The drain

January 10, 2008

This is it, my friends: my last post.

I moved to this blog a while back because the other one was not anonymous enough, and I purposely did not give this address to family members or close friends (the only exception being a handful of people I had met through blogging). Despite having a new address with no names attached to it – mine or anyone else’s – more than one person who I had understood would not be reading this blog has found it and identified me. Already one friendship took a hit because someone I asked not to read this blog did some detective work and found me. This friendship is only now beginning to recover.

This happened again recently, and several people are very hurt.  I betrayed the trust of someone very important to me, and I don’t know what it will take to heal that. There will be plenty of fallout from this. And, to my formerly anonymous reader: I’m sorry. I don’t have better words for it right now. But I hope you know that I would never in a million years have done this on purpose, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I regret it.

I have counted – naively, obviously – on the anonymity of this blog when I have posted information here about my family, my friends, my marriage, and my son’s adoption. I know that everyone says that whatever you post on the internet is fair game, but obviously I didn’t listen carefully enough. So now I’ve hurt someone very important to me, and I’m also painfully aware that I put some things out there that I would not have shared with the person who has been reading this.

I’ve loved blogging. NSG has asked me why I can’t just keep a journal, but the feedback from other people and the connections I’ve made with other people have been at least as valuable as the opportunity to record pieces of my life. The support in particular around open adoption – the perspectives from first moms and from adoptive parents living open adoption – has been nothing less than life-changing for me, and I’m very grateful. There’s no way I could have made those kinds of connections outside the internets.

I’ll miss that, but the cost of doing this keeps going up, and it’s way too expensive now. So I’m out.


January 7, 2008

I just need to post this so I have some written proof: my son has slept past 7 am for SEVEN DAYS IN A ROW.

And not only that: we’ve been sleep training again, since after travelling and illness and all sorts of disruptions it was not going so well. The plan was eventually to break the 4:30 bottle habit, but after a few days he broke it all by his lonesome. The first time he did it – slept from 8 pm until past 7 – we got up to check on his breathing three times between 6 and 7:15. 

Halle-frickin’-lujah. This is a thing of true beauty. We are both new women. And he is one smiley boy.

Also, as an aside: I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but apparently I need a resolution to post the damn New Year’s post already. It’s mostly written, really. It will be up before, um, February. I promise.

Enough already

January 4, 2008

Please, please, please: I am hardly Britney Spears’ biggest fan, and I cop to reading People magazine on line pretty much every day, but seriously: leave her alone. There are pictures on the internet that were taken from INSIDE THE AMBULANCE as she was hauled off to the hospital after a breakdown.

The woman has been in the spotlight since she was this big. She got rich fast and famous faster, had some less-than-perfect role models, and no one seems to believe that she can actually make good decisions for herself or her children. I’m not sure who wouldn’t down some pills and fall apart in those circumstances.

She’s ill. She’s made some really poor decisions for herself and her children. But quit blaming her for her current circumstances by naming all the reasons she “deserves” to be punished. Just give the woman a little breathing space, get her out of the limelight for a while. People – including people with drug and alcohol addictions – can do surprisingly good things when it’s actually expected of them.



January 2, 2008

After a full 17 months of trying unsuccessfully to get Roo to call me Ima, the Hebrew word for Mom, we spend 3 days with a friend and her almost-2-year-old and he decides that I’m Mommy.

He’s being saying Mama for a month or so, and we weren’t sure if he was calling us both Mama, or if he meant NSG and it was another symptoms of the recent Mamas. Not only is he now saying Mommy, he’s clearly differentiating us by name. This morning he slept till 7:15 (please pause while the angels sing a hallelujah chorus) and then called for Mommy and waved when I walked in. Oh, the cuteness.

So do I just go with it, or keep working on Ima?

Anyway, Happy New Year. The obligatory New Year’s Day post is coming.

Kicking and screaming

December 26, 2007

Watching the snowstorm

It goes without saying that I think my kid hung the moon. And I’m prefacing what I’m about to say with that because the last time I wrote a post similar to this I got a nasty barbed comment from someone who seemed to think that it was disturbing that a parent could be frustrated with their child. So if your response to this post is along those lines, I will say: I really hate to delete comments, so please go tell it to someone else.

That said, can we discuss the tantrums?

The tantrums – or as NSG calls them, the “opinions” – are KILLING me. Yesterday there were no fewer than four tantrums from the time we shut the door of our second-floor condo to the time we reached the sidewalk. It’s been constant over the past week. I know that this is why people talk about toddlers being so difficult, but we’re a little ahead of schedule and I wasn’t quite prepared.

He also has an intense case of the mamas right now, and he’s all about NSG. Everyone loses in this situation: because she’s a daycare provider and is with him all day it makes her feel like she’s parenting 24-7; he feels like he doesn’t get enough from her, and I feel rejected by him because if the three of us are together and I want to spend time with him I have to peel him off her leg to do it. When it’s just me and Roo we’re great, but if it’s the three of us it’s all about Mama, Mama, Mama.

I’ve heard from more than a few people that this is normal too, and that most kids switch back and forth between parents. But we’re still waiting, and it’s been a while, and it’s getting harder. This new tantrum habit is making it that much more difficult, because it feels like I set him off every 5 minutes (NSG usually gets all of 10 minutes between tantrums). I’m so freakin’ frustrated, and I know he knows it, which Im sure is making things so much worse.

It feels awful to admit it, but other than a really lovely 10 minutes here and a half hour there, parenting him has really not been a pleasure over this past week. I’m trying to keep it in perspective – he has a cold, I was out of town without him recently, all 3 of us had a stomach bug this week – but it’s very hard to keep it in focus right now. I know that I’m the grownup in this situation, but I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly how I can use that to resolve some of this.

Jewish Christmas

December 25, 2007

The lack of a babysitter punched a big hole in the usual let’s-go-to-the-movies Jewish Christmas day plan, but we more than made up for it.

Off I went to the movies – this morning! All alone with my overpriced chai latte! and cried my way through Juno (more on that later). Then a little naptime booty, a send-off for NSG as she goes off to see Juno on her own (if we can’t go together at least we can talk about it later), a date at the deserted, snowy-but-sunny playground with my Roo, and  a big pot of chili on the stove to share with friends who don’t do Christmas.

And that’s all for a Tuesday. Does it get better?

Whatever you’re doing today, I hope it makes you feel like a pig in shit.


December 18, 2007

I used to work in the pro-choice movement. I loved it, and I’m still proud of the years I spent doing that work professionally and as a volunteer.

When I was on the board of a local abortion fund, raising money to give small grants to women who had chosen to terminate their pregnancy but couldn’t pay for it, we talked all the time about how many women were making enormously meaningful decisions based on having or not having ridiculously small amounts of money – sometimes as little as $50 for a bus ticket to get to a clinic in the next county over or $100 for a half day of childcare. 

The money was what we were focused on, but of course it was just a stand-in for the real issue, which is coercion. A person who has support from partner or family or friends in her decision about what to do about a pregnancy but who has to make that decision based on money has still been coerced by her community’s failure to support her adequately, in whatever way that means (yeah, I’m a socialist).

Some women who we couldn’t help told us that they would have to relinquish their baby because they didn’t have any other options to pay for termination but woudn’t or couldn’t parent. Most of these women we spoke with were very early in their pregnancy, so I couldn’t tell you what they decided to do in the end.  But the idea that the decision was based on something so stupid (though so real) as money was wrenching.

It never occured to me until we started the process to adopt that someday I would look at adoption the same way. Roo’s first family would never have relinquished him if their community had supported them better. It’s so obvious to me what should have been different for them, but it would take a sea change to get that support into place for them and for all the other first parents who relinquished because they didn’t – or felt they didn’t – have the resources (tangible or emotional) to parent.

I’me very proud to be both pro-choice and an adoptive parent. It feels like putting my money where my mouth is, in some ways.  But the more I learn, the more it starts to feel like I’m barely scratching the surface.

Just something I’ve been thinking about.