Her Bad Mother

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Pull-Up Pant By Any Other Name Is Still A Hat

What does one do when one is almost exactly two years and four months old and is very, very excited about the birthday of one of one's most bestest friends, a birthday that is formally today, but which won't be celebrated until Sunday? Why, one starts partying in advance, of course. Which means, one needs a party hat. And if one does not have a party hat with which to party, well, then, one must simply improvise with whatever one has on hand. Or bottom, as it were:

It's clean, in case you were wondering. She's pretty fastidious that way: dirty pants are immediately deposited, by pant-wearer, in the bathroom, regardless of whether the potty has been involved. Clean pants, well. They can end up anywhere. On any number of dolls, stuffed Muppets or plush phallic symbols. Or on one's head. Which, really, is the most festive of all options, don't you think?

Happy Birthday, Mister H. We loves you lots.


Have you taken THE DARE yet? Instead of issuing a Flashback writing prompt this Friday, Tracey and I are pimping the Dare of Truthiness: reveal your true, unmade-up self to the world! In a photo! On your blog! (Alternatively, you could write just something about the dare - you know, just go with truth, if you're skittish about photos - but you'd have to be descriptive. So that we could make-up our own mental picture. Which could be better or worse.) If you do it, link us up and/or let me know in a comment to my Self-Portrait post.

So far, participants include:

HRH Sweetney (she started it, so any and all cursing - or props for bravery - should be directed at her)
Dame OTJ
Mme. Breed 'Em And Weep
Missus Mamalogues
Mrs. Flinger
Madame Izzy
Ms. MotherBumper


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Self-Portrait Of Truthiness

When my good friend Tracey took the very brave step of revealing her self - her true, untouched, un-madeup, un-caffeinated, first thing in the morning self - I thought, wow, awesome, so brave, you go girl! Then I muttered something to myself about the virtues of cowardice - Aristotle argued that an excess of courage was, in fact, a vice, and I live by that argument - and maybe something about would shoot myself in the head first and then wandered off to make an espresso.

But mid-coffee - and, yes, I am aware that this may have been the caffeine talking, even though it was Starbucks Decaf Espresso beans that I used - it occured to me: what, exactly, would be the big deal about revealing my morning face to the world? I mean, really - my morning face is not so much different from my afternoon face and my evening face. Sure, it's maybe a bit more crumply, but here's the thing: I am a work-at-home mom. I have a two-year old. I am 7-plus months pregnant. I don't give a shit what I look like anymore.

**Somewhere, in the mists of time, my twenty-year old self (she may, in fact, be in a huddle with all of my previous selves up to and including the self that I was until about the eight-month point of my first pregnancy, at which time I was still wearing pointy-toed heels for fun and spending $50 a tube on Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat for under-eye circles) is right this very minute shrieking in horror. I believe that she may be screaming something to the effect of didn't we swear to take ourselves out back to be shot if we ever gave in to frump? Didn't we swear that we would NEVER EVER become Slovenly Mom? Didn't we swear to always, always care about what we looked like and to never, ever give up on make-up and straightening irons and Bliss products and... BOOM (*twenty-year old head exploding*)**

I'm sorry for the loss of the esteem of my vain-glorious former selves, but it's true: the aesthetics of hair and make-up and fashion have slid to the very rock-bottom of the list of things that I am currently worrying about. I mean, I'm not a total frump-monster - I manage to get out of the yoga pants before going anywhere other the grocery store, and I do, occasionally, brush my hair - but still. If you look at me first thing in the morning, and then again mid-afternoon, I think you'll find that the one state is virtually indistinguishable from the other, save for, perhaps, and I do stress perhaps, a change of clothes.

As I said, I just don't care. I'm too tired and busy to care. Beyond the minimal task of ensuring that I don't terrify my husband or alarm the neighbours, I've just stopped working on my appearance in any concerted way. And, for the most part, for now, I'm happy that way.

Which brings me to the following point: why not share my Self-Portrait of Truthiness with the world? It's not like its anything you wouldn't see if you stopped by coffee (which, would you? I could use the distraction. And if you do, could you bring some chocolate croissants? kthx). So, herewith - The Untouched, Unedited, NSFW Self-Portrait of Truthiness:

Wait - how do you work this thing? where do I point it? am blocking head... whoops... NEED COFFEE... here we go...


Self-Portrait of Truthiness. Behold, and be afraid. Or encouraged. Whichever.

I dare you to do it too.


Wonderbaby is much improved, as of today. Too much improved, maybe. Thanks for all the love.

Also, if you're interested... I'm singing the eco-praises of Bob The Builder here, still angry about that abortion protest here, and even angrier about Dr. Laura here. Also, had a bit of a rant about Christina Aguilera and why everybody obsesses about celebrity post-partum weight-loss, here. Which, yes, been there, ranted that, but still. I'm nothing if not a parasite on my own issues.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hold Me, Now

Wonderbaby is sick. Not in any terrible, life-threatening way - she has a bad infection of the tonsils that probably is or involves strep throat - but in a fully mother-alarming way. She's simply never been sick like this, sick to the point where she spends much of the day slumped and lethargic and glassy-eyed. When she had chickenpox, she bounced off the walls. When she's had flu, she continued to practice her bookshelf base-jumping. Even when she was 11 weeks old and had a mysterious fever that propelled us into the ER at the Hospital for Sick Children, she was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and boisterous to the point of freaking out the paediatric surgeon (there can't be anything too seriously wrong with an infant this lively, ma'am.)

But this time, she's sick. She tries to rally - the medicines ease her discomfort a little and she tries to summon the energy to leap from sofa to coffee table and back again - but her little body just isn't up for it, and she falls. And then she gets angry and upset and the combination of her frustration and the pain overwhelm her and she cries and cries and cries and then curls up into a tired little ball and MY. HEART. BREAKS.

I've spent a lot of time holding her, these last few days. She's ordinarily not a cuddler - she usually vibrates with energy until the very moment of falling asleep, and can't be bothered to stop for a snuggle unless she's stopped short, momentarily, by a boo-boo or a fit of temper or tears - and so it feels precious, this collection of moments during which she curls her feverish little body into mine and settles there, a baby, my baby, seeking comfort and safety and love. But it's a bittersweet kind of precious, precisely because she's seeking those things as an escape from her pain and exhaustion. I miss the hastily-proffered hugs and kisses, the drive-by snuggles that she dispenses like so many favors - because Mommy asks for them, needs them - during the frenzy of her go-speed-racer day. I miss them, even if they are not so prolonged and intense as these comfort-seeking huddles, because they are so uniquely hers. They are how she expresses her love, her fierce, intense love - in rapid, passionate doses. The head bent for a kiss as she speeds past me in the hallway, the sudden, spontaneous grasp of my leg or arm as she leaps out from behind the door, shrieking boo!, the rapidfire loveyoummommybyemommyloveyoubye as she races out the door, with Daddy, to school - these are her. These are the expressions of love of my Wonderbaby.

And yet, and yet... there is something that I'm loving - guiltily loving - about the solemn quiet that has descended upon our little nest. She lets me hold her until I'm too tired to hold her any longer; she cuddles up against me and falls asleep with her head against my chest and I can feel my breathing slow and my sighs deepen as I let myself feel needed, really needed, as a mother, as Mommy, in a visceral way that I haven't felt for more months than I can count on all my fingers and toes.

And then I feel guilty, for feeling anything other than distress at her weakness. And the silence, then, is deafening, as I kiss her hot cheek and wipe back the damp strands of hair from her forehead and wish, with all my heart, for my little speed-racer-rebel-angel to come back to normal, to come back to me.

And then run away, again, as she always does, and always will.