Over 40 mama — Adventures in poop, patience, and first-time parenthood

Boy do I hate “cry it out.”
February 17, 2009, 2:24 pm
Filed under: guilt, insanity, notes to self, sleep

The sweetest day
February 12, 2009, 9:03 pm
Filed under: milestones, notes to self

I do believe there is a day which will go down in memory as the bug’s sweetest day.  

For weeks now, she’s been  getting wiser…learning to stand, crawl over things, assess distance, match two objects with similar shapes, nest one item into another that is larger. She loves music, and cackles with glee when she sees the ASL sign for a word she knows. She is quickly becoming a curious, amazing person in and of herself.  

Somewhere in here – any day now – we will enter into the realm of toddlerhood, and will deal with all the annoyances and frustrations of a being who wants nothing more than to explode into herself. This will be met with some combination of C’s and my tolerance for the aforementioned explosion, and our sometimes-vast differences in parenting styles and philosophies.

I’m sure it will be fine. Ultimately.  But man, I want to put this phase in a bottle and keep it in the attic for later.

January 21, 2009, 7:56 am
Filed under: milestones, notes to self

Yesterday was Inauguration Day.   As I sit in the quiet dark morning with the bug, I think of the future she will have.  How her first memory of our President will be a bright, articulate, compassionate, complex, honest man who also happens to be African American.  How she’ll see a man who has lived all over the planet, who has been an outsider AND an insider, whose guiding principle was taught to him by his grandma to “walk in their shoes” when encountering someone new and different.  

On Monday, I participated in the local Oakland Day of Service – a particularly well-organized effort to plant 80 oak trees along a scrubby stretch of MLK Blvd.  There were speakers – a black female archbishop who gave a prayer.  A Blackfeet tribal elder who had worked to prevent the destruction of acres of forests at the hands of developers.  A representative from the Dept of Forestry who was delighted to see community organization around such a precious resource.  The lady who owns Sweetie Pie and Poppy’s soul food, who donated their parking lot and a bunch of hot dogs to feed folks.  A man, who lived on that very block, who’d lost his son to gang violence.  A 10 year old boy who read Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech aloud, while his proud mama cried.

There were people of all races and ages there – and all were clearly moved by the unity of voice and vision. All were clearly witnessing the realization of so many of King’s dreams, and all clearly felt the dedication to work hard and work together to ensure those dreams that had not yet been realized might come to pass sooner than later. 

It was great to actually plant a tree.  To collaborate with folks from all over – young and old, black and white – picking up garbage and making this bleak urban stretch look good.  Others planted daffodils along a boulevard adjacent to the trees.  I know I will keep an eye on this patch of city to see how they grow and flourish over time. 

Coincidentally or not, the bug is now suddenly more like a little kid than a baby.  She’s changing at light-speed.  

Yesterday she said “mama” for the first time as she held out her arms for me to pick her up.

One step forward, 4532 steps back
January 11, 2009, 5:09 am
Filed under: notes to self

So the bug is out of her cold, but it sure did FUBAR her sleep schedule.  Sometimes this is so disheartening.

I battle entropy on a daily basis to get her on a schedule, so she can feel a sense of structure, foundation, grounding.

God I wish I were better at this.

Note to self
July 22, 2008, 2:47 pm
Filed under: notes to self, parenthood

It is really important for me to take time to be quiet and alone with the bean these days. I relax, and she relaxes and this helps C relax. There are particular challenges, given that our new house is a big, wide, acoustically live open space, and C is around all day and he’s got phone calls and hustles through his to do list. I need the atmosphere to be quieter, at least until she and I are relaxed and I’m tuned in to her. Then we can go out and play.