Category Archives: parenting

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way

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home from the Women’s March. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, we were in tee-shirts and sunglasses, outside in January, in Seneca Falls, NY. Myself, my youngest daughter, my oldest daughter and my grandbaby. We marched, we listened, we were a part of history. And then, we started walking back to the car.

Now, we took a school bus shuttle from the parking lot to the March, so we were hoping that we would be able to catch a school bus shuttle back to the parking lot, rather than walking the 2 miles. And as luck would have it, a school bus shuttle was just rounding the corner, headed towards the parking lot! And that is where my luck ran out.

We flagged down the bus, he stopped right there in the middle of a left hand turn to open the doors and let us on. What a swell guy! On goes my oldest daughter with my grandbaby, and then my youngest daughter hops on and there is me, on the curb with the baby stroller that is FILLED with bags and outerwear. A diaper bag, a backpack, a bag with ice packs and bottles of breast milk, 3 winter coats, hats, scarves and random baby gear and toys. And cheerios. Cheerios just sprinkled in because babies.

Me, in my floor length hippiefied skirt that I trip on whenever I have to go up stairs and this stroller of nonsense, trying to quickly fold it up and get on the damn bus. I had 3 kids, I am well versed in how strollers work, but apparently now that I am a Nana, I have lost all of my super mom powers and I am relegated to stuffing tissues up my sleeve and always having a fuzzy lifesaver in my pocket. Because I tried to collapse the stroller with everything on it. Did Not Work.

I yell for my youngest to come help me. I throw the majority of bags at her and she climbs back on the bus. I try to collapse the damn stroller again. It gets smaller but it doesn’t click shut. So, I just hold it together and attempt to board the bus. By this point, I am sweating, the bus driver is confused and my kids are rolling their eyes so hard their faces are gonna stick like that. I trip on my skirt up all 3 stairs with the partially open stroller and I try really hard to force it on to the bus. It won’t fit. I stuffed it as far as I could onto the bus. I squashed the bus driver and then I realized that I was not actually on the bus and now the stroller was blocking me from the seats. I had been giggling and muttering to myself the whole time but this realization that I would have to get off the bus and try again nearly made me lose it. Off I go, try, in vain, to make the stroller smaller, get on the bus, trip on my skirt getting up the stairs and … nope.

By now, I am full on laughing like a lunatic, the bus driver has been watching all of this with morbid fascination and my kids have sunken thru the floor. I have effectively gotten the stroller so stuck  that I am leaning on the bus driver and I can’t get to the seats. Ok, so, the only solution is to climb over the stroller or share the bus driver’s seat and help him drive the bus. I opt for Plan A. Around about this time, I notice that the rest of the bus is enthralled with my one woman show. There’s some tittering and ha ha’s and even a couple of “whaaaaa?????”. I’m not deterred. I’ll march 2 miles for a good cause but I’ll be damned if I will walk 2 miles for no good reason.

So, I hike up my skirt, I get one leg over the stroller, get my skirt stuck on one of the wheels, I do a half- calf -triple- latte-jete-pas-de-bourree, let out a “Son of a NUTCRACKER!” and fall into the seat on my left. Ta DA!!!

I am pretty sure I was the full embodiment of why we need a Women’s March.

 

womens-march-2

womens-march

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So, THAT’S What Labor Looks Like…

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I mean, really, life is never more perfect...

I mean, really, life is never more perfect…

I’m a grandma!!! Or possibly a Nana…although, I might be a Ruby…what I am trying to say is my oldest daughter had a baby on Friday!! And I was her coach!! Now, having had 3 children myself and successfully completing the How To Have A Baby course offered by the hospital, you would think I would have recognized the signs of labor. And before Friday, I would have agreed with you.

I was induced for all 3 of my babies, so MY labor was “hard labor” from the moment they hooked me up to the pitocin. Which is why, when my daughter was writhing in agony on the floor of my bathroom, I was thinking “looks like about 3cm and at least 8 hours and an epidural away from a baby”. I mean, she never SAID she was in labor! This is her first baby, she is my first baby. I just assumed her labor and delivery would be just like mine were…induced, long, painful until the epidural kicked in and then 2 pushes and done! Oh and also, she would be 2 weeks over due. In fact, I said this so much she believed me! So, when she started having cramps and back pain 2 weeks BEFORE her due date, she just assumed it was a bruised tailbone or something.

It is partially her father’s “fault” too. He knows a spot on the leg to push to kick start labor. He massaged this spot on my leg when I was pregnant with our 3rd and she was born a day early. She was over to his house on Wednesday and he showed her the spot…which was quite tender when he pressed it. And about 36 hours later…BABY!

Anyway, Thursday night she kept saying she was so uncomfortable. Lots of cramping and her back hurt. Instead of me saying “Let’s call the doctor” I said “Let’s bring down the barcalounger from upstairs so you can recline a bit” Because, she was due March 2nd. It was February 18th. And the 1968 barcalounger, that was my mother’s, will absolutely help her feel better. Her sister and I banged it down the stairs and set it up for her and she sat there for about an hour and then decided to go to bed because she felt pretty lousy. And Dr. Mom here said “Yeah, my knees hurt so, I’ll probably head up too…” And we went to bed. About 1:30am she came into my room saying her back really hurt and she just felt awful. So, I did some of the massage techniques and she shifted about trying to find a position of relief. There was no relief though, because she was in active, hard labor. But I was still thinking she might just be really feeling being 9 months pregnant. I now understand how women  have babies in public restrooms. Denial runs strong in this family.

We timed her ‘uncomfortableness” and it was about every 5 minutes. That seems like a good time for me to take a shower. WHAT?!?!?! Yeah, because in my mind, there was no way that this baby was coming 2 weeks early after just an hour of hard labor. First time babies take forever! With lots of intervention and a hospital! I packed my bag, took a shower, she laid on the floor of my bedroom and threw up everything she had ever eaten in her entire life. I woke up her sister and told her to go start the car, put the dog in the crate and bring down the bags. My daughter got off the toilet, laid down on the bathroom floor and told me she was not going to move. And THAT was when I finally realized that HOLY SHIT! SHE WAS IN LABOR!! And I kicked it into high gear!

I yelled for her sister, I told my daughter that she IS getting off that floor and she IS going downstairs and getting in the car and we will help her. She said “No” I said “As soon as you get to the hospital they will give you some good drugs to ease this pain. You want to be done with this pain right?” She said “Ok” and her sister and I pulled her up, got her into some clothes, into the car and off we went to the hospital that was 35 minutes away. This was about 3:30am.

I truly thought that as soon as we got her outside and in the car, her “uncomfortableness”  would slow down. Wrong again. I really shouldn’t be allowed to think anymore. We started driving and she literally did an Exorcist move where she was aching backwards over the front seat while her feet almost went through the dashboard. While I was holding her hand and telling her what a great job she was doing and to breathe, I was actually debating if I should just run the stoplights. But naw….she can’t be THAT far along. Because labor doesn’t look like this. Labor looks like being in a hospital bed, hooked up to IVs. She can’t really be in labor, 2 weeks early. Yeah.

We got to the hospital at 4:09am her sister went in to get the wheelchair because there was no way she was walking anywhere at this point. They triage-d her and guess what? You can probably guess, although I was still clueless…she was 10cm and ready to push! Wait…WHAT?!?!?!

They rushed her to the delivery room, and she immediately started pushing. Her water broke there on the table and with me holding one leg, the nurse holding the other and her sister near her head whispering words of encouragement, with 6 pushes she brought my grandson into the world! At 4:54am.

The next day, while baby nursed, we went over exactly how the heck she just delivered her first baby, 2 weeks early with no pain medication, with less than 3 hours of hard labor… amazing. I have never been so amazed by her in my whole life. And I have watched her do some pretty amazing things. Like be born, take her first steps, ride a bike, drive a car…but the way she handled giving birth to her son will always top the list of Amazing Things My Daughter Has Done. Me? I will cross Midwife off my list of possible jobs…

 

Dear Diary, Whata Year

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Peace Out Bitches

Peace Out Bitches

I am older, wiser, fatter, smarter, greyer, squishier, and alot of other “er” things. I am still a dancer despite my best attempts at working a “regular” job. I left dance like it was a lover who cheated but dance refused to let me go. Isn’t that all sorts of romantic? It has to be because that is all the romance you are gonna get from me tonight.

2014 brought about many changes which is sort of to be expected when you are a mother. Kids grow and change thereby forcing their parents to grow and change. That’s some deep shit right there…

I put some thought into what my life is going to look like in the coming years and it freaked me right the fuck out so, I made a conscious decision to STOP thinking about my future. I’ll either wind up living under a bridge or meet a kazillionaire who will fund my retirement.

I lost some and gained some. Life changed. I was sick and well. I am surprised at how fast this year went. I realized this when I thought about calling and making an appointment to get my taxes done. I only see this guy once a year but it seems like the time between seeing him is getting smaller. It isn’t, it is just me thinking it is. Cause I’m old now.

Haven’t found my birth parents yet. Haven’t received my medical licence yet. Haven’t driven to California yet. I’m curious to see if any of those things happen in the coming year.

Love you guys!!! Have a great year!!!

And to all a good night...

And to all a good night…

Enough With The Toddlerhood Blues

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I can't even.

I can’t even.

I’m super sick of these blogs about how hard it is to be the parent of a toddler. Like sooooo sick of them. Bullet points, numbered lists, grafts, charts…ENOUGH! Yes, having kids is hard. Having babies is oh so difficult and you are really special and relate-able. Babies cry and poop and totally mess up your circadian rhythm and are just like drunk college kids…whatever. I’m going to tell you something that NO ONE tells people who are thinking of becoming parents. Something that no one tells new parents. It. Gets. Worse.

Here’s an inside tip : The baby years (where you go from only caring about yourself to being forced to care for another human being) lead into the toddler years (where you not only have to care for another human being but you have to start teaching that little mess of flesh how to BE a human) which leads into the school age years (where things might be smooth sailing for a bit, if you don’t run into bullying or obesity or strange habits or learning disabilities) which lead into the Teenage Years which will scar you for life.

Having a teenager is exactly like having a toddler except they are bigger, stronger, louder, smarter and have less of a sense of self preservation. They are far more cunning, baffling and powerful than any drug you might have done back in the 60’s. You will be in shock, your jaw will drop daily and you will be absolutely unprepared to deal with the roller coaster of hormones and emotions and the rage oh Lord the rage! At things, at YOU, at school, at curling irons, at jeans that don’t fit, at siblings, pets, homework, cable tv, sneakers, music, God, bacon, yes bacon. Remember when your 2 year old fell down screaming in the middle of the mall because they wanted to take the carousel home? That x1000 = The Teenage Years.

Nothing will prepare you for The Teenage Years. You may think you are well prepared because you remember what you were like as a teen. And you sort of look forward to bonding with your own teen over rebellion issues. You are an idiot. Maybe you feel like you are doing such a fantastic job with your toddler that you will have this open, loving relationship where your teen is your best friend. You are a real big idiot. Maybe you think I am lying or that my kids are just exceptionally awful and you will use all the tools from all the books you have read cover to cover and YOU will do it right. Idiot.

I know, you think me calling you an idiot is rather harsh and uncalled for. Get used to it. Because as soon as you have a teenager, you are an idiot. You just are. No matter how you go about parenting your teen, I mean how you THINK you will parent your teen, you will wind up being an idiot. And the rest of us who have survived The Teenage Years will welcome you to our club with open arms because that’s what idiots do.

It’s not all a hellish nightmare. There will be moments. Like the moment when you can see the floor in their room because they threw all of the clothes in the laundry. The moment when they help the little old lady across the street because she gave them a 20 dollar bill thinking it was a one dollar bill. That moment when they start a conversation with you which ends up with you handing over your car keys despite the fact that they were supposed to be in Time Out, I mean grounded…ahh those moments are fleeting so enjoy them fully. Time really does speed up once you have children.You will blink and they will be gone…with your credit card and your favorite shoes.

So stop whining that you have a baby or three or a toddler who acts ridiculous and cries really loudly in inappropriate places or a pre schooler who can’t keep his hands out of his pants at church. Enjoy it. Because in a few short years you will be a full blown idiot and all of that parenting crap you worked SO HARD on will be right out the window along with the Ipad that wasn’t downloading fast enough. Parenting is hard work. It is NOT fun, it is not about YOU. It is about raising a productive member of society…so good luck with that. And as hard as you think it is wiping a little tushie or having to leave Sesame Street Live because your kid won’t stop kicking everyone in a 6 foot radius, it gets worse. As much as you love your baby, your toddler, your school age child, you will love your teen more fiercely than at any stage prior. That overwhelming love you feel for them will be balanced with fear and anger and hope and expectation. It’s way messier than 2am feedings and stomach bugs and lice.

No one tells you these things because it’s futile. There is nothing you can do. Once you commit to being a parent, you can’t quit…ask me how I know. You cannot tender your resignation, you can’t walk into their room and in dramatic fashion recite a speech telling them you have found new, better teenagers to raise. You cannot force them to stay in the sweet spot between ages 7 and 10, they will not comply. You just have to do it.

When your sweet little one draws you a picture and gives it to you will all the love in the whole wide world beaming out of their eyes because you are their sun and moon, remember that and imprint it on your heart. Because some day, well, you’ll find out. I wish you patience, luck, wisdom and just enough denial to get you through…

Welcome to the club, Idiot. *eyeroll*