Friday, March 30, 2012

FMB: Marriage and Compromise

I need to remind myself sometimes that, although I am the primary caregiver for our children, that doesn't mean I get to be right all the time.  This is a hard thing to negotiate, though, because if Dr. S simply doesn't like something I'm doing (FOR EXAMPLE!) but I already tried his way and it didn't work... I'm the one who has to live with it ten hours a day.

To be fair, he probably spends 30 hours a week being the primary entertainer for Bug, and I probably spend more like 50 (not counting naps).  So it's not like he's not doing it at all. 

HOWEVER.  The next time he goes all "Woe is me, I must watch two children while you do something else," I might snap.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Your Children Are Appalling

Not yours.  I am sure your children are delightful.  Also, I never write about people who read this blog, unless it is nice (dear Belle, M and B, and Darcy: I miss you all.) 

A few weeks ago, I was in the lounge at shul (right next to the sanctuary), nursing Tatoe.  One eight-ish child, who I do not know, started doing backflips and off-the-couch somersaults.  In a room full of adults and toddlers and furniture.   (Oh, I forgot!  Before that she picked up someone's one-year-old and stood him up on a swivel chair!  Cue across-the-room dive with Noooooooooo!)

The third time she nearly fell on my nursing baby, I said, "Honey, I don't think this is a good place for gymnastics right now", which is the polite version of "What you are doing is stupid, inappropriate, and dangerous.  Stop now or I will retrieve your parental figure."

AND!  The little brat sassed me back.  She mumbled, so I'm not sure what she said (enunciate when being rude, child!) but it ended with "this is a FINE place to do gymnastics, but fine, WHATEVER."

I was completely appalled.  I am sure I never ever not once spoke to a stranger like that.  In fact, I called my mother to ask.  No, I did not.  I would have been grounded for forever!

Clearly, something is terribly wrong with this child's parents.  She is totally old enough to know better.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Toddler Veggies

My toddler.... mostly won't eat vegetables.  Except when he will.  Or when someone else gives him veggies.  Or those mini sweet peppers.  Or those three times he ate, like, a half pound of salad for dinner.*  Anyhow.  Green stuff?  Forget it.  Except!  This is the ONE THING he will always eat:

Vegan Pea Pesto-Like Object
1 lb frozen peas (or 1/2 lb peas and 10 oz frozen spinach)
6 oz toasted unsalted sunflower seeds
6-10 cloves garlic
1 t salt
1 t rosemary
4 T olive oil
4 T lemon juice
(Optional: fresh basil.  We usually don't have any.)

Boil 1.5 lbs pasta.  Heat up the peas.  Defrost and drain the spinach if you're using it.  Food processor the heck out of the sunflower seeds and garlic. Throw in everything else and let your toddler hit the 'pulse' button to his or her heart's content.  Taste it and adjust spicing.  Drain the pasta, mix all the pesto with all the pasta, and tell your toddler it's Dinosaur Pasta.  Watch in amazement as they devour green vegetables.  Repeat as needed.

Anyone have more sure-fire vegetable-containing toddler dinners for me?  Preferably fast ones. Also: vegan.  (Sorry.  Yes, we eat meat but I'm allergic to dairy and we usually have chicken once a week, and besides, Bug mostly won't eat meat.  Except smoked salmon.)

*Not salad like this (the salad of my spouse's people).  Salad like this.

(P.S.  I just took a tour back through the blog's Flickr account looking for my salad picture (sadly absent; I appear to have, in a moment of rare restraint, refrained from mocking my in-laws' Jello).  I cannot BELIEVE I hand-appliqued that quilt.  Or hand-quilted more than one quilt.  Or sewed that. Or that which will never fit me again, waaaah.  Also, where the heck did I find this?  And I have apparently been getting rid of unfortunate gifts from my in-laws for years.  YEARS!!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sensitivity Training

A little while ago, another mom (A) joined our playgroup.  We average in our thirties; A is closer to forty, and has a two-year-old.  My pregnant friend, holding my Tater, asked if we were planning to have another baby; I said, maybe in a few years.  And, I added, we are very lucky; we can plan such a thing with reasonable certainty, and it's not always so easy.

I feel it the height of arrogance to assume everyone has healthy, easy pregnancies when and how they wish. I have, thank all the deities of chance, never had any problems- but my in-real-life friends have had miscarriages, stillbirths, and infertility.  I know it's quietly heartbreaking for all of them, and for their partners.  And it's bad enough without women around them agonizing over their theoretical third child. 

In fact, it turned out A had been told she'd never have children, and they would very much like another but it isn't happening, and so on.  Infertility!  Miscarriage!  Etc. 

As some of you already know, I am a fertile whore.  In other words, my dear spouse and I have had no difficulty conceiving and carrying children to term.  I don't attribute this to anything but chance (and possibly also genetics), but, as my spouse is fond of saying, it is what it is. 

I would love to wave my magic Fertile Lady Wand (so much more pleasant than the ultrasound wand) and give all my in-person and internet friends the babies they deeply desire.  I would love to share out my fertility with my friends*, but I can't.  I would love to wave my hands and make it all better, but I can't do that either.  I can, however, avoid being a Smug Fertile Bitch. Or, you know, at least the smug part.

*Egg donation or gestational surrogacy are both, at present, unnecessary and impractical.  Plus I have asthma and a history of depression, plus Weird Double Vision Thing; I doubt anyone would want my eggs or my uterus, even were I inclined to lend them out.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In Which I Am Confused

The shul we attend, like most, collects dues.  On the membership form they provide a 'helpful' chart indicating how much they think you should contribute.  This is extremely problematic for many reasons:

1) It is divided by range ($30000-$40000) but each range's 'dues' are the same percentage... of the top of the range.

2) If you have less income, less of it is disposable. 

3) It doesn't take into account how many people that income supports.

4) People have various financial situations which are none of the shul's business. College.  Child support.  Bankruptcy.  Whatever.

5) I know they want to keep this more-or-less-a-business up and running.  Still. 

In the end, I didn't fill out the form 'correctly'.  I didn't circle an 'income tier.'  I attached a $100 check and ticked the box for "The financial committee can contact me to discuss alternate arrangements."  I helpfully added that I sew and have done repairs on ritual items.  And.... nothing.  Well, not nothing: we got a new member welcome packet, a call from the Rabbi and from the President, and a directory listing.  I have been mending kid-related things when I run across them (I asked first).  Otherwise, I think that either a) someone wasn't really paying attention or b) they've decided we're too poor to bother with. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

In Which I Am Ranty

Dear writers of baby sleep books,

Breastfed babies nurse to sleep.  No, I cannot use your 'feeding schedule' with amounts in a chart.  No, I cannot just take the baby off and rock him to sleep instead.  No, your useless advice does not help me.

(Also: no, I do not remember what on earth I did with Bug.)

Dear writers of baby books in general,

There is a thing called 'proof by counterexample'.  Look it up.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Make It Up

My Mom: So your sister met this guy, he says he works for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, but how do you know that's true?

Me:  Mom.  It's like lying and saying you're an FDA cow inspector.  Nobody pretends to work for NIST.

Mom:  Okay, fine, yes.  But I don't know, he's 28.  Why is he interested in a 22-year-old?

Me: Because she's really cute.

Mom:  Why isn't he married?

Me:  Because... he got a PhD in electrical engineering.  And now he works for a government office that makes sure your clock is accurate.  He's a total NERD.

Friday, March 09, 2012

On Vaccinating For Hepatitis B

(Dear Readers, this is not directed at any of you; it comes up periodically among my acquaintance and irritates the living daylights out of me.)

Public Service Announcement: Sex is not the only way to acquire hepatitis B! Infants and children can and do acquire it from other people.  This happens with distressingly high frequency in countries where hep B is endemic.  Fortunately, it's not endemic here.  However, can you be sure nobody with hepatitis is ever touching your child?  Nobody at daycare?  Nobody at school?  They're never going to get a cut, or bite another child? 

Or, here's the short version: Vaccinate your children, do.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

In Which I Am Bitter (About Government)

"They're all crooks," my mother is wont to mutter.  (Of course, I think she may have voted for McCain.  I considered asking her to have a psych evaluation, but confined myself to pointing out that Sarah Palin thinks you can see Russia from Alaska.) (Yes, I know there's some tiny island where it's true.  Tina Fey's version is funnier.)

Anyhow.  Dr. S is technically a state employee, except not really, on account of he gets no state benefits except previously-good health insurance.  Now it is sucky health insurance.  I am resigned to being poor; I quit my damn job, after all, and it's hopefully not forever


I am not resigned to having our rat-weasel nutjob Republican governor take away 15% of our gross income to 'balance the budget', by which he means give tax breaks to the rich in- coincidentally!- the same amount he's taking from the poor.   Rat.  Weasel. RATWEASEL. 

Monday, March 05, 2012

What Babies Think While Nursing

BOOOOB!!!  SNARF nom nom nom nom nom nom.  BOOOB!!!

Wiggly thing!  Can I shove it in my mouth?  Hand nom... why is the milk lady making that shrieky noise?  Some people. 

Noggin noggin noggin noggin grab the noggin.

Oooh, a hat.  Pull it!  Pull it!!  Wait.  Everything's dark now.  WAAH!

There is not enough milk in this boob.  WAAAH!!


Noggin noggin noggin noggin NOGGIN.

Bored now.  I shall do the pillbug.... why is she shrieking again?  PILLBUG!!  

Hey!  Where'd the milk go?

Thursday, March 01, 2012


I've never thought of myself as a social person; I always want to be alone.  (Because I never AM, except late at night- when, Dear Readers, I write all these epistles.)  In any event, being a stay-at-home parent to a nursing infant and a toddler is a need-a-minute extravaganza.  "Solitude" does not appear on the list.

This is completely unsurprising, but my desire to immerse myself in a computer screen and never come out is directly proportional to the how needy my children are that day.  

Also, it's REALLY hard to tell the difference between "sick toddler with fever" and "whiny annoying toddler who didn't sleep well."  Oops!  When he turned down the icing-covered sugar cookie, I knew something was really wrong.