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.

Sunday *updated

December 16, 2007

Among the three of us, we have: jet lag, 2 stomach bugs, a correlating pile of vomit-covered laundry (sorry), A BROKEN TOILET, a snowed-in car, and a missing magnet to open our child-proof cabinets.

Team Round is Funny is OUT.

*** ETA: Toilet fixed, magnet found (in the shredder), car dug out, laundry done, jet lag mostly resolved. Kid still vomitocious, wife still just a little pathetic, daycare closed. It’s definitely progress, but only for a Monday.

I miss…

December 14, 2007

First snowstorm of the year

Originally uploaded by Roundisfunny1

… my family, and I miss this – the first snowstorm of the year. I can hardly complain: I’m at my uncle’s house – not only is he still alive (which a month ago was still a question) but we ate sushi together tonight, and it’s 50 degrees out at 8 pm. But still – I want to taste snow, and I want to lie on the couch and let Roo use me as his human belly-trampoline.

I always used to love travelling for work. It feels a lot more ambivalent now that I’m Roo’s mama.

(Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe)

Not that you were tempted to cast your vote for him…

December 12, 2007

From The Boston Globe:

Shortly before announcing his White House bid, Mike Huckabee told a gathering of Christian conservatives that he had the toughest position against gay marriage of any Republican candidate. “Unless Moses comes down with two stone tablets from Brokeback Mountain to tell us something different, we need to keep that understanding of marriage,” Huckabee said, referring to the movie about two gay cowboys.

This was the same day the news also broke that, 1992, he suggested “containing” people with HIV in order to contain the pandemic.


What would Supermom do?

December 11, 2007

I was walking around downtown Oakland, CA today, trying to get some blood flowing out of my ass and back into my brain after the cross-country flight, and I saw a mom and son have an argument.

He sneaked a cookie out of her bag and shoved it in his mouth. She turned around, saw him with the evidence, and whapped him one, sending him flying down the three concrete steps (he landed on his feet), and then screamed at him: godDAMNIT I told you not to eat any more of those FUCKING cookies! And on and on.

I’d guess he was 3. Four, maybe? He didn’t act surprised, so I’m guessing this is the usual MO. She had a tiny baby strapped to her in a Bjorn.

What I wanted to do was grab him and bolt. Here’s what I did instead: nothing. I was worried that if I said something to her it would make it worse for him. But it’s haunting me.

Crap. What would you have done in real life, or if you were Supermom?