Friday, February 26, 2010

Sabado Gigante

Last Saturday, after we'd had a full week to recover from family and friends descending on our house to wish my husband a happy birthday, we finally had a "normal' weekend back to ourselves. All week I was looking forward to a nice, just-the-three-of-us weekend with our usual errands, taking in some college sports, just generally chillaxin' in the chill zone (kudos to those who correctly identified that reference). And then on Thursday night I came down with a shuttering case of the stomach flu. For 24 hours I rotated sleep, trips to the bathroom, chugs of Pedialyte, doses of Tylenol and cupfuls of Pepto. All the while, my superfantastic husband cared for Baby. Saturday morning comes and I'm, thankfully, feeling great. I nurse Baby and decide a family breakfast outing is in order, since my stomach has been completely emptied and is in desperate need of a refill. And THEN what happened? This all sounds innocent enough. Where the hell is this story going, Moleskine Mama? Well, I'll TELL you. After we took in about an hour of a local college sporting event, my husband dropped Baby and me off at home and headed back to watch the rest of the game. I asked if he was going to be gone long, and he nonchalantly said probably not, he'd probably be too tired to stay out long. HOURS tick by. I text him asking him to pick up some dinner on his way home. I ask when I might be expecting food (if this post tells you anything about me, it's that I am ALL ABOUT food...apparently) to be in my stomach. Husband says at least an hour or two. FOR REALZ? This is when my ugly completely-irrational-I-do-everything-because-I'm-the-mom-overlord beast rears its nasty head and I snippily text back, "Don't bother, I'll be in bed by then." Husband doesn't let on that he senses texting tone and just replies, "Sorry." I sullenly wash bottles, yearn for some fast food, but out of principle refuse to eat anything in the house. Because maybe...just MAYBE...the Husband will show up with surprise! Some food, just in case you were still up when I got home! Watch the time click by, get hungrier and hungrier, mentally refuse to eat any food unless it's of the surprise variety, give up, brush teeth, go to bed, pass out of STARVATION.
Sunday morning comes, and while I, empty stomached and cranky, am changing Baby, Husband cheerily strolls in and asks what our plans are for the day. Ugly completely-irrational-I-do-everything-because-I'm-the-mom-overlord beast surfaces and I snap, "I'M doing whatever I feel like doing for hours at a time while YOU watch the Baby." He innocently asks what that might entail, and I grumpily mumble something about whatever I damn well feel like, who cares. Who knew when he walked into the nursery that he was going to face my passive-aggressive wrath? The poor guy would have been much better prepared had he come bursting in with a pitchfork and torch.
Fast-forward to an almost-silent car ride to church, numerous compliments on how beautiful our baby is, me putting on a smile because that's what you do, and sitting down for our very first New Member Class. Where I am schooled in a good 'ole fashioned MAJOR Catholic guilt-fest. Father J talks about open communication, about how humans really at a basic level just need to speak and to be heard. And an instant sensation of mighty, mighty guilt piles on to me.
Really, people, what freaking bug crawled up my butt that I needed to be so nasty to my husband? AFTER HE CARED FOR ME AND THE BABY WHILE I WAS SICK. Commence self-hatred. I'd like to think I would have had this revelation regardless of church attendance (Right? I'm capable of these things...).
After my cloud of unworthiness lifted, I realized that sometimes we just have freaking bugs crawl up our butts. Sometimes we just have DAYS. I just wish there was a way to arm my husband with that pitchfork and torch before I drop the passive-aggressive-snippy-ugly-mood bomb on him.
So here, here, husbands all over the world. And life partners and spouses in general. You put up with a lot of crap (not including the literal crap your sweet babies produce), and I can't thank you enough for your patience, understanding and willingness to chock it up to just a teensy bit of crazy. The teensiest teensy bit.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blogging is hard!

Well, not really. But you know what IS? Grassroots fan development. I suppose it couldn't hurt to actually, I don't know, SHARE the blog with people I know. Perhaps.
In other news, I've spent entirely too much time ogling other blogs and fretting over lack of followers (both here and on Twitter)...should probably get some work done at some point. I would be an awful campaign manager.
Okay, list time!
Things that made me smile this week (it's only effing Wednesday? Gah.):
  • B laughing uncontrollably as H and I ate dinner. She sat in her Bumbo on the table, just laughing like the funniest effing thing in the whole world was watching us munch on salad like cows in a pasture.
  • Getting my new issue of InStyle in the mail.
  • Watching my favorite college basketball team win.
  • Bringing new photos of B into the office to put in frames on my desk.
  • Thinking about family visiting soon.
  • Holding hands with H in the car.
  • Watching the Saints win the Superbowl. Neither from there, nor am I a fan, but that city deserves a reason to celebrate after all they've been through.
  • Possible (positive!) work changes in the future.
Next week is absolutely crazy, y'all. Once the madness passes I'll provide some insight. Judgy insight.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Friends," Friends, "friends" and friends

Wouldn't it be nice if real life was like the TV show, "Friends"? All your best friends live by you, understand your lifestyle and want nothing more than to be another harmonious piece in the orchestra of your life. We could all suspend disbelief and pretend like we can have a baby who conveniently sleeps when we want and is completely tote-able to our friends' places for fun game nights and our friends still want to have us over even though we have a kid. And wouldn't it be nice if the bloggers you liked could actually be your friend in real life? But just your luck, the bloggers you really love who you could TOTALLY see being friends with (in a total non-stalker manner) live all the way across the effing United States. And lastly, what about having friends in REAL LIFE? The word "friends" seems to take on a whole new meaning once you're an adult with a spouse and a child. Your friends from college are spread all over the country. Your friends from high school still live in the town you grew up in. And in my case, most of the friends I have now do not have children. I knew it was inevitable, going to fewer gatherings once we had B. I was not ready, however, for the lack of invites. Surely, I thought, we'd still get invited. We'd just decline because the timing didn't work well with B's bedtime. But over the past few months I've had the slow realization that the invites aren't coming anymore. People are just plain skipping over us. It all dawned on me this past weekend when we didn't get ONE invite to a Superbowl gathering. Not a peep. And our friends love them some par-tay-ing. And I know not to take it personally. But it's just such a commentary on our new life as parents.
And don't even get me started on making Mommy Friends. (You DO want to get me started? Okay.) We've lived in our current city for about four years now. And let me tell you, I had to WORK at making friends. People in our city were just...different...from what I was used to. More superficial, wealthier, more exclusive. As someone who doesn't really like people to begin with, being tossed into this new community where I had to start fresh was a HUGE hurdle for me. I slowly but surely made friends with my husband's coworkers and their spouses. From there it sort of bloomed out to meeting other people. But I still found myself with only a few core friends. And then motherhood happened and all of a sudden I felt pressured to make friends not only for myself, but for B. Mommy friends. Mommies and babies and play dates and fitting this all in on the weekend because weekdays are a circus of daycare drop off, work, daycare pick up, a window of an hour for one last feeding, then down for the night to wake up and do it all again the next day. And then, when it seems the pressure will absolutely swallow me whole, I step back and breathe. And just effing RELAX. Because the more I agonize over it as opposed to, I don't know, DOING SOMETHING about it, I sprout one more gray hair. So here's the deal, people. I'm going to be ecstatic every time we receive an invite to a child's birthday party. I'm NOT going to feel sad about all the adult parties we're missing out on. Because, above all else, I want to be the kind of mother that B can be close to and love. And when I'm freaking out like only an incredibly type-A, neurotic, everything-has-to-be-just-so person can do, I'm not being that kind of mother. Being a mother is something no one can perfect. All you can do is try your best, know that plans are most likely going to implode, and move on with your life. Or, if you're me, just have the general, lofty goal of "make more friends." No stipulations, just plain 'ole friends, with or without child.
After the Bud Light Superbowl commercial featuring a guy crashing his wife's book club, I told H that I could never be in a book club. And he said, "Why? Because you're too judgy?" And I said yes. Hmmm...I wonder if that has anything to do with my inability to make friends????

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Defying Gravity

I remember one day, riding in the car with my brother, a long time ago...I think it was during the summer...and a song came on the radio that made him smile. He looked over at me and said, "isn't it funny how songs can just transport you back in time? You can recall the exact period in your life that the song reminds you of." And then he went on to tell me about how this particular song reminded him of junior high and why it did. I kind of shrugged it off, agreeing that I suppose he was right, but not really thinking much of it. Then, some time in high school, I had The Moment. The Moment where I heard a song on the radio and time instantly rewound 10 years. My childhood home had a beautiful oak tree at the end of the driveway. It was perfect for climbing up into and just sitting. When I was little I would sneak my one of my brothers' Madonna tapes and take my little cassette player and listen to Madonna in the oak tree. Away from the house, away from anyone's watchful eye, I was free to be a "big girl," singing along to my Madonna tape, daydreaming about the future. When I had The Moment, I remember smiling, thinking of my six year-old self.
Since I had my first Moment, I've had many similar moments, always smiling and thinking back to that time in my life. Sleepovers, summer camp, high school dances. And you can never predict when a Moment will happen. They have a way of sneaking up on you.
Such a Moment happened this week while listening to Pandora. I was just sitting at my desk at work, and "Defying Gravity," sung by cast members of the TV show "Glee" came on. Before I knew it, it was the fall and I was home on maternity leave with TB. I was holding her, walking around the house because she loved motion and hated being put down. I was doing laps around the family room trying to catch bits of the show each time I passed the TV. But I stopped and watched as the characters Kurt and Rachel sang "Defying Gravity" to see who would earn the solo. And then Kurt purposely flubbed the high notes so he wouldn't get the solo--a solo meant for a female--to avoid embarrassing his dad, with whom he was struggling to connect. Kurt was trying so hard to defy gravity by auditioning for a part he loved SO much, but bowed out because he loved his dad even more. And it wasn't until "Defying Gravity" played yesterday on Pandora that I truly thought about the gravity of "Defying Gravity."
Maybe it's because I'm now a mother, but as "Defying Gravity" played, my heart ached for Kurt. And my heart ached for TB. I found myself wanting to give the TV show character a hug, reassuring him that his dad loves him no matter what, and to always go after your dreams. Words my parents always told me growing up. I thought back to my days sitting in the oak tree, listening to my little cassette player, daydreaming about all the possibilities of my life ahead. I wanted to hold TB and tell her all those things.
TB isn't even six months old yet, but I have so many hopes for her. I hope she has her own Moments to reflect on, and her own dreams to aspire to. I hope she knows, above all, that TH and I love her no matter what. I hope she tries to defy gravity.