Welcome to my less than perfect life!

Embracing the imperfections that make my life practically perfect in every way.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eyes

Three and a half years later and I still lie awake sometimes worrying about those eyes.  Eyes of a tiny, newborn boy.  Eyes that I never got to see.  I wonder if I had seen those eyes what they would have told me, what I could have known by looking into them.

Three and a half years later and I still see the nurse rushing through the room with the tiniest boy I had ever seen.  I never saw where she took him.  By the time I was sewn shut, he was inside of his incubator and wearing what I thought of as his super hero mask.  The mask that protected his delicate young eyes from the harsh lights of his new home.  I never saw those eyes.

Three and a half years later, I sometimes press The Mister for details that he will never be able to give me because I can't really tell him what it is I want to know.  He was taken to that room beyond mine with that tiny little boy.  He got to look into his eyes.  He got to see him before the tubes and the ventilator and the nurses and the IV's came between us.  I try, from this distant place, to feel what he felt when he saw them.  I try to know how my baby boy felt coming into the world.  I try and decode through my gentle and patient husband what message that little boy was sending us.  Did he, like myself, feel hopeful and strong?  Had he known that his time on this earth would be short?  Might he have been reassured by meeting my eyes?  Might I have been reassured by meeting his?

Three and a half years later and, on nights like tonight, I get down the special box that holds everything that my little boy ever was or ever will be.  I hold his tiny diaper and his tiny hat.  I read through the kind and loving notes left by family and friends for him and for us.  My fingers stroke the soft blanket and hat given so kindly by the NICU staff.  But it is that mask that I come back to again and again.  If I had only been able to see my son beyond that mask.

Three and a half years later, I see him lying in my arms as he took his last breaths.  I ache for the touch of him.  I ache to hear the slightest cry from his lips - something to tell me he was normal and that somehow he was stronger than we had given him credit for.  But most of all, I ache for him to flutter those eyes open, to see that we are there for him, that we are right there in the hardest moments of our entire lives and that we wouldn't choose to look away or be anywhere other than right there in that room holding him.  I want so much to look into his eyes and try and communicate that he was enough, that he was just what he should have been and how sorry I am that I couldn't do more, be more.

Three and half years later and I know that for the next three, or thirty, or three hundred, I will wish that I had met those eyes, just once.  I will miss my son.  I will wish for and long for and regret and feel anguish.  The pain is less, it's true, than it was at first.  Though I still think of him every day, most days I don't cry.  Most days I focus on the daughter who is here, on the family who I love.  I can know that part of my son's legacy is to allow me to be a more present mother and wife and friend and daughter.  But on days like today...

I would give anything to see those beautiful eyes.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Who is recording this children's music? And why?

One of the things my daughter enjoys is listening to CD's while we drive.  My car doesn't have a DVD player in it (I know, the humanity), but I've never found that to be an issue as she has always been perfectly content listening to her music.  Her father and myself, we miss our music.  But we tolerate hers because she enjoys it.  Some of it is even kind of good.  A lot of it, however, is just down right disturbing.

The Mister came to me the other day with this proclamation:  "I am thinking about throwing out that CD we've been listening to with The Nugget.  It has come to my attention that no less than five animals, maybe six, lose their lives during the course of CD."

I can't disagree with him here.  Dying animals doesn't seem like such an awesome theme for children.  I mean, yes, animals and all living things do eventually die.  I'm just not sure that's a topic I want to explore with my child on the way to, say, the zoo or her grandparents' house.

One of the songs which was in The Mister's line of fire is a song about some pigs who "go oink, oink, oink".  Evidently the author of this song feels pretty strongly that the pigs "ought to go wee, wee, wee, wee."  So strongly, in fact, that said oinking pigs end up dead as a result of their refusal to stop their oinking and join in the weeing.  It is my (admittedly rudimentary) understanding that a pig's natural instinct is to oink.  It goes against their nature to say wee.  I am aware that in the "This Little Piggy" game a pig does, in fact, say "wee wee wee all the way home", however, I am going to go ahead and call this an exception to the rule.  My point being, why are we killing pigs for displaying their own natural behavior?

And while we're on this topic, just because you have a sweetly voiced adult or a child singing something, that doesn't make it children's music.  I am confused as to how the song "Darling Clementine" has worked it's way into this genre.  Has anyone ever listened to the words?  SHE'S DEAD, PEOPLE!  I mean, yes, it's a love song, but it's a mournful love song about how Clementine drowned and he is unable to save her.  Is this really the kind of mood we want our kids steeped in?  If I decide to record a CD of children singing songs like Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and Marilyn Manson's "Sweet Tooth", does that make it children's music or just really freaking creepy?  Are we just going by the titles here, or what?

I guess we're just lucky that we dropped the practice of playing music for The Nugget before she fell asleep when she was only a couple of months old.  I can only imagine if she were falling asleep to some of this stuff.  I feel scared just thinking about it!  I am sure we would be waking to screams over dead pigs and drowning women.

I suppose the people we really ought to be mad at are the recording studios or record executives who release this music.  After all, artists are often known to be limit-pushers and the population is general is filled with the mentally ill and perverse.  So I have to blame the gate holders for not barring the door a little more tightly to those who would ask for access to our children. 

I would be remiss, as well, if I didn't accept some responsibility as a consumer.  I can shirk some off on the fact that nearly all of our children's CD's were gifts.  I can also say that, based on the fact that they were CHILDREN'S CD's, I thought they would be okay.  Finally, the fact that songs about murder and mayhem are sandwhiched between classics such as "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "I'm a Little Teapot" does not exempt me from my basic parental role as protector of my child.  The fact that I assumed based on titles alone that the songs would be appropriate for my two year old does nothing but, as the saying goes, make an ass out of u and me.  Or mainly me.

Anyway way you put it, I see no alternative other than to come up with a complicated rating system for all children's music.  I will form a coalition!  The coalition will petition congress!  We will take back our children's innocence one song at a time!

Or maybe I'll just hit fast forward.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Shhhhhh...it's Saturday

The Nugget scours the pumpkin patch for the perfect prize


She finds one that is just right

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A-Ranting we will go!

Okay, so there's a bunch of stuff that drives me nuts.  And somebody has to know about it other than me.  Sooooo...

1.  Low talkers.  Speak the freak up already.  This chick I work with talks in a constant whisper, and not a loud whisper, a super-quiety, my-baby-hasn't-slept-in-a-week-and-if-we-drop-so-much-as-a-feather-she -will-wake-up kind of a whisper.  What's the big freaking secret?  SPEAK UP!

2.  Coughing.  I have been coughing for something like a week and a half.  The doctor says it's bronchitis and will resolve itself eventually.  I am inviting it to do so ASAP because I CANNOT take it anymore.  For some reason, the cough especially seems to kick in when I make any sort of professional phone call which is so absolutely awesome and not mortifying at all.  No, I promise I've never smoked a day in my life even though it sounds like 2 packs a day.  I promise.  Also, all the freaking coughing is giving me a headache.  Enough already!

3.  Babysitters.  Okay, to clarify, I don't hate babysitters in general.  In fact, I don't even hate any specific babysitters.  I just hate trying to find one.  We don't live close enough to any family or friends for them to help us out in a consistent way.  We've been lucky enough to have the daughters of a couple of friends of ours help out from time to time which has been great, but those girls are growing up and have their own lives and interests that don't neccesarily allow them to spend time with my child.  Fine.  I advertised for a sitter.  A lovely young woman came to interview and I liked her a lot.  I usually have fairly good instincts about people, so I asked her for her references and plan to hire her if all is well.  It's just that I'm pretty sure if she's some kind of lunatic, she probably has some lunatics who are willing to serve as references for her.  So what if all of the references I call are in fact co-conspirators in some evil plan?  I am sweating and tearing up even as I write this.  WHY THE HELL DON'T WE LIVE NEAR FAMILY???  Nanny-cam, where are you when I desperately need you?  Maybe we can spend the first date just parked down the street and sneaking around peeking in windows and such.  Just in case.  Totally worth the money.  But what if THAT'S all part of her evil plan, too?  Be cool the first time just in case they're sneaking around.  *Sigh*  It's exhausting trying to keep a child safe.  It was so much easier to actually be the child and never worry about my own safety at all.

4.  Phone calls.  Again, I don't hate all phone calls (though I am really not partial to talking on the phone).  The ones I hate typically fall into one of two categories.  First, hang up calls.  About a million times a day I get a phone call at work where the caller hangs up when I answer.  I am not sure if they called the wrong number, weren't looking for me in particular or what, but I am so done with the hanging up situation.  Stop bugging me.  Two, the call-back calls.  This is also a work issue.  I am plugging along when I get a phone call and after I politely answer with my name and the name of the hospital I work at, I get, "Yeah, somebody called me from this number."  Mmmmkay.  Look, genius, just becaue you have caller ID doesn't mean that you should have nothing better to do than call back every wrong number on your list.  My response is usually, "This is a hospital.  I have no way of know who might have called you."  Internally, my response goes a little more like, "If you don't stop wasting my time with this crap I am going to smack you down."  The most annoying part of this is that the caller generally gets all irritated with ME about the situation, like I'm trying to keep some information from her (I don't think I've ever encountered this behavior with a man).  Seriously?  I don't have time for this stuff.

5.  My cat.  Our oldest cat is certainly trying to kill either herself or us.  My guess is that she would be happiest if she could accomplish both at the same time.  Any time I start to go down the stairs when the light isn't good, she's lying just beneath the top step waiting to trip me.  Or, if I am standing and cooking in the kitchen, when I turn to the sink she is inveriably standing there, waiting to topple me.  The other day while rinsing raw chicken, I stepped into a pile of her vomit.  While barefoot.  The grossness of that alone nearly killed me, not to mention the fall hazard.  We feed her, we let her sleep in our bed, we mother her like our own child and this is how she repays us.  Not.  Cool.

If anyone can help me out with any of the above situations, I am happy to take advice.  And please, for the love of all that is holy, speak loudly enough for me to hear you!