Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is Your Cat. This is Your Cat, On Drugs

Have I mentioned that our cat is on Prozac?

It's the last step toward becoming a truly privileged family (aside from oodles of cash and the ability to ignore governmental politics because we are rich enough to not be affected). We are medicating one of our animals with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. None of the h.sapiens in the family are on prescription medication for moods or chemical imbalance, no. It's our cat.

We have a lot to be proud of.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

We Caved

And found ourselves in The Family Bed.

Our lives are infinitely better, for the moment, now that we have accepted that our boy wants to be with us, and that's OK. It's all about perspective. He called the shots that led to the decision, but it was OUR DECISION, DAMMIT.

We will keep telling ourselves that.

For now, Finn is happy to go to bed, and he sleeps and sleeps. He's a bit thrashy at about three a.m., but he settles down pretty quickly. Even right now, we are all in the bed, baby- and daddywhumpus playing Angry Birds on the iPod (my new iPad is in Memphis, awaiting dispatch to my greedy little mitts).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here we go, go, go, go...

Today at work, the question was posed:

What do you do to bring peace into your life?

Everyone had to answer.

This is the second time this week I have been awake since 2:00 a.m. I am tired all over, especially in my brain. I am going every which way, and unable to stay focused or organized.

Peace is not something I have in abundance.

Everything has been "go, go, go", but nothing ever seems to be done, and I can't see any progress.


There were many answers from the diverse group in the circle, including everything from jogging to beer to god. I had nothing to give, aside from the observation that I need to find a way to incorporate the idea of peace or stillness into my life.

What was it in the past? Nature, poetry, reading, writing, yoga. Now, Time is in such short supply, and so much remains undone or half done, that it's hard to see a space for peace.

At least I still have beer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bedtime, is it?

It's 8:59. Do you know where your parenting skills are?

Daddy is playing music. Finn and I are in the big bed. He asked to go to sleep because he knew he was coming in here with me. He's playing Monkey Lunch Box on my iPod, and I am doing this.

I'll be collecting my Mother of the Year Award on an as-yet-to-be-determined later date.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Illegal Sleep Strike

The whumpus house is a Union Shop. We believe in workers' rights to organize and collectively bargain for better conditions. We support the right to strike. We are huge fans of worker happiness and safety.

But the sleep strike occurring right now in the whumpus house is entirely illegal. See, for any action to have legitimacy, you have to follow the accepted rules. There was no bargaining period preceding this strike. There was no exchange of understandable demands. No offers and counter-offers were proposed. There was no mediator; the president did not have to step in. The strike was instituted without warning, and the terms of the strike are harsh.

I have not had a chance to discuss this with the worker in question, as he has been unavailable for comment, at least of the rational kind. When asked "Why don't you want to sleep?" He goes quiet and does not answer. Or, if he does answer, it's with a tautology: "I don't want to sleep because I don't want to sleep."

This is not helpful, nor does it advance the issue for anyone.

While we recover from an extraordinarily busy time and from various upper respiratory infections, we have completely ceded any ground we may have gained and have given in to all demands. The strike will resume in all its screaming, flailing glory this weekend or next week, when all are healthy, and no one is looking forward to it.

Book Review Thursday: Oliver Finds His Way

I don't know why I am bothering with this one. It won't be funny. I can't snark about it. I have nothing witty to say. I love this book, and I want to live in it.

If I could instantly move there and not be eaten by bears, I would.

I don't even mind the bears-in-clothes, starkly traditional gender roles, clearly utopian agrarian setting rife with stereotypes, and possible lapses in bearly parenting. The drawings are lush, evocative, dreamy, and charming. The illustrator's senses of movement and gesture are refined and real. You can feel these drawings. You know them.

Sure, baby bears rarely wear hunter plaid and drink milk from glasses, and papa bear would have long wandered off into the woods, with no interest in his progeny, and as it's fall, they should probably be eating something more than apples and quit raking the leaves because it's almost time to hibernate, but look at this:

And this:

Yes, please.

Oliver Finds His Way
by Phyllis Root
Illustrated by Christopher Denise

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ride on the Sleep Train

I'm going to mix metaphors and sprinkle competing analogies liberally here. I'm tired.

That's not new; I have a pre-schooler, a full-time job, and a husband in a band (who is also tired), but the pre-schooler, who has never been the best sleeper on the planet, has developed a new habit of bedtime torture.

To the pain.

You may recall that "To the pain" means that one will be left in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.

I may be behaving a bit dramatically, but hyperbole is the last refuge of the truly privileged, so I am going to stomp and whine like my ridiculous demon child because this is my space, so NYAH!

Awhile back, we instituted some progressive waiting, in the hopes that it would help babywhumpus learn to fall asleep on his own, without persistent lullabye-ing or boob. It worked pretty well. We could tell him we would check on him in 5 or 10 minutes, and in general, he would fall asleep before the time was up. We had incidents, sure, but nothing to write here about.

Then last Friday rolled around.* daddywhumpus had a gig, and I was coming down with something.** I decided that I was going to be Low-impact Mom (code for: Lazy Mom) and let him eat at his little table in the living room while he watched his movie or show of choice. I needed to sit and stare.

At 9:07, after minutes of talking, water, wipes, fixing the music, asking for the planets spinning, I gave him the five minute warning. At 11:25, I decided that if he wasn't asleep, I was going to cry again.

In between, there was crying, screaming, calling "I'm poopy," saying his tummy hurt, asking for medicine, I have a poop, My diaper is wet, I have a wet diaper, I have a poopy diaper, I have a poopy diaper, I have a poopy diaper, I have a poopy diaper, I have a poopy diaper, I have a poopy diaper, I have  a poopy diaper. It's poopy. My diaper is poopy. It's poo poo. Change my diaper. Change my poopy diaper. Mama! Daddy! No! I don't want to! (screaming, waiting for a response, screaming, kicking on the bed.) I don't want to go to sleep. I don't want to take a nap. I have snotties. Mama, I have snotties. Hey, Mama, I have snotties. MAMA! MAAAMA!!! MAAMAA! Mama, where are you? Mama, oh Mama. Come back! Come back! Hey Mama! I don't want you to go. I want more drinks! Mama! Come back!

I broke down at 6 minutes, like an idiot. He was standing right by his bed, and he handed me a wipe so I could wipe his nose. I was loosing my temper, not calm like I want to be in these instances. I told him I would have to close the door if he got out of bed again, so he ordered me to come back and close the door.

Commence: No, mama, no mama, no mama no no don't do that. don't do that. hey mama don't do that. (Now it's just bad song lyrics.) Hey mama I told you don't do that no don't come back don't get your computer open. Don't, I told you not to. I don't want mama. I want mama to close the door. Mama Mama Mama Mama. Mama don't. I don't want you to open the computer. I'm wet. I'm WET. No. I'm wet. I have a wet diaper.  Mama come back right now. Mama I told you. Mama. I want daddy. I want daddy, mama. Mama I don't want you. I want to wake up. AAAAAAH! I scream! Mama! Mama! NOOOOOOO! NOOOOOO! Mama I wanna wake up!

At 9:42, I went in, in silence, put him back in bed under the covers, closed the door, and latched it.

Commence: Knock knock who's there? It's mama. Is it mama? Yes. Come back! Owie Owie Owie Owie. Daddy! Owie, you closed the door. You closed the door. Open the door. Knock Knock. Knock Knock. Knock Knock who's there? Is it Mama? Yes? Mama where are you come back now. Come in. Come in. I told you not to close the door. I want my daddy. Mama come in. Mama right now. Mama come in. Mama come in.

From 9:48 to 9:59, I completely broke down and tears and lost it while he sat on my lap, dumbfounded, not knowing what to do. I used one of his flannel wipes on my mascara-stained face, and I put him back into bed, and he began screaming again. I sat on the couch, trying to suppress my own scream, which I could feel building in my throat

He kept it up until 11:25

Saturday, it was the same show, different night, with the added attraction of him pummeling his wooden seal push toy handle into the closed wooden door of his bedroom. We sat in the living room in silence, he on the couch, me in the rocker until he lay down and fell asleep at 11:30. I put him into his bed at midnight.

Sunday and Monday have been similar--though admittedly not as bad--with the difference that daddywhumpus has been home, which really hasn't been helpful. Not that it's been hurtful, but any hope I had that he was just acting out for me or because daddy was out has been totally dashed. I am going into tonight, assuming it, too, will suck.

(To the pain means the first thing you will lose will be your feet below the ankles. Then your hands at the wrists. Next your nose. The next thing you will lose will be your left eye followed by your right. Your ears you keep and I'll tell you why. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, "Dear God! What is that thing," will echo in your perfect ears.)

*we are now almost two weeks into the sleep strike. I have been sitting on this for awhile.
**still sick.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Seen It

This is the Lady Gaga of winters.

Epic. Relentless. Record-breaking. Tedious in the extreme. When it first started, it was kind of interesting--even pretty. Beautiful at times. And then, it became the same show, different day. Snow; thaw. Snow; thaw. Snow, snow, snow. Any day, I expect Winter to show up, drunk on the streets of Paris, wearing only a bra and panties.

It's clearly an attention whore, and I have had enough of its headlines and emergencies, cancellations and posturing. Sure, we are known for our winters here in Minnesota, and we like to conbrag about them, but this has reached the point of becoming a mental health issue, not a season.

When we walked out of my brother's house to head home, there were new inches on the ground, and it was still coming down. I made some standard grumbling remarks about how over winter I am, and then when I stopped at the car, I heard something strange. A mellow hooting, coming through the air.

Two owls sat near the top of a tall tree, calling to each other, silhouetted against the peachy cast of streetlights on snow, car and city sounds softened by the white mantle on the ground.

And there, in the winter theatre, a family stood, looking up to the sky, snow falling on our shoulders, watching and hearing a rare scene. Were it not for the snow, we may have missed it.

So thanks for that pearl. It helps make it worth the slogging and shoveling.

And top that, pop star.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wine with Dinner

I want cereal!

We're having spicy noodles.

NOOO! I want cereal!

We're not having cereal for dinner. You can have cereal for dinner when you are a 26-year-old bachelor.


We're having spicy noodles.

This is how we wound up playing Legos for dinner.

I think that I should try some of these preschool tactics in a future meeting or work situation in which I am presented with a situation I do. not. like. There is whining, of course, but the most effective display is the flop and drop, with the back arch.

Karen, we would like you to make 2600 cold calls as part of this research project.

Karen throws head back, screaming NO. Arches back and flops to floor on face, whimpering.