January, 2011
Archive

  • The Grunt

    When Munchee first started making noises, I thought everything that came out of her mouth was as precious as water. I was so enamored with her little cooing and gurgling that I would have put it in my ipod to listen to it in the shower. Couldn’t get enough of each and every noise. Until one day, a new noise was born.

    The Grunt

    This was a noise so deep, so guttural, so intense, it seemed as if it was spawned in the depths of the earth’s volcanic crust. It had this intensity that irritated my inner ear like scratching a chalkboard and made my teeth itch. It ignited this feeling of urgency to do whatever possible to make that noise stop.

    But The Grunt wasn’t unhappy noise. There was nothing wrong with her. It was more of an alert. A way of saying “Hey, mom, what you are doing is lame. Pay attention to me. No, I am not hungry. I am not tired. Just look at me. Yes… that’s right. Look at me.” There was nothing intentionally malicious about it, but it made me want to look her in the eye and say “seriously dude, shut the fuck up.”

    Then I had this realization that changed my whole perspective on The Grunt. I much preferred it to her crying. When she cries, it seriously breaks my heart. If someone else said this to me before having a baby, I would have a quick fantasy of punching them in the face. Babies cry. But when my Munchee cries, it pains my soul. Even if there is nothing really wrong when she is crying besides wanting to get out of her car seat, it still haunts me.

    So suddenly, I was just really happy that she was communicating that she wanted my attention, but didn’t feel the need to cry about it. I could then see The Grunt as just an assertive request, and that made me respect it. I hate crying. I feel so disempowered when I cry. It releases stress hormones, your face gets all puffy… it is hard not to feel victimized after crying.

    Since I am raising a little girl, I want her as a woman to be forthright with what she wants. I want her to say what is on her mind. I want her to be emotionally secure enough to be self-confident. To use her voice. When she is older I will maybe explain she could be more strategic then caveman grunts, but in the meantime get your grunt on girl!

    (tell me you wouldn’t prefer a grunt to this sad as hell face!)

    January 31, 2011 • 4th month, Baby Brain, Mommy Mind • Views: 25

  • Girlfriend Type of Girl

    You know those girls who are like “I just get along with guys better. I don’t have a lot of girl friends…?” Well, I am not one of those girls. I love my girlfriends and want to put them all in a hot air balloon and sail away with them. Female relationships are super important to my mental merriment.

    Since I moved from NYC to New Hampsha, I had to leave a lot of my best friends behind. This of course pained my soul, not only because I will miss them, but also I want them to be a part of my baby’s life. I want her to have a harem of aunties… a coven of godmothers. I would love for her to have women in her life that she can turn to for advice when she wants to punch me in the face. I really feel like intergenerational relationships are so important, because as much as I don’t want to say it, you can’t always talk to your mom about everything. Especially when you want to talk about how much your mom sucks.

    Lucky for me, my closest friends have made such an effort to come visit me in the cuntree and get to know The Munch. It is so amazing to watch them love her, cuddle her, and make her laugh. (You know, just because your friends with someone, doesn’t mean they are automatically going to like your kid. There are some kids you just don’t like. Even though they are just kids, they are still people, and you just don’t like everyone. So thank the universe so far everyone seems to genuinely get along with Munchee).

    January 29, 2011 • 4th month, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 16

  • Babies Live For The Moment

    As adults, we are often plagued by the idea of time. The past torments us with all the things we could have done differently, and the future terrifies us with all the things that could go wrong. I feel like all my talents of imagining I was a mermaid as a child, has been transformed into imagining all the things in my past/future that did/could give me anxiety.

    Your rational mind knows there is nothing you can do to change the past, and the future is undetermined so why fret? But how many fights have you gotten into with someone because of something they did months ago holding onto resentment like a lollipop? Or how many times do you find yourself freaking out about something that hasn’t even happened?

    I guess our emotional selves are really attached to this idea of past and future because our lives are so dictated by the collective time we all try to keep. Our concern with time is what keeps people organized, which benefits society as a whole. It would be kind of hard to get anything accomplished if everyone had the attitude “I will get there when the moment moves me to come.” Although an amazing way to live if we all lived in a commune, not so good for Day Traders.

    So I get it. I get why we have time as a way of keeping order for humanity, but as an individual human the concept of time can be quite daunting. I feel like it has an effect on our psyches. That is why vacations are so lovely. Not only because you are not working… but because it is a time in life when it doesn’t matter what time it is.

    But babies don’t give a care what time it is! Like our pets who we envy for their simple lives, they have no concept of time. All they have is the now… the present moment. Babies are like miniature Buddhas. Maybe that is why they think peekaboo is so damn funny? Because really… where the hell did you just go… and where the fuck did you just come from?

    Doesn’t She
    a) Look super blissed out and Buddha like?
    B) Look super hilarious that her arms hardly reach over her head?! Imagine if your arms were still that short!

    January 28, 2011 • 4th month, Baby Brain, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 15

  • Extreme Parenting

    I would like to think of myself as a person who pushes boundaries. I like a physical challenge. I wouldn’t say I am a freebase jumping off a building type of girl… but I am definitely someone who would jump go cliff jumping, or swim across a lake, or climb a mountain in the dead of winter. I like to do things that others might think is intense, but I don’t do things that people think is outright crazy.

    Despite my propensity to test limits, since having a baby, the line has become a lot lower. The risk/reward factor has drastically decreased, because no adrenalin rush is worthy of putting The Munch in danger.

    So my when my friend sent me that picture of a mom tossing her baby over a ravine my first reaction was “what the fuck is wrong with her!?” All I could see was potential horror, making my stomach turn inside out like socks out of the dryer.

    Part of me thinks it is beautiful that these parents are hiking with their baby and exposing him/her to their passion of nature. But couldn’t you take the bunny trail? You don’t have to totally compromise yourself, but like it or not a baby does change your life. Can’t you tone it down a bit?

    It was similar to how I felt when I saw the “baby swinging yoga video.” When I first came across the title in an email I was all “awwwwww, this will probably be cute… baby swinging yoga.” But when I clicked on the video and saw a burly woman fluctuating a baby around like a nun chuck, all I could think was “what the fuck is that bitch thinking?” Do whatever potential benefits outweigh the risk of tossing your baby accidentally? I mean it is a human, not a purse you are swinging!
    (Check out the video… if you can’t make it through, go to the end and see how the baby reacts)
    Swinging Baby Yoga

    The video left such a strange taste in my mouth I had to eat a brownie. Okay fine… I just wanted a brownie. Part of me felt like that chick was insane, but part of me thought the baby did not seem to mind. There was a rhythm to the whole experience that I think provoked some sort of trance. Even though I thought Brunhilda looked like she could have flung the kid off into oblivion, or at least dislocate a shoulder, they baby seemed malleable and pretty much going with the flow. Not that it had a choice.

    And maybe that is my problem. Not that these people are seriously extreme with their childrearing techniques, but the baby’s have no say in any of it. But my baby doesn’t have a choice either when I put her in a car to go grocery shopping… and maybe that just as life threatening?

    I then got an article interviewing the “baby swinger” who pretty much had a totally different cultural view on what she did. She said that she has been swinging babies for decades, and swung the shit out of her two daughters who know can communicate with dolphins and translate Sanskrit in their sleep.

    Children Who Survived \"Swinging Baby Yoga\"

    I guess at the end of the day it is hard to judge another person’s parenting. Maybe it is all about intention? If you fully believe what you are doing is the best thing for you baby, then maybe it is? But if your actions are veiled with your own selfish agenda, then maybe it is time to prioritize your baby over yourself? At least until they are old enough to tell you if they think you are totally nuts.

    January 27, 2011 • 4th month, Mommy Mind, Musings, Parenting • Views: 85

  • The Little Accomplishments

    Last night The Munch had a hard time falling asleep. She was fighting it. Writhing around, whining, tossing her head back and forth. I knew she was tired. I knew it because I wanted it to be so… but also, it was nighttime. She is a baby. She needs to go to bed.

    Part of me just wanted to put her down and let her fight herself. I was hungry. I was sick of her trashing around on my boob. I just wanted a moment to myself. But there was this other part of me that just decided to wait it out with her. So I repositioned her… pat her back… she let out a burp that would put a frat boy to shame and a fart so powerful it ricocheted against my hand. She almost head butted me in the nose twice. She drooled on my face trying to gum it. Farted. Another writhe… a cry in my ear… nestled her little face into my neck… coughed… looked at me… sneezed in my eye… and then rested her head on my shoulder. I sat for a moment prepared for another assault, but then I heard it. The deep, erratic, struggled breathing of a sleeping baby.

    I felt such relief. I sat and rocked her to make sure she was totally coated in sleepy dreamingness. I put her in my bed, and made my way to eat feeling an intense sense of accomplishment. Now, did I really accomplish anything in the grand scheme of things? Did I find a new particle to further demystify quantum physics? Did I come up with a solution to use mushrooms as a means to clean environmental catastrophes? Not exactly. But I still felt like I did something meaningful. Why?

    Nobody cares that I got my baby to sleep. She is not going to “remember” that night I made sure blissfully rested in my arms. So why do I do it?

    I guess because feel like I am building her personality right now. Of course there is the nature / nurture debate about what makes you you, but I am working on the nurture part. Even though these moments we are having are technically only imprinting into my conscious memories, they are what are helping to form her unconscious self. Her way of relating to the world, to other people, to herself is being influenced by the way I treat her everyday.

    Maybe the greatest thing I can do for her is to make sure she feels totally loved by me. Because a person that feels loved is best able to give love back.

    January 26, 2011 • 4th month, Baby Brain, Parenting, Sleeping • Views: 17

  • You Probably Think I Haven’t Named My Baby

    Even though I never use my baby’s name… I did name her!

    Adelia (pronounced A-day-leah)

    It was my Great-grandmother’s name, and my Grandmother came up with the idea. I was thinking of names like Spiral…. or Asparagus… which were not exactly popular choices. But something about Adelia felt right.

    But I still can’t call her by her name. I hardly ever say it out loud. Really only when people ask me “what is your baby’s name.” I guess I am intimidated by the fact that I named a human, and that this human is now the name that I gave her. It is now her identity that will introduce her to all other humans for the rest of her life. Ohhh the pressure!

    But now that she is getting more aware, it is important to use her name to get her attention. Or a name… an nickname….

    So for some reason, one day I called her Munchee. I watched her for a moment, and she was just Munching. Something about her is just The Munch.

    I can’t explain this, it just is. She is The Munch. My Munchee Muncharoo. Countless songs have been composed by me, to her, around this concept.

    Song 1) Whose the little Munch whose the little Munch?
    Song 2) Munchee Muncharoo, my Munchee Muncharoo (Woo!)
    Song 3) Mysterious Munchee
    Move over Bob Dylan!

    January 25, 2011 • 4th month, Mommy Mind • Views: 16

  • My Life is Like One Long Day

    I used to know what day it was everyday. There used to be a difference between my days. Each “day” was separated by a night. During this “night” I slept, which helped me to distinguish between one day and the next. When I “woke up” for the day, it meant I was not going to sleep again until that night, further enforcing the idea of “day time.” During these “waking hours” I did stuff. That stuff differed according to what “day” it was. Those “days” came in sets of 5 to create the “work week” which then was rewarded by the “weekend.”

    Now my life seems just like one long, giant, extended day.

    Because I wake up every two hours during the night to feed her, the night is no longer perceived as one chunk of time, but rather broken up pieces of the day I just lived. Because my sleep is so irregular, I find my self “sleeping when the baby sleeps” and napping more during the day. Since neither during the day or night I sleep more than 2 hours in a row, I just feel like I am always in a haze of just waking up, or trying to fall back asleep.

    Because my current “job” is to take care of my baby, there is no more weekday or weekend. There is just the 24-hour a day responsibility of being a mom. Yes, this is much more enjoyable and emotionally enriching than “working,” but there is no off time. No coffee break. No Columbus Day off type of thing.

    Although there are no days off from being a mom… and the only thing that distinguishes yesterday from today is the fact that other people insist upon it… In my world of life beyond time, I am having one amazing day.

    (Doesn’t it look like she is saying “Wait… give me a minute…” Ha! Like she knows what a minute is)

    January 24, 2011 • 3rd month, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 29

  • My ULTIMATE Obsession

    I have an obsession. I am not talking about your Calvin Klein kid shit… I am talking about a serious, pathological obsession. The kind of obsession that deserves a reality TV series. An obsession so consuming, so relentless, so intense that I am ruled by it.

    And that obsession is with buggers. The buggers in my baby’s nose that haunt me.

    You see, your baby spends most of their day laying down right? And when someone is lying down, you can see up their nose. Pretty simple concept I know. But when I see up my baby’s nose, and I see a bugger, all I want to do is get it.

    Now, there is a problem. Her nostril, is infinitely smaller than my fingers. I can’t get my finger up her tiny baby nose. And I can’t look at her with buggers in her face. I just can’t.

    Does she give a care? No. Not at all. She is perfectly happy with buggers dangling like a chandelier. Why does it bother me so much? Because I have to look at them. I want to free her nose of these buggers as much as I want to Free Tibet.

    So, what do I do you ask? First, I tried using her finger. Although her finger does fit up her nose quite nicely, it is hard to manipulate it because she doesn’t want to put her finger in her nose. If by miraculous coordination I do get her finger in there, she has no idea why her finger is in her nose, and does not make the necessary motion to dig the bugger out.

    Idea number 2… Push her nose up in a pig position, and try to smoosh the bugger out. She is not a fan of this strategy. She gets increasingly annoyed at me.

    Idea number 3…Grow my pinky nail. Maybe my pinky nail might be just small enough to fit. And you know what? It worked! Okay, fine, now I look like a cokehead mom, which is suspect, but I can really get in there to dig one right out.

    I can’t say she enjoys that I do this to her. Sometimes she will turn her head back and forth and resist. Moments like that, I jut have to breathe and let it go. A true test of love and will. But if I persist, and pick just the right moment when she is feeling calm, I can get my nail up there and pick the hell out that nose! It is a satisfaction worthy of a prize.

    January 23, 2011 • 3rd month, Baby Body, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 43

  • The BEST Idea I EVER Had

    A couple of years ago I had an idea. An idea that I thought so brilliant… so profound… so worth of sharing that I had to make a video depicting my fantasy of it.

    What is this idea you must be asking yourself! What could possibly warrant an introduction of such self-gratifying language?

    And that idea my friends… is Human Cheese.

    I was traveling cross-country, making my way through Oregon when my friends and I decided to stop at the Tilamook Cheese Factory. Why did we do this? Not because we were high… (exclusively) but because it was there! And that is just what you do.

    At the cheese factory, which as you may be able to imagine was quite disturbing, I started thinking of why we eat cow cheese. Who was the first person that came up with that idea? “Yes, I am going to take this liquid from a cow’s tit, cook it, curdle it, make it nice and chunky, and turn it into hard mold. And then I am going to eat it!”

    And why cow cheese? We as humans have a history of sucking on human boobs, not cow boobs. Who was that guy who looked at a baby cow nursing his mom and said to himself “Now that’s a good idea!” How did this catch on? How did we start manufacturing cow dairy? Why not human dairy?

    Since I made this video, my friends and family have sent me an alarming number of articles on the subject. I guess I am not the only genius who came up with this thought. Sigh. (see example below)

    http://itp.nyu.edu/livingsystems/2010/10/human-cheese/

    But… I am the only smart ass who made an awesome video about it. Check it!

    January 22, 2011 • 3rd month, Breast Feeding, Environmental Impact, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 15