Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I'd rather be writing in my blog

Okay, so I split the difference. I really enjoyed writing the paper for my Developmental Psychology class. I enjoyed the paper because I enjoyed the class. Strangely, I felt that analyzing a person in a video interview was much like analyzing a book or, perhaps more precisely, a short story. Each gesture and phrase only hints at the motives beneath the surface. I found a number of themes to explore - loss, growing up too fast, powerlessness - just as I would with a decent work of fiction.

I started the paper for my second class and found myself dragging my feet. It was going to be a pedantic rehashing of the course reading material. I could only anticipate a perfunctory, uninspired result, written too fast with little exploration. Much like the course itself. The topic has been quite interesting, conflict resolution and negotiation, but the class, a series of five two hour sessions, has given short shrift to the material. I'd like to explore this area further, but with more actual class time devoted to each discussion, so that I could really sink my teeth into it.

So I changed my grade option to No Grade. I mean, if I am not going to get anything out of it, why do it? There will be plenty of time to plod through painful-but-necessary course material when I actually need to take courses for credit.

Perhaps all I am doing is justifying my own laziness. Oh well. It is summer, after all.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Sob story

I've never been one to break out the tissue for saccharine movies or Hallmark cards. Steel Magnolias bored me. Okay, so there was that one time when I broke down while watching Out of Africa on a plane. And the English Patient destroyed me. But generally, I'm pretty resiliant.

Enter pregnancy.

All of a sudden I tear up at just about anything, especially if it has to do with babies. Commmercials? Yep, those too. Actually, ads in magazines will do it. Articles about mothers/children triumphing over the odds just puree my internal organs and establish an apple-sized lump in my throat.

I thought all this would go away after the baby was born. I thought I would go back to my old cynical self. Well, it hasn't happened yet. I cried when the Colby, the gay hairdresser on Survivor. annouced in the finale that he had adoped his cousin's baby girl. I cried when I met my friend's new baby boy. So, will this go away when I stop breastfeeding, perhaps? Or is it here to stay?

I do discriminate, though. I was touched by the 25 orphans in Finding Neverland, but didn't give a hoot when Kate Winslet died. Movie was seriously "eh."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Find something that won’t scar

So, by about 4:00 every day I start getting, let’s face it, a little bored. I really start looking forward to Tom coming home. We’re off to the park, home to nurse, play, dinner…

Tonight Tom has a business meeting so I have extra alone time with the Munch. Somehow, it’s just not as much fun as it was at 8:30 this morning. My ability to improvise playtime is, well, less inspired. Time drags. In an attempt to relieve my own boredom, I take the rubber net ball and throw it at the Munch’s head. Not really thinking – just vaguely wondering if he will be startled or upset. I’m definitely not being a good mom – nothing like that smiling, well-groomed woman on the Pampers box. I mean, if he did start making the cry face, I would pick him up immediately. I’m not that bad – I don’t actually get pleasure in seeing my son cry. I’m just a bit curious about what will set him off. Like today at the park. A two year old was running around making growling monster noises. I was watching, wondering if this was the kind of behavior I had to look forward to. I look back to Munch, and he is making the cry face – lip coming out and eyes welling up with tears. Apparently growling two year olds scare the bejesus out of him.

So anyway. The ball. I toss it lightly at his forehead out of boredom. It bounces right back off and he just thinks this is the funniest thing that has happened to him all day. He laughs harder and harder, drool spinning its trail onto the carpet, as I bounce the ball off of various body parts. We are both in hysterics. We have our most memorable moment of the day.

P.S. It is so exhausting listening to your child cry himself to sleep. Hardest time of the day for me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Performance anxiety

So, I am taking a couple of classes right now to keep my brain alive. I really enjoy both of them, and am actually taking them for a grade. This means that I have to write papers. I haven't written a paper since college - back in the days when you had to print them out and turn them in by hand. These days I guess you just email them in.

I'm a little daunted. My first paper shouldn't be too hard. But still - it's been so long! Will it be like riding a bicycle? Or do I have to learn all over again how to construct persuasive arguments? Back in the day, I did pretty well for myself in school. But I have changed - I'm older - has my ability to absorb and retain new information or my attention span diminished? Of course, I will have to pull this thing together in small chunks while Munch is napping. That's a big extra challenge right there.

I've always looked back to my academic record to bolster my self-esteem. As I consider going back to school, I worry that I won't do as well, and will dilute that record. I am completely freaked out at the idea of taking the GRE or any other standard exam. I almost reject any plan that requires me to do so. I mean, for godssake, that thing has MATH on it. I always did well in math, but that was a lifetime ago. Getting tested on that stuff would mean that I would have to relearn it. Even my ability to do basic computation in my head has diminished, since I don't have to use it that often.

What happens if I get started on all of this stuff and find that I'm just not as smart as I thought I was? What do I do then?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Finish this sentence

May 12, 2005 - Finish this sentence magnify
Mealtimes are difficult when...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

This is what much of my day looked like

May 11, 2005 - This is what much of my day looked like magnify
The boy would not sleep.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Events in my life that are exciting only to me

1. Mother's Day - I didn't change a single diaper all day. Best. Gift. Ever.
2. My wallet disappeared somewhere between Chevy's and home. If you are asking why we were at Chevy's on a Friday night, you don't have kids. This means no online purchases for me until my new credit card arrives. It also means that I will have the opportunity to spend some quality time at our local DMV.
3. I am now having a hard time remembering what day of the week or month it is.
4. The Munch has learned to YELL. He does this frequently and passionately.

In other news, Tom and I had our last date for a while on Saturday night. My parents are going off to Vietnam and China, so our babysitting service will be out of commission for a while. We spent our free hours watching Orlando Bloom being True and Good, and causing a lot of people to be killed in the process. An entertaining movie, which somehow managed to be offensive despite its overt "can't we all just get along?" message. The Christians all looked scared but brave in the face of most certain death. The Arabs looked angry and bloodthirsty (I was particularly put off by the close up of a twitching sneer on the face of an Arab soldier who was about to be dumped over a wall into a pool of enemies who would most certainly kill him).

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Communing with nature

A quick note while Griffin is in his “office.”

Yesterday Munch and I took a long walk out at Sawyer Camp trail. The Munch, amazingly, slept for most of it – almost two hours. The air buzzed with bright blue dragonflies, and, surprisingly, we shared the trail with very few others.

As I was charging along, I found our path interrupted by a snake and came to an abrupt halt. It had a rattle attached to its tail, so I thought I would give it the right of way. I indicated to a man coming the other way that he might want to do the same, but he charged right up to the thing.

“How beautiful. You don’t see them too often around here. And this guy’s a biggie – he’s been around for a while.”

Okay, we got a tough guy naturalist here.

“Don’t worry, they eat rodents. They’re not interested in humans.”

Sure, but I think I will keep my distance just the same. “As long as you don’t startle it, I suppose,” I offered cautiously. I figured this guy had been around plenty of rattlers and was using the opportunity to show the nervous mom that she should relax.

Then the kicker:
“Hey, what’s that on its tail?”

Me: “Uh, a rattle.”

Him: “OH!” (steps back) “Not so nice then,” He hurries his step and continues his walk.

Goodbye, Mr. Tough Guy.

Is it the rattlesnake’s fault that it is a rattlesnake? Does that make it “not so nice?” I would venture that all critters are equally nice – we just need to treat them with appropriate respect. Except mosquitoes. Those little bastards deserve death and destruction. And snails.