Monthly Archives: May 2008

sketchcasting

Sketchcasting: Coffee

WordPress still refuses to let me embed. Sorry:) Argh. I am having some “bail out and go back to Blogger” thoughts lately, but I’m loathe to start over again. It’s all just so damn much easier there, and now I own my domain name so I could use it there, just…. blah.

strange skinny

This week an old lover popped up on MySpace. *Snort* The word “lover” sounds so serious. I’m not the type to have had “lovers”. I mostly have just hooked up with nice enough partners or been a wife or wife-type figure. So, I usually call this dude a booty call in conversational Daisyspeak, or an ex-boyfriend if I want to appear to have been a decorous and virtuous girl who would refrain from odd, unattached, recurrent sex with interesting gypsie-like people. Or, here, I think I called him a satyr when I blurbed our brief hotness during all the sex posts.

So. I was surprised to see that he’s gained a lot of weight. He was boney-angular-I-cut-myself-on-his-hipbones skinny when we had our brief groove thing. Now he’s pretty chunky. I was really surprised, because his skinny body seemed very much part of my concept of who he was. Somehow that his body was trim and light, all cat-like and martial artsy, was part of the power I saw him as possessing. His willowy body was proof that he owned his body more than I owned mine- and fundamentally it seemed that his compact, thin body was superior to my loose softness. (It’s weird to compare body size with a male- I have never been so conscious about the weight disparity in spite of being with other skinnier guys. You know that thing where a woman will complain her guy is prettier than she is? It was like that maybe…)

It spurred a lot of thought about who I was then, and how I’ve grown like a star going supernova since then. My body is the same weight and size as it was then- with the new gift of an even softer belly with silver stretch marks. I am so much more in my body, though. I have an increasing sense of unity with it, a knowing that “I am it” rather than “I am in it.” I imagined having a partner with that sinewy taut body and thought how different it would be now, that it wouldn’t intimidate me. Of course, I am still unsatisfied with carrying more weight than I feel is comfortable. I sense that in a different way- as a health and spiritual goal more than some sort of flaw in my beauty or person. The whole musing was an examination of the relationship between weight and sexual power. I have decided that I’d love to feel an ever-increasing connection with my body’s motion. Need more workouts, more dancing, more sex. That’s what it’s about- moving the body, honing muscle and finding its harmony with bone and balance. The power we exude is in our confident motion, not in some pose in the mirror.

(It was a pleasant little stock-taking. Very nice to arrive at an idea that I’ve improved myself since that time when I was a mess of a girl. It wasn’t even so long ago. I reflected being with Bu most of the intervening years, how my energy with him is infinitely more me than it had been with the satyr. I thought about mom dying, and how that was an instantly, powerfully sobering experience. It was dizzying and nauseating to be flung so quickly into ones own future. It started a profound change deep within me that motherhood has completed. I wish this old gypsie friend well… he has also lost his mother and gotten married.)

women in the bible

Just in case you’re curious why I’m all loving of the Wicca & Goddess faiths and am a Unitarian Universalist, this sums it up pretty neatly. How cool is it that my church sent this out on MySpace?

First, my own quick notes:

1. I’m not sure I agree that all organized religion has oppressed women, but all monotheistic religions seem to have this history.

2. Thoughts on the whole “suffering in childbirth thing”

OK. It hurts, but seriously, it is not unliveable, anaesthesia-necessitating pain. I had an exceptionally hard birth with no epidural and can very confidently say that these pain-relieving measures are unnecessary in a normal birth and the risk factors by far outweigh the benefits- again, for a normal birth.

The pain is definitely affected by the legacy of woman-negative religious teachings that are referred to later in this document· Fear is a huge part of the pain- we tense up and fight our bodies. (Get a midwife and a Doula! They’ll help enormously!) I propose that rather than to complain that religious fanatics have denied women anaesthetics, we instead recapture the normalcy and beauty of natural birth.

3. I feel a little need to qualify the whole Freedom from Religion stance here. I deeply respect this viewpoint, in no small part because of these examples to follow. It’s just weird though, because I’m pretty much all about re-creating religion in a woman-positive and life affirming way, with a healthy dose of intellectualism and skepticism coming along for the ride.

OK…. enjoy:) Continue reading

commercialism, laziness, and not so much with the weaning

We’ve ordered a Little Mermaid cake. The Bird is obsessed with Her Fishy-taled-ness lately. I’m cranky. There’s a thread on my local mommy board about how many of the mamas shun licensed characters and TV. It brought up some icky feelings. Loving the concept of monitoring all that your kids are exposed to and keeping their childhood as innocent as humanly possible. (Also am very sick of fast-forwarding through the scary bits and feeling guilt for letting her watch videos that are too mature for her. And in less coherent moments of annoyance, raging at Disney for being such a twisted bunch of scary fucks in the first place.)

However: I’m absolutely too exhausted from thinking about every little thing. Also pretty sure that a Disney-inclusive childhood did not ruin me. She has massive mermaid squee and it’s hard to ban anything that makes the munchkin that freaking happy. (The video came in a load of hand-me-downs and she was enchanted from the moment she saw the box. A fishy! A princess! A princess who is fishlike! zOMG!)

Is it just laziness that makes me resent the feeling that doing things in accordance with my parenting intuition is a constant uphill battle against everyone and everything in our environment? It’s not a real big deal to me, this Disney Princess thingy- I suggested the cake theme. It’s just swimming ’round there in my brain, being examined. I’m just sick to death of feeling like I have good ideas but not doing anything about them because it’s easier to flow. Swim with the school. Snerk. I just wonder what it means that I take the easy way so often… I’m pretty sure it means

I am very, very tired
and have to cut myself some slack from the uber-granola ideals I have.

To address that, Bu has suggested that I leave the house a few nights at bedtime to let him take over. Maybe I can sneak back in and she’ll stay in bed with him. The weaning trend has reversed, and I’ve had to nurse her to sleep and through the days too. Then, of course, all through the nights. As tomorrow is the birthday, I think Friday night will be a better time to start the experiment. It also happens that a bunch of girls are going to see Sex and the City and have drinks that night, so the timing is good.

The Ariel thing isn’t all fraught with commercial anxieties, anyway. I read the Hans Christian Anderson story when I was young and I love it, so there’s some sentimentality watching her love the story too. Maybe I’ll get her the real version when she’s older and I’ll feel better. I had thought of making my own illustration and having a non-Disney mermaid cake, but- again- exhausted.

greetings from the house of sick

Bu and I have had a lot of quality time. We’ve both been struck by a wrathful scornful god some upper respiratory gunk and have been laid up in bed for a few days. He’s a couple days behind me, so he seems to have pre-empted the really fun part wherein my eyeballs started seeping pus. Sorry, but it’s so effin’ gross I couldn’t not blog it.  Poor little Birdy is staying with the grandies for her protection, as she seems to have escaped our snotly, sore throated, and feverish fate. Also ear-infected. We know how to party. We have been competitive to amuse ourselves, but it’s no contest: my fever went higher, and plus the eyeball ick. I suspect that Bu scored better drugs though. We saw different doctors at Health Plus and his name brand samples are much prettier than my generic amoxicillin.

We have just completed Season 4 of Buffy, and have embarked upon a full series marathon of Firefly.

Oh, and remember how I took a “mental hygeine” day Monday? Yeah, I got sick that night and missed an entire week of work. And no, I don’t get sick days. We also cancelled our annual giant cookout-beer-garage-band party that would have been tomorrow. We’ll reschedule.

mommy propaganda?

I was invited to participate in another benefit show (this one is for Artists Against AIDS later this summer.) The theme is propaganda art, which should be stunningly retro-hip and witty. I’m thinking peace will be an overriding motif, and wonderfully so. I think I should go my own specific little crunchy way and do something about mothering or breastfeeding or something. I’m thinking maybe about how we sexualize babies’ food sources, i.e. boobs are not primary sexual organs. Or, I may go the “feminist isn’t a dirty word” route and vent some rage against young girls’ squeamish hesitance to use that word.

do they have wiccan toddler exorcists?

I’m taking a mental hygiene day, but I don’t feel very clean in the brain. Couldn’t make my nap work, so I’m swilling coffee. The child has been possessed by snot and some kind of malicious entity that has turned my zOMG sweetest natured baybay ever into a hysterical, rabid little mess. Sleep the past nights has been teh bad.

I have (so far) less frustrated burned-out mom feelings and more heartbreaking empathy and that thing where she pulls my heart out with her tiny fingers and opens it right up and it bleeds all over the place. I cannot stand to see her so raw and freaked the fuck out. I think I’m chill enough to project the idea that one of us is in a place of stable normal function. I am not entirely sure, though. She looks like a feral kitten plunged into ice water, and her big blue eyes that look into my soul on good days are full of this mad, fearful spazziness searching me for answers I can’t give.

Her triggers seem to be sleepiness, including the everyday waking in the morning kind, which means that every weekday there is a massive nuclear meltdown on the changing table; bathtime, until I climb in with her and hold her tightly for a long time, and then another one when I take her out; overstimulation, which paired with her cold and naplessness yesterday for the worst freak out to date.

Tactics attempted include:

-desperate boobie offers, rejected out of hand by the child who is now apparently totally weaned during daylight hours but MUST have nummins if she so much as stirs during the night.

The Dr. “Happiest Toddler” Dude caveman approach. Not working. I might not be trying hard enough to match her intensity. I still feel a little nuts doing it. (The speak Toddlerease thing did, however, totally pwn a tantrum thrown by E, the Birdy’s BFF.)

-gentle, hippie mama chanty soothingness

None of this seems to diffuse the worst part; I am unconvinced that anything could. (Or should? Does she need to vent this rage? Is it natural as a hurricane?) After the really bad part passes, I am very good. The aftershock involves a request to “hold” and/or “rock” and songs and stroking and whispered shhh’s and all the newborn stuff I was so good at and crave like comfort food. (I seriously will have to get a lapdog or a new cat if she gets non-touchy as she grows up. I am a big cuddly kissy touchy person, and new babies are the best snuggly thing in the world. I should hire myself out as a babywearing nanny.)

I haven’t tried ignoring her- shocking, no? I am not sure I am capable but it seems rationally to be a good strategy, if coupled with lots of loving attention during non-tantrum times. Bu wants to spank her. I can’t believe we are still discussing that as an option. I can’t write about that without coming across as insanely pissy and maybe elitist or something, and spouting terms I hate to use like “redneck” or “white trash” so I’ll spare you the ordeal and just say that I take issue with aspects of my husband’s upbringing. My opinion is also colored by my brother’s being spanked in anger and arguably emotionally abused. I’m not calling spanking abusive across the board but my momtuition rankles.

So, mamas:

Open call for advice! No flames allowed or expected. Suggestions to lock her in a dungeon or duct tape her mouth shut will be considered delightful black humor and dismissed, but seriously… has anything worked for you? Does she just need a Roary?