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sleeping
Posts

  • Why Is “Mom” the Answer to Everything?

    Even though I love the shit out of my kid, being “the mom” can sometimes seriously suck. Whenever The Munch is sick, all she wants is me – her mom. No one else will do. Not even if My Little Pony had an orgy with Frozen, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid to produce the ultimate neon princess pony with magical powers and tail.

    I think we all have this visceral connection to the idea that “mom” emotionally translates to safety. When I was young and sick, it was my mom who I felt I could trust most to know what to do. Which was pretty much the right idea since her cure to all ailments was to mix together a drink of lemon, honey, warm water, and whisky. Not sure if those concoctions actually helped me heal, but they did facilitate a damn good time.

    When we are at our most vulnerable, especially when young, one true relief is being with mom. But what is it about “the mom” that is most soothing? Is it because we once lived inside her as an actual physical home while feeding from her blood like a parasite? Does the inadvertent nurturing dependency of pregnancy impact an assumption that mom = support? But what about adopted children? I am sure they still want to snuggle with their mom even if they didn’t spurt out her birth canyon. Is it a female thing that bitches are inherently more comforting and shit? But what about children of gay couples? Which mom is the sick mom? Or which dad becomes the sick dad? Is one person always burdened with being the sick parent? Why did it have to be me?

    The Munch came home from school yesterday with a fever, and has literally been on top of me ever since. I mean I know I am delightful and all, but this primal urge for her to be near me is intense. She slept on me all afternoon – pinning me down so I felt like a guy after a one-night stand that wants to chew his own arm off just to free himself from the embrace of a girl he is just not that into. If I tried to maneuver myself away, Munch just held on tighter around me neck – IN HER SLEEP LIKE A BOSS!

    Then of course last night she didn’t want to sleep by herself. She kept waking up with these intense hallucinations like she was at a Grateful Dead Show – her heart beating as fast as tripping hippy. So I brought her into my bed hoping we could both get some rest. My logic was that if she was alone and scared she would wake up more than if she was next to me. I also wanted to keep an eye on her in case things got really bad throughout the night. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fever induced nightmares that would ensue. It was like trying to sleep in an insane asylum. Every 20 minutes she would yell in her sleep. Some of my favorite utterings she bellowed into the darkness were “Don’t peel my skin off! I want to eat it later,” as well as “Those bushes are evil and the sugar will destroy you,” and then “I don’t want to go to school, the monsters keep taking our blankets and using them for polenta.” I was fucking terrified.

    At one point Munch woke up for some water, which she proceeded to drink too fast, and then vomited all over my bed. As exciting as that was to have this exorcist moment, it was also pretty gross to sleep in bile. So we went back into her room, where I slept on the floor in case she puked again. Then came the deliriums, which caused not only intense thrashing, but for Munch to wake up yelling in my face blowing barf-breath directly into my nose – all the while still sort of sleeping and sweating like a coke head in the early morning hours.

    Today wasn’t any better. A kid with a fever is a lot like being around a detoxing junkie. There is a lot of crying, flailing, fitful napping, and relentlessly asking for more medicine. There wasn’t any liberation from her unyielding need for me to hold her through this process, which was as flattering as it was oppressive. It is nice that she feels so consoled by me, but I haven’t seen the light of day in 24 hours. Has WW3 started yet? What is going on out there?

    Hopefully despite all this direct contact I won’t catch whatever she had, but if I do get her germs Munch promised we would take care of each other. Meaning I would still do everything for her, but she would let me have some of her orange juice and some of her medicine that takes like candy.

    I give up…

    sick-munch-mom-blog-(i)

    September 24, 2014 • 4 years old, Health, Mommyhood, Parenting • Views: 1496

  • Share Bear

    Some cultures don’t have the word “mine” because everything is considered “ours.”  For them, personal possession isn’t a concept because all property is communal.  Although I think this is a beautiful notion, I was raised in an environment where my Dad’s popcorn was his, and to even think of taking some I had to consider what life would be like without fingers.

    American individualism means that we are very attached to the idea of “I,” “mine,” and “me.”  The person is more important than the collective.  Although we are taught values, and to honor other people by being aware of their needs, that doesn’t take away that our filter is clouded by the idea of “how will this effect me” more than “we.”

    I would say that I am a generous person.  I am giving with what I have: my money, my time, my home, my love.  But when I view something as mine, and feel ownership over it, I don’t like to share it.  I mean, of course I do share – after all I did graduate from the 3rd grade.  But I do so begrudgingly.  More because I don’t want to say “no” than actually wanting you to have a bite of my cupcake.  And to be honest, I say “no” a fair amount too.  I guess I really like cupcakes.

    But since having a child I have had to share everything with her.  I shared my body with her when she was living inside of it, I shared my precious lady parts with her when she burst out of them, I shared my boobs with her as she survived off of them, I share every single thing I eat and drink with her even though she backwashes and her hands are gross.  And you know what? I want to! I even ENJOY sharing with her.  Those crazy mommy hormones make sharing with her feel better than having myself. I would rather The Munch had the last bite of avocado because it is more important that she eats.  My excessive love for her means I want for her more than I want for me.

    But everyone has their limits.

    Last night when I was putting The Munch to bed she decided she wanted to bring my teddy bear into her crib.  Now, I now I am a grown ass woman, but I have been sleeping with a stuffed animal my entire life and that is my teddy bear.

    Toni: “Munch, that is Mamma’s teddy bear.  But it back on my bed please.”

    Munch: “No I want to bring your bear in my crib.”

    Toni: “No sweetie.  That is Mamma’s.  You have all your babies, your seal named Penguin, your weird vagina looking monster thing… Mamma only has one bear.  So can you put him back please?”

    Munch: “No but I want to bring him in my crib!!! Please Mamma.”

    Toni: “Okay Munch.”

    Did I want to share my bear with her?  No. Not at all.  Did I say yes? Of course I did. I am her mother and my love is unconditional.  And because the second after she feel asleep I took it back.

    (Tell me that is not a vagina monster???)

    share-bear-blog-(i)

  • Are All Kids OCD, Or Just Mine?

    Kids are really into routines.  I guess it calms their frenetic child minds when they can expect what is coming next.  I can see how that would be comforting.  It must be unsettling having no sense of time, never knowing what day it is, and having some giant who speaks mostly in tongues orchestrate your day.   Insisting that they know best when you should sleep, and that you shouldn’t suck all the toothpaste off the toothbrush.

    I am empathetic to The Munch and her particularities.  But sometimes I notice that she gets obsessed in really peculiar and somewhat irrational ways.  Like she has to line up her toys on the bathtub rim in a perfect line, will only wear tights and never socks, eats popsicles only after they have melted, or insists on cutting off all the tags clothes because she thinks they are itchy.  Well actually, I totally relate to the tag thing and do that myself.  I have 45 shirts with holes in the back collar.  I have heard that an obsession with tags touching skin is a mark of high functioning autism but whatever.

    The Munch needs things to be exactly how she wants them to be, and if I don’t honor her eccentricities it is like I tied up her Elmo doll and sodomized him in front of her.

    Example 1:

    Munch: “My hands are cold!”

    Toni: “Here Munch, I have your mittens.  Let me put them on you.”

    Munch: “No I don’t want to wear them! The thumbs are floppy!”

    Toni: “Munch look, they are hardly floppy. I will pull them tight.  See.  Not floppy.”

    Munch: “THEY ARE FLOPPY! Take them off!!!!!!!!!”

    Toni: “Okay fine!”

    Munch: “Ahhhhhhh! My hands are cold!”

    Example 2:

    Munch: “Mamma, cut my sandwich.  I want two pieces.”

    Toni: “Okay.”

    Munch: “No! Now it’s falling apart! Fix it!”

    Toni: “Well, I can’t un-cut it Munch.”

    Munch: “The top is sliding off!!!”

    Toni: “Here, you just have to hold it tight.”

    Munch: “Ahhhhhhh it’s slipping!”

    Toni: “Munch I can’t glue it together?”

    Munch: “Put it back together! Un-cut it!”

    Example 3:

    Munch: “Are my babies in my crib for night-night?”

    Toni: “Yes, they are in your crib waiting for you.”

    Munch: “Other Baby, Old Baby, Water Baby, Car Seat Baby, New Baby, and Headband Baby?”

    Toni: “Well, I think I forgot headband baby.”

    Munch: “NO!! I NEED HEADBAND BABY!!”

    Toni: “But I think she is in the car so lets see her tomorrow.”

    Munch: “I NEED HER!!”

    Toni: “Munch, you have like 100 babies in here. Lets just wait to see her until tomorrow.  She is sleeping in the car.”

    Munch: “Go get her!! Go wake her up!! She is lonely!!”

    Toni: “ Fine… I will go get her.  I will be right back.”

    Munch: “Thank you Mamma.  Is my computer in the crib?”

    Toni: “No Munch, your computer is down stairs.”

    Munch: “But I need my computer in the crib!!”

    Toni: “Well, that actually makes a lot of sense to me.”

    ocd-blog-(i)

    April 3, 2013 • 2 years old, Baby Brain, Behavior, Eating, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1672

  • 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: 934