Sunday, August 21, 2011


I put off parenthood for a long time. Aside from the standard need to get established in the world, followed by finding the right person to breed with, there exists other internal resistance to parenthood. However, the desire for something new breached the egocentric levee with no dutch boy to plug the dyke.

Having a baby stretches my ego the same way a new yoga pose expands muscles long contracted. No longer am I in the spotlight of my own life, instead I'm sharing it with a egocentric human fragment. As my mother's life before me was merely a conceptual haze, so must mine be to Sebastian. Photos of parents, their stories and past couldn't be possible, as the child wasn't there to witness it. My mother exists as only my mother, having been delivered as an adult the same time as me. A picture of her graduating high school seems like a film still. She beams from behind her cat-eye glasses, topped off with the bouffant hair, so eager to go off to college. No, my mother was born with long straight hair and hippy clothes. I Look at Sebastian, and my own photos, my own life fades and discolors. Photos of enchanted college years crystallize; the magical moments dulling into a display of funny clothes and odd choices of interior design.

The child in me wants to scream at him, to validate her experiences: there were times without cell phones, tablet computers and cable TV. In college, I inked letters, stamped them and mailed them to my high school friends. During my year in Italy, I had no email. The world changed and I was a part of it.

My thirteen pound baby absorbs the spotlight and leaves me in the shadows. He now dictates my outfits (nursing tops), when I sleep (when he does), when I change clothes (when they are soaked by baby effluence), what I eat (5-7 servings of organic fruits & veg), what I do drink (water) and what I do not (caffeine & excessive amounts of alcohol). I cannot let him out of my sight without first finding someone else to mind him. No longer will I be running off to the circus or Ibiza or the store without thinking of what will happen to Baz.

Magic moments come when he smiles and sleeps. It took 36 years to get my life just right. The right job, the right income, the resources to do what I wanted when I wanted to do it. I finally sated the child in me. Now I've got the child outside of me to sate.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Political Hostage Taking

Lately I've had a hard time with the news. I cannot stand to see what they are doing in Washington. I appalled that so many in Congress are OK with balancing our budget on the backs of the poor, infirm and elderly. This society is better than that - giving the Millionaires tax cuts while fighting a needless war in Iraq and reducing money for programs that give food to poor children.

What annoys me the most are the Tea Party's refusal to compromise. I'm not keen on compromise, I'd like to see Society run my way. However, I realize that not all Americans would support my Utopia. Thus we need to compromise; give & take. We can make changes to medicare AND increase taxes on those making over $1M. But the Tea Party won't budge.

The Tea Party has a Utopian vision of a Federal Government who's primary concern is that of American business. Fewer than 20 of the CEO's of Fortune 500 being anything other than White & Male. They feel the government shouldn't provide a safety net providing for the poor, the infirm and the old. Their ideology, as ideology always does, comes at the price of taking food from poor children, denying care to the sick and allowing the old to suffer. There is a lack of education funding, and thus no investment in the next generation. The driving force is, I want what I want and I want it now. Damn everyone else.

But like all ideologies - from The French Revolution to every attempt to implement Communism, their ends justify their means. No compromise is acceptable. Too bad if others want to live under different rules. Too bad if other citizens would like to see their money go to Planned Parenthood instead of wars. Their intransigent behavior riles me.

Why does the Catholic who is against abortion get to say that no money can go to Planned Parenthood? While my beliefs as a non-denominational spiritualist, don't get to halt my tax dollars from going to pay for these wars that violate all my morals?

As it is, we all pull together and we allot funds and taxes in an imperfect manner. It is a terrible system, yet better than all the others that have existing so far on this planet. Get with the program Tea Party. We compromise here and suffer no tyrants.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Rude Ramsey

My best friend Hilary gave me the best children's book ever, Rude Ramsey and the Roaring Radishes. The story isn't terribly complicated, but is is full of R words; Rude Ramsey, his friend, the red-nosed Rat, Ralph, ramparts, ruckuses and more. My mom and I read it almost daily. Not only that, but it actually increased my vocabulary with repine, repast and a extra definition of rent (an opening made by rending or tearing; slit; fissure).

The book is written by a beloved author, Margaret Atwood, which only makes it more inspiring. So inspiring, I feel compelled to try a similar short story on my own. It might involve a cab cruising cross country with a congenial canine, however, I can't contend with Atwood's celebrated conte. My copy could be crappy clinquant. I shall constrict my chronicle to a confined congregation of close cousins and courtiers. I hope my child considers it cherished.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Cutest Baby in the World

Like every new mom, I'm 100% convinced that my baby is the cutest, cuddliest, best thing on the planet. I'm also aware of my complete and utter bias. This baby could be hideous, but I will never know.

A friend of mine was completely sure that her baby was exceptionally cute, cuter than other babies. However, she was unaware of that baby-bias. She talked about trying to get baby modeling gigs for her boy. It was painful, yet none of us were willing to disabuse of her those notions. I hope the modeling agency was able to break it to her gently.

There are two things that I find funny when people meet Baz. First is when people say, "He has your coloring" which cracks me up - the hair is, um, well, enhanced. My mom misheard something I said and replied, "No, you can't henna his hair!" The thought hadn't really occurred to me, but ties well into the second thing I find amusing is when people say, "Oh, that really is Marc's baby!" I think that is code for, "He doesn't look much like you!"

Rarely am I able to see similarities between babies and their parents. So it cracks me to to hear that he does or doesn't look like me. Honestly, I don't see either me or Marc in him. I just see unbearable adorability. However I have learned the value of baby photos. Before I was a mother, hell, before I was pregnant, I couldn't have cared less to see a photo of your kids. But now, oh dear me, I have offered photos to business acquaintances! Some think I'm weird and seem to laugh it off - if that is possible via email, while take the, "I'll show you mine and you can show me yours!"

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Doesn't Attachment Parenting sound good? I'm not 100% sure what it is, however. Not one of the four books that I've read/consulted specifically covers Attachment Parenting - the ins & outs, dos & don'ts. So I have no concrete idea of what it is.

Yet, despite that, I'm pretty sure I'm failing. I do breastfeed. I've got baby in a co-sleeper. Yet can I collect Attachment Parenting points for things which are more about my convenience than the babies? I mean, I'm so lazy, I don't want to get out of bed to feed the baby, hence the co-sleeper. The baby doesn't sleep there because that's the safest alternative to co-sleeping. I think Dad would prefer to have baby in a crib and out of earshot, however, until he's got boobs to feed little Sebastian and is ready to be responsible for the night time feedings, he doesn't get a say.

Maybe I should pick-up yet another tome on how to best raise my baby, yet I feel that educated instincts are doing a pretty good job so far. I say educated, as I was educated about natural childbirth which lead to a good birth outcome - even if I did ask for drugs, I didn't get them. Are instincts the same as desires? Is that urge to eat the 10th cookie an instinct or desire?

We do have a good baby and we, like every other couple on the planet, are bumbling along the path of new parenthood. Yet, we tend the baby when he cries. Even sometimes I tend him when he doesn't cry which results in cries and a smack on the hand from Marc. My instinct is to help him when he's upset. If he's wet, change him. If he's hungry feed him (boob is the easiest). If he's got gas, do chicken-legs.

I stumble on the stimulation front. How much is good baby stimulation? Is it OK if he just lolls about while I fold laundry? I can tell him, "Now I'm folding your burp cloth" but that doesn't seem very high brow. Maybe I should take it up a notch by telling him about either the origins of the cloth (baby labor camps in China where he'll end up if he doesn't stop crying) or the history (Rags used in futile attempt to keep baby-effluence off good clothes)?

My books tell me to read to him. Seriously? I try, yet he doesn't even look at the book. He's also not that keen on toys. He's only just started making eye contact and cooing and smiling and melting my heart to the point that I wish I could spend every moment flirting with him. But then he looks away and I'm again wondering what do I do with this baby in my arms and I ponder on how I'm failing at this parenting thing.