I've decided to stay on typepad. The move would be such a pain in the ass, and I realized that I can just start a new blog under the wetfeet domain and password protect that one. When I post I can just link back to it here. Or not. Or whatever. We'll all figure it out. We'll manage.
In other words I've decided to stay where I am. You know when you realize that your fussing with the details when the big picture gets ignored? I know there's a more clever way to put that, but i can't think of it right now, the Windex has gone into my brain. But anyway. Fixing up the blog woulnd't fix my lack of direction and drive. Like putting icing on mud. It may look prettier, more snazzy and slick, but it's still mud.
I'm adding a tip jar, though. There goes the last of my pride. And probably a cafepress store too, in time for Christmas, so I can sell one, maybe two t-shirts. In addition to the "gentlemen prefer blondes" one, I want one that says "I look better on myspace" for the days when I look like I've been run over by a truck but my profile pic still rocks.
Anyway, the tip jar. I don't want it to be like I expect people to pay me for what I do here. But I want there to be an avenue for someone who has the urge to be generous to be able to do so.
I blog because I love writing and I love having people who read even my crappiest stuff. I've already been paid. But, y'know, single moms sometimes need money. And if someone wants to give me money, I'm going to make it easy for them. I'd love for blogging to be my job, but unfortunatly there are just too many of us for that to be viable. Writing is cheap on the interwebs.
My next order of business is to stir up some controversy because it's so fricken boring around here. Plus, my hits are in the cellar. My star, it is a fallin'. My statcounter cries.
Although James Patterson may best be known for his Alex Cross mysteries and Women’s Murder Club series, readers more familiar with his work may know that he has more up his sleeve than just adult thrillers. In fact, Patterson recently released the third book in his Maximum Ride series, meant for the young adult crowd. These books follow a group of kids known as “the flock,” who, because of experimentation that was done on them, are left with bird DNA that gives them avian-like qualities.
The flock is led by 14-year-old Max, and she and the other “bird kids” range in age from 6 to early teenager-hood. Although, as you can probably already tell, science fiction plays a large role in these novels, there is plenty of action, adventure, comedy, and even a little romance to appeal to even the most skeptical pre-teen or young adult. As well received by parents as kids, the first two books in the series, The Angel Experiment and School’s Out Forever, led to the creation of character blogs, a MySpace profile, and even movie talk.
Constantly on the run, the flock’s adventures bring them from California to New York City, from Texas to Germany, and touch on everything from mad scientists to the environment to Internet blogging. With characters who are both implausible and yet still incredibly real, the stories are edge-of-your seat exciting, entertaining, and poignant. Interweaving into the thrills stories of friendship, morals, and loyalty, Patterson ensures parents will approve and kids everywhere will relate. Easy to read, witty, and engaging, these books are sure to get young readers excited to pick up a book time and again.
1. Judging from my inbox, you need a stern warning about the Quechup scam. This is from an email I received from a friend* a few weeks ago:
"During the registration process, the site asked me if I'd like to see if anyone in my address book was already a member. Stupidly, I said it could go ahead.
Little did I know, the damned thing spammed every single contact I had, from work associates, to friends, to relatives, to even people I don't recall ever meeting. Every single one of them received an invite supposedly from me to join this service.
Now - at 8:50 p.m. at night - I find myself sending apology notes and warnings to the near 1,000 individuals I have in my address book. Very professional looking. Very smooth.
Anyway, if you're one of the people who supposedly received one of these "invitations," do NOT accept it. Delete it. I don't advise that you do any business with these people at all, and finally I am truly sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused for you."
Okay? Okay. Onward.
*This friend of mine didn't actually write that bit (or fall for the Quechup thing), he quoted it from "a random blog". Since he didn't credit the writer, I am aware that I am reprinting without permission. Some digging turned up this site. Yay google!
2. Tomorrow morning the girls leave for a week vacation in California. No, I am not going. I am going to stay home and freak out, keep myself busy by getting a job, continue to freak out, party till I can't think anymore (which will be my only reprieve from freaking out), relive every bad mothering moment of the past six months, clean out my house while listing all the reasons I deserve to lose them in a plane crash, or a car crash, or a freak ocean accident. It's going to be an exhausting week. But, hey, I'll get to sleep as much as I want. Oh, and I plan to knit some hats. And read. And sleep. Did I mention sleep? And write. Hey, I may post more than twice next week.
*NOTE TO CALIFORNIA FOLK* Miriam is very attracted to water!!! And needs to be watched every moment while there is body of water nearby!! She will hurl herself into a pool without a second thought!! She is without fear!! I told this to Josh but I don't know if he heard me!! Please take heed!!And, um, hi! by the way. I've heard that you've read my blog. Sorry I'm so shitty about returning phone calls. Being terrified is no excuse for such rudeness.
3. The new blog is coming along-it actually has a name! and a spot on wordpress!- and I was thinking, if anyone has anything they'd like to post on there that they don't want to post on their own blog, or if anyone here doesn't have their own blog but feels like doing some blogging every now and then, I am taking on begging for some guest bloggers.
I realize that one of the areas that I really suck as a blogger is keeping my content current, and maybe guest bloggers-maybe two a week?-would keeping things moving even when I am experiencing my periods of self-indulgent artistic flux.
My single mom friend (who wants to think of her very own fake name) has already agreed to do some guest spots. She's a poet and a teacher. She teaches in Philadelphia's inner city public schools, elementery school science, and her perspective is mature and valuable. Just the other night she read me a poem she wrote about a fight that erupted in her classroom.
4. I also want to make a t-shirt: "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes [in fancy script], Real Men Love Feminists" [in bold, square letters]. Not an original sentimnet, for sure, but I still want to wear it on a t-shirt.
after bedtime, while i was across the room dozing off and putting the baby to bed, naomi decided it would be a good idea to reach under her pillow for the little box her tooth is in. in the dark. of course it got lost.
even though we made a big ritual of putting it under there, even though i explained fifty thousand times that if she loses it the tooth fairy won't come, she needs to be careful, it's a tiny tooth it could get lost don't lose it, kid, take care, show respect blah blah blah blah blah.
i might as well have been on mute.
because she opened the box, lost the tooth, and in that tone that drives me absolutely batty because it sounds so fucking spoiled "mo-mmy, i lost my too-ooth." (which wakes up the baby). i hate that tone, because it's obvious she thinks i'm going to come over there and make the tiny tooth magically reappear and pat her on the head and put her back to bed and everything's going to be hunky-dory. as if i was just blowing hot air all day. as if i'm made of steel.
i whisper "damn. guess the tooth fairy won't be coming".
then, heedless of everyone around her, she starts with the operatics. again, i don't know how many times she's been told (and has seen for herself) that noise after bedtime is a surefire way to get me going. it's like she can't learn. it's like she puposely doesn't retain information, out of spite.
i want to smack her.
i think about it.
espcecially when she acts surprised and upset (and escalates the screaming) when i tell her the tooth fairy can't come now, because there is no tooth to retrieve. she acts traumatized, as if she wasn't warned all fucking day. (i would no longer judge impatience in a mother's voice. i know that the first 50 times she said whatever she's saying, she was probably perfectly calm.)
i want to tell her she ruined everything, it's all her fault. i want to tell her that having a tooth fall out didn't make her a big girl, not being able to follow this simple instruction means she's just a selfish baby who lost a tooth. like a ten year old who gets her period isn't a woman; she's just a ten year old kid with grown up hormones.
most of the things i want to say would go right over her head. i indulge in some mildly abusive things in big words she doesn't know. but there's no mistaking the tone.
after i calm down a bit, i try to walk her through her thought process, what did she think she was doing when she decided to take the box out again? at what point could she have made a differenct choice? she conveniently forgot any reasons she had. she just sobbed like i killed her kitty and called me mean and a bad mommy and i felt like utter shit. i felt like i should not be responsible for a four year old's mental health, because i clearly am not cut out for it.
i hate it when she acts stupid, and pretends she didn't understand me in order to do whatever she wants. i hate it when she doesn't take me seriously. i hate it when she doesn't listen. i hate it that she doesn't do this to other people; if it were her nana putting naomi to bed tonight, she would have taken the utmost care, she would have been awed enough to leave the fucking box under the fucking pillow.
i suck at this. everyone seems to be better at bringing good behavior out of her than me. letting go of the anger gives way to the self-loathing. it's better to hurt one's self than one's children. swallowing more feelings in order to calm her down, and get both of them to sleep, and maybe make up for some of the more awful things i said in anger and frustration. naomi and i fall asleep curled together. i hate myself.
i hate it that we lost her first tooth. i hate it that this rite of passage was marred by her fumble and my freakout. why couldn't she just listen to me? believe me? respect me? you open up a small box in the dark, you're going to lose the fucking tooth. you lost the tooth, you don't get squat. so be careful, be respectful. what's so hard to understand about that?
and if it's this bad when she's almost five, what it going to be like when she's 17?
i found naomi's tooth this morning, nestled into the carpet near the bed. we put it back in the box, we're going to try again.
we talked about how her choices could have been made better, how i overreacted. she remembered every horrible thing i said. she understood more than i thought she could.
she also apologized. "i'm sorry mom. i must have put my brain in my butt". and she forgave me.
i said we all act on impulses sometimes. i said that she and i are so much alike. i sympathized with her for being so excited about her tooth that she had to try and look at it one more time. i forgave her for acting on the impulse and disobeying my instructions.
forgiving myself, not so simple. but life moves along.
one of the most humbling things about parenting is when you realize how your parents got so crazy. and you understand. and you suddenly see yourself as what you were: a brat.
it's okay. we could all use a little humility. i'll do better next time.
Naomi has a loose tooth! And a new molar pressing its way out of the back of her gum!
I thought she was too young for this, I hadn't even read up on it yet, I thought it would still be another few years before I had to figure out what kind of tooth fairy would be making nocturnal visitations (a stingy one? one in costume? would she deliver dollar bills? or crayons?). I thought kids didn't loose teeth until kindergarten.
But I guess I should have expected it, this is a kid who had more teeth at six months than many kids have at 18 months.
I look at her these days and I can only shake my head in mute wonder. Where did that baby go? She'll be five in less than a month, she plays elaborate games with dolls, she can read, yesterday she went to Old Navy and picked out a new dress for herself and her sister (matching, but different colors), a new backpack for herself (which she filled with her favorite toys and took to the park "to share with my friends"), all the while maintaining her big-girl poise.
And now, the nightmare teether of a baby (seriously. I never saw a kid teethe that bad. I guess that's what happens when you cut molars at eleven months), has turned into the brave, sweet, utterly together little girl who sits before me, proudly wiggling her precious loose tooth with her finger and reading a Snow White book.
1. Naomi has a thing for Rilo Kiley. Also the Cat Empire, Dolores O'Riordan, and Feist. I only mention this now because she's singing Moneymaker "uh, uh uh, OH YEAH" and it's really funny. And when we are feeling low, we sing Dolores O'Riordan's "Ordinary Day" to each other, and we feel better again.
2. I'm taking them to see The Cobbs in the park tonight. One of the things our fair city does in its most overlandscaped patch of "nature" is to have weekly summer concerts. Until this year, I've never recognized any bands. This year is the first year I've heard of a band that's playing there. Not only have I heard of them, I've liked one of their songs enough to play it on the myspace profile. Indeed, according to myspace, they are my "friend".
3. I'm rereading Henry and June, found it in a forgotten stash of books in the basement. I had forgotten what an interesting person Anais Nin was, outside of the whole reputation for erotica. (And you know, if I had a time machine, Henry Miller would be in trouble. Big trouble. Fun trouble). I thought Tropic of Cancer would be in the same box, but no. Tropic of Cancer is still lost. I haven't read it since I was 19, and I can't remember if it was truly brilliant, or egotistical misogynistic trash. After re-experiencing Henry and June as a grown-up, I want to reread the other stuff too.
I wish I could say this was decision made out of concern for my kids' wellbeing; so much passive entertainment is bad for them; so much sitting around is bad for them; they should be more self-directed in their imaginings. Yes, all this is true. Good. In line with how I would be if my life approached perfection.
But the fact is, the TV broke, and I can't afford to replace it.
I wish I could say this has been a positive change for us. I'd like to herald the hidden benefits of the silencing of the monolith. (They don't fight! They are so much more creative! They even look smarter! And now they eat broccoli!!**)
If there are hidden benefits, they are still hiding.
It used to be that I could turn on a movie and they would be quiet and peaceful for awhile. "Awhile" could be an hour, sometimes. I could be in another room, mommy anntenae at 60%, working on something else, enjoying the silence.
The irony is, now that there is no TV, there is no silence.
They can't stay in the playroom for any more than a few minutes. Mommy's not there! They come back down, first Naomi, then her shadow, they fight over toys, they follow me around, Naomi's constant chatter, constant repetition of questions and stories, while very adorable, drives me out of my head.
The only escape is to go out, while I cool my heels and my head with an expensive coffee and they play in the park and Miriam gets to run around and burn off her energy and Naomi gets to point her barrage of chatter at people her own age for awhile, who are suitably awed by the same things she is. Good for them, bad for me and whatever I was trying to do. (It might have been doing the dishes. It might have been reading blogs. Whatever.)
There are days when I'd happily sell their souls to Nickelodeon for a few hours' silence.
*When I say "TV" I am referring specifially to the big black box on which DVDs are seen, not cable. We've been without cable for over a year and that has, indeed, been a positive thing. But if I could get HBO a la carte for myself I would, in a heartbeat.
**they both like broccoli anyway, and they did even when they had full access to the anti-broccoli indoctrination machine that is commercial television for kids. Did you ever notice how often the pitch for some artificial processed pretend healthy crapfood for kids is sold with the pitch "it's not broccoli, so your kids will eat it"? How long do you think before they begin to absorb that they're not supposed to like broccoli? Not long, right?