Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Worry-Lympics

I once read a post on another blog about The Pain Olympics.

It was a terrific post, breaking down emotional pain into point systems and categories based on length of time in pain, severity of incident, etc, and eventually concluding that everyone's pain is unique and valid, and simply could not be compared quantitatively.

I'm going to demonstrate my superior skills in reading comprehension and miss the point entirely to declare that thanks to Whatever Almighty, I would not even medal in the Pain Olympics. I've had one early first-trimester pregnancy loss, which was indeed painful, but in the grand scheme of things, I am the Eric Moussambani of the Pain Olympics, with zero aspiration to become Michael Phelps.

The Worry-Lympics, on the other hand, are my kind of games. I am the Jenny Thompson of the Worry-Lympics, and have none other than my little Pi to thank for being the source and inspiration of all my astonishing accomplishments on this global stage. To wit:

August 2004 - May 2005 - The Games of the Pregnancy Worr-lympiad

Bronze Medal - Food Police - "OMG I ate a chocolate from that Whitman's sampler that had RUM in it - I spit it out immediately, but I'm sure my baby's brain-damaged now."

Silver Medal - High Maintenance Patient - "Hi Midwife Kathy, umm listen, I noticed that my left breast feels much less sore today at 2:00 pm than it did yesterday at 8:00 am. My right breast is still sore, but I'm still kind of anxious - do you think I could come in this afternoon for a quick ultrasound check?"

Gold Medal - Self-Fulfilling Prophecy - "OK, Kathy said at my 38-week appointment that if I went past 40 weeks the baby would probably be too big and we'd have to do a c-section. That's it, I'm getting cut."

May 22, 2005 - September 2005 - The Games of the Newborn Worr-Lympiad

Bronze Medal - Sleep - "OK, so that book said that if I don't get him into bed by the time he yawns three times, the naptime will be completely jacked. I know he just woke up, but I think that was a yawn - that's one. Wait, was that another one? OK, here we go, back to naptime. Why is he screaming?"

Silver Medal - Food - "He only nursed for five minutes on this breast and then ten minutes on the other one. He's pooped seven times today, and shot pee onto the window blinds every time I've changed a poopy diaper, but I don't think he's getting enough."

Gold Medal - Development - "Dr M, three-month-old Pi kicks his legs repeatedly every time he lays down on his back - do you think that's an early sign of autism?"

May 22, 2006 - Present - The Games of the Toddler Worr-Lympiad

Bronze Medal - Teeth
- "He's 15 months old - why is he not getting his molars? Everyone else all over the world with babies the same age has talked about molars! Where are his molars, for Pete's sake?" Note - he got his first one three days after I spewed this medal-winning worry onto my poor, unsuspecting office friend. At 3:00 am on the third day of cutting this tooth, the sound of me kicking my own behind for wishing this upon myself could be heard 'round the world.

Silver Medal - Walking - "He's been standing and cruising since he was seven months old. He's almost a year now - why isn't he walking? Does he have inner ear problems? Can he not balance himself? His pinky toe on the left curls under his foot - could that be why he won't walk?" Note - again, one week after this crazed tirade, Pi toddled away from me and hasn't looked back. And again, I can't believe I wished for this.

Gold Medal - Talking - "Why doesn't he talk? He kind of repeats things we say, but there's no consistency, and I can count on one hand the number of times he's asked for things by name. I know that language he's using means something to him, but I simply cannot figure it out. Aren't mothers supposed to be fluent in their own Toddler-ese? OK, the countdown is on - if he isn't using words I can understand by 18 months, we're going to early intervention." Note: if the above patterns continue, I'm in for it big time in a week or so. Listen for the sound of my foot meeting my ass, over and over and over again.

So there it is - my Worry-Lympics box score. This is my life now. More stunning feats of worry prowess to come in the upcoming Pre-School, Driver's Ed, and College Application Games.

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Red Letter Day

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to my Daddy,
Happy Birthday to you!

There's cake, and I get to eat some...this is the best day EVER!


Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Land of Milk and Honey

I've been meaning to post about this, and with the recent brouhaha, it seems especially timely.

I loved nursing. Absolutely loved it. Pi was great at it from day one, and we had a great postpartum nurse, Laura, who stayed with us for over an hour while he fed and made sure our mechanics were right. Even though I worried incessantly (of course) about my supply, his latch, his weight gain, the length of time he spent on each boob, etc, etc, etc, deep down I knew it was the only thing that was going according to plan. I loved the time that it gave us together, I loved that my body was able to nourish a little human - it was a wonderful experience.

If you're getting a sense of how much I loved nursing, amplify that sense by about 86 bazillion, and reverse it into pure, unadulterated hate. That's how I felt about pumping. Even though I knew it was for a good cause, and I had it so easy with the 100% support of my employer, it was a godawful chore and I hated it. I was never really able to pump enough to sustain Pi on a boob-juice-only diet. He had a couple of bottles of formula a week from about 7 months on, and about one a day when I went back to traveling for work. In March, I was away for five nights, and even though I flagellated myself with that confounded medieval torture device the whole time, my supply never recovered. Our last nursing session was the morning before his first birthday, and then we weaned cold turkey. We didn't wean because he was ready, we weaned because I just didn't feel like I could keep it going. To his credit and true to his easygoing style, Pi took it like a champ. He was mainly a nutrition nurser, and rarely nursed for comfort alone, so I don't think it affected our bond or made him feel unsteady. I just wish he could have rejected me outright in his own time.

Ah, well, I can "woulda coulda shoulda" myself into a rubber room, but the fact is that my boy loves his cow's milk, is healthy and thriving, and seems none the worse for wear in the absence of nip. I wanted to breastfeed, I was lucky enough to have a relatively easy time of it, and I did what I could for almost a year. I'm sure there are a million things that'll haunt me about my parenting decisions with Pi, I'm going to try not to let this be one of them.

This whole kerfuffle about the magazine cover, though - gah! I never thought twice about nursing in public, and no one said boo to me or even threw a dirty look my way. The only issue I had was when my father-in-law and his wife (Smitty's stepmother) came to visit while we were still in the hospital, during Pi's first crucial days of learning to latch. He definitely got an eyeful, but I wasn't going to compromise my kid's mealtimes just because someone might witness a nip-slip. I thought nothing of it until Smitty's stepmother covered me during a session. Luckily, I didn't allow myself to dwell too heavily on it and kept focusing on Pi.

Whenever I think we've come a long way as a society, something like this magazine craziness happens and I'm abruptly reminded that there are still many miles to go.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Pi adores our kitties, Emmet and Jasper. They tolerate him as well as cats can be expected to tolerate someone who screams in their ears, chases them all over the house, bats at their tails, and buries his heavy head into their hindquarters in the name of lurve.

He's not quite as enamored of dogs. He is remarkably good-natured about their slobbery kisses, being knocked over with their exuberant love, and their constant desire to play, but it seems like every time he starts enjoying a dog, the fun is ruined by a sharp bark which reduces Pi to blubbery rubble. Pi is not a fan of the loud, unexpected noises, and the dogs just can't help it - it's what they're supposed to do. Hopefully we can reach some sort of detente with the canines soon, because I really like dogs and would like to get one someday. Yes, it has become my mission to create sworn enemies of my poor cats. I can't imagine what they'd do to me if I threw a puppy into this crazy mix. Maybe it's good that Pi's scared of dogs.

In keeping with the title of this blog, we let Pi watch TV sometimes. He really loves Puss in Boots from Shrek 2, the one cat who doesn't cringe in fear at his grubby, drooly approach. Puss coughs up a hairball at one point, which sends Pi into paroxysms of glee every time. He enjoys it when Smitty and I perform our renditions of the hairball expulsion, and the other night we were regaling him at dinner, when he busted out with a version of his own. He flattened his tongue against his bottom teeth, curled his lips, and gasped out something that sounded like "hhhhhheeeessssshhhh, hhhhheeeeesshhhhh, hhhhheeeeeeessssshhh", before leaning over the side of his high chair and pretending to vomit. Perhaps we should put the kibosh on public dining for a while. Notice how the obvious solution of limiting the TV is completely glossed over - I haven't laughed so hard at dinner in months.

Pi Stats

Every good baby book has that stats page, right?

Here's Pi's:

Born - 5/22/05 at 7:06 am

Doctors: started with midwife Kathy and ended up with Dr. CP performing c-section (after 19 hours of labor, GAH!)

Length - 21 inches

Weight - 8 lb 10 oz

Left hospital on 5/26/05, did great in car seat, promptly peed all over his going-home outfit and we realized just how unprepared we were. We had no separate hamper for the baby's dirty clothes, didn't really have the changing table set up with everything at our fingertips, didn't have his clothes organized the way we should have. His first diaper change at home was quite the comedy of errors. At least that's how I view it now - when it was happening it was some seriously high drama. The first of many unseemly freak-outs from Mama.