Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Didn't Know Anyone Was Actually Reading...

So, I've been served. Legally.

Yes, folks, the estate of C.S. Lewis (you know, the guy who wrote Chronicles of Narnia. Get it?) has issued a nasty gram against my little blog. Yes, my little blog.

When I think about people who see this blog I picture three people -- and I know all of them. I would say anything in this blog to them over the phone any day of the week.

But, the man he see-eth and he heareth. And he wants me to stop taking his name in vain. So, it is with a heavy heart that I must abandon the blog name "Chronicles of Momnia." That's where you come in...I need ideas for a new name...

The best I can come up with is "C.S. Lewis Sucks Balls," but that really doesn't have much to do with marriage or motherhood or me now does it?

Bring it...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


So, the first day of preschool for Toddler Boy went swimmingly. It was basically an introductory hour-long session with just three other kids in his class of 10. Not a sniffle, not a tear. A kiss goodbye and he was off for a couple of hours of mommyless parallel play.

Fast-forward to the second day of preschool -- yesterday. Before we even left the house, things were headed south.

"Mama. I don't wanna go anaweeeear."

"Oh, but honey, don't you want to play with those fun trucks at school? Mrs. Matthews is so excited to see you today."

What a crock. My vision of Mrs. Matthews is that at about, oh, 11:15 (school gets out of 11:30) she starts foaming at the mouth, clawing at the door window, and mouthing, "HELP ME" as other staff walk by shaking their heads wishing they could help, but too frightened by what they knew lay behind that closed door.

I got him into the car with an apple sauce squeezie to calm his nerves. (Have you seen these things, by the way? They are like $55 for a pack of four apple sauce packs with a nozzle that dispenses apple sauce directly into your kids' mouth. No muss, no fuss. We are currently refinancing our home to afford weekly purchases of these ridiculous snacks.)

Got to school and he was starting to get excited to play with his favorite truck in class.

"I like-a the front-end loader."

No, trucks aren't just trucks to my kid.

"Great! Let's go see your front-end loader. Mrs. Matthews has it waiting for you!" I say, sounding like Minnie Mouse on crack.

We walked in, up the stairs and immediately, I spotted him. He was one of Jack's classmates. A pretty big 2-year-old, sucking his thumb, clutching his blanket, and eyeing everyone walking by with that I'm-gonna-blow look on his face.


The kid reeked of instability. He could really, really throw a wrench into the delicate balance I had going on with J. We were already teetering on the edge. There were some nerves and resistance, but I'd managed to keep things moving without too much pushback. But, this guy. This guy could ruin it all.

I pretended not to see him and steered J away from his obvious nervous energy.

"I hang-a ma Batman backpack."

"Good job, sweetie. Almost time for Mrs. Matthews to open the door."

And right on the door she did. And there the kid went. It was like slow motion. His eyes turned red, he ripped off his shirt and his skin turned green right before my eyes.


It was hard not to stare. Even though I've been in that very predicament many a time, when you see a kid losing his noodle like that, it's hard not to think to yourself, "If only he could see what an ass he's making of himself, he'd think twice before pulling that crap."

Shit was bananas.

Not sure how his dad managed to get him, flailing and screaming, over to the open door. But, right when he reached the door, Incredible Hulk did the unthinkable: He racked his own father's balls.

"Ooooh..." his father moaned.

I could not believe the chaos ensuing before my eyes, and all I wanted to do was get my kid through that open door without having him kick me in my...vagina. Ok, maybe not exactly the same thing.

J stood there wide-eyed and I could see his mind racing.

"What the fuck? This kid is bugging. Does he know something I don't? Are they making kid stew in that room or something?"

I knew time was of the essence. I pushed by Hulk's dad, still trying to recover from the unexpected attack on his gonads, gave J a kiss, and said, "Ok, it's time to play with your truck now!"

He looked at me incredulously as if to say, "Yeah, right. You expect me to walk into the pit of death without a fight? Ha. Guess again, lady."

And there he went. Tears, yelling, head tossing. The works.

I gave him a quick hug, said I'd be back to pick him up and glanced backward to see him and the Incredible Hulk, along with several other kids now, taking the term "mass hysteria" to new heights.

I wanted to blame Hulk's dad for the scene, but I knew better. It's like a bandaid. Gotta rip it off. Plus, he'd suffered enough.

I'm thinking next time, though, I'm going to put soundproof headphones and a blindfold on J on the way to class...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Old(er) Mama

It's different being pregnant at 37 than at 31.

First big difference? Fourteen weeks (and, so, yes, it's official that a bun is in the oven for the THIRD time) looks like about five months when we're talking about my gut. The baby is only about 7 centimeters long at this point and the rest I attribute to gas, steak-and-cheese subs and muscle memory. (You know. It's sort of like when you go swimming after being a swimmer all your life and your muscles just kind of know what to do. In this case, my midsection, upon conception, started expanding at a rapid pace because it knew, even before I did, what was coming down the pike.)

I know pregnant women have a tendency to exaggerate so let me just say that when I went to the doctor this past week, the nurse cheerfully asked me, "So, how far along are we now?" I said, "About three months," and she gasped. Gasped. "Holy shit, mama," she might as well have said, "You are going to be HUGE."

Let's get the joy part out of the way. Yes, beyond happy. Like ear-to-ear grinning happy. Like I'm so friggin' excited to see what sort of little ball of craziness is going to land in my lap in about six months (I never go the full term -- nine moths max) I could pee myself. In fact I do. Pee myself, that is. But that has nothing to do with happiness. Which brings me to...

#2 Big Difference Being Pregnant at 37 vs 31: I Need a Diaper
Bladder control is a long lost memory. The idea that I can actually control where and when urine exits my body is a joke. I laugh, I pee. I sneeze, I pee. I burp, I pee. I fart, I pee. I get to the nail-biter portion of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, I pee.

Not like gallons of pee, but just a little squirt. Enough to make things uncomfortable and to make me feel that giving my toddler's Buzz Lightyear Pull-Ups a day in court is actually a reasonable consideration.

#3 Big Difference Being Pregnant at 37 vs 31: I Am a Sloth
I already have two young children ages five and two.Taking care of them, entertaining them, running around with them used to be a thing I could do even if I didn't feel like doing it on any particular day. In other words, if need be, I could dig deep. With this third pregnancy, I'm cutting corners...big time. I'm looking for an easy way out. Path of least resistance, please. Will they notice me if I lay on the floor here really, really still?

I put my toddler down for his afternoon nap the other week and asked my 5-year-old if she just, you know, wanted to hang my bed...while I put my feet up on two pillows. She looked at me, clutching her army of Polly Pockets, with a look on her face that can only be described as sheer disgust.

I apologized as I face-planted in my pillows. The only thing I remember are tiny jabs on my stomach as I lay on my back. I guess if I wasn't going to play Pollies with her, she was going to use my belly as some sort of makeshift obstacle course for her teeny tiny plastic friends.

#4 Big Difference Being Pregnant at 37 vs 31: Doctors Raining on Your Gestitational Parade
I remember being pregnant with my first and having doctors and nurses fawn over me with happiness. "Congratulations!" "Wonderful news!" "You must be thrilled!"

Now, they're measuring the thickness of skin on my unborn child's neck for Down's and recommending we do a test for spina bifida. Fun. Pregnancy after 35 ain't no joke. You get statistics hurled at you on the regs. Like at age 35, your chances of having a baby with Down's is 1 in 400. Once you hit the big 4-0, that increases to 1 in 100. Awesome.

I know, in my head, that being pregnant at 37 presents risks and realities I didn't face as a younger mother. Still, sometimes you want to just revel in the joy of being pregnant and the anticipation of looking into your child's eyes for the first time without all the worry. It's amazing how for granted I took those untethered joys of my previous pregnancies.

Now before I go believing what my nanny said to me the other day about "Bearing children is for the young," I will say there are things about this third pregnancy as an older -- and hopefully wiser -- woman that make it the easiest one by far.

#5 Big Difference Being Pregnant at 37 vs 31: I Know What the Fuck I'm Doing
Instead of blindly throwing darts at a parenting dart board, I kinda, sorta know what's going to happen and how to deal with it. I know my nipples are going to be sore from breastfeeding, but that will only last for six months or so. I know the baby will wake up for every 2-3 hours for the first several months of its life, but that in time, I will sleep more. I know there will be temper tantrums, but that they aren't some sort of sign that I'm fucking up as a mother.

I know they'll eventually shit in a toilet.

In other words, I know each stage -- easy or difficult -- is not a permanent state. They change. They grow. Things pass. The next stage comes. You deal. You grow.

Things don't last forever. Even colic.

#6 Big Difference Being Pregnant at 37 vs 31: My Husband Knows What the Fuck He's Doing
You know one thing they don't tell you when you have a kid is how annoying your husband becomes. Seriously. When did this guy you pledged to love and spend your life with become the clueless village idiot? Oh, and by the way, when did you become the all-knowing, all-powerful Mother? I guess I should maybe call this part, "I Know What the Fuck I"m doing So I'm Less Inclined to Take it Out on the Guy Who Knows Even Less."

Without getting into all the gory details, my marriage has grown -- blossomed if you will -- as a result of having our children. Not that I guarantee this result for all families or that all families even need what we needed, but we went through some hardcore years of self-discovery and came out the other side as better spouses and parents (in my opinion at least). Our children were the catalyst for this change.

Now, I can say without reservation that my husband has actually taught me a thing or two about parenting. And, I'm sure he'll continue to do so. I couldn't have said that with #1...or #2 for that matter.

I'm sure as time goes on, I'll see even more differences with this third venture into parenthood and the previous ones. They all have their unique flavor. I can say my first child taught me some hard lessons about myself, and what I needed to change. My second taught me to relax and enjoy motherhood. And this third? Well, we'll just have to wait and see. But, I'm guessing that, at the very least, he or she is going to teach me to accept that minivans aren't a sign my life is over.