Thursday, May 5, 2016

That Time I Almost Blew Us Up

I haven't written in a long, long time. I barely have time to breathe let alone write about it. Two kids. A "part-time" (35 hours a week) job. No sleep. I'm running on empty.

But here's a little illustration of my state of mind that you might enjoy. 

Today I had to give a presentation to the CEO, CFO and Chief Medical Officer of a hospital an hour and a half away. I stopped for gas because my tank (both actual and proverbial) was empty. With my boss in the passenger seat, I blew straight through that little 'click' that tells you to let go of the goddamn handle and stop pumping. Gasoline burst out in all directions. On the car, the ground and, yes, on my pants and shoes. 

Even then it took me a moment to take my hand off the nozzle.

I rinsed the side of the car with the window washer after the gas stopped bubbling out.

"Am I going to set us on fire if I start the car again?" I asked my colleague, who had stepped out of the car upon hearing me scream. "It's on my pants."

"Um, I'll go get someone," he replied.

"It's okay, lady," said the guy pumping gas behind me. "Just don't light up a cigarette for a couple of days."


I still drove up (with the window cracked open) and gave my presentation.

That's how moms do.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hooters Rhymes with Computers

If you are going to buy a book about breastfeeding, let it be this one:

Because if you are having trouble nursing -- with the latch, the pain, the supply -- call a lactation consultant.

Do not buy a book about nursing technique. That’s like buying a book about what mango tastes like. Or "going" to a wedding by watching it on a flat-screen TV.

Do not go to a "support" group that will shame you if you decide to stop nursing before the baby turns four.

And for the love of all that is holy, do NOT ask for advice in a Facebook group. I don’t belong to any of these myself, but according to this article, "The Ten Most Sanctimommy Posts Ever," some of those women are nuts. And mean. But mostly CRAY.

Just buy this book. So you know you are not alone.

I am not going to carry on about how hostile we, as a society, are to new mothers. But here is a preview. Nursing in public? Shame on you! Want a maternity leave that is more than six weeks or, God forbid, paid? Don't be absurd.

As a result, we are forced to do things we never dreamed we would. Like nurse on a crowded city bus (check) or pump on the floor of a conference room corner (check). What, you didn't imagine yourself on a bench, covering your naked breast with a dirty burp rag whilst studying long ago for that organic chemistry midterm exam? Silly, silly you.

Nursing can be a lovely, intimate bonding experience. But far from being intuitive, learning to breastfeed is difficult, painful and humbling. And pumping is an activity straight out of Dante's Inferno. You even get to wear this contraption:

Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breast Pump Bra.

"When you want to at least be able to wipe your other child's butt while pumping."*

Best to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Lauren Belden did, and I am so glad. In a play on Dr. Seuss's Oh! The Places You'll Go! -- the college graduation gift staple -- The Places You'll Feed! honestly (and hilariously) explores the breastfeeding mother's travails. 

See, feeding your babe,
well, it's not always pretty,
when you whip out a boob
in a cab in the city.

My favorite page, as you can tell from the title of this post, is about the ridiculous places we pump at work (dark closet anyone?):

And many an office
just won't have a spot
that's not crowded 
or freezing
or dreadfully hot
or spooky
or kooky
or full of computers
to hook up your pump
and squeeze milk from your hooters.


It all makes sense now.

* Just kidding. That's not their tag line. But I did recently wipe Henry's butt with one hand while holding the baby to my breast with the other. YES. THAT HAPPENED.

Disclosure: I received a review copy. Opinions are my own, as always.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Three-Year-Old Understands Empathy But Could Not Care Less

Finally, another show has punctured the tyranny of Paw Patrol, an overly clever Nickelodeon cartoon about six dogs with cute names who save the day in Adventure Bay on a regular basis. So many crises for one little town. For four months, it was all I heard or saw. Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol, Be there on the double! Judging from the chaotic line to meet Chase and Marshall (the cop dog and fire dog, respectively -- GET IT??) at the New Jersey State Fair recently, I am not alone.

Henry, absolutely enamored of his two favorite pups.
(I cropped my fat postpartum ass right out of this picture.)

But one day in August, Henry asked for Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, which is a sequel to Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS Kids. Daniel Tiger is the son of the original Daniel Striped Tiger character. (Remember?!) Anyway, I love the show. It is calm, quiet and educational -- everything Paw Patrol isn't.

The other day, Henry was watching it in bed with me. The episode was about empathy. "Empathy is when you think about how another person feels," Daniel Tiger's mother explained.

Later that day, in the bathroom, trying to wrestle my son to the potty, we had the following conversation.

"Mommy, you have to think about how I feel."

"Ok, how do you feel?"

"I feel sad."

"Why do you feel sad?"

"Because you're waking up my baby." [Completely made up reason he uses when he doesn't have anything else to say but wants to talk.]

"Okay. I'll try not to do that. And how do you think I feel?"

"I think you feel mad."

"And why am I mad?"

"Because I'm not listening to you today."

"And what can you do about that?"

"I can listen to you..."

I nodded, preparing to burst with pride and positive reinforcement.

"...but I don't want to."

And there you have it. He understood the show's message but flat-out rejected it. Congratulations to me on my continued success in raising a compassionate child. I can't wait for the teen years.

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