metro mama

Thursday, May 27, 2010



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Now With Less Whine!

I don’t like to leave my whiny posts up for long without top-posting with something positive, so here it is.

There is a lot that’s good about five. Cakes is over the moon about her birthday. Birthdays are everything to 5-year-old girls, aren’t they! She has been planning her party for months: the guest list, the décor, the food, all of it. Her excitement’s contagious.

As for behavior, five is a big milestone. Cakes is a ‘spirited’ child and three and four were sometimes pretty challenging. But I see a new maturity in her now. She’s helpful, empathetic, loving and kind. She doesn’t always do what she’s told, but it helps if I explain a logical reason for doing something (I was exactly the same way) (still am, actually).

As for McHotty spending more time with her, that has been terrific for both of them. He is a magnificent father. Last night Sherwood and I joined in on story time. She didn’t want me to read to her, but requested one of McHotty’s original stories. As we listened raptly, he narrated “The Princess Pirates.” Here’s a recap: the Pirate Princesses were sailing in the sea one day when along came the Nasty Scary Pirates who fired their cannon at them. The Princess Pirates were not scared, and immediately loaded up their cannon. They have better aim, and a better ship, so their cannon hit the Nasty Scaries and their ship started sinking. The Princesses pulled up to the Scaries, stole all of their treasure, and gave them a lifeboat. Then they took the treasure to the island village and they all had a big party with cupcakes, fizzy water, party cheese and strawberry shortcake.

Speaking of parties, I will post some pics after Saturday’s big bash. And I will be happy and enjoy my beautiful little girl.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not My Baby Anymore

This past year has been a blur: a blur of new baby, long hours of nursing, and now breathtakingly busy days since I’ve returned to work. During this crazy haze, something important has snuck up on me, and now it’s weighing heavily: Baby Cakes is turning five tomorrow, and I’m sad.

I’m really, really sad, and I never expected it. I felt a few twinges when she turned four last year, but nothing like this. I kinda feel like I’ve lost a year with her. Our way of coping with the new addition to our family was for me to predominantly care for the baby, and McHotty took Cakes most of the time. I missed a lot of bedtime stories, and now I feel guilty.

I know there are a lot of great things about five. Life is a lot easier, we have wonderful conversations together, she is lots and lots of fun. But she will never be my baby again, and each month she needs me less and less. Since the first five years went this fast, I’m already dreading the day I will look at the calendar and realize she’s turning ten, then fifteen.

They say the days are long and the years are short, and man is that true. Tonight I’ll put a smile on my face and bake cupcakes with my girl, and read her extra stories before bed. I’ll be smiling on the outside, but inside I’m sobbing.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Metro Reco: C'mon Papa by Ryan Knighton

These days everyone knows that being a parent is hard. If we don’t know it from personal experience, there are plenty of blogs and memoirs out there to tell us so. We get it. But imagine being a blind parent. In his memoir, C’mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark Ryan Knighton candidly explains what it’s like: challenging, frustrating, terrifying, but also joyous, just like it is for parents who see.

From the moment of conception, everything is harder for a blind parent. But you have to make it work. Knighton describes his frustration at not being able to see the ultrasound, and then the magic upon hearing his baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Even learning about being a parent is harder. He wanted to read up on parenting, but there were few audio books available. Fortunately, it turned out this wasn’t a problem. He had a friend help him by reading some parenting books for dads. After hearing some of the inane advice, Knighton was glad he couldn’t see: “I was already blind, I didn’t need to become an idiot too.”

There is so much in the book I can relate to--especially thinking back to when I had my first child--the sleep deprivation, the anxiety, and inability to relax. Like Knighton, I remember pouring a much needed Guiness at the end of the day, scarcely able to enjoy it while hovering around the baby monitor turned as high as it will go, twitching at every sound. But it’s his frank descriptions of fear that stir me the most. He describes going for a walk with infant Tess strapped to his chest, trying to anticipate a million hazards, and narrowly avoiding being hit by an inattentive SUV driver. Once Tess begins to walk there are new horrors—he describes her toddling away outside, silent in the snow. I lost my daughter briefly at Winners once. Five minutes of looking for a child feels like hours for someone who can see, let alone someone who is depending on her answering his calls. There are few things more terrifying, I think.

Along with fear, Knighton tackles another subject most of us can identify with: the minefield that is parenting with a partner. Trusting your partner and sharing responsibility is no easy task, and it is no different for Knighton and his partner Tracy. But, unlike many women I know, Tracy gives Knighton the trust and responsibility he needs to become a real hands-on father. I am in awe of both of them.

C’mon Papa is inspiring, honest, funny and irreverent without falling into the “bad parent” shtick that is so overused these days. No one is a perfect parent; we want to do the best we can. But as Knighton shows, kids are resilient and flexible, and sometimes the best thing we can do is follow their lead.


Saturday, May 08, 2010

High Time

Best Mother's Day present ever? A little lady at the table for tea. She did me proud today.


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