Thursday, March 01, 2007


Oh Happy Day!

A little while ago (ok, a couple of months ago), I mentioned that I was going be moving out of blogger and into my own domain.

Well...that day has arrived thanks to Dee at Voices in my Mind. From here on out, I'll be writing at:

To encourage the move over (and to make up for the annoyance of having to update the link to my page on your blog roll or memory), I'm offering a cute new video of Zac as a peace offering.

What are you waiting for? Go on over!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I need a time out.

I'm just going to go sit over in the "naughty spot" until I can handle parenting a toddler that is quickly approaching the terrible 2 stage. I might even need 2 minutes for every year of my age, so I'll be there for a little while. Don't be surprised if I fall asleep. I'll use my time in the naughty spot to think about what I've done and how I can avoid similarly bad parenting in the future.

For the past three days, Zac has been pushing every g-ddamn button I possess. I will admit that on Saturday, I screwed up his sleep schedule by taking him to my Mom's chorus performance, which didn't start until 7pm. He fell asleep in the car on the ride there and would have been perfectly content to sleep the rest of the evening in his car seat if I had let him.

But no, I was the mean Mommy that ripped him from the comfortable haven of belted security and forced him into an umbrella stroller. He cried for non-stop for 30 minutes before my Dad took him into the bathroom and he calmed down.

When we got back to my parents' house, he was awake until 11pm and still managed to wake himself up at his regular time of 7:15am. He fussed the entire day and screamed from 4:30-6:30am, Monday morning. I knew that I had two choices at that point: have both us try to make it through our days exhausted and ready to kill someone, only to be called by the Shoe Nazis at 2pm saying, "Zachary is having a bad day. Can you come pick him up?" or we could go back to bed. I picked the second option.

Then on Tuesday, somewhere between my mailroom and the Shoe Nazis headquarters, I lost my entire set of keys. It was a nice day and I felt like walking, not remembering that keys, wallets, cellphones and assorted items bounce out of the stroller. When I got to Zac's daycare, they were missing. I retraced my steps twice from the mailroom and back and couldn't find them. I had to call the "emergency maintenance" man to let me into my apartment and spent 45 minutes slapping mosquitos away from Zac's head while he screamed with hunger and frustration.

As soon as the maintenance man, who apparently isn't very concerned about emergency situations, arrived, my Dad showed up right behind him with the spare set of apartment keys. Zac screamed and screamed, refusing to eat his dinner or drink his bottle, until my Dad held him. Zac finally calmed down for him and ate his ravioli and sliced pears.

Now, the kid is so upset all the time that he cries whenever anyone is more than five feet away from him. He cried for a solid hour at dinner last night at a Mexican restaurant with my friend David. He refused to walk (again!) and only wants to be carried to the car and back. He's holding on for everything he can and it makes me want to scream.

Anyone interested in parenting a toddler that screams more than he smiles? Let me know. Until then, I'll be in the corner over there, thinking about ways that I can occupy Zac while I'm in timeout.

Monday, February 26, 2007


In honor of One Weird Mother, who encouraged me to stop complaining and start acting. I wrote this e-mail to my future city government after reading these two articles that One Weird Mother linked to on her blog.

I agree with her. It's time that both women and men start addresses the systemic imbalances that working parents face - in the workplace, in civic life, and within our homes.
Dear Fruity Parks and Recreation Department,

I'm moving to the City of Fruit in Spring 2007. I went to the City's Parks and Recreation Department website this afternoon and was amazed at all of the activities that you offer for city residents! It's great to encourage residents to be active and involved in their community, especially while getting to know their neighbors.

However, I was extremely disapointed that most of the activities for younger children are offered exclusively during the day. I would love to enroll my 20 month-old son in Toddler Buds tumbling class or take the Awesome Abs or 20/20/20 fitness class for myself, but all of these activites are only offered during traditional working hours. Fortunately, there are other fitness classes that are offered for adults in the evenings that I could attend, but that isn't the case for toddler classes. Both sessions of the Toddler Time class, in addition to all of the preschool activities, are offered only during the morning hours.

As a working parent, I'm frustrated and confused as to why the Fruity Parks and Recreation Department would choose to only schedule classes for children and their parents in the morning. Working parents deserve as much quality time, interaction, and city-sponsored activities with their children as those children that are fortunate enough to have stay-at-home guardians, especially for toddler-aged children.

What are the plans to address this situation in the future? I'm cc'ing JB, Director of Parks and Recreation, and MS, Recreation Superindent in the hopes that these individuals can help shed some light on the scheduling issues and the plans for making classes more inclusive for working families. Thank you.


Future City of Fruit Resident

Thursday, February 22, 2007


"I hated everyday of highschool.
It's funny I guess you did too.
It's funny how I never knew.

There I was, sitting right behind you..
I guess you finally stopped believing that any hope would ever find you
I knew that story, I was
sitting right behind you"

It's not too much of an exaggeration to say that I couldn't wait for high school to end. I didn't "fit" anywhere or into any of the groups and did a pretty spectacular job of isolating myself.

I was a smart kid that didn't want to hang out with the other smart kids who practiced math sets for their SATs after school and on the weekends. I was an athletic kid that would rather talk about books than stats. I wanted to be in the popular group, but I didn't drink or smoke in highschool and I wasn't religious enough (yes, there was a very religious church-going popular crowd) to fit into the other popular group. I just floundered socially. Academically, I never felt inspired. Some of the work was challenging, but not engaging.

Basically, I joined as many extra cirriculuar activities, sports and honors groups as possible to make sure that when the time came, I could get as far away from high school as I could.

I went to Smith College, 3,000 miles away from my home town. There, I found the love and support that I had been looking for in highschool. I found interesting, fiercely intelligent women who didn't put me down for using "big words" to express myself. We all secretely admitted that we liked to read, write, draw, paint and go to elitist coffee shops where people recited spoken word poetry. It was a coming out moment for the intellectualism that we had supressed throughout puberty. I reveled in it and drank up as much as I could.

Just recently, I had a friend from high school tell me that a mutual friend was looking for me on myspace. I've had a myspace account for the last two years or so, but left it completely blank and only used to occasionally message people or check other people's pages. I updated my page, added some pictures, and suddenly - it's like a windown into my past has blown open.

The crazy part is that I love the fresh air. I love finding out who got married and who got their master's degrees in chemistry or education. I'm sure that it's time that has helped heal some of the wounds that teenagers mutually inflict on each other, but people genuinely seem surprised and happy to hear from me. It's allowed me to reconnect, not only with the people that I grew up with, but with a part of myself.

I had written off the teenage version of myself as someone that I didn't want to know. Turns out, she had a lot of problems and a whole hell of a lot of insecurities, but the NSP in high school wasn't as bad as I had originally thought.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I didn't know it at the time, sitting in the restaurant at Simon Pearce in Queeche, VT and drinking a chaste sip of wine, how my life would change after my pregnancy. I didn't know the full implications of my decision then.

A baby was only an abstract thought to me. I had very little morning sickness and for the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy, it was easier for me to believe that I had ovarian cancer than a child. All of the pregnancy tests in the world couldn't convince me that I would be able to carry a growing infant to term in my body.

Then I did. Zac came and he was beautiful, if completely unknown and foreign to me. I wish I could have those early days back with him. I would give almost anything to hold him against me and feel his soft, downy head. It's probably the most accute form of revisionist history to wish that I could look down and see him nurse again. I miss the unbelievably small onesies and sleeping next to him throughout the night. I see little babies in the mall or in the waiting room of my organization and think, "How was he ever that small?" Even at one month old, he looked like a little mini adult, fully formed and ready to play.

Now he wakes me up by coming as close to my face as possible, with our noses almost touching, and yells, "HA!" as soon as he sees my eyes open. His mouth hangs open in a goofy grin and he opens his eyes as wide as possible to greet me good morning.

I get up, turn on some cartoons for him to watch, get undressed to take a shower and am once again faced with my post-pregnancy body. It's covered in stretch marks and parts hang lower than I think they should. My stomach has the odd dual lumps, with my belly button in the middle, separating the twin hills. When I spin around to turn on the shower, I remember why I turn out the light before I get undressed.

Trying to date with this body is like trying to write a novel with a worn down nub of a pencil. It's possible to do it, just not easy. The pencil can form words and convey the thoughts of the author, but its a dull instrument when compared to a computer or even a pen.

It's not that I want to trade my body or even go back to the body that I had before Zac, it's that I wish I could embrace the beauty of this pencil, bitemarks and all.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Last night I was laying in bed reading another silly Anita Shreve novel. This one is set in New Hampshire, specifically the part of New Hampshire that I lived in for over a year. The story centers around the towns that crisscross the New Hampshire/Vermont border from the middle of the state upwards. The action in the novel occurs during a very cold, snowy winter in the hills. There are driveways that people can't get up, even in ambulances, and the ice is an omnipresent character in the story.

I laid there and thought, "Now New Hampshire is a perfect place to be very, very sad." All that snow, ice and freezing temperatures seem to encourage long periods of introspection and depression. People close their doors and hole up in their houses. The lack of friendliness in the town's people only personifies the belief that you either, "Live Free or Die" in that state. Independence is cherished and any sign of public weakness should be crushed out immediately like a cigarette butt.

It really is the kind of place where you could go quietly insane and no one would notice. The neighbors might find you once the ground thaws and the snow melts, but it would be too late by then.

Then I started thinking of all the places where I was unbelievably miserable. The places where I experienced chest tightening anxiety attacks and self-hatred so extreme that I rarely got out of bed. Places where, at times, I functioned only on a life-preserving level. Certainly, Lebanon, New Hampshire tops the list, but it's closely followed by McCall, Idaho - Telmen, Zavkhan, Mongolia - Oxford, England - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Friendswood, Texas.

Wherever you go - there you are. Unlike the airlines, your being never loses your baggage.

My baggage is a slightly different from other divorced/single parents that I've met. My baggage doesn't have needs. My baggage doesn't call me to tell me that it needs money or emotional support. I don't have to respond to my baggage and I can go weeks pretending it doesn't exist. My baggage can't keep me from seeing my son because it's in a bad mood (really, we all know that depression and it's twin, anxiety, are rarely in good moods. That's contrary to their nature). It can keep me from enjoying my time with Zac and from appreciating the joy and beauty around me, but I don't have to ask it to file a joint tax return or for extra time on the weekend to be with my son.

The flip side of this coin is that no one claims Zac and I as "family". There is no former partner that I can call that will stop everything to support us, even if they don't love me anymore. It's Zac and I. I make all the decisions, even though I yearn to be in a family of my own making.

I want someone to say that they will always love me - no, love us - regardless of the mistakes I make.


I wanted to write a post about choices and how overwhelmed I feel with trying to make decisions by myself, but the words won't come. I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a tooth that aches all the way down the gum line and into the bottom of my mouth.

I spent three hours in the dentist's chair on Friday getting a temporary crown on my cracked tooth. In my ignorance of dental procedures, I thought that they just had to slap on some metal in the shape of a tooth and I would be good to go. Unfortunately, the whole procedure involved more drilling and shoving rope underneith the gumline to get an accurate impression of the tooth. I was basically miserable and it was only the laughing gas that kept me from horribly embarassing myself and cursing out everyone in a five mile radius.

On Saturday and Sunday, I drove around looking for new apartments. It was basically an exhausting task and I would only wish it upon someone that had absolutely nothing better to do with their time (like napping, playing with their kid or filing their taxes). The average rental price for a two bedroom apartment in the area where I was looking was $950-$1100. I would have to sell a kidney to be able to afford that. It was so disheartening to go into "luxury apartment" after apartment, only to find that even a one bedroom was out of my price range. The non-luxury apartments butted up against a major highway and had boarded up windows in some parts. There is no middle ground in this suburb: you either have money or you don't.

I found one place that is less than the median that I might have a chance at affording. I need to check around for daycare centers today to see if it's even an option. Even though I'm pretty sure that I can't afford to send Zac to a montessori school, I'm going to call the two in the area to check their prices.

West Virginia didn't return my call last night so I need to talk to him tonight. As always, the status of my relationships seem to greatly influence (perhaps determine?) my emotional state.

Note to self: Work on that shit in therapy.