Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mommy Fame

Before I became a Mommy, I could go anywhere and nobody would notice me.  I don't have purple hair, a third eye or any unusual features that would attract attention.  Back when I used to travel for a living, I could blend in easily, no matter what country I happened to be visiting.  But the later I got into my pregnancy, the more unsolicited comments and "friends" I seemed to make out in public.  One day when I was 9 months pregnant -- a spectacle, to say the least -- I was browsing the cheese aisle at the grocery store when I heard, "Look at youuuuuuu..."  I looked up and a lady pushing a cart had stopped to admire my seriously large baby bump.  I looked (and felt) like I could give birth any second and my biggest pregnancy craving was sharp cheddar cheese, so there I was feeding the habit when she said with a knowing smile, "When are you due?"  "Yesterday," I said.  She replied, "Wow, you are SO TINY," and then strolled off.  A complement any other day, but I was hormonal and aching in every joint in my body.  Was I too tiny?  Was LO going to be born too small?  Was that some kind of cruel joke?  This kind of unsolicited commentary was something I had to get used to.

Then I had a baby.  And a baby is a spectacle everywhere you go.  People treat you better when they see a sweet little baby with you.  They want to see the little bundle of goodness and coo and smile at her.  The ones that tried to touch her pissed me off.  Why do people feel they need to touch babies' toes or hands?  People, your hands are dirty, keep 'em off my precious cargo.  I'm not putting my hands all over your produce, now am I?  Why don't I just cough on those apples for good measure?  Anyway, when you're out with your baby, you have what I call Mommy Fame.  Everyone melts in the presence of babies.  They have a million questions for you, too.  How old is she?  What's her name?  Is this your first?

Mommy Fame is great.  The other aspect of it is that you're now a Mommy.  Society sees Mommies as nice, caring people and therefore they treat you as such.  I could be the world's biggest bitch but because I'm a Mommy, the connotation is that I'm a good person.  No longer the selfish married bitch with no kids.  Society doesn't like that woman.  We scowl at her.  Mommies, on the other hand, are selfless and nurturing.  We like them so much we'll help carry their bags to the car and hey why not give the kid a balloon.  So needless to say, I'm enjoying this Mommy thing while it lasts, before LO gets to the age when she starts throwing tantrums in public and our popularity dips.  Thankfully, I have a few more months to go on that one.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


A few weeks ago, I took on a new freelance writing assignment.  It was one of those deals where they ask you to send in a list of one-liners (jokes/dialogue for a character) and if they use any of yours, you get paid per joke.  I fundamentally object to this kind of cattle call because you have to do the work and may or may not be paid.  Not a good business model for the freelancer.  But I did the assignment anyway since it only took a short amount of my time and it was for an app, which is kinda cool to work on.

I got an email the other day saying they've chosen one or more of my lines, congratulations!  Where do they send the check?  I just got the check -- for $2.00.  THEY ACTUALLY SENT ME A CHECK FOR TWO DOLLARS.  At this rate, I'm gonna have to seriously reconsider this freelance thing.  The same day the car dealership called to say we need a new motor in the door mechanism that raises the window and it'll cost...wait for it...$1,000.  

They say the thrill of doing what you love is getting paid for it but now I'm not so sure.  Oh yeah and I should put some aside for taxes.  I'll deduct that and treat LO to a Plum Organics pear and mango tomorrow for $1.15.  Ah, the thrill of success!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Storytime Nazi

A friend told me about storytime at the neighborhood library.  The blurb on their leaflet promises finger puppets, games and other thrills, in addition to exciting book readings.  So I figured LO would get a kick out of this even if she's too young to do much, just seeing the other kids and the colorful materials would be exciting for her.  And I would feel like a good Mommy knowing I exposed her to something other than our living room.

The plan was set -- I'd meet my friend and her 5-month-old there.  LO must've overheard me making plans because whenever I do, she manages to go down for her nap late, thus pushing back everything else in the day.  As soon as she started to stir, I whisked her out of her crib, threw a fresh diaper and clean clothes on her and blew out of the house.  We were missing the beginning of storytime and LO would be lost the rest of the session not having heard the opening to the story.  Parking was impossible, but I muscled my way into a space a block over and wheeled LO into the library, sprinting through the alarm sensors, slowing only to ask which way to go.  I was directed to a special room around the corner.

The special room had industrial carpeting and plain walls.  Not one piece of artwork, posters, nothing.  Just a table with a few books on it.  There were only four kids and two adults aside from my friend and her baby.  At the head of the room, in front of the table, was the STORY NAZI, a husky-voiced, portly librarian of Asian descent in her 40's.  She was reading a book about green monsters (green was the theme) adding as much characterization as she could muster to every syllable.  This was her moment to shine -- no matter that there were only a few listeners -- and she wasn't going to share the spotlight.  We wheeled in and took a seat next to my friend.  This followed by the usual hey how are ya's and my explanation of why we were late, all at a whisper of course.  Story Nazi shot me a look.  Clearly I was distracting.

So I settled in and held LO in my lap.  After a few seconds, she got restless.  She became fascinated with my friend's baby, but instead of shouting ba-by repeatedly, LO seemed to know it was quiet time.  My friend, on the other hand, kept saying stuff to me.  I used to hate this in school -- you're on the verge of getting in trouble in class for talking and your friend keeps talking to you.  Even though you're minding your own business and being quiet, your friend gets you both in trouble by association.  Really unfair.  And so it was with Story Nazi.  She scowled at me again, snapping the book shut when she was finished.  Great, I thought to myself, I'm about to be the one reprimanded at storytime while LO was behaving perfectly.  Where were the finger puppets, anyway?  I was bored.  Instead of being exciting, Story Nazi's over-enthusiastic reading was just plain awkward and, quite frankly, a little scary.  I had to get out of there.  Perhaps sensing my unrest, she let the adults choose the next book.  But I wasn't gonna fall for that one and kept my mouth shut.  Afterward, she suggested my friend and I try the Wednesday hour for babies and toddlers.  I told her I'd think about it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Walking Watch Update

The tsunami was minor, we got a new Canon Powershot and LO took three steps.  They weren't documented because she completely surprised us after dinner last night but she still isn't exactly walking.  She tries to take a step, falls and then resorts to crawling.  Batteries are back in the dinosaur, the push cart is at the ready, camera charged.  Walking Watch on.  Things just have a way of working out, don't they?

I have to admit until recently, I haven't done much to encourage LO's walking.  A part of me knows that a walking baby = a toddler and a toddler is no longer a baby.  She has no teeth yet either, so I'm sure she'll walk and cut an entire set in the same week, which will mean zero sleep is in my future.  Now that LO is 13 months old, I'm starting to get a little paranoid -- will she EVER walk unassisted?  The preschools require your child to be potty trained before starting but what if she isn't walking?!  Tomorrow, I'm on it.  Walking and pushing all day.  She can do it, she just needs confidence.  If she's gonna be a world class athlete, she's gonna have to step up her game.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Tsunami Can't Keep Me Down

I have a predicament today.  LO is threatening to walk any second now.  She stands on her own, takes one step and falls, but I know that step will connect soon and I don't want to miss it.  We're on "Walking Watch" in our household.  Problem is our video camera just crapped out after our trip to San Diego and now I'm video camera-less.  This is a major problem.  I discovered the camera problem yesterday but I think I was in denial about it.  Maybe if I turn it on and off a dozen times it'll start working again.  Right?  Wrong.

Reality set in this morning when I realized LO could take her first steps today and I'd miss it because my camera, a rather new one I might add, was on the fritz.  This can't happen.  Which leaves me with only one choice -- keep LO from walking until I can get out to buy a new camera.  I feel like a terrible mommy, taking batteries out of the dinosaur walker, encouraging her to crawl instead of cruise.  Whatever it takes -- this baby is NOT taking first steps without them being documented.

The other minor issue here is that a tsunami is going to hit the West Coast in about five minutes.  My plans to wake up, throw on some clothes and burn rubber to Best Buy have been replaced by worried calls from relatives and way too much CNN.  Head for the hills!  Stock up on groceries and canned goods!  All I care about is getting that new camera.  We're in an elevated area but the Pacific Coast Highway is the main way to get places from here and it's awfully close to the beaches, which are being closed down.  I figure I'll take Sunset, staying on high ground and get back in time to hand in that preschool application.  LO will have been in her car seat, so no walking will take place if I just get my butt in gear.  Tsunamis are such a drag.  But whatever happens, I will get my pic!

Why won't the music play?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


LO was born without much hair.  DH and I both have thick hair and when I was pregnant I imagined my baby would come out with a full on afro.  Over the last few months, she's been slowly growing it in and now there's enough to somewhat brush and style, if you want to call it that.  DH and I had fun messing with LO's locks one night during her bath and this is the result of our juvenile episode:

You talkin' to me?