I thought we were a little farther away from the Red Neck tree than that.

The story begins with a haircut, a boy who wanted to grow his hair long like all of the California surfers he sees suddenly decided he wanted it short again. I obliged. It also begins with a long conversation about mortality, the fact that all things living die someday is something we decided not to hide our children from, but to allow them to experience it as early as possible so that it forms an essential part of their world view and hopefully keeps them from the kind of trauma many of our viscerally insulated society experience when we first encounter death. We also think its psychologically beneficial to realize this about ourselves, and helps us to live more authentically. (Yes we are nerds and spend a lot of time talking about these kinds of things. What can I say? I liked the fact that he had a degree in philosophy.) It leads to interesting conversations sometimes. I don’t remember the convoluted route that the bedtime conversation took to get to the Boy saying, “But I don’t want you to die mommy.” But there we were.

I eventually convinced him that although I would die someday, I did not think it would be for a very long time, and that I hoped that by the time I died he would be all grown up into a man and wouldn’t need my help anymore, and maybe even he would have babies and I would know them too before I left him.

Before all of this however was my husband’s very redneck, white robe wearing, Hitler was a pussy because the holocaust never really happened, feed the baby coke in the bottle grandfather, whom the family has been trying to forget ever since.

The beginnings converge as I took some of his very long summer blond hair and put it in an envelope in his special things box with a label for year and season so I could remember how old he was when he had this hair.

“Why are you keeping my hair mommy?”

“So that when you are all grown up and gone I can look in this box and remember what your hair was like when you were 4, and I can remember this day when I cut it, because you won’t be a little boy forever, very soon you will grow up into a man.”

“Yeah, I’m going to be a big man, and someday I’m going to be big enough to build my own house and [my sister] will come and live with me and I will live a long long time before I die and when I don’t need you anymore, you might die but I will be a big man and I will be able to take care of [MY SISTER]!”

Isn’t it sweet how he cares for his sister?

“And then she will be a grown up LADY and she will have a daughter.”

I reply, “Really honey, so will her husband live in your house too, because normally a woman doesn’t get pregnant unless she is married.” (Spare me the PC lecture, he’s four, and while I am well aware that women can get pregnant without getting married, I’d like him to think that he can’t get any pregnant until he marries one. Plus, I’m not ready to go into all of the details about sex yet so we’ll just leave it there, Kay?”)

“No she won’t have a husband, because she’s going to live with me, and I think she’s actually going to have a boy baby mom.”

“Honey she won’t be able to have a baby unless she has a husband.”

“But I’m going to be her husband mom and she will have a baby because I will take her to the midwife and then the midwife will help her to have a baby.”

“Boy, brothers and sisters aren’t supposed to marry each other,” say I, as visions of Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator flash through my mind, ewe creepy.

The boy is starting to get upset, “But I’m going to marry her mom because I love her and we will live together and have BABIES.”

I just hope that by the time I tell him how babies actually happen he will not be interested in having them with his sister anymore. If not I will have to go find CA’s grave and rip him out of it to cuss him out about his lousy genetics.


Guilty Pleasures

I was given a free pedicure last week. I have never had a pedicure before. I know, I can hear your shocked gasps now as you wonder how a woman could get to 29, for real, I don’t have to start faking it until next year, without experiencing the bliss of sitting with her feet in a mini bath while another person massages, softens, and moisturizes her feet and then makes the nails look pretty. I’ve asked myself this several times. Maybe it’s because we didn’t have the cash for luxuries like that when I was little, a haircut was something my mother may have been able to fit in the budget once a year, so I didn’t ever go with the girls in my family. I’m sure that’s when it started. As I got older the practical part of me wouldn’t let me pay for something so, well, frivolous, but I always hoped that perhaps someone else would think that maybe I deserved on and get it for me. I dropped really loud hints about how nice it would be at my bachelorette party if someone came and gave pedicures. My sister, who was planning it, may not have heard as she had just discovered an unexpected pregnancy two days prior at the age of 19, she was a somewhat distracted maid of honor, and nauseous. And then as time went by, more opportunities seemed to present themselves and then just fizzle away. Then I met Sonya, who has her own business giving manicures and pedicures, and insisted that I had to have one, and then tell all of my friends to go to her of course.

It was very exciting to get my feet worked on, and I have pretty dark pink toenails with little white flowers on them with those little sparkle gems for centers, and I felt so good, and valued, and all around delighted with the whole experience.

I showed the Genius Husband my pretty toes.

“What kind of nail polish did you use?”

“Uh, I don’t know, pink.”

“Oh good, so you just exposed the baby to acetone that gets absorbed into every cell of your body instantly, and the baby's, and can cause birth defects.”

Stunned silence. “Um…I guess so.”

Sonya assures me that the nail polish is formaldehyde free but she doesn’t know about thalates, which are the things that I later found out when I read up on it that are bad for babies.

So now every time I look at my pretty feet I experience a mixture of guilt and pleasure, because they are pretty, and I may have damaged my baby getting them that way.


Last Night

I felt the baby for certain for the first time last night. I was pretty certain I felt it about three weeks ago, but last night as I lay on my back in bed I felt the unmistakable fluttering of another little being rolling their way around inside my belly. It went on for quite a while and has been with me all day today as well.

I lay there, not moving in case shifting around made it hard to feel, this person is not yet large enough to make me pay attention with every single movement, and I said hello to my third child for the first time. To me it feels like our first meeting, the moment when we first connect and our relationship is forged. I pushed and prodded at various little tiny parts that pushed back as we had our first silent conversation, and the mommy tears trickled down my temples and into my ears before finally wetting my hair.

And then I marred it by getting up to tell the Genius Husband about it.

“I can’t feel it yet you know.”

“I know, I just thought you’d like to know that I did.”

“Sure, cool…” in a vague and dismissive tone.

“Well I’m excited.”

“Of course you are, you’re a chick.”

“Well the reason I thought I’d let you know is because two babies ago you would have been excited and said hello to the baby and told it daddy loves you. Actually three months ago you were doing that, so I thought you cared.”

“Yeah, I guess I did.”


Tomorrow I will tell you about my blunder and how he was angry with me, and maybe it will look to you like he does on some level care about this child, just not all that enthusiastically at 1:00am.


HA, my macho boy.

The Boy is going to his first ever professional baseball game tonight. Padres vs. I don’t know. Since he’s not all that familiar with baseball, though in typical boy fashion he stops to watch it if he ever sees a game on a TV screen and says that it’s SOO COOOL, I took him through the Padres website and pulled up pictures of Petco Park and players and tried to help him realize that what he’s going to do is sit in the stands with his dad and uncles, while a bunch of men throw a ball around a field for a couple of hours.

He thought this was really exiting and did some of his signature cavorting; half cartwheels, ground rolls, loud exclamations of delighted anticipation, and, my favorite, looking as though he’ll burst if he stands still another second.

“That will be so cool mom, I’m going to watch the game…”

Are you ready for this, the mid-sentence segue?

“…and someday I’m going to go and watch DANCING ON ICE!”

I choke back a surprised chortle and through a very wide grin I ask, “Do you mean you want to go to a big ice stadium some day and watch ice dancing?”

“Yeah, I really like ice dancing, do you like it mommy?”

“Yes mommy likes it a lot.”

“Yeah that would be so fun. WOOHOO!”

And more cavorting ensues.

What makes this really funny for me is that I don’t think he has watched ice dancing/figure skating more than one or two times back several months ago during the Winter Olympics, and his dad hates it. I’m proud of my little Canadian born athletics loving boy for liking something beautiful, that’s a winter sport, and not knowing yet that it’s not cool for boys to get excited about ice dancing.

I’m back, Maybe.

I’ve not posted in a while. I’ve been too sick and tired and miserable to write anything I’ll let other people read. Most of my writing has been ugly, dark and whiny the last few weeks, and I won’t inflict that on anyone.

The combination of being pregnant, stuck at home (as in no vehicle and no public transit stuck), far away from friends and family, missing them and the city I used to live in, and the Genius Husband working 11 hour days and weekends, combines for a lot of unpleasant emotional breakdown and a lot of frustration.

I’ve come out of the funk a little bit, one new friend has helped, and perhaps some perspective, so I will survive, and maybe even write things I like again.
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