Kitty Time

Motherhood, babies, life, celebrities, politics…kitty’s claws come out when she’s in the mood.

The Email Fight November 30, 2007

Filed under: Husbands,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 2:37 pm

Gather round kittens……today it is time for us to roll up our sleeves and discuss the merits…or flawed reasoning…behind engaging the husband in an email fight.

I think you know what I’m talking about because within the past week, I lost count of the number of emails flying across my desk, with a dear friend rightfully super ticked off at her husband’s latest fool-hardy statement or decision…..and in haste…..she has fired off a nasty email reply…thus opening the door to the email fight.

First, the perks.

When initiating an email fight, you get instant gratification. You can respond in the moment, exactly how you feel, with no regard for how they will react because you don’t have to see them…..some of my favorite email fight lines come from a true KT BFF who has been known to tell her husband to “Pack up your shit and get out” on quite a few email fights.

Ahh…the drama…the threats…i LOVE IT. That line will never cease to amuse me.

Works like a charm and is totally amusing when being relayed to moi.

My email fight threats are never quite as hilarious, I generally fall back on the old “If you don’t do X (insert anything you can think of here) by the time you get home tonight, I am not letting you in the house.”

Apparently there is something so satisfying about threatening to never let the husband back in the house…via email fight…isn’t there?

The danger with the instant gratification of firing off an email fight to the husband is this….the lack of response. I don’t know about you but when I deliberately attempt to engage my husband in an email fight, he has a long track record of just ignoring me.

Now, this might seem to be the more mature approach to some…but don’t forget…he screwed something up..thus the reason for the email fight, right?

Right.

By ignoring me, he is not allowing said email fight to escalate to another level but honestly, usually it just fires me up even more because my claws are out and I’m all primed and ready to respond with another zinger and minutes…then hours go by…and nothing.

I suppose any marital counselors out there would advise against the email fight because it isn’t that productive or mature…but whatever…we are busy…we have a lot on our minds…and the email fight does provide a cathartic release that we might just need to make it through the rest of the day.

So what say you, as you head into this first of many busy holiday weekends…to email fight or not?

 

Miss Halfway November 28, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 3:02 pm

As I was driving home the other day, listening to an old Gray’s Anatomy soundtrack, a song by Anya Marina came on and I realized she might have just been singing about my life. And probably yours.

Does this sound familiar “Miss Almost, Miss Maybe, Miss Halfway”

I mean – how many days do you feel like you are the queen of Miss Halfway? Half paying attention at work because you are busy thinking about if your sweet cherub is getting a decent nap or finally pooped.

Half paying attention at home because you are worried about whatever you didn’t finish at work because you snuck out the door a little bit early.

Getting invites to holiday parties and your response is “maybe.” You’re really not sure if you can swing getting to that many parties after work because you’re counting up the hours you are missing with the sweet cherub at home.

Like I said, Miss Almost, Miss Maybe, Miss Halfway. I’m thinking that might be KT’s theme song.

But, before we buy a ticket on the hated Mommy Guilt Trip bus for being the reigning queens of Miss Halfway, I thought more about it. Especially with the holiday season upon us and work parties and friends’ parties and Christmas outings upon us, how can we survive the next month getting away with being Miss Almost, Miss Maybe, Miss Halfway but not feeling bad about it?

Its the same old same old – having the backbone and confidence to just draw the line in the sand and upgrade that “maybe” to a full-force “no” because you secretly know as “maybe” is eeking out of your mouth that you don’t really mean it. Right now, my vow is to only attend one work holiday party a week for the next three weeks.

We are all popular girls, everyone wants us at their parties,  we are the Paris Hiltons of the Executive Holiday Party, but we must just say no. Moi? I’m basically deciding which party I think will be the fanciest and will give away the sweetest gift at the door on your way out and that is my one-a-week approach. I am fully on board with this plan.

As for being Miss Halfway at home, I just think that’s a reality. Some days I am totally and completely present at home and consumed with playing with my daughter. Other days I just am not. Maybe I’m extra tired, maybe my day at work was extra hard and I’m just zonked, who knows but whatever, I am going to continue faking it til I make it and am ok with sometimes being Miss Halfway.

And with that kittens, go forth and analyze your holiday party invites, assess which is the most fabulous and glamorous of the bunch, and proceed in full force feeling fine with being Miss Almost, Miss Maybe, Miss Halfway.

 

Be Nice November 26, 2007

Filed under: Husbands — Wired_Momma @ 2:53 pm

A strange thing happened this morning. It was so strange and so bizarre that I didn’t know what to do with myself. I even found myself asking my husband “Are we sure daughter is still here?”

You got it. This morning started off as usual. I got up very early, snuck quietly down the hallway, holding by breath as I tip-toed past darling daughter’s door, crept down the stairs and out the door, all the while praying I didn’t wake her. I went off to the gym, got my workout done, came home and alas…the house was still quiet and dark.

Strange, I thought. But somehow, so nice.

Not really entirely sure what to do with myself, I made some coffee and puttered around the kitchen. By the time the coffee was brewed and my milk warm, I realized that the house was STILL quiet, so I decided to sit down in front of the TV, open the paper and well…be civilized. I drank some coffee, relaxing, while reading the paper and listening to the news. Was it really 2007, I wondered?

Am I actually married and a mother of a 2 year old?

Is there a sleeping child upstairs?

Or is it November 2004? Is it all a dream?  Did the ghost of Christmas future come visit me and freak me out a bit and now he’s left? Or could my week be starting off this perfectly, this relaxing? This NORMAL?

Around that time was when I asked my husband if there was really a child in the house or what?

In the middle of wondering these things while relaxing as the Today Show came on, I stumbled upon an article on the front page of today’s Washington Post that is  MUST read for all KT readers because, well, it’s freaking hilarious.

Apparently a new law came into effect in Japan this past spring that entitles women who divorce their husbands to get half their husband’s pension when they retire…and get this….the divorce rate among newly retired men has shot up 6% since April. Now, this isn’t funny, of course. But the cultural attitude among these men towards their wives and their role as husbands, along with the quotes in the piece, make this a MUST READ.

Example:

“To be divorced is the equivalent of being declared dead — because we can’t take care of ourselves,” Amano said.

When his wife told him eight years ago that she was “99 percent” certain she was going to dump him, Amano said, the only things he then knew how to do in the kitchen were to fry eggs and pour boiled water over noodles.

————————–

I’m not sure which part I like the best, the quote from our Japanese friend Amano, or the fact that his wife declared she was 99% certain she was going to divorce him.

Upon reading deeper into the piece, I learned that Japanese men view their job as husband and father to just provide for their families and have no responsibility towards emotional involvement in their families. Apparently they never tell their wives they love them, work is always a priority, they can get away with barking orders when they get home, and one woman is quoted saying she received her first birthday gift from her husband on her 60th birthday, he sent her flowers. At that time they had been married for over 30 years and had three children.

Shocking, I know.

What really seals the deal on this article, in my mind, is the fact that there is a National Chauvinistic Husbands Society in Japan, created to get men together to learn how to be nice to their wives. For real. The best part is that the association is made up entirely of men who have been nothing but chauvinistic pigs to their wives, teaching other men, how not to be chauvinistic, and learn how to be nice.

Huh?

Wouldn’t they learn more by having a few women in there to teach the course?

In case you think I’m making all this up, here’s the link, and remember….I got about 3/4 of the way through this article AND my cup of coffee this morning before my darling daughter arose. It’s gonna be a great day:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/25/AR2007112501720.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2007112501768

 

What do you hang your hat on? November 16, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood,Work — Wired_Momma @ 3:53 pm

Tomorrow we are hosting a 2nd birthday party for our daughter. For so many reasons, I love having a 2 year old. She is very communicative, she is tons of fun and a joker, her personality is in full blossom right now and she’ll be excited about her own party.

At the same time, I find myself thinking that I just can’t believe she’s already 2. Like how is it possible? She was born at 8:13am and on the day of her actual birthday, will I ever not stop at that time and just feel myself back in that moment – the arrival of her into this world? I mean – I am just stunned silent when I think about how much has changed in the past two years and how quickly it’s all happened. How did it fly by so fast?

Meanwhile, over in the other corner of my brain, I’ve noticed that I have been very emotional lately about working full-time. Ever since I returned to work from maternity leave, I’ve made my peace with the fact that some days are just harder than others. Sometimes it takes every ounce of strength that I have to get  my foot in the car and turn the engine on and leave. Admittedly, there are other days when I am very grateful to come to work and just have a break but for whatever reason, lately it’s just been  more difficult.

On days when it’s particularly hard, I get by on the fact that I still don’t yet have a choice, financially, to not work and my job provides the income and health benefits that my family needs, so I keep plugging away. But I feel like we all need something to hang our hat on, so I hang my hat on the knowledge that this won’t always be the case. That within the next few years, I will have a choice financially, of which I am very grateful, and know that I will then make a decision.

But see – what I’m wondering is this – I’ve been back to work full-time for 21 months, I came back when my daughter was 13 weeks old. So why, 21 months into this routine, am I having such trouble lately?

Well, it hit me like a ton of bricks finally this morning. Because I just cannot believe that she’s 2. I cannot believe how much she has changed and grown and I am wrapped up in how much of that I might have missed by being at work.

Yes, yes, I know that there are people who believe that it is so good for children, especially girls, to see their mom get dressed up and go to work every day. It sets an example.

And yes, I know that my time with her is precious and I am completely devoted to her when I am home and she is well-adjusted and happy and confident in her place in the world and how important she is to me and my husband. I get all that.

But it still doesn’t change the fact that 5 days a week, for too many hours a day, I am not with her and all of a sudden she is 2 and if it happened so fast already, she’ll be 4 in a blink of an eye – and is work really that important?

So at the end of the day, I continue to struggle with getting in the car and going off to work and suspect that this feeling probably never goes away. So I hang my hat on knowing that nothing is permanent, that I have no idea what I’ll be doing in another 2 years.

And while I’m hanging my hat on this future reality, I find myself wondering what other moms hang their hat on?

Whether you work full-time, part time or are a stay-at-home mom, it seems to me that the reality of parenthood is that there is always something – there is always something that is challenging us, keeping us up at night, or tugging at our heart strings – and we have to hang our hat on something knowing that in the end – it will be fine – otherwise how do you get through a day? So, what do you hang your hat on?

 

Does just age define toddlerhood? November 14, 2007

Filed under: Husbands,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 2:49 pm

This is the question I found myself wondering after a particularly difficult morning with a grumpy toddler and non-cooperative husband. Is it just age that defines someone as a toddler? Or is it behavior?

Because if it’s behavior then I’m inclined to go out on a limb and suggest that the American husband is fighting in the ring with a 2 year old to be named World’s Heavy Weight Championing Toddler, on some days.

Does anyone else agree with me?

Do the following behaviors sound familiar? And if so, can you pass the pop quiz and answer which person in the household behaves this way, toddler or husband:

1. Resisting rules.

2. Acting out when questioned why breaking the rules.

3. Getting mad about going pee pee on the potty (ha ha – I’m throwing you a bone with one easy one because it’s still early)

4. Not wanting to eat breakfast at the table but rather on the couch in front of the TV (now that’s a trick question if I’ve ever seen one).

5. Taking off clothes and just leaving them wherever he/she feels like it in whatever room he/she is in. (another difficult one)

If you find yourself thinking you could answer both toddler and husband for at least two of the above five questions, then my friends, I think we can all agree that there are times when the husband and the toddler are going neck-and-neck for who has perfected the best toddler-isms.

Now, I’ll throw the husband a bone – they have had more years to perfect such behaviors than our little ones, so really, they ought to be better at it, right?

But see, my question is WHY.

For the love of God, WHY do our husbands insist upon making our lives more difficult on certain days? As if managing a grumpy 2-year old in the midst of potty training isn’t enough of a challenge before 8am, why must we also have to find ourselves reprimanding our husbands?

I believe the following threat came out of my mouth this morning “If you refuse to consistently help me discipline her one more time, you are making dinner every day for a month or there’s no dinner.”

I mean – honestly. Why does it have to come to this, I found myself wondering as I contemplated if it would have been more effective if I had threatened no sex?  These are not things I want to hear coming out of my mouth directed at my husband. I just want peace in the land, partnership in teaching our child how to behave like a civilized member of the human race. My quest is not epic. These are not the stories made for the next heroic action film. Mais non. 

It is quite simple and by the email banter I’ve seen flying across my desk all week, I know that I am not alone in this.

So why does the husband do this? Why does he fall back on what is easiest rather than following through on what he knows needs to be done?

YES – I realize that allowing the child to snack in front of the TV, and do the drive-by grazing of her breakfast, for example, is MUCH easier than battling with her once again over why she needs to sit at the table and eat like a big girl if she wants to eat. Trust me, you better believe I get it, but that doesn’t mean she gets what she wants. And yet, I can turn my back and what do I find?

I find her snacking on some toast in front of the TV.

So kittens, I ask you this, what is the best way to respond to the rule-violating over 30 year old toddler in your house?

You got it….pop quiz time again:

a. Calmly and politely remind him that we have discussed the rules that we will together, and separately, implement with consistency with our child.

b. Question him as to why said child is allowed to break the rule in a stern voice as you then go deal with the broken rule and temper tantrum child and then not bring it up again.

c. Make idle threats in anger as I just might have done this morning.

You tell me. So far I have tried all three approaches and I’m not sure if any of them work.

 

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of November 9, 2007

Filed under: Celebrities — Wired_Momma @ 8:05 pm

If you see the sweet word “dreams,” many of you might be thinking about raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens. Bald baby heads or Santa Claus.

And that’s fine. But not moi. Mais non! Once there was a time when we all were a flutter when Al Gore stepped too close to George W during a debate. It was as if he was challenging him to a duel.

Music changes to a cowboy and western….camera pans to the Presidential contenders..on a desert road….wearing chaps….drawing their weapons……

Ahh…the days of yore when such face-offs fulfilled us for a while.

Then came some celebrity divorces a la Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen. The accusations rife for gossip blogs.

Alec Baldwin kept us all fascinated for a while with his verbally abusive message to his daughter, played out over and over, for the world to see.

Then came Rosie and Elizabeth Hassleback. It was moderately interesting for some. It was Barbara Walters’ wet dream.

But see, all of this pales in comparison to the celebrity face off that happened this week…..using the word “celebrity” quite loosely for one participant. Even the brilliant writers of SNL couldn’t have cooked this one up. I mean hell, even Tina Fey couldn’t have imagined it.

Harlequin Romance Hero meets People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.

The man that most women in the world would open their bedroom door too…..challenges the man that only 90 year-old readers of Romance novels from Romania find remotely attractive…..can it be real?

Cheesy foreign fake celebrity is challenged by uber hot superstar?

For real?

George Clooney v. FABIO

Clooney, the ever calm, cool and collected prankster, got his feathers ruffled by Harlequin romance dude? I mean – can anyone stop laughing?

Apparently tapping into Clooney’s most profound insecurity, Fabio really fired Clooney up when he told him to stop acting like a “diva.”

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=7&entry_id=21759

All the while, Fabio insulted Clooney wearing a purple shirt and long hair. Honestly kittens, is there any better way to end our week together than laughing about this?

 

Inappropriate Questions November 8, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 3:51 pm

As anyone who has faced down being married but childless knows…just as anyone who has had a younger sibling get married but they aren’t yet married knows….just as anyone who is pregnant knows..and just as anyone who has a child but still only one child knows…..the world is filled with people who ask totally inappropriate questions.

I, for one, was never really bothered with people asking me when I was going to have a baby before I got pregnant. Maybe it was that I was lucky and just avoided the jerks, who knows, but believe me, I know it happens to people ALL the time. It just never happened to me, at least that I can recall.

Of course, we all know that no one comes away from a pregnancy unscathed. There is the inappropriate office worker who makes comments on your waddle, or how enormous you’ve gotten overnight, or how your baby has clearly dropped and you are definitely going into labor like tonight even though you are 32 weeks pregnant. There are the random strangers on the street that tell you, with absolute certainty, that you are birthing a boy. Even if you know you are having a girl and go as far as to tell them that. They are still sure. Then enter the family member, maybe a mother-in-law, even a sister, possibly a creepy Uncle, whatever the case may be, there will inevitably be a family member (or two) that make really inappropriate comments – usually again about your size.

WHY – WHY PEOPLE – why do we do this to one another? Why do we ask inappropriate, probing questions?

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for inappropriate, probing questions. I, for one, am the queen of probing (and probably inappropriate) questions but hopefully I keep them just to my inner-circle of BFFs, particularly after one of us becomes loose lips over a few glasses of vino.  I mean, what are BFF’s for if we can’t ask one another probing, inappropriate, personal questions?

Right?

Right.

But the random office worker, not a BFF.

The stranger on the street? Not even a frenemy. Just a random.

So bug off, is what I want to say.

In fact, when I was pregnant, I grew so tired of this running public commentary on me that I wanted the following slogans on a shirt that I claimed I would have worn in public.

Shirt one would have read:

“Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I give a shit about your kid.”

Shirt two would have read:

“Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I’m nice.”

I think you all can feel me here. What is it about being pregnant that makes strangers think you want to hear about their kids? Hell, I have a kid and I still don’t care to hear about some random’s twerp. And what is it about being pregnant that makes people think you are nice and want to be smiled and stared at all the time?

In regards to the inappropriate comments about weight gain, my husband armed me with a one-liner that I never had the nerve to use but it made me feel better in those moments, just thinking about saying it. When the inevitable “I can’t believe how much bigger you are than the last time I saw you” comment was made, his advice was to respond “I was just thinking the same thing about you.”

HA HA!

It still cracks me up.

But see, kittens, as any of you know who have one child, the fun doesn’t stop once you’ve birthed one child. It just continues. It just opens more doors.

And so, the inappropriate question of the day that chaps my ass in a big way is this:

“So when are you going to have a second?”

When someone asks me that, you know what I want to say, as my head grows inordinately large and I suddenly grown 40 eyes and steam starts pouring out of my ears as my head starts spinning 360 degrees, I want to say “BITE ME.”

I mean, my blood pressure rises instantly and it’s like I’m going to spontaneously combust when I’m asked that question. And I swear to you, people have been asking me that question since before my child could even sit up on her own. I wonder if my body had even fully healed from delivery and I was already being asked that question.

As you might imagine, with her second birthday on the horizon, the pace has accelerated. Its like, your child reaches a certain age and even if you aren’t pregnant, your body becomes open for public commentary and opinion as to when you should be gestating again.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time considering why this question fires me up so much. My initial reaction is because it is so invasive, it is no one’s f’ing business. But I think there’s more to it. For me, when I was pregnant the first time, I, like every other first time preggo out there, had no earthly clue what I was really walking into with having a child.

This time, well, I know good and well what we are walking into with having another baby, and frankly, I’m not so sure I’m in the mood to muster up the energy yet. I suspect this is a common issue among parents as they consider expanding their brood. Now we know too much. And really, we wonder, aren’t we totally fulfilled with this one bundle of joy?

And so, perhaps I become a vile monster when people ask me when we are going to have a second because I am well aware of the reality of what having a second means, the good bad and ugly of it, and well, maybe in that moment I just didn’t feel like thinking about it again.

Who knows. But the bottom line is – where along the way have people forgotten that our reproductive system and our breeding schedules are only the business of those of us with that uterus and our husband, no one else.