Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some kinds of waiting suck more than others

Today I was brutally reminded that some kinds of waiting suck way more than others.

My aunt (technically, my cousin's wife, but she's way older than me and she's just my aunt, ok?) is dying. She's had cancer for at least the past two years, probably longer. This morning we got the call that she has a few days left, if that. Of course we went over there. Of course I hung out with my cousins, her kids, and reassured them that they don't have to be social with the fifty bazillion people coming to say goodbye. And I ached for them, not just for the weddings and births at which their mother will always be missing, but for the fact that they have nothing to do for the next few days but wait. They don't feel like eating, or sleeping, and they certainly don't want to go anywhere. They don't want to sit next to her, because they don't want this image of her to be branded into their minds over all the other happy memories. They're just waiting for her to die.

In this perspective, the two-week-wait sounds like a total cakewalk, emotional rollercoaster and all.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm back...

Hey everyone,

We're back from our vacation in the hot sun (which was wonderful and left me wondering why I live in Canada). According to the internet, I'm now a bit over 18 weeks pregnant, which just strikes me as weird... it moves very slowly and very quickly all at once.

Know what else is weird? I haven't gained any weight during this pregnancy. None. I have a reasonably big belly, but the scale has remained the same. I've tested the scale. It's not broken. This is just weird, and also a bit of a relief - I already gained 15 pounds during our 10 months of fertility treatments. Surely that's enough to sustain Cletus the Fetus for now?

Kali is at turns entertaining, cuddly, and maddening. Everything she sees is "I want that", and anything she doesn't want me to do is "I don't like that". I'm quite looking forward to having a little baby again, one who stays where you put it and doesn't talk back.

I've long believed that if my kid doesn't look a bit like a street urchin at the end of the day, it was a wasted day. In that spirit, please enjoy my newest list:

10 things I had to wash off my daughter's face tonight

1. Peanut butter
2. Dried challah dough
3. Bits of carrot
4. Residue of corn-based wet-and-stick packing peanuts
5. Dirt
6. Tears
7. Cookie crumbs
8. Snot
9. Purple marker
10. Wine. Yes, wine. Red.

And with that, I'm off to wash my own face and go to bed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

suddenly fun

I don't know what happened between my recent post about my frustration with Kali and today, but she's suddenly adorable, fun, and relaxing to be around. She's currently "cooking pasta" in her play kitchen. Periodically she comes over to feed me. It's the best invisible pasta I've ever eaten. She's also singing along to "Snuggle Puppy" as she rocks from side to side.

As I said, she's fun. I don't know what happened to the toddler annoyance I was dealing with before, but I'm grateful to have my happy, cuddly girl back.

Excuse me, I have to finish my invisible pasta before Kali will let me have some invisible cookies.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Best. Morning. Ever!

Well, I got off my butt and decided to bundle Kali up and head out to the park. We spent an hour playing in the snow, tobogganing, and drinking hot chocolate. Along with the three friends we'd invited to join us, we were the only people in the park.

People, it's Canada. Why won't you bring your children outside to play? It's only -8C out there (that's 18 degrees for my American readers)! Really, bundle up and you're fine for a few hours.

Whatever. We had the best tobogganing slope all to ourselves, and a clear view across the park of our kids running in the snow. It was awesome.

Best of all, Kali was all worn out when we got home. I expect a nice long nap.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

once again, I need to get over myself

I've done a bad thing. I don't feel the need to go into the gory details, but I yelled at my MIL and she ended up crying. It was a stupid situation; I was jetlagged, Kali hadn't slept in days, Mr. December wasn't there to act as my buffer, and (according to all sides) MIL was really pushing me in a particular conversation. So I exploded.

In the aftermath, she has revealed to Mr. December that she doesn't feel I respect her. It makes sense, in that she seems to always be looking for ways to gain my respect: she lists all the creative things she does with Kali, tells me about the wonderful activities she went to with her sons at this age, etc, etc. My reaction to all of this has revealed to me a stunningly ugly part of myself.

The more she ingratiates herself to me, and the more she seems to beg for praise, the less respect I have for her.

This is the opposite of the way I feel about other people. Usually when I see that someone has a particular weakness, whatever it is, I feel slightly protective. I go into "therapist" mode and do whatever I feel I can to alleviate their discomfort. Not so with MIL. I just feel the need to be tougher and tougher on her in the hope that one day she'll push back and reveal that she does have some self-esteem and possibly even a backbone.

As I said, it's an ugly reaction. I'm ashamed of it, as I am of my failure to show her the respect she deserves as my MIL. Respecting one's elders and one's parents is not optional, and yet I've neglected my obligation in that regard.

I'm not sure what to do. Whenever I look at her, I find fault. I try very hard to just not speak in her presence. I find myself biting my tongue. And yet a lack of disrespect is not the same as showing respect. She deserves respect as the woman who raised the man I love. Why can't I give it to her?

There will have to be a follow-up post; this one is getting long. I'll close with a call for suggestions. Real ones, please, respectful ones. I've got plenty of snark in me already when it comes to MIL. I need to tame it. Can anybody help me?