Friday, June 13, 2008

Feeding Time

I have to go on a business trip next Tuesday. I'm leaving on the 8 AM flight, returning on the 6 PM flight. I have a freezer full of wee milk bags. Daddy's taking the day to work from home. Everything will be fine, except for the part about my living heart ripping itself out and leaving its lurching, bleeding tracks on my pantsuit. Oh, and pumping milk in an airport bathroom.

We gave the boy a few bottles months ago in preparation for this day. We haven't done it since because I am so, so lazy. (Rainy is my hero in this regard. Before spawning, I read a lot of books. While immersed in Breastfeeding Propaganda, hearing all about the deep spiritual bond I would naturally form with my semi-divine offspring and how he would never weep and be a gazillion times more brilliant and eventually save the whales from all the empathy he would suck out of my nipples... while I was freaking myself out with all this pressure, Rainy calmly said, "I breastfeed because I'm lazy. I can't be bothered hauling around all that stuff or getting up in the middle of the night to mix things." I almost died from the sheer sanity of it all.)

But because I've been too lazy to pump more that what I needed to in order to build my freezer stash for the upcoming trip, he's had very few bottles since the introductory weeks. We decided we'd better make sure he still remembered how, after a panic a few weeks ago where he wouldn't take the fake nipple until he was really hungry. So, last night, I pumped right before he would normally feed, and Daddy administered the milk.

However, I forgot to warn the mate of certain... changes to the feeding routine.

Baby: (flips head around looking at the ceiling, the dog, and the bookshelf)

Daddy: (chasing baby's mouth around with the nipple)

Mama: Oh, that's normal.

Baby: (sucks frantically for two minutes, then pops off to complain)

Daddy: Son, what's wrong?

Mama: Oh, that's normal.

Baby: (sucks greedily, while emitting UHLUHLUHLUHLUHLUH noises)

Daddy: What the hell?

Mama: That's perfectly normal.

Baby: (digs tiny claws into stomach flesh)


Mama: Yep, that's normal too.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Poetry, a thought

Rainy suggested poetry be read, the classics --
not trivial childish nonsense.

Emily Dickenson wrote some seventeen hundred or so --
not trivial childish nonsense.

Some passages I did read, Dickenson to Drama Girl --
perfect says she, read them at night.

They are the greatest lullabies.

Your kid has a cell phone?

Yes. She's 11. And cell phones happen. Plus, she's been bugging me for one for like, agggeeess.

Mainly, it's because I need her to call me when she gets certain places, and many places don't have pay phones anymore, and, seriously, who carries dimes and quarters? It used to be there were pay phones everywhere, and everyone had change wallets, or at least pockets of change. Now, we have debit cards and cell phones.

Due to the dearth (my we do love alliteration) of pay phone booths and public access phones, we, (and by we I mean me) chose the Tracfone.

First, every other pre-paid phone I looked at charged daily access fees. Not bad for an adult without a cell phone plan, but she's 11, and I only need her to call me briefly every day to let me know she's at the library. So that means, using Verizon's phone, even with their new plan, the one they charge you only on days you use the phone, well, I'd pay $20 a month for a two minute phone call, and that is apart from the pre-paid airtime I'd need to buy.
For less than that, I could just add her to my own plan.

The entire reasoning behind a pre-paid phone is so I don't have to pay a monthly charge for a phone that isn't going to be used as much as, say, mine. Nor do I want to allow her to spend hours gabbing incessantly to her friends on my dime.

No, the cell phone is for emergencies, to call me up when she arrives or is leaving somewhere, or to ask if she can change her plans mid-plan. Or to generally annoy me. I don't want to pay a daily access charge for a phone calls that last under a minute.

I chose the tracfone because the phone only works as long as you have purchased airtime, and you are only charged for the airtime you use. There is no monthly fee, no daily fee, no access to the network fee, no, it's just, you bought two hours of air time, you get two hours of airtime. think it's the perfect phone for kids, although it isn't a bright shiny phone.

To make up for it's lack of cool colorness, I let her buy a phone charm from target. Seriously, a pink crystal skull. I didn't even know these things existed.

I can monitor it (the phone, not the skull) online, purchase her minutes online, keep track of her minutes online, and the phone itself is a decent flip-top Motorolla that while not as cheap as I'd like for a kid phone, will last a heck-n-crap longer than the other cheap phone she briefly owned.

I completely blew off Kajeet and all other kid-specific phones as an option because there are easier, less expensive ways to help a child manage their cell phone, and frankly, I have a hard enough time managing a real budget, never mind a 'split phone time' budget... however if you want to utterly control your child's phone life, the Kajeet is a good option that the media just adores...

In my opinion, kid-friendly phones are nice, parental gimmicks that allows cell-phone companies to exploit both parents and kids. I concede the 'parental shut off' of the phone is nice, but I feel at the 8-14 year old age range, it's just as easy to take the phone away during study time, and all schools forbid cell phones in the classroom anyhow, so there's no need to manage it during the school day. But then, I also feel cell phones shouldn't be put in the hands of children in elementary school, because children in elementary school are rarely outside parental supervision.

Of course, if you absolutely must be victimized by kid friendly phones, and do want one, there's a bunch more to check out, like Firefly, or Disney's.

My tween wanted a real cell phone, though, and I wanted total control of the account. This is why I chose the tracfone. Nice, simple, real and easily manageable since the account is in my name, and if she wants to chat for two hours, she's more than welcome to buy her own airtime.

But, to be fair, if you're thinking of buying a prepaid cell phone, check this place out, it reviews all the cell phone plans out there.

If you think I'm insane for getting an 11 year old a cell phone, well, but gee, all the other kids have one....

...and just today, she's off, wandering two blocks of downtown

Mommy needs her to have this phone just as much as she wants it!

Anyone Have a Spare Lightning Rod?

I've been encouraging my pre-schooler to say her own prayers. I listen to them and prompt now and then when she squints up at me with the, "Mom, what am I thankful for again?" look.

Last night she caught me off guard though. We were past the "I thank thee's.." and working on the, "Please help me's..." when she said, "Please help baby Xander snort like a pig again."

I love this kid.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You Know What's Awesome? Part 1

Bibs. Terry cloth bibs. I'm not concerned with protecting his clothes. It's 98 degrees outside and we can only afford AC if it's set to 80, my kid is naked except for a diaper. No, a bib is a teeny towel hung around the reason I always need a towel, so I don't have to spend an hour trying to find the towel. While he rubs cheese into his own ear.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I look 30? HA!

The Store Incident

A brief crash course on youth and aging.

Babies represent total youth.
Old people represent total aging.
Everyone in between represents some youth/aging categories.

People around the ages of 16-25 and occasionally 30 can sometimes often look very young. In fact, this is why people who look 30 are carded, despite the drinking age being 21. There comes an age, however, and this age varies for people, and can be from 25 to 35, when it is simply impossible to be mistaken for well, the more youthful 16-25 age. Young skin, the kind that needs to be carded, is dewey, soft, there's less lines, few if any age spots, nary a blemish lest that blemish be acne. They look innocent, no matter how hard they try not to.

Then, at some point, the cumulation of your life builds up and explodes onto your hands, your face, your neck, everywhere visible, and thankfully, places not commonly visible. There are lines, deeper with the passing years. There's a harshness, oh you may look warm and friendly, but innocent, HA. And all these lines, marks, spots, the depth of your eyes, the way you walk, no longer in a cocky lackadaisical way, but now in a purposeful way, mark you. And your cocky has long since morphed into confidence, which, even in a grocery store you can't be bothered doing. It doesn't take confidence to buy milk, so why bother. No, there is an age where you can no longer pretend to be any other age than Adult.

I have always looked younger than my age. I probably still do. I have hit the Adult phase, though, and haven't been carded for anything for the past five or six years, and only sporadically for years before then, and this is with the 'card those who look 30' rule. You see, by no imagination, not even great imagination, could I ever be mistaken for 21, unless alcohol is involved, on the part of the cashier.

So imagine my surprise when, the one day I've like ever ever ever left my license (some of us are paranoid) home, I get carded. Seriously. On the upside of the thirties, way past dewey skin, with enough character in my face to never be viewed as remotely child-like, I get carded.

And you know what?
I was annoyed.
I was annoyed because if you happen, strangely and luckily, to be a woman in your upper thirties who still looks 21, you'll have been so used to flashing your ID that you'd probably not buy alcohol without it. But, if you haven't been carded for six years, never mind that you go to the store daily and that everyone at the store knows you, and has never bothered carding you, than you know that the cashier is just being a snot.

And you know what?
I called her on it.
She told me without my ID she couldn't sell me beer.
And I acted annoyed, not mad, but I did say 'I understand, it's your job,' but then I said, in a snippish, snooty mom voice, "Do I really look 30 to you?"
I said 30. Because as I said earlier, by no stretch of any sober imagination, could I look 21. I could, if you have poor eyesight, pass for 30. But not 21. And she knew it. She was sticking to the '30' rule, like a snot.

She sold me the beer.
I didn't even think of it as a victory, or a HA. I thought of it as more a wasted conversation because some cashier was being a snot, and really, do any of us really have time, at our age, to put up with snottery?

In the end, I believe it was the Adultness of my irritated tone that did it. If I were younger, I would have argued, protested, and been confrontational.

Instead, I was snooty.

The Grill

Being a blog hog...

The Grill

We went to SuperWalmart (shh, I don't want to hear it, it's cheap, we're broke, I'll take the high road when I can afford it) and found Hubby McRed his father's day present: the grill. Charcoal, for taste. (Seriously, whatev). He thought it would be nifty if I put it together for him. I agreed, because I'm an agreeable person by nature. If you asked me to change the weather pattern so the hurricane wouldn't hit your vacation spot in the Bahamas, I'd say, 'sure.' The feasibility of what I'm agreeing to is never an issue. I'm a CAN DO woman!

Lets briefly go through my 'put shit together' list.
Wal-Mart (save it) computer desk cart: facing wood panel put on backwards.
Target (hee hee) antique cottage deskwith matching chair: put together with supporting structures on backwards.
Pier One, six-piece wood night stand: screws stripped, table legs somehow crooked... there's a slight artistic lean to it, I think...

You see where this is going? I hate to be stereotypical, but I DID fail 7th grade carpentry...

I did make an attempt, but honestly, the diagram was confusing, the sun was shining, people were talking to me and the children were.... somewhere. Sooo... after Hubby McRed's three hour nap, he woke up to see me, with all the grill parts outside, stumped.

Well not stumped, I passed "stumped" two hours and 53 minutes ago, he found me socializing. See, I had mis-read the instructions, and couldn't figure out how to put two pieces together that seemed already together...

He did try to be grumpy, but after I went through the list, he gave it up, and instead focused on my whole 7-minute attention span for putting things together, at which point, I informed him that since I'd never actually been very good at putting anything together, it's a bit ridiculous to expect me to suddenly be able to put things together. Once mechanically disinclined, always mechanically disinclined, so I say.

And, the unspoken question: what would you do without me?
The unspoken answer: have it delivered and assembled for a mere few bucks more.


Moral Dilemma Inna Vacuum

I have a horrible ex-boyfriend, because really, horrible exes are like cars with oil leaks, experimental hairdos, and deranged roommates - everyone's got to have one in their past. Anyway, one of his more minor faults was that he rarely listened to me, and when he did listen, it was just so he could prove that his judgment was superior.

"Minor fault." Man, I'm so glad I have a son; I would seriously spend the entire next decade worrying about how to explain to a daughter that "disrespectful dismissive asshole" is dumpworthy, considering that I spent five years with that guy. With a son, I can leave the conversation to the Perfect Mate.

Anyway, for Christmas one year, The Horror got me a gold-colored watch. With my money, since he was chronically unemployed. Only, I don't like gold. I never have. Everything I have is silver, stainless steel, silvertone, white gold, platinum... see the trend? When I was asked what I wanted for Christmas, I said "A silver watch."

He got me a gold one because it was "better looking." So I spent Christmas morning oohing and aahing over an unsuitable watch (because Nice People act like it's the thought that counts, and it is, except when it's passive aggressive garbage), and the next year turning my wrist green wearing this watch, so I wouldn't have to deal with the Wounded Puppy Face.

Now, Perfect Mate, the one who got me a silver ring after we'd been dating for two months based entirely on his observations of what I actually wore... he wants a Dyson vacuum cleaner. He does all the vacuuming in this household. He specifically asked for this brand for his birthday. He never asks for anything.

This vacuum cleaner is more than five hundred dollars and appears in the middle of the Consumer Reports ratings range. Even if it were the top of the chart, I'd still die inside at spending that much on an appliance. My first CAR wasn't that much. Rainy and Lah are no help helping me break this deadlock, because Rainy feels the way I do about five hundred dollar vacuum cleaners, and Lah HAS ONE.

I'd have already bought the top-rated, half-as-costly Sears vacuum cleaner, if I could have rid myself of the suspicion that this is a gold watch in an appliance box.