Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Speaking of Kids...
The house is finally still. Quiet enough that I can hear the wind rustling through the pine tree's and the gentle slosh of the lake as waves lap to the shore. An hour ago, only a small corner of the house was quiet - the cushion on the couch where a four year-old sat pouting over the shape of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich (round, as opposed to square...but I was out of Wonderbread, so hamburger bun's were it. Sorry kid.)

I babysat Summer's daughters today. A four year-old and a toddler only five months older than my son. They're good, fairly easy going kids. But they still poop and snot and pout when things don't go their way. They get sticky fingers and harrass the cat and ask a thousand questions and demand that I count to one hundred (outloud, please) while I put away the blocks. All this to some Disney inspired themesong that's blaring from the television that no child is watching, though they all clamored for me to put the DVD in.

And now I'm feeling like a sack of flour left out in the rain with a pinhole in its rump. Heavy, messy, drained.

But that was just round one. Tonight we're watching my nephew. At least nighttime babysitting involves bedtimes. Glorious bedtime. And to be fair, my little nephew is easy as ice cream on a hot day to love - and almost just as easy to take care of. So, no complaints here. Just exhaustion.

I should probably find a way to mend the hole in my lazy-sack before he shows up.

So tough to do without coffee...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 20, 2006
I've come to the realization, or perhaps moreso the acceptance, that I am not a naturally maternal person. I'm a far cry from the soft spoken, kissy-faced woman who always seems to know just how to hold a wriggling infant or soothe a crying child. If I'm being completely honest, babies (aside from adorable ones who smile at me from diaper advertisements or email attachments from friends) don't interest me all that much, certainly not enough for me to feel the urge to hold one that isn't my own.

At my husbands basketball game recently I nervously watched as a teammate of his made her way to the bleachers with her one year old, looking for someone to hold and play with her during the game. I quickly set my eyes downward and started rifiling through my purse and praying, please, don't give her to me.

It's not that I dislike children, but aside from my son and my nephew, I tend to feel either indifferent or awkward around little ones. I thought this earlier in the week as we sat in the waiting room of my OB with an antsy little Bossman. A slight woman with slender fingers resting on her very pregnant stomach smiled and cooed at my son from across the room. A gentle, maternal woman.

I would've kept my nose in a magazine, only looking up if the toddler had accidentally brushed against my leg.

Later, lying on the doctor's table I had another non-maternal thought as he rubbed a doppler over my gel slathered skin. We heard, again, the rapid flickering beat of the life growing inside me. And my reaction after the inital relief was, Creepy. There are two lives on this table.

I was happy and smiled just the same, but the reaction stuck with me through the night. I think it's justified. There are feet the size of my fingernails walking around inside my body. It is creepy.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
From the Random Files...
I, like most other neurotic artistic-types, keep things. For me, it's moments. I have an entire wing of my brain dedicated to the filing away of these random, often uneventful yet still vivid moments. This is where I go when I'm struggling to sleep. I escape there and am surrounded by scraps of my life. I spread the memories out, filling whatever space there is between me and sleep and I study them as though they are all pieces of some larger puzzle, something that I'm supposed to be able to make sense of, someday.

The puzzling thing about these memories is how separate they are. I remember only these moments, not the preceding or the following. Not the cutting of a birthday cake, or the opening of gifts. Only these tiny, often mundane, glimpses remain in perfect clarity.

Vacation. It's morning; early enough that the sunlight filtering through the windows is thin and yellow on my tan legs. I'm curled at the foot of the stairs, at a window and surrounded by musty magazines from the fifties. I can’t read, but I like to hold them and pretend that I can. I study the pictures of important looking men with thick-rimmed glasses. A yellowed newspaper crumbles at the corner when I lift it. The lake outside the window breaks in small curls on the flat sand then pulls back. There are empty milk jugs bobbing along beyond the dock, makeshift buoys. Yesterday, we stood in the silky water and pressed mud into flat cakes between our palms. Looking down from the window, I can see the dry circles of sand still on the dock planks, but with lines where the sand slipped between the boards and back to the lake.

Christmas in the 80's; standing in a dingy kitchen surrounded by petite aunts and cousins, staring at my feet. Size five and you're only nine? My Gawd, you're going to be a giant. The shortest of my aunts blows smoke on my face as she talks. Her face is square and pockmarked; her hair is a wiry mesh of brown, a helmet. Behind her I can see my mother at the table, her face yellowed by the haze of thier smoke. My aunts cluck amongst themselves with Kahlua breath. The fiery tips of their cigarettes stare at me. I look down and hate my feet.


Monday, April 10, 2006
I've been having a sense of impending doom for over a week now. Passing this "milestone" week, I've been up late, for any reason I can manage. Bland television. A boring book. Getting dinner ready for the next day. Playing lengthy game of cards with an exhausted husband. Anything to avoid bedtime.

I'm doing it right now. It's almost one, our friends have just left for their hour long journey home and my husband will be waking to our alarm in less than six hours. I need to be sleeping. My son needs me to be sleeping so that I'm not a sloppy, cranky, lump on the couch when he wants to play in the morning. The early-early morning.

And the thing is, tonight, I'm not feeling so dark. So scared. I'm not even feeling as worried as I have been. I've simply become a creature of habit to this cycle of self-induced insomnia.

Sunday, April 09, 2006
For the past week we've been staying at my inlaws house while they are off in Illinois visiting with "the other" grandkids. It's been lazy and wonderful living in a space by ourselves. Not only that, but in such a clean and uncluttered space. My inlaws lost their home two years ago in a fire and the result of their nine months of homelessness is this beautiful replacement house, complete with an entire new family room and central air and an electrical system that is up to code.

I like to imagine that our few months of being homeless will lead us to such a treasure. Although, at this point, I would take a two bedroom wood-paneled trailor or even a really nice tent. Maybe one with little zippered flap-like windows.

The Boss and I have settled into a comfortable schedule here. And I am convinced more than ever that he might actually be the most perfect child ever created (although, I request that this post not be used against me in the future...especially as he grows ever closer to the terrible two's.)

He's learning constantly at this stage. Everything interests him. The screen door. The dog barking across the street. The carton of milk that I've rinsed and set on the counter. The wash cloth that I use to wipe his tray. The ceiling fan. The children playing soccer in the street. The old man sitting in a lawn chair as we pass by on our stroll. And he talks to everything and everyone. He's quite the conversationalist. (If only it was English he was speaking.)

Despite being on 'vacation', I've been having difficulty sleeping. We're beyond the 10 week mark now, entering territory not seen since I was pregnant with The Boss. And I'm nervous. Up at night, reading slowly through a mediocre book in hopes of falling asleep from boredom rather than laying awake and listening to the pounding of my heart and trying to make sense of the the swirling worries in my mind.

A new semester is drawing nearer on the horizon.
And always, hoping to hear more heartbeats.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Losing Time
When he naps, I nap. Whether I'm exhausted or not, I put him down then move to my bed to snuggle under covers. I do this because it cuts the day into manageable pieces. Because it's too cold to go for a walk. Because it's April and there's snow on the ground. Because I've run out of good books. Because The Boss has gone from a baby to a boy in the past six months and I can't seem to pin point the moment when the change started to happen - and somehow, sleeping seems to make time stand still.

Unfortunately, all this napping has left less and less time for writing, here or elsewhere. At midnight last night I sat up in bed staring at the blankets as my husband brushed his teeth. I realized that I was dreading the darkness, dreading being left alone with all of the words in my mind that I've been pushing back, stuffing into crevices within my subconscious and ignoring.

I suppose the only remedy is to pick up a pen.

Monday, April 03, 2006
A Splash of Color

...and then directly to the bath.