Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ride or Die

Caitlyn's kind of a badass. At only a week old, she had her first trip to the pediatrician's office, and by extension, her first vaccination. She cried for about 10 minutes after that first shot and, at that point, it was the worst thing that had ever happened to her (well, besides that whole squeezing blood out of her foot thing at the hospital right after she was born. She was pretty pissed about that), so it was expected. I think it was more the shock that someone was stabbing her for no good reason that bothered her more then anything else, because since that time, she's never cried for more then a minute for any of her shots.

During her next visit, when she was a month old, she had to get 2 shots- one in each leg. She cried during the actual shots and maybe for a minute or two after, but that was about it. By the third set of shots at 3 months old, Caitlyn had decided that it really wasn't that big a deal.

I was prepared for the red-faced screaming, so I stood right next to her, so I could comfort her as soon as possible. She cried a little for each of the two shots she got, but then she did the funniest thing. She looked up at me, her eyes filled with tears and a puzzled expression on her face. It was as if it had just then occurred to her that "hey, this doesn't even hurt anymore, why I am still crying?". She stopped crying right then. And not even in that crying that dissolves into hyperventilating sniffles kind of way. She just dead stopped. I picked her up and she smiled at me.

Even her doctor is impressed with Caitlyn's indifference to pain. She's just a ride-or-die bitch like that. For her last two shots she didn't even whimper, let alone cry. I would venture to say she didn't even notice she got a shot at all. And it's not just shots. Her pediatrician commented once when she had to have her nose swabbed to check for the flu that most kids cried for at least 10 minutes after having that done. Not Caitlyn. She was obviously annoyed by it, and she definitely tried to get away from the swab, but she's just not prone to overreacting about anything. My point is that Caitlyn is hardcore. She laughs in the face of danger and wags a disapproving finger at all the cry babies at the doctor's office.

Keeping all that in mind made it especially traumatic when I accidentally maimed my kid's finger with a nail clipper and she screamed for 15 minutes straight. I knew better, really I did. I couldn't find the baby nail clippers for a week. And by couldn't find, I mean I looked for approximately 10 seconds every time Caitlyn accidentally scratched me with her crazy bird talons. So on that fateful day, I spotted the regular, grown-up nail clippers and convinced myself that it wasn't the worse idea I've ever had.

I have moments like that. Moments where I'm fully aware that I'm making a bad decision. Moments where I'll actively consider NOT doing something stupid. I've gotten better. Nadine once pointed out to me that all the stupid, klutzy things I do are probably proceeded by a moment of clarity when I realize I shouldn't do it (hello, microwaving an egg- I still have the burn scars!). I realized she was right and started listening to my inner voice- the one with common sense that reminds me when something is a terrible idea- and I've injured myself out of sheer stupidity significantly less since then. I slipped though, and this one was pretty bad.

I never wanted Caitlyn to be the victim of my stupidity. I made it all the way to her pinky finger before she started gushing blood and screaming inconsolably. It occurs to me now that she probably would have stopped crying a lot sooner if I hadn't been sobbing hysterically, begging Rodolfo to take us to the hospital. I, clearly, am NOT a ride-or-die bitch.

I was absolutely convinced she was bleeding to death. From her finger. Yeah. When 10 minutes had passed and I still couldn't stop the bleeding, I called my mother, thinking she would talk some sense into Rodolfo. "Babies are SMALL- they don't have that much blood!", she would caution. "Jaclyn's fear is completely warranted". That's not exactly how it went:

Mom: Well, Jaclyn, based on what you have told me, I've got to assume she's not actually gushing a life-threatening amount of blood from a nail clipper injury on her finger.

Me: (through hysterical sobs) YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND MOM- I'M COVERED IN BLOOD (maybe one of my fingers was?)!!!

Mom: Maybe you need to calm down, then the baby will calm down too.


Mom: Well, if you are that worried, why don't you take her to the hospital yourself?


Mom: Sometimes it just takes a while for bleeding to stop. I think you need to calm down and listen to Rodolfo.

Me: :::CRIES:::

At this point, Rodolfo took Caitlyn away from me. He had made several attempts to take her before this, but I gave him the death-stare every time. I had practically amputated her finger and I needed to make sure she didn't bleed to death. Obviously I couldn't trust a sane person who was in control of the situation to handle that. But I was wiped out and defeated at that point, so I gave in and handed the baby over to her dad.

The moment Caitlyn made it into her dad's arms, she stopped crying and smiled at me. For some reason, that made me irrationally more upset. Like, in that moment I was convinced that she had only been crying to make me feel like a bad mother. I think I got that first period in a year and a half like a week later.

In the end, Caitlyn is obviously fine. Traumatized for life at the hands of her mother, of course. But physically she is going to make it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jaclyn 18, Uterus 1

Dear Uterus,
We had a good run. 18 months without a period, that's pretty impressive. I mean, sure I spent about half that time hooked up to a machine that drained milk from my tits, but hey, at least I wasn't staining my underwear. I knew it couldn't last.


P.S. Fucking up my milk supply was sort of unnecessary by the way. You don't need to be a bitch about it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I've always been close with my mom. We talk about everything, and I absolutely always felt like I would model my parenting style after hers. But now, as a parent myself, I realize that you can't be exactly like anyone else. You have to do what's best for you and your kid. It also occurs to me that my mom was a single mom, so she didn't really have to run things by my father and compromise on anything. She did everything exactly how she wanted to do it and didn't have to answer to anyone, including her own mother, who died when I was only a few months old.

I'm not saying I've had a huge shift in my ideas about parenting and I still agree with my mom on the big stuff, but I find myself increasingly annoyed by the little things she judges me for. This all came to a head a few days ago, on Facebook.

My sister had a few people over on New Year's Day. I wouldn't call it a party necessarily, just an impromptu get-together with beers. Ok, that probably sounds like a party. My point is that there was beer. I wasn't drinking, and neither was my husband, but some others did drink a little. Nadine was there too, and she snapped a picture on her phone of Caitlyn in my nephew's high chair. She thought it would be funny to put her beer in the cup holder and snap the shot.

I thought the picture was funny, and that Caitlyn looked exceptionally adorable, so I asked Nadine to post it on Facebook so I could save it when I got home. So that's what she did. This is apparently what my mother saw:
Besides the annoyed comments she left on Nadine's Facebook, she sent me multiple text messages about how I should ask her to immediately remove such a troublesome photo. Someone could see it! And think I'm a bad mother! And call the police! What if my husband and I ever break up? He could use it against me in court! Apparently it's irrelevant that he was there when the picture was taken. Obviously dads are supposed to get drunk and moms are supposed to tend to the kids!

It seems when you become a parent absolutely everyone feels justified in throwing in their 2 cents about how you should raise your kids. I guess I could understand the hoopla if Caitlyn had been DRINKING A BEER in this picture. And it's not as though there's a cocaine-lined mirror and razor blade resting on the high chair in front of her.

If it was just my mom I could just chalk it up to her being opinionated. But everyone loves to tell me everything I'm doing wrong. In fact, my sister and fought today over some stupid shit like this.

Maybe you remember a few months back when I mentioned how my sister and her husband kept commenting how my daughter "should be on a schedule". At the time I worked in retail and with a constantly changing schedule for both me and my husband, it was impossible. And it wasn't only that. I don't necessarily agree with their point of view on schedules. They are so rigid with their son. The way I do things, I just live my life and add my baby to my regular stuff. They do everything around the strict schedule they have my nephew on. "Want to go to lunch?". "Can't, it's nap time- talk to me in 2 hours!". My mom lives a couple of hours away and if they are making a trip they ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT leave before or after a certain time because it will be time for him to eat or sleep or whatever. So if they are running 20 minutes late, they have to push their plans back by 2 hours. Maybe our differences in the way we live our lives is why I feel so fulfilled by my daughter and they seem burdened and exhausted all the time. But whatever, just a theory.

I was going somewhere with this. So now that I'm working a regular schedule, I am trying to get Caitlyn to go to bed a little earlier (meaning before midnight). That means less nap time during the day so she's tired and wants to go to sleep at night. I told this to my sister and she told me she would "try it for a week, but if she's fussy, I'm going to let her sleep as long as she wants". She "tried it" for 2 days and today she decided that she "has to do what is easiest" for her so she will be letting Caitlyn take 2 hour naps as opposed to the 1 hour I talked to her about.

I won't get into all the details of why it's absolutely infuriating, but the thing that pisses me off the most is how hard she pushed on the schedule bullshit early on. Today she actually said to me "well, you didn't want to put her on a schedule when it was inconvenient for me, but now that you are inconvenienced, you want me to make it harder for me". When we argued about schedules the first time around, she was adamant that it wasn't for her benefit, that she simply thought it was "the best thing for Caitlyn". Bitch.

I can't say I've never judged someone's parenting. I've judged my sister. When I told her I would be breastfeeding, she told me it was GROSS and how she would never do that. When I struggled with infertility, she whined about how she wanted a baby way longer then I did because her husband refused to get her pregnant when she was 19, unwed and living with 4 roommates. So when she comments on my parenting, I definitely take a moment and think "wow, I'm a way better parent then you". What I DON'T do is say that shit out loud. She still hasn't learned that lesson, apparently.

I guess I just think people should back the fuck off. I'm a good mom! Caitlyn is happy and lovely and sweet. She loves people and animals and is the most good-natured kid I've ever encountered. Is it possible that I'm doing something right? Mom's of whiny kids (my siiiiiissssster!) take note.