Decorum, please.

Look, sweetness, you’re cute, but you’re not that cute.

I know you’re less upset about puking than I am upset about being puked on, but we’re both doing pretty well, considering.

So would you mind not playing in it, please? We have to be a tiny bit less okay with puke everywhere, mmmkay? Let’s be the family that moves on after vomit sessions, shall we?

Thanks ever so very.

Interview with Butter

Welcome, readers, to today’s feature interview: a discussion with the newest reason I can only write at naptime. Without further ado, I give you Butter.*

Me: Good morning, Butterbean.
B: Thththththeeee.
M: Really? Is that what you’re planning to do today?
B: Aaaaaaaaaaah. Glue.
M: Glue? Glue what?
B: Aaaahhhyyyyy noodle.
M: Glue noodles? That’s very crafty of you.
B: [smiles]
M: Where did you learn pasta arts?
B: Ggggggggerhard.
M: Gerhard Schroeder? Is that what he’s up to these days?
B: Aaaaaaaah. Thhhhhthhhtheeee.
M: I think it’s Angela Merkel, but a lot of world has passed me by lately.
B: Ghee.
M: That’s right, Butter. You happened.
B: Ghee.
M: Mmmm-hmmm. Clarified butter. Ghee.
B: Aaaaaaaah ghee.
M: Let’s not get too full of ourselves, here, B. You’re new.
B: Kkkkkkkkglue.
M: Right. Thanks for the course correct: onto projects. I had you scheduled for tummy time, music time, chewing stuff time, staring at shadows time, and napping, but if you want to glue, I can roll with that.
B: Ghee. Aaaaaaah ghee.
M: Yes, well, you’re cute, but let’s not go overboard. You’re a baby. Babies aren’t that interesting.
B: Aaaaaaaahhhhhyyyyyyy.
M: You are? Maybe.

*Posts such as this are why stay-at-home mom writers should not be given Internet access. I’ll probably delete it later, out of sheer embarrassment. But the fact that you read this far means at least that you’re as desperate for entertainment as I am.

Also? This is the actual conversation we had this morning, Butter and I. So now who’s a little desperate?
Oh, yeah. Still me.

Birth announcement

Here’s the announcement a hypothetical mama might send:

The Naptime Writing Family blissfully welcome Hazelnut Nutella Naptime to the world! He made his entrance March 23 weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces and measuring 19 1/4 inches. Mom, Dad, Peanut, and Hazelnut are all doing well and can’t wait to get to know each other.

But here’s the announcement a hypothetical mama really wants to send:

The Naptime Writing Family joyously announce the arrival of Hazelnut Nutella Naptime! He reluctantly joined our family March 23 after 41-plus weeks of gestation and 47 hours of labor. His mama made it through 41 hours of unmedicated labor and arrived at 10 cm dilation just in time to pull a muscle in her back. She lost all ability to cope and sobbed for two hours about acquiescing to an epidural. Hazelnut’s ginormous melon was facing posterior and get stuck under mama’s skeletal structure, so five hours of pushing wasn’t enough to get him to join the air-breathing lot of us. Mama Nappy’s doc offered several unacceptable options and Hazelnut got forced into reality with heroic pushing and expert, though traumatic, vacuuming.

Unfortunately, that mode of birthing left mama in shambles, and she bursts into tears every time someone says, “well, at least he’s healthy” or “you’ll heal” because she knows that and really wishes you’d say something supportive instead of dismissive (unless you, too, are currently sporting more than two dozen stitches in your lower body, twenty pounds of active volcanic rock on your upper body, and have made it seven days on approximately 20 hours of sleep).

Mama and Hazelnut are resting at home, where Peanut is as sweet as can be to his baby brother, and as terrible as he can be to his parents. Hazelnut is perfectly delicious, opinionated, and ravenous. His doting family are surviving just on nips of his sweet breath and heavenly sounds and hoping things get a bit easier.

But we’re not holding our breath.


No quote of the day today. I’m way behinnd in my reading, and I got to coo at new neices and play with family and friends today. So I am not up for assignments and expectations and such. I’ve been a bit too self driven all my life and I’m not in the mood today.

Got some solid feedback from an agent late last night, and I’m trying to decide what parts of it I’ll incorporate. I know I’m not fond of the “no thank you” part, but much of the rest was thoughtful.

So I cuddled babies and saw people I love and sucked on a big bag of sour grapes for a while. And I’ll tell you: having three small people smile at me today was worth not typing up a quote for you, the few readers who seem to be online this week. Where did everybody go?


I’m trying to decide whether to have a full existential meltdown, or just analyze away something that’s digging away at the corners of  my mind. Let’s see where I wind up after telling you this:

A new mom, amazing person with lots of early childhood experience told me this week, “I don’t get it. This is a lot of work, but it’s just not that hard. Why do people say this is so hard?”  Cut to a few hours later, and a professional, kick-ass mom who is quite open about not finding her reason for being in parenting,  said, “There are just some women who are meant to do this. I’m not one of them.”

So I’ve been thinking, incessantly: am I cut of non-parenting cloth because I do find it hard, or are we having a difference not of opinion but of semantics? No, it’s not hard. It’s exhausting, not hard. It’s  draining, not hard. Parenting full time is more work than I’ve ever done, but it’s not, she’s right, actually hard. It is hard to do it all day every day, but the work, itself, is not hard. Hard to make it through behaving properly, but not hard to do. Fine.

A five-year veteran who doesn’t think she was  cut out for parenting has always made me feel like I’m doing okay. Now I’m rocked by a mom who has tons of pre-baby experience with children and has spent two months with her own babies and doesn’t see why people warned her it would be hard.

Maybe my phase with a newborn was different because our first four months were colored by intense breastfeeding pain. But every new family has issues that make things tough, though, so I can’t write off my lack of pleasure  as resulting from early pain.

Maybe because I start thinking, about an hour before nap and all the time after nap, every day since my child was six months old, “when are you going to sleep?!?!!!”, maybe I’m not cut out for this  work. I’ve known for a long time that my child probably deserves a more patient caregiver, but that I can’t fathom having someone else raise my child. Why have a kid, I’ve always reasoned, if someone else will spend  more time with my child than I will? But that new mom, who doesn’t think life with a newborn is hard, makes me think maybe I should have someone else do this for me. Because I don’t always like this job. In fact, I rarely like this job. Love the kid, loathe the work. The not-hard work.

I can’t get over that it’s not just the language.

Of course, I didn’t feel put out by motherhood until six or seven months. I didn’t feel completely out of my element until past a year. So maybe if I wait this out, that new mom will come over to the side of those of us who think we were probably made to do something else.

I doubt it though. She’s probably just going to be one of those who do it all well, easily, and with a smile.

Lucky babies.

Moral scourges

At the risk of once again linking to another writer’s work rather than create my own…

Mark Morford humorously wonders which group poses the greatest pretend threat to the American way in this article, “Beware the Vegans!”. Pretty damned funny (and scary, since one of these otherwise useful groups will soon become the target in Rove’s sights).

Sling, sling, wrap, carry, sling

Or carry.

But this article, reproduced in several online news sources, says that a stroller that faces away stresses babies. It recommends strollers that face parents, but doesn’t mention carrying or wearing baby. Curious.