Thursday, February 19, 2015

You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.

19 Weeks - First bite: bananas.

Delicious bananas.

You can just let me do it—it might be faster. I really LOVE these bananas.

These here. In this bowl. These are called bananas? Did I mention how much I like them?

For the record. I'm into bananas.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Born Again

18 Weeks

Every day I am inspired by Ren's curiosity and raw openness. Captain Obvious here, but it's true: he's pure. He isn't offended by anything or hampered by guilt or fear or pain... or fear of painful guilt. He seems to feel like he's awesome and everything and everyone else is too. And hilarious. We are all hilarious. Especially sneezing dogs. Which, come on, sneezing is pretty funny. Especially when dogs do it. We shouldn't bless them, we should point, and laugh, and applaud. He's right. It's hilarious.

Once upon a long time ago, I lived in Los Angeles. My mother was visiting and we went to see a show at The Groundlings. To this day we reminisce about a sketch that resonated with us and we still quote it often. A claustrophobic patient admits to a therapist that his greatest fear is he will be physically forced into a box, never to be seen again. Unable to see the good in life, he whines and complains about his imaginary, life-altering fear until finally the doctor gets so fed up she overwhelms him with cardboard and screams:


And he's cured—realizing he was just one step away from manifesting his worst nightmare.

What if we woke up tomorrow and absolutely everything was new? We have no fear? No fears that drill so deeply within we ironically forge them into our every day—what if? What if we lack the instinct to flinch when a loud noise bursts into our life's soundtrack or to side-step when a person reaches out to shove? What if we have no fear or anger of past hurts—all is forgiven? ALL of it, including how we feel about ourselves. Besides being able to sit up without help, pretending to begin anew might help us rediscover a little thing called joy.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Generation Slap

17 Weeks

By the time our son can go to college, 'going to college' may be something entirely different. It occurred to me today that I learned about the Internet—at the time, a tiny, viral program made solely out of a few image-less, DOS chat rooms—while in college. No one had a 'personal computer'. We went to the computer lab like we went to the laundry mat. I used a typewriter to do my term papers. Spell check was my roommate and the delete key was a little bottle of stuff secretaries got high off of. 

Right now, I'm writing this blog entry from my phone. 

That sentence did not exist twenty years ago. And I would have been hospitalized had I said it. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Top Tent Poles

16 Weeks

Ten Rookie Mistakes

10. Don't buy too many of the same size diapers. We stocked up on size 2 because, well, I'm not clear on why, except we still haven't quite settled on the concept that Ren keeps growing. I mean, we MARVEL at his obvious cell divisions and watch in complete awe over every new physical feat, but we still haven't put it together that just because a clothing tag or box instructions say one thing doesn't mean they relate to our son. We gave away several bags of size 2 diapers and packed up a stack of never-worn 6 month pajamas. One man's thick skull = another man's fortune.

9. If he is acting like he's about to poop, he's about to poop. The signs are the same whether you're four or forty. We all know what happens before we need to excuse ourselves to the water closet to return after, lighting a match. And yet, at least every third sleepy morning or so, I lay our boy on his changing table, ignore a grunt or a toot and pull off his diaper. Then I do laundry. Again.

8. Not every yawn means he's sleepy. Just like big folks, babies get bored with the same old jokes. When we finally got a feed-play-sleep schedule down, one yawn and we'd helicopter over, snatch him out of his toys, and put him in the crib for precious winks. This made him annoyed. You would be irked too if every time you scratched your face someone appeared behind you and slathered an anti-itch salve across your forehead. It would make for awkward office meetings. And dates. You'd never have a date. Ever.

7. Coffee is still your friend. "I'm nursing. I don't want to overstimulate." I used to say this a lot until I went back to work. And perhaps stupidly, I still imagine a life outside of the office and diapers. A sleepy, cranky, unhappy mommy is a sucky mommy. If you are a human who juggles, why cut off your finger tips? Sure, he might, maybe, sort of, kind of, be a teeny tiny leettle bit sensitive to caffeine that you ingest. Drugs are not for kids, we know this. But one cup of life-saving energy will probably be filtered out of your system by the time it flows through your milk sacs. Balance. Too much of a goodie-two-shoes is boring and teaches nothing about the world. He's a human too, don't forget.

6. Even Jesus knew a hooker. "Live. Laugh. Love. Dance like no one is watching. You have one chance to make a first impression. Do unto others. Turn that frown up side down. Don't sweat the small stuff. Say yes! Live every day as if it's your last." But not always. Perfect doesn't exist. I spent a large part of Ren's first weeks on this planet filled with anxiety that I wasn't present or thankful or good enough to enjoy him or to appreciate him or be there for him. For whatever reason, I wasn't worried about being a good mom—milk: check, diapers: check, survival skills check list: check—I was worried about being a good enough nueral system. Was I making and retaining moments, memories? How do I maintain a consistent appreciation for my situation so the universe doesn't take it away from me? I can't die before I live! Again, balance is important. If you don't stop to complain or cry or have a selfish moment to yourself, you will explode. And then again, more laundry.

5. Your hair and your floors can be dirty for a little while longer. So can the laundry. Sleep is important.

4. Wear a blouse you can discretely unbutton in public. My first day back at work I wore a one-piece dress with a high collar and was told to lock myself in my superior's office to pump. Three times I sat dressless behind my boss's desk with a noisy machine tugging on my breasts. If you're into that kind of thing, good for you.

3. Life, and death, goes on. Not everyone cares that you had a kid. Believe it or not, that 'Baby On Board' diamond you've suctioned to the car window doesn't make you special.

2. Anniversaries shouldn't become reunions. Don't forget how you got yourselves into this predicament in the first place. Your little treasure will grow up and move out and might, if you're lucky, call you once a week afterwards. That person you created this third being with is the one who will most likely be changing your diapers on the other end of your existence. Be nice to him/her. Enjoy him/her. Look up from the computer to thank him/her. And see Amour. You're partners in crime. Respect that.

1. Have a sense of humor. Del Close co-authored a fantastic book: Truth In Comedy that I once studied for an improvisation class. In my little world, this textbook is a spiritual manual. Like any good religious guide, there are definitions and rules. A wise man (my husband) once pointed out to me that, "structure is freedom." This makes sense in nature and nurture. So does Del's all-important, number one improv rule: break all the rules. Once you've mastered the basics, remember foraging your own way is an extremely useful and fulfilling tool for being alive. Flexibility is king. (And clean laundry helps the emperor's illusion.)