Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tell Me What You Think!

I know some of you have asked how to leave comments, apparently I had a restrictive setting on the site which only allowed "members" to comment. I've removed that now so you should be able to comment without hassle. (There is a drop down box at the end of the comment you can either put in your name or pick anonymous, no need to sign in - even though that option is there.) Please let me know if you have issues. If there are any other changes I can/should make please let me know. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Signs and Symptoms of MH

The first sign of the life long condition called Motherhood (MH) is usually the little understood condition Baby Fever (BF), though not always present BF can be a good indication that MH will become fully active shortly. It is worth noting that Fatherhood (FH) is symptomatically very similar to it's counterpart MH, the most noticeable difference between the two is the inital physical aspect of MH is conspicuously absent in FH.

The gestation period of MH is about 9 months and once contracted will stay with a woman until death. At the end of the gestation period there is a rather painful process that ushers a woman into the first truly active phase of MH. This process can vary in length from a few hours to a few days and intensity of pain is highly subjective, some women have very little while others experience much more, regardless of these variables this period is nearly always marked by a brief hospital stay. Once contracted the condition does have different phases, the beginning phase being the most active while later phases seem to allow for a certain amount of rest. The active phase(s) of MH may include, but are not limited to: lack of sleep, constant running, forgetfulness, a need to gather small objects, declined interest in world events, decreased attention to grooming (i.e: hair cuts, etc.), and a sudden interest in, or awareness of, the dangers of common household items. However, it is inadvisable to get comfortable in the later "rest" periods as an active phase of MH can crop up with little to no warning. It is worth noting that women who have MH will often have daughters who have it as well; the daughter's conception of MH will usually result in a sudden active period for these women - in some cases lasting years.

Unlike every other condition that can afflict a woman MH is the only one that is actively sought after by those who do not have the condition and seems to bring intense joy at the moment of diagnosis. Though a lifelong condition MH is managed without much medical intervention at all. Most women who have MH remain in good spirits and in fact most seem to find continued happiness and comfort in, and from, MH. Though MH does remain with a woman throughout her life it appears that the condition increases her quality of life rather than diminishes it (the very earliest stages of MH being excluded). MH, in short, is not a life ending condition, rather a life altering one; but as many a MH veteran can attest it is not at all an unwelcome diagnosis.

Monday, May 24, 2010

They Only Need You When You Sit Down

As parents - and mom's especially - we pride ourselves on the development of that phenom "the eyes in the back of the head." Children it seems have also been wried with a sixth sense of their own: the uncanny ability to tell - down to the nano-second - when a mom has gotten comfortable somewhere. It never fails. They will wake spontaneously from naps with a howl, magically lose ALL their toys and need them retrieved from behind couches or another child's mouth, or they will be overcome with a sudden desire to be read to. Either way whatever they want it is bound to interrupt the "rest" and busy mom has found.

Now on the other hand the busier you are as a mom the more likely it is the child will be content to build miles of train tracks or color peaceably in coloring books (for once not attacking your library). Piles of laundry and dirty bathrooms yield compliant kids - 5 minutes on the couch? Complete anarchy.

Go figure. On the upside I tend to have lots of clean laundry and toilets on hand. I guess that counts for something.

(Encase you are wondering how I managed to write this (since blogging is apparently restful as far as my girls are concerned): I have broken up no less than 3 attempts to feed Isabel something small and plastic, hugged Abby after she fell off a child sized chair (while attempting feeding 2 with her sis), and rescued my sunglasses, phone and sundry kitchen items from the hands of my toddler - who was attempting to offer them to the baby for chewing purposes. And mind you, this has all taken a scant 10 minutes to pen. Now imagine if I'd wanted to watch a full 30 minute show!?)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Why Walk if Someone Will Carry You

If Isabel could talk I think she would look at Abigail and roll her little baby eyes and say: "If you just sat there and looked cute someone would eventually come along and carry you around so you wouldn't have to do anything. Ever. Now sit down! You're ruining it for the rest of us, you over achiever!"

Isabel seems content to be a baby forever. She rolls over like a champ but does not seem interested in crawling, or sitting up, or generally making any attempt to move into the older baby phase of childhood. She held out for the better part of a month when it came to baby food, seeming to insist - as much as an infant can - that such an addition to her diet was both unnecessary and unwelcome. She has grudgingly begun eating sweet potatoes, but the glares I get at dinner make it clear she's swallowing against her will.

While I might seem like I'm complaining, I don't mean too. I love it! Abigail spent the vast majority of her infant months frustrated: that she couldn't sit up, that she couldn't crawl and then walk, that Cheerios seemed to get in her eyes and not her mouth. It was a year of irritation for her, or so her little sour looks seemed to say. Our second daughter is relaxed and at ease with her abilities, she seems to have no greater frustration in life than trying to manage to fit 4 fingers into her mouth rather than the usual 3.

It makes for a wonderful infancy, full of giggles and only the occasional glare - usually aimed at me as I try to encourage her grow up faster than she wants to. I should enjoy these moments, because if Abigail has taught me nothing else it's that kids will grow up faster than seems possible.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lions, Dragons and Bunnies... Oh my!

We have embarked on a new adventure with Abigail: her imagination. Just yesterday I went to get into the shower while Abby was in the room with me - privacy is myth as far as I'm concerned, rather like Yeti: I'd have to see it to believe it. Anyway, Abby pulled back the shower curtain and announced: "Mommy! There's a lion in there!" "Really?" I replied as I peered over her shoulder expecting a lion-shaped bath toy to be hanging out by the drain, but no. The tub was empty. This lion was invisible. "What's a lion doing in there, Abby?" "I dunno" she said and wandered off to pop some imaginary 'popcorns' under the bathroom sink. Then today the lion was back and still Abby had no idea as to why a lion would be hanging out with me in the shower. She also announced there was a pink bunny in the corner of the bathroom too. Apparently we have a zoo forming. Then at dinner a dragon was hiding under glasses of juice and innocent looking tableware. Amazing!

Considering the potentially scary nature of some of these new house guests Abigail seems unperturbed. She's just announces when they arrive and then seems rather surprised when she looks again (such as after my shower) and finds them to be gone.

It's fascinating to watch her imagination grow day by day, she is becoming more and more creative all the time. I'm sure she'll be having her imaginary friends over to tea any day now - and maybe then she can ask her lion to kindly schedule his bath time after mine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just call me Mad

Lately Abigail has given up calling me Mom - or for that matter Mama or Mommy, too. Right now she can't seem to decide what she wants to call Josh or I so she's invented a Mom-Dad hybrid word to make sure that no matter who she's speaking to, we're all covered. There are two options in Abby-speak: Mad or Dam. It's great. Really. I'm Mad and Josh is Dam, or wait, is it I'm Dam and he's Mad? Who knows. The short of it is that Abigail has taken to speaking in a kind of code that goes far beyond the usual dropping of vowels in a new word or warping the pronunciation so that only a Mother can translate. We have come across the hilarious "ca-bees" which so far as we've figured means "because" and "flamnnnngooma" (which when spoken is about 6 syllables) that means flamingo.

I feel as though I need a dictionary to navigate her childhood. Each day I stand before her earnestly trying to decipher what she means this time. Pointing helps but at least a half dozen times a day I get an exasperated look from her (who knew that the "gee you're stupid Mom" looks that teenagers have perfected begins at 2) and she tries again to explain what she's after. Poor girl, so often I just abandon the project and try to distract her with her favorite toy/snack/game. I can only hope that when Isabel reaches this age Abby will still speak toddler sufficiently to translate. It seems like such a small hope in a life: to have someone else tell you what in the heck your ticked off toddler wants - even if it's your other toddler!