Writing to you

Posted on February 7, 2013

Writing to you is like writing directly to my happiness. Mommy thought she was happy before you were born but she has since learned what true happiness feels like, what it can do and why money can’t buy it.

Dear lovey, you are six months old and during this time and for a little while before you were here I have been writing this little journal. At first, to express how I felt about being pregnant (me being selfish) and then I wrote about motherhood while you were just days and then weeks, and now months old (more being selfish, and tired … and terrified.) But now, here we are with you turning half a year old and something that should have hit me a long time ago has finally hit me. One day you may very well read these accounts of your first firsts and with that in mind here are some things I would like to tell you, because by the time you’re whatever age you are when you read your mother’s incessant stark raving mad ramblings, I may have forgotten. So, Jo? Where to begin with everything that you’ve done for me.

I never knew that I would take so much joy in moments that are very small or terribly normal or dare I say, to most even boring. But to your mom, the first time you smiled or laughed, rolled over and pooped brought me to tears. Happy ones. I’ve spent a good portion of your life so far scooping you up, hugging you against your will and wheezing away happily. Since your birth, every night I say a silent thank you and often that gets me going all over again.

IMG_3044

Moving on, truth be told I am exceedingly gross with you. You’re so young for now that I see no reason why you and I have to be clothed. You’re an infant and I am a stay-at-home mom, so we don’t wear clothes a lot of the time. You, like your mom, are happiest when your tushy meets air. Problem is I spend a lot of the daytime hours giggling your bum cheeks. You think it’s hilarious because you don’t know what embarrassment is or feels like and I hope you don’t discover that for a long time. This is the most free you will ever be and I think I am being a good parent teaching you that there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to your body. Plus your baby body is bangin’, and for the record your father supports all of this so don’t be looking up from the page there and giving him a look like he’s supposed to be protecting you somehow, ok? Your dad there, well that guy recently admitted to me that he nibbles your earlobes. Yeah and that’s closer to child abuse than anything I perpetrate. There is a reason why your dad and I got married. We are wonderful weirdos and you my little one are likely to turn into one yourself.

The grossness continues. I kiss you everywhere all day long and I can’t help myself. If I kiss your neck you curl up into a ball around me and laugh with a healthy belly laugh that makes my heart swell. Also, it should be stated for the record that I’ve laid a smacker on your tiny lips, which makes me officially the first woman you’ve kissed. And I plan to tell your future spouse this on your wedding day. (Also while we are on the subject, going off of what happened on my wedding day, keep me away from the wine.) I do have a complaint though, some times when I am smooching you silly you drool on my face and then proceed to gum on my chin which tickles. It is also not glamorous or good to do in public. So I hope you will grow out of this habit and you don’t jump my face on your graduation day or something.

IMG_3187

These days you are talking to me more and I in turn tell you everything that waltzes into my mind as we spend long days together waiting for dad to come home. I talk to you as if you understand and I have to tell you it is nice to have an ear that listens completely without judgment. It is my hope that as you grow up we continue to have a relationship where we can tell each other everything, openly and honestly without judging each other. Because I’ll tell you a little secret, I’ve made so many mistakes so far being your mom and I tell you when I make them. I hope one day you trust me enough to tell me when you royally fuck up and feel safe doing so. The secret is you’ll get away with a lot more without pain or punishment if you just own up to it. Why? Because I’ll just be happy you’re still talking.

What else … what else… Oh, sadly your intelligence at six months rivals my own … that’s all I want to say about that. You’re über smart for a baby. Congratulations.

IMG_3025

Well, I will say one more thing on the matter, you get your smarts from your dad but you get your beauty from me. And being beautiful in life will you get everything, and heavily laid, everywhere.

Finally, sweetheart I want to tell you a few things in all seriousness. Oh my god, I love you so much and I will never be able to explain to you how or why or even come close to imparting to you how much I love you. I struggle to understand it myself. But everyday your dad says to me, “Baby, I love him.” And I say, “I know, babe. Me too.” Just like that, every day. You know when you look at me just for a moment or for a few long seconds like you do in the morning I feel this amazing thing. It’s like a light being lit within me. You look at me and I feel chosen. And it is clear to me why I am so lucky to have this life. I don’t know why I got to be your mother Jonah, but I did and I am honoured. It is strange to live everyday wanting to both slow time down and then speed it up. I can’t wait to see you grow up but this morning I cried because I realised how fast you are growing up. I cannot tell you how much happiness you’ve brought into my world. Thank god your dad and I don’t know crap about contraceptives. You, my little angel are the light of my life.

IMG_3172

If Life Hands You Cat Piss, Make Cat Pie.

Posted on January 30, 2013

With Jonah finally sorting out the difference between night and day and finally doing some decent sleeping, it is heartbreaking when things beyond your control befall you and wake your peaceful babe. Things like children running and squawking up and down your condo hallways, phone calls from your mother at inopportune times, a barking shit dog or a clumsy mom tidying up during nap time. All of these offences forgivable because they are part of life and issues Jonah will have to learn to snooze through anyhow.

last night I almost perpetrated cat-homicide, people

But you want to know what is unforgivable? Watching baby cry when you throw on every light in the house at four am because when you finally rolled into bed, dead fucking tired, you rolled right over fresh cat urine (last night, I almost perpetrated cat-homicide, people.) That’s right. I was newly sprung from a shower I had been waiting all day to have, I crawled into bed, under my favorite sheets ready for slumber and before I even laid a limb down that smell “murderized” ma’ face.

Instant psychotic rage overtook me and I bellowed (perhaps it wasn’t the lights that woke Jo after all.) After ripping off the sheets, quilt and mattress cover J and I realized we had three or four loads of laundry to do and this was wash that could not wait. I threw my hands up in my unadulterated fury and dumped the quilt into the tub, while J scurried around to start a load of sheets, stop Jo from screaming and took several unsuccessful kicks at our cat. We named her “Minion” after the typeface but now we are thinking she is just simply Satan’s minion. Doesn’t matter. He can have her. I suggest bathing her in fire is a just consequence. I hear that’s what they do down there.

I don’t know how much time passed before everything seemed to calm down but it didn’t take too long before I realized that I didn’t hear Jonah anymore. In fact I barely heard him to begin with. He should have let loose on us for screwing up his schedule but in actuality he was content to be awake with us at four thirty am. Jeff turned the lights down and I plugged in the iPod. We put Jo in his jumperroo contraption and there he hung. The happiest baby I have ever seen. Then, what started as a nightmare began to evolve into oddly timed family fun. The Chili Peppers poured through the stereo speakers and Jonah really loved the beat and jumped vigorously. Even I started to dance a little while finishing the laundry.

By the end of the night (morning) I had dragged out all of Jo’s toys that had flashing colourful lights and had them all set up making our living room a baby disco party. My son was thrilled. He bounced and laughed himself right back to sleep because by the time we had the bed put back together Jonah went to sleep instantaneously in his crib, zero fuss. After putting him down, I mouthed to J, “Angel baby,” and Hubby nodded and smiled. How a night that began with rolling into hot cat piss ended so happily, I’ll never know.

But here are a few things I do know – now. Firstly? Mattress covers? Awesome protection from stinky (sneaky) cat pee pee and I’m sure other unsavoury liquids. Turning a crap situation into something else helps you maintain your status of “mother” not “cat killer”. Learning that your kid absorbs your reaction and uses it as a gage for their reaction in a situation, helps you self-monitor. And, there is nothing wrong with muttering, “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck,” under your breath behind closed doors while you stomp on your quilt in a bathtub filled with cold water (a la grape stomping) to help quell your rage. Finally, husbands and The Chili Peppers will always makes things right if you can learn to let them.

And for the record, the cat still lives. For now, because I don’t have a pie crust to put her in.

The Dangers You Didn’t Know About Your Husband’s Sleepy Sperm

Posted on January 28, 2013

Napping in the Huyghebaert household has never been any lower on the priority list than maybe number one or two. Bestie learned this truth years ago when she would try to pick me up for school, or call before noon or before suppertime, or try to take me out on the weekends. I will and still do, trade all things for sleep. Sleep is my dark mistress, and I obey. Ladykiller Bestie learned of this Huyghebaert tradition sadly after he paid thousands of dollars on a plane ticket to come visit us. Poor guy spent half the day just waiting for Hubby and I to get out of bed … or for me to scream from the bedroom “Coffee! Damn it!” Ah, those were some good times.

But then Mini Bestie arrived on the scene (“Mini Bestie” or “MB” is Jonah’s nickname coined by my Bestie, obviously.) and he was never keen on sleeping and subsequently my world practically fell apart. Scientifically it just did not make sense. Let’s look at the biology together, shall we? One sleepy sperm from party A and a snoozy egg from Party B got together one night when I for one, was definitely sleeping and I think Hubby was simply turning over in his sleep. However, still it remains a mystery how two people whom prize sleep more than anything and that also have sleepy (but charming) reproductive parts combined to make such a wakeful child! Not only does the scientific dissection of this issue prove odd but also it’s unfair! So after awhile when finally neither J nor I could see the humour in the situation anymore we decided to act like parents and resolve the issue. Here is what we learned.IMG_2942

Our little portly man does not need two, three, four bottles throughout the night. I should have seen this coming because just a week or two ago I put a little naked Jonah down on his blanket on the floor, walked away for a second and when I returned, found myself puzzled. Jonah had disappeared and in his place was this fine looking pork roast. Pink, meaty and well marbled – oh shit, wait a second – Oh sweet Jesus that’s my kid. (You see, not only was I sleep deprived at the time but I was confused by the fact that recently my baby is less baby and more … porky and lump like. It was a mistake any one of you would have made.) Now I am assured he is perfectly healthy and not even a smidgen overweight, but my doctor laughed at me and said, “So stop feeding him overnight! He can do without!” And, thank you Doc for the advice. We stopped letting him manipulate us into stuffing his face and guess what? He slept instead.

We’ve also learned that the baby should not be the decision maker. Why? Because baby doesn’t think he’s ever tired and needs a nap. And if you try to suggest ever so quietly that maybe a nap is a good idea that little spitfire will raise hell and fight you tooth and nail. Well, for a long time I thought Jonah was just growing out of the napping stage. He wanted to be up, he cried and fussed and never seemed to want to go down so I figured I’d let him decide. Big, big, BIG mistake, people. There we are again at the doctor’s office getting our asses handed to us when she starts telling us, “Oh, hell no. Your baby needs to nap at least three of four times a day depending on when you go to bed. Good sleep begets good sleep.” So we started enforcing the law of rest at home and after a few rousing rounds of ‘whose willpower is going to crack first’ Jonah started to see it our way and his sleeping through the night got even better. He’s napping as I write this and it is frigging glorious.IMG_3003

Finally I am proud to say that we’ve learned Jonah’s signals. He isn’t a fussy child in any way so when he does begin to fuss and cry it is as simple as he is tired. If  I get him warmed up to the idea of a nap before he hits breakdown (make the walls shake with his screeching) mode, it is all cake. However, if I miss that tiny window of opportunity I pay for it. And then, Hubby pays for me having to pay … it’s not pretty. Once you can read your kid’s signals and understand his babble, being a stay-at-home mom becomes a little more fun. You may even find the time to shower once again and take an uninterrupted poop. Yes, take heart! This can be achieved!

I have said it in the past and I will say it again, you don’t disturb mommy’s sleep because mommy isn’t naturally a nice person, and on no sleep she’s a downright cold bitch

Sadly, I know this time of calm and routine will soon end. Why? Because I read other blogs and I already know that when it comes to teething and weaning Jo off the soother, I will have new huge battles on my hands that will tear to shreds our new peaceful arrangements. But I can always hope my baby will be different, react differently, love sleep too much to put up a fight against us … because it is simply not a Huyghebaert trait to disrespect sleep for any reason. I’ve said it in the past and I will say it again, you don’t disturb mommy’s sleep because mommy isn’t naturally a nice person, and on no sleep she’s a downright cold bitch. Proof? I had a first husband who didn’t make it. Word.

Anything For You, Kid

Posted on January 22, 2013

I have recently undergone a lobotomy. When my Sony crashed a few weeks ago, I thought I was experiencing a heart attack and stroke simultaneously but it turns out the “heart attack” was my searing emotional breakdown and the “stroke” feeling was coming on from hearing “Don’t you back up your work?” and “Your hard disk failed,” and “Try backing up your work online to a server. Why don’t you do that already?” Everything I don’t understand about computers was thrown in my face during a time where I was watching my life disappear before my eyes. I am a writer, geniuses. I am an artist, ok? I don’t always back up my shit, I don’t even really know how to do anything but click the save button and make rudimentary files on my desktop to save said shit in. (If by chance one of my university profs is reading this, oh holy hell I am screwed because I am supposedly “trained” in the field of say… being able to write, catalogue and save – including the backing up portion – my work.) Anyway, my point is thus. When those little USB sticks came to market I thought, “What the hell? This ain’t no floppy disk.” And, yes. That is pretty much the last time I really backed up in earnest. So sue me, you apparent midnight-every-night-secretly-sneaking-home-and-backing-up-your-work-morons. Right now I really, frankly, just hate you and don’t want your opinions. What really got me? The phone call to my parents where I got the (should have expected) response of “Suck it up girly,” from my mother. Ah, the tenderness. The love. Thanks mom.

Yes, dear readers. I know this is all my fault and complaining about it won’t bring my computer back to life or somehow find me the money to replace Stevie (RIP Stevie McLaptoppy Sunshine, devoted and beloved electronic note taker of my inane and incessant thoughts. 2008 -2012.) But that knowledge sure as hell won’t stop me from running my mouth. Not my style to quietly take the beatings life doles out. No, no. The guts of my computer are my guts. You know? To go through all of what is inside is to know me, where I’ve been and what I thought about it all along the way. It’s not just drafts of a book that will never be published. It is a time capsule. Well, it was … in the end I managed to recover and save to a USB the vital components of this electronic reflection of my little life. My unfinished book, anything I had ever written about Jeff and every picture of Jonah I could sniff out from within the rubble.  What goes down with the ship is countless half-started thoughts, stories and memories. Personal pictures and design files. Love letters from lovers past and present, and finally the machine itself that I have toted around like an extension of myself since my days at college. My computer represented a time when I finally grasped what it was I was going to do the rest of my life without hesitation or fear. And that was to write and the prospect of not having a way to do that feels very hurtful. Also, let me quell the open mouths saying, “But you can blog from your phone!” or “You can use your Hubby’s computer,” (a personal favourite piece of advice from my brother, “Why don’t you use a pen and paper? Duh!”) and anything else that may be misconstrued as helpful. It isn’t, ok? Perhaps it is and will always be too much to ask for, but I am the kind of person who needs her own computer in order to write openly, freely and honestly without having the shadow of embarrassment follow. I think everyone needs their own space somehow and this is just how I need mine.

Hubby and I have gone over the numbers and sought out financing options, trying to make our budget work for buying me some salvation but it has been to no avail. My husband being the sensitive soul thinks we should buy me the laptop of my dreams regardless of financial status, but my guilty conscience won’t abide.  Yet, cut to me mere days ago at the Toys r’us and you would see a completely unburdened conscience just a freewheelin’. Hubby said at one point, “How are you planning on getting all of this back to the car, babe?” At least I think he said it. I couldn’t see him behind the mountain of trinkets we bought for Jonah. Somehow the faculties that either justify or lower the kibosh on my own purchases isn’t the part of me that is responsible for giving me a level head when it comes to buying Jonah the world, apparently. The mommy in me from day one has been saying, “Anything for you, Kid.” And, this is a very bad mantra to be repeating because I am going against the advice my Baba (mother of FOUR. Ugh.) gave me and that was basically something along the lines of, “You don’t need anything fancy to raise baby.” Apparently just myself, some towels and hot water will do. Oi, Baba.

So turns out priorities really do change. But my giving nature intact, even if we are always living pay cheque to pay cheque, Jonah will want for nothing.

This will be the second post now that I’ve prepared far from my cosy spot on the bed with Stevie just a glowing away. The last entry I managed to type out and post within four bloody hours on my husband’s Mac. A computer I now want to run over with my car. Why the hell can’t you freaking side-click on a damn Mac? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU APPLE PEOPLE?! It is a wonder I got anything to post prepared because I almost flung myself and the Mac off our balcony in a fit of rage. I’m a PC user? Can you tell? This post is coming together via email and smartphone, something I will never be attempting to do again if I want to keep my sanity. Right about now that pen and paper jab from my ever- hilarious brother is looking more and more like a viable option. Journals don’t have hard disk issues. I like this. That’s a big “screw you” to technology. Love, me.

In the end I don’t think much will change around here if I write less and blog even more infrequently. I’ll still endeavour to sit down and write something, somehow. And you know what? It will probably work out the same with or without a computer to call my own: half-written prose sitting on the coffee table soon to be forgotten, me with a wailing baby in one arm the other madly swatting at the cat to get her to stop eating my oatmeal. Ah, life. How did you get so good?

If any of my readers out there are independently wealthy and have a heart of gold and are interested in sending me a cheque my address is as follows,

#101 – Sad Gal Towers

2727 Dontknownobackup Lane

Screwyoumacville, Canada

Once again, thanks for reading Lovies.

An Open Letter to my Brother

Posted on January 13, 2013

Our father calls us “romantics”. You and I, brother, are romantics born from romantics, so let him call us what he will. Tonight, I echoed my earlier steps back into a theatre to sit myself down in front of the story that has been in my heart, as well as in yours, since we were but pint size dreamers. Oh, how this story strikes me in the deep, furthest depths of my soul. It has followed me my whole life, you see. Swung around me like this breeze of unseen music that only I could hear, and as I grew I sang every word at one time or another like they were my own words, born from the need to grieve or rally and fight, learn of love and generosity or to simply survive whatever it was at the time I needed to survive. The beauty of it all being that, all the while you were in the bedroom across the hall singing out the same lyrics, possibly trying to come to grips with and survive what was encompassing your world at the same time. We both at once, loved and mended wounds with this story and in doing so bonded ourselves to one another forever. I think back on it all now with such astonishment that one single thing, a silly thing like a musical could become so much a part of me, of who I am on the deepest levels … let me share with you some of that, now.

fc848af85d6e11e2bb3e22000a1fb8a8_6

I want to tell you how I’ve played each role with heartbreaking accuracy at one time or another in my life, but to do that would mean stripping all my secrets away and standing in front you ultimately weaponless and vulnerable. But, I have walked in the shoes of many characters, whether I was suffering or blossoming. To this day when I hear Eponine sing “On My Own”, I am immediately pulled back into the body of my six-year-old self who just lost her Granddad, and how singing along with Eponine was her only means to express that profound pain and grieve his death. Flash forward to my mindset on my wedding day, how I walked down the aisle casting my eyes from dad, on to you and then to my future husband with the words to “A Heart Full of Love” just behind my eyes and positively reverberating within my heart. Even now, after becoming a mother … how I’ve come to internalize the plight of characters like Fantine and Valjean is undeniable. All of these are insights into me that leave me open and vulnerable to the world, but at the same time leave me feeling blessed that I feel them at all.

Blessed … listen to me, will you? I used the word “blessed” just there. What that is supposed to tell you, brother, is that you and I are no more different now than we were twenty years ago. You pray? I pray, you know. (Here it is now, vulnerable, vulnerable … ) I must pray because there have been moments of extreme pain, turmoil, angst, passion and happiness in my life where I have found myself talking, eyes closed and hands clasped tight. Talking to someone who knew me and would listen … isn’t that God? We may come to heated arguments over this subject now in our older years but that isn’t because I am the spiritless, turned her back on spirituality girl you think I am. We just have different ways of having and honouring a “belief” in our lives. I cannot sit here and tell you I am an atheist and that I am unaffected every time I hear, “To love another person, is to see the face of God,” because it would be tragically untrue. That lyric brings me to my knees emotionally, because I cannot will it to not sound like the only bit of truth I have ever heard. My heart tells me there is something, a spirit, a force, God … whatever you want to label it, out there in this universe of ours. There has to be, how else can you explain … the creation and birth of a child or the writing of powerful, inspired prose? Prose that entirely affect and nurture, say, a little boy and turn him into the most gentle, kind and compassionate man. I look at you dear brother and sometimes I see divinity in you… a little light that shines.

I sing to your nephew as he falls asleep every night. I whisper the words that harbor in our bonded souls in the hopes that whatever is instilled in us can be bestowed upon him. In Jonah I see you so clearly. He has your gentle spirit about him and I cannot deny that when I look at him I think to myself how he somehow lives as you reborn. I sing to him softly and my mind wanders and I begin to feel like I am singing to you. How I wish you could turn back time … I give anything to relive some days with you by my side. But, that is not this life. What I can promise you is that I will be there. One day sitting next to you, my hand in yours, experiencing maybe for the last time, the very thing that has made our lives. And, I am honoured that you asked me to be there … with you, on that day my very heart will take flight.

Notes on Love

Posted on December 23, 2012

In the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut, I wanted to do what most of us writers did and that is work it out for ourselves through the exercise of writing. But for me, the right words never came. That day, I sat with my son on my knee, wetting his head down with my tears and I could not feel anything but heart sickness and grief. I wanted it out, off my shoulders and down on paper but I’m telling you as real and tactile as my emotions were … the words just couldn’t come. I didn’t and I still don’t know how to talk about what happened. I never let Jonah watch any of what was flashing on the television screen. I shielded him from the reality of it all but I’m sure as I shook and as the tears rolled down my face, Jonah in some way was affected all the same.

That afternoon Jo and I had to pack ourselves in the car to go fetch Hubby from school. Listening to Jonah coo in the background had me tearing up all over again and when we finally arrived at the university campus, I put the car in park and waited. When I saw J appear from behind the entrance’s glass doors, I was out of the car and I flew into his arms. I threw myself around him and hugged him tightly. For several long minutes I didn’t say anything at all. I just squeezed on to him, looked up into the sky and tried not to crumble in front of him.

There I was with my family. All of us together, intact and safe. After we all piled back in our car and with J saying his usual, “Hey, Jo!” we carried on. We carried on like every other day, except fresh on my mind was exactly that; how lucky I was to be able to just carry on when others couldn’t. It was somehow wonderful and terrible at the same time.

I’ve always found that in the aftermath of a something beyond unimaginable and terrible there is an outpouring of love that comes from all sides. Acts of random kindness and generosity, phone calls and text messages of sentimental nature, hugs and hand holding, kisses and long embraces. What helped me heal some of the deep sadness I felt was recognizing those moments in my own life and celebrating them.

What I needed was something I didn’t know I needed, but it came all the same in the form of a phone call, late one night over the weekend. It was my Dad. He was back home, standing outside watching the snow come down and blanket the city. He told me how beautiful it looked with snow falling all around and then he said, “I am just calling to tell you that I love you. I love you and that’s all.” In the moment I told him I loved him too but after I hung up the phone I realised that I would remember his simple call the rest of my life, and that’s probably what I should have said instead. That is always something I can count on from my father. I may be hurting and thinking about how much I love my family but my Dad is the one who vocalizes it.

So, there are those moments that don’t so much surprise you but they comfort you and go a long way to helping you regain the ground you lost, and that is what my Dad did for me. But then there are the surprising moments that come from somewhere unexpected. And I’ll keep this short and personal because that is how it needs to be.

Sweet girl,

You’ve always been my … “my giving tree”.

And now where ever I go, I get to take a piece of you, a piece of us with me.

Our friendship has gone through many metamorphoses and has withstood the test of time.

I’ll wear it next to my wedding ring because that is how I will live out this life and friendship.

With you next to me. With you as my foundation. With you as a partner. With you until the end.

I am dreamer, and when I imagined the perfect best friend … I never dreamed you would become a reality.

You know I am who I am because of you.

All my love,

— K

Happiness, You Sneaky Bitch

Posted on December 13, 2012

Jonah was four months old on December 4th but at the same time he became the four month old that looks like a twelve month old. He’s a big kid. Not just his head, people. All of him is growing like he’s in a rush to become a full grown adult by spring and if I don’t start force feeding him coffee pronto, he will get there. I don’t care if that whole coffee-makes-you-shorter thing is a myth. I’m giving it a go. I’ve also called Alice and asked if she has any of those tiny cakes lying around that Jonah could use. One magic bite and it’s shrinksville for you, baby … back where you’re supposed to be, you gigantic Christmas turkey.image[3]

You know I’ve had so much to blog about and I’m telling you I’ve written some beautiful entries in my head but getting them down these days has been an impossible task. And, I don’t even have a job! I’m a stay at home (fabulous) mom and mommy blogger and I’ve committed a terrible crime. I have fallen so in love with my little meatloaf, he has overtaken my love of creating witty, beautifully emotional and groundbreaking literature! Oh dear god, no! But it’s true! I am disgusted with myself…

Here is the problem. Every time something of note happens and I get the “white lightening” of inspiration to write, Jonah looks back at me, smiles and I cry. No, seriously. I’ve noticed recently I am one of those moms. My kid giggles and I cry with joy. My little pancake rolls over and I sob. He half smiles – I’m on the floor. He poops and I hose down my t-shirt. He makes sucking motions in his sleep and I drop to my knees wailing, “I love you so, I love you so, I love you so!” People, it is a sick sick sick display and I can hardly live with myself. My point? All of these dramatics are a fool proof distraction from the bloody soliloquies I keep jotting down in my mental journal. (A place where good writing goes to die because it and I know it will never get written into reality.)

I am not the happy girl, ok? I have spent a lifetime perfecting the lonely, sullen girl routine that I stole from Fiona Apple

Thankfully it is not all nasty baby angel baby’s fault. No, he is an innocent. Who is really to blame? Damn bloody Hubby, that’s who. You know what he did to me last night – last night, right about the time when I said “Self? You are writing a blog entry tonight. Do it or I’ll make you weigh yourself on that scale you know does not lie. You write, damn you. You write till your fingers bleed, bitch!” – He comes home and of course Jo is awake at one am because he’s learned that’s when daddy appears. So J picks him up out of his bassinet and like it isn’t enough that Jonah is squealing with delight, Hubby whirls him around and around and says “It’s time to fly, Jo!” He lifts Jo over his head and begins to zoom around our apartment humming the Superman theme song while Jonah’s mouth is wide with a massive smile. Jonah has perfected straightening out and holding firm his posture so with his arms stretched forward he really does look like he’s flying. I watched the two of them buzz around and suddenly my eyes got that all too familiar warm sensation. Jonah is cackling with jubilant glee and I just sat there and cried the happiest tears of my life. It was grotesque. I hated them for making me so happy. I am not the happy girl, ok? I have spent a lifetime perfecting the lonely, sullen girl routine that I stole from Fiona Apple and these whores are just ruining my life’s work. If I had known this was where my life was to lead I would have made my marriage a sexless one long ago! Damn you hindsight! Damn you sperm! Damn all the sperm! (Hubby chimes in with a rousing rendition of ‘Every Sperm is Sacred’. Charming.)image[1]

Anyway, in a neat and concise manner, here is what you’ve missed while I’ve blatantly ignored you, you my dedicated reading public. Jonah has rolled over, mastered giggling, started holding his own bottle and has several times managed to remove and replace his soother; which by the way he is not obsessed with and is using less and less every day. In short this past week has been brimming with new and exciting moments that have me reciting in my head, “This is as happy as I have ever been,” And, since I turned frigging twenty-seven this week, that is saying something.image[2]

Finally, this also happened this week and my Hubby was smart enough to capture it … I’d like to say it was posed as to escape any of you oohing and awing, but alas this is just my luck.image

“Your baby has a big … big … BIG BIG HEAD!”

Posted on December 4, 2012

Dear Random Child at Swiss Chalet,

Thank you for telling me you liked my baby. This was very sweet and you immediately won me over, which is saying something because the truth is Little Bit, that I do not like babies or kids other than the ones that get ripped from my belly. So, you’re cute and you’re probably thinking that your high cute factor buys you the ability to get away with things. All kinds of things! Right? Hell, I am no stranger to that idea. Kid, I invented that idea. You think my Dad ever yelled at me? How do you think I acquired all the hair accessories and toys I had when I was your age, hmmm? I smiled and made my Dad laugh and he fell over himself bestowing gifts on me. I know how children (the cute ones) wield their assets against the world, but you know what you little pisser? That means I am wise to you.

Now, I won’t hold anything against your mother. She had two other little ones she was trying to wrangle into winter coats when you moseyed over to our table. Maybe I would take issue with her having taught you to speak in the first place, but that’s all in the past now and apparently nothing can be done to get you to shut your pie hole. When you were standing there next to us, no taller than a chair, saying how you liked my son I thought “Aw, look at this little tyke! What a little sweetie pie,” but then of course you continued on when really, you should have stopped. But how I was charmed by you, how I was deceived by you. How naive of me…

My son is a mini Jedi in training. His Dad? An actual Jedi. That means trouble for you

Listen you little twat boy, my son is a mini Jedi in training. His Dad? An actual Jedi. That means trouble for you. But that’s not all my son is, being of “The Force” is just the beginning. My son is unique. He is extraordinary and a beautiful little imprint of my life so far. He has my eyes and my husband lips; he is the perfect mixture of two of the strongest, bravest and prolific heritages: Mapleton blood and Huyghebaert blood. Jonah Alexander is a king among men, okay? He will one day rule the country you crawl around, and trust me he will always remember what you said. And, if he doesn’t, I will. I am a Ukrainian woman (STRONG LIKE BULL) and we live forever. You will never be rid of me.

You may have slipped by my husband because all the chicken and chalet sauce he ingested obviously dulled his senses and his comebacks, but I was not in a mashed potato, stuffing and gravy induced coma. I heard you. And, yeah. Maybe at the time I was too distracted by Bestie’s honking and snorting at your comment to really give you what-for, but I’m telling you if I ever see you in the street, I’ll have a comeback for you that will knock you on your tiny bum, Kid. You got that?

In conclusion, don’t be a porky mouth. I would like to remind you that words carry power. Real power and unleashed rather un-thoughtfully they can get you in heaps of trouble. Especially when you point out characteristics or physical attributes that maybe some of us are trying to hide. I will repeat that my baby is beautiful and as close to perfection as you can get. You on the other hand, well … you have the advantage of age right now, but one day mister, my son will use his “big…big… BIG BIG BIG HEAD!” to outwit, out last and out play you. BAZINGA!

 

Love, a card-carrying member of the Ukrainian Mafia.

The Only Person I Want to Make Coffee For is ME

Posted on December 1, 2012

You know I keep getting asked one particular question over and over again pretty much since the moment Jonah was born and I will say for the record that asking this question right after having a baby isn’t exactly cruel but for sure it hits me harder than maybe it does for others.

Drum roll, please.

“So, when are you planning to go back to work?”

Now, I can stomach this question when it’s coming from my mother or another family member even though it’s not my favourite discussion to have. But when the damn checkout lady at my local Safeway asks about Jonah’s age and then follows up with the all-too-bloody-popular-shot-to-the-groin question about going back to work, I think my facial expression says it all. Look at my face, lady. Back off.

The truth is I am in no hurry to get back to the career I had before baby. Why? Because the “career” I had was no career to speak of. I woke up at four am every morning to grind coffee and open my store to make sure my fellow North Vancouverites had their espresso in hand by 4:45 am. And if you’re wondering, yeah, being late is not an option because if your door isn’t unlocked by that time they are tapping on the glass wondering what the fuck is wrong with you, you the tiny insignificant barista. Ok, so maybe that’s more me and my beautiful melodrama, but that’s how it felt every single day. Even with running my own shifts, a lot of the time I felt pretty low.

I have nothing to return to, dear readers. My whole life now is baby and it is the most important thing I have ever done, because let’s face it my past isn’t littered with accomplishments or achievements, neither big nor small. I think it is safe to say I’ve lived a quiet little life. Lucky enough to have found the love of my life, and thankful I have always kept up on my writing but as far as growing up and becoming a successful adult? I’m not sure making the perfect cappuccino is anything to brag about. I have been working in restaurants for a decade, since I was sixteen and even though I don’t think I ever loved it, I was comfortable enough that I never strayed. You know I took myself through school and then moved my new family to the big city to see what dreams I could chase … but I guess I’m not one to strive too high because the higher you go the further you fall.

You made yourself. I just housed you. And, now I just hose you. Down.

They say that your thirties are the new twenties, meaning if you feel completely lost at 27 (hello misery) then you are probably pretty normal. Well, normal? Not in my neck of the woods. I have more friends with master degrees than I do without. Even Bestie is fighting the “fear” and making real strides toward the betterment of herself and career, finally making real money and not this 11 dollars an hour bullshit. And, I’m sorry, I am going to say the thing you are not supposed to say when you are a mother. A baby is not a better accomplishment than having a master’s degree or a high flying career. I’m sorry, I love you kid, but making you wasn’t all that difficult. You made yourself. I just housed you. And, now I just hose you. Down. Because you stink and cleaning a baby isn’t an accomplishment either. So don’t start.

Listen, I’m sorry I invited you to this unexpected pity party, but now you’re here so sit tight and shut your traps because I am just about to turn it around.

I’ve got a plan, I do. It is just difficult some times to wait to start. Especially when you see people in your life really begin to surpass you and leave you behind, but we all have our own path in life and maybe I am beginning to see where mine leads.

When I feel like kicking myself down emotionally, I start to think that I am abandoning all my hopes and dreams since recently I’ve decided to go back to school to educate myself in something other than writing, publishing and design. That “life” I was striving for was this great big white hope that I’ve come to realise isn’t what I want. I’m not a competitive spirit work wise, or a get-up-and-go kind of gal and I don’t want a high-powered career or have to struggle being a starving artist as a writer.

I began sorting out what experiences are important to me since meeting Jeff and even more so after having baby Jo and I keep coming back to one central theme. I believe in the healing power of touch. I look back on a life of me playing the protector and after having my son, I see clearly that the signs have been there all along. I want to learn about healing by natural means and by holistic treatments. I truly want my career to reflect my desire to take care of the world around me, and how I start doing that is by taking care of those around me. My mother has always said that I have strong hands, just like her. I come from a long line of women with strong hands and there is something in that, I think. I have always expressed myself through my hands, whether with my writing or through a supportive grasp of my husband’s hand or even how I make Jonah laugh when I softly stroke his cheek.  I can see a career in massage therapy keeping me satisfied and allowing me to continue to express myself the best way I know how.

I’m not going to listen to that part of me that tells me I am coward for giving up on my prior dreams of becoming a writer, graphic designer or whatever else because it isn’t even right. I am a writer with or without being published. I can continue to learn the art of graphic design and keep it as a beloved hobby. If I had truly wanted more than that I would have made it so. I wanted a husband and family and I made it so because obviously that is what I wanted most. Now I desire to have a career that will afford me the ability to both raise my kids financially and spiritually and I will make it so.

But for now dear readers, I’ll answer the question like this. The reason I am in no hurry to get back to work (of any kind) right now is simple. I will never get this time back. The fact that my husband and family struggle to award me the time to raise Jonah by being home with him day in and day out is precious. And, even though I don’t get paid, I have the best job in the world and unlike every other job I have ever had there is no doubt that I am, finally, appreciated … Jonah tells me so every day and at this juncture, I’d like to say to my parents that I appreciate you and everything you have ever sacrificed in order to raise me. I’ll make good on it. On it all.

Slow Burn

Posted on November 17, 2012

Of course my mother hates this about me but it is in fact my nature to always … how should I put this? Sober up. I am the person who never lets a good thing go on too long. We’ve been enjoying an amazingly happy stretch with baby Jo recently, he’s ninety percent smiles and ten percent poop these days and it has been just brilliant being with him, but for me as happy as I’ve been, still something had to give. So it did.

My babe has started to teethe. If you can believe it my three and a half month old is teething. No sprouted pearly whites yet but his gums are clearly bugging my little critter because Jonah is all fists and drool. He spends all day shoving his tiny fists all up in there and just drools like it’s going out of style. His appetite has tanked too. Poor little monster. I was rubbing his gums today with my fingers and he was having (how wrong is this image) for lack of a better phrase, he was having a baby orgasm. I know he isn’t technically hurting but just this tiny amount of frustration that he is experiencing is giving me the twangs. You know the twangs, right? Like when you love something so much it hurts. The “hurt” is the twang you get inside. My twangs leave me a little bit cold after. I watch him struggle with his newly sprung issue and there isn’t much I can do to help. He hasn’t learned to hold anything up to his mouth so teething rings, frozen clothes and such are all a little bit beyond him. Anyway, this isn’t exactly my point about having something good and then finding something to knock myself off the high. What really got me, and so unexpectedly was a moment I had with my son a few nights ago alone in the tub.

He was having a baby orgasm.

Jonah and I were tubbin`it as per usual. He was fascinated with splashing and I was singing him some Beatles tune when he suddenly stopped splashing and his little fists jetted up to his mouth again where he began to suck and chew furiously. So I quickly chewed my nail down to the quick, washed my hands and poked my finger into his mouth to supply some relief. Jonah grabbed my hand with his two and just went to town on it and for a split second I thought “Good, this is helping.” But then I got the glacial twang. This was the first time in a long time that I had felt his desperate need for something only I could offer. The same way he needed me in those first few weeks of breastfeeding. I suddenly lost my feeling of contentment and remembered my sadness over not being able to breastfeed my baby. The one thing I should have been able to do, no problem. In the beginning Jo was always with me, what felt like always just on my chest feeding away. All that skin to skin contact obviously was something I sorely missed. And, I’m sorry to say to those of you who might be thinking that my baby and I still have this kind of contact through baths or whatever else. There is nothing like the feeling of holding a baby next to your heart and feeding them off your own breast … with your own milk … those moments of still and beautiful quiet … the calm … the action of nursing, the sensation, all of it. I lost it all and sitting in the tub with Jonah, my finger in his mouth where he just sucked and sucked … well, it just broke my heart. All over again. The feelings I had to deal with weeks ago when we quit breastfeeding came barrelling back and overwhelmed me. I was not prepared. In fact as I write this I am choked up once again. I want to breastfeed so badly and I am angry that I can’t. I feel cheated.

I know Jo will never really know whether he was breastfed or not but I’m beginning to feel the build up of things I missed out on and I truly believe it has a lot to do with my c-section. I know that choice was mine and really, I should be thankful for my quick recovery and I should revel in the knowledge that c-sections have positives but I can’t seem to shake the negatives. I wasn’t able to see my baby come out of me the way I should have. I didn’t get to see my son being held by his father for the first time. I never got to see the look on my dad’s face when finally Jonah met him. I didn’t get to hear what was said or see the emotions run through them and over their faces. Those split second moments that are so huge I completely missed out on because of my surgery. And, I guess maybe this is the journey of realising and accepting that, but I am just at stage “angry” right now. My body had zero chance to go through the natural progression of labour. I didn’t get the right hormones at the necessary times and so no wonder my breasts were like “WTF?” and just gave up. I missed having Jonah on my chest immediately after birth and now I don’t get the option of breastfeeding where so much of our bonding is supposed to take place? My god, does this sound unfair to anyone else out there? Just me?

Sigh. Look. I can hear my mom in my head telling me to can it. That I shouldn’t be so negative and to think about my perfect son and how lucky I am he’s an angel from heaven … but you know what? Sometimes this is just where my head is at. I should have been in that room with my son watching him being passed around. From J to my mother, to my father and to my best friend. That is something I am owed. I’m sure after a good night’s sleep I won’t feel this emotion like an acid tearing through me but for now I do. For now I want retribution. For now I want someone to sympathize. In the end I suppose I shouldn’t be so quick to say everything is perfect because obviously these twangs still run very close to the surface and every so often will turn from icy to a burn.