Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Parenthood: A bibliography

I am a firm believer that what new parents need most is unconditional support. A lot of smiling and nodding and rah-rah, good for you. There may be folks out there with the right answers about breast/bottle, co-sleeping v. crib-sleeping, slings, baby bjorns, maya wraps, immunizations, sticky socks, chlorine-free diapers and all the rest of it.. but me? No I am not one of those people. If you have a kid as far as I'm concerned you are the go-to-guy or girl for said kid. Taking on that responsibility is daunting enough without some rabble wrecking your confidence. I have wanted to patent the phrase unconditional support ever since I became a parent. It is certainly what I need most and can best offer my peers.

When new parents enter my orbit I am eager to get this message across. One thing I keep wanting to do is give them the cacophony set of expert books out there with an annotated bibliography and a large salt shaker. This is indicative of not just my parent side but also my professional librarian side. I love my librarian side for a couple reasons 1. I do believe that books can help anywhere/anytime and 2. I am non-judgemental. Did you know librarians are trained to be non-judgemental? Good library school profs are all over that. They challenge us to look at our work as something apart from some straight-jacket of good choices. They tell that while it is ok to try and promote really good works it is not for us to chose but rather to provide choice. I love my job. It is a handy backstory on being a parent, too.

Our extended family got a new addition last week and another new Mom is on the horizon. I think I will do my best to finally write that bibiliography so what can you tell me? What titles would you include. Sears? Baby Whisperer? Weissbluth? Who else?

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Running With Scissors

(Wherein the author circumlocutes in an effort to avoid running down the in-laws immediately as this is is wife's blog and there may be some trouble in the non-binary relationship at chez Mo, but fails, as the allusion to the topic of the post is evident both from its title and the throat-clearing introduction through which he is presently struggling, and in an effort to avoid the subject he will, of course, attempt to discuss his own life, his family, and the perilous nature of memory.)

I just finished reading Blood Meridian. I am tempted to now begin each post as McCarthy did his chapters: Post 456...- talks around takes the stick - additional circumlocution in the form of literary reference - Self-disclosure - kindergarten - mean teachers - tight pants - parents - false memory - in-laws - dinner - safety lapses - self-recrimination

I grew up in a nice, safe, expensive neighbourhood on the west side. That is to say, it was a hive of WASPS or people who weren't but had white collar jobs to match our flesh tones. My dad, he grew up on the east side. He may have run with a gang of delinquents at some point (Our Gang, I imagine) before he, uh, became an accountant. My mom, she was an air force child (back when Canada's planes were new), and a high school drop out before she, um, became a teacher. They desired gentility and security, thus the picket fence. Nonetheless I was branded a juvenile delinquent by my kindergarten teacher. I was 5. "Precocious" my dad would say. Mom, on the other hand, reviled the evil and senseless teacher who did not understand me and would upbraid me in front of my peers on a regular basis. I can recall one lengthy lecture wherein I was instructed as to the proper manner in which I was to carry scissors. Humiliating. In fairness to the teacher, I developed into a fine juvenile delinquent, and I credit her for recognizing my early potential.

Tight pants. Love them? Hate them? Discuss.

So it went through much of my schooling. I was, in point of fact, disruptive or detached and a cause for worry to parent and teacher alike until I finally finished school at the age of... 28. The folks were supportive although dad did question more than once my pursuit of an arts degree. In hindsight, I agree with his assessment that it was a pointless exercise and I would have been served better by taking a career-oriented degree. The problem was those programs would have interfered with my desire to attain perfect dissolution. In any event dad still tells me I was expelled from kindergarten by the instructor whereas mom tells me she withdrew me after seeing how the nasty lady was treating me. I have no recollection of these events.

Why the avoidance of the subject, to wit, my in-laws? I am now a parent. I have two neat kids whom I love and whom wear me out daily. As a parent I am obliged to make decisions about what my kids wear, eat, sit on, ride in, with whom they interact, where they will be schooled, and other parlous subjects such as safety with sharp objects, such as scissors. In this house scissors are behind closed doors and usually at an altitude, or in a location, unavailable to the kids. Scissor use is monitored fairly closely. When our daughter wishes to perform her little wood-cutting projects (as she is wont to do) we watch very closely, after all, she is 2.

Some would say Mo and I are a little too risk-conscious. Take, for example, Mo's parents. They say it a lot. Every time my concerns are dismissed, or those of my wife are dismissed, a red mist descends over my eyes... a red mist. The black bile rises. I feel blue (which matches the language I use in the internal conversation which begins on the drive home from their place). Visits to their home are colourful affairs.

Yesterday E. had a day trip to her grandparents. To wrap the activities Mo, Me and A. joined them for night dinner. It was excellent. For once there was a meal the kids both sat down to eat. I wanted to eat it. Mo Ma got it right and I was awash with warm fuzzy feelings and self-chiding thoughts about how I am too hard on her, the well-intentioned old bat that she is. That lasted a good 15 minutes.

It came time to bathe the kids before packing them into the van for the ride home. E came down the stairs from the sewing room where she is now quite often 'helping out'. There she was carrying scissors (improperly, i might add) and complaining of a sore finger. She pricked it with a pin. A pin... a pin! I took a look in said Mo Ma's sewing room and indeed many a pin was to be found. Many a pin... and seven pairs of scissors (eight if you count the pair E had), a hem puller, a box cutter, a handgun, and a small nuclear device... I had no idea when we arrived all this stuff was lying about at kid height and that E had ready access to this material through the course of our visit (the increasing number of holes in her shirt should have tipped me off, I suppose).

It was in a state of shock that I reported this to Mo as she bathed our son. It was then I noticed the open can of comet on the table next to the tub. Comet. Open. Kid's eye level. Open. I had no idea & c...

I love my in-laws but they are beyond the reach of reason. What can I do?

P-man out.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Green with Envy

Last winter we had the water advisory. This summer it will be the garbage strike. If I really love my children here's another wake up call to big picture junk I can't ignore.

I surely would have voted for the environment as the BlogHers Act Canada issue. If those damn centralists hadn't shut down the polls at 9:00PM on Sunday. 13 minutes before I booked on to vote. NB: I'll save the 'don't oppress me' for another post.

Dear mother earth. I have already confessed that since mothering up myself I have sadly "started living pretty fast and loose with the environment". But I am about to turn the corner, back home.

There are folks out there setting such a good example. I can't avoid thinking about all our crap. Now that I have no one to actually collect our crap and make it disappeared I am bent on change, foul weather friend that I am. We'll try to reduce our disposable diaper use by half with cloth. We hope to burn through our kitchen waste with a composter working overtime. We promise to recycle every bit of paper and all those take out tins I didn't used to wash.

How 'bout you, got some keen green tips? We could use all the help we can get. Because, hey this planet can use all the help we can give, n'est ce pas? Perhaps this would make for a good BC Issue.

ps... I am especially interested in any raves or warnings about certain cloth diaper brands. I have only used homemades to now and the HappyHeineys, FuzziBuns and many and varied Velour Ass-sacks all seem so dizzying and expensive... I am sort of afraid of them.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Of Pods and Peas

So whoops, we sort of forgot to blog last week. No we were not on vacation. That is this week. Last week was really that maniacal push of line-toe'ing you do before the bliss of unstructured times. For vacation we will not do anything really; save one quick road trip the end of the month.

We will enjoy the sun if it ever comes out again. We have a million tasks outstanding in the house and outside it. We want to find our way again into a family routine after a lot of disassembly. The garden is peaking and we have peas to pick.

The internet has some great produce to so I am off to comment-land. Catch ya..

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gratuitous Boob Shot

Yeah, I thought that would get your attention.

Tune in for an insiders look at the Wo Family (ain't papa man quite the camera-in-filmerer-guy. SNORT). Anyway you saw my son on this blog last week. Here is his sister visiting he and I in hospital when he was all of 6 hours old last July 17. Happy Birthday Baby, it has been "nice to meet you". It's sad sometimes to think it is all over. But as you can see, I have my hands full.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, July 13, 2007


I have recently come to understand that I must refuse good things. I don't like this, foreign to my disposition. I am a glutton at the smorgasboard of lunches with friends, storybook after storybook and playtimes in the park. Consider me a fiend for quality time in endless quantity. But time has shrunk. With two people who need to nap and poop and learn to feed themselves and walk then run... I don't have enough time.

When I try to 'make time' well. HA! I feel I am being forced to live life like some fiscal conservative. It seems at time it's all a system of cutbacks and downsizing. Certainly, there are too many good blogs to read I am still having hard times find my place in the agenda to write blog. (I miss it.)

Here's a little something more.

I have also recently learned I can find an equilibrium if I fake it til we make it. I call in thank-you notes. I microwave pasta. I choose friends over the lunch with friends. A couple weeks back I had to tell one of my loved ones, you know I love your cooking, but I love you more. Sometimes I will pass on the food to have the talk instead. It is maybe more nutritious. It always makes us feel good to see our friends. Like the sun, or good perogi, they give us energy. We really appreciate it.

Wishing you a happy energizing weekend with your loved ones.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 09, 2007

All Aboard

Big love out to WhyMommy today and her breast cancer survivors post. I'll dedicate my share of it to lighthouse friend and survivor Beth! Please remember my slogan for WhyMommy's breast cancer battle; she can do it, we can help.

All aboard, people!


Shoe on the other foot

So it seems on Sunday, after a couple nights hard partying, my parents needed a bit of outdoor fun*. This turned into a run in with the local cops. The local cop doing the busting was a classmate of mine from high school (yes my parents still live in my old hometown).

Will I be proud or embarrassed when I see him at the 20 year reunion this fall? Hmmm...

*They were illegally pruning trees on city property. But still..

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Growing Up Right

I am a fan of the smart and poignant book Your Children Will Raise You.

In its chapter The Birth Year relentlessly poetic Louise Erdrich speaks of her daughter...

It is raw power to go forward to lunge, catching at important arms and hands, to take control of the body, tell it what to do, to leave behind the immobility of babyhood. With each step she swells, her breath goes ragged and her eyes darken in a shine of happiness.... It would seem she has everything she could want -- she is fed, she is carried, she is rocked, put to sleep. But no, walking is the thing, the consuming urge to seize control. She has to walk to gain entrance to the world... She will walk to think, not to think, to leave the body, which is often the same as becoming at one with it. She will walk to ward off anger in its many forms. For pleasure, purpose, or to grieve. She'll walk until the world slows down until her brain lets go of everything behind and until her eyes see only the next step. She'll walk until her feet hurt, her muscles tremble, until her eyes are numb with looking. She'll walk until her sense of balance is the one thing left and the rest of world is balanced, too, and eventually, if we do the growing up right, she will walk away from us.

I post this today for baby son walks, you see. Me, I am more silly than poetic about it.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Do Re Me(me)

I blame her for this, this unmerited exposition of an octet of factoids all about ME. Best of all, I am required to tag eight lucky contestants who will, doubtless, be unyielding in their expressions of gratitude for the honour. For example: Oh, Ms. Dogma, my gratitude to you knows no bounds, it is... boundless. It has no boundaries, so vast is it I cannot relate it to any chart. It is uncharted. It is on a chartered bus. With a fez on.

So, to quote Ms. Dogma, here are the rules, anyway: Anyway here are the rules:
-list 8 facts/habits about yourself
-post the rules at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed wherever you damn well please.
-tag 8 people and post their names, go to their blogs and leave them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and ask them to read your blog.

There you go. Mo and I debated whether the facts/habits listed ought be "interesting". I am of two minds. Obviously, if I am telling you something about me, it is prima facie very interesting. You will be interested. You cannot help yourselves. I know. It's all right. There there.

The other mind says: You don't have eight facts/habits about yourself to list. You are more boring than a toilet paper sandwich made on wonderbread (which also makes a fine toilet paper). You'll just have to make something up.

So here we go.

Uno: I have now exhausted my vocabulary of the Spanish language.

2: I am wracked with guilt over nearly every action I commit each day. I writhe (largely internally) with discomfort at day's end in consideration of my omissions. Welcome to my head.

3: I do not understand the subject of taste. For example: Simone Bocelli is a not-very-good opera singer. His blindness does not make his music any more appealing. It is the aural equivalent of aerosol cheese. That grouping of opera hotties, I don't know their brand, "Jismo" or something like that, they are the aural equivalent of microwaved Tilsit cheese with a side of mouldering sweatsock. Is the music-consuming public so facile as to be attracted to the lamed or incredibly hot among the musical world as the recipients (ok, the managers of the lamed etc.) of their discretionary income (ok, borrowed on credit money)? What's next, 3 amputee tenors singing "Ein Schwert verheiss mir der Vater" to a glockenspiel accompaniment while waterskiing naked on Lake Geneva? Wait... I want to sign that act!

Quattro: Audis suck. Suzi Quatro is no better even if she is not a German car. Audis are no better for not playing rock bass and singing such classics as... actually, Ms. Quatro's music is entirely forgotten by me.

5. I like pants. I am also partial to socks. I am wearing some right now!

F. Many of my favourite sentences begin with this letter. Maybe "favourite" is a code word for "most often used".

7. I don't want to tag anyone. I tried to send love to certain high falutin blog types a couple of months ago and he rebuffed me. I am still on a serious course of Adlerian therapy. (Classical Adler, not Zero Adler, or New Adler, or Zero Adler, that tastless alternative to the real thing.) What would happen if I tagged eight people and made them, like, talk about themselves? Oh, wait, they're fucking bloggers. What else are we doing?

Ocho: I have eight fingers and two thumbs. Why aren't the great toes called "foot-thumbs"? Is it because they are not opposing digits? Either way this is notice that there will be no singing of "I have ten fingers"-type nursery rhymes in this house. I cannot abide this obvious inaccuracy. (Nor, for obvious reasons, will Mo permit me to run a home-school operation. Not that we are so inclined. Oh, who cares.)


The lucky eight: IAM, Denver Dad, Nonlinear Girl, Crouton Boy. I will email them the good news tonight! Don't delay! Type now!

(I know that's 4. I reason that Mo is on for the other half. Back to you, honey!)

V-man out.

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Eight is Enough

I was late to blogging and luckily missed that whole '100 things about me' thing. I would have never been able to do that, too myopic. AlphaDogma tagged me for eight. Eight is enough.

Fine, eight things about me.. that are not necessarily interesting.

1. In 1990 p-man and I went away for the weekend for the first time. It created a police-incident in the UK and Canada.

2. My writing was first published in a book when I was ten, that was a long time ago.

3. You could figure it out if you know that I got my first high heels a year later and they looked like this. That would be the first time they were cool.

4. My Dad is just like Jim Rockford; but with a station wagon.

5. The no-longer-funny thing I have to stop saying to my husband is... "Angel, you make me tired all over."

6. I was born in the same hospital as a Royal Princess. (I thought that was pretty cool when I was nine.)

7. I have never seen Apocalypse Now.

8. I have seen every episode of Hogan's Heros at least four times.

Make this eight things about me that make me feel like I am pre-pubescent all over again.

ps... While I was writing this Betty Buckley was on TV.

Watch for the p-man 8 tomorrow!

Labels: ,

You are my mother

I have read that LaLeche book on breastfeeding. It introduced me to the phrase, nursing couple. I was startled by that but ultimately took to it like a really taken thing.

My 11 month old is getting ready to break up with me. I can tell. He rolls off early and would rather doze on my shoulder. He skips sessions without a 2nd thought. It will soon be over. For this reason and thoughts I've read lately around these remaining sessions seem to have me deep in thought. Deep in deepness. Blimey.

There is something about those moments of child at my breast that validate me entirely. It has been an activity for me, between the two kids, for nearly 3 years and I am a bit nervous about its end. It is when I look into those blasé faces, they are so attached to me, I think 'you chose me'. You chose me? I can't believe it. You chose me dear child.

I am, immutably, the mother.

Labels: ,