Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Confessions of an Obsessive Compulsive Mom

Okay, tell me please - why, if you like to clean, are you labeled as having OCD? Twenty years ago SAHMs who kept a tidy abode were not asked if they needed anxiety pills. But these days you have some type of disorder if you show any "strange" personality trait. As far as I can tell, I should be on a multitude of perscription meds. I bounce my legs a lot, so I must have Restless Leg Syndrome (or a newborn). I like to keep things clean, so I must have OCD (or two kids, a husband, five birds, and a dog to pick up after), I have many interests, therefore I MUST have ADHD (or simply a multitude of interests), I am concerned for my children's health and well-being, Bitch you have anxiety issues (or just trying to stay on top of things)... Yeah. Oh, also, I am paranoid (because I feel like the media is trying to diagnose my kid on some kind of autism spectrum with every new medical update).

So what do you want from us, Society? Just a pack of people on pills with no creative thoughts, no free thinking at all? Don't misunderstand me, I KNOW there are folks out there with honest-to-goodness medical issues that require the use of very helpful solutions in pill form. I applaud people for being honest and brave enough to seek help.
But man, all of these LABELS. My children are going to grow up in a society where they will constantly be evaluated for something wrong and that scares the hell out of me.
It bothers me, what can I say. I question a lot of things, so I must be a blemish on the face of America.
I'm sure there is a medical term for it and a pill I can pop for it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I've Been to Paradise, but I've Never Been To Me...

So lately I have heard this a lot, "I think you need a break". A break? A BREAK? What is this word you speak of, break? A break from what, may I ask? A break from being pregnant for the past two years? A break from having two boys still in diapers? Or do I need a break from lack of sleep, could that be it? Perhaps I need a break from having nothing in my closet now but maternity clothes? I don't know, maybe I need a break from not being the only one in the bathroom while I pee. Oh wait, I know what it is, I need a break from having a proper meal, right?
No, no, no, I need a break from all the vacations I take. Damn, Mexico is getting so mundane. You know what, it must be a break from all the heavy diamonds I wear - geesh these things bring me down, eh?
I think, in reality, what I need a break from is other people thinking my time is not as valuable as theirs. You know what I am talking about. People who come and go as they please in your life because well, you don't have crap going on anyway... Those who are under the impression that a SAHM sits around eating bon-bons and watching her "stories" all day. The fine folks, whether they be friends or relatives that make plans with you and TOTALLY FORGET ABOUT THEM after you have gotten up at 5am (after going to bed at 3) to clean your house, clean your children, clean the dogs, make sure angry children have eaten, beaten them into submission (kidding) so they don't embarrass you, tried to comb your hair and USE A HAIR DRYER because only your kids are used to seeing what a scary creature you resemble. Look, I do not have a maid or a nanny, and I do all of this alone for over eight hours. I have a newborn and a 19 month old - this is WORK, people. If you are coming over to my home that's great, superb, fine, lovely, dandy, can't wait to see you. But if you cancel on me TWICE, I may have to reconsider the next time you "plan" to see me and I get up at the crack of dawn to accomodate your visit. I actually went to the trouble of trimming my bush (stop it, Lotus, uh-huh I KNOW you) outside so you would not get whacked in the face by a rogue tree branch. And let me tell you something, I received quite a nasty wound from this gardening I did. Yeah! And you know what else, the time I spent cleaning the damn house is time I could have spent with my kids, because, well, I have to stash them somewhere so I can actually get something accomplished, and, yeah, I was going somewhere with this but I've lost it. The sun is about to come up.
I think I need a break.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Are You There God? It's Me, Allie

First of all, props to those of you who get the title.

Do you ever have one of those days where (shudder) nothing goes wrong? The children act like humans, you have no headache, no bills came in the mail, you actually got to shower AND vacuum. And you're all "there is something highly suspect about this".
Like maybe you are hovering in a dreamlike trance because you have been in some accident and you're really under the influence of morphine in a hospital bed and just dreaming. Or perhaps this is Heaven and you've gone and died but were simply too tired to recall how you bit the dust. Because come on, how often do you have days where nothing strange happens? I did not fall under the attack of any camel crickets, the scary neighbor stayed inside while I went to the mailbox - it was pure bliss...
I did almost perish in the shower due to an unfortunate encounter with Nemo, but that doesn't count because I am not graceful by nature.
I am not trying to tempt Fate here and I am NOT complaining about my decent day. I just wanted to thank God, Buddha, Elvis, and Coco Chanel for letting me survive and state, for the record, that I didn't take it for granted. So tomorrow when I get the electric, car insurance, credit card, and various medical bills, when my toddler decides to grind Pop Tarts in the carpet with his precious little heel, when my six week old causes me to change three shirts due to spit up, when my dog licks her feet for so long that I want to open the front door and let her run free, and when a giant black spider with fangs stares me down in the kitchen causing me to protect my children from what I know is certain death from spider venom- I will close my eyes and remember today. And I am happy to have had a good day to remember.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

For Indigo

I have a very close friend. An extremely close friend, actually. The kind of friend you tell your troubles to, share fashion tips, snark on other people, the person who helps to make the days go by quicker... We have been tight for oh say, over twelve years or so. He knows me better than almost anyone and I value our friendship a great deal. He is married and has an incredibly beautiful daughter. Correction, he has two beautiful daughters.
My friend suffered an incredible loss almost three years ago. His firstborn passed away. I will spare the details. For some reason this loss affected me a great deal. I was utterly devestated that this person, who always did the right thing, never hurt anyone, is smart and focused, and a stay at home dad of his exceptional kid suffered such tragedy. Some in the medical community would label his daughter as special needs, but if you ever saw her photo you would just call her especially gorgeous.
For weeks after her death I was in a funk. I was so deeply hurt for my friend and his wife and I wondered if he would make it out of the dark place he was in. I missed this little girl who I never met, but heard about daily and had a special folder for all of her pictures.
Several months later I discovered I was pregnant with my first child. I did not want to tell him. I was afraid because the wounds he had were too new and I didn't want to "throw it in his face", for lack of a better phrase. I was actually tormented the day I woke up and knew I could not keep the information from him because I was proud and I knew in his heart he would be proud of me. So I wrote it out in an email and attempted to be nonchalant. I told myself I would not address it much after that, out of respect.
I never wanted children when I was little. Didn't play with dolls, didn't play "house", never pictured myself as a soccer mom. But once I knew I was having a kid I felt myself blossom. I wanted to be the best mom I could be. Why? Because of this small wonder that was named Indigo. I knew the gift I was about to receive was tremendous and fragile and I was damn well going to give it everything I could. Sadly, the pregnancy could have been better. It was wrought with complications, bedrest, tales of potential issues my son could have, mental anguish, you name it. And you don't know how to handle the shit until it hits YOUR fan. You can be a good listener, say you understand, I'm sorry, or I'll be there for you - but unless the fear has been placed within your very body, you don't get it. So who did I turn to, who was my main source of sanity? You guessed it, my friend. He sat quietly on the phone as I sobbed, he told me I would HAVE to handle anything that happened, he stated facts - not fantasy (and told me most doctors are full of crap) - and that helped me so much. After many nights and days of turmoil and preparing for the worst, I thankfully gave birth to one of the most beautiful pieces of art I have ever seen. And I love him fiercely. He is my man, my best friend. And yeah, for the record, most doctors ARE full of crap.
Because of the horrific loss my friend experienced and the things he went through, I vowed to myself that I would keep it close in my mind and not push it away as people do with traumatic thoughts. I would devote myself to my kid in his daughter's honor because I know now how to appreciate the life that was given to me. She changed me, and I think of her most days. When I think I can't go on, I remind myself how lucky I am to have this creature around to drive me nuts. And I embrace the insanity.
Upon learning of my second pregnancy (by now my friend has had his second daughter, a sassy little girl who runs the house), I kind of hinted around to him that I maybe wanted to name my new baby (if it was a girl) after his first daughter. He understood and didn't actually mind but said he would have problems asking me about her by name. I totally got it and decided against it. Not that it was an issue because I only have boys anyway - thank goodness... But still, the thought lingered in my mind and I could not let it go. I wanted to pay homage to this child who made me a better person and overall showed me what motherhood was all about. She deserves it. When our Rory was born, he was big, beautiful, and peaceful. His eyes are a dark blue, almost violet - indigo, if you will. I knew this would be his color forever and not change. It seemed almost too good to be true. His eyes speak volumes and he is an old soul, I can tell.
His full name is Rory Joseph Indio Martin. Yeah, Indio. What I call the "male" version of Indigo. People ask what it means and I say it's a city in California, which is totally true. It isn't bad luck, as some have stated, to name your kid after someone who isn't here anymore - people do it all the time. My friend knows Rory's name but has never asked about the Indio and I purposefully placed it as his second middle name so it would not be used often. But I know it's there and I know why it's there. It is my gift for the girl that changed my life and brought so much joy to her parents. She lives on in her sister and I will respect her always. I owe her a great deal and so do my children.
Without her I may not have realized I had it in me to be a Mother. Without her I may sweat the small stuff. Without her I may not appreciate things the way I do. Like loving the poopy diapers, laughing at the crying (doubled now), being amused by the tantrums, keeping the smeared hand prints on the glass longer than I should - you know, the finer things in life.
And I will always remember her, I promise.

Thank you, Indigo.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It's Showtime!!!

When I was younger I had a very different outlook on my future life as an adult. I was infatuated with any movie that incorporated dancing, singing, New York, and a possible addiction to speed. I fancied myself a Broadway dancer, auditioning for countless shows and waiting tables while being able to afford a loft apartment with exposed brick. I longed for the days that I would attend a performing arts school that didn't so much focus on academics but there was always a chance spontaneous dancing would occur at any moment. To this day I am fully prepared if the employees at Food Lion decide to break out in the Fame street-dancing routine. Oh yes, I can do it, and I would make poor dead Leroy proud... Need me to recite a monologue from A Chorus Line during one of Zach's humiliating audition sequences? I'm on it! And my dream role? Why the daughter in All That Jazz of course... Sadly, there are like ten more movies or shows I am not even mentioning.
Of course none of these aspirations came to fruition. I am not a dancer. I do not live in New York. I'm not a recovering coke addict with a bad knee due to all of my tricky Fosse moves. Oh well, I could have had it all and it has passed me by.
But has it?
I say no. No because I have spawned two possible future geniuses of music and dance. Because one day a child of mine could be thanking me when they accept their Tony. Because I listened to music and I still danced in the living room during my pregnancies.
Because now when I say, "boom chicka boom chicka boom" to my 19 month old, he dances.
He dances.

Monday, August 4, 2008

To Poop or Not to Poop, That Is the Question...

I had great fantasies about creating this blog. In the back of my mind I kept hoping someone of relative importance would fall upon it and kind of throw a Pulitzer my way, or at least I could snag a segment on the Today show.
Alas, I doubt any of that will happen. Plan B was kind of a "celebrity-based" blog. Just kind of posting about famous people and gossip. Nah, overdone. And I most definitely did not want it to become a "mommy blog" because believe it or not, I am more than a mommy. Although it may not seem like it these days...
In reality I guess it will just be a "me" blog. Random posting about things that interest me, annoy me, or happen to me - as if anyone gives a crap, huh?
This rambling all leads up to what I will attempt to compose today. A little diddy about pooping. Or shitting. Making #2. Lovely, right?
I am not a big pooper. I was not blessed with a regular constitution, as they say. Sometimes it would be a couple of days before I would visit the toilet for anything more than a relieving urination session. And when I'm pregnant? Well you can forget it honey because I barely see any action from my colon. And I do not discuss the act of pooping if I can help it. Now my mother on the other hand will raise the window and shout to whomever is listening when she has had a successful bowel movement. Nothing pleases the woman more. And knowing how much it disturbs my father just encourages her to be as vulgar and graphic as possible, and she includes a soundtrack. So don't ask her, because she WILL tell you, in great detail, about her poop. To her it's like an Olympic (see how I just made this relevant to current news?) event. I also do not expell gas if at all possible. Especially not in front of people. I would rather have my head chopped off. I live with three men. Two of them find it highly amusing to make noisy bodily functions (and don't EVEN get me started on my dog). The third has no control over it yet, and I'm not hanging that over a 5 week old's head. Anyhoo... My point is, I go through a lot of effort sometimes, and have suffered through many horrible stomach pains to spare my male family any knowledge that I do in fact have to poop at times. I go to great lengths to disguise the act of shitting. I used to rely on the bathroom fan to block out any (God forbid) noises that emerged from behind the closed door. Because with the size of my house, I may as well drop trou in the living room - yeah, it's small up on this bus. Now my beloved fan has died. A scary burning smell wafts down from the fan when I turn it on now, so I leave it off for fear of lighting up the house in a firey blaze. My mother has suggested a radio. Well with the lack of space to put anything, I would have to suspend the damn thing from the ceiling. I could run the water, which I do, but then I feel horrible about wasting water just so I can throw off my suspicious husband who is probably just glad I have left the room and doesn't care what the reason is. But it is the sheer AGONY and MENTAL ANGUISH I deal with when I even suspect a poop is coming on. Is it worth it? I don't know.
So I ask myself, is it safe to poop or not to poop? THAT is the question.
And now I bid you good-night.