Sunday, March 28, 2010

Seven Quick Takes!

1. It's been over a week since Chris had a vasectomy. I know there are curious husbands (and eager wives) out there who would like to know how it's going. How it's going is, yeah, the docs are really serious about not lifting anything for (possibly) up to two weeks. It was a full week before Chris could comfortably get Gwen into and out of her carseat, and since he is the one who usually does the daycare dropoff/pickup, that made life interesting. You don't realize, until you have a perineum-related injury, that all those muscles you use to lift things are totally connected to that area. Chris was also (justifiably) completely useless for Gwen-duty for about that length of time, because of the (again, perfectly justifiable) fear that one of Gwen's constantly flailing limbs would damage his tender jewels. So, advice to moms who wish their husbands to get the snips: plan it for a time when you are ready to be without his help for at least a week.

2. If there's anything worse than a hot new movie being over-advertised on your blogroll, it's a hot new movie with a typo in the banner ad. Apparently, Leonard Maltin called How to Train Your Dragon "3D moviemaking at it's best". How pissed would Leonard be to know he's being misrepresented as an illiterate goon, I wonder?

3. While we're on the subject of poor punctuation, is anyone else irked by the lack of a hypen in phrases like, "The best reviewed movie of the year"? I can't exactly quote the rule, but I'm sure that's wrong. Oh, and last year in Tribute magazine there was an article about Inglourious Basterds and an interview with one of its stars, Melanie Laurent. Melanie played a Jewish orphan who set in motion a plan to kill hundreds of Nazis after they murdered her family. In the magazine, her character was described as "a beautiful Nazi killer". Oh, Tribute, please learn the value of a well-placed hyphen: there is a world of difference between a Nazi killer and a Nazi-killer!

4. We are definitely seeing (very unpleasant) changes in Gwen's personality. Seemingly overnight, she has turned into ... kind of a monster. Everything with her these days is a huge fight, and oh my, is it draining. She is asserting her independence, but of course with not yet enough skill to do it properly, which means that when it's time to take off her pants for a diaper change, she shrieks "I do it!" and wants to do it herself. Except she has no idea how. Multiply this by the 1000 interactions we have every day, and you have two very worn-out parents. It took a few days of shrieking fits every time we put her in the carseat to realize the problem was NOT that she didn't want to go to daycare, but that she WANTED TO CLIMB INTO THE CARSEAT HERSELF. I get very discouraged when I think about this because I feel like the next 12-24 months are going to be just long, endless battles between me and my daughter. Her first year was so hard, and the second year was so great, and I just don't want to let go of it and face the terrible twos.

5. It really irritates me when people use the phrase "natural childbirth". As if there is an unnatural kind? Honestly.

6. I took a blog off my blogroll because it constantly made me feel bad about myself. I found myself not wanting to check it, and when I did I was usually not disappointed, finding ample ammo for self-hatred. The last time I checked it, the blogger had linked to an article about cry-it-out sleep training, with a statement like "this article sums up why we won't be doing any of that around HERE." In some cases this blogger posted about her experiences doing things I wanted to, but was unable to do, such as extended breastfeeding. The statement above may not have been meant as judgmental, but I interpreted it that way, and it was the last straw. I don't judge this blogger's parenting at all, but I felt defensive and inferior whenever I was in her "space", so I chose to leave it. There are enough reasons to feel inadequate, I don't need to add to them.

7. I have a new job. It is insane. I have been there for one week and my head is still spinning. I'm really happy to be there and I love the work that I'm doing, but it still takes getting used to. One big change is that I am fully busy, all the time, without any stop. There is always work left to do at the end of the day and I have to be constantly re-prioritizing things to make sure all the balls stay in the air. This means that in stark contrast to every job I've had for the past five years, I have not even the mental space to THINK about non-work-related issues during that 8 hours a day. So life feels a lot more intense right now, and I haven't quite found the new equilibrium yet. I know I will, and I'm being patient with myself. I hope those of you whom I know IRL, to whom I may owe emails or phone calls or playdates, will be patient with me too.


Kim said...

Laura, I'm really sorry that you have interpreted some of my posts as judgmental and that they caused you to feel inferior and inadequate. Goodness knows that was never my intention!

As it is, I think I'll be removing you from my blogroll as well as I now don't feel very comfortable reading or commenting on your posts ... I feel a bit unwelcome obviously!

Anyways, thanks for your honesty and I wish you and your beautiful familt all the best :)

Sally said...

I am amused by the fact that "natural childbirth" irritates you for the opposite reason that it irritates me. What does 'natural' mean, anyway? Very few women give birth 'naturally'. None that I have met (and I have met a few).

When people say 'natural' childbirth, they mean birth without anaesthesia/analgesia. Neither of those things are 'natural', of course, but neither are hospitals, or vitamin K shots or the rubber gloves used for vaginal exams (among other things).

'Natural Childbirth' is a term that exists to make women feel negatively about choices that seemed right at the time they were being made.

Jen said...

We are seeing the same changes in Anderson as well. Mr. Independence! If he decides to get into his chair for supper, the world can go on, but if we put him there life as we know it is over :) We try our best to accept this phase of his life for what it is...even though it is SO trying at times!

Unknown said...

I find it interesting that the smae thing that makes you dread the coming year are all the same things that I get excited about. I encourage Morgan in her independance, when she doesn't want to eat something unless she feeds herself, I hand over the spoon and enjoy the show. The more she does on her own, the happier I am. It may take longer, but the sooner she learns to do it, it is one less thing I have to do for her and she enjoys it more.

Anonymous said...

I am hearing about similar changes in another friend's daughter of a similar age: everything is about "self" now, as in "do it myself". And there are a lot of tantrums, though they are relatively short in her case.
She said something that made a lot of sense to me. They are working on ignoring the tantrums, often they just walk out of the room, because she pointed out that tantrums only happen for audiences. When they leave, the kid quiets down sheepishly remarkably quickly, and then they talk to her about using big kid words... but it's tough because it's repeated about 10 times a day :)

Kat said...

I hope your husband feels better soon. I became acutely aware that all those muscles are connected when I had a badly pulled groin and it hurt to do just about everything. I am very happy for you guys though - a permanent, non-hormonal birth control solution! Yay!

Surprised Suburban Wife said...

Big news about the vasectomy...thanks for sharing! Was it hard to convince him, or was he fully on board with the idea from the get-go?

As for Gwen...I think that's exactly what people think is "terrible" about two year olds, and that you have hit the nail on the head about her asserting her independence. One thing that has been working with Megan (assvice coming!) is talking to her with TONS of advance notice about what's coming up. In the mornings getting ready for daycare was a daily battle, not that she doesn't love it there, but she just didn't like getting dressed and everything. Now as soon as she wakes up I start my monologue about all the things we're doing this morning: going pee, shower, oatmeal, playtime, clean up breakfast, mommy dries her hair, then time for getting dressed! I say it over and over, and remind Megan, and ask her to tell me what's coming next. And it works!! For now....

Anyway, we'd always done this to some extent but now we go way overboard and Megan seems to appreciate it, even being more compliant with me dressing her instead of her trying to stuff both legs and her belly into the left leg hole of her underwear:)


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