scooter Rove Cheney Bush Hager.”
So kittens. What I’m left wondering at the end of the day is this- are Republicans the new Democrats?
The wives of the popular Republican candidates are ALWAYS making front page news. And not because of their conservative family values, love of kittens and babies, and praise of Jesus, like the days of old. Mais non! Because they are slutty trophy wives (Jerri Thompson) or my favorite, evil money-grubbing, manipulative witches like Mrs. Guiliani. I mean – this is just the kind of script the Republicans like to draft about the Democrats during campaign season, and here we are, reading about the Republicans like this every week. And they’re doing it to themselves! Mix in the torrid affair with prostitutes a-la-Senator Vetter earlier this summer, and I’m practically laughing my way to Church!
And so, the rumors of Jenna’s pregnancy prompting her engagement are like the cherry on top for me. Suddenly, the party of family values and Jesus, is the party of prostitutes, trophy wives and home-wreckers, and now, bastard children. Meanwhile, over in the halo-land of the Democratic presidential candidates, our guys are headed to church with their happily married wives at their side.
Life is grand in opposite land, kittens.
Chicken Little August 16, 2007
Is the sky falling? I mean for real. What is going on this week?
In case you’re Sleeping Beauty and have been asleep all week, allow moi to be your Prince Charming and awaken you to a supposed grim reality of doom. Or, more realistically, you always miss the news on TV due to Noggin channel in the morning and bath time in the evening, and maybe you’d rather catch up on celebrity gossip online than read the major papers (not that I would know anything about that, of course), then you might not have noticed that the world is ending this week for those of us with children. But apparently, it is.
See, just when I think I can’t be surprised by anything, apparently, I learn that I can.
So, not only are millions of toys being recalled by Mattel, then it goes and comes out that some baby bibs might contain lead:
And then…and then….just when I think no more harrowing news about the pending illness and threat to our little lambs can come out, it turns out that all those times I’ve given our darling daughter little strips to help her congestion – seems that could kill her too:
So, if I were vulnerable and prone to mommy guilt, then maybe I’d be ending the week thinking I’m killing my kid through lead paint with the toys I’m giving her or when I’ve tried to help ease her congestion during the hideous cold season that is slowly coming upon us again. But really, I’m getting numb to it all. I mean – everywhere we turn, the sky is falling.
And along the way, I’m left wondering, how can they be sure? How am I supposed to believe that toys purchased BEFORE May 1st on the recall list are fine? Because I don’t know about you, but I’m staring down an entire series of Sesame characters that came inside darling daughter’s Easter eggs (which I purchased deliberately in lieu of chocolate…who would have thought that eating lead covered Elmo was going to be a worse decision that just letting her eat chocolate? I’m either poisoning her with lead or I’m contributing to childhood obesity). And so, those characters are all on the recall list yet were purchased in April.
Am I REALLY supposed to believe that they miraculously are fine if purchased April 24th but NOT if purchased a week later? Are the distribution channels from China to the US really THAT precise and organized? I’m inclined to think….no.
I mean, how dumb do they think I am?
Furthermore, on some level, what’s the point now? Cookie had a blue hat on when he was retrieved from said Easter egg hunt. Now, here we are, four months later and my beaver kid has chewed on him on a daily basis, so his hat is worn off. His hat was digested months ago.
She’s almost two and she’s survived cold season with a few strips to aide her congestion. And I can’t even read the article on lead in bibs. I swear there is no toddler with a full mouth of teeth that drools more than my kid, so how in the world can I keep up with lead in bibs when I go through 6-10 of them a day? I go through more bibs than diapers.
So what’s my point in all of this? My point is this – enough already. By my check, I’m a parent who loves my kid, just like everyone else, and I want for her to grow up happy and healthy and if I were to obsess over every single thing that comes out on such a regular basis, I think I’d become some kind of agoraphobe who forces her daughter to live in a bubble.
There’s a point to everything and I’m thinking I’m going to probably toss most of the toys on the list, they’ll make it to the trash can each time I see daughter gnawing on one, and along the way, I’ll look forward to baby happy hour and hope for the best.