Unanchored Thoughts

Bits and pieces of musings about family, friends, social issues, and whatever else travels through my head without a purpose.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

He's parenting ME

This is an admitedly unremarkable post for not having been on the scene for a while, but a cute story and I have a few minutes. (My brain floweth over with posts, but time to write....there is none.)

I was flying solo tonight, which meant TV assisted me in my child-care duties.

I left Graeme and Ian on the bed after their bath, TV on, while I ran downstairs to get Ian's bottle. No sooner had I reached the bottom of the stairs when Ian was wailing his, "Mommy, Graeme is torturing me," wail.

Me (sternly): Graeme, what are you doing?

Graeme: I'm sorry I was grabbing and scrambling Ian, mommy.

Me (sternly and pleading): Please don't do that.

Graeme: Then don't leave me alone with him.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was a serious of great moments and some of my not-so-great parenting moments. I ran a Mother's Day 5K this morning and shed a few tears thinking about how lucky I felt to wear the purple sticker identifying me as a mom. I haven't "raced" since long before Graeme was born. I gave up any strenuous exercise while in infertility hell, so it felt good to be in a crowd of runners. Graeme's "energy" was markedly better than yesterday, so that was a relief. He gave me a cute card with one of his infamous alien drawings and I got a few "I Love You Mommy" messages. But the day was also dotted (and ended with) me getting frustrated with him. And those moments make me sick to my stomach. I think he and I probably have similar "buttons" and they get pushed easily. It's my job to stay grounded, but sometimes I just fucking can't. Cajoling him out of store or into the car or upstairs for a bath takes every ounce of my patience and when I haven't slept more than 5 hours in weeks and Ian's glued to my hip and I can't find a clean pair of underwear and everyone is hungry and I'm sick of cooking, I just don't have it in me to pull out creative techniques to manage a stubborn 3 year old so I lose it. No good comes of that solution and I know that when I'm mid-tantrum. I'm fortunate that we are a two-parent family and can tag-team these melt-downs. But, fuck fuck fuck I fucking hate them. So, how was Mother's Day? It was wonderful and I felt special and honored and happy to be surrounded by my family. But, I also felt so overwhelmed by this job and not at all up for it and worried that I'm fucking up these little masterpieces. I don't have a creative wrap-it-up statement. I ran out of those around 7pm on the front steps where a dirty toddler was refusing to budge.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


(Yes, I know the pictures is sideways. I'm tired of fighting with Picasa to save the rotated version. I'll fix it at a later date.)
Today I turned forty years old. I've been looking forward to celebrating this milestone all year. Last night Steve put together a fabulous party with lots of friends from different parts of our DC lives, as well as my mom and dad who came into town to help celebrate. It really was a great party and so much fun to have all my local friends and family together in one place. Like many parties, however, they are over just as I'm getting into my groove and I never get to really have long conversations with anyone. But, it was a huge amount of fun nonetheless. Today, my actual birthday, was spent in relax-mode because I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night (and I had just a few glasses of my signature drink, cava sangria). I'd write more, but the bed is calling this forty year old body. While the about photo doesn't show my best side (and it's on its side), the shoes must be noted. My dear friend, Jill, gave this to me. "They are you," she said. I'm so glad she thinks of me this way and if the shoes are any indication, forty is going to be a great ride!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I don't want to take a bath

The other day on the way home Graeme and I were discussing the evening's plans.

Me: You can watch a show after a bath.

G: I don't want to take a bath.

Me: Do you want to take a shower?

G: I don't want to take a bath. I don't want to take a shower.

Me: How 'bout getting in the pool?

G: I don't want to take a bath. I don't want to take a shower. I don't want to get in the pool.

Me: What about the sprinkler?

G: I don't want to take a bath. I don't want to take a shower. I don't want to get in the pool. I don't want the sprinkler.

Me: Would you like to sit in the sink?

G: I don't want to take a bath. I don't want to take a shower. I don't want to get in the pool. I don't want the sprinkler. I don't want to sit in the sink.

Me: Would you like to get in the washing machine?

G: I don't want to take a bath. I don't want to take a shower. I don't want to get in the pool. I don't want the sprinkler. I don't want to sit in the sink. I don't want the washer machine. Besides, all those things have water.

By now we were home, I was laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes, but I was also dumbfounded that he did this (it reminded me of that memory game where you repeat the colored pattern of blinking lights). G didn't think it was funny at all and circled back to his initial request just to please watch a show.

But I'm not going outside

A few weeks ago I told Graeme to put on his pajamas. We give him almost total free reign over what he wears. He came back with short pajamas on a frigid day.

Me: Graeme, it's too cold for short pajamas. You need warmer ones.

G: But I'm not going outside.

What could I say, so I let him wear what he chose. And prepped myself for his icy feet climbing against my legs when he climbed in bed about 2AM, which he did.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Breaking up is easy to do...

...when your pediatrician's office is incompetent and surly.

I've long despised the front desk staff at our pediatrician's office. They are overly unfriendly, slow, inefficient, unsympathetic to your wailing sick child, etc., etc. The nursing staff has a few superstars, but isn't all lovely. The doctors are great, so I've stuck with them for 3.75 years now. We quickly zeroed in on one doctor with whom we really like and respect. The others whom we randomly see for sick visits have been equally competent and kind. So, I've ignored the surly staff as much as I can, though truthfully they kind of hold the power as to when and if you can get an appointment, how long you wait, and whether your child gets to watch their favorite Disney flick in the waiting room. My other complaints, since I'm on a roll, aren't entirely attributable to the front desk staff, but are noteworthy. They CONSTANTLY change their check-in and check-out policy which usually means I'm fumbling for my insurance card unnecessarily (because they've decided not to request to see it) or being asked to dig it up unexpectedly (because this week they need it); or I'm checking in for well-child visits in the middle of the hacking, snot-infested sick room, but then the next time the well-child room is open; or I'm told to help myself to stickers only to have my hand slapped by a snarly nurse because now those are highly coveted and only distributed by assigned staff.

This weekend I noticed that Graeme's toe was a bit red so I called to get him in for one of their weekend appointments (a feature I can not complain about). After waiting the customary 30 minutes to talk to a very uninterested staff member I was offered an appointment in the middle of the kids' nap times. There was no budging the time according to One-Who-Hates-My-Job so I opted to decline an appointment. By Monday G's toe practically needed amputation so I called FIRST-THING when their phone lines opened this morning. I waited 30 MINUTES and was told that the only appointment was at the EXACT SAME TIME as the one I was offered on Sat. WTF? How can they be completely booked by 7:30 AM? What about the kids that get sick at 8:00AM????? I tried to reason with I-HATE-MONDAYS-AND-MY-JOB but she wasn't budging. I hung up the phone, cried, and made a plan which included showing up 45 minutes early to see if I could trick them into seeing me at the time I wanted.

HA! They showed me and made me wait ONE HOUR. Finally, i saw the nurse and got the meds which she conveniently wired over to my preferred pharmacy using their three-week-old system that automatically orders prescriptions. "They'll be ready by the time you arrive," I was told. HA, again!

I took the kids to McDonalds because by now they were both hungry and tired. We headed across the parking lot to the Rite-Aid, only to find they had NO RECORD OF OUR PRESCRIPTIONS. I was onto meltdown number 3 for the day. The tech called the pediatrician and after waiting for about 20 minutes told me that maybe it would be quicker if I drove back over to their to get the prescription. OH MY F-----G WHATEVER. So, I loaded up the kids for about the 5th time and drove 10 minutes back to the office, parked the car, and unloaded the now totally exhausted and sick kids.

When I went to surly one's station and told her what had happened (calmly) she looked at me as though I had just reported that the restroom was out of paper towels. And, by now there was NO video playing because hitting the replay button on the machine more than once a day is not in front-desk job descriptions so after 12:00 you are SOL if you want to watch Disney. She returned 5 minutes later to tell me that Nurse was at lunch and would call in my prescription later. I lost it. I AM NOT LEAVING THIS OFFICE WITHOUT A PIECE OF PAPER AND WHY DON'T YOU ANSWER THE PHONE?????????? She's at lunch she told me with the same sense of urgency as my cat displays after an afternoon in the hot sun. I NEED A DOCTOR, NOW! (Yes, she probably sensed that I personally needed a doctor, and a drink, but it didn't seem to hurry her any more.) Ten minutes later the nurse came out with the orders. I politely thanked her and refrained from saying, no apology needed, and made an appointment with a highly regarded competitor.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Raising Boys

I'm reading this book, Raising Boys, to make sure that I'm not really screwing up my kids. Actually, until now I've just been winging it in terms of meeting my kids needs....food, water, shelter, a few good nursery rhymes and Dr. Seuss books seemed sufficient. In the last few months, however, G has made references to relatively distant events that he remembers (like where he received a particular cheetah toy that he never plays with - a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese 11 months ago) or has given me insights into parts of his personality ("I like to wear the same pants, Mommy, because I get nervous when I leave the house.") that make me realize that my kids are living, breathing human beings. (OK, OK, I knew that, but when the only feedback you get is a few giggles, grunts, and cries, it's a bit surprising when they begin expressing thoughts and feelings.)

So, I did what I do whenever the going gets tough or I feel unprepared...I grab a glass of wine. No, seriously. Wait, I am serious. I also get a book. Raising Boys seemed to fit my needs for better understanding the emotional and other needs of the toddler/preschooler set. It's a pretty basic book, but gives good insights and reminders that resonate with me.

Of greatest interest is how the relationship between a mother and son can shape a boy's relationship with women as an adult. Gulp. That's a lot of pressure. And, in fact, I'm quite nervous. You see, as the book also points out, boys at the preschooler age have a lot of need for physical activity. Running, jumping, throwing, tossing, wrestling, etc. All things "boy." It has something to do with testosterone and what not. G fits this to a T. He's constantly moving and throwing and running and launching himself off of high surfaces. His favorite is to climb into the picture window and hurl himself out onto the ottoman a good 6 feet away.

As his mother I try to both keep him safe and engage with him on this particular activity, but the truth is I really don't know what to do except to protect MYSELF from being physically harmed by the objects he hurls across the room, including his own body. I often find myself crouching for fear of losing an eye, or jumping out of the way of his flailing body, or grabbing a pillow to protect myself from his big noggin.

I really hope his future relationships with women in no way resemble the one he's experiencing right now with his mama!

(Note: That last statement isn't entirely true.....he still loves to climb in bed at the wee hours and cuddle, and thankfully those moments balance the ones where I fear for my life!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


According to Graeme, this is his current age. I'm not sure where he came up with this, but he repeatedly and randomly says things like,

"I'm a big boy. I'm 18."

"I can do this because I'm 18."

"I'm not 3, I'm 18."

As long as he doesn't ask to drive the car any time soon I think I'm OK.