Parenting tips are much discussed on the Internet. That’s not going to stop me from weighing in with my own, bishes. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think there is going to be a huge boom in babies in 2021.
You know it’s true. There are only so many series you can binge. Boredom then sets in. And, need another activity to break of the monotony of quarantine. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
I don’t want to give you more toddler tips and issues. Or, info about how to survive being a SAHWM (it’s a real thing.) I want to talk about things I wish I had known. When I was pregnant preparing for the birth of Peej. About what I had wished I knew in those first months after we brought her home from the hospital. So without ado, here are my top 10 parenting tips for first time moms.
Another installment of Parenting Peej: In other words, it’s a Monday.
I feel like death warmed over today. Metaphorically, of course. I got up at 5am (after staying up late binging Harry Potter movies) to have a little quiet time to get some work done. You know, before the demon known as my 2yo arose from her slumber chamber.
I have an assignment that was due today, figured I’d knock it out early.
Parenthood is… something else. I love my kid, but damn she’s hard these days. The tantrums she throws are sermount to the force of Mt. Vesuvius blowing it’s top. You do not want to be in the path of that. But, then she smiles at you, plants a little kiss on your cheek, gently takes your hand and pats it… and, you cannot stay frustrated. She’s so damn deceptively cute.
Her cognitive synapses are in the process of growing at such an exponential rate that it’s fascinating to watch her learn new concepts and ideas. She counts to five, she can say most of the alphabet and recognizes A, B, C, and (oddly) O. Peej knows her primary colors and can point out orange and green, too. We’ve taught her to fist bump, high five, boop, high 10 up top AND down low, and do jazz hands. Her dancing skills are unparalleled. She’s a curious, smart, sweet kid.
With the cognitive synapses thing comes chaos. She’s fucking adorable, but actually, at times, Peej reminds me of the debbil.
I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about what exactly this blog is. Is it a Mommy Blog? Am I a Mommy Blogger? Or, is this site just like every other blog I have ever written in my life – a narcissistic diary for me to review my own life on? Does my writing have a direction?
Obviously, I write because I have to write. It’s in my makeup, my DNA. I don’t lack for topics, as I can always word vomit out some bullshit about my life and form it into a coherent narrative.
I am taking break from writing business proposals and SEO blog articles to mentally divert my brain, watch Bravo, and drink a shit ton of Diet Coke to keep me awake. I have literally been working since 7am, while trying to placate a baby who doesn’t have her Momma’s full attention today (a lot of Disney + and iPad, what can I do?)
Don’t get me wrong. I am super super happy work has picked up. If 1 or 2 of these proposals, or the job I am interviewing for on Wednesday, come through – I will be in a really nice financial situation within a couple of months. Which will lift a huge weight off my shoulders. And, will allow me to hire a part time nanny to play with Peej while I have to be working (which worked super well for us in LA, Sahar was a lifesaver, but we haven’t had a Sahar here in Chicago – as the reason for coming to Chicago was so I could be a SAHM. Now I’m a SAHWM -it’s a thing- and I could use some help.)
In an update to yesterday’s blog post: While they’ve opened the Lakefront trail, they have re-closed the far north Chicago beaches and the beaches south of us remain closed, with no plan to reopen them. Plus public pools are expected to stay closed all summer.
They have based this decision on observing the behavior of adults with kids on playgrounds and beaches. (See my rant about entitled parents on yesterday’s post.)
I can’t take her to the Lakefront trail without her making a bee line for the beach. We’re going to be restricted to the boring park and walking around the neighborhood (which she hates.)
I am screwed. This severely limits Peej’s outside options. I need to talk to our landlord and Ex British Husband about buying a kiddie pool/sandbox for her. =(
Or, beg my parents to let us come back to Lakewood.
It’s supposed to be high 80s and low 90s here all next week, with excessive humidity.
Okay, so Paul and I are getting divorced. I’m sure there is a contingent of the obsessed with my life #IStandWithYourHusband crowd out there who are doing cartwheels at me saying this publicly. But, it’s true – we’re separated. Living in the same house because we don’t have any other options, but separated none the less.
It has been an extremely long time since I wrote on this fucking mom blog. Is this a mom blog? I mean, I’m a Mom and this is a blog. But, is it a “Mom Blog?”
A lot has gone down since I last wrote about being sick or trying to teach Peej that iPhone cables are not binkies. I mean, I was SERIOUSLY ill for a very long time, all of January and most of February.
I have been so sick that I have had a hard time functioning in the adult world and being an adequate parent to Peej, let alone writing. Having a constant headache is not conducive to thinking and writing. I missed posting yesterday and I’m a little bummed about that.
However in applying for jobs I’m doing the laborious task of digging back through about 30 years of writing to find applicable writing samples to send with my resume and cover letter to particular institutions. In such, I have found a few abandoned blogs I used to write and stumbled upon some writing I have done about mental illness in the past that I’m pretty proud of.
So for today’s blog post, let me share with you a few of these pieces:
Hopefully, I’ll feel better later this week when I am able to get to the doctor and get some antibiotics for what I believe is now a sinus infection (British Husband has one, too.) It stinks having to work this kind of stuff around his days off, but here we are. *shrug*
Today is the first day in a week when I haven’t had a strong desire or a topic in mind to write about. Frustrating. Maybe because I haven’t had much time to think today? Must be. I have been running around since 9am this morning doing errands. Errand day is the worst, and also sort of the best — quiet time in my car, just listening to music, as I port myself between places. Today I was listening to the Broadway recordings for Beetlejuice: The Musical (Alex Brightman is a fucking gem and funny AF,) and Dear Evan Hansen — two musicals about the same topic (death,) that couldn’t be more wildly different. Don’t believe me? Listen to them back-to-back.
I went to get new glasses/sunglasses today (and, have an eye exam) – which I’m excited about. I think the glasses and sunnies I picked are cute. Maybe I’ll post pictures on my Instagram when they come in.
British Husband and Peej are both sick, so I had to go to Target to get supplies for them. And, my favorite hair color was on sale for $5 each, I bought two. I hope this doesn’t mean that they are discontinuing it. I’ll probably let the ugly red fade out for a week more and then dye my hair… again, pics on Instagram, maybe. I also got myself new mascara and brow filler (I had a gift card) and some of those new fangled magnetic falsies w the magnetic eye liner (recommended by one Claire Max, thanks bae.) On 1/31 I am going out on a friend date with one of my oldest friends, perhaps I will dye and doll myself up for that. Photo worthy. Joan Marie is pretty as she was in high school, I def need to rise to her level of natural beauty.
I consigned the bags I wrote about yesterday. The only bags they did not take were my Whiting and Davis (because, they said they could not possibly get me what they are worth – the 1892 Victorian bag, alone, is worth $2500 in it’s original condition,) and a couple of vintage ones. The rest of them are gone, getting researched by their experts, getting ready to be sold. The manager of North Shore Exchange‘s Skokie location was so lovely and compassionate when I told her why I was selling my massive collection of designer handbags. We talked for at least 30 minutes after she was done inspecting and inputting them into the system. I felt so supported and seen. She has recently been through what I am going through with British Husband, so she emphasized to me that no matter what happens, it only gets better from here. When I can find some time to volunteer there, I’m going to hit her up about coming out to support their mission. (100% of NSE’s profits go to Chicago charities, mostly benefiting women and children and animals. If you are in the area, they have three locations, you should check them out. If you’re not in the area and are in the market for a luxury handbag, check out their website.) As soon as I have a new job, I’m going back in there and buying myself a secondhand pretty… I had to restrain myself from buying a Diane Von Furstenberg lambskin hobo bag… it was so soft, yet so punk rock. I wanted it bad. #handbaghoar
Mostly today, though, I have been thinking about the vacation that Peej and I are going on in April with my family for my Mom’s 70th birthday. My parents have rented a massive beach house about 30 minutes from downtown Charleston, SC. I’m so excited because we’re going to get to spend a whole week with my parents, my brothers, their partners, my niece, and my nephews. I’m also a little sad, as British Husband has declined to go… it just says something important. But, I’m not going to let that get me down. I plan on cooking a seafood feast for my Mom. I make a mean crab bisque. I’m also super excited because my brother and sister-in-law gave my parents a professional photographer for Christmas- on this trip we’re going to have the first family photo taken (on the beach) since said brother and sister-in-law’s wedding in 2005. I’m ordering two prints: One for my wall, one for the desk at the awesome new job I’m going to start at as soon as we get back (I’m manifesting that for myself, so mote it be.)
My family is everything to me. Everything.
I’m also excited about this trip because I have never been to Charleston. And, I am a Bravo addict, and Southern Charm is one of my favorite shows… maybe I’ll run into Ms. Patricia and Michael as we wander around Charleston before we take a sunset dinner cruise around the harbor? Fingers crossed.
Speaking of Bravo, it’s almost time for Below Deck. It’s the week that Captain Lee makes *the* angry face, so I better sign off and get prepared to live tweet it along with my other obsessive #Deckies.
Like I said, a little of this, a little of that, a lot of nothing. Until next time…
As I have stated in a previous post, my once happy marriage is in trouble, we are currently considering divorce as a viable resolution to our union. At the same time, we are also trying to fix our problems with ourselves and resolve our problems with each other, so our marriage may be repaired. Obviously the latter is preferable to the former… cause we have a kid. (Were it just us, we’d have bailed by this point.)
One of my main frustrations with British Husband is that he lacks accountability. He seems to be unable to see how he has participated in or made decisions or neglected responsibilities that have helped lead us to the precarious point we are currently in. He is unorganized and forgetful. It is annoying and it affects *every aspect* of our daily life… and, because I am the one with a good memory, who makes lists, and stays on top of stuff… I end up feeling like I have to either nag him or parent him (possibly both.)
He is my husband, not my child. I shouldn’t have to either nag or parent him… except when I stop, that’s when stuff falls to shit. Let me tell you a story to illustrate this:
It starts with a car. A 2012 Hyundai Accent. Which has been driven into the ground and is a piece of shit. This is British Husband’s car. It was once “our” car (and, when it was it was in much better condition and regularly maintained.) It is dilapidated and sad, at some point in LA someone sideswiped it and knocked the driver side mirror off, which is now held on with spit, a prayer, and a lot of duct tape. It is a white car, but looks gray, as British Husband probably hasn’t washed it since 2017, god only knows when the last time the oil was changed or the tires were checked. It’s a death trap. I won’t even let Penelope ride in it, it is such a junker of a car.
When we made the decision to move back to Chicago from LA, British Husband and I agreed that we would sell this trash heap and put the money towards paying down some of our debt. Because Chicago is a city where you really don’t need a car that much, and we had my new Subaru for hauling around Peej and her associated stuff, so we didn’t need Frank Underwood (yes, that’s the Hyundai’s name) anymore.
This, aside from driving the moving truck across country with the dog, is the SINGLE task I place onto British Husband’s plate in association with moving: Sell Frank Underwood.
He postpones this until the week before we are to move, saying he can’t consider selling the car when he still needs it to get back and forth to work, despite me saying that he could drive my car -or if I needed my car I could take him to and from work. Just get Frank gone, I say… no, no, no- that will not do.
So a week before we are to move, when my Mom and I are up to our fannies in alligators trying to pack up my house, while my Dad sits and watches TV and Peej – British Husband says to me “Where’s the title for Frank Underwood?”
Um. You’re a grownup, I’ve explained to you multiple times where we keep important documents. Go fucking look, you dumb head.
But, being politic, and not wanting to fight in front of the baby (my Dad is very sensitive, haha) I go to where I keep the important documents and hand him the folder and say “It’s in here, look for it.”
Only he cannot find the title. I tell him to look in his car (’cause he is the kind of person who would put the title to his car IN HIS CAR.) It’s not in there. So I look… through our papers, his papers, my papers, through boxes and cupboards which don’t even have papers in them. No title. It’s lost. Fuckballs.
You cannot parent when you have no voice. Either literally or figuratively. Babies are really bad a charades. And, if you don’t have a voice in how your child is being raised, you might be their parent, but you’re not really parenting.
Sorry that sounds a bit judgy. Fuck it, I’m sick, I’m allowed an “I’m a judgy bish” day.
This week I’m dealing with literally having no voice.
I have been sick for more than a week. Runny nose, coughing, headache, blah-blah-blah… I won’t bore you with the details. Sunday night, though, was a real turning point for me, as I struggled to sleep (despite the copious sleeping/anti-anxiety medications my psychiatrist has me on) because my throat hurt like I was being burned from the inside with a torch.
Still, on Monday morning, I figured, meh – just a cold. I’ll drink some water and shove Zicam up my nose and it will clear up in a couple days.
I did tell British Husband as he was leaving for work that if I didn’t feel substantially better the next day that he would have to take Penelope to her Well Child doctor’s appointment for her 18 month jabs. Our pediatrician has a strict “no sick parents” rule when it comes to bringing a kid into the office.
I digress. This happens a lot on this blog, so get used to it.
The day started off well enough, Peej just wanted to cuddle and watch Sesame Street. Then we did some art projects where she colors until she’s bored and then I try to sketch in what picture I see in her scribbles. She managed to eat breakfast without too much coaching or fighting, and then went down for a nice nap.
It was during this nap that my day went pear-shaped.
I am searching for a new job. Or, as I state in my cover letters, “Excitedly re-entering the workforce after taking time away to build my family.” (Yeah, right… we’re poor, our marriage is in trouble, I’ve always been the primary earner, so I don’t get to be a SAHM right now, no matter how badly I want to be one. Besides if British Husband and I finalize the decision to divorce, I don’t want to have to scramble at that emotionally charged moment to try to find a job and build a nest egg… b/c right now I got nothing.)
I had been feeling sluggish all morning, but being the Type A overachiever I am, I was sitting on the couch, (much like I am now,) zapping my resume and witty cover letter out to any and all companies hiring a senior level digital marketing strategist and creative content maker (Are you hiring one of these? If so hit me up in comments!) when I reached to take a swig of coffee (the lifeblood of SAHMs everywhere… or at least me, because I don’t drink wine at 10am out of a coffee cup… again, that’s judgy… but, I digress. WAIT! See there it is again.)
I took a drink of coffee and gagged because I could not swallow it. As the hot liquid dribbled down my chin and onto my clean shirt (a prized possession of any SAHM) I tried to shout out “Oh, shit!”
It came out more like “Murble, gurble!”
I couldn’t swallow and I couldn’t speak because my throat was so swollen.
So what do I do?
I call my Mom in Florida -of course- to ask her if I should go to the doctor.
Despite that my Mom is supposed to be enjoying a vacation, not parenting her 46 year old adult daughter who probably already knows the answer to the question she’s asking, she humors me.
First, she tells me I shouldn’t be talking.
I retort by saying, “I know, but when has that ever shut me up before?”
Having known me my whole life, she concedes the point. That is when she asks me a question that makes my blood run cold:
“Do you have white spots at the back of your throat?”
Let me side step here for a moment and say I can deal with almost any emergency with a solid and steady hand. I am the calm person with a bunch of weird knowledge and certifications that people look to when shit hits the fan, sometimes literally. Here is an assortment of emergency situations in which I have persevered (although, in a couple of instances, I incurred a little PTSD) —
*My 13 month old baby swallowed a button battery and had to be rushed to the ER to have it removed via surgical procedure. I was totally fine, despite aging 10 years in 24 hours.
*I watched as my 11 year old brother smacked the back of his head on a diving board while attempting a backflip. I had to rush to pull his ass out of the water because I thought he was unconscious (he was not) and concussed (he was.) Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy – he then owed me his life, which meant I extorted him for all of his Dead Kennedy and Ramones cassette tapes and demanded he forgive the loan of $1 he gave me earlier (with 50% interest) to buy an ice cream cone.
*My Dad woke me up in the middle of the night to help him determine if he should take my Mom to the emergency room because she got up to let the dog out and get a drink of water -and due to her chronically low blood pressure, (which I also have)- she passed out and crashed head-first (or, head backwards, as the case may be) through the glass oven door leaving her with large lacerations on the back of her scalp… IT WAS FINE, I was only 16 and was my MOMMIE, but cooler heads (mine, not my Dad’s OBVIOUSLY) prevailed! After picking out “shatter proof glass” from her hair and scalp I informed him that, YES she needed to go to the emergency room for stitches. So he took her, and I thought “why did I have to be in this situation, I only ever took one first-aid class because it was required for graduation,” and paced about the living room nervously trying like hell not to wake my two little brothers up and put them into my panic them because Mom was in the ER and the oven door was smashed out…. BUT. I. WAS. FINE. I was so fine that a week later I helped my Mom dry shampoo her hair around her stitches so she could go back to work without her head looking like she dipped it in a vat of oil. I was FINE FINE FINE FINE FINE. That incident TOTALLY didn’t scar me for the next 30 years, did it?
I digress. You see a theme, right? Here’s more:
*I was barfed on by my cousin Lori (who had the sugar flu – flippin’ slushies) in the back of my parent’s mini-van when I was 11. Not at all grossed out. Patted her back and told her to let it all out (all over my brand new white Guess shorts and cool mesh off the shoulder Madonna shirt.)
*I had to perform CPR until the paramedics arrived on a woman who collapsed in front of me walking down the street in San Francisco. Totally calm, focused, attentive. Serious as a heart attack, which is what the lady had, incidentally.
*I once pulled a small child from a car crash which had just killed his father. I sat with him in my car playing “thumb war” until help could arrive, while the others who had pulled over to help tried to find something to cover his father’s body with. I was shaken up badly, I will never forget what I saw. One of the worst moments of my life. But in the moment – calm, collected, acted expediently.