A Conversation

The scene: Saoirse’s room, at bedtime. We’re reading a book when Widget, the Tailless Wonder, comes slinking into the room, presumably either to say hello or complain about not having been fed yet.  Saoirse squints at the cat, and then… SK:  Mom, why doesn’t Widget have a tail? I pause, weighing my decision. Me:  Well, sweetie, she was born with a tail, but got into an accident. Decision, made. SK:  Why? Me:  Well, one night, before you were born, she didn’t listen to Mommy and Daddy and ran out of the house.  We wanted her to stay close, but she disobeyed us and ran away. SK:  What happened? Me:  She was hit by a car and lost her tail.  That’s why we always want you to listen to us and hold our hand when we’re by a street or in a parking lot.  So that you stay safe. SK:  Oh. She gives Widget a long, quiet look, then we go back to her book. I am a terrible mother…

Excuse Me While I Weep Into My Freedom

This afternoon I put Quinn down for her nap after lunch. What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, friend, I didn’t nurse her first. Just lunch, books, nap.  Again, you inquire: so why all your wailing and gnashing of teeth? Because, silly. I’m weaning her from the great milk factory known as my bosoms.  It’s a moment to which I’ve been looking forward for at least six months.  It’s a time that I’ve imagined as somewhere, out on the horizon–a beautiful sunset that I can see, but not quite touch. And it’s here. It’s finally here. My daughter now longer needs me as her primary source of nutrition, and I am free. So, of course I want to cry. I’m a year-and-done kind of breastfeeder. I nurse instead of giving formula, because that’s what works for us, and I’m lucky enough to be able to do it. But once I get the okay to introduce milk to the wee one, man, I’m outta there.  No extended breastfeeding for me, no…

The Greatest Guilt Trip On Earth

Before I had kids, I had have a list of things I swore up and down I’d never do.  Some of these things include, but are not limited to, the following: Drive a family vehicle. We all know that four-wheel drive ship sailed long ago. Let my children watch too much TV. That, I’ve been pretty good about. Go to a circus. I hate the circus. I mean, when I was seven it was pretty swell, especially when my brother and I got to ride an elephant before the show began. I can still describe to you the feeling of being so high up in the air, and my surprise at the coarseness of the animal’s hair.  I also remember wanting the animal to hurryupandgofaster, which could very well have been the basis for my habit of collecting speeding tickets as an adult.  Ahem. But as an worldly adult with a conscience and a heart of the bleeding variety?   No way, man.   It was always one of those givens for me, kind of like, I’m never going to knowingly eat a cricket, or agree to jump out of an airplane without…