Mistaken Identity

It has been a long week marked by my first foray into an all-day, every day classroom since...well, since high school, people. Also, a week marked by the Mamacita's second illness (cold/ear infection). Not stellar. But there was this one thing...

(Day Two of Intensive Real Estate Seminar) A woman from class stops me in the bathroom. 'You know that guy sitting next to you,' she asks.


'Well, I'm very astute about this sort of thing and I think he has a crush on you. He kept looking over at you yesterday and then today he sat by you.'

Ok, then. The guy in question is a newbie college grad who looks about fifteen of his presumptive twenty-two years. He's good looking in a young, rob-the-cradle-and-pay-with- your-soul kind of way. Also, very East Coast. Very metrosexual. Anyway, he could be ZZ Top on a Harley for all I care. My post-pregnancy self loves her a little unexpected admiration once in a blue moon.

Never mind that the informant in question hardly qualifies as astute - by the measure of a classroom anyway. We're talking crushes here. That's an entirely different layer of insight. I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

Feeling a little puffy in the ego department I came home and relayed this tidbit to Geoff. 'You're his Mrs. Robinson,' he said. I can't discern which was more annoying, his absolute indifference about the purported crush or his comparison of me to Anne Bancroft.

Anne. F*cking. Bancroft.

What, am I aged? Surely Ms. B was far beyond my years when she played the role of the quintessential older woman. So I do the research. Cue the immediate ego deflation. Anne Banrcroft was thirty-six as Mrs. Robinson. I'm thirty-four.

Assume Astute is right. I'm not this kid's peer, I'm practically his Oedipal complex! I. Am. The. Older. Woman.

What fun is being the object of affection if it makes you feel ancient? I should take it a like a woman but apparently I am of stunted emotional growth. If only the body had followed suit.




File this party under 'C' for chocolatey good.


Open Letter to My Toddler

Dear Theron,

I should start with congratulations. You survived your parents for an entire year - it's all uphill from here. When I say, "It's been one helluva (EARMUFFS!) year," I mean it. And I mean it in a way that only first time Mamas and Daddies will understand.

Stumbling through your infancy was by far the most confusing, scary and exhausting thing I've ever done, cliche' notwithstanding. But as the cliche' goes on to say, I wouldn't trade this last year for anything. Nada. It's true. A lifetime supply of designer hoofcovers doesn't even scratch the surface of my interest.

Because meeting you - you, my Bearsy, Bearsalita, Mamacita, Little Mama, Theron Harper ball of squeezable, lickable, sniffable goodness is pretty much more than I can h
andle. It's been that good.

We got off to a bit of a rough start what with the 20-odd hours of labor (Mommy), the strep throat (Daddy), the mastitis (Mommy) and the dry socket (Daddy - god I really hope you got my teeth) but we got our groove on somewhere along the line and you were a trooper throughout. Still are.

There are too many things about you, things you do that I love, to list. But since you'll have forgotten a lot about the you of now by the time you can read this, I'll at least give you some highlights.

I love that you when you're ready to sleep you, with much purpose, pull the blanket over your head. Maybe we're watching your ceiling mobile or I'm giving you kisses with your stuffed Shamu but all of a sudden it just hits you, the tiredness I mean, and without warning you fling the cover over your eyes and it's good night Mama. Lights out.

I love that despite what all the books say you got your upper-right incisor before the upper middle one so that it looked like you had a fang for awhile and now, it's happening on the upper left side as well.

I love that your first word was 'Scout' as we predicted and that because you can't say 'kitty, kitty, kitty' you point out Ming by giving three short exhalation breaths a la Lamaze.

I love that after only three weeks at your Montessori school you entertain your teachers by greeting all adults with a Fonzie-esque (I'll be happy to explain that reference), 'Heeeyyyy'.

I love that you cackle maniacally at people just to make them laugh and when they do you get the giggles for real and then a full-on laugh riot ensues; that even though you're physically ready to walk you aren't quite ready to commit intellectually so instead you crab-walk all over the house, butt high in the air; that often at the dinner table you break into long babbling diatribes, gesturing wildly like a mini JFK (I hope you get that reference on your own).

There's a lot to love.

Today is your birthday. For the record, we started off at your 1-year doctor's visit (sorry...we're tied-up for the next 4 weeks and they wouldn't let me sche
dule it before your birthday...I tried...really). Afterward we met Daddy at the bank and turned all of your piggy bank money into fat cash for the Savings Account. Almost $400 - that's one porky porcine! Then we met Aunt Clutch, Uncle Will and Alice for lunch, wrapping up the day at home.

Your party is tomorrow. All the Colorado grandparents will be in attendanc
e as well as Auntie & Unckie. There will be cake. Chocolate cake. Not homemade, but then you already knew that, didn't you? I'm guessing our requests for college fund money in lieu of gifts (hey, you're one - a paper bag is fun for you) will be soundly ignored and you'll be buried in loot by day's end.

I worry about that kind of stuff - about consumerism and good nutrition and steering you toward creative play and away from gimmicky bells and whistles. I know I'll probably push too hard toward those ends. Let me apologize now for the first time though surely not for anywhere close to the last. For whateve
r it's worth, know that the motivating factor is not to make you into something but to keep your options open.

All I want for you is confidence and happiness and knowledge of self. I promise you, whatever decisions I've made in the time that's filled the space between me writing this and you reading it were made with you in mind. Your happiness in mind. Your health in mind. Your security. Because everything is about you now and for me, and for Daddy, it always will be.

Love, Your Mommy


We Got Spirit! What?

It seems we've got the Spirit at our house today. First, Jehovah sent some witnesses over and interrupted the Mamacita's nap. Then I learned all about the intrinsic superiority bestowed upon short people by the gravity wielding Flying Spaghetti Monster - thanks, Imperfect Mommy for the suggestion.

All that divine intervention got me to thinking about my own mortal soul so I stopped over at Belief O' Matic to test out their religious beliefs quiz. Take the time to answer and prioritize 20 questions and the Belief O' Matic presents you with a list of religions, in descending order, that exemplify your beliefs. Heathens and disciples alike might find their results interesting.

For the record, my top three:

1. Universalist Unitarian
2. Liberal Quaker
3. Theravada Buddhism

Now if I could only internalize all of that peace, love and understanding.


Word to the Mother

My fancy pantsy computer savvy Gramma Emailed me today...with attachments. The climbing fool is none other than my very own mama.

I couldn't be happier to possess such incriminating evidence - photos of my TYPE-A, professional bulldozer of a mother up to her tiny tow-head in mischief. Do you see her balancing on that rocking horse? I'm lucky to be here at all!

I'm guessing the Mamacita's recent attempt to scale all three stair risers to our loft doesn't seem so death-defying suddenly. Put down the phone, Mom. Stop calling Gramma to report my delinquincies as a parent because she sho' nuff has me beat.

Happy Mama's Day, Grankle! Guess I have to tell you about the blog now. (Maybe I'll let Nise do it.)


Real Families' Values

As you may know, the state of middle and lower income families in this country is abysmal. Single and two-parent families are struggling to pay for health care and basic living expenses, forcing many, who would otherwise stay home, back to the workforce and their kids into childcare. Or maybe you don't know because apparently these issues aren't sexy enough to catch the indifferent eye of our national media. Nebulous propaganda about 'Family Values' on the other hand, now that's news worthy.

Well the citizens' media strikes again. MomsRising.org! is a grassroots organization using the internet to connect people, educate on issues and bring real family concerns to the forefront of the public conscience. Of course there's more to it than that but see for yourself. Check out the site for their detailed agenda, current events, suggestions for getting involved and story posts from families who have lived it all.

After getting up to speed, a bonus! Do your Mom's Day shopping and support Moms Rising's efforts in one fell swoop. Hint, hint honey - raglan, size small.


Because I'm Sure They're Still Idiots

A few years ago my pal Nise went to Italy with an ex-boyfriend-revisited, his sister and a friend of said sister. Now she should have known better having had her fill of the Ex (hence, Ex) and the sister before. To illustrate I'll just say, imagine a trip to beautiful, historic Savannah. That's just what Nise had to do while in Savannah because the siblings-from-hell insisted on spending their time in a sports bar watching football. Eventually she left them there, sucking down light domestic beers and chicken wings at an equal pace, while she explored the city solo.

Italy was no better. Worse even because the sister took advantage of her brother's and Nise's tentative romantic state by making snide comments about everything from politics to touring suggestions to clothes. One morning Nise, who has always been env
iably chic, met her companions wearing an orange pullover and purple scarf.

The sister: Did you put those colors together on purpose?
Nise (if only in her mind): Can I borrow your Bass Weejun? I'd like to shove it up your ass.

After returning home, and making the Ex an Ex once more, Nise e-mailed some trip pics to me. One file caught my attention immediately with its catchy title, 'Smart Car and Idiots on Parade.' Naturally the photo depicted a tiny Euromobile dwarfed by the puffy American siblings.

I've always loved Nise's tales from her Italian ordeal and still laugh, years later, about the 'Idiots on Parade.' So yesterday, when dressing the Mamacita, I made my sartorial decision as a gesture of solidarity to my friend.

Cincin, Nisey!


Shout Out to the Founding Fathers

Although I've always admired political activism I've shied away from our local fray because, to my great consternation, we live in a hot bed of radical Republicanism. El Paso county has more than double the number of registered Republicans than Dems and is home to Focus on the Family, Betty Beedy and the Ronald Reagan Highway. I'm not talking madcap fiscal conservatives. We got us the Religious Right(!) - those zany purveyors of moral superiority. Engaging with these folks holds the same allure as say, hunting with Dick Cheney and so I lay low.

However, in attempting to put together a small development project in town, Geoff and I find ourselves navigating layers of beaur
ocracy a la the Planning Commission and the Trails and Open Space Board and the Town Council. We decided that our only tactical advantage comes from tapping into the grassroots activism that Manitou is known for and so, with our partners, we hosted a community meeting last night.

Due to inclement weather our on-site barbecue moved into our dining room while the father of one of our partners grilled up hamburgers and dogs on our deck and another partner, Robin, walked the room offering platters of food. It was exactly how I'd imagined such a meeting. People actually came and they poured over our diagrams and renderings; they ate and they opined and they caught up with their neighbors. One gentleman was so enthusiastic at the prospect of a free burger that he had nearly drenched his patty with the Mamacita's green beans and rice before I could point out that it was alas, not Grey Poupon. I can understand his confusion.

All in all the majority of attendees threw their support behind our project. But I was just as happy to see the dissenters because at least they took the time to come out and share their thoughts. There were no histironics, just civil, thoughtful discussion and I couldn't shed the utopian sense that this, this is how things ought to work. If we could routinely tackle community issues from the ground up, with a sense of civic duty, eventually we could tackle state, national and even global issues in this same way. It's an overly simplistic and naive view, I know. But it was nice while it lasted.



It's been over a week since I've posted and while that's not a particularly big deal to most, considering my readership consists of maybe 4 people, it is to me for a couple of reasons. Or maybe it's just one big reason with a number of parts.

I like to pretend that I have no idea why I started blogging but that's a lie. I do it because being at home with a baby is really hard for me, PARALYZINGLY HARD at least some days which has a lot to do with old demons, depressive tendencies and a propensity to obsess. Blogging gives me an outlet and in writing I at least gain perspective and at best I find humor in my frustrations and insecurities.

The rub, as evidenced by my week of non-posts, is that the demons often preclude the writing and the perspective eludes me. The obsession last week was the Mamacita starting Montessori school yesterday. So great was my fixation that I couldn't stop thinking about, talking about and planning for it. It took absolute precedence and for all I cared the rest of my life had stopped because THERON. IS. STARTING. SCHOOL. AND. IT'S. ALL. MY. FAULT.

Like I said, being at home with a baby has proven freakishly difficult for me so I decided to do some part-time work. My pre-baby career was in nonprofit management and since part-time works exists only theoretically in the nonprofit sector, I opted to get my real estate license and join the swelling ranks of house hawkers. I actually love checking out our local real estate scene and helping friends with that end of things so blah, blah, blah the upshot is that I can get my license in 4 short weeks if I go to classes full-time, Monday through Friday. Hence, THERON. IS. STARTING. SCHOOL. AND. IT'S. MY. FAULT.

She's not going to school every day. Actually just two times a week with Sunshiny Landon picking up the slack at our house. But she's two weeks shy of the 1-year mark and no one except Geoff, Sunshine and me has really taken care of her and always it has been in our home. Now we were talking strangers and other kids and a foreign environment and good god there were about 8 million details to occupy my frenetic, tunnel visioned mind.

If I had bothered to blog last week when these details were nesting in every crevice of my brain, I might have lit upon a few comforting shards of reality. One, this is a very temporary necessity and if things don't work out we can withdraw her in one month. Two, the Mamacita is at a point where she really enjoys being around other kids because they fascinate her. Guess what they have at school? Other kids! Three, I did a lot of research and spoke with/visited a lot of places before deciding on THIS AWESOME SCHOOL with its highly qualified staff and super low teacher-to-student ratio. These people know how to take care of kids. Even mine.

Unfortunately these revelations eluded me until the inevitable occurred. The day came and went and everything was fine. There were a few tears when I left, after hanging out for an hour and a half, and she was pretty much worn out last night but truly? EVERYTHING. WAS. FINE. She ate, she napped, when I arrived to pick her up she was playing contentedly and when she saw me she did not scurry frantically toward me. In this case only, I count that as a good thing.

So now that my mind has cleared and I've written the post I should have last week, maybe I can get back to blogging in earnest. Or in humor, you know whatever. And maybe next time I will utilize this tool to pacify the unfathomable, chaotic mind I like to call mine.