Finding the Time to Write

I sit down in front of the computer with a deep, heavy sigh.

Aaaaaahh….

The computer desktop is littered with the mismatched icons of randomly saved photos and temporary files I need to sort through. I know I need to organize it, but if I’m really going to spend time cleaning, it should probably be directed at our toilet.

It’s now stained a deep, burnt orange, and it creeps me out.

On the other hand, there are Tupperware containers lurking in the back of my fridge that are full of soup…

Soup that was delicious months ago.

Soup that has enough bacteria and fungi at this point to evolve into a new life form. It has probably reached the bronze age and is forming little prehistoric societies.

I ought to do something about it before it creates a government and harnesses the power of the atom.

But the toilet is ORANGE. Even I’m grossed out. I really ought to go scrub it.

Screw it. I’m exhausted. The DragonMonkey is playing happily with his trains and the Squidgelet is asleep in his swing. I’m not going to waste this time elbow-deep in a toilet.

I double-click on the Firefox tab… not that it’s called that. Somehow, the DragonMonkey managed to rename it “RIBB” during one of his frantic keyboard-pounding sessions. I left it that way because it makes me smile.

RIBB loads slowly, and by the time I’ve made it over to my blog to open up a new post, the DragonMonkey has apparently moved on from playing with trains. I hear a slight sound of feline protest, which is drowned out by a sudden, gleeful shrieking.

“DAT! DAT! HAHAHAHAHEEEEEEHAHAHAHAHEEEE!”

Coyote (our half-grown street cat) is laying miserably on the couch, eyes squeezed shut as the DragonMonkey yanks on his ears.

DM! NO! LEAVE THE CAT ALONE. NO TOUCH!!! TIME OUT!”

The DragonMonkey hurls himself into a corner, wailing inconsolably, slamming his fists against the wall in rage.

Someone has been in a terrible mood since we brought his little brother home.

“NO. No screaming allowed. Stand right— you put your nose in that corner, mister. NO! NO KICKING. NOW! GET IN THE CORNER NOW!”

Coyote is still flopped in the same position on the couch, pretending to sleep. It seems to be his only defense. Sometimes I wish he was less easy-going and would just scratch the DragonMonkey and teach him a lesson.

I let the DragonMonkey howl for a few moments, then call him over to me.

“Do you understand why you were in the corner?”

“Yeah.”

“You need to be NICE to animals. You do NOT hit them. You NEVER hit. You only use gentle hands with animals. Do you understand?”

“Yeah.”

“Now go apologize to Coyote.”

The DragonMonkey bolts over to the couch, where he lays a big, sloppy kiss on Coyote.

Coyote pinches his eyes tighter. If he can’t see the annoying toddler, maybe the annoying toddler doesn’t exist?

Daaaaaat. Daaaaaaat,” The DragonMonkey croons in a singsong voice, petting Coyote softly.

“Very good, DM. Very good. You’re being very nice to the dat… err, cat.”

He continues petting nicely for a few moments before returning to his trains. Apparently being nice to the cat is really boring.

I watch him for a few moments, then return to the computer.

I type a few sentences, only to hear a soft, grunting sound from the swing.

Crap. Squidgelet is hungry already?

I feel a familiar burning, prickling sensation in my chest. Apparently all I have to do is hear him grunt and my milk lets down. I take a moment to ponder the bond between the mind and the body, and the intricacy of our biophysical make up.

As I sit there pondering sociology versus evolutionary psychology, I’m dragged back to reality as I feel my shirt grow unpleasantly damp.

I never replaced my nursing pads after my shower.

Double crap. I now have two sexy little circles over each of “the girls”.

Heavens knows, there’s nothing that boosts your self esteem quicker than leaking milk all over your shirt.

With a sigh, I stand up and scoop up the Squidgelet. I’ll change after I nurse him.

The second I settle into the chair and feel the baby latch on, the DragonMonkey bolts over to the abandoned computer.

“NO! DON’T TOUCH!”

It’s too late.

My paltry few sentences have been replaced by the gibberish resulting from toddler-sized hands pounding on the keyboard.

“CORNER. NOW!”

DM throws himself back into the corner, wailing once again.

The Squidgelet loses his latch, and before I can redirect him he has clamped down onto the tip of my nipple, and gums down hard.

It feels even worse than it sounds.

With a screech, I pop a finger into his mouth and break him free.

The DragonMonkey, distracted, cuts off his crying mid-wail. “Mama ow?”

“Yes, a little,” I say through gritted teeth. “Mama ow.”

I let him come out of the corner, and switch the Squidgelet to the other side. Gotta give the girls equal attention, or I’ll be paying for it later with lopsided boobs.

I hear a drawer open in the kitchen, but it sounds innocent enough so I don’t bother to investigate.

I spend the next few minutes fighting The Squidgelet, who is drowning beneath my overactive letdown of milk. He pops off every few seconds, gasping for breath, and leaving me to drip streams of milk down the front of my shirt and all over the boppy.

Oh. The. Sexiness.

By the time we’ve got a good rhythm going I realize the kitchen has been disturbingly silent for several minutes.

DragonMonkey? What are you doing?”

Silence.

DRAGONMONKEY? Come here.”

Silence.

DM, come here, NOW.”

Silence.

“One…”

……..

“Two….”

……..

“If I hit three, you get one swat on the rear and two minutes in time out….”

………………………….

“THREE.”

With a sigh, I heave myself up and head into the kitchen to investigate and follow-through on the discipline.

The DragonMonkey has apparently opened our silverware drawer— something he does on a regular basis.

This isn’t what alarms me.

What alarms me is the fact that he has somehow managed to reach into the very back, BEYOND a special divider we have placed to keep him out, and extracted one of our steak knives.

I know this because he is sitting cross-legged in the kitchen, next to our other placid cat (appropriately named “Fat Cat”), and is busily pushing the steak knife into her haunch, pointy-end down.

He is so absorbed in his task that he doesn’t see me.

Fat Cat does see me, and gives a pitiful meow.

I’d feel more sorry for her, but she is apparently too lazy to actually stand up and walk away to save herself.

Besides, I’m too busy trying to figure out:

  1. How the heck did the DragonMonkey reach the knives?
  2. How in the world am I going to get it away from him without him hurting either of us in the process?
  3. Why the hell don’t the stupid cats ever defend themselves?! There’s a toddler trying to stab her with a knife! How hard would it be for her to jump on the counter? Or head out the kitty door? Shouldn’t some kind of survival instinct kick in at some point?

I slip up behind the DragonMonkey as quietly as possible, tucking the Squidgelet beneath my arm like a football. Luck is with me, because despite the fact that I am one-handed I manage to snatch the knife out of his hands before he even notices I am there.

“NO! MINE! MINE!”

“No, it’s not. This is a knife. you don’t touch knives.”

MINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINE! No! MINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINE! No! No! No! No! MINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINE

He disintegrates into a complete meltdown, kicking and hitting the floor, screaming at the top of his lungs.

Back into the corner he goes.

Back onto the couch I go.

Back onto the boob Squidgelet goes.

By the time we’re all released, I realize that there’s no way I’ll be able to finish a post any time soon.

I peck at the post throughout the day, adding sentences here and there.

And the next day, despite the fact that I don’t feel much like writing after I discover that the DragonMonkey “painted” himself into a corner of his crib with poo.


And the next day, although I’m disconcerted to discover that in the 3 minutes I turned my back to add to the post the DragonMonkey:

  1. Decided he needed to be naked.
  2. In the backyard.
  3. Discovered that if you pinch a ding-a-ling it gets hard.

There is nothing quite like stepping into your backyard to find a naked little white boy grinning up at you, arching his back as he boldly shows you what he’s accomplished.

Other moms go to Gymboree classes and work on reading skills.

We play “Pinch The Ding-A-Ling” and “Stab The Cat”.

I am single-handedly driving down all the housing prices in my posh Orange County neighborhood.

A week later, I finally finish a post. Admittedly, I have several others in the works, but still. It’s taken me a week to write one blog post.

How the heck do people manage to update their blogs every day? It seems like a monumental, impossibly huge task.

It’s a Boy!

Squidgelet was born yesterday morning at about 11:00 am. Just shy of 8 pounds, and completely healthy.

We’re both doing great, aside from the fact that I’m still pretty tired.

I got my VBAC, and it was totally, utterly, and completely worth it. Squidgelet isn’t even two days old and I am walking around and feeling pretty good. What a difference from a c-section!

I’ll give all the gory details later, because I need to try and get some sleep before my angry piranha of a child wakes back up.

Evacuation Notice

Sorry that this blog hasn’t been about anything about pregnancy and childbirth for the past few weeks, but when you’re this far along, it’s kind of hard to focus on anything else.

For those of you who need a quick recap: My due date was on the 18th (sort of— I think it was on the 22nd, but eh… does it really matter?), so according to my doctor yesterday I hit two weeks overdue.

I don’t know if you guys know this, but doctors really don’t like it when you go “overdue”. They get really, really, really antsy.

When you combine that with the fact that you are adamantly trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) they get really twitchy.

I’ve been going in every two or three days for stress tests and biophysical profiles on the Squidgelet. The first few we passed with flying colors— the last two showed a lower amount of amniotic fluid.

Needless to say, when you are overdue, trying for a VBAC, and you have lowered amniotic fluid, the doctors get really, REALLY twitchy.

The first time the results came back, the nurses called my doctor and he showed up with a large crotchet hook to break my waters in order to give me a chance at normal laboring before another c-section.

Now, for the record, I’m not all that against c-sections in theory. If other women want them, then I’m totally happy for them. I’m just against c-sections for me. I think it has something to do with my Rheumatoid Arthritis… after years of living with a body that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, I’d like my body to just behave for once and do something right. Besides, labor pains feel natural. C-section pains do not. There’s no real way for me to explain it better than that.

The other reason is that if I have to carry around gigantic, child-bearing hips like this my entire life, then I darn well better get the chance to use them. I mean, what’s the point, otherwise?

So anyways, when my doctor came in with the hook, I politely informed him that I wasn’t quite ready to throw in the towel quite yet and signed out AMA (Against Medical Advice). I didn’t do this lightly— I’d done a lot of research and didn’t feel like we’d hit that point yet.

It caused a minor stir in the labor/delivery ward of the hospital— apparently nobody ever signs out AMA.

A couple of days later I returned for another test. Once again, the fluid was low. Aside from that, however, the Squidgelet passed all his/her other tests with flying colors.

Once again, the nurses called my doctor.

Once again, I signed out AMA.

The nurses were not so pleased with me this time, and really read me the riot act. One of them even went so far as to say “You know, we have an autopsy report with your name filled out on it.” While I understood their concern, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with their bullying tactics.

After coming home and worrying, crying, and generally freaking out for a day or two, I finally made my peace with the idea that I’ll probably need another c-section. After all, I don’t have a lot of faith that breaking my waters when I’m not in labor will get the job done, especially when I can’t really receive any chemicals to help the induction along the way (higher risk of uterine rupture.)

I called up my doctor and scheduled an appointment to have my waters broken. It was hard, but I felt like it was probably the best decision for the Squidgelet.

I spent a wonderful day with the DragonMonkey, trying to prepare him for the fact that he is about to become a Big Brother.

I explained it in detail to him several times.

He watched me while I explained, nodded, and then interrupted me with “Choo-choo? Go slides?”

Yeah, I’m not really sure it sank in.

I packed all my things and thought REALLY hard about cleaning the house, which is pretty much the same thing, right?

I baked slightly burned cookies for the nurses to get on their good side.

I set my alarm to wake me up at 4:30 in the morning to give me time to shower before my 5:30 appointment at the hospital.

It’s now 2:15 in the morning and I haven’t been to sleep yet.

Why?

Because the contractions are about 45 seconds – 1 minute long and coming every 5 minutes or so.

God is good.