Jesus Drive By

The other day Mr. E was sitting on a bench with Eli waiting for me to finish running and a woman and her kids sat down next to them…started making conversation. She asked Eli’s name and Mr. E told her and she said “Oh, straight out of the Bible. Does Eli love Jesus?”

OH MY GOD HOW IS THAT AN APPROPRIATE QUESTION?

Mr. E just changed the subject, he is an excellent diffuser. I told him next time (and you know there will be a next time) someone asks if Eli loves Jesus we should just say, very sadly, “Oh, no, he’s lactose intolerant” and walk away.

Talking About Love

Let me think of how to put this delicately.

Practically seconds after I started thinking “ok, maybe, let’s try this, I might be ready for this baby thing. Maybe. I guess?” I was pregnant. In the time between when it happened and when I found out I decided that if it didn’t happen that month then maybe we’d put the whole business on hold for a bit because I started to chicken out. I never got the chance to change my mind and so here we are today.

I realized the other day that if you’ve been reading this blog lately and you don’t have access to Eli’s baby book in which I write down how much we freaking adore him and you don’t hang out with us in real life (or even if you do), well, it’s just, there’s been a lot of complaining here lately. Last night I lay awake remembering – thinking of telling my best friend in the Safeway parking lot that I couldn’t eat sushi because we were trying but that it probably wouldn’t work right away but maybe we wouldn’t try anymore for awhile because I wasn’t so sure about things and I am so very glad I never got the chance to overthink myself out of becoming a mom.

Some days I am so tired. Some days I am so frustrated. Some days I count every minute.

Some days I see Eli lying next to me and I think “oh my god. He’s here. There’s a baby here and holy crap he’s mine how did this happen so fast?” and I still don’t feel like a mom.

But some days we laugh. Some days we have pajama parties on the living room floor and we play with each other’s noses and we fall asleep together. Some days we share six month birthday cupcakes. Some days we read books and I get baby chortles for my rendition of the The Little Lamb. He tries to eat my toes. I nibble his.

And I am never regretful.

I don’t have this blog to write letters to my son. I have nothing against it, but for me, my writing is this organic part of me – something that I just have to get out so I don’t go crazy, it’s like my therapy, and that’s more of what I do here. So yeah, it’s a lot about me. And I am a complainer. And this blog isn’t necessarily the place where I will note that Eli is 26 inches long or that we went to the park (although he is and we did).

Maybe that’s just an excuse I make because I don’t know how to say how I love this child as well as it should be said. Writing about love is a near impossibility. Dancing about architecture and all that, you know.

But. Complaints and all. On the hardest days. I only know that he is it for me. The instant he existed he became part of who I am. He has twined endless invisible leafy tendrils across my heart and now I cannot say where I begin and he ends. He is the air I breathe. He is the blood in my veins. He is my cherry chip cupcake, my favorite song, my reason. He is inextricably mine. I’ve never regretted anything less.

Using Your Powers For Good

I just got my period for the first time in 15 months (along with the debilitating cramps caused by my endometriosis), tonight is one of the two nights per week that Mr. E works late at his second job, and Eli would only take a half an hour nap this morning.

Pray for me. Seriously. Or better yet…

Concentrate as hard as you can, focus on Northern California, stare at your computer monitor, use your bat force or whatever your powers may be, and think “THREE HOUR AFTERNOON NAP” with every fiber of your being.

Thanks!

Edited to Add: At least we know now why I’ve been such a raging beotch so crabby lately. Ah, PMS, how I did not miss you.

Not Working

Here’s a dirty little secret.

Although it is not something I would admit even to myself, ahead of time, prior to Eli, one of the reasons I wanted to be a stay at home mom is because I didn’t really like working. Although I knew as you do all the politically correct $148,000 a year propaganda about how staying at home is working and I also heard all the sturm und drang about how hard it would be, it still seemed less…soul sucking, somehow. Like it might even be fun to stay home with my kids. I thought we could do projects and I’d get some fingerpaints or something and we could make crafts out of potatoes.

It’s not so much that being a stay at home mom sounded easy, exactly, and it’s not even because any of the jobs I’ve had have been so hard, but there’s only so many mornings you can drag yourself out of bed at some ungodly hour to go adminstratively assist people who act like you suck because you LET them break the copy machine before you think that maybe NOT adminstratively assisting for a while would be nice.

But my god is THIS job hard. Hard hard hard.

I feel like I’m barely hanging on. I really do. I am so so crabby but when Mr. E asks me why I don’t know.

One million years ago exactly when I was a freshman in college and seriously the most naive and innocent freshman in college of all time I signed up to take surfing classes. (Hee. Surfing classes. How awesome is the UC system?) One of the first things we learned besides the fact that the Pacific Ocean in October at 6 AM is really fucking cold is how to turn turtle – how to duck under the wave with your surfboard over you so you don’t get all thrashed up by every wave. But sometimes you get caught anyway and inevitably it scares the shit out of you, the indescribably cold and unfriendly and enormous violent ocean tossing you in every direction and rolling you without stopping and causing you to lose all your bearings and sometimes you would only get the tiniest of breaths in and just open your eyes before wam there’d be another wave pounding down right on top of you, roiling you all over again.

That’s the only way I can think of to describe this. Or maybe it’s like I’m in a room where the oxygen is slowly leaking out. And it’s leaking out so slowly that sometimes I think I’m perfectly fine, I don’t even need that much oxygen, really, to live. And other times I know I’m dying.

I wish this wasn’t so abstract. I hate that kind of writing. But unfortunately it’s not as if there is just one thing I can point to and say “this is it, this is the problem, this is what is making this all so hard, let’s fix THIS.”

It’s not just that my husband really wants me to stop being crabby and I simply don’t know how to. It’s not just that he won’t take out the recycling, ever, and not just that my soul dies a tiny bit every time I open the broom closet to find thoughtless random scraps of cardboard that I will have to gather up and bag and cart out to the curb myself. It’s not just that the second I finally get my house clean I can actually see the dog hair settling back over everything and I can feel the decay begin again, immediate. It’s not just that I can’t keep up with my running or my writing or my email or my friends or my family or my flickr account or my bills or my budget or my library books or my weight watchers points. It’s not just that I can’t imagine how anyone could do this with two or three or four. It’s not just that I think I’m not doing a very good job. It’s not just that I thought things must just gradually get better and so that’s what I’ve been counting on and now my six month old is 100% straight up crawling and it turns out that’s not easier than when he couldn’t move at all and just stayed in one place and cried all the time.

So what I want to know is this:

When do I get a raise?

When do I get my two weeks vacation?

And doesn’t someone owe me six months worth of two fifteen minute breaks?

The Story of the Elizabeths

I hid my scale right before my parents got here.

Part of the reason is because I think I stole it from their bathroom the last time I was at their house. (Hi, I am 12). But mostly I wanted to see how it would feel if I separated myself from the numbers I just keep seeing over and over again.

143.5. 144. 148. 146. 144.5 146.5

I’m not sure what I think yet about this separation from the scale. It’s like there are about fourteen Elizabeths in my head and on different days they each seem to make sense.

I would love to not think about food all the time, so sometimes I think I should just eat whatever I want and not worry about it and learn to be happy with me. That’s carefree “fat is good for you it keeps you full! Elizabeth”. She has a full fat caramel macchiato in her hand, and she wonders if you think “she shouldn’t be drinking that” when you hear her order it.

I would love to eat just picked farm fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and not care about the calories in the olive oil drizzled on top or in the cheese or the bread. That’s hippie “Whole Foods Elizabeth” and she eats a lot of olive oil, but only the local stuff. She worries that she doesn’t try hard enough because she doesn’t come anywhere close to eating only local or only organic or only free range or only hormone free and she’s not reducing her carbon footprint and she secretly craves sugar free jello with cool whip.

But I would also love to be able to wear something besides the one pair of shorts that fit me and I don’t want to buy new jeans this fall. And that’s “Strict Dieting Don’t You Want to Buy New Reward Jeans Elizabeth” and she eats Light yogurt and carrots and she really wants to weigh herself RIGHT NOW because she’s been “good” all afternoon.

Then there’s “If I ever have a daughter I can’t fuck her up the way I am fucked up I need to get a handle on this soon Elizabeth” and she’s eating chocolate (but only the dark Really Good Stuff!!!) while she reads self help books.

Then there’s “you can’t let people think you have let being a mom make you soft” Elizabeth and she’s so scared of looking like a failure or a loser that she doesn’t eat anything. She knows I have to lose fifteen pounds and that I sometimes look like I’m still pregnant even though my child is six months old.

Then there’s sensible Elizabeth and she eats plain popcorn and diet coke and and she tells me to get off my ass and count my points and quit my complaining. She thinks about food all the time.

Don’t forget runner Elizabeth. She thinks I’m amazing for running eight miles but she’s scared I can’t run nine and so she eats pasta with wild abandon and says “Screw portion sizes, I need the carbs.”

Mostly there is scared Elizabeth. She makes sure she always has nuts and beef jerky and yogurt and apples and Clif Bars around and she wonders how to lose weight without fear, without hunger. She is afraid she will never ever like herself, no matter what she does. She is afraid she will never be skinny enough. She is afraid that if she doesn’t eat enough she will be revealed for the selfish crazy body obsessed incompetent lunatic that she is when her milk dries up and she can’t feed her son because she cared more about the size of her thighs than her own child.

I am all these Elizabeths. I can’t help but notice that none of them are very happy.

And I have no idea what to do about that.

Wish Me Luck

My mom is visiting…she has no idea about my blog so I won’t be posting till the weekend, maybe. Although after cleaning the house for three days straight and then spending four days with my mom I am not lying when I say I can already tell I’m really going to just want to spend all next weekend lying around with a gin IV dripping straight into my veins.

My mom walked in the door and said “hmmm. Very clean in here.” and then LAUGHED. What does that even mean?

A. She thinks my house is not actually that clean.
B. She thinks I’m a psychotic freak/bad mother for cleaning my house obsessively instead of teaching Eli french and how to diagram sentences and to play croquet at the age of six months.
C. She thinks I’m a loser who does nothing but clean my house all day and that instead I should get a job and a cleaning lady so I can be “successful” like her!
D. She thinks we have nothing in common and has nothing to say to me so she just comments on the first thing that pops into her head and then laughs nervously?
E. She thinks I am raising her precious grandbaby in a horrible neighborhood and so it shocks her how cute and clean my house is on the inside
F. She thinks having a dog is such a terrible and freaky idea that she can’t believe its possible to have one and also have a clean house that’s not filled with poop and half chewed god knows what.
OR
G. My house is just that freakishly clean it’s all you can notice or think about.

I seriously have problems. I can’t believe I can infer all that from ONE “mom sentence.” God knows how an entire evening will go.

Again. Wish me luck. And send booze.

ROY G BIV

My mom and stepfather arrive in less than 24 hours and my house is a hardcore disaster area and I completely exhausted myself running eight miles on Sunday and I have the crabbiest baby ever in the history of all time and so naturally I decided that now was a good time to put my books in rainbow order.

God I love procrastination.

Off to clean the bathroom!

(Yeah right).