Who knew patting a bottom with just cotton undies on top of them was so much better than patting a diapered one??
The butter on an Spring Brunch table.
When given the choice, Hollis picked the hot(test) pink potty in the store.
The woman behind the make-up counter at Nordy's told me, while looking at a 4 different lines of skin care, that I didn't need repair or wrinkle treatment, but just needed PREVENTION.
The mornings here have been gray.
Butts, in general.
I gave freely to people I care about and who would never ask for it, because I could.
A real conversation between Hollis and my mom about his new hot pink potty.
Hollis a techy Texan bunny.
I rearranged Hollis' room and got real, grown up dressers for mine.
I've reconnected with old friends on levels I didn't know even existed between us.
[Ed. note: all photos are taken with my iPhone 3G. Some were taken with my Camera Bag app (using the Colorcross feature), others with Hipstamatic (using the Kaimal Mark II lense), and others just plain and then messed with in iPhoto. I don't know what I'd do without my trusty little black box.]
Anthony's gone for another week this week and I've decided that this is the best time to give potty training a go.
I figure that with just one parent steering the boat there will be less mixed signals and different communication. I've often done major parenting things when I was solo for this reason and it's always worked out the best.
I feel lots of guilt about it, too.
I have really grown to like my time apart from Anthony. Everything's just easier. The house, life, the snoring and sleeping, just everything. There's another upside to the distance, though: I miss him. All the drudgery of everyday married life dissipates and I can find that kernel of longing that so often goes missing with everyday contact.
I don't know if it's our relationship in particular, or what every couple experiences, but where we're at today I would go crazy if Anthony and I never got some space from each other. How different my tune is today than it was two and a half years ago when his travel began, or even a year ago. I would miss him terribly and I was terrified each night, imagining that disgusting ghoul figure from The Ring dragging itself all over my bedroom floor ready to hiss at me and eat me on its way back down to hell (yeah, really).
Now, I drink wine, watch a TV show or Facebook, do chores, and go right to bed with the covers laid securely over me with my arms and legs pointing out like a compass; not a twitch of worry in my body left as I sink off to sleep dreaming of past and future presidents getting randy with me.
I think this is the [early] middle-age crunch. I'm not just going crazy and my relationship isn't just staid - it's just the nose-to-the-grindstone phase of our lives where we push and fight and bust our balls for Anthony's career so we can be stable and cruise a little later on, right? Right?
In any case, Hollis and I have already had a lovely morning where he's wearing colorful underpants and an oversized t-shirt. I'm staying in my pajamas all day and he's staying in just his socks and potty-training attire. He's already yelled, "Mama! Wet!" once when he peed and we went and sat on the potty with his special "pink potty-paci" and select books. Nothing in the pot, yet, but I have hope, patience, and a pretty good sense of humor about all of this.
There's something that says "commitment" like nothing else when it's just you, a toddler, and a pair of cotton undies.
Meanwhile, I'm going to also enjoy my alone-time and focus on happy dreams, happy reunions, and happy nights with friends. Of course all of this will happen while I'm sprawled out spread eagle on my bed in pajamas I've been wearing for 48 hours.
Ahh, the solo-life.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we're writing letters to ask our readers for help with a current parenting issue. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Dear Interwebs and Nets,
I feel like we're on the brink of potty-training. My son has begun to tell me he'd like to sit on the potty after he's pooped. So, I take off his diaper, grab his poop book and set him on the potty where he chatters away and flips the pages of his book. Sometimes he asks that I sit on the big potty and hang out with him, other times he shoos me from the room.
He understands that big boys (and mommies and daddies) go in the big potty and that he will some day, too. My question is this: What's my next step? Should I just let him go commando and see what happens? I'm clueless and I've been unable to find a book on potty training that I like.
Poopin' in Austin
[Ed. note: My original submission included a question about Hollis suddenly stuttering in the last 2 weeks. He's still doing it, but I'm much less concerned than I was. I did a little research and it seems it's all perfectly normal (for some kids) when their brains are thinking much faster than they can make their mouths move. If you have any cents to throw in, I'd love to hear it!]
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Replace hitting with…? — Acacia at Be Present Mama is at a loss on how to handle her three year old's hitting.
- Two Questions — Alexandra at Breastfeeding Momma would like some ideas on how to strengthen her bond with her 8-month-old daughter; she's also looking for input on an emotional topic: vaccines.
- Balancing Needs When Baby Trumps Mama — Alison at BluebirdMama wonders how her child's need for noise and energy balances out against her need for quiet and space. (@childbearing )
- The McDilemma — Annie at PhD in Parenting is on the arches of a McDilemma. (@phdinparenting)
- Where is the mutually agreeable solution? When parenting calls for blood draws — Arwyn at Raising My Boychick has a child who needs regular blood tests that are torment for him. How does a parent honor a child when his health is on the line? (@RaisingBoychick)
- When To Wait To Nurse — Cave Mother wonders what age toddlers can be asked to wait to nurse.
- I don't love you Mama! — CurlyMonkey wonders what to do with her daughter's intense feelings. (@curlymonkey_)
- Help a Mama Out — Danielle at Born.in.Japan isn't getting much sleep with her cosleeping, night nursing, cranky little guy and hopes you can help with some suggestions for shuteye. (@borninjp)
- Dear Abby: My daughter really misses her Daddy — Darcel at The Mahogany Way needs to know how to help her daddy's girl get the connection with her father she needs — and not feel left out in the process. (@MahoganyWayMama)
- What's Going on at School? — Deb at Science@home is in a quandary: how can she find out what really goes on at school without stepping on the teacher's toes? (@ScienceMum)
- April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Advice — Dionna at Code Name: Mama wants to find volunteer work that includes her toddler. (@CodeNameMama)
- A Beatnik's Beat on Life — Erin at Beatnik Momma does not want to engage in "mommy wars." She'd like your input on how (and how much) to discuss her natural parenting choices with curious friends and family who parent differently. (@babybeatnik)
- Dear Abby — The Grumbles at Grumbles and Grunts gave her son a banana...and no solid food since. What's the next step in baby-led weaning? (@thegrumbles)
- Excuse me, I have a poop question — Jessica at This is Worthwhile has two questions for your consideration. One is about toddler stuttering, the other about toddler tinkling. (@tisworthwhile)
- The Half Empty Nest Syndrome: What to do when Momma gets replaced by a cow? — Joni Rae at Kitchen Witch Momma is suffering from "half-empty nest syndrome": what do you do when your babies start growing up? (@kitchenwitch)
- Peer Pressure — Kate at Momopoly worries what message her daughter's new friend is sending — but how to break up such an infatuation? (@Momopoly)
- When I Fall Down — Katherine at Momioso.com needs your wisdom on how to be more gentle and at peace with herself. (@naturalparent)
- A question of sleep and sanity — KeepingMumSane needs your toddler cosleeping advice in order to, well, keep mum sane! (@keepingmumsane)
- April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting advice — Lauren at Hobo Mama needs a chiropractor … or help getting her 36 lb toddler to walk up the stairs. (@Hobo_Mama)
- Driver's Ed for Mommies — Maman A Droit is a self-confessed terrible driver and is scared to drive with her baby in the car.
- Solo Parenting — Mammapie at Downside Up and Outside In needs tips for being a single working mother while her partner's away. (@mammapie)
- Itsy Bitsy Biter — Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting needs your advice about her daughter, otherwise known as the pitbull.
- How Can I Avoid Beauty Obsession? — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! is at a loss ever since her tomboys turned into wannabe princesses. (@bfmom)
- Seeking Stability in Chaos — Michelle at Seeking Mother is in a heart-wrenching position. She needs your input on how to make a toddler feel secure during a time of transition, the illness of a parent, and multiple (new) caregivers. (@Seekingmother)
- Mama, That's Too, Too Boring! — Michelle at The Parent Vortex started out asking how to encourage her preschooler to get dressed — and four days later, she began to without prompting! (@TheParentVortex)
- Parenting Advice for the Girl From Outer Space — Mommy Soup from Cream of Mommy Soup has several questions for you, from how you play favorites when no one's your favorite to how to tell off strangers curious about the ample size of your family. (@mommysoup)
- Diaper Duty Dilemma — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries has a simple request: talk to her about cloth! (@babydust)
- What Do You Need My Son — pchanner at A Mom's Fresh Start wishes her calm four-month-old hadn't turned into an inquisitive and dramatic six-month-old. How do you handle changes in baby's personality? (@pchanner)
- Dear Natural Parenting Community — Sarah at OneStarryNight wants to know how to respond to criticism from family and friends over breastfeeding. (@starrymom)
- Natural Parenting Carnival — Help — Sarah at Consider Eden feels like either her to-do list or her parenting is suffering, because she can't do both! (@considereden)
- To potty learn or not to potty learn - that is the question — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes wants to know whether it's time to start potty training. (@sheryljesin)
- Seeking Patience — Starr at Earth Mama looks to the collective tribal wisdom of this community to learn how to teach patience to children.
- A Dirty Girl Comes Clean — Tashmica at Mother Flippin' is struggling. How do parents deal with their inability to keep their children protected from danger? (@Mother_Flippin)
- Uli and the Pussy Cats — Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis has a toddler who likes to put kitties in headlocks and ride them like horsies. How best to separate the little beasties?
- Perceptions of Discipline — Zoey at Good Goog doesn't use conventional discipline with her child — and doesn't know how to respond around people who do. (@zoeyspeak)
This post is participating in the Body Image Carnival being hosted by Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and Maman A Droit who will be posting articles on themes pertaining to body image all week! Make sure you check out their blogs everyday between April 12-18 for links to other participants' posts as well as product reviews, a giveaway, and some links to research, information and resources pertaining to body image.
It's used to insult people's sense of style and figure, and ultimately, it continues to marginalize mothers - not women, but mothers specifically - because as we all already know to become a mother is to lose the desirable, beautiful woman she once was. MILF, anyone?
Looking like "a mom" is an insult, a dig, a dis in any case it's used to describe a person's look.
Remember President Obama and his "mom jean" debacle? His choice of comfortable, slouchy jeans was plastered all over the journalistic and blogging world. NY Magazine, The Today Show, Yahoo! News, The Washington Post, and many more. I mean, REALLY?? We spent how many valuable man hours reporting on the man's choice in pants because they look like "mom jeans"?? (To be fair, had he been wearing hipster jeans, I don't think it'd have gone over all that well, either, but that's not my point.)
And let's not forget Jessica Simpson. A size 6 on a bad day, she recently told Oprah, she was ridiculed and vilified for wearing "mom jeans" during a performance. Personally, I thought she looked great: curvy, healthy, and didn't have to worry about her butt-crack hanging out or her love handles spilling over.
In both cases, I don't take issue with people not liking the style, it's the branding it MOM JEANS that I find so ridiculously rude, degrading, and ignorant.
In modern society mothers are discarded by the mainstream as sexy, powerful women based on the caricaturization of a few. Yes, some women wear clothing that is frumpy and ill-fitting. Yes, some women choose not to wear make-up or do their hair. But that does not mean it is a "mom look." It is that particular woman's expression of herself and she might also be a mother. It's not the mother in her that makes her dress in an unflattering way. It's the woman that she is that fuels those decisions. They are separate.
That's the fine line here: It's one thing to say, "Hey, I don't like those jeans on that lady," and "Oh my God, she's wearing mom jeans!"
This SNL skit pretty much sums it up with the line, "I'm not a woman anymore. I'm a mom!"
I did a little research on this and UrbanDictionary.com had seven independent definitions for what a "mom jean" is. Basically, they're ugly, high-waisted, butt-flattening jeans that moms wear.
And I want to say this: NO. Some women wear them. Why do we gotta dis moms like that?? I also want to ask: What's so wrong with looking like a mother, anyway??
That question brings it all back to that fucking MILF thing again. Mothers are taken out of the pool of attractive women because their shapes change from nubile, firm, and young-appearing to that of a body well-used and stretched-out from creating life. The women who manage to remain attractive by mainstream standards look mostly like their pre-mother selves: slim, perky, and svelte; and certainly "put together" that many harried, exhausted mothers cannot muster the energy nor gather the time to do for themselves.
I remember a haircut I once got that was a soft, layered bob. I thought I looked like a soccer mom and I was devastated. Even I, a bright, intelligent, feminist didn't want to look like a mother even though I was one. That was early on in my transition to becoming the mothering, feminist woman that I am today and if I sat down and received that haircut today I'd flaunt it proudly, swing my child-bearing hips, jiggle my baby-feeding breasts, and boldly show off the mother in me. Because why not?? It's beautiful and wonderful and really should be the envy of all things right and normal in this fucked up world.
We have got to stop ridiculing women for their clothing choices, for the changes that happen to their bodies when babies enter their lives and we also have to stop putting women who freeze-frame their looks on a pedestal. I'm happy for the women who either have the time or the genes (or both) to look like they are without children, but it shouldn't be the standard for all mothers.
I know I'm preaching to the choir here since most of my readers (if not all) are mothers themselves and know exactly what I'm talking about. But I've been thinking about this for months and needed to get it out there. Just like calling someone a MILF is a back-handed compliment, calling jeans "mom jeans" is an outright insult and we need to get the word out.
I dunno.... what do you guys think?
[Ed. note: I think the SNL skit is hilarious. It's taking a mainstream idea and humorizing it. I get that. But I also think the entire point that being a "mom" usurps a woman's perceived womanness is sad. That's the whole point.]
This is his blog. I've also put a link to it in my right sidebar.
I shared with Sheree all your positive thoughts, prayers, and love over the last few weeks and she was so moved. This community rocks.
Meanwhile, I'm going to continue with my anemic posts of pictures and little commentary.