Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yesterday at the Playground

The Boy: I'm Sunny Superhero!* And you, (he points to his father) are Dark [sic] Vader!

The Girl: I Pink Hulk!

So, yeah, I think we're doing a fair job of introducing our children to Nerd World, and ensuring that they will have a limited number of friends.

*This is a super hero of his own invention. Sunny Superhero can fly, and "has the power of sunbeams," which basically means he can shoot laser beams of sunshine from his fingers.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mother Moment

For better or for worse, I don't define myself as a mother first. If someone asked me what I do, that wouldn't be the first thing that I mentioned. Even if I were a stay-at-home mother, I don't think I'd answer, "Well, I have two kids..."

There are some who would be horrified by that, and they would assume (a) that I am incredibly selfish, (b) that I don't love my children properly, (c) that I take the Boy's and the Girl's wonderful presence in my life for granted, or (d) all of the above. None of those things are true about me, but go ahead and be all judgy.

Anyway, I know there are scores of people who define themselves as parent first and foremost. Just take a look around Facebook and see how many profile pictures of your friends feature their progeny. Cripes, some of my friends' profile pics don't even include themselves. It's like they can't even wait for people to look at their bios or stats or whatever to see that they have children -- that bit of news is FRONT AND CENTER, baby.

Truth is, my children's welfare is always, always, always the first thing I consider in big decisions. For instance: Super Ninja and I are looking to move so that we can be in a really good school district as opposed to the dicey one that we're in now. Oh, and sidewalks. My kingdom for a network of sidewalks.

Perhaps my low-key-itude is overcompensation for my own mother's attitude toward motherhood? Ask her anything, ANYTHING, about herself, and the fact that she has seven children will come up within 30 seconds.

Let's analyze that later.

The whole reason I started writing this post is because I had one of those didn't-think-it-was-weird-'til-later moments over the weekend. Let me set the scene: the Girl seems to have a bit of an allergy to something floating in the air 'round our manse, so she's been a bit stuffy. But two-year-olds aren't proficient at the whole nose-blowing thing, and the air has been a bit dry despite prodigious use of humidifiers, so the end result was a crusty glob of yuck plugging up her nostrils. It was particularly bad yesterday morning. From several feet away, I could hear her exhalations whistling around the chunks in her nose.

So, I did what any mother would do.

I bribed her with M&Ms. Why the bribe? To allow me to pick her nose, of course. That's right. No tissue was going to get the job done. These things required extraction. But when the yuck gets that big, the removal is a little painful, even it it is softened up a little with some of this stuff. The M&Ms were to tempt her to stay still for a nano-second so that I didn't accidentally pierce her nose or anything like that. Four M&Ms later, we were done.


The thing is, I wasn't grossed out by it. I wanted to do it. I was compelled to do it. And, when all was said and done, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I scrubbed my hands thoroughly afterward, to be sure. But I didn't dry heave or anything like that.

And that's the kind of quiet moment that defines motherhood to me. It's not proclaiming from a mountaintop that I am a mother. It's just being one. Showering my kids with affection, and truly being eager to roll up my sleeves and do the grunt work that helps them, be it teaching them to read, explaining social interactions, or pinning them down and picking their noses so that they breathe more easily.

So, suck on that, ye doubters.

Friday, March 06, 2009

You Always Need Water

I had my annual visit to my OB/GYN yesterday. (Cue shudders among my male reader(s).)

On the plus side, my diminutive Asian doc told me that I should lose 25 pounds instead of the usual 40. So, the Wii Fit and the reduction of the amount of crap I shovel into my maw are having the intended effect. It's shocking what cutting calories and leading a slightly-less-than-sedentary lifestyle will do for ya.

On the not-so-plus side, I gave myself an outrageous case of razor burn while preparing for said visit. What am I, eleven years old with a dull Bic? Sheesh.

Yeah, so here's what happened. I'd originally thought my exam was scheduled for last Tuesday. I spent mucho time primping the night before. I think I spend more time grooming for my OB/GYN appointments than I did for my wedding. We're talking actually shaving ABOVE the knee, instead of up TO the knee. Anyway, at the appointed time, I sauntered into the doctor's office, only to find that someone (they say me, I say they) mixed up the appointment times. No biggie -- they just rescheduled me for yesterday.

Since I lead an ridiculously busy life (i.e., web surfing) I forgot about the appointment until yesterday morning. I did not groom during my evening shower the night before, and I only allow myself a lightning fast 15 minutes to get ready for work. Shaving ankle-to-hip is not a staple of my morning toilette.

What to do? I couldn't, just couldn't go to the doc with more than a week's growth on my gams. She might mistake me for some other hominid and forward me to the local zoo. I did what many a gal short on time has done: dry-ish shaved my legs.

Sounds desperate, I know. But I had one of these kind of shavers, and I thought if I spattered a little water on my legs, I'd be OK. I mean, the models in the commercials are never actually IN the shower when using the device, right? I would be a thoroughly modern, untethered woman, and shave outside my tiled prison. All would be well.

WRONG. Wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong.

It didn't hurt while I was in the midst of shaving. But oh, Lord, the consequences. Imagine being slightly flayed. And then someone whips the exposed meat of your legs. Pleasant, eh? They are much better today, so I'm guessing a crucial layer of epidermis has grown back already. That's my secret mutant power: re-growing skin that I removed in a stupid attempt to beat the clock.

Ultimately, I've decided that if I forget about future OB/GYN visits, Tiny Asian, M.D., will just have to deal with my hirsuteness.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Overly Examined Life

Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." He said this during the 4th century BCE, though, when people were mostly examining how take care of the first two levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. My guess is that when you are looking for food, shelter, and safety, you're not all that concerned with philosophical thought. But it's only through questioning and reflection that we understand our world, right? So, once you've had your gruel, think a little bit about the hows and whys of your day.

Okay, fine. Maybe in the three minutes that aren't spent working for survival, ponder life.

Got it.

I contend, though, that we're veering into a new age of overly recording and examining our day-to-day, which also renders life not worth living. I mean, if you're spending all of your time recording the quotidian, then you aren't really thinking about it, right? A list doesn't result in a manifesto. Well, unless you're Rob Fleming.

Anyway, I blame Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites that I'm too tired to look them up. These things have a function that allow us to update our connections ('cause, let's face it, not all of them are friends). And most of my connections are posting revelatory things like, "X is making turkey burgers for dinner." Or, "Y needs to eat." And, "Z is working out."

Just because the function is there, you do not need to use it. I use it too much, I know. It's there, taunting me. And then the status updates get out of date, and I think, "No, wait, I no longer feel that way." And then there's pressure to change it to something new, but then I realize that I HAVE NOTHING INTERESTING TO SAY, and it becomes this avalanche of need to collect some new experience and be able to say:

MCV is going out to lunch today.

Aargh. Not interesting. Not reflective. Not anything.

Anyway, I'm wondering when we'll hit the wall and realize that recording our daily meals or activities does not really add value to our lives. Is that harsh? I mean, my Facebook page does not reveal anything about me that my Outlook calendar would not, and that's a bit sad. I think that's why I maintain this blog. But I keep them separate, 'cause I guess I don't want all the folks that I'm, ahem, friends with on Facebook to have access to the old inner sanctum. That's just for you fine people, most of whom I wouldn't know if you poked me in the eye.*

*I don't know why you'd poke me in the eye by way of introduction. Jerk.