May 2008

May 28

Hypothetically, of course!

I love being pregnant.  I love breastfeeding.  I love cuddling with my little baby and gazing into her eyes and having her grab my cheeks with her pudgy fingers.  But there comes a time (let’s call it two and a half years, shall we?) when a woman desires a little freedom.  When a perfectly good mother who loves her children, and who is devoted to giving the best she can, and who is selfless and self-sacrificing 99.9% of the time yearns to have her body back with such a longing that even her husband (who has the emotional radar of a rock) notices.  This woman would like to be able to leave the house by herself for longer than thirty minutes.  She would give her yearly subscription to Parents magazine for five minutes of uninterrupted privacy in the bathroom.  She would like to be able to eat (or not eat) what she wants, and excercise without all sorts of repercussions!  This woman even wants more children.  She just would like the opportunity to occasionally go away for a weekend… preferably with her husband.
So, should this woman attempt to wean her six month old? 
On the one hand, breastfeeding is healthier, cheaper, and easier. 
On the other hand, somebody else could feed the baby. 
May 26

Thinking outside the (wipes) box.

Saturday Bruce was home alone with the girls.  When Holly woke from her nap he did the right thing, and started to change her diaper.  After passing the point of no return, he discovered that all the wipes were gone from the container in her room.  Rather than leave her poopy bum exposed to my carpet, he turned and asked Bronwyn, who is always present at these fascinating events, to “please go to the bathroom and get daddy the wipes”.  Bronwyn nodded her understanding and marched off to the bathroom.  She returned shortly with a roll of toilet paper.  Close enough, thinks Bruce and proceeds to use the dry paper to the best of his ability.  When it became apparent that babies use wipes for a reason, he tried again. 
“Bronwyn, can you go get daddy the box of wipes, the one that looks like this” (here he hands her the empty container).
She then takes the box from his hand, takes the roll of toilet paper off the ground and carefully tears off four pieces and places them in the wipes container.  Then, very seriously, she pulls one out and hands it to him. 
Where does she learn this stuff?
May 22

I’d like to visit the moon too, but I don’t think I’d like to live there either!

With Bruce away for three days I thought I would take another stab at some more spring purging.  We introduced Bronwyn to her “big girl” bed this week, and put the crib in Holly’s room.  This led to my staring at the oversized box that was in there.  I vaguely knew there were clothes in the box.  And obviously pre-pregnancy or they would have been in my drawers.  I didn’t know what to do.  In the end I dragged both girls to Zellers to buy some more plastic tubs, and thereby ensured that Bronwyn would not nap today…
After lunch, and doing some gardeing, and cleaning the kitchen, I couldn’t put off THE BOX any longer.  I don’t know what I was afraid of, but I knew I didn’t want to go through it.  I ended up throwing away a handful of items, giving a third to good will and placing the other two thirds in a bin that will be destined for my sisters.  As I was sorting, I was struck by how much I have changed in the last four years.  I remember each piece of clothing from that box.  Why I bought it.  Someplace special I wore it.  How much it cost.  It was like part of me was being placed in the bin, extricated and thrown away.  All those memories of who I was.  Single, free, full of potential… skinny.  I don’t want to go back there.  I don’t think I can.  I love my life and what I have made of it, but there is a small part of me that wishes I could go back for a few days.  Just to visit.  The old Julie. 
May 08

A sure sign of things to come

Today Bronwyn and I were outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.  I brought my coffee and a book, and Bronwyn brought her milk, some Goldfish crackers and a giant piece of sidewalk chalk.  A guaranteed 15 minutes of activity I figured.  It was actually much longer than that.  As long as I kept refilling the ‘Fish bowl, so B could “feed” the dogs, she was happy.  And my house now sports a fabulous array of neon blue chalk lines that give it character, if nothing else.  Soon though, my peaceful date with the next Jodi Picoult novel was abruptly over when Bronwyn grabbed my coat and started dragging me towards the stairs. 
“Where should we go?’ I ask (more to make conversation than with a real desire to know, seeing as her choices are pretty limited- to the rhubarb patch, the flowers in the front, the garage, maybe?).
“Nanee!”  Bronwyn announces with finality, as she begins to march towards the end of the driveway.
That will take awhile, I think to myself sarcastically.  But unrealistic as I know walking to Sudbury would be, Bronwyn does not.  She knows enough that Nanee is in that general direction, and as I watch her look over her shoulder expectantly, I realize that she assumes that I will grant her this wish.  She wants to see Nanee, and therefore we will. 
Luckily she is still easily distracted, but is this a sign of things to come?  Am I glimpsing a tiny ray of her personality that speaks of tantrums and drama and self-centeredness?  I know how I was as a teenager, and I know all the scientific and societal reasons WHY daughters and mothers battle the way they do.  And I know there is a special bond that is forged through that time that is worth all the power struggles it takes to get there.  What I am wondering is which of my daughters is going to be just like me.  And what will the other one be like?  And why do I assume they will be different?
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May 07

Yes, peas!

We reached another toddler milestone this evening.  Bronwyn and I were eating some pasta, which I had cleverly mixed with peas, and Holly was delighting in her excersaucer, when I heard the dreaded “enh.  MAMMMM. menhehehemaammaaa…”.  I look up in exasperation to see Bronwyn at her high chair with her finger up her nose to the knuckle.  I made a halfhearted attempt to tell her not to, but the truth was, I am completely engrossed in a new novel (My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult- thanks Elaine!), and I just didn’t want to stop to deal with whatever toddler tragedy B had dreamed up for herself as punishment for my inattentiveness.  So I return to my book muttering something about finishing your pasta.  I have just cleared another chapter when the noise begins again.  This time it is much more insistent.  I climb wearily out of chair and attempt to offer more milk? more cheese? another fork?  For goodness’ sake use some WORDS, child!!  This is when I really notice the nose-picking.  I head to the bathroom for a Q-tip, intent on removing the offending solidified mucous.  I do my best, but I get nothing.  Of course, I don’t tell Bronwyn this.  “Got it, honey” I coo, waving the Q-tip carelessly away from where she can actually see it.  With a huge smile pastered to my face, convinced I have fixed the problem, I slip back into my seat, and back into the drama of Anna Fitzgerald. 
Well, you are probably figuring that if I am bothering to write this all down, the story does not end there.  And you would be correct.  Smarty-pants!
I watch (ok, listen, remember I don’t get a lot of time to read during the day!!) Bronwyn shovel a few more peas into her mouth (I am a GENIUS).  But the whining only intensifies.  So I grab a kleenex and instruct her to blow.  After three really good attempts, I take the tissue away to see a great green glob in its folds.  That’s right, not a booger- a PEA.  A pea that she had shoved so far into her nostril that I couldn’t see it when I looked.  That I probably aggrevated with my Q-tip decision.  That was CLEARLY the reason for her discomfort.  And no, I did not let her eat it, even though she tried.

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