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Archive for November, 2008

Today

Today was a nice day. My mom and dad came and took care of A. so Wifey and I could go Christmas shopping downtown. We went to the Market, and up a few blocks to all the big fancy stores that can make a girl feel like Holly Golightly. We had lunch at a little Russian cafe, and treats at a French bakery. It is such a treat to be out and to feel responsible only for my own person. And it is a treat for W. and I to get to be together without juggling and negotiating responsibilities and anxieties and needs and wants. It sounds like the boy was charming enough for the grandparents to maybe want to do it again… Let’s hope!

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I just LOVE cataloguing, categorizing, organizing. It’s so fun and brings just the touch of CONTROL I need in my disorderly soul these days. So here we have a new category to contain my escapism. After 28 days straight of driveling about my daily life, I today must instead go somewhere beautiful. Seattle is so damn DARK this time of year. I descended into the bowels of Target today and resurfaced at 3pm, in near darkness. So, I think my escape place shall be somewhere light-filled….  So, Ahoy, dear reader readers, let’s go to Croatia!

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W. and I were already in Europe in 2005, so, like the rest of Europe, we decided to have our beachy vacation in Croatia, on the Dalmatian coast. Croatia is such a beautiful, affordable place. Ancient Roman ruins litter the streets, white rock walls and olive trees dot the landscape, the food is a unique version of Mediterranean, and the beaches are accessible yet not too touristified.  I feel better already just thinking of it!  Hasn’t it been scientifically proven that if you think deeply about a place, part of your mind actually has the experience of going there?

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We gave Mister Finn peas and he looked at us in utter disgust, insulted, like “WHY would you put this in my mouth?” Then he gagged dramatically and threw up.  Bananas had a similar fanfare.  There is an element of betrayal in his facial expressions. Too bad when this happens because then we have to wait a week to try a new food. (He has mild excema so we are being cautious.) He’s not really keen on anything so far except pears, and after half a jar, they, too, end in tears. I don’t know if it all just gets to be too much at some point?   Are babies generally emotional eaters?

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Thanksgiving

It was a beautiful day at my mom and dad’s house. Wifey, Mister Finn, Winnie the dog and I were there with my parents, my grandma, my uncle J. and his new boyfriend B., and B.’s sister and her new baby. Last Thanksgiving when everything was sucking, I was desperately wishing with all of my heart that this Thanksgiving would be just the way it was today: our healthy beautiful boy in our warm family home.

My dominant feeling today is immense gratitude for my son. But I’m also feeling a lot of other things that I wish I weren’t, because it would be so nice to feel Thanksgiving all shiny and uncomplicated.

Lately I’m on the anxious/fragile/sensitive/edgy/depressed side of things. I can’t really put a finger on Why. Maybe it’s the Anniversary Fairy come to start kicking my ass, now through next May. There’s a sadness, not fleshed out and dominating; more like a ghost. Maybe I need my dosage of anti-depressants upped (again). Maybe it’s hormonal. Maybe I’m thinking too much. Or maybe I haven’t been able to catch my breath long enough to think at all. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel better.

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Naming this bird

I shall, from now on, also refer to A. as “Mister Finn.”  Finn is A’s middle name.

Mister Finn is singing, chirping, squawking nearly every moment he is awake. It is as though we have a 15+ pound canary in our house. Especially when he hits those high notes, which he seems to prefer.

I am loving it.

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Birthing Vicariously

One of the sneakiest mean things about having had a difficult babymaking experience is the jealousy I feel towards women who get to do it the “right” way. You know, with a birth plan that consists of any luxurious detail other than “everyone gets out alive.” I know, from reading all of my premature-baby/fucked-up-pregnancy support books, that jealousy is a normal side effect, but I am often surprised when it hits.

This time, I am surprised to find it absent. Perhaps this very minute, my dear Meredith is on the cusp of a healthy labor and my heart is light with the feeling of no jealousy at all.  I am so relieved to be feeling nothing but joy and excitement and sending her love boundless on magical electric waves of good mojo. I’m giddy about her birthing ball and her doulas and her birth plan. I hate the whole concept of someone “deserving” a good birth experience because that gives the impression that the universe has evil intentions for those of us that weren’t so lucky. But I will say that she has been to Hell and back making this beautiful boy, and I am fierce with longing for every difficulty she’s had along the way to be matched in intensity by moments of beauty and perfectness during her baby’s birth.  I think it’s going to be good.  Love you sweet M.

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Of course, I don’t say this when I greet my neighbors. I say “Hi” like a normal person, and then when they reach to touch my baby with their friendly dirty germy paws, I say nothing (thinking WHY must you touch the baby?!)  because I can’t really believe it is happening (again), or I don’t want to take away from the friendly normalness of the moment by quickly shifting the topic away from how cute and healthy he is to CHRONIC LUNG DISEASE, DOOM.  On the days that I do feel up for The Speech, I say, as their hands alight on their jerky path of destruction, “Oh, yeah, you know, since he was born three months early his lungs are damaged from having to breathe oxygen three months too soon, so he will be sensitive to infection the first year or so of his life until he has grown new lung tissue– yeah isn’t that crazy?– they get all new lungs!  so we’re supposed to ask people not to touch him to try to keep him from getting sick, especially since it’s RSV season.”

Of course I only get through “Oh, yeah, y—” before they’ve mauled him. We live in a building teeming with baby-friendly artists, and plus it’s not only them– TOTAL STRANGERS at stoplights have touched his cheeks, which I know are irresistible, but do you see me fondling every fresh doughy croissant I see?

Wifey is going to make him a sign to put on his stroller, and we’re going to email all of our local friends and neighbors, and put a sign up in the mailroom of our sociable building, and keep socks on his hands which will be changed promptly if they are tainted, and, probably most obviously, we are going to have to pluck up the courage to be rude and bat people away with a stick. But that is much easier said than done, more so with friends and neighbors than total strangers.  It is either do all of these things or quarantine him. We are already not taking him into crowded places, but we are taking him into uncrowded places (like art galleries), on walks, to the odd appointment, and to our “mom’s group.”

One of the hardest things about all of this is that when I take him to our mom’s group he can’t play with the other babies. He has to sit in my lap and play with his own toy while everyone else rolls around on the communal blanket licking each other.

The End.

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