That’s an easy one

Problem: two terrible evenings in a row where Peanut spends the time from nap until lullabies out of his mind with the urge to scream and cry and physically torment his parents until well after his alleged bedtime.
Solution: bogle petite syrah port. two ounces in wedding crystal.
Problem: guilt over subjecting in utero second child to that particular avoidance technique
Solution: eat an entire sleeve of ginger snaps to go with the port.
Problem: it’s been four months since I’ve had a drink and I’m a lightweight. A very bloated, itchy, kind of grouchy lightweight.
Solution: more ginger snaps.

Oh, you dear, sweet thing

Dear little person:

I am so sorry that the world feels out of your control. I’m sorry it’s so tough to be small.

I’m sorry that people will minimize your frustrations by saying “it’ll only get worse.”

And I’m sorry that it will. Only get worse.

I’m sorry that life moves too slowly when you want adventure.

I’m sorry that life moves too quickly when you need routine.

I’m sorry that not everyone will adore you as much as we do.

I’m sorry that society thinks its job is to beat out of you that which makes you You. I hope we can help you find and hone your strengths so you stay You in the face of Them.

I’m sorry you don’t know yet that you won’t, in fact, spin off into a million pieces when you feel as strongly as you do.

I’m glad I’m here to teach you that it’s okay to have very strong feelings.

I’m sorry not everyone will always be gentle or respectful. I’m also sorry you won’t be, either. I’m glad I’m here to teach you to strive for it, though.

I’m not sorry that you didn’t know what a donut was until today. And I’m not sorry you didn’t like the first one you ever tried.

I’m not sorry that in our family Santa is a story about a person who collects from those who have enough and gives to people who need, rather than bringing rewards if you are “nice.” I’m glad we don’t subscribe to that kind of reward/punishment structure. And I’m glad you know about giving to people and animals who need.

I’m sorry that you have to finish the first portions of fruit, protein, and carbohydrate in each meal before you get seconds. I’m not sorry that you’re always welcome to trade a meal you’ve tasted for hummus and crackers.

I’m sorry we have safety and respect rules about which we are not flexible.

I’m not sorry we’re flexible about everything else.

I’m sorry that, in the midst of all the other changes in your life, I decided to move the furniture in my room. I’m sorry that sent you completely around the bend. I’m not sorry that if you ever need to cry that you *always* get a shoulder on which to do it.

I’m sorry that you cried so hard into my shoulder about me moving my bed that you had huge, salty curls dried to your cheek while you slept.

But I’m not moving the bed back.

I’m sorry if having a new baby upends your world. But I’m not sorry that you will forever have a sibling. From what Daddy and I have found, they’re pretty nice things to have.

Back in the day

My mother tells very amusing anecdotes about my childhood, especially the bits about my precocious use of language. My favorite are the loud questions in the frozen food section of a South Dakota grocery store: “Mommy, does Jesus have a penis?” Intense thumb sucking while affirmative answer is processed. “Mommy, does Santa Claus have a penis?” That settles it. Had to cover any potential special cases to the general rule. You know.

One of her favorite stories is from just after Brother and my first briefing about reproductive biology, wherein I holler from the backyard, “Mommy, Brother is kicking me in the uterus. Make him stop!”

Well, now that someone actually is kicking me in the uterus, frequently, at totally unexpected moments, that shrill complaint seems…well…hilarious. Thinking of calling her today with this pronouncement:

Mooooooooom, someone is kicking me in my uterus. But it’s kind of cute, so don’t make it stop!

Holy cow

Please don’t tell anyone who is more than 5 months pregnant, nor my two dear, sweet friends who carried and delivered twins that I said this, but great galloping ghosts, I don’t remember having a 5 month old fetus feeling so damned BIG. I swear I’m more uncomfortable now than I was at 8 months last time. As I said, though, don’t tell anyone whose uterus is, or has been, bigger than a cantaloupe. A really, really, big cantaloupe.

While we’re on that, why do they measure pregnancy milestones in fruit and vegetables? For heaven’s sake, telling me something is as long as a banana or a carrot is just plain stupid. Come with me to the store, you lameass lazy writers, and show me which banana. Do you mean that baby carrot or one of the eight thousand other sizes carrots come in? Why not tell me that my 9 inch fetus is about the length of 9 consecutive big lines on a ruler? Idiots.

The Brits understand. When I sought websites in proper English, hoping they might in terms other than produce, I found their measurements are way more reassuring. 360g?! Holy crow, that’s enormous, right?. 360 of anything is big. No wonder I feel like I swallowed a soccer ball. And 27cm? That’s…ah, hell, I wish we had converted to metric so I’d have some damned idea how long that is, but it sounds just huge.

But then, the Brits said this: “You’re probably feeling quite comfortable these days. This, in fact, may be the most enjoyable time in your pregnancy. ” Ah, man, f— you! Is this going to be the f— you trimester? Cuz I thought that was the 19 weeks of incessantly barfing and exhaustion. No? This is the f— you trimester? I’m not sure. I kind of remember the next one being the exact opposite of a picnic, but what do I know? I had forgotten about feeling that I could never, ever eat again after one almond.

Maybe it’s the eyebrows little Fetalanine just grew, or something, but I am just not large enough to accommodate any more growth.

Or explain jokes about phenylalanine. If you don’t get them, ask the Brits. They explain everything so well.

We now rejoin our midlife crisis, already in progress

We went to the guitar store today to restring Peanut’s awesome little 1/2 scale SX guitar. He earned it potty learning, when he got 20 dry days in a row (and therefore 20 stickers) at 21 months. He bought himself a guitar with the stickers. You’re damned right, kiddo. Not yet two and dry all the time? Guitar? Fine.

Well the trip to the guitar mecca coincides with a midlife crisis I’ve been contemplating, based in part on the nausea I’m feeling at life, my choices, and the impending and rapidly growing BOMB that will descend on my already precarious situation. My midlife crisis today looked a LOT like a $2660 twelve string guitar. Then it looked like an $80 used and totally awesome used natural ash wood bass for the band my newest peeps and I are starting. Then my midlife crisis looked like a miraculous $3200 keyboard that sounded honest to goodness like a well tuned piano.

And then my midlife crisis reminded me what end was really up. Because besides not having even the $80 for a bass, I don’t have time for a new hobby. I have a novel to edit. Again. I have a paper to submit, another paper to write, and a PhD application to ponder for next fall. I have to find a babysitter and a preschool.

I grabbed an Atwood at the library, because there’s nothing to counter balance 32 picture books like an Atwood. We got home late and I had to wash dishes and make dinner. Peanut was in a lovely mood and tried to dump out a whole canister of ground flax. Sealed, luckily, but he was willing to test Oxo’s sturdy seal.

I asked him nicely to put it down, and he did. Sweetly. In the dining room. I continued thinking about whether, really, cowboy boots would serve the same purpose as a guitar, as midlife crises go. Maybe I’d need them for the band (blues, I think, but whatever. Everything goes with buckaroo boots.)

I went into the dining room to give Peanut some carrot sticks. He had dumped all the flax neatly on the table and was sorting it into piles. I took a deep breath and told him to get down. I asked, as I gathered the placemat parking lots, what he was trying to do. He was making pretend smoothies. Sure. okay. As I brought the soapy sponge back and forth from the kitchen, I explained that while pretend is a good idea, his pretend kitchen is a better place for pretend juices. And that using real food for pretend food isn’t a good idea. And that I understand how he wants to help, so he can make a real blender juice with my help. But real food always needs a yes from Mommy.
Well, kind of. Except that now, at the dining room table, he has his face burrowed into my brand new, 64 oz. jar of organic kosher pickles. tongue fully extended, licking the brine in the freaking jar. i collapsed on the floor. Took a deep breath. Contemplated a good cry and realized that I already had his cold, so, no harm no foul. I mean, really, really foul, but I’ll be done with the pickles in a few days, so…meh. I told him how not okay it is to put hands or mouths on containers of food. I try to explain, I try to be forceful but casual. I remember a gorgeous burbinga wood guitar and take another breath.

So we make a smoothie together. He’s happy and proud of his blueberry pouring skills. I’m almost ready with dinner. I turn away to get cups for the juice. I pour the juice. I turn away to get lids for the juice.

And now I need one fewer lid because he’s poured all of one juice on himself, trying to get to the purple one first. “you can’t have thee purple one,” he began, before getting really wet and cold.

Here’s the thing, people. I’m barely hanging on. And now the flax-y sponge has to sop up 12 ounces of blueberry smoothie. WHY CAN’T PREGNANT WOMEN DRINK, AGAIN?

I don’t think a late night trip to the pawn shop to trade my wedding ring for a guitar is too much to ask.


This just in:

The only food item that’s actually pleasant to puke is chocolate.

Your intrepid author will henceforth eat nothing but. Except that the smell of chocolate nauseates her. Rock, hard place.

This just in:

Hold breath while eating chocolate; get to enjoy it on the way back up.

See what a positive person I’m becoming? I think I’m growing.


Well, it turns out that I’m not the first person* to have terrible morning sickness that just goes away well before the end of the first trimester without meaning anything is wrong. [Now, wasn’t that nice of me to put the thesis in the opening paragraph? Make a note, wayward 1A students.]

Peanut and I went to see the doctor, with me telling him that, since I’m not feeling sick anymore, I probably had some germs in my tummy, not a baby in my uterus. Because sick from germs goes away and sick from babies usually doesn’t. He’s known those are the two options. I didn’t want to tell him, because it’s way too early and things could go wrong, but it’s really hard for a little guy to see his mom barfing five and six times a day and not get some reasonable explanation. So he knows the choices are germs or baby. He’s always been sure it’s a baby.

So the doc tried for a doppler heartbeat. Nothing. Then she pulled out the ultrasound (which made for really premature discussion about where she would put it and why boys have one hole for pee but girls have one hole for pee and one for babies) and said she didn’t know what I was worried about, but there was a really healthy heartbeat and a baby growing exactly as it should (no slowing down, which would have decreased the hormones and explained the lack of sickness but meant it was probably not viable).

Peanut said, immediately after the doc left, that he didn’t like her or her office or her toys. And he doesn’t want a baby. So sweet and classic and predictable and understandable. I only said, “I understand. Do you want to tell me more about that?” He said that Madeline, his stuffed monkey didn’t like the doctor or the office or the toys or babies, either. Fair enough.

Then after Spouse came home Peanut stopped mid-bite at dinner to announce the baby’s presence to Daddy and ran to get his picture of the baby and told Daddy that he would be a really nice brother because he could give the baby a rattle if it was crying or pat it on the head. And do we know the baby’s name and if he thinks of a really nice name he will call the baby that name and how about his friend’s name and how will I get the baby out (when it’s ready I’ll push really hard; thank goodness that was enough info) and maybe if the baby wants some tortellini he will share his. I’m sure he’ll go back and forth a lot, but this steady patter of positive was even more sweet (and less predictable) than the anti-OB tirade, and was the first time I was pretty sure how I felt about the whole daunting and terrifying and overwhelming prospect of next year.

And he says it’s a girl. He was right about his cousins’ genders and about his friend’s brother. So we’ll see. Ink said the same thing, though, and she’s right about everything, may the Universe help us.

*If, like me, you searched “morning sickness disappeared 9 weeks,” and found very little online about whether it means the baby stoped growing, why then I’m telling you it’s possible to feel much better early, though most first trimester symptoms disappear around week 12, like 9000% better around week 9 with no problems whatsoever. Have your midwife or doctor check.

Oh, no. Well… oh, I see.

As I’ve mentioned, for four weeks I have spent a lot of time hunched over the sink/toilet/neighbor’s lawn.

And I woke up today feeling human. Completely human. I noticed the sunshine and the smell of the dew outside. I was not completely repelled by the cats, to whom I’ve been allergic for over 4 weeks.

Crap. It’s way too early to feel better.

Here’s the thing. When I said I wasn’t really happy, I meant yet.

When I said I wasn’t excited, I meant yet.

You didn’t even give me a chance to get used to the idea.

So that’s it? You’re leaving…why? Because I wasn’t as nice as you deserve? I would have been. Because I got way ahead of myself and got new bras yesterday? I honestly needed them, which, I don’t mean to point fingers, but, was your fault. Because I cleaned the cat box a few times because it was making me puke even more? Because I blogged that I was angry at having to figure out how to fit you? I would have, you know. Figured it out.

Well, that’s…I don’t know what that is. I have no idea how to feel.

I’ll go get a confirmation tomorrow at the doc’s office, but I think you have vacated the premises. And I don’t know how to feel. It’s nice not being sick. It’s fun playing with Peanut. It’s sad every time he calls his stuffed animals brothers and sisters. And now I have a whole new “I’m not sure how I feel about this” to get used to.

Damn it.

Good choices and bad choices

Staying up past 1am because after midnight my tum feels better: bad choice
Getting out of bed this morning: bad choice
Forcing Peanut out of house for a.m. walk: good choice
Trying to run: bad choice
Puking only in street instead of on neighbors’ lawns: good choice
Making Wednesday movie day: good choice
Forcing Peanut out of house again to go to Lake: good choice
Wearing loafers and striped metallic thigh high socks because it was cold: bad choice
Ignoring warning signs that cat and child were about to rumble during naptime: bad choice
Comforting bitten child rather than cat who gave fair warning and was really patient, considering: good choice
Teaching Peanut that cats have special words for “stop it” that include threatening to bite: good choice
Pizza for dinner: seemed like good choice. Smelled and tasted like good choice. Reevaluation later: bad choice
Peanut’s first haircut in 2 years: good choice
Bribing him with really expensive organic fruit pop in tub to enable haircut: good choice
Lopping off only about half and inch of his shoulder-length curls: good choice. More off the top and the weird Einstein bits that grew twice as long as everything else: also good choice.
Catching up on my bloggety reading instead of paying attention to the “I’m hot and cold” calls coming from Peanut’s freshly shorn head: good choice.

Overall, pretty good day.