Friday, November 18, 2016

Things I Don't Have to Worry About


I'm going to go ahead and make the bold assertion that I have a more challenging child than most people. I get pretty worn out and depressed, like today because I waited WAY too long to drink coffee. I know. Priorities, Hannah, priorities. But before I become a total downer, there are some things I'm grateful for about my child that other people probably can't say:

I don't have to worry about him getting kidnapped. This is a big one because it's something every parent has thought about. Theo still gets stranger danger and will cling to my leg whenever someone he doesn't know gets too close. This, combined with his lung capacity and his absolute refusal to sit still so we can trim his nails would ensure that even if he did somehow get taken, the kidnapper would be back in five minutes, deaf with a clawed face and a dark soul full of regret.

I don't have to worry about him surviving in the wild. Another big parental fear? I don't know, but if Theo ever gets lost in a forest, he would be found in his preferred state of nudity, squatting and digging in the mud like a feral child. If someone stumbled upon him, they would assume he was raised by animals, which he loves so he would easily make forest friends to have a cuddle puddle with for sleepy times. The dangerous animals would get screamed at and look for lunch elsewhere.

I pretty much don't have to worry about him getting lost anywhere. A few times I've lost sight of him in Whole Foods, but he's usually heading toward the toys, or I can follow the trail of stuffed pigs he's pulled out of the precariously displayed tower of stuffed animals.

I don't have to worry about him being/becoming a psychopath. Should be more of a parental fear I think. Your child could grow up to BE the kidnapper! But not mine. He has more emotions than a room full of teenage girls at a Justin Bieber show.

So there it is. My gratitude list for the day.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

I'm 1% Human and 99% Tahini


I never thought of myself as having an addictive personality but give me a jar of tahini and holy shit, I can NOT stop. I eat spoonful after spoonful until my mouth is so sticky I can barely swallow and then I take a few more bites and that's when I force myself to stop. Sometimes when I'm trying to exercise moderation I'll use a fork so that most of it falls through the holes, but then I spend twice as long trying to get enough to feel satisfied, even though I never quite reach that point, because if I did then it wouldn't be an addiction, would it?

Bryan frequently walks through the kitchen while I'm fork deep in tahini and shames me. He thinks I'm disgusting and have no self-control, which may be true. But at least I'm not the one that chose to live with me. I mean, what's worse, being disgusting or consciously choosing to live with someone that's disgusting? Think about it.

I also use opportunities such as this to remind him of incriminating things he's said or done.  Like the time before we started dating and were just friends grabbing a bite to eat. There was a movie theater across the way and he said, regarding the weird chick with missing teeth that took tickets there, "I'd kind of like to have sex with her, just to see what it would be like."

He gets embarrassed and does that thing where he pretends to wring my neck. "Why do you remember everything?!"

Yeah, I fight shame with shame. Works like a charm.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween

I know Halloween was days ago but who can keep up with writing about things at the seasonally appropriate time? I'm not a holiday person. At all. I hate Christmas, Easter makes me feel oppressed, and July 4th can fuck off. My curmudgeonliness stems from a combination of the Christian agenda revamping all the Pagan celebrations and the fact that people are complete consumerist assholes when holidays roll around. That said, on Halloween I dressed Theo up in a monkey costume that I bought because how adorable, and we went trick or treating on Alberta Street. All the businesses hand out candy and it was a mad house on the sidewalk with stroller traffic and kids on sugar highs running wild in their Mario and Luigi costumes. I can't tell if I kept running into the same kid but I seriously saw a dozen Luigis and it was kind of disorienting.

We started out on the slow end of the street and Theo toddled along next to his girlfriend, a ladybug, with his tail dragging on the ground collecting wet leaves. Then it got crowded and he demanded to be carried. I got real tired of hearing "uppy uppy uppyyyyy!!!" a while ago so I taught him to say "uppy puppy" instead and he says it so tenderly that I don't get irritated at having to constantly pick him up. I carried him for many a block while pushing the stroller and avoiding head on collisions. Eventually we stopped collecting candy and he let me bribe him into his stroller with one of those kiddie Clif bars, the healthiest thing I had. All in all, I guess he had fun, though the concept of trick or treating clearly eluded him.

I was going to use the candy we got to hand out to trick or treaters but Theo ended up taking a late nap and we turned out the lights so no one would knock and wake him up. Afterward he played with some gummy candies because they were in the shape of cats (garbage cans and cats - not the son I thought I'd have) but didn't try to eat it. I'm conflicted about future Halloweens because Bryan and I don't eat candy and I find it ironic that most of the chocolate people hand out to kids to make them happy is made by child slaves. My mother doesn't like when I get on my high horse about these things - "Can't you enjoy anything?!" No, mother, I can't when there is such injustice in the world - but it's true. Now I have a small bowl of candy sitting on the table that I don't know what to do with, a trifecta of artificial flavours, diabetes, and slavery. It probably won't expire for the next fifty years though so I guess I can save it for when my mother comes to visit.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Accidents Happen and Then You Get Rich

I sideswiped a car today pulling out of a parking lot. I'm not even sure how it happened. My horoscope didn't mention a side swiping at all. Maybe it's because I ate gluten last night. Or maybe because I haven't slept in a year and a half.    

Knowing my luck they'll probably try to sue for damages, including their vehicle, bodily injuries, emotional and psychological damages, their dog's emotional and psychological damages... There wasn't even a dog in the car but it's traumatized vicariously through its owner or something. People are crazy like that. One time I was backing out of a parking space at a half mile per hour and hit the side bed of this crazy woman's big truck in my tiny Honda and she claimed severe bodily injuries, missed work, etc. She was probably in her 50's and had an insane amount of glitter in her hair. I told the insurance company the woman was clearly crazy as indicated by the quantity of glitter, but they paid out anyway. God I can't wait to get hit by a car. Fucking jackpot.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Honest Motherhood

So I'm doing this crazy elimination diet to try and cure my stomach problems that have been going on for about a year now. Bryan has had it up to here with my weird diets I'm always doing and I can't blame him. But also, I've shit my pants twice this year so maybe he can see why I'm incredibly motivated to figure out what the fuck is wrong with me.*

The diet I'm doing this time is from some random book I found at the library and involves eating nothing but bone broth, meat, fat, four vegetables and herbs for a month and then reintroducing one food every three to four days. I've gone a full week so far with a few cheats - half a banana, some coconut butter, and most recently, one of those Justin's packet of maple almond butter that I shame-ate alone in my car in the Whole Foods parking lot.

I've been getting mad cravings for anything that isn't carrots and have started doing that thing anorexic people do where they look at food pictures online and think about how much they'd love to eat everything but then they just eat a low-fat Triscuit instead. Or they smell other people's food, which is what I do every morning with Bryan's coffee and toast with butter and jam while I have a cup of herbal tea and eat carrot sticks. I find myself scrolling through Pinterest for food porn to drool over while I wait for my veggies to steam and my meat chunks to get over cooked. l'm slightly worried for my mental health and also worried that my skin will turn orange from my mass carrot consumption but the thing is, I'm actually starting to feel better. So I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. Or in my case, really wanting a chocolate donut before I go insane but really not wanting to shit my pants again. I know, I know. "We've all been there, girl!" you say. It just helps to share my story. Go eat donuts for me, please.

*Is that what they call an "overshare?" All these moms are constantly posting pictures on Instagram of their kitchens with dirty dishes, a pile of laundry or a selfie with a glass of wine with hashtags like #honestmotherhood and #reallife and people respond with affirmative comments because, what do ya know, they have a pile of unfolded laundry and are drinking wine too! Do other people also shit their pants but are too humble enough to seek out solidarity? Is this real life or just my life? Well, either way, let's lift the silence. #ishitmypants #mymotherhoodismorehonestthanyourmotherhood

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I Hate it When...

...I get to sneak away to a restorative yoga class I'm desperately in need of but I somehow end up next to that person who's so unsocially conscious they take up as much space as possible even though, hello, this is community yoga, hence less space for all, but she's all up in her oblivious zone, props splayed out everywhere, breathing loudly, taking liberties with her poses in the most distracting ways - like making blanket forts while everyone else is in child's pose - and just when I think she can't get any more annoyingly relaxed, she farts. Part of me is like, bitch, I'm trying to savasana over here! But then the zen part of me is like, ok, at least her fart is contained in her weird blanket fort, and then I close my eyes and think about food and feel myself transcend, transcend, transcend.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

4am Pickle Party


Theo has decided his new wake up time is four in the morning. And that's not a pop up and cry for a second and then be soothed by some milk while he falls back to sleep on top of me kind of wake up because he does that all night long already. This is a wide eyed and bushy tailed, yelling out random words and ready to play and eat pickles kind of wake up. So that's what we do now.

We go back to bed when most people are waking up, and that's when I get weird dreams - ones that haunt me all day and make me feel like my waking life is surreal. This morning I spent the whole dream trying to find my pink bicycle helmet. In my heart of hearts I knew I wouldn't find it but I couldn't stop looking. There were helmets everywhere and I could have taken any of them, but I didn't. I needed my goddamn pink one.

I don't even own a bicycle helmet. Does it mean I should get one? A pink one? Is it a metaphor? If so, what is it a metaphor for? Should I stop eating pickles? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

So many questions and I have no answers. This is why I don't do drugs.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

We Are All Assholes Before Coffee, But Especially My Boyfriend

My boyfriend drives me crazy. (I was about to say "bat-shit crazy" but then I thought, Is bat shit really that crazy? And if so, just how crazy is it?! Turns out, not so crazy. So naturally I had to Google pictures of animal poop to find one that is crazier because that is how research works. Though I can't say I did an exhaustive job, I'm going to declare the wombat to be the winner, which technically makes the phrase half-correct. They poop out CUBES, people. Google it. It's the craziest. And I should have guessed, because wombats are totally my spirit animal.)

Anyway, my boyfriend drives me wombat-shit crazy. Usually Theo and I go on an outing in the morning but today Bryan wanted to try Never Coffee on Belmont, which we peeked in while walking by one day but didn't try because it was passed coffee-drinking time (although with a child who sometimes stays up until midnight for no reason, I'm not sure there's a cut-off time anymore.)

And so we go. As usual, we end up in an entirely different area than our specified destination, and I inquire as to where he has decided to stop not-at-all along the way this time. Bake shop. Because as soon as he hears about a place he might like to go, he has to go there immediately. It's quite shocking actually that he hadn't insisted on going to Never Coffee sooner, since poor impulse control and the need for instant gratification make up half his body weight. Gluten and sugar make up the other half.

Our child is a ticking time bomb when confined, especially in a car seat where the car is not moving. All it takes is a quick pastry stop and we get to hear ear-shattering screams all the way to the coffee shop, hitting every red light possible with Bryan swearing behind the driver's wheel.

(Where is it? Which way do I go?
Caesar Chavez or 47th. Coffee is 43rd.
But which way goes over the freeway way?
They both do.
Which one should I take?
OH MY GODDESS. It doesn't matter!! They both go over the freeway and the coffee shop is in the middle of them!
...
Why are you going this way? It's on 43rd!
You could have told me that before I started going the wrong way!
I told you it was at 43rd like three times!
Stop yelling at me!)

Theo stops screaming when we get to the coffee shop, which has a colorful, cactus-y, Palm Springs vibe, a refreshing change of pace from the stark, industrial feel that plagues the majority of Portland's coffee shops. As soon as we walk in, there is a pastry case front and center with a fabulous array of baked goods. From Bake Shop. 

Like I said. Asshole.








Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hink

As if I wasn't already sad enough about not being the milf I thought I'd be - with my psoriasis, balding patches, digestive disorders, ill-fitting clothes, and lack of energy - Theo likes to tell me frequently that I smell. He buries his entire head right into my armpit for three seconds and pulls back with his face all scrunched up. Then he waves his hand in front of his nose as if fanning away the stench and says "Hink! Hink! (His word for stinky.) To really drive the nail in the coffin, he puts his hand on my face, aggressively pushes it toward my armpit and makes me smell myself. On both sides.

"Yes, hink, hink," I agree. And then I cry and eat an ice cream sandwich.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Potty Training

When Theo says certain words, he sounds like he has a little French accent. His "no" is more like "non" and he draws out vowels at the end. Other times he just sounds like he's deaf.

He's a pretty chatty kid and therefore he likes to announce when he has to poo by yelling "uh POOOOOO! uh POOOOOO!" in a his French/high-pitched, Mariah Carey kind of way, and then he screams, waddling around the house and grabbing onto furniture periodically like he's having contractions. This happens throughout the day or for a half hour leading up to the birth of his actual poo, which involves a final cry, grunt and push, and it's so intense that I never know if I'm going to find a turd or a screaming baby in his diaper. I mean, I get it. It's an emotional process. Especially when it happens in public, it can make you feel very vulnerable. It's also awkward to explain when bystanders give you questioning looks.

We've been working on potty training, with mild to moderate success. He still thinks it's funny to pee on the floor and then play in it (though I try not to divulge this information too carelessly because it really limits the amount of playdates people want to have at your house.) Hopefully he'll get the hang of it soon. In the meantime when his announcement publicly arrives, I just shrug and let people wonder why it looks like a deaf French baby is going into labour. What can you do.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Whale


I've completely forgotten how to have adult interactions anymore. I took canine and child to the park yesterday, stopping first at the dog park on the way to the playground. There was a huge Mastiff (I guess that's kind of redundant - Mastiffs are usually huge) that ran over to sniff Milo, a modestly-sized Lab/Border Collie mix who likes to hump big dogs' faces. The owner of the Mastiff came over and said something to me I couldn't understand because I was distracted by his cuteness. And thus began my one and only conversation with an adult for the day:

Me: What?

Guy: Sorry for the barking.

Me: What?

Guy: I thought he ran over and was barking at your kid.

Me: Oh, no. He wasn't even close and he wasn't barking at all.

Guy: [smiling] Oh good. Then I retract any and all of my aforementioned apologies...

Me: [Is he flirting with me?! I felt that twinge of excitement you get when being possibly hit on, but was also suddenly self-conscious like when you realize you haven't showered in many days and are wearing overalls. I tried to think of something to say] That's a... big...dog.

Guy: Yeah. His name is Whale.

Me: Wales?

Guy: Whale.

Me: ...Wale?

Guy: [looking at me like he just realized I'm not "all there"] Whale. Like...the animal.

Me: [expressionless and speechless]

Guy: [promptly turns with his dog and walks away]


It's good to know if I ever need to start dating again, I can add "scintillating conversationalist" to my resume. It's also good to know that Milo has a single brain cell that told him not to hump the Mastiff's face. Overall, a pretty successful encounter.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I Hate it When...

...I manage to wrangle up the dog and child to go on a walk, and remember to grab the keys and the backpack with extra diapers, wipes (mostly in case Theo picks up dog poop or a condom at the park again), water bottle, snack, and a change of clothes because I'm wildly over prepared, and I put Theo in the stroller and Milo on his leash before he can bark at the neighbor, and we're mobile but then I feel it: the classic not-so-subtle tug of my tampon string caught between my leg and my underwear.

If only I hadn't worn my pregnancy thong this wouldn't be happening, but alas, it's too late for regrets. The whole way to the park I try to find a spot that would be ideal to adjust my goods, but there is always someone walking by with a smile that makes me feel like they know I'm having tampon string issues and I smile back in shame. At the park I scout out a bushy area where I can hide, but knowing my luck I'll turn around and some kid will be standing there yelling, Mom! There's a lady over here with her hands down her pants! So I decide to just suffer because I don't want my child to become THAT kid with the mother who puts her hands down her pants in the bushes at the park. I think that wins me the best mom award today.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sex Spiders

I am insanely arachnophobic. I also have a sixth sense about spiders so I'm always the first one to see them, and then I have to scream for whoever is in the house to come squash it. Or free it outside. Depends on my mood. Anyway, Bryan grew tired of my demands - especially after a spider laid eggs underneath the banister and every day those baby fuckers creeped out onto the stairwell - so we agreed that for every ten spiders he killed I would have sex with him, because that's how compromises work. So far he had four sex spiders.

Then yesterday he was at work and I had to clean our basement apartment at the last minute before our AirBnB guests arrived, and in the shower tub was, of course, a huge spider. After a half an hour panic attack and a useless text conversation that went something like this -

Me: There's a huge spider in the shower. WHAT DO I DO??

Bryan: Just get a paper towel or a shoe and squash it. You can do it!

Me: You clearly don't know me.

Bryan: Pour some water on it and wash it down the drain.

Me: Can I just leave it? It's close enough to Halloween (pumpkin emoji)

Bryan: Just get rid of it already!!

- I worked up the nerve to turn the shower on hot full blast and spray the spider, who freaked the fuck out and after being pelted with water forever, did that gross curly up thing that spiders do, I guess to look dead so you'll stop trying to kill it. Then it drifted stubbornly toward the drain but was too big to fit. (I know, this is getting tense, but it has a happy ending that involves ice cream, I promise.) I had to aim at it with the shower head toward a bigger hole on the side of the drain and after some careful maneuvering and another forever, it finally went down the drain. Then I ran upstairs to eat an ice cream sandwich because I was shaking and needed to calm my nerves after such a terrifying ordeal. Now the spider count looks like this:














Friday, September 16, 2016

Kindie Music is My Jam

Theo is extremely active so when he's not napping (which does happen daily but no one knows when or how short) we have to be out of the house. Unfortunately there are not many activities that he can tolerate. And by "he" I mean me.

I took him to library story time when he was a few months old and developed severe claustrophobia when I found myself huddled in a circle with zombie parents competing to see who could sing "Criss Cross Applesauce" most excitedly to their immobile blobs. They should clarify that this is sing-along time, not story time. We've been to the community center for open play and I lost him in a sea of plastic and older kids hyped up on sugar. And then wherever we go, there's inevitably that shitty kid who harasses him. He's pretty shy and takes a while to get comfortable enough to venture out and play and then when does, he gets hit or pinched or yelled at by some three year old princess who has claimed the blocks as her fortress where no boys are allowed! It's like they know how to pick the worst victims. Or best victims I should say, as these malicious children feed off nothing but the tears of others. So far, music shows are my favourite. "Kindie" music is big around these parts and is usually a guy and a guitar singing a mix of classic and modern jams. Here's some lyrics from a recent Red Yarn show we went too:

"Eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast!"

The barista at the coffee shop next door where all the parents swarm before and after asked me how the show was. I said, "That Red Yarn! Best show I've been to since my child was born!"

The look on his face told me he'd be layering condoms when he went home to bang his girlfriend later.

Note: You can find Red Yarn on iTunes but he's better live, as all great musicians are.

Subnote: It really was a fun show for kids and tolerable for parents. Four stars. (I had to minus one for the puppets. Sorry Mr. Yarn.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I Must Mention My Unmentionables

Buying new underwear is on my to do list somewhere in between napping and shaving my legs. (If you're confused about the scale I'm working with here, it goes from highest to lowest priority. Sorry Bryan.) I currently have many sizes ranging from pre-pregnancy to extremely pregnant. (My postpartum granny panties are long gone. Your welcome Bryan.) I can't really keep track of which ones are which size so I either end up wearing tiny crotch ones or super big waisted ones. It's one of those things that comes to my attention every time I get dressed or have an uncomfortable moment and think, I need new underwear YESTERDAY, but then forget about as soon as my child screams my name and demands my attention or attempts to do something dangerous, which is all the time.

So the other day I had on some biggies and when I pulled my pants up, my thong ended up above my pants line but with my shirt tucked in to it. I didn't notice until I walked into the kitchen and Bryan said, "Wow, you've reached a new low," but in a way where you could tell he was impressed and somewhat admired my feats of lowness. He must not have been present earlier when I started the coffee maker without any coffee in it, or the other day when I put all the dirty dishes from the dishwasher back in the cabinets, or ate cold, hard leftover rice because I was too tired to heat it up. If only he knew my 80's high-rise thong is clearly the least of my problems. Then he'd be really impressed.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I Never Know How to Start These Things

My 17-month-old loves to sit in my lap while I eat. He also loves to pick up fistfuls of food off my plate and shove them in my face, yelling "EAT! EAT!" I feel like that guy in the movie Seven who is force fed to death, except no food actually makes it in my mouth. It falls on my lap or the floor, and then I have to fight the dog for scraps, which is usually when my boyfriend walks in and gives that judging look - the one that says, "Why are you eating food off the floor again? No standards, Hannah. NO standards." And it's true. My standards greatly lowered when I accepted that taking showers, sleeping, and having hobbies just weren't in my stars.

It's the worst of all worlds really.

(OK, so the guy in Seven actually had it way worse. Because he died. But then again, he also got to sit down to a lovely meal and didn't have to eat off the floor, so maybe it cancels out?)