Thursday, March 31, 2005

On springtime and blood tests

Abject apologies for my long silence! It's Spring Break and when it's Spring Break Darling Hubby is home and when Darling Hubby is home Blue can work outside. Huzzah!

So I've been waddling happily about the barnyard and garden getting sod-all done, but planning a great deal. It's a bit hard, really. I weigh, like, 4000 lbs and get tired so quickly. I can't bend down to pick up a dropped nail. Not to mention that the barnyard is close enough to the house for me to hear the various screams and crying fits inflicted on Darling Hubby by The Brood.

We did get out yesterday. (Note to self: do not drive in rush hour traffic when wired on Pregnancy Hormones. I'm already a hope-you-die-in-a-fiery-cateclysm-or-get-your-pancreas-eaten-by-aliens-you-bitch! type of competative driver under normal, non-gestational conditions)

I must be some sort of conception catalyst. I say this because since I got preggers with my first everyone around me seems to get knocked up when I do. I'd concieve and half of my co-workers would too. It seems to work with my OBs office as well. I go in for my first few appts and it's like a ghost town in the office. By the time I'm up to 6 months or so the place is like a cattle feedlot.

So, while waiting to see the doc for my last 3 appointments, not only has the OB on call been rushed away to a delivery, the OB in the office has as well, leaving us not-quite-ready-to-pop gals either waiting a while or trudging back home, our appointments rescheduled.

This is generally no problem for me. I never have anything alarming to report, so it's Hi, howya doin'? Good? Kay. Bye! type of thing but there's one little hitch. There's a doctor in the paractice whom I really really dislike. He's the senior partner. He has a private office and is always there.

Soooooo guess who steps in, brisk and annoyed, when the other two docs are called away?

You guessed it: Dr Arrogant Bully

Now I love my OB practice. Not only have they assisted me in bringing all of my lovely children into the world but the docs and nurses and staff are just fab. I really love most of them. Seriously. All except Dr Arrogant Bully. And Dr Blue-is-too-fat.

So there I am, trying to keep my smile on and my teeth clamped shut. I'm juggling my youngest who's going through seperation anxiety and decided abruptly, when I was called, to draw down a rain of fire from the heavens because I had had the gall to leave her in her own father's arms, damnit who did I think I was?

Dr AB: (reading my chart where I'd refused the second GD test) "If you're not going to take the test then we'll treat you like you failed it."
Me: "Fine"
Dr AB: (bristling) "You'll have to test your blood 4 times a day ... stick your finger ... take a fasting blood sugar and ..."
Me: (tartly) "Fine."
Dr AB: " ... after breakfast lunch and dinner and call in your results ... you'll have to get a tester and stick your finger ..."
Me: (speaking to Bitty Girl in an attempt to not Hulk out) "No problem. My husband's a Type 1 diabetic. I have a machine. I test my blood regularly, don't I Bitty Girl?"
Dr AB: (Noting on chart and reading out loud what he's writing as if I'm an idiot) "Will ... test blood 4 times a day ... report back in writing to this office ..."

This man can kiss my 4000 lb ass.

But, in the end, the forces in the cosmos smiled upon me. Dr AB retreated into his office and I got to feast my eyes on not JUST Dr. Young, Dark, and Handsome, but my very fave, Dr. Cutie-Pie. *droooooooooool*

I also got my C-section scheduled! June 6th, here we come!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:34 pm   2 comments

Monday, March 28, 2005

Spots! Ahhh! We have SPOTS!

My baby could have been afflicted with a pox!

She was fine Saturday morning. Maybe a bit crabby and clingy but she's cutting two teeth so I attributed it to that. The only odd thing I noticed was that she seemed kind of warm before her nap.

We went out to FILs house and then on to the Wal-Mart. Well, under the morgue lighting that is the florescents inside the store I noticed that Bitty Girl looked like she had a fine rash over her cheeks. That's weird, I thought and filed it away as soemthing that I could perhaps blame on FIL's Wife . By the time we got back to the pharmacy you cold see definate spots across her face. I began to panic and snagged the pharmacist, Dr Looks-like-she's-in-high-school, with one hand while searching for our pediatrician's phone number with the other.

"Sorry ... I know this is not your thing but ..." I gasped, gesturing helplessly at my marred youngest child.
"Looks like a rash" she says, helpfully.
"What ... what? I know - a rash - but ... my babies are never sick!" I wail.
"She doesn't look sick."

She was right. Bitty Girl acted as if she felt fine, smiling and happy, just rashy.

"Has she been around any kids with chickenpox? Or measles?"

My mind raced. We had all just been to the Pediatrician's office for check-ups. I always dread going because it's invariably full of snotty, hacking kids. I mean, it is the doctor's office.

Then something clicked in my brain. Measles. What were those vaccinations that they gave Bitty?

MMR. Mumps. Measles. Rubella.

Ahah!

So after a clandestine, whispered convo with a sweet but vague nurse during a high-speed trip around the rest of the store we determined that she was, indeed, having a mild reaction to the MMR.

Here she is at FIL's prior to the Wal Mart:



Here's my Dalmation baby at breakfast the next morning:



Notice the rash is just starting on her chest. Here she is that evening (Sunday) at supper:




Pox baby! This is the rash at it's peak. It also covered her torso and there was a bit on her legs. She never showed any signs of feeling bad and it didn't seem to itch her overmuch - she did swipe at her ears some (where the rash was the worst) but never seemed too bad.

This morning it's faded considerably to a light brown dusting of spots with no red.

*Whew*

After all that trauma I got to thinking what it would be like if my sweet baby had actually HAD measles - which, thank Science, she should never get. Here's some things I learned on that subject while obsessively Googling. These quotes are from the CDC.:

Before the measles vaccine was made available in the United States in 1963, about 500,000 cases and 500 deaths from measles were being reported annually ... (emphasis mine)

After the introduction of the vaccine, the incidence of measles was reduced by more than 98%
Did you know that your children might be playing with - even going to school with - kids who are not vaccinated against measles (or any other disease)? Some parents choose not to vaccinate:

... We shouldn't assume that our children are safe from the threat of measles. In 1989 and 1990 we saw a large increase in measles, partly because many parents didn't have their preschool-aged children vaccinated.

And this is just the stats for Measles.

For facts on the MMR vaccine see here.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:03 am   0 comments

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Oldest daughter: fashion diva!

My oldest daughter - aged 2 years - is a classic Daddy's Girl. She just adores her 'DaDa'. My son and my youngest daughter clearly favour me. Boy is actually quite obnoxious about it, refusing to let his father tuck him in or kiss owies. (Wait until he finds out he will NOT be borrowing my Camaro.)

Not Tall Girl. She's a huggy type person anyway and will go to just about anyone happily but her hero is my Darling Hubby. The highlight of her day is removing his socks when he gets home from work.

And speaking of articles of clothing ... she has another (of many) odd habits. She loves to put on Darling Hubby's clothes. Preferably recently used ones dragged from the hamper. I guess she loves his smell on them (he does smell good - even when sweaty)

Since she isn't adept yet at dressing herself and cannot identify certain articles of clothing (underpants, for example. She's still in nappies so for all she knows they're really colourful hats) her attempts are often hilarious:


See, I told you it would fit! Here she is in one of Daddy's shirts and terribly proud of herself about it too.


The lady or the tiger? Here she is in Hubby's longsleeved Auburn shirt and holding one of her toy tigers. (For any South Carolinians out there let me emphasize Auburn Tigers ... AUBURN!) Yes, those are hubby's jersey boxer shorts around her neck.


Dahhling I could use a cocktail! And, lacking any of Daddy's clothing she'll make do with her siblings'. In this case, brother's shirt, which makes a fab 1950s style turban!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:39 am   2 comments

Monday, March 21, 2005

You know we'll have a good time then ...

This article appeared in my local newspaper Sunday (front page).

It's a study of how 32 modern, 2 wage-earner families spent their days. They talk about strictly budgeted time, loss of family intimacy, lack of unstructured activities, and why these families choose to live like this:

Archaeologist Jeanne E. Arnold planned to treat each house in the study like a dig site, cataloging and mapping family belongings as artifacts. But there was too much stuff. Instead, her staff took photographs. Thousands of them.
By her rough estimate, the typical American family owns more than most Egyptian pharaohs.
The world has never seen consumption on this scale, Arnold says. "And every week we see more stuff arriving. People can't stop."


Aquisition. Accumulation. Work more. Spend less time with the people you love. Less leisure time and strict structure and planning of the time you do have. How is it all making us happier? IS it making us happier? Or just greedier, less satisifed, more stressed? Is it making us hop back up on the wheel and start spinning harder? Is it causing us to work longer, plan our days more tightly, and tell ourselves that the time lost with our children can be replaced with material things?

Let me make it compeletly clear that I am NOT knocking families with two working parents. Not at all. I have worked full time all my life - since I was a Junior in High School - and my decision to stay home with my children right now doesn't change my work ethic. I simply consider this my current job: raising my children up to school age.

What I'm questioning here is families who work for the sole purpose of being better consumers. Folks who let consumerism ... well, consume them. Folks who give up intimate time with their families and unstructured relaxation for punishing schedules and stressful days. To me, these people are choosing lifestyle over family - or choosing a lifestyle and then assimilating their families into Borg-like conformation. And this is their choice, but I wonder if all the clever explanations of how it benefits their children are justified?

Kim and Gary Zeiss are keeping their children busy by design. They believe it's a key to being a successful adult in a culture that rewards multi-taskers.
"You know the old saying," says Gary, a 47-year-old attorney. "If you want something done, give it to a busy person. They're learning how to be that."


So is the intense structure of a child's day a good thing? Is not getting to be a kid an acceptable loss as long as strict planning of activities takes place?

"The kids are doing well," he says. "They are getting good grades. They're not obese. At the end of the day, this is good for them."

Of course, he makes good points. My question is: does this justify loss of down time? Loss of intimate people time? Will these kids be perfectly fine having never just played like kids on a playground, taken a walk every day with dad, been read a story every evening by mum, or spent a lazy afternoon playing on the rug with Legos?

Is being trim and having a good GPA all that is required for happy adulthood?

Does anyone remember the song Cat's in the Cradle by Harry Chapin?

A child arrived just the other day,
He came to the world in the usual way.
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay.
He learned to walk while I was away.
And he was talking 'fore I knew it, and as he grew,
He'd say, "I'm gonna be like you, dad.
You know I'm gonna be like you."

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, dad?"
"I don't know when,But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then."

My son turned ten just the other day.
He said, "Thanks for the ball, dad, come on let's play.
Can you teach me to throw?" I said,
"Not today,I got a lot to do."
He said, "That's ok."And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed,
Said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah.
You know I'm gonna be like him."

[chorus]

Well, he came from college just the other day,
So much like a man I just had to say,
"Son, I'm proud of you. Can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head, and he said with a smile,
"What I'd really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys.
See you later. Can I have them please?"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then, dad.
You know we'll have a good time then."

I've long since retired and my son's moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind."
He said, "I'd love to, dad, if I could find the time.
You see, my new job's a hassle, and the kid's got the flu,
But it's sure nice talking to you, dad.
It's been sure nice talking to you."
And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me,
He'd grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.

[second chorus]



Time is something we cannot buy. It's here, then it's gone and there's nothing we can do about it. And all of the little things that happen - first words, first steps, first day at school, making cookies in the kitchen and playing with Matchbox cars in the backyard - will be gone forever.

And I think that the experience within a close family of all these little things make perfectly good humans.

I would much rather have these things in my and my children's memories than sports participation trophies, a bigger house, a nicer car, better vacations ... more stuff.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:01 am   3 comments

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A few good finds ...?

Aquisition! Nothing like it for a rainy day, eh? And it's been blah and disgusting here for weeks. Spring where are you?

Some folks shop for therapy. While I never buy retail and was last seen in a mall 5 years ago, I cannot deny the hand-rubbing Ferengi delight that comes with getting STUFF.

Part of my talent for thift is my ability to scavenge. I learnt this skill from my Mum. I'm shameless about recycling. No one can tell me that it's a bad thing. In today's world too many things get thrown away. Everyone's about convenience and the average family mindlessly tosses plastic drink and water bottles, glass jars, tubs that held everything from margerine to yoghurt, reams of paper, perfectly sound cardboard boxes, and of course hundreds of disposable nappies filled with human waste. Why? Because it's so easy. Because they can't be bothered.

Recycling is the art of reusing what you have.

Scavenging is recycling what others have. I have a talent for it and find that there's nothing in the world like getting something cool ... for free. Bonus!

My Darling ex-suburbanite Hubby has applied himself diligently to the lifestyle (money saved by recycling means more trips to the Best Buy!) and so if he comes accross an item that we can use - that someone is tossing - he nabs it for me.

Last Saturday he came home with 2 treated wooden gates (I was ecstatic) ... and this:




(I was not so thrilled)

Meet the newest addition to the crowd: Molly. My guess is that she's a lab cross and Hubby found her dumped on the side of a busy road. I now own 5 dogs. FIVE. So much for thrift. *sigh*

I keep telling Hubby that we should cook and eat the Psycho Dog, Reggie, but he keeps rolling his eyes at me. That would be like recycling, though, right?

---

I was picking up some old lumber that a neighbour had given me and noticed this leaned up against his barn:




It's a vintage chicken crate and I got it from him for a song. I am so pleased! It will look perfect in my house ... erm ... somewhere.

----

And last but not least, I've been tending this bunch of cuties:




About a half dozen each of ducklings and chicks. The chicks are sex-links but I had to guess on the ducks. I'm thinking Cayugas (the dark ones) and Khaki Campbells (the light brown ones). If you have a better guess, leave a comment, please! I've had both breeds but it was several years ago. I'll be keeping any little hen ducks to cross with my Muscovys (my preferred breed). Can you tell I have a fondness for ducks?

So everyone's doing quite well and with all the new additions I've exhausted my supply of dog-crates. Man, those things come in handy.

OK, well, that's my boring post for today. Must run take the puppy out.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:42 pm   1 comments

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Whatever happened to 'Home'?

I noticed something disturbing as I was driving through my local city’s ‘posh’ shopping area after not having gotten over there in awhile. More stuff. More shops, more stores, more ‘specialty food’ sellers, more restaurants. And they’re all full of people. They’re all full every time and any time I go.

People can’t seem to stay in their own homes any more. Their pinnacle of living arrangement is the $400,000+ home in the suburbs where they can’t put up a clothes line and their postbox must conform to specs. They have hundreds more square feet than a couple with max 2 kids (one boy and one girl!) could possibly ever use – even the cat has it’s own room – and they are never home.

Both parents work to afford the clotheslines-are-gauche lifestyle, they shop almost every day, they eat out most nights. At the week-end they hit the mall (again), see a film, shop some more, eat out again. Any extra time is spent ‘driving the kids to (fill in the blank: party, lesson, sport)’. Nobody’s kids ever just play on a playground anymore – in fact playgrounds are being banned as ‘hazardous’. Nobody’s kids just ride bikes all afternoon or get up an impromtu game of basketball before supper. They participate in sports. They have to have special clothes and equipment purchased for and be driven to organized, paid for, athletic events or classes: soccer, baseball, gymnastics, swimming.

One would think that in this age where the telly goes on the instant people get home (or get up in the morning) and blares all day, where almost everyone has internet access, where there’s too many video games to play in one lifetime … folks would be sufficiently entertained and wouldn’t strive so desperately to leave their homes.

And what’s up with going on holiday? I don’t mean an annual (or even twice yearly) get away. I mean the folks who are away on holiday all the time as if they feel itchy in their own houses, as if their normal lives are so unsatisfactory that they have to purge them at some exotic location.

So your job is tedius or boring or high-pressure? Why do you work there? To afford the house you only sleep in? To afford to run off to Mexico or the carribbean and snatch a few days of relaxation before you have to run back to the job you hate so that you can make enough money to vacation? Is anyone else seeing the hamster-on-the-wheel similarity here?

Perhaps it’s just me. Perhaps I’m the original homebody. Perhaps it’s that I’m a fixer-uper who lives in a 120 year old house on a farm. If I listed all the things that needed doing, from painting the pump house to caulking the shower to puttting up miles of fence, the list would be as long as I am tall.

Or maybe I’m just comfortable in my own familiar surroundings and with my own people. I’m quite content in my own home. Like George Carlin I like my Stuff. I enjoy just talking with my Darling Hubby or playing idly with the kids if I get a second. I can sit on a warm, rainy summer day with the back door open and just stare out into the woods.

I’m not knocking folks who are never at home - they choose that lifestyle - I’m just saying that I don’t understand it.

Perhaps this is why people put such huge stock in the holidays. It’s the only time that the family is actually in the house, doing things with each other, making family-at-home memories.

One or two days a year.

Does anyone else find this sad?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:32 pm   3 comments

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Six things that SUCK about this day

See ... I should never have blogged about the pretty weather.

Argh, argh, argh!

1)We have a new kid. Not a human kid, a goat kid. His mother, who was way to young to get bred, wants nothing to do with him, so now we have to bottle feed him twice a day.

2)It rained like a tropical storm last night. I was up all night alternately worried that the lashing rain and wind would wake the children or drown the little goat kid. By the time it settled down to a normal downpour I was unable to fall back to sleep. I am dragging arse today.

3)I woke up this morning to discover that the loaf of bread that I just bought is moldy so I couldn't make Darling Hubby's lunch.

4)Boy had taken the cover off of his sandbox again yesterday so now we have a 4 foot wide turtle-shaped bowl of sand soup garnished with toy dump trucks in the yard.

5)The rain soaked the round bale of hay (for the sheep and goats) making it top heavy. When the little blighters stood on it they tipped it over, tearing the fence down. Half the flock's out right nowand there's nothing I can do until Darling Hubby comes home. I'm sitting here trying NOT to wish them all into the road. Really.

6)In a groggy-and-perturbed kinda attempt at productivity today, I chose to cut Boy's hair. Boy, who has this thing about hair clippings on him, flinched and squirmed and whinged and managed to twist away from me at just the right moment for me to hack a HUGE gouge out of the side of his hair. Then he wailed and writhed for the additional 15 minutes it took me to try to hide the flaw (NOT happenin') and I messed up his bangs. I'm going to have to put a bag over his head when we go out tomorrow.

Won't FILs wife be pleased. Ms (last time we visited):"If mommy would just bring you by, I would take you to get you hair cut, yes I would! I'd take you to my hairdresser. She does a good job on children's hair."

Eat. Me.

How can this day blow this badly? It's only 2pm.

Argh, argh, ARGH!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 1:51 pm   1 comments

Monday, March 07, 2005

Ahhhhh, Spring!

(Apologies in advance to any readers still suffering through cold weather!)

Oh, I love this time of year! I love Spring and Fall becaue of the glorious weather. I love being able to fling open all the doors of my house and let some of the outside in. Not only because I’m ThriftyChik and shamelessly adore the savings, but I hate ‘tinned air’. I hate the horrible recycled smell and feel of heated / cooled rooms.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m from the South. I derive an almost sexual pleasure from that most marvellous of innovations: air conditioning. Stepping from the thick, humid heat of our summers into the crisp cool of air conditioning is sublime. When I bought my first (and only) brand new automobile, the salesman open his mouth to regurgitate the myriad of features available and I cut him off with four words:

“Does it have air?”

I also am deeply appreciative of cetral heat, although I confess to preferring wood heat. Heat from a wood stove feels ‘warmer’ to me. I know that sounds odd but it’s probably psychological. Either that or all that cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking that is required makes you more appreciative.

But I do love the brief seasons that don’t require any artificial environment. I like that my children can literally run in and out of the house at will, that they’re getting some sun (and more than a wee bit of dirt), and that the insects and poison ivy are yet to appear in force.

I’m flabbergasted at the number of folks (particualrly the modern PC, SUV driving suburbanite) who never open their homes to the outside air. They transition from heat to air and back. Home, car, work, car, home. They’ve never rolled down the window of their Lexus except at the ATM. On a blindingly gorgeous summer day they phlegmatically shovel their laundry into a clothes dryer (along with a sheet guarenteed to make their clothes ‘smell like they were dried in the sunshine!’ They don’t. They smell as if accidentally dropped one of those car deodorizers in your machine) .

It must be like living in an underground bunker or a cold and sterile laboratory. Then, of course, these types periodically do a clean sweep of the online camping stores and – girded with massive amounts of gear – set out for expensive holidays to experience ‘the out-of-doors”

Oh, well. At least there’s the trickle-down effect. The more crap a suburbanite collects the more chance of that golden opportunity – coaxed into being by a two car garage with no room for cars and the brilliant spring weather: the yard sale.

Yard sales are advantageous to me for two reasons. They’re beneficial in and of themselves, and what (usually) happens to the items that are not sold? They’re donated to thrift stores.

And I’m the Thrift Store Queen (well, maybe the thrift store princess until my Mum kicks it).

When I found out I was pregnant with my first late in 2001, I began to systematically hit the thrift stores (and to a lesser degree yard sales and flea markets). I watched for anything baby related that I could use. I decided what my preferred brands were and what I needed and kept my eyes open. If I found an outstanding deal, I purchased the item anyway – I could always re-donate it if it turned out to be unsuitable or I found a newer/nicer one.

By doing this I have amassed everything I will ever need for all of my children for less money than most folks pay for a crib. I have 2 well-made wooden cribs and one portable one, a toddler bed, a swing, 2 exersaucers, 2 bouncy seats, 2 double strollers, a johnny jump up, 2 snugglis, and more name-brand clothing than my children could ever wear.

I have not paid more than $1 for any item of clothing, $5 for any of the small baby gear, and $15 for either crib.

So, obviously. I’m a huge fan of yard sales. I can’t help but smile when I pass though a posh neighbourhood dotted with yard sales. I sometimes even stop, just for entertainment puposes. One incident in particualr leaps to mind. The woman who tried to sell me a several-year-old carseat* for $80 because: “I paid almost $200 for it but hardly used it because it didn’t match the upholstry in my new car”.

Well, who’s the idiot here?

So the season makes me blissfull for many reasons and I urge you to share in the feeling. Go throw open your front door! Sweep off your porch! Drag a chair out there and just sit, just enjoy the weather. Do some spring cleaning this week-end, gather up all that stuff you’re not using, have a yard sale, why doncha?

I’ll be by about 9 or so.


* Note: I never ever buy two things used: Car seats and matresses. Both of these items should always be purchased new for safety/health reasons .

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:19 am   3 comments

Friday, March 04, 2005

I'll bet you think this post is about you, don't you?

Ok, so this has been amusing me all morning so I thought I'd share.

In my many years online I've met scores of intelligent, funny, and emotionally secure women on the 'net, all of whom are (or will be) fabulous mums. I'm lucky to have made their aquaintance and look forward to 'hearing' their ideas and opinions every day - even if I don't always agree with them.

As with all things, though, one must take the bad with the good and I’ve discovered a new category of Cybermom: the HyperSensitiveMom (alternate title: the AllAboutMeMom).

Have you ever ‘met’ folks on Bulletin Boards or in the Blogosphere who get their knickers in a knot all the time because they randomly decide that something general that someone has posted is directed right at them personally? They are so self-important (or so very insecure) that if you talk about, say, a parenting choice that they happen to have made, they think that you MUST be talking about THEM!

Is this self-centered egotism (the Spoiled Brat) or a form of paranoia (“I know you all are whispering about me!”)?

One sees this all the time regarding the hot topics like circumcision, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, etc, (I've always wondered if these people react so vehemently because they secretly feel uncertain about their choices) but it can rear it’s ugly head in the most innocuous of topiocs. The HyperSensitiveMom simply assumes that it’s all about her. They certainly fail to grasp the unfortunate fact that the written word can simply come across wrong. I have many times been irritated by something that someone wrote, but I don’t assume that the poster was – like one of those evangelical television preachers – speaking directly to ME, Blue, from SC. (“Did YEW choose to suppliment formula and thereby endanger the health of yor chile?! Yor goin' to HELL for that!”)

Not so the HyperSensitiveMom. She doesn’t take a half a second to get to bitching and whining about how wrong you were to post (whatever) ‘cause it was obviously about HER PERSONALLY - an attack on HER views and HER ideas - (insert 'poor me' histrionics or offended rage here).

Uhm … get over yourself honey. Newsflash: everything in the whole wide world isn’t about YOU. You’re not the first person to get pregnant, have a baby, or raise a child. There are folks out there who have done it before and might have legitimate advice or *gasp* are just relating their own views and experiences.

Relax.

----

(Now how many of you would like to take bets that a few people who read this post get bent out of shape because … you guessed it … I must be talking about them!)

Remember the song by Carly Simon: ‘You’re so vain”?

“You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you? don’t you?”

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:12 am   0 comments

Thursday, March 03, 2005

All right, Mr DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up!*

Ho-LEE Cow! I got over 100 hits on this blog after the last post! I’m verklemt!

**

Seriously, thank you everyone who visited (and wanderd back to read this) I hope you check back in every now and then. Please comment if you feel so moved so that I know what your views are (of whatever the topic is) and , well, because I love hearing from folks. Just hit the comment link at the bottom of whatever post. Oh, and any comments may not show up right away. They’ve NOT been lost, I just am having to work out a few bugs. I’m all over Blogger about this.

For those who have commented … I love you! I wanna have your babies! Oh, wait. There’s no room at the inn, as it were. Oh well. I still love ya.

Thanks again, everyone!

---

So my youngest just turned 1 year old Tuesday and it seems so weird. Not her (although she’s pretty weird) but not having Little Brother here yet. I mean Bitty Girl was already 2 months old when Tall Girl turned one. I guess I’ll get over it in June, eh?

I’m struck by how small children will make these huge leaps of development. For example Tall Girl, who has been talking in some form since she was 18 months old (as opposed to her brother who waited util he was scaring the hell out of two before he managed anything more than 'mama', 'dada', and 'ball') has suddenly had a word explosion. Her vocabulary a few weeks ago was about 25 words and a lot of babble. This week it’s lept up to 45 words or so and good sentences. Just in the past two weeks she’s offerd up ‘Airplane’, ‘Necklace’, ‘Spider-Man’, and such juicy phrases as ‘Do you hear it?”

Bitty Girl has been just as startling but not so charming. It’s as if she hit one and was suddenly transformed into A Person. This former plump and congenial smiler, usually content to lounge about with mum is On The Move! Heaven help us all if her sibs are out of the room.

Let me pause to explain that these babies have the run of our sprawling 12 room farm house – not counting bathrooms and barring the upstairs. That leaves 9 rooms. Boy and Tall Girl – like electrons - could be anywhere at any time. Bitty Girl, relegated to the much lower orbit of crawling is not pleased. Oh hell no.

(yes, thank you very much, that WAS a cool science analogy. Thank you, thank you, no really you’re embarrassing me…)

(where was I?)

Uh … so anyway in a strange mix of her two sibs, she is exploring the house at race speed. Just a moment ago she took the inevitable first tumble down the steps into the family room.

See, her brother was ultra cautious. When he was born we lived in a single wide mobile home on our land in Lexington (all the better to blend with the White Trash, my dear), and if you’ve ever done the equivilent of 3 pillbugs in a Coors can thing then you know how bloody freakin HOT trailers get in summer. So I’d throw open both doors, but I never had to worry about Boy and the steps. He would, from the get go, crawl cautiously up to the edge and peer over, making no attemt to tackle them until much later.

His big little sister (who was the first to come home to this house we’re in now) had no such inhibitions. When it came to steps, it never crossed her wee mind that she might be hurt, until the was lying in a bruised and angry heap at the bottom. I feel sure she is convinced that she has super powers she's not yet discovered because she’d not only go headfirst down all steps several times a day, but she is STILL of the mind that she’s invincable.

Of course it was she whom her father was holding when he slipped down our pretty-fucking-close-to-verticle staircase and it was she who was on my hip when my bad knee gave out and I fell onto the concrete floor of the family room. Perhaps she thinks she's Falling Girl, toddler SuperHero!

So Bitty girl is somewhere in the middle and after several weeks of crawling managed to go over the steps. She wasn't hurt, just a bumped noggin, but she was plenty outraged! And what was she so miffed about?

I was holding her and cooing at her and she wanted to get down and get to discovering what her sibs were playing with - dang this smoochy, are-you-alright stuff!

So with all these leaps and bounds I'm fearing for my sanity. And on that note, I'll leave you with a brief surreal-but-typical convo I just had with Boy:

Boy: (Studying a windowsill), "Momma?"
Me: (Studying the cupboard, trying to decide what's for supper), "Um-hmm?"
Boy: "Izzat a ladybug?"
Me: "Yep"
(pause)
Boy: "Do ladybugs have eyes?"
Me: "Yep"
Boy" "... is my sandbox outside?"
Me: (thrown off) "Erm ... yes"
Boy: (nonplussed) "Why?"




*quote: Gloria Swanson classic from Sunset Blvd
**pic: Mike Myers as the Coffee Talk lady on SNL. Discuss amongst yourselves.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:51 am   0 comments

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Aaaaand, speaking of large families ...

We have this wee tid-bit: a threadbare article on whether having one child is enough for some families.

I immediately checked in with Babycenter's board for large families and board for onlies to gauge their responses. Sure enough, they'd both spotted it and commented. The large family people had responded with an understandably defensive posture and the onlies folks had discussed it reasonably, except for a few dumb-ass comments (most notably from one nasty little bitch - who likes to Troll the large family board - who’s every post is a study in “I’m so much better than you” - sadly, she’s clearly extrememly insecure).

The article outlines what is a blatent study of people who have a child just for the sake of having a child - just to be reproducing - for whatever reason ('biological clock', parental/societal pressure, child-as-accessory, etc). According to Kohler: the lesson from the study is that "just having reproduced at least once seems to be the crucial aspect of providing the happiness gain."

So, well, DUH. If you ask a person who's spitting out a baby just because her mum and MIL want her to or all her friends have one or it would look great on her Pottery Barn sofa, then "second and third children don't add to parents' happiness at all".

Did I say: "DUH"?

Some of us have children thoughtfully. Some of us don't. Some of us have dreamt of a baby our whole lives, have her, and prefer to stop at one. Some of us want two, some 5, some 12. Some of us have 'Ooops" babies. Some of us think we're putting it in a diety's hands. I feel like I personally overthink the matter sometimes!


So how did I come up with the 'ideal' number of children to have? I have (almost) 4 and want one more. Why that one more?


It's not baby hunger. I see so many posters on my boards who say they are longing for another baby. They miss the concept of a tiny baby - getting to be the center of attention, the smell/feel of a tiny baby, the clothes, etc. I don’t have baby hunger. While I adore my babies when tiny, I find them – frankly – a bit boring. Don’t get me wrong. Love the milestones and am amazed and celebrate every rollover, sit-up, crawl, first step, etc But I don’t desire a baby because it’s a baby. I want X amount of children because I’ve thought carefully about it and feel that our family will be strong and complete with that number.

Perhaps I’ve looked at it too clinically. Once it became apparent that I could (probably) have the number I wanted, I have gone over the scenarios a thousand times in my head – lying awake at night, driving into town, standing in the shower – how X number of children would interact within our household.

I knew I wanted more than 1. I was an only and, for me, it was horrible. I hated the weight of knowing that all of my parent’as hopes and dreams were heaped on me. I’m upset that I’ll be alone in all of the heartache and hard decisions for care of them as they grow older. I’ m sad that when they’re gone I will be the only keeper of the memories from my childhood.

I knew I’d never stop with 2. I couldn’t imagine having just that one other child to interact – and compete with. Especially since my first was a boy and my second a girl. Every smug PC suburbanite asshole I met grinned hugely up in my face and said “Aww, good, now you can stop since you have the perfect family.”

How dare you tell me what’s perfect for my family.

I also knew I didn’t want three. I had experienced the phenomenon of the middle child my whole life. In my generation it seems common to have had 3 kids (my DH is youngest of 3) . I saw over and over the middle child syndrome: a kid who felt like he/she didn’t fit in and tended to be a bit pushy/whiney as a result. (Obviously this pattern doesn’t apply to all middles, but I saw it a fair amount.)

And when I actually had my third I knew for certain that I couldn’t risk that for my fireball of a first daughter bracketed between her laid-back and good natured siblings. She has WAY too much of me in her and would definitely feel like an oddball.

So that left me contemplating 4+. I had noticed something in families of 4 or 5 fairly closely spaced sibs (I’m not counting large families where there is a group of older sibs – then a space of many years - and a group of ‘new’ sibs.). They seemd to be really relaxed and got along so well. You’d think the houses would be more chaotic, that there’d be more fighting, more parental irritation, but it just wasn’t true in my experience. What was that magical tension-release that happened at the birth of the 4th or 5th ?

I have no idea, but I’ve wanted that for my kids my whole reproductive life. My theory, having finally started my dream family, is that having multiple children causes some parents to adopt a thereputic, nessessarily relaxed attitude. It did me. I’d have driven my Boy insane by now if he was an only. He’d have a complex already - at the age of 3 - what with my own dumptruck-full of insecurities and my borderline OCD. I’d have done the same with 2.

But I’ve changed over the short years. I’ve mellowed with the birth of Bitty Girl and the impending arrival of Little Brother. I’m in my groove. I’ve learned to ignore the stuff that doesn’t matter. I can nurse a newborn, read to a toddler, and kiss a baby’s owie all at once. There’s a fabulous dynamic in the house now.


I’m not suggesting that having a bunch of kids is some miracle cure for anything. I’m also not suggesting that it’s for everyone. I know several people who are very well suited to an only and several who are blissfully happy with their PC two. I’m just saying that, for me, it’s forced me to relax and redifine what’s worth flaking out over and what’s not.

As for the article? I feel sorry for folks who're compelled to have a baby for reasons other than they really want to have this little person - and later big person - in their lives. I know it happens a lot, though. I'm also sorry that Kohler and Psychology Today would put forth the idiot notion that one parenting choice would be best for all. Parenting is very personal. No one can make these choices for any of us.

EDIT: sorry, I know this one is already mad long, but this is bugging me. Is anyone else really irritated that this article seems to suggest that mothers of Onlies are content to "just [have] reproduced at least once" (rather than actually want the baby for itself)? Does this bug anyone else? If I was a mum of an Only, I'd be angry at this suggestion.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:43 am   3 comments