Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fighting a Losing Battle

We have been locked in a battle with our cat, Griffin, since the day we brought our son home from the hospital. It’s unclear, at this point, who is winning, although I suspect it isn’t us. Griffin has always been a “talker”. Yes, occasionally it was too much, but not very often. And he would run to greet me at the door when I got home from work and then snuggle up next to me on the couch while I read in the evenings. He loved his tummy rubbed and would chirp his happiness. So what if he occasionally became anxious about a change to his schedule and would lick a bald spot on the inside of one of his back legs. I would regal co-workers with tales of my neurotic cat. They would chuckle and I would shake my head in mock aggravation. Then, we had a baby…and taking an immediate, and permanent, back-seat to a squalling lump of swaddling blankets did not sit well with Griffin. His meows turned up a notch, then another, and another until we found ourselves whisper yelling at him to “SHUT UP” while Deacon napped. We kept telling ourselves he would adjust. People, it’s 21 months later and nothing has changed. I think we need to face the facts, it’s not going to. But, I’m not willing to give him up yet. He’s such a good cat underneath all that loud, terribly annoying, incessant meowing during bedtime and naptime. So, here we are still engaged in battle. This morning, I lost. Our house is very small. We have two bedrooms and one bathroom and our bathroom is located between the two bedrooms. I have to get up pretty early for work and Deacon is still sleeping. I also have hair that requires blow-drying. I can’t do this in the bathroom without waking Deacon up. So, since I went back to work when Deacon was three months old, I have been doing my hair in our laundry room (the farthest room from his bedroom). My hair-care products have been moved there, along with my blow-dryer and curling iron and a mirror that I prop up on the clothes dryer. Sure, the light in there isn’t great, but I’ve adapted. Unfortunately, the cat’s litter box is also in there and Griffin won’t use it if someone is in the laundry room. Instead, he’ll sit at the doorway meowing until you leave. In the interest of keeping my child sleeping, I always vacate and let him do his business. It works out. But the last couple days, his meowing has been out of control and I’m sorry to admit he’s been spritzed with the water bottle a lot. I think he’s been harboring resentment. This morning, he waltzed in there and took his sweet time to drop a load and then, barely covered it, leaving noxious fumes floating all around where I needed to be to finish doing my hair. Round #1,782 goes to the cat.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Before I had a child, if you had told me that I'd be working full-time and still manage to breastfeed not only to the year mark, but beyond, I would have thought you were crazy. Instead, here we are: Deacon is 21 months old and I'm still nursing at night. And I'm proud of this. He's been talking since he was 8 months old when he said his first word besides "mama" and "dada"; it was "bloo" (balloon) and I will always picture him saying it in the aisle at the Nugget Market as he looked up at a birthday balloon. He's only had one cold. And his favorite thing besides trucks: books! I'd go on record as being very pro-breastfeeding...I should be, for someone who had a very, VERY low pain tolerance, I suffered through eleven weeks of the worst pain and emotional trauma I've ever experienced to make breastfeeding a success. And although it's left scars (both literally and figuratively), it was worth it. Even though sometimes I wish I could have a cocktail with dinner instead of waiting until after his bedtime. And even though there are lots of other reasons why it's been a sacrifice (just one of many when you start having kids, right), it's still been worth it. Now, I do not plan to breastfeed indefinitely. (You will not see me on some Dateline special with my pre-teen hanging off my chest.) The official plan is to wean at two years (while I'm off work for Spring break), unless he weans himself first. And last night may have hinted towards this. He stopped nursing early and told me I was "quishy" and "limey" (squishy and slimy) and wouldn't nurse anymore. Clue number one that your child is ready for weaning: the gourmand requests a different (and impossible) texture.

Friday, January 14, 2011


As a working mom, I am always trying to juggle everything into some semblance of cohesion. If any of you have mastered this yet, please tell me your secrets. Also, as evidenced by my last post, I am on the look-out for some good working-mom friends (although where I would find the time to spend with them is something I haven't figured out yet). I think having another female who truly understands what it's like to work full-time, but still try to cook delicious meals and keep the house clean (and have people over for dinner sometimes or plan the occasional party - I have already started planning my son's 2nd birthday party in APRIL) is something that I really need. What I don't need is to read something like this post where Gwyneth Paltrow shares what it's like being a working mom. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You are a celebrity. You have assistants. You have nannies. You have a bazillion-million dollars. You are pathetic. Come and live my life for a week and then write your column, you ignorant douche. (The saving grace of the article is that it's written by someone who thinks it's as appalling as I do, albeit with a lot more colorful language.) Enjoy.