Thursday, June 30, 2011

10 reasons to not get pregnant again

I used to think women who had children close in age were crazy. Until I had Miss M, in all of her perfect-ness, and immediately felt a desire for another. What could be better than Miss M? Two of her, of course!

Lately, that urge has become so strong, it's all I can think about. So in an effort to restore my sanity, here is a list of all the reasons I should NOT have another baby right now.

1) Poop. Let's just say it's nice to be regular again.

2) Bridesmaid dresses. One of my dearest friends has asked me to stand up with her next fall, and it would be nice to fit into a normal-sized dress. (Because her wedding is all about me, of course.)

3) Fun with friends. It would be more fun if I was neither nursing nor pregnant for any of the four weddings being planned for next year. And I could throw myself one helluva 30th birthday bash. (Who cares if it's two years late!)

4) Sex. It's nice to want it again. I'm sure my husband agrees.

5) My dear Miss M. I want to treasure every moment with her. A new baby would be a distraction.

6) Morning sickness. Momnesia has successfully dulled my memory of this, but blog entries attest to what was apparently a miserable first half of my pregnancy.

7) Pregnancy brain.

8) Waking up six times a night to pee.

9) My already aching back.

10) Post-partum recovery.

What am I forgetting?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fathers, be good to your daughters

"Any man can be a father. But it takes a special man to be a dad." So read the plaque on my father's dresser. Ironic, considering we have been estranged for nearly 15 years. By my choice, not his. Recently divorced, he reached out to me via my sister, the only member of my adoptive family with whom I have stayed in contact. She reluctantly informed me that he requested my presence at a family dinner for father's day.

My initial reaction was to think of as many excuses as I could to justify not going. For one, this is my husband's first father's day, and I intend to make the day about him. I'm in a good place, I have my own family now, and I want -- need -- to protect that. Then there's the the impossibility of showing up and pretending like I grew up in a "normal" loving family. And the fact that I have no desire to have a relationship with anyone from my adoptive family, including him.

Then, the more I tried to justify my feelings, I got angry. Why, after 15 years, do I still feel like I have to justify my decision to define family as the people with whom I choose to surround myself? And who does he think he is, asking me to recognize him on -- of all the holidays -- father's day? Suddenly, I am 16 years old again and seething with angst.

The day I moved out of my parents' house was the day my father pinned me to the dining room floor and hit me repeatedly. It wasn't the first time things got physical, but it was the last (at least with him. I wish I could say he was the last man who ever hit me, but that's another story for another time). There is no way to justify how something so stupid as a radio playing in the morning escalated to that. My mother picked the fight, there were heated words, and suddenly my dad got involved. It shouldn't have been a big deal, but that was just one of many incidents over years of feeling marginalized within my own family. The irony is that it was my mother who initiated most of the abuse. But it was my father who refused to stand up for me. Refused to protect me. And occasionally became the aggressor himself.

Both mothers and fathers are supposed to love their children unconditionally. But fathers, especially, have a responsibility to protect their children. To stand up for their children and themselves. To show their daughters what a real man is made of, so that their daughters will know to settle for nothing less in a mate.

Well-meaning strangers have attempted to give credit to my parents for the fact that I appear to have "turned out" all right. What they don't know, what my close friends don't know, what even I didn't realize until now, is that maybe I'm still not all right.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I can hardly believe my daughter is 9 months old. It's incredible how quickly these past 9 months have flown by, especially compared to the months preceding them. Or perhaps it's not the speed of time so much as the enjoyment of it. I love being a mother. Except for occasional reminders from friends who are still enjoying life without children, I hardly remember mine. Miss M is my morning sunshine and evening delight.

Does this mean my transformation is complete? If so, I couldn't pinpoint the moment it happened. Perhaps it was the day I put an entirely pink load of laundry in the dryer -- clothes that were pink when I purchased them. (The horror!) Or perhaps it was the day I first extracted one of her boogers with my bare finger. (The satisfaction!) Maybe it was during those first nights at home, when she was wide-eyed awake, and we were bleary-eyed enthralled by her every newborn move. Or maybe it was the first moment our eyes met -- both pairs dark and puffy from the strain of labor.

I love my baby girl. I would give my life for her in an instant. And I hope, when she grows up, she knows it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Miss M's first word

"Uh-oh," she said, looking at me after chucking her toy off the changing table. I wasn't sure I heard her right, so I picked up the toy and gave it back to her. "Uh-oh," she repeated when the toy hit the floor again.

And did I mention she is crawling?!