Monthly Archives: March 2012

Bipolar Parenting

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I have a bit of a case of what I refer to as bipolar parenting. I am in no way bipolar and do not wish to make light of what I imagine would be a difficult disease to live with, but it’s the best way I can think to describe this parenting style. I am either neurotically obsessed about something, researching to death all the ways BPA can harm my child or why television and electronics rot their brain, contributes to obesity, actually does nothing for their language development and stifles their imagination or I refuse to even think about, concern myself with or address any risk factors associated with say wearing synthetic clothing, giving acetametaphene or ib profen to an infant or educating myself on potty training techniques. (But I do really want one of these biodegradable potty training toilets). I’m not sure if this stems from some form of a survival tactic, as in if I approach everything this way I think I will eventually be living out the lyrics to Spanish Pipedream (preferably sung by the Avett Brothers) ” Blow up your t.v., throw away your paper, go to the country, build you a home, plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, try an find Jesus on your own”

While on some level that sounds like a really great idea, nice little house in the country, organic gardening, some part of me just isn’t there yet oh and I still need a job. The part of me that still occasionally buys polyester and refuses to acknowledge or pay for things like organic cotton unless on sale or educate myself on the pros and cons of each.The same part of me that simultaneously loathes plastic toys but makes an exception for Legos because certain pros outweigh certain cons. The same part that refuses to educate myself on actual parenting styles so that I have options and tactics for things like discipline, other than skimming the occasional articles I come across on the internet or that one of the many parenting websites emails me and catches my attention. Yet, I did my first flip in parenting approaches, not necessarily on purpose the other day, and the result has me leaning toward reaching the neurotic again, packing it up and moving to the country. When Brecken was born I debated. endlessly. researched. endlessly. and asked. annoyingly. what everyone and anyone’s take on vaccinations were. I knew people who did, who didn’t, did some, changed the distribution, you name it I probably had heard of it done. For personal and what I chalk up to medical reasons including I knew my children would be around unvaccinated children and that certain diseases were again on the rise (pertussis) among the benefits of vaccines I felt outweighing the cons, I ultimately opted to vaccinate Brecken with all typical childhood vaccinations. I did however request a very specific schedule to limit the amount of vaccines that entered his body at a given time, delaying some vaccines over others. This worked well and other than a few extra trips to the clinic for shots we didn’t have any problems.

Then along comes Pippa and where that horrible second child syndrome comes in, the idea that “eh well the 1st one lived through it” bad mama parenting. I didn’t even give it a second thought really, I was too swept up in all that was parenting two children under 2, work, life etc. I vaguely thought of it at her 2/4 month appointments but in neither case did she really have that many vaccines and she made her way through each perfectly fine. Then Monday was her six month appointment. Pippa’s a little on the small side, nothing concerning more just a fact, she’s a little slight which may or may not have played a factor into what happened. When it was time for vaccines they told me she would get 3 shots and an oral and I remember vaguely thinking whoa that’s kind of a lot for a small tot to handle but then I had Brecken pulling at my leg and Pippa crying and I let it go. She was in a foul mood the rest of the day and felt a little warm. I gave her a Tylenol/ib profen rotation (Note another thing I am strongly resisting the urge to think about/medicating my six month old) which didn’t seem to be doing much good. She woke up about 2 a.m. burning up, for whatever reason fevers really freak me out in babies, so I was none to happy to find her temp was 101.3. Really!!!!! 3 months ago this would have required a trip to the E.R. Was she really that much more developed? Her poor little body must be seriously working to fight something. I gave her some more Tylenol and got very little sleep. The doctor’s office assured me this could be a normal reaction and should clear up in a few days. If not to come in. It took about 2 days for the fever to wear off which was just enough time to really beat myself up about not staying true to what I really believed and slacking on my parenting. While you might be saying, she could just as well got a fever if you had spread them out, I know that, but I will never know if that’s true because I didn’t and that’s what bothers me. On some level, I failed her. While ultimately it won’t be the first or the last time, it has made me realize how easy it is to sort of sink into this comfort zone of parenting for round 2 and just because she wasn’t first in line doesn’t mean that she doesn’t deserve just as much neurotic obsession as the other =)

Vaccine-in-leg

Vaccine-in-leg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just to remind us all how much shots suck, really don’t you just cringe looking at this!!!

Apologies to my Children…

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What’s in a Year?

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I recently had a conversation with a friend who expressed a desire to stay her current age, which had me thinking, what’s in a year or what’s in an age? I once expressed such a desire but at a much younger age, I told my grandmother once that I always wanted to be 14. I remember thinking back then that you had your whole life ahead of you. At 14, life was full of so many possibilities and I just wanted to capture that moment and live in it in infinitely. Clearly I didn’t think it through, I couldn’t even drive at 14. Needless to say my comment didn’t sit particularly well with my grandmother and while I’m not sure precisely how she interpreted it, it was a sore spot for a while. Reflecting on all of this now, I don’t associate any age to my actual physical condition but really to what happened around me in life in that particular year. Not that I wouldn’t like to stop the aging process, but for instance, the age in question, was a horrible year for me, I was just graduating from law school, taking the bar exam (that’s enough to make anyone whose ever had that pleasure misery, want to forget that year of their life) and trying to find a job. Since then life’s been a lot of chaos, I have had some interesting medical maladies including being told I may never have children (clearly that’s not the case), being told I may never walk again or may never walk without some kind of aid again (I can walk though I still have occasional issues when running, this story will be a post one of these days for a little bit of back story on me and my epidural nightmare) and then had two children while commuting to work 70 miles from where I lived. While I don’t believe any of this is cosmically tied to the current age I was when those events happened, that is how I associate them:

@ 26 they told me I may not have children…

@ 27 I proved them wrong with Beautiful Baby #1 and almost never walked again….died my hair red, really bad choice.

@ 28 I got pregnant with baby number two, take that Doctor who said I may never have children, and thought oh crap what if this time I really do never walk again….got rid of bad died hair and went back to my natural color for the first time since umm high school?

@ 29 I finally got rid of that damn commute and beautiful baby #2 was born, excellent year so far, oh and finally let my natural curl take over

It’s amazing how much your year can be tied to a hair style or color. Clearly these years were far more eventful than that but that’s really the jist of it. I wouldn’t want to stay any of those ages because if there’s anything I’ve learned, at least at this age, each year still brings new and greater things. Now ask me in twenty years and I might have something different to say. You are talking to someone who fears death immeasurably, to the point it causes me small panic attacks at times. But I look forward to watching my children grow from tiny humans to hopefully wonderful, compassionate and humble adults and meanwhile this year, I will raise a glass to toast 29….again.

Come on, I didn’t say I wasn’t at least a little vain…and I am female, we never reveal our true age, at least after a certain point, which I may now be reaching.

 

 

Photo Credit: Someecards.com

Today You are Six Months Old!

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Dear Philippa Brynn,

Today you are six months old or 262,974.383 minutes and counting!!!! Goodness, I thought it would be more minutes than that. You’re also probably wondering who Philippa Brynn is, since we never actually call you that. My darling Pippa, oh how time flies by. It seems like just yesterday, I was begging the Doctor that you needed to come early and behold, twelve days before your due date you lazily made your way into the world on a Friday afternoon. It’s funny how once you have children it’s as if you’ve always had children, the way you just fit into the puzzle that is our family.

The differences between Brecken and you have been evident since day one, and I love to see all the little things that make you uniquely you. They say that it isn’t really until around now that a babe’s personality really starts to shine through. But you, you must have a big personality, because it’s been evident since day one. You are such an observer, studying everything put in front of you, when you could finally hold objects it thrilled you greatly and you turn them over in your hands and then like most babies, right into the mouth. You love to laugh, especially at your brother who takes great pleasure in making you giggle. You have mastered the art of rolling over and take this new-found ability very seriously.  While you cannot quite sit up yet on your own, perhaps a result of your petite physique, you love to stand and I am nervous you are just going to skip crawling and start running. You’re a bit on the serious side my sweet baby, you make us charm you for those smiles, but when we get them they’re worth every moment. Only now after six months on this planet are you finally giving us an inkling of a routine and only an inkling, never fully willing to commit to something like a normal nap schedule. Yet your are the most content baby I know, nary a cry comes out of you unless it is for some serious grievance. So on this special day, when you are already halfway to a year, I hope you know how much I love you and how much I look forward to our journey ahead.

Love,

Mama

First Feedings Fun

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You want to stick that sword spoon with cereal in my mouth you’ll have to fight me for it!

Pippa will be 6 months old tomorrow and is just being introduced to the joys of baby rice cereal.

I’m NOT feeling very Pinny lately!!

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Don’t get me wrong I love Pinterest, I love the idea behind Pinterest, but at the same time, it seems like it’s just another way of reminding me what a failure I am or can be. I don’t need to be the last girl picked in dodge ball heck I don’t even need to play dodge ball. I pin all of these great ideas and have sworn that each week I will try to make/replicate one of the pins that I find and admittedly have found some great recipes and kids crafts. Yet sometimes I find myself staring at Pinterest and internally screaming GOD I UNDERSTAND I WILL NEVER BE F%CK*NG PERFECT so please stop pinning all these amazing crafts/ideas that only those annoyingly perfect mothers whose children don’t suck all of the energy and life out of their mothers on a daily basis can do. Assholes.

I get that I am the mother at play group whose hair looks like she doesn’t own a brush (stupid natural curls I curse you), who most often has spit up on her arm and nearly always finds some random stain caused by my toddler’s sticky fingers only after I have pulled out of the driveway. I notoriously fail to remember to bring a diaper bag and am as a whole generally the one unprepared for whatever the activity may be and often leave thinking how do the rest of them do it. I’ve come to accept that and know that I LOVE my children and they LOVE me and we have a LOT OF FUN together albeit messy, crazy and totally disorganized, but I just don’t need crap from Pinterest. So when all you perfect mothers pin your crazy ideas about how I should spend that rare free time I have to make DIY dolls that are ridiculously cute and I really want one, I also kind of want to be sick. Do you people really have time to do that, if so I think I might hate you a little. Needless to say, I might need a hiatus from Pinterest.

Fiona’s 15 Minutes of Fame

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Fiona’s life: Parents, doctors powerless to save baby.

I am asking begging you to take a few minutes out of your day, your life,your time to please read this article. While we are being swamped with KONY 2012 and Invisible Children videos everywhere you turn, I ask that you take a few minutes to think locally, all the way to western Wisconsin and instead of thinking about the thousands of children suffering, think about one. Think about Fiona. Fiona will never understand that you have given her a brief chance to be in the spotlight, her 15 minutes of fame have you, but her parents will, people who I have never met but pray for all the same. Parents who are living every parents absolute worst nightmare. Fiona was born with a rare genetic disease known as GM1, and so as soon as she was born, she basically began dying a slow death that will eventually take her life almost certainly before the age 2.There are no cures, nothing to slow down this certain end, no where to run for experimental procedures or even false hope. It simply doesn’t exist. Because of her ever weakening condition, she will not be able to reach those milestones that we as parents strive to help our young babes and toddlers accomplish, walking, talking, playing small games like patty cake and peekabo. So I ask you to take a moment to gain a little perspective and truly appreciate how blessed many of us truly are. For all of my complaints I have two beautiful children and a wonderful family and after reading this late last night, instead of cursing that my six month old is still sleeping in our bed, I pulled her close and kissed her sweet head and truly appreciated how lucky I really am. Please don’t mistake this post for a pity request, I am not asking you for pity, Fiona will not benefit from your pity, nor will her parents, I am asking you to be proactive. To take this tragic story and at the very least pass it on, raise awareness about a truly tragic disease out there and if you’re truly a kindred spirit, please go to the link below and send an online letter of support to your local government for rare disease funding. So that perhaps some day fewer parents have to go through what the Kings are/will.

www.rarediseaselegislativeadvocates.org/index.aspx