Friday, January 30, 2009
Yesterday I bought you a small heart-shaped box of cheap chocolates at the grocery store and told you we could not open them until we got home. I was driving on the freeway when I heard you in the backseat whispering, sorry mommy, I'm so sorry mommy. When I looked back your fingers were slick with chocolate and you were stuffing them in your mouth, two at a time. Zoey! I said, quite frankly surprised at your disobedience. But you did not stop, even when I yelled. You just kept apologizing, as if it couldn't be helped. Sorry, mommy. And there was nothing I could do.
It's been rough lately, between us. One minute you demand for me to hold you, grab my hand as I am eating so that you can pinch my skin absentmindedly, rice falling from my fork and into the grain of the carpet. You are my sunshine, I sing, you laugh, dance, but if I so much as tap my foot to the beat you scream, no! Quick like those wooden toys of small colorful animals, as if I have pushed my thumb into your base you collapse on the floor in a heap of limbs and loose string. Writhing, you actually writhe, and you scream and I cannot understand a word you are saying.
Another day, another car ride. It had been an emotional morning. I had a job interview to get to and you would not sit on your potty. The mere mention of pee reduced you to tears and you pushed me away, hard. Fine, I said, my interview boots clacking down the hallway, you get a time out. One minute later I returned to find you collapsed in a puddle of carpet-soaked urine and you clung to my neck, sobbing. I changed us both and we got in the car, the morning sun low on the horizon. Momma, the sun! you cried. The sun hurts my eyes! Momma move the sun! Move the sun! Help! And there was nothing I could do; it couldn't be helped.
Part of me wants to only write about the good stuff, how my heart jumps each time I encircle you in a hug and feel the smallness of your body, the way you flash your eyes when making a joke, the space between our faces when we nap together. But that wouldn't be right, wouldn't be fair to us. After all, we are mother and daughter, and there will doubtless be many times when we disappoint each other, surprise each other with how very human we are. But what I want you to know is this: the minute you came into this world my life reset itself to first. First love, first heart break, first friend, first family, first you. You first. If I could move the sun for you I would, because forever after you I have felt the weight of your light on my face, your warmth on my lips, and I have been driving with the sun in my eyes ever since.
All my love,
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Okay, aside from the fact that this is sheer tramp stamp FAILURE, not to mention the unflattering pucker happening there at the top of the crack, there is also a typo in the tattoo, or an errant freckle, I can't be sure. Nonetheless, what does this say about me that I cannot stop staring at it? Furrowing my brow to see if I can't spot more errors? That love is patient and kind, but that I am not? And while we're on the subject: I cannot stand it when I see judgment spelled judgement. That's just how judgy I am. The first 'e' is superfluous, people (unless, of course, you are British and going to the theatre), and here I am speaking directly to Perez Hilton who I am pretty sure is not British. Fact: I once went into an orchid kiosk at the mall to tell the shopkeeper that "Hawaiian" was misspelled on her awning. She kicked me out. Mahalo to you, too, "Hawaiin" Orchid Lady. But the thing that undoubtedly sucks the most about delighting in finding grammatical errors is that we all live in glass houses, and yet I cannot stop. The stone is just so satisfyingly smooth here in my hand.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
And yes, I did just compare the war in Iraq to my daughter potty training, but let me reiterate that while I do not endorse the war that is indeed still very much a war, I do support the soldier that is still and always will be a soldier. Phew. Okay, back to pee pee and poo poo. So yeah, panties: check. Dora the Explorer 3 in 1 Potty: check. Elmo It's Potty Time! DVD: check, check and check 1001 times for how much we have viewed that particular piece of cinéma vérité. Still, up until yesterday, there was nothing much to be said about potty training. Diaper insurgencies were the order of the day (and night). Zoey was simply not interested.
Monday, January 26, 2009
And because no testicular humor is complete without the holiday classic, "Schweaty Balls," I also give you this, my all-time personal fave EVER (and quite possibly excuses Alec Baldwin with later calling his daughter a lazy pig, because could a man with this comic dead-pan really be that cruel? Yes? Oh. Well, here are his Schweaty Balls nonetheless):
So there you go. Nuts, it's Monday.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I heard more of what he said this way, with my eyes closed. And now I am more in love with Obama than ever, feeling all buttery and warm and yes we can-ish. Yesterday I heard that somebody changed all the Bush Street signs in San Francisco to Obama and it's official: I have melted. And then there's this: Renew America Together, as if the entire country is sitting around a campfire together singing kumbaya, laughing, crying, praying, needing. If you have not yet signed up, please take a look. And then we'll segueway into a rousing rendition of Michael Row Your Boat Ashore and make some s'mores. And lest I come off as too blandly pious on this drizzly Friday, I give you this:
A Happy Friday, indeed.
Susannah*My apologies for not crediting the photos. I saved them awhile ago and did not save the source. If these are yours, please let me know and I will gladly credit you!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
It started with the photos I posted of Zoey wearing just her tutu and a pirate hat. A few people questioned the safety of putting *t0ple$s photos of my daughter on the internet. I thought that was silly. Is there such a thing as a two year old t0ple$s?? I mean, really? Would people question photos of a tw0 year old b0y without his shirt on? Because it's basically the same thing. I scoffed, and yes, maybe I felt a little stung (okay, a lot), but I forged on. I thought of the Coppertone girl getting her bottoms pulled down by the dog--was that really Jodie Foster or is that just an urban myth?--and then I thought, whatever. But then I posted a photo of Zoey in the tub surrounded by her My Pretty Ponies. The picture was taken from above. You could see the top of her head, shoulders, arms, a peek of tummy and chubby legs. Nothing else. I was more concerned about showing the www the amount of bath scum in my tub than my daughter. But I was wrong, because immediately Anonymous (who else?) lashed out at me to stop posting nekkid f0t0s of my daughter on my bl0g. I reeled from that comment. Nekkid f0t0s? Of my daughter??? WTF? I felt as if I'd been socked in the gut, spat on, as if I was being called a bad mother, a pervert myself. And so I cropped Zoey out of the photo and just showed the bath scum. But I cannot stop thinking about it; I cannot stop being angry. I started this blog to get myself writing again, and because I had so much to say about how much I love my daughter. And much of that love is cl0thed in just a diaper, sometimes even le$s. I could go on and on about the purity of children, the innocence, about how I do not want to foist shame upon my daughter, not now, not yet. But what I ultimately realized is that none of that matters. And that's why I'm angry. What matters--what has taken precedence over the natural innocence of children--is the fear and very real danger in the world. The fuckers who do cruise the internet looking for--God, I can't even type it. The fuckers who don't see the tutu and the pirate hat, who don't see the arms flung wide open in unabashed glee but see something else. Something that is not there. And so I have taken those photos down. Not because there is anything wrong with them. Not because there is anything wrong with me for posting them. And certainly not because there is anything wrong with my daughter being nekkid or "t0ple$s." I have taken them down because there is something wrong with the world. And now I am off to scour the scum from my bathtub. You do what you can... *Please note: I have not lost all spelling prowess, nor am I going all Prince on U. I am intentionally misspelling words that might be provocative as I do not want any pervert$ to find my blog by searching for certain words or phrases. Fuckers.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I need to read this book every morning, and then again each night.
Plus, it's a pop-up book.
That is all I have for today.
Go here to check out more artwork by Seonna Hong.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
And what mansion would be complete without trails leading nowhere but there?
So yes, I'm rubbing it in, my weekend. The sun. The swimming and the warmth and the greenhouse gases. I'm rubbing it in and hoping it keeps me supple.
So if you want to get me back, I completely understand. Just wave your paycheck in front of my face. Show me your mortgage that you can still pay, flaunt your 401k, medical, dental and who knows? Maybe even vision.
I'll just be over here with my own eyes closed, la la la, pretending I'm still in Calistoga, pretending that my weekend was not just a rental.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
But next week. This time next week. It's a big step, the Inauguration, both symbolically and literally. And I plan on marking it with HOPE. You can, too. Check out Obamicon.Me and make your own poster in the now iconic style of Shepard Fairey. Jump on your bed. Eat peanuts, look for a job, jump on your bed some more. Until. This time next week.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Susannah and the Petunia Faced Girl (Arrrrrr)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Yeah, so, hm. What's your favorite color? I like to put hot tamales in my popcorn, get 'em all buttery and warm and bite down on them, sweet with the salty. I hate the smell of tar, vitamins make my throat close up. Each night I go to bed wearing socks but sometime during the night I shirk them off so there is a perennial pile of socks tangled at the bottom of my sheets. Yesterday was National Blog Delurker Day and I missed it, so enrapt was I with the size and shape of my eye. I forgot to get you a card, flowers, but please, tell me something about yourself. You, yes you. If not a secret then, something mundane. Because today is the kind of day for anything. Pretty please?
Monday, January 12, 2009
Because when you Google "eye twitch" you are likely to find websites about stress, yes, anxiety, but also websites dedicated to all of the dread diseases best known by initials, diseases made popular by Alex P. Keaton, diseases that send me spiraling into letters I cannot bring myself to put together. I mean, I fancy myself a feminist, but still, I insist on Miss or Mrs., never the other, no fucking way. Letters have power, thoughts are loaded, e=mc2 but there is still so much we don't know so I do everything I can to fool the foggy gods of my phobia, however silly it may seem. Don't believe everything you think, people tell me. So honestly? I don't know what to believe most of the time. I walk around believing in grocery lists, in the days of the week. Today is Monday and I hold on to the knowledge that my ferns need watering, that I have to fill up my car with gas. Some days it seems I exist on fumes.
Bryan has diabetes. My brother has asthma. Maybe you have something wrong with you, a bum knee, allergies, astigmatism. I don't judge you, only myself. There is something about panic attacks, phobias, depression, whatever. Something unspoken, broken, whispered about, snickered. Something less. And I think that the reason I hate myself is just a big clusterfuck of what I imagine people say about me, whether they do or not. She's crazy. She's weak. She's weird. I see these faceless people doing that little thing, twirling one finger around their ear to indicate that I am cuckoo, a third-grade taunt reserved for the playground. And I hate it. I'm taking magnesium now. I heard that helps with muscle spasms. And B vitamins. I've been eating a lot of bananas for the potassium. My eye, it still twitches, and the corner of my mouth, too, when I think too much about it. But it's twitching less; I'm getting better. I watched a video yesterday of Barbara Walters interviewing Obama, and in it, his eye is twitching. Poor guy. He's under a lot of stress in that he has to find me employment. But my main job right now is to forgive myself. For being human. For the way my double helix connected, for the way the planets were lined up in the moment of my conception, for the butterfly in the Amazon, for the leaf, for the smallness of things that go bump in the night. Yes, I am weird, but I am also strong, and I am me, crazy legs and all. *Images of sculptures by Ron Mueck. Click on images for source.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Zoey smells like warm asphalt sometimes, when she's been running around and around for no reason at all. I grab her mid-leap and bury my nose in the top of her head. Where did she come from? This little being that I made. If matter can neither be created nor destroyed, where was her energy before all of this nonsense of a name, an address, a social security card? Why her? Why me? Why? My father once told me a story about a psychologist that had a three year old child and a newborn baby. The three year old was in the baby's room unsupervised, but the parents could hear him talking via the baby monitor. "Tell me about God," he whispered to the newborn, "I'm beginning to forget." This could well be woo-woo, flakey whoa, roll of the eyes and shake it off to pay the electric bill. Maybe it is. But lately I've been asking Zoey if she remembers being a baby, and she says yes. I ask her if she remembers being in my tummy, and she says yes. Then I ask her if she remembers what was before, but I get no answer at all. Zoey also remembers saving the Big Red Chicken because she saw it on Dora that morning, so again, what does it mean? Probably nothing. Still. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed and for the first time since a long time I am full of wonder. And why. And thank god for all of the questions.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Zoey has lost the dimples on the backs of her fingers. Her sticky little starfish hands have been pulled into the thin dexterity of a child holding crayons. I don't know when this happened. Exactly how, or even why.
She was born three weeks early. 5lbs. 15oz., 17 inches long. Not yet tall or even short. Small. Her skin hung off her like a SharPei but I did not really know what a newborn should look like anyway. To me, she was perfect. I had never really hung on to the presence of other babies, had never eaten them up with my eyes in line at the bank. Other people's babies collected white foam in the corners of their mouths that made my stomach turn, they had acne, they stank. Zoey did none of these things. Her eyes were clear, her breath sweet, her skin soft. She cooed in key with Jack Johnson in our living room. And so I am surprised when I look back at the photos now and see spit up stains on the couch, bumps on her cheeks, her scalp scaly, her face purple from crying. My friends now tell me she looked like Smurfette. I did not see it; I had beer goggles for my own baby, took her home and have had a hair of the dog for breakfast every morning since. I am still drunk with her eyes. Last week I figured out just where my ovaries are. They live in Zoey's closet, folded up neatly in a bin with her old clothes marked 0 - 3 months. I was cleaning out her closet when I found them, and it would seem that my ovaries are printed with tiny monkeys, bunnies, that they are the soft wool of a newborn lamb. I don't know if it's so much of a WHAM as it is a WHEN, maybe a bit of a WHY but hopefully nothing to do with a HOW, but they are THERE, not looking a thing like an angry Angelica Huston but maybe resembling a Smurf if I am to be perfectly honest.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Fine then. 2009 is not going to be ALL butterflies and rainbows. I was asleep at midnight on New Year's Eve, under the lead weight of Tylenol Cold and Flu. Bryan woke me up just in time for the ball to drop on tv. I have bad breath, I said, half asleep, sweaty, still congested. I don't care, he said, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... and he kissed me.
People say that seeing is believing but I say that some things just don't need proof. You're going to have to take my word for it that Zoey singing in the bathtub is cute, and I'm going to have to have faith that a sick January 1st does not a year make. Sure, not everything will be fine in 2009--who knows that this year will bring--but my husband still kisses me when I have bad breath, my daughter sings, and that's enough for me.
And now, the world theatrical release of the lyrics to "It's All 'Bout the Baginas" (may be sung to any tune so long as it is with joy):
(repeat 4000 times)
chorus: and the belly, bagina, belly, bagina (because apparently it's also about the belly)
'Bout baginas, baby
Mama, I want to get out of the bath now
Mama, no more camera
Mama, I love you*
*I added this last line because I just know Zoey meant for it to be in her song.
The truth about Unicorns found here.