Thursday, September 27, 2007

Closing a Chapter

Charlotte will be three in January. And, after clinging to some of them for more than five years, I've finally packed up my maternity clothes. Tomorrow, I will take them to Goodwill. For a long time, I jokingly told myself--and other people--that I kept the clothes because they were the nicest I'd ever had. And, in some cases, eh, maybe that was close to being true. But like most other things, the truth was a little more complicated.

When Charlotte was about six months old, Thomas and I talked about having another baby. Crazy, I know. Because of my history, my OB thought it prudent to send us to a fertility specialist. Basically, I'm high risk in several categories: Multiple miscarriages, two premature births, my age, a "structural abnormality," etc., etc., etc. We decided that we'd give it a few months and a lot more thought.

In the end, it wasn't just the high-risk stuff, but also that I was tired of getting up in the middle of the night after night. Sometimes for the whole night. I'm not young enough to do well on so little sleep. It makes me cranky (crankier). Irritable. Short-tempered. But even though we had decided that our family was just perfect, every month without fail, I'd experience mingled anticipation and dread, followed by both relief and sorry. Because I always thought I was pregnant. And I never was.

But I kept the maternity clothes because getting rid of them would have been an admission that I was done. No more babies. No more baby smell. No more warm, toasty little someone snuggled up to me. And that has to be ok, because I am old-ish and tired. I don't really want to change any more diapers or change spit-up soaked clothes (mine) every hour.

So tomorrow I drop off the clothes. Which means I'll be pregnant before the year is out. Kidding!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Weekly Dammit, #13

There isn't much, but I managed to scrape together a few.

Dammit #1:
No one should have to read headlines like this:
"GOP strategists urge candidates to stop snubbing minorities"
(Original article, Washington Post)
Seriously. Why does that even need to be said?

Dammit #2:
Other people (ok, usually other Moms) come to my house and are almost immediately able to redirect my children. I'm not just talking about being new and interesting--though I fully appreciate the value of that newness. No, I mean people who come in and are able to offer Hannah and Charlotte a distraction that I never would have thought of. "Pretend that your tea cups and saucers are flying saucers with aliens," for example. Me? I just get so tired of tea parties and picnics that I'm busy just drowning out the sound my brain makes when it shrinks. Which is the bonus, hidden dammit: My brain should be coming up with new ways to think about these things rather than cowering in a corner!

Dammit #3:
Rex Morgan and June Morgan, nee Whosie-whatsit, must be 70 by now, but I fear they're going to be having "harrowing" adventures for the rest of my natural life. I need to work on my filters so I can learn to ignore that particular car-crashishness that takes up valuable real estate in the comics section every day.

Told you it wasn't much, but I'll try harder next week!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hannah-isms, con't

On Wagner:
"Do we have to listen to this? It's so dramatic."

On camping:

"Yes, Hannah?"

"Tomorrow morning, can you wake your wife up early so we can go camping?"

To an overnight guest:
"Hey, Aunt Kerry? Maybe since Daddy isn't here, you can sleep on the couch."

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Weekly Dammit, #12

Dammit #1:
I've been so busy writing that I don't write anymore. Anti-dammit: I really like this project, and when I'm writing for someone else, it's much easier to stick a deadline.

Dammit #2:
I worked 30 hours last week--in addition to my day job. Literally. Most of it was at night after the girls went to bed. I've found that the combined gentle snores of a Great Dane and a husband pretending not to sleep in front of the TV create a very effective white noise.

Dammit #3:
We have a new coffee maker, one which has achieved near-deity status in our house. No more brewing a pot at a time, hoping that Thomas won't make it slap-you-silly strong again. Now I just set it the way I like it and push the button. One perfect cup of coffee at a time. And then another and another . . . And one slightly more than perfectly caffeinated mom, jittering through her day. (I'm not sure if this is an actual Dammit, or just gloating.)

Dammit #4:
There's a new kids show on Nickelodeon that was touted as the one show that parents would actually like, too. To this I had to ask, "WTF were you watching when you wrote this article??" (The article I was actually reading the one time we saw the show.) Seriously, there were only two things I liked about Yo Gabba Gabba: 1) It was only on Noggin once--to preview before they moved it over to Nick. 2) I didn't actually have an ice-pick in my hand with which to jab the memory of it from my head. I almost feel as though I owe Barney an apology.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Aw, Mommy! Did you buy me a kitty?

No, sweetie. I just brushed the dog.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Weekly Dammit, #11

My new template seems almost too, well, pretty for a list of cranky Dammits, but you know I have to do it.

Dammit #1:
On the 27th of August, Hannah started kindergarten (yay!), I started a freelance project (yay!) and Charlotte decided she was no longer going to be napping.

Dammit #2: released an ad attacking General Petraeus before even hearing what he had to say.

Dammit #3:
No matter what the General reported, both sides had already decided that that report would justify their respective stances.

Dammit #4:
According to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll (bottom of first page), 1/3 of the American population still believes that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the attacks on September 11, 2001.

trying something new

You may have noticed that Left Coast Mom's look has changed a bit. I'm trying something new, but not to worry: I will not be changing the template as often as I change my hair color.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I Miss Calvin and Hobbes

I know it's been a dozen years since they retired, but I still miss Calvin and Hobbes. And, as we've already established that I am (about some things) a dork, I can say that December 31, 1995 was the first--and last--time I ever cried when a comic strip ended.

It's not that the strip was always funny, though it was 99.99% of the time. It's more that it gave you a glimpse at what life would be like if we could keep the sense of wonder, the joy in imagining, that children have before we sacrifice it on the alter of the Four Rs.* Calvin, only six, possessed the child's imagination, but he combined with an intellect to match that of some adults. He also had a child's belief in his own immortality and the knowledge that, no matter how bad he was, his parents would always love him. Even if they didn't forgive him for a long, long time.

What brings all of this to mind? Our recent heat wave, of course.

Last week it was 100 degrees outside the house and 87 in. We don't have air conditioning, so I took the girls to the library, where I discovered that the Calvin and Hobbes books are all in the children's section. At first I thought this was a mistake, and then I realized that it was the one place the parents, a.k.a. "the people who need them the most," would find them.

I can't speak for all parents, of course, but rediscovering Calvin was a strong reminder that, while I may loathe the idea of another tea party or picnic, to Hannah and Charlotte it is more than just a game. And when they leap on unsuspecting passers-by from the back of the sofa, it's not to annoy, harass or induce heart failure. It's because they can actually fly. And Hannah's seemingly ceaseless stories are worth far more than the occasional, unthinking "uh huh, and then what?" even if I'm not fully caffeinated.

So I'd like to thank Bill Watterson for reminding me that there is a whole other world that doesn't run on adult time. A world that chafes at adult rules and demands because, to its small residents, adult rules make no sense and, so, have no bearing on their lives.

* The fourth would be "Rote."