Me and my Friend Jack the Ripper

Posted on July 3, 2013

Well, we are officially four days into this goddamn heat wave and I have miraculously managed to not hog-tie the kid or worse, maim him. After all I can’t blame global warming, the sun, or the position of our apartment – which receives no air or breeze at all, ever – on the mini Huygh. Therefore, I can’t in good conscience do anything to him as he wails in this 30 degree weather because he and I are two peas in one seriously boiling pod. At the very least I understand his frustration and that quells my rage – lucky for him.

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Now, I know complaining about 30 degree heat waves isn’t going to sit well with all my readers because many of you live under hotter conditions I am sure. But let me address this by saying I am not a summer girl, I don’t even appreciate the niceties of summer that supposedly go along with this season in particular. I was born in the dead of winter and ever since it has been my personal goal to blot out the sun so I can live in eternal night and cold … God this is like something I would have written at 16 when I was riddled with angst and depression, in other words, the good old days.

Point being, I hate this weather. I am not equipped for this weather. I am currently suffering with my period too so that combined with this heat made me almost kill my husband last night. Reason? Because he walked through the bloody door. Right. This apartment gave Jonah and I cabin fever and when J arrived home, I tore into him like Jack the Ripper on a salty wench. Of course now, apologies have been rendered, however; I am sure the damage is already done. Just like slicing up an innocent civilian, I can’t just put back together Hubby’s feelings after pulverizing them with my word daggers.

In the end though, I managed to keep the kid together and not lose it on him, the same couldn’t be said for the Hubby. I’m not exactly sure which would be worse – and I say this in jest – considering I can always make another baby but there is no one else in the world like my J. Attacking someone irreplaceable doesn’t seem like my best laid plan, does it … Ah hindsight. You malicious bitch.

This all brings to light what one issue I have to work on immediately. Not letting my frustrations get the best of me. This is something my mother is always telling me to do – which ticks me right the hell off – because obviously she’s right. I am far too quick to lose patience with Jonah, Hubby or anyone else for that matter and the problematic thing is, I think it is my own doing which drives me to that point of utter exhaustion, frustration and quickly following rage. It is my own personal issues, ones that remain unsolved that keep me one level below “losing it” and so when a small bump in the road comes along I am zero to sixty in less than a second and no one sees it coming. Ensuring maximum damage.

My problem these days is that this beautiful weather is lost on someone like me because I am still stubbornly not doing simple things to improve my situation. Since having Jonah I haven’t lost the weight I gained with him. I’ve just watched the scale bounce up and down with that extra 15 pounds – and this is 15 pounds on top of already too much weight – and obviously it’s making me miserable. Especially now in the season of sleeveless shirts and mini skirts, sun-drenched days and warmly lit nights.

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I should be enjoying this, says my brain, not anticipating its demise.

Hence, yesterday I joined a gym but I am still sitting in that pit of feeling completely hopeless. Why? Because I’ve done this all before and failed miserably. I don’t know how many summers have to go by before I fix this. Fix myself. I worry that it will escalate passed just losing summer after summer too. What if I lose my husband or a best friend or worse … though I can’t imagine something worse.

I go back for “day two” at the gym tonight with Bestie in tow for support. She’s definitely not right about skim milk being a decent substitute for cream in coffee but she was more than right when she said each time we hit the gym I’ll feel better.

Even after gory fight and having to sign up at yet another gym, by the time I stepped off the elliptical last night I like to think I felt a little spark of change. Change for the better.

You know I am always blogging about parenting a child … about how I am managing to keep my son on track and raising him to be the best that he can be … Well maybe it’s time I turn a little of that effort inward and parent myself. I just hope I am listening this time. Here’s to the first step. Are you listening? That means put your goddamn gym pants on, girl.

It was an experiment? It went awry?

Posted on June 28, 2013

To give you an accurate idea of what state my house is in, I’ll tell you that as I write this I can detect the smell of baby poop wafting around. I have neglected to throw out a dirty diaper and left it to warm in the summer sun on our dining room table. Yes, this is the dedication I have to the craft of writing. I knew it was now or never, so poop and its potent nostril attack strategy be damed. It is time to blog!

I’ve just put our son down to nap and it brought to mind a story for your enjoyment. It is an account on our recent battles with sleep and getting our son to stop disrespecting this, the most precious of slumber.

I’ve entitled this piece, “It was an experiment? It went awry?” and you’re about to see why.

Jonah’s ability to “sleep through the night” has been suspect from birth. He’s now almost eleven months old and he hasn’t so much completed this milestone as he has teased us with a few spans of time where he started acting like a grown up and did sleep fairly soundly from night to night. However, all these moments in time always came to an end. After he was three months old I was quick to blame teething for his spotty record but his teeth didn’t spring up until just a couple months ago. After his teeth were in and they sat upon his gums all pearly and perfectly white, it was the battle of taking the bottle away that kept us all from sleep. Yes, he was long past feeding throughout the night but I had a terrible habit of letting shireling go to bed with a bottle. The truth was by the time he was going to sleep, whether it was nap time or bed time, I was already at my wits end and I just wanted to stuff his cake hole. And, I knew a bottle would send him off to the land of nod better than anything else. Before his teeth were in I just didn’t see the harm in it – Jonah never fell asleep with it in his mouth anyway, and once he was asleep I removed the bottle from his reach. So, for a little while we slept again. But that was over quickly because like I said our little man had popped the teeth so that tactic had to go. It took some time because I am not the best at having endless patience as is well documented here in this blog by my own admission. However, we got there.

So, cut to a couple of weeks ago. Jonah would have his last bottle before bed and then he would gladly take his soother (Yes, he still has it, it has got to be one damn thing at a time, people.) and off he’d pop to sleep. Life was good. And, perhaps I stupidly thought that once “Oh, aren’t I not the luckiest sod?” and so upon hearing this, the universe says, “fuck, no” and decides to smite us.

One night, Jonah wakes up and is immediately writhing and screaming like a cat being skinned. After attempt after attempt to calm him, soothe him, check him, pacifier his ass, offer him a bottle of water, change him, everything short of shaking him quiet – there is Jeff and I in bed next to Satan’s crib. Hubby is huffing and puffing and I’m having lucid dreams about meat grinders going on sale. Yes, 99.9% of the time I would take thirty bullets to the head in order to save my kid, but there is always that one tenth of a percent … where it is three in the morning and your kid is screaming in the octave only a banshee could reach and you give in and think “If your dad doesn’t take you out. I will.” Maybe other parents don’t have the balls to say it but I do. And this was just one of those times.

I roll over to Hubby and I say almost on the verge of an ocean of tears, “What do we do?”

Jonah is standing at the side of his crib calling out for us, his voice raspy and he’s breathless – I’m telling you this night took years off my life. Jeff gets up, takes the bedding and pillows and stands at the door and says, “Goodnight Jonah, we love you. Come on, babe.” And beckons me to follow him out of the bedroom.

Jonah was restless and cried for another thirty minutes or so while Hubby and I found a way to share the couch comfortably (myself owning 65 percent of the couch and him only getting 35.) We all slept until the morning.

Unwilling and weaponless to fight another night with our son who is stronger willed than I could ever had imagined, Hubby and I spend the next week and a half sleeping on the couch, leaving Jonah to have jurisdiction over our one bedroom and can you guess what happened? Each night, Jo slept soundly from 730pm till 8 am the next day – one or two times he even snoozed straight through till 10 am. One night he woke and whined but it lasted less than three minutes before he was back to sleep.

It was an experiment and it went awry. Why? Because now Hubby and I live on the couch and our 11 month old has his own master suite. We tried once to go back and reclaim the territory but sure as shit my little shireling (now, deemed Orc from Mordor) stood in his crib wailing at two am. Turns out I gave birth to something as manipulative as I am. How the hell is that fair? I write this as a warning to other parents of nocturnal creatures. Don’t give up your bedrooms! Little bastards will take you up on it!

Needless to say, the search for a new home has shifted into high gear. I am putting an ad in the paper tomorrow that reads: Family in need of home with many bedrooms immediately. Parents of Fighting Uruk-hai need to sleep beside Mount Doom for no longer than necessary. Imminent death is probable. Contact us via Lost Seeing Stone. Much haste must be taken.

Father’s Day – Day of Tub Floaties and More

Posted on June 17, 2013

In truth it has been difficult to blog recently. I’d love to use my usual excuse, the every-popular, “How can I write, I have a screaming, pooping ankle biter running around!” But, the truth is, I could find time during the baby’s naps or on the (few and far between) evenings when Hubby is home. There is nothing I enjoy more than sticking him with the baby as I say “Your sperm and stupidity made this, now parent damn you.” He never complains, in fact he usually smiles and says to a wriggling Jo in his arms, “Ah, hello my son, your mom is crazy. Let’s continue your education, say … Yo-da. Yo-Daaaa.” At this point once Jeff is distracted with trying to get our son’s first real words to be death star, or warp drive, I’m headed straight for the tub. Or the coffee shop. Whichever. Frankly, even the tub isn’t safe these days because one, it’s full of nasty, butt-poking baby bath toys … blasted things have lodged themselves up my butt several times … or two, I am in the tub two minutes before the door is busted open and a grinning Jonah is being dumped on my lap before I can launch into “Nooooooo!” And then, to top that treat off, I get tub “floaties” – whatever it was he had for dinner – I’ve bathed with everything from macaroni to green peas. Sometimes it feels more like a tub o’ soup rather than bath water. Honestly it’s a trial. It is all a trial. So there you have my problem. What to blog about? Macaroni and pea bath time or just the old standby, the incoherent my kid is a ridiculously cute little imp update? Neither of these sound appealing to me, I would worry about how you would feel on the receiving end of either one of those no doubt horrendously uncomfortable entries. So? I’ve retreated into the blogosphere, silently stalking other blogs and contributing nothing new to my own. But for a writer not to write is little bit like being forced not to breathe. It doesn’t feel good and sooner or later I’ll probably pass out under duress.

In any case, turns out you’re not off the hook because I am back blogging and already have written 350 words of absolute crap. Ah, classic me.

It is Father’s Day today. I didn’t do one single thing for my Hubby. I feel like having his kid is the gift I will give to him every year. Cut to a few years down the road: “Wake up, Hubby. Happy Father’s day. See that kid wearing the storm trooper costume? Yeah. I made that for you. It’s your gift. Again. Now, may the Force be with you while you get me a huge fucking coffee.” Ah love. Isn’t it beautiful?

That’s about all I’ll say about that, this Father’s day. My Hubby is pretty stellar and he knows this. It’s the reason why I stick around, give him free sex and take care of him post wisdom teeth surgery.  To give him a card on Father’s Day would be overkill. And, who wants that? I am the queen of subtle, after all.

I am sounding like a bitter old crone but other than the bits of random ground beef mingling with my expensive bath soap during bath time, I have no real reason to be such a stick in the mud. I continue to be the mother of one beautiful, intoxicatingly happy little boy. My Hubby was home for the past four days resting up from his dental procedure and the number of times he or I said, “Oh I love him. So smiley!” in regards to our son was damn near unprecedented. Another sick display in a myriad of sick displays of the last ten and a half months. Soon, he will be a year old and I personally am so in love I can already see it coming. What’s that, I hear all of you lovely readers ask. Well, that would be serious discussions of baby number two. Jonah’s cuteness, this I know, is totally manipulating me. But god help us, Hubby and I are already discussing names for little baby girls. So? Who is in camp “Trillian” and who is in camp “Luna”? Opinions?

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Happy House

Posted on May 29, 2013

Our son Jonah started crawling at the beginning of month nine. He was tentative about it for thirty seconds, cried two or three times when he fell or bumped his head, however; cut to a week later he was this motoring, crawling, climbing mini shit storm. And, here I thought it would be a slow development taking months and months – ah no. No, no no no. No. He is no longer a blissfully stationary infant. He is a toddler who thinks he’s a man destined to be an explorer. My son does what he wants, when he wants to and he will crawl over you to get to the dog food any day of the week. Feet in your face? Yes. Uses your breasts as steadying devices? Yes. Thinks your belly is a trampoline? Yes. I’m writing to you readers, as a bruised and abused mother. If I had known this at the time of his birth, I would have de-limbed him.

Oh, I miss the potato stage. The I-am-going-to-put-you-down-here-lumpy-so-I-can-do-one-bloody-task-uninterrupted stage of his life. So does the cat, the amount of groaning I’ve heard from the feline sector of our home has escalated at an alarming rate. At night Minion will climb on to me, look me square in the eye and ask, “What the hell did you do, teaching that lump to move? I am afraid I must end you.” At this point I push her off my lap and head to her food dish and overfill it with kitty kibble, because honestly, I am afraid she will end us all. So? I keep her nice and fat. Fat and slow. It’s the only survival tactic I have.

The dog is a different story. She is flat out depressed. She can’t find a hiding spot for her chew toys that Jonah has not found. And, after buying Jo a crapload of new fancy toys we still can’t convince him that dog toys are for dogs. Jonah also eats her food, thinks her water dish is his personal pool and yesterday crawled into her doggy bed and took a nap. Callie feels ousted and I have yet to convince her that out of all our pets, Jo included, she’s still numero uno.

All I can say is that once again Jonah’s cute factor is saving his life, because everyone in the Huyghebaert household is gunning for him. He’s completely oblivious and is still all smiles all day everyday. June 4th he will be ten months old. That is ten months old with nary a sniffle, ache nor accident. Daily accidental boob, vagina and face blows aside, I’ve made out like a bandit in this first year with Jonah. He’s not just an amazing kid, he’s a beautiful spirit and a pleasure to watch develop. The day he crawled across the floor to me, pulled himself up, stood between my knees and gave me a quick snuggle I remember thinking “Stay, stay just like this. Don’t grow up anymore.” And, I wish he had listened to my hope because the next day he took his four teeth and bit me. Accidental or on purpose I have yet to sort out. But it was the last thing I needed as I fished several pieces of dog food out of his mouth for the second time that day. Both Callie and Minion sat a few feet away, watching intently, shaking their heads. Callie crumpled into a sad ball on the floor and Minion looked at me and then to Jo with an expression that seemed to say, “If you move on to my food next, kid, I will cut you.”

On my First Mother’s Day – This is For my Husband

Posted on May 12, 2013


Last night you were all around me
As if you and I are connected in a way that means
Where I go – you follow

You gave me life when I believed all my life could be was an afterthought.
You gave love – you gave me great words of love
And this poem we call son

I can’t live without you by my side
Because you’ve been within me, a part of me and cradled in my heart
I have carried in my womb the best of you – I is now we and we are forever

If I am out there in darkness on my own
All I can ever think of doing is finding my way back
Within your arms is where I am reborn – where I can brave the light

And when I am trying to cast all my pieces away
You inhabit my bones and keep me together – gathering the lost parts
Aspects of myself only you could think are beautiful and worth saving

Last night you were all around me
At a time where once again I needed you
I called out – and you answered

I swear I felt your hand in mine …

Woe is Me and if Not I’ll Give it a Go

Posted on April 30, 2013

I have to say, I am experiencing a weird problem. Life is good, child is only moderately frustrating once in a while when I’ve stupidly sacrificed sleep to watch crap television, so therefore not much fodder for the ol’ blog (the blog with the domain name I now pay for.) I mean I could write something if you really wanted me to. If you want a post about how much I love my squidgy pudding (baby) I could whip up some frothy, overly sentimental shmaltz for you, repeating much of what I’ve already said in new ridiculous ways. Any takers? Huh. I don’t hear a roar in the crowd. Odd. I figured I had more admirers …

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It’s not like everything is perfect, I am not saying I am supermom with nary a care nor issue to pimp out to the public for consumption. No, no. In fact all day long I come across little gems that would make great posts, however more often than I would like to admit they are quickly forgotten because Jonah has dropped my phone in his lunch, or he’s dropped a deuce in his diaper, or he’s dropped a toy (just to watch me stoop to retrieve it) or he has dropped some more drool. I could go on. Like I always knew, the writing just keeps falling down the list of priorities and unless I get the “white lightning” of inspiration from the writing deities I am not turning on the computer, if not for any other reason but to save it from being dropped in baby cereal or baby pee. And again, life has been pretty smooth due in part to having a healthy son who is growing and developing on point, like a boss. A lot of my writing in the past has been born from my sorrow and these days, damn it, there just hasn’t been too much sorrow, unless I am listening to David Bowie’s “Sorrow”. Which I do quite a bit, but that tune makes me peppy, and when I grab the hairbrush and belt out the lyrics to Jo we both get peppy.  And pep doesn’t translate into prose as easily for me. I am a drama queen, really the only line I know is “woe is me,” and Jo hasn’t given me much material to fill that quota.

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 So this gives me the opportunity to create my own woes, which is a talent my mother says I’ve had since birth. Go me. Lately I’ve been trying to consider what my next “move” should be. Jonah my little blessing was a complete surprise in our lives but after his arrival both Hubby and I had to start putting pieces together of this life so our kids get the structure, routine and safety they deserve. It is a daunting and a deeply self-analytical process because it’s not fanciful pondering anymore. It is decisions and choices, diverging paths and huge forks in the road ahead of you. It is the reality of making a choice for the three of you, not just for yourself but like any path in life there is no map. I am a stay at home mom as most of you know and my goal in life is to be a good mother, capable of raising considerate, kind and responsible individuals that will carry on my family’s legacy and contribute actively and lovingly to my country. But how do I achieve this without making all the right decisions at the right time? I go back and forth on whether I should have my desired second baby sooner or later, or I am constantly thinking about my return to school to exchange one diploma for another and when, if ever, I will find the time to do so. It is a delicate balance you need to keep to have a happy home. Right now, for the most part we have achieved this but with the addition of another baby or a new schedule we risk obliterating that balance and possibly making our lives very difficult. I want to be the mother I described there a moment ago, but to do that I strongly believe I need to be self-assured and have a career I can be proud of in order to pass on those qualities to my little ones. Is now the time to begin either one of those journeys? I always believed that things in life would just fall into place naturally and maybe that is true but after having my first baby I’m feeling a bit of pressure to “make it happen” plus, hell, I’m not getting any younger. It’s either school or baby deux, because I am not satisfied by the prospects of being the stay at home mother of one, a girl who never becomes the woman she thought she would become. Nor is it healthy to stagnate and not be in constant ever-evolving forward motion in life. My parents treated me so delicately in my youth, telling me I had time to make decisions about my future. And for what it is, I am proud of what I have achieved but I still reflect on my younger self and I find this urge yearning to tell her to make some different choices. Because it’s not that I am worse off now as a consequence of those past choices but the decisions I make today aren’t just for me, they are for three.

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But what I wake up to every morning is also the result of the path I’ve chosen to walk, and even when I am deep within myself carving out woes to ache over, at least I have the little slice of heaven that is my son and my marriage. Someone recently said to me that I have an enviable marriage and it was quite possibly the most life-affirming affirmation … and that is all me. I made that and it sends me ascending right back to peppy.

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Teething, and the Like

Posted on April 9, 2013

Well, there was a day a few weeks ago where all hell broke loose in The House of Huyghebaert. I didn’t know at the time but what was bothering our little shireling was a bout of the terrible teething baby rage. He was intolerant of everything that day. Food, air, hugs, love, diapers, stuffed toys, chew toys, bathes, outside, inside, it didn’t matter. Jonah was simply inconsolable and in the end so was I because even though I love him, I wanted to hurl him several feet away and not be responsible anymore. But, by the morning the next day I realized we had both survived, no worse for wear, so I rolled over and said “Good morning Satan,” and Jo jostled around in his crib and smiled at me like yesterday was a figment of my imagination and he was still an angel baby. Not Rosemary’s baby. His crib is right beside the edge of my side of the bed. I can reach and easily slip my hand through the slats and give him a good loving rub down every morning and frankly, it’s pretty precious. If I don’t wake and immediately wriggle my hand through to grab his, Jonah is reaching out in my direction instead. It is really, our one act of tenderness. Why? Because my child is not exactly … a hugger or a lover. My happy little man is a lot of wonderful things but he doesn’t seem to be keen on hugging or cuddling or even equipped to touch tenderly (ask my dog Callie). Maybe this is just how babies are and part of the journey that is his development but seeing his already incredibly independent nature takes a tiny toll on me because I know very well where he could have gotten this trait from.

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For my own reasons, I am “not exactly, a hugger or a lover” myself. My husband has long since come to grips with the fact that I’d rather flick his nipple than share a cuddle, and that some days I am just not in the mood for long embraces. I know. It is a shock because I talk about our love with such sentiment and grandeur … and even though our love is epic, I still battle my own issues when it comes to navigating that fifth sense: touch. I wonder what I’ve done or what I did through my pregnancy to imprint this onto my own son. Sure, maybe it is too soon to tell if he is like me or if I am just projecting some of my fears upon him, but nonetheless it has me thinking. I thought part of the perks of having your own offspring was the option of cradling your newborn babe in you arms whenever the hell you felt like it. My kid doesn’t even like blankets or clothes. It’s like a premature evolution of our relationship. He doesn’t want to be hugged particularly so my brain goes, “Ah, no hugs. He doesn’t need you anymore.” Does that come off as insane and mentally unbalanced as I think it does? Probably. But honestly sometimes I start thinking that or worse, the heart sickening “Is there something wrong?”

The truth is I’m growing a little worried. I am his primary parent right now, which basically translates to “mean mommy”. I am with him twenty-four hours a day, so sure I am there when he his bright, happy, full of smiles and new-found excitement but I am also his prison guard, parole officer and punisher. I’m the one who enforces the crying it out tactic when he wont nap, I’m the one that after however many hours of being on her feet loses her cool, I am the one that has to make tough decisions in the moment because it is for now, just me. So, me and my crazy brain start to concoct a reason for his independent ways … I am mean mommy ­so he must be distancing himself from me and it is easy to do because he is predisposed to the instinct to recoil from touch. See? Not insane. Logical. Right?

I rolled over and said “Good morning Satan,” and Jo jostled around in his crib and smiled at me like yesterday was a figment of my imagination and he was still an angel baby. Not Rosemary’s baby.

I think back to the mornings when I wake up to find him still next to me in his crib. He catches my eye and in that first moment of his realizing that mommy is still here, he just lights up. Lights up and does everything he can to grab my hand, get it to his cheek to nuzzle. The morning after his day of sore gums, it was during this routine that he showed me his new—and first— tooth. There wasn’t even a transition of emotions for me. I immediately forgot about the trials of the night before and became a hybrid of tearful and giddy. I guess it felt like my triumph as well as his, something we were sharing together. It made me so happy that day … Jonah is my baby but he isn’t the fantasy baby I had in my head. He is the baby he is, the baby he was meant to be. A beautiful and bright baby. My misgivings are all centered on my fears that I am not the mother I am supposed to be. I just don’t know how much of what I am doing in these early months will affect him the rest of his life. It is such a massively terrifying realization that everything you do, everything from how you treat others to the way you react to the decisions you make big or small, all of it is being absorbed by the little one in your arms. Reflect on that one awhile, will you?

If you’ll excuse me, I am going to go hug the crap out of my kid whether he likes it or not because at least for a little while longer he can’t argue with me.

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Squidgy Squidgy Fish Feet

Posted on March 25, 2013

I just finished singing a rousing rendition of “Squidgy squidgy fish feet” to my son and it dawned on me this is where all my time has gone. It has been what, more than a month since my last post? And, all I can do is apologize and try and convince you that I don’t love my son more than all of you, my dear—hopefully still devoted—public. No, the problem is this, I love making up nonsensical songs for my son while making oodles of quiche. Yes. What I am saying is I have become Susie Homemaker and I like it!

It is really easy to do all the embarrassing things I do with Jonah because I am virtually a single parent these days. So if I want to bake quiche naked, while wearing a colander on my head singing, “Squidgy squidgy fish feet, on my Jonah a-sweet-treat!” I will, with pride. I know what you’re thinking. You’re think I’ve been abandoned because Hubby just can’t take my new musical stylings. Wrong. Sadly he heard the workforce calling and dumped us for some stuffy—I’m sure fully clothed—office folk. Somehow he figured this would be more amusing than spending time with us, watching Jo giggle at me as I let the expletives fly when I get splattered by bacon fat. Curse you bacon splatter.

All right, so that’s not exactly what he’s thinking. Jonah’s dad is working everyday of the week these days, and five out of the seven he works 16-18 hours straight. And, no this is not one of those times I use hyperbole to enhance my prose. I am a single parent because my partner in crime is doing everything a man can do to provide. He also thinks he’s not doing enough … Yeah, cause I am really pulling in the big bucks here with my job as a 24 hour singer/songwriter bottle-warmer, quiche-dispensing bum-wiper.

Ah, we are managing. And we must be pulling off this parenting thing whether together or apart because our kid is a giddy, drooling, happy damn mess. I kiss him twelve thousand times a day, and I am telling you my face has never been so moisturized.

We have a move on the horizon and I’ve been wondering who I can hire to do that. I’ll need a team to pack the crap and move the furniture, someone to organize the workers, someone else to watch Jonah and keep him amused, and finally someone to prepare and serve me cocktails while the work gets worked. Is this … unreasonable? I need these things to survive, because I am known to be lazy, emotional and micro-manage-y when stressed. Would you want to attempt moving with a gal like that? Right, even I feel for my husband. However, my marriage has survived thousands of my meltdowns. What’s another swell breakdown? I’m charming.

So I guess what I’m getting to here is a hollow apology for neglecting this blog that I adore so much. Truthfully, so much is happening with Jonah, it feels as though he’s checking off milestones on a daily basis and I cannot stand how fast time is passing yet I’m so excited to wake up each day to see how much Jonah has changed overnight.

God, he makes me so proud … now it is clear to me why my dad came to every play, cried at every performance and yelled at the other parents to “Stand up and clap, god damn it!” or why my mom stood on side behind the curtain watching me hack the art of ballet to pieces, every time. Multiple times. Pride makes you swell and do ridiculous things because your kid is the be-all and end-all and the best  kid of them all.

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The “Da Da Da Da” Event

Posted on February 20, 2013

So, you’ve decided to make “Dada” your first word, huh? Well, isn’t that nice! Sweet even … and no, of course I wasn’t expecting “Mama” to come first! Since I am only your goddamn primary caregiver, the woman who carried you, birthed you, bleeds for you, the woman who is practically your slave and you can’t frigging offer me a little babble “Mama” action? Are you, are you kidding me?

Listen up, kid. I know your dad is pretty bitchin’ but you know what else he can be? A full-on actual bitch. Yeah, I said it. I own both your asses. Your dad thinks you’re as cool as creamed corn, so what? You guys gonna form a little club where you high-five each other on your escalating cool factor? What’s your next word going to be, I wonder? Could it be “Jedi” or possibly “Spock”? Huh? Cause I know your dad is to blame for this little indiscretion. I didn’t realize when I was sleeping in he was making you his little nerd minion. Who knew my son could be such an easy mark! What did he do, give you cake? There was cake given, wasn’t there … that bastard. I will kick his little booty for this. Yours too. Everyone thinks you’re brilliant for six and a half months, you know what? Being a daddy’s boy, not so smart. Saying “dada” before “mama” über not so smart. Now you’ve done it. Mama is ticked off. What’s worse is you wont even shut your face now. You were “da da da da da”ing all frigging day long WHILE YOUR DADADADA WAS AT SCHOOL AND NOWHERE AROUND. I had to wipe your butt while you told me all about dadadada and I wanted to puke.

In the end you made your dad’s day. There you were in your swing and when your dad came to get you, you looked him square in the eye and said the inflammatory infamous “Dada!” But while you may have made an old Trekkie proud as punch you also made a powerful enemy … me. Mama.

I am going to go all Mordor on your ass. Just you wait, Shireling.

Now to out you in some embarrassing video footage. The reign of terror begins.

 

I Just Needed to Say

Posted on February 15, 2013

I am just about three million miles away from anyone right now. Emotionally, I am in a boat floating aimlessly on open ocean and though the sea is calm beneath me I feel the distance between my boat and everything else just expand, expand, expand …

In my apartment the clock on the wall is ticking its way around to three thirty am and I have been lying in bed awake listening to it claim little bits of my life.

You know, a friend of mine just passed away. And, I must be going through the stages of grieving mightily slow because the hits just seem to keep on coming. I heard of his passing over a week ago but I can’t help myself from dwelling on the simplest aspect of it all: He’s just not here anymore.

I trip over it like it can’t be true because this man seemed to be bigger than everything, bigger than us all. He was louder than the rest of us, funnier than the rest of us … and just one of the brightest lights I had ever seen. When I think about that kind of man just not being with us anymore, I simply cannot not reconcile it. Not in my mind and certainly not in my heart.

My friend was a ballsy ass, cocky, boisterous kid and everybody adored him. My best friend always likes to say that when she first met him she thought to herself, “Who the hell does this jackass think he is? We aren’t going to be getting along,” but by the time he said “Come have a smoke with me,” Andrew had turned her impression of him around and she suddenly adored him like the rest of us. He was genuine. Genuinely a decent man with charisma up his butt to spare. And this was how it happened for everyone, you were powerless to not feel lucky for meeting the guy, being his friend or even being the one kid who got the nickname “Scrot,” short for scrotum.

I worked with Andrew for years at a job that was my second home. I don’t even have to say how all of my memories of what I like to call the ‘glory days’ of my life, have him there. I close my eyes and there he is on the line in the restaurant’s kitchen, corralling all the cooks, hooting and hollering, getting one of the newbies to eat a week old floor sausage. Andrew was the guy everything happened around. If he went out for a smoke, so did everyone else. If he was filling his milkshake tin with soda from the fountain pop, nobody would be concentrating and he’d just be entertaining us all. He always, always said hi to me when I came through the door. I could count on it, and I wasn’t even all that important in the grand scheme of things. But, hell. He knew my name. He used my name. He made me feel like I meant something to that place and in time we grew to know much more about each other and he would once in a while drop his act, walk over to me at the coffee station and say, “Hey Kels, how are you really doing, eh?”

That time in particular I remember so vividly now, that thinking about it gets me going and my throat starts to tense up. Because he’d remember something I had said weeks prior in passing about my life. Something small and to him, insignificant. But Andrew remembered. You knew Andrew cared, not about the detail but about how you were. He could always turn it around. Whatever it was, Andrew could take it off your mind, cure it or get you laughing so hard nothing else mattered. He was no angel but that’s what somehow made you trust him. I don’t think I’ll ever know anyone else that has even half his style.

I just can’t make it connect. Can’t reconcile it. How did this time ever end and how is the world not falling in on itself now that we are lacking a spirit like his?

See? At four am I’m even worse for sentiment and schmaltzy lines, god help me.

As a parent myself one of the things I cannot ever let myself think is “What if I ever lose my son?” I can’t keep it together when my mind drifts into that realm. Could I sit in a funeral home and listen to stories and claims that my son affected people, their lives, their memories in such a manner? Would it help the pain or make it unbearable on top of unbearable? I don’t know. But it all weighed so heavy on my mind tonight that I had to tell someone. So, I am telling it to the void instead of someone else close to this reality. I just figure … if even I, merely a shadowy figure of a past friend, can’t make sense of his death, how can his mom and dad survive this? Where do they go from here, from today?

My son isn’t even his own person in my eyes some times. He’s just an extension of me, of my husband and of our love. He’s our heart. How do you live on when something takes away the heart of your being? The thought upsets me to the point where I am sure I’ll finish writing this and then have a good long cry …

If we as parents could conceive of the possibility of losing a child before having our babies in actuality I wonder if that would stop some of us. I would never say that I regret having my son, that isn’t what I am saying, but tonight I lay in bed thinking about losing a loved one, a child, and the thought crossed my mind that ultimately I live in a little fear that the possibility is a reality. Now and forever, a possibility. And, it sucks the air right out of my chest.

So? That is how I got in this goddamn boat. Feeling seasick and lost.