Saturday, February 22, 2014

Achoo! Down for a second weekend

Doctor ordered rest for the bambino: 
Dr. Seuss' I do not like green eggs and ham 

The bambino is down for a second weekend in a row. Last weekend, his second tooth (or "dagger" as I sometimes call it) came in and, as of the other day, he's been terribly congested. Poor kid is grumpy and having trouble sleeping. As a result, of course, his parents feel a similar exhaustion (and, admitted grouchiness.)

With a running nose and occasional fever, we took him into the doctor for a sick appointment. The diagnosis is pretty much that yes, he is congested and yes, his parents are very nervous parents.

We've been doing everything: Saline spray, nose suction, fever meds, humidifier, sitting in the bathroom with a hot shower going, and trying to rest. It is impossible to explain "rest" to a baby, though. The bambino is now crawling and getting up (although not down) on his own. We did put up a baby gate, a sort of "anti-bambino" device, but it is both intriguing and frustrating to him.

I wish we could snuggle under the blankets, drink hot tea with honey and watch a silly movie. Those, however, are not activities for a bambino. We'll stick to reading our library books (lots o'Dr. Seuss), clapping and finger painting with mashed up carrots on the high chair tray.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Bully Project

It took me too long to see the documentary, Bully, which follows five (bullied) kids and families, as well as schools, over the 2009/2010 school year. The film is heart breaking, striking and important. It is no small thing to be regularly bullied in school. It is no small thing for a child to attempt or commit suicide.

The Bully Project, connected to the documentary, offers resources tools, definitions and more for students, parents, schools and groups. I strongly encourage you to look at it. I was particularly interested in reading The Parent Action Toolkit. Sure, as the mamma of a tiny baby, it is hard to imagine him being bullied (or bullying), but it is important to set the right groundwork for a kind, generous life.

Friends recently told us about how their five year old daughter was being called names by similarly aged child. The daughter responded with something like, "I don't like nicknames. I preferred to be called by my real name." Beautiful. Words make a difference, both in the accusations and the response.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentine… to Sandra Boynton

I have a writerly crush on Sandra Boynton and I'd like to wish her a very happy Valentine's Day! Her children's books have great rhymes and offer solid knowledge to readers (and listeners) through the words and images. I adore reading them to my son, as does my husband. We both have a number of voices for her books (his is especially funny for Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!)

We've been reading Consider Love this Valentine's Day week (why not make it a week, right?) I am smitten with the ending, the images and, really each page. I hope you'll check it out.

I've tried to write little rhymes for the bambino, but they just don't work out: I love you / especially when you coo. / Look at all the snow / Yup, you already know. Nope. There's a bit of a rhyme, but we're not building towards anything that makes sense or will end in a smile. (It's healthy to know what your strengths are (to avoid being sub-par? Sorry; I'm done.)

Click through to Sandra Boynton's site or follow her on Facebook and read true children's rhymes. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Planning To Travel Sans Bambino

I'm very excited to be traveling to Seattle the end of this month to present at the annual AWP conference. I'll be going all alone (i.e. sans family) and, presumably, sleeping well. I'll be a writer immersed in writerly discussions, readings and more.

I'm also terrified. This will be the first time I'm away from our bambino for more than a few hours. The first time leaving the state without him and the first time sleeping somewhere he isn't. We can Facetime and I can keep up with his activities through his Dad (and the phone app), but that's not the same.

I named this blog after the "intersecting" roles. I write about being a mother, so the roles naturally intersect. Sometimes, though, the roles conflict with each other, as my desires do. I want to sleep alone in a hotel room without being "on" listening to a monitor playing my son's nighttime noises. I also want to sleep on the floor in his room to listen to every sound he makes.

As a friend said to me, "Sounds like you're a mother."

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Must. Leave. The. House.

I couldn't bear the thought of leaving the bambino alone with a sitter until he was about five months old. I would work (teach online or write) in another room while the sitter comforted, fed or played with him. As I've written before, that was really hard. I want to be the one to comfort him or enjoy his laugher. But I also want to continue with my career.

This semester, my husband is on family leave and he's caring for our son while I'm working. Of course, I feel more comfortable with him alone with the bambino, but I still have pangs of jealousy. I'm finding that it is still hard to concentrate at home. With my husband home, it seems even more obvious that I should join the family in their laugher and play instead of working in another room.

If I take my laptop and work someplace else (a coffee shop, the library), then I can better segment my time. It is clear that I need to work when I need to work and then I can come home and play. Or make baby food, do laundry, and otherwise help out.

It is healthy to get out of the house, regardless of how cold it might be. We all need to get aired out once in a while and check things off the to-do list.

And then come home refreshed for ourselves and our family.