Because I could not stop for death....

I got knocked up instead...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Parenting Contest

I've come to realize a lot since I had my second daughter. I can't be everywhere, I don't have 6 arms, eyes in the back of my head or a terribly large bladder. I also came to realize that my kids are different, and cool in their own ways. They aren't necessarily "better" than other kids-perhaps they are smarter, or bigger or faster, but are they better?

I sat on the bus today in front of a young mother with her gorgeous little girl who was about 15 months old. It being the bus, and the girl being a young toddler, there were many "sit the bum down" comments. The mother became quite irritated. I KNOW that feeling.

I started feeling superior. MY kid would never be like that (yeah, RIGHT). I wondered if she was going to hit her. She didn't, but I saw that helpless rage burning.

Then I felt like shit. I've been there, so why did I feel so smug?

I see another lady a lot who lives in the low rentals up the road from me. Her kids are likely 7 & 9 maybe, and I think she does it all alone. She yells at them. A LOT. But if it's just her, and she's exhausted and tired and just can't do it anymore, is it bad parenting, or a shitty stick? I felt superior, then I felt terrible for thinking she was a bad Mom. I should have offered helpo instead of thinking the worst of her.

If instead of making it a competition, we helped eachother, wouldn't that be best for everyone?

I've decided that going forward, I will offer my help. I'm sure it will be rebuffed, but the thought counts....

Half of me wanted the yell, the other, offer help. I did neither. I'm

Monday, September 26, 2005

Oh look, breastfeeding Nazi's!

So I'm reading one of my favorite blogs, Conversations about Famous People, and what do I find in the comment section of an entry joking about how Britney Spears is having trouble breastfeeding because of her implants: A divisive, bitchy argument about "breast is best"

Among my favorite comments, (not a direct quote):

"I'll enjoy the +5 point higher IQ my daughter has from breastfeeding."

Nice. Real nice. And the "discussion" basically surrounds this one woman who stated that formula was just as good, and how she is terribly wrong, and horrible, and just bad. She gets NAILED to the wall. On a gossip blog. Now, this woman didn't sit there saying it's a replacement, and better, and you should use formula instead. She stated it's just as good (which is debatable-I don't even believe that myself) and easier, and less icky diapers.

Now, none of those things are reasons to not breastfeed. But because this woman did not detail her personal reasoning behind not breastfeeding, she was basically crucified. And I found that really ironic. I particularily loved the holier than thou attitude that came thru in all the "pro-breast" posts.

Personally, I find bottle feeding easier myself. I have large breasts, and I'm not little. Finding a position to breastfeed in was well nigh impossible. Would I suggest formula as a first option. NO. Would I make someone feel like crap because they state formula is near to breastmilk? NO.

So why is it cool or in vogue to denigrate people for stating their opinions about things? I know it's an uphill battle reintroducing breastfeeding into our culture which, quite frankly, is NOT suited for breastfeeding mothers but really-acting like a bunch of 13 year old girls, does that make anything better, or easier?

For those women like me who feel guilty because we didn't/couldn't-are you helping? Do these people realize that they are alienating those they could "convert" in order to get a pat on the back from their cronies? WHY OH WHY can't we act like adults for once, and use knowledge to change things, instead of intimidation and plain old shittiness?

I smoked while pregnant with Vivian, and I am ashamed, and embaressed that I could not quit. I didn't breastfeed due to a bleed, depression, and just plain old alone and unable to do it all. Is she smart? HELL YEAH. No matter where we are, people comment on her skills, her vocabulary, and my favorite, which recently came from a beautiful older lady, who had already raised her children long ago...." Well look! I've never SEEN such a happy child!"

As a few of you commented on my previous post, you would NOT have bonded to your children the same if you had of forced yourself to continue breastfeeding. Vivian is everything anyone could want in a child, and the only thing she received was two days worth of early milk (the name slips my mind right now). She is 25 months, and she speaks in full sentances, using possessives and proper nouns, can run, almost jump, is beginning to potty train and sleeps in a bed. So I guess that extra 5 points for IQ would have really made a difference.

You know what the difference is? It's the time I take to educate my child. It's the time I spend playing on the floor with her. It's the time I take explaining what spiders do. It's the proper english I speak to and with her. It's the respect I give her as a person. THAT is what makes her one of the happiest, smartest kids you'll meet. Am I focused on her playing a concerto by 6? No. Do I think she will one day be a leader of something, hopefully NOT a terrorist group? YES.

And at it's heart, this is what frustrates me about the breastfeeding debate. I spend a TON of time thinking about and analyzing my parenting skills. I read up on theories, I read psych texts. I think before I do anything with her, because I do not believe in parenting by instinct. Do these women, who preach endlessly spend that much time really thinking about who they want their children to be in the future, and what they can do to ensure that? Or do they blindly follow what others have taught them in the past, regardless of usefulness, because they think the breastmilk does it all. Do I have any right to feel superior to these women, as they seem to feel superior to me for not breastfeeding?

To be continued as "The Parenting Contest"

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Cancer Eyes

I just watched the video for Melissa Etheridge's new cover, "Refugee"

I noticed two things:

1. She is TONS hotter with short hair.
2. Women who have or had cancer all seem to have the same look in their eyes.

What is that look? Is there a shared secret once you've faced down the beast? Do they suddenly know something I don't? Or is it peace generated by being forced to come to terms with and accept your life and those things in it?

She looked like my mother.

I'm 28 today. And I'm sad, and I don't know why. I don't give a rat's ass about getting old.

I think I miss the things I think I should have. Like someone saying "happy Birthday" the minute they see you, not three hours later when they remember.

Aside from Mother's Day, I hate my birthday next.

Monday, September 19, 2005

6 Months on, I'm still guilty.

As always, I prefice this by saying I FIRMLY believe that breast is best. And therein lies my issue.

When I was pregnant with Vivian, I imagined breastfeeding with ease. I imagined this easy bond forming.


First comes Post Partum Depression. Then comes a baby swimming in a sea of boob, searching for a nipple. Then comes no milk, since Mommy lost so much blood, and isn't eating due to depression.

No one ever mentions the following:
  • Breastfeeding is REALLY FUCKING HARD.
  • You will SMELL.
  • The kid does NOT just latch.
  • Big boobs makes it twice as hard.
  • Your hormones will go completely, and utterly nuts.

I understand that now, organizations like La Leche League are fighting an uphill battle against formula, ease of use, etc, etc, and are doing what they feel is necessary. But you know what? People like me, who really wanted to breastfeed, but couldn't due to PPD, and no help, end up feeling guilty forever about it. When people ask, you lower your eyes and mutter "well, I did try."

With Rosalyn, I was physically able to breastfeed, and I think back on the short period of time in which I did so as this halycon moment. What a wonderful feeling it was.

Of course, this is totally disregarding the memories of me thinking, "Gee, I could just throw her out the window, and then take myself into the woods with that very large bottle of muscle relaxants." I stared that that bottle for weeks.

Finally, my father and husband sat me down and told me I needed to make a choice. See, we have NO family out here, and my father only stays for the winter. In the past, women had their families around them to help with the house, the other children. That means you can spend the first few weeks, basically in bed feeding your child, and resting.

I had to choose between my sanity and my daughter's breast milk. And I feel quilty for choosing me. She's healthy and cool and HUGE! And I still feel quilty, because there is this movement out there that makes you feel like less of a woman because you couldn't, or wouldn't breastfeed.

If I had a mother nearby to help, I would have. If we had anyone, I would have. I become infuriated with the basically raised nose tsk tsk's that many of the articles and books I read have about those of us using formula, with only a token nod to the women who cannot do it because their lives are at risk. It makes me guilty, and it makes me angry.

6 months on, and I still feel guilty for putting myself first.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thinking Thursdays: William Carlos Williams

In my never ending quest to expose you (yes YOU!) to more poetry, may I present,

Born 1883 Died 1963.

Quoted from the Yahoo! reference entry: (see also the Wikipedia entry)
"Williams observed American life closely, expressed anger at injustice, and recorded his impressions in a lucid, vital style. He developed a verse that is close to the idiom of speech, revealing a fidelity to ordinary things seen and heard."

In other words? He made ordinary, everyday life magical, which is why I love him. Because I love him, you get TWO poems.

This is just to say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
Retrieved from ""

To a poor old woman

munching a plum ont
he street a paper bag
of them in her hand

They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand

a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her

Read them out loud. Taste the words. And the plum connection is totally inadvertant.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Friends don't let friends have babies.

I don't have many friends.

Don't get me wrong, I could. They're always available, until of course, I chase them away with loud, obnoxious industrial crap, and my general lack of desire for human interaction. Friends bother me. They WANT things. Things like time, and opinions that aren't correct...i.e. "That guy who said he loved you when he had a wife in Winnipeg who was preggers? Nah, that's cosmic. No WAY he's an asshole. Nope." They want me to be nice. Fuck that.

But then there is Diane (not her real name). When I was about 11, I was friends with her older sister, Joan. Joan and I went to different schools, I moved, shit happens. You grow apart.

I moved back to my hometown, and Diane was going to my school. She was weird, and seemed like a bitch (hey-it was grade 11 ok!) but she lived up the street, and was at least vaguely interesting, unlike the other 99.9% of people in town. I started conversation at the bus stop about some lame hardcore band, just to have something to say. Her mother had moved them to live with a boyfriend, a relationship that then failed, so they moved back. I had been living in the same vague area, so it was a start. (As a sidenote, Diane's mother is this incredible woman who I have TONS of respect for. BUT, she cannot pick a man for shit. What IS that?!?!?)

We hung out the rest of my time in high school, two peas in a pod. She had hung out with my old friends after I moved, we liked the same things, more importantly, we HATED the same people. She was on student council, and could get me out of class.

After high school, we both went on to school like we thought we should, and we both dropped out. No one told us we'd be paying 10,000 a year for boredom. She started doing her thing in film, while I, floated, flitted. I've never been able to choose one thing to do when I grow up. Seems so limiting. I had planned on being the crazy lady with cats writing poetry anyway.

For awhile, we both lived in Toronto, so we saw eachother. Of course, she has this irritating habit of making her friends like eachother, and I have two irritating habits,
  1. I hate going out in public and meeting up with people
  2. I don't like other people's friends, or being forced to meet them
  3. I'm notorious at keeping appointments or plans.

Ok. That was three. My point is that I'm just as annoying a friend as anyone, perhaps more so. We didn't see eachother all that much, because of work, time, money, ickly boyfriends, etc. My job was moving to hell (aka NB, Canada) and I was suddenly busy as I was moving with it. She got mad because I couldn't go to her party before I left (however, she DOES know all about my party phobia-she chooses to ignore it sometimes). We didn't talk for at least 6 months. I was also honestly busy that night. She couldn't be bothered to just come have a beer with me, so fair is fair.

So I move. We keep in touch, sporatically as we always do. She does interesting things. I get pregnant. She visits, and with one kid, things aren't that different. Life is almost the same as it was.

I get pregnant again. She comes to visit.

Suddenly, I'm a mom this time. And she doesn't like it one bit.

See, Diane is a planning person. She' s a producer type person at work, so she spends her days planning, charting, coordinating, etc, etc. She cannot NOT do this. I on the other hand, work on a "we'll see what happens" kinda plan. Part of me is lazy, the other half likes the scheduale the kids are on. I can fuck with that later. Right now, my sanity is important.

Diane wanted to go places, see things, do stuff. I HATE doing stuff. I like sitting, and talking, and just chilling out. I've never understood why people on vacation want to do stuff. I can't wait to take a week off in a cabin the woods somewhere.

I could tell she was annoyed, and it sucked. I wanted to say "let's just go, I'll dump the kids on someone!" But I can't. We have no family here, and our sitter just quit (not like I could afford to pay her anyway) My life, for the moment, is constrained by my children. I don't mind, because it won't last.

I tried to explain it, but just as I didn't get it when I was childless, neither did she. She wanted ME, and sadly, ME just isn't available now the same way it once was. I know she felt the same gulf as well, and it was kinda, well, shitty.

I know our relationship will survive this, cause it's survived worse. I just suddenly felt so fucking grownup, regardless of anything else. She worries about paying rent. I worry about feeding my kids. I worry about the effect 9/11 will have on their lives. She babbles about peak oil. I find shopping for kids clothes at the thrift store fun. She can wear a kids size 14.

It just sucked to see, to feel that space between us, to actually see that she sits on the other side of a bridge that spans this river of change and maturity. She'll cross it I'm sure, in her own time. I just hope that she let's me hold her hand across it.

Friday, September 09, 2005

So....the doctors are smart, right?

Vivian goes to hospital.
They do tests. She has pneumonia.
She comes home with Zithromax.

3 days go by.

Our family doctor calls.

"is she on any antibiotics for her urine/likely bladder infection?"

" They didn't say she had that. They gave her antibiotics, but not for that."

"Hm. I'll ask the doctor if that should be ok."
"well gee, I'm a little worried, could you call me right back when you find out what we should do?"

"well, the doctor isn't in until Monday, but we'll call you , actually, if no one calls, you call us, ok?"

I feel confident in my medical system. I know for a fact that anytime I've had either a urine or bladder infection, they've known the second they look at the urine sample. They took one and tested it that day (or so they said). Since she had a drastic temp spike, it would make sense, since I've had those hit like a ton of bricks.

Fucking hell...does ANYTHING work in this province?

And to top off my week (which began with VIvian having a seizure and being rushed to hospital via ambulance), my sitter quit early, we can't find another, I have something viral, vile and annoying, I'm trying to work from home today, Vivian is apparently trying to nix a nap since she SCREAMS blue murder when we put her down AND they're ripping up the street in front of the house, meaning she CAN'T sleep if she even wanted too.

GREATGREATGREAT. AND now she's yelling OW for no reason. Which might have a reason since I have no idea how she got pnuemonia, or a bladder infection (if she actually has one)


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

7 Things: A meme story

From REDMUM (who incidentally, takes KICK ASS pictures)
Seven Things I Plan To Do Before I Die

  1. Visit Machu Picchu
  2. Publish at least a Chapbook
  3. Be skinny just once without illegal drug assistance
  4. Travel with each daughter alone for a summer
  5. More tattoos. LOTS more.
  6. Have my own private studio space
  7. Love my life.

Seven things I can do

  1. Write poetry
  2. Sing (wellish-13 years of smoking mostly knackered my voice)
  3. Parent (despite my arguments otherwise)
  4. Cook
  5. Feel-I'm a WEE bit sensitive, like you haven't noticed
  6. Knit & Crochet
  7. Hitchhike without fear

Seven things I can not do

  1. Drive-never learned
  2. GO near bees-GIBBERING TERROR-think little girls screaming
  3. Dive. Never learned how to plug my nose
  4. Play any wind instruments. Unless you want something John Zornish
  5. Pay attention....bright shiny distract...what was I saying?
  6. Stay mad. I get over things quickly, hence the, "I love him, I hate him" posts about the Dorf
  7. Wear thongs on my butt or feet. I cannot STAND that flossy feeling in either place.

Seven things that I find really attractive about the opposite sex

  1. Wit
  2. Gentle kindness
  3. Ability to withstand a comfortable silence
  4. Integrity
  5. Honesty
  6. Passion for something, even if it isn't me.
  7. Myself reflected warmly in their eyes

Seven things I say the most

  1. "Dude"
  2. "N-O means Nu-Uh"
  3. "Is that really necessary?"
  4. "let's NOT run with scissors, hmm?"
  5. "I see we're experiencing a rectal cranial inversion again."
  6. "People here are idiots"
  7. "What's that smell, and where is it?"

(wow. I'm SUCH a mom)

Seven Books I love

  1. Good Omens : Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman. Should be required reading at all Catholic Schools. The footnotes are the best.
  2. The Edible Woman: Margaret Atwood. I twisted that book into more essays than should be legal.
  3. Jane Eyre-Jane Austen: Every girl needs something depressing
  4. The Belgariad: David & Leigh Eddings (Since I'm convinced she wrote the women) It's a series, but it's good solid characterization I'd like to see in a movie. Opens some interesting religous discussions as well.
  5. ANY Elizabethean books from Alison Weir. EXCELLENT writer of history. It really comes alive.
  6. Aygar by Steven Brust. Just beautiful tale of love. And a broken heart that bleeds from the pages. Melodramatic in a good way-and excellent and undervalued author.
  7. Magician: Apprentice & Master: Raymond Feist. Aside from my complaints with his female characters at times, always excellent plot and strong stories. I find these two his strongest works.

Wow. This meme was actually fun. Let's see....

Nat, Rocker Mommy, Lou, Raida, Joker, Kidlet, Karen....(not sure if everyone reads me, but worth a try.) Let me know if you've done it. This one is fun!

Happy back to school for those with kids that old!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thinking Thursday: Nature Sucks

While I'll spend my time arguing about why people did not evacuate, why governments did not pay to better prepare the area despite numerous warning about the problems inherent in the city and area, etc, etc, on my other blog, and some I frequent, I'd like to take a minute here to be sad about it.

In many cases I'm coming off as a strident jerk since I'm incensed that so many have died because of poor planning, stubborness, lack of money, lack of time, lack of so much. I cannot STAND stupidity, and hence my irritation with the entire thing. Watching the looting and general chaos rising from it just makes me even more sad, since most of of would like to believe people are inherently good.

And I feel helpless, since I'd like to help, but I'm too far away to house people (no room anyway) don't have the money to give, and I can't figure out just yet how to start gathering donations, since the thought of losing all my childrens clothing and items makes me even sadder.

So to anyone who also reads my other blog-I'm not heart less. I just can't stand it when people die and it could have been prevented.

Vivian Dianne Sara
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