Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Motherhood Chronicles

Journal 4/05/09

I used to be a mover and a shaker.

These days I can barely finish a thought, let alone a sentence.

Yesterday I had that feeling, sort of like a sneeze coming on…. the beginnings of a thought being born. It felt like a teeny tiny bit of inspiration trying to creep back into my life. Maybe it would have been a creative thought, or maybe I was just finally remembering where I had put my car keys. Either way, it scattered like a flock of startled birds the moment I heard my three-year-old Evan gagging on something. I ran to him and found an empty cup on the bathroom sink, the one in which I had gargled the night before with a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide (sore throat). There must have been some left in the cup, and he drank it down. I ran for the phone, scrambling through my phone book for the poison control hotline. While dialing, I hurried back to the bathroom to check on Evan, only to find him with an open tube of Retin-A, attempting to put it on his toothbrush. So on that day I learned that all the things I put “out of reach” are now open season since his climbing skills have improved so dramatically. (It also left me wondering....would brushing my teeth with Retin- A make my teeth look more youthful? In an exhausted stupor one night, I did accidentally brush my teeth with Desitin. I do not recommend it.)

A few days ago I had him out on one of our daily hikes. The ongoing power struggle here is that he likes to veer off the path and into the high grasses, and I have to steer him back to safety as it is rattlesnake season. So this day we are doing pretty well, staying on the path, stopping here and there to admire the Brown-eyed susans standing tall among the fields of mustard, the many ladybugs in flight and the occasional meandering stink bug. Evan stopped to pick something up, cradling it in his tiny hands, studying it with great interest. What have you got there sweetie? I called to him. “Poop!” he replies enthusiastically. I grab him and force him to drop it, rubbing his hands vigorously in the dirt, and then running him all the way home, holding both his hands up by the wrist so that he can’t put them in his mouth. “Bye Poop!” he calls back over his shoulder.

This week he also licked the rails of the shopping cart at Ross and splashed his hands playfully in puddles of water that had pooled around the toilet basin on the floor of a public restroom.

I used to be a mover and shaker, but now all my moving and shaking occurs in Evan’s wake.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Falling Into Fall

I hate the Fall. Even the word Fall indicates that you’re falling, falling into a deep hole. Not like Spring, whose very name inspires and gives energy.

Fall is the time that trees become barren and the landscape appears to be dead. Daylight begins to recede, and even in the middle of the day, the light is different, the air is different. It is absolutely still outside. You can leave your windows open all day and never hear a single bird sing. Or the wind howls angrily and creates all kinds of havoc. Fall makes a mess of everything.

Gone are the long, lazy days of summer. Gone are the barbeques, pool parties, block parties, summer festivals, concerts in the park, beach days, vacations, long hikes in the evenings…

Just beginning are attempts at any types of social gatherings that will be cancelled due to illness, overcoming illness, or avoiding illness. Just beginning are days of being trapped indoors with a sick kid, climbing the walls with boredom and depression.

We are only into our first week of Fall and already half my friends are sick. And this year we have the threat of swine flu hanging over our heads, and the volatile debate over whether to vaccinate against it.

In the Fall I get a pit in my stomach and a sense of foreboding. I contemplate my own mortality, I have terrible déjà vu’s where I feel like something bad is about to happen. Maybe it’s because 15 years ago our house burned down in the Fall. I wouldn’t think so, after all the therapy I’ve done, but I who knows. I hated Fall before then, too.

When our son Evan was born at the end of September, I thought I would finally have a reason to celebrate Fall, and not dread it. But Evan’s birthday comes just at the lazy end of our California Summer, not really yet Fall. I do fine through his birthday party, and then, as October rolls around and the end of daylight savings time looms ahead, I feel as though the air is being let out of my tires.

Fall is the beginning of flu season and fire season. Fall is nasty, viscious political seasons. Fall is Halloween, which I’ve never liked. Who started that holiday anyway? Who said I know…Let’s create a holiday around death, decorate our homes with skulls and bones, and for fun, let’s go around dressed like mass murderers carrying chainsaws….It’s not my cup of tea.

But hey, there’s something I like about Fall. A cup of tea. I think I’ll make myself one right now, to attempt to turn my mood around. And while I’m at it, I’ll force myself to list other things I like about Fall.

Here goes….

Hot tea

Mexican Coffee



Wearing sweaters and boots

My red wool coat

Flannel Pjs

Fuzzy socks

Getting into jammies early at night.

My warm fuzzy bathrobe

Down comforters

Lots of candles

Twinkle lights.



I guess that’s about it. Everything else about it kinda sucks.

Yesterday for Evan’s sake, I made a big deal about getting all the Halloween decorations out and decorating the front porch. And now, I’m going to begrudgingly go out and buy a Fall tablecloth and pumpkins, doing my best to be of cheer even though I feel horrid.