Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why I Love You Wednesday -- 05-31-06 Edition

Why I Love You

-- Because when you discover that Mamma has a boo-boo, you try to kiss it.
-- Every bug you see is a "Biggg Buggg!"
-- You have inserted jumping into walking. All of a sudden I turn around and you're jumping behind me.
-- You've discovered the words "want" and "need" and aren't afraid to use them. Like when we were out at dinner and you yelled across the table, "MAMMA, I NEED ACQUA!"
-- Because you are sooo into your father these days and it just makes my heart want to burst when I see you two together.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why I Love You Wednesday -- 05-24-06 Edition

Because you make me laugh!

A Mother's Guilt

As I titled this post, I realized that one could interpret it to mean the guilt that a mother constantly feels with regard to her children. You know, the guilt that keeps us up at night with thoughts such as, "Should I really have let S have two pieces of chocolate cake today?", or "I shouldn't have yelled at S when she refused to get into her car seat today. I am a horrible mother", or "Crap! I forgot to put sunscreen on the baby today." Every mother has these thoughts. And it's a topic worthy of a post. But, it's not the kind of guilt that I am writing about now. Instead, I mean the guilt that a mother foists onto her children. Particularly her adult children. Her adult female children. Who live 3,000 miles away. And have produced the only grandchild in the family.

Yes, I have fallen victim once again to the guilt trip. And, it's not just any guilt trip, but it's the Italian Mother Guilt Trip (IMGT). For some reason, Italian mothers are excellent practicioners of the guilt trip, rivaled only by the Jewish mother. And my mom is no exception. Here is how the conversation went last night...

Mom (with a very practiced nonchalant tone): "Ah, I was wondering were you planning to come home this summer to visit?"

Me (anticipating this question for the past three months): "Well, Mom, I wasn't really planning on it since your house is up for sale. It doesn't really make sense to travel back to NJ to visit you if you're not going to be there."

Mom: "Oh, we'll still be here."

Me (scrambling for another excuse): "Well, I am not sure. I mean, we're taking this vacation in August and R can't take any more vacation."

Mom (with her first blow): "Oh, well I thought we could go to the beach. I mean, I was going to sell the beach house this summer but held off because I thought you or your sister would come home for a visit. R doesn't have to come. You can come out with just S."

Me: "Well, maybe I'll come home in September. I have to see. You know, it's really tough to travel with a two-year old alone."

Mom (with the second part of her one-two punch): "I was thinking that if you came at the end of July, I could fly back to California with you and be there for S's birthday. That way you wouldn't have to fly home alone either."

Me (struggling now): "Well, I'll think about it."

Mom (with the knockout punch): "It's just that I know your grandmother would like to see S and you know I just don't know when she's going to get the chance to see her again. You just never know what could happen. Who knows how much longer your grandmother has. She's keeps asking when she's going to get to see S again."

Me (reeling with realization that I am now getting both the IMGT as well as the IGGT (Italian Grandmother Guilt Trip) by transference): "Um, okay."

I was powerless to resist. I never had a chance. So today I bought S and I two roundtrip tickets to go back to NJ in July to visit my parents and of course my grandmother.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Why I Love You Wednesday -- 05-17-06 Edition

Why I Love You
-- Your newest mantra is "one more" for everything.
-- You hold up your little index finger when you ask for "one more"
-- You refuse to sit still and cuddle in bed with Daddy and me. Our bed is like one big playground to you.
-- You get so excited when we go to Whole Foods and start yelling for the free sample apples as soon as we pull into the parking lot, "Appules! Appules!"
-- When we say our prayers at night and ask God to give us a little brother or sister soon, you have started saying, "little sistu". From your mouth to God's ears, Baby.

Friday, May 12, 2006

There Are No Mommy Sick Days

Uggh, S infected me! Whatever she had earlier this week made its way to me. She no longer has a fever, but now has a remnant cough. I now have the fever and the cough. We're quite a pair right now.

She and I are currently curled up on the couch -- I am resorting to Sesame Street as my babysitter of choice right now. Thank God for free Sesame Street on On Demand. I sometimes wonder if using the television to keep her occupied for a while makes me a bad mom. But, honestly, I feel so crappy right now that I can justify it a dozen different ways.

If I had my choice, S and I would stay in our pajamas all day and watch movie after movie. But we actually have a full day planned including a board meeting for me (I am on the board of the local mothers' club -- I know, it's actually big enough to have a board). I am seriously going to be so worthless at it, but I feel obliged to go.

That is one of the toughest things I have found about being a mom. Before S came along, if I wasn't feeling well, I could just stay home and take care of myself. I could work from home if I wanted to, nap all day long if I wanted to, stay in my jammies all day if I wanted to, and never leave the couch if I wanted to. And, then my husband would take care of me when he came home from work. But, now that I have S, there are really no Mommy Sick Days. It doesn't matter that I feel like ass -- S still needs to be changed, fed, played with, monitored to make sure she doesn't harm herself or anyone else, etc. And, she's too young to understand that Mamma isn't feeling well and that she needs to give me a break. I could probably get my mother-in-law over here to give me a hand, but then I would have to deal with her. She already calls me 2,483 times a day. I don't need to have her in my house, too. But, that's the topic of an entirely separate post...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Introducing "Why I Love You Wednesday"

I've been reading a lot of blogs from other moms, and I really like the idea of having a regular weekly feature like "Chafe My Ass Friday" on BlondeMomBlog and "Wednesday Advice Smackdown" on Amalah. So, I am going to institute "Why I Love You Wednesday" in which I am going to list a couple of things that my daughter is doing to make me laugh, smile, or remind me how much I love her. The reason for this theme is twofold: first, I just don't think I need the pressure to write something funny each week; and second, it will allow me to record all of the little things that S does on a daily basis -- kind of like a little digital baby book. So, here goes...

Why I Love You
-- When I was drying my hair this morning, you made me also dry the hair on Baby Bunny, Mamma Bunny, Raggedy Ann, and Baby Bear.
-- You yell "No" when you're doing something that you know you're not supposed to be doing.
-- You pre-emptively thank me when you want me to do something for you. In other words, if you want me to hold your cup, you first say, "Nanky, Mamma" and then hand me the cup.
-- You call body lotion, shampoo, and hair gel, "soap".
-- You're bossy as hell! All day long it's, "C'mere Mamma!", "Sit Mamma!", and "C'mere Darbu!"
-- You run after Darby trying to pick her up and pet her. I know that it won't be long until you're trying to dress up the poor cat.
-- You think that crackers, carrot slices, cheerios, and Veggie Booty are all cookies and refer to them all as "coo-coos".

Monday, May 08, 2006

There are no stupid questions?

I love the questions I get from my husband when our daughter is sick.

Him: Oh my God, she's burning up. Did you know that?

What I wish I said: Nice detective work, Sherlock. Remember, I am the one who called you at work three hours ago and told you that she had a 102 fever? Oh, and in the course of her crying and clinging to me all afternoon, I was somehow tipped off to her high temperature.

What I actually said: Yeah, I noticed that.

Him: Did you give her medicine?

What I wish I said: No. No I did not. In the time since you left for work this morning I have become a Christian Scientist. So, no, I did not give our feverish, miserable, whining two year old any medicine. She can tough it out.

What I actually said: Um, yeah.

God love him...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Hometown Weekend

Somehow I have found myself in the middle of a Leave It To Beaver life. Well, kinda. I mean, I don't vacuum in pearls like June did. Hell, I don't even vacuum unless threatened or shamed into it. But, what I mean is that I am living this almost idyllic suburban life. I know, I know -- so many folks deride this kind of "soul-less" existence. But, I really can't agree. I like that we live in a safe, clean neighborhood where kids run up and down the street to each others' houses. I like that we can walk to our neigborhood park and that I see half a dozen other moms pushing strollers on the way there. I like that I have a backyard filled with grass, flowers, and plants for my daughter to enjoy and dig in. I know that the detractors of suburbia quote the lack of diversity and culture, but in our little town, I don't feel like we're horribly lacking in those departments. At our playground, you definitely hear as much Spanish, and almost as much Russian and Mandarin as you do English. And, we have a great little downtown filled with a variety of cuisines and a theater that actually gets recognizable artists, comedians, and writers. I mean, I recognize that we don't have the level of cultural sophistication and diversity that our neighbors just 20 miles north in SF do. But, conversely, they don't have some of the advantages that we do here in suburbia. Do I sound a little defensive? Well, maybe -- although, that's not my intent. I am just feeling self-satisfied with the decisions that R and I made about where we were going to live and the lifestyle we were going to have.

Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh, I was going to describe our little suburbia hometown weekend. It was actually fantastic in that from the time we woke up on Saturday until Sunday night, we really didn't get in the car more than once or twice -- almost everything we decided to do was within walking distance. First, we walked our town's annual Pet Parade. That's right -- a Pet Parade. Yes, it's just as silly as you would imagine: people and their pets dressed up in costumes (often matching), contests for the prettiest pet, best costume, the pet that looks most like its owner, etc. It was schlocky and so much fun. S had a great time looking at all the woof-woofs ("dogs" in 1-year-old speak). Um, but note to the event organizers for next year: it's probably not a great idea to do a police dog demonstration to a crowd filled with little kids and toddlers. That's right, they demonstrated how our local police dog could take down a criminal in two seconds flat. In case you don't get the visual on that, imagine an eighty-pound German Shepherd racing across the open field to pounce and detain a "criminal" in front of 30 kids under the age of 10. Fortunately, R and I walked away and kept S from witnessing it once we caught the gist of what was about to happen, but I can just imagine the fear of dogs that took hold in some of those kids during that demonstration!

This weekend was also the festival for the local Catholic church in our neighborhood. It had just what you might expect: rides, games of "skill" and chance, food like cotton candy, snow cones, caramel apples, etc. They call them festivals here, but where I grew up on the East Coast, we called them carnivals. Ah, the church carnival -- so many reminiscences of being thirteen and holding hands with the boyfriend of the week, wondering if perhaps he might sneak you a little peck on the cheek before the end of the night (7pm). I saw so many kids there who reminded me of that time in my life -- only they looked WAY younger! I mean, is it possible that 10 year olds were walking around with boyfriends?! I mean, at 10 years old, I think I was still playing with Barbies. Okay, I was a little on the nerdy side, but still! Anyway, S was way to young to go on any of the rides, but she had a great time watching her dad win stuffed animals for her. And, when it got to be dusk and the older kids started showing up hand-in-hand, we packed her up and strolled back to our house tucked safely into Suburbia.