Saturday, August 29, 2009

on the other side now

I taught first grade before I became a school librarian. I've had to tell parents things that are hard to hear....I'm going to leave it at that. Wouldn't want to get "dooced" (to lose one's job because of one's website).

I'm on the other side now. It was reported to us that Ramona had a sad, sad day at daycare. I took it very personally. I want my baby to be happy all day and the guilt that I had been secretly saving tumbled all over me. I defensively said to my husband, "She doesn't act like that at home!". PEOPLE, I SAID THAT. As a teacher, this is something that I heard from parents a lot, and I always thought it was ridiculous. But it's true, and I should have known that. A child is like a grown up in the way that they behave differently, with different people and places.

Being a mom has made me softer. More compassionate.

I think now of the nights that I've ruined with my dreaded teacher phone calls. Maybe I wouldn't change anything if I had it to do over, but I would have more compassion in my voice this time around.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Night Book Review - Oh, Brother!

This week I read Oh, Brother! by Nikki Grimes to my third graders. It's a story told through twenty poems about a blended family coming together. It goes down so smooth you hardly realize you are reading poetry (sorry poets!).

It really hit my kids right in their hearts. The story of a family coming together. The empty feeling in your heart when your mom and dad aren't a family anymore, the desperate greed you feel when you have to share what feels unsharable. And then the joy when you find something whole where you used to have something broken.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ramona and her mother

Welcome to the new blog. My best friend, Nicole Parigo, whipped this up for me today. She also took the photograph.

I renamed my blog. My baby was named with Little Miss Quimby in mind, so it seems natural to name my blog after her as well.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

professional help

My Ramona is a breastfed baby. Sunday night I realized I was down to three frozen bags of milk after dipping into my reserves all week because I just wasn't pumping enough milk at work. I cried and felt disappointed. I was failing working motherhood.

I’m proud of the milk I give her. And I need to cut that shit out. I am reminded of a Buddhist story where the monk’s head is neither turned by blame or praise. There is my baby, there is the milk, and sometimes there will be the formula. I prefer to nurse her and I prefer that she drink breast milk. And we will take it one day at a time. I'm not going to have my head turned by this. I will not feel pride for feeding her breast milk, neither will I feel blame for feeding her formula. I will feed my baby, I'll love her and we will grow.

.....However, I met with a lactation consultant. She gave me some good ideas and a kick ass breast pump to try. All is good in novaland.
Never underestimate the power of professional help. Be it a priest or a lactation consultant. We need teachers.

Friday, August 14, 2009

stfu Victor Hugo

victor hugo - definition of heaven - "a place where parents are always young and children are always little".

Yes, stfu indeed, Victor Hugo. Tonight I feel certain that a quote like this could only come from a man. He probably thought this up while he was smoking his pipe or whatever by a fire while Mrs. Hugo was up breastfeeding baby Hugo for the 26th time that day.
Ramona is taking the catnap approach to sleeping tonight. It is nearly midnight and she has been up twice since nine. Heaven is a place where your baby knows mommy needs to play internets undisturbed.

I'm thinking about going to sleep, so I can maybe "not hear her" next time she wakes up.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

trust it

When Ramona was 3 weeks old I e-mailed Karen Maezen Miller.
I was full of anxiety, depressed and very sweaty. I told her about what a mess of a mother I was. To my great surprise, she wrote back and said this: "When we are a mess,we no longer have a choice but to trust the way". Trusting the way. But what does that MEAN??? I'm so attached to the plan I need to have it surgically removed from my brain.
Part of the plan was that I would go back to work this week. I have a good feeling about the person I have chosen to care for Ramona. She seems to be kind, gentle and compassionate. When I drop Ramona off I actually feel a rightness with the world. I feel proud to be a working mom.Now here's the tough part. Nothing works the way it did. The schedule that we naturally and comfortably fell into is gone. She takes 2 hours to get to sleep at night, and wakes up during the night again. I have no idea when she will be hungry. Knowing me, I should be freaking out. I should be calling and e-mailing friends with kids for advice. I should be, but I'm not! Friends, I'm not. I'm trusting the way. I'm going to keep feeding my baby and I'm going to keep coaxing her to sleep. I know it's going to happen and for the first time in my life I don't need someone to talk me into trusting the way. Because I honestly do.