Sunday, February 21, 2010


What a coincidence in theme that came in the mail! I guess this was affirmation that I'm on the right track. Unfortunately, there were no tips on how to deal with waking up to poop accidents! ;-)

Friday, February 19, 2010


I've been a little raw over the past few days. In less than one month it will be the anniversary of my late mother's birthday. She would have been turning 59, just on the cusp of becoming a "little old lady" as she put it so many years ago. I often try to picture what she would be like in the present day. Whether she would be embracing the faded loveliness of her hair or still touching it up with the Clairol mixture she kept under the bathroom sink. If some semblance of today's fashions would be migrating into her closet or if she would be sweetly commenting that my outfit looked better when I wore the original version back in the 80's. And then I picture her with my kids - her grandbabies. The more I think about it lately, the harder it gets to let the dream go.
The connection might not make much sense to you, but this is how my mind functions in self-preservation mode. The month before the date I'm over analyzing, and the month after I agonize. Yet the date in question is usually endured with a minimal amount of pain or with no recollection at all (until I realize I missed it. Hence the post-agonizing.) Sometimes I feel like an emotional pressure cooker, leaking stress out in measured increments to ensure the lid never flies off the pot or the contents go boiling over the sides.
I bring this up because I find myself applying the same tactics to stressful dates with my kids. Allergist appointments or birthday parties with Scootch. Special events or milestones with Monkey. People tell me how great and pulled together I am when they see me, but they have no clue how much I fail to hold on to that composure pre and post game. Nerves, temper, anxiety, insomnia. And on top of that I wonder how well I succeed (or how badly I fail) in hiding these responses from my kids. They absorb so much by observation, and I'm afraid of what they see in me sometimes. Are they paying attention when I'm handling everything well, or are they taking notes when the cracks are visible on the surface? Some days its just so hard to remember how to breathe.
I went back to the doctor yesterday because I just feel like I need to make a choice. Pressure cooker or not, I decided there has to be some way to turn down the heat. Or somebody is bound to get burned.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gifts of Motherhood

The Monkey is a talented kiddo. She's bright and (usually) articulate when she isn't pretending to be a puppy dog or talking in her i-ey babble (which involves adding an "ey" to the end of every word. It sounds something like "Mommy I-ey wanty juicy pleasey"). The Mr. Hyde side of this is that she's very headstrong and independent. She knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. And she can get very stubborn about the 'getting' part of it, as in she wants to do it herself.
I'm sure you've already seen exhibit one above. That was the gift she left us for Valentine's Day. Apparently having an accident wasn't worth waking us up for. She just decided she'd clean it up herself with an entire roll of toilet paper.
Now I do admit I'm at least half to blame for this. Her entire life I've tried to teach her how to do things herself so she would establish a good foundation of self worth and self reliance. This is coming back to bite me now that she's decided age 3 1/2 is only a step away from getting her own apartment.
But I've decided I'm just going to try and ride this out. If I truly want to give her all the rewards a gift of knowing the breadth of her self reliance can bring, she's going to have to learn her limits at the same time.
And Mommy is just going to stock up on Mostenbockers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Fifth time is the charm. :-)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bad Mother

I never wanted to be this type of mother. I never wanted to be so zealous and pre-occupied with my child's condition that I frequently commandeered conversations and unwittingly flew off the handle over the small injustices of this way of life. This food allergy life that sometimes feels as if it has us all hostage. I try to stop myself when I feel the pitch of my voice raising, or notice the slightly reclined posture of the person I'm talking to. Maybe I should get away from this crazy lady before my kids catch food allergies too. They never say it, but its sometimes reflected in the glazed look that covers their eyes when I've gone on too long.

But the other side of me thinks I should have every right to wail and stomp and shout at the top of my lungs. I should also have a free license to stay home under the covers too, in the wonderful hermetically controlled environment I have so obsessively lovingly created for my son so he can eat whatever he picks up without fear.

Who am I kidding?

Lots of mothers face this same struggle, if not with allergies than with some other obstacle they're confined to the sidelines to watch play out on their children. Helplessness. I'm sure every mother loathes the mere thought of the world as I do. And I'm sure we'll all be mourning on some level for the rest of our lives over what our kids could've had had they not been gifted with their own particular challenge. I guess that puts me at stage 3 and 4 of the 7 levels of grief.

But what makes it harder is the perceived level of inconsiderateness that is all around me. Something I couldn't even name until I read this article and it put words to those misty intangible monsters that pervaded my thoughts at night when I should be sleeping.

"But sadly, allergy is still not accorded the attention and priority that it needs.
Why? Perhaps it is because allergy seldom kills or maims. Yes, life does go on for allergy sufferers, but unless you have an allergy yourself or live with someone who has it, you will never fully understand the impact of allergy on the quality of life. The physical suffering, the mental torment, the emotional struggles, the financial strain and the endless limitations in many aspects of life, ranging from food to sports or vacation to vocation.

In a nutshell, allergy rarely kills but often steals your zest for life."

The last line seems to sum it up the best. Scootch's food allergy is a theif. It has stolen the joy out of food for me. It has complicated that simple joy of giving nourishment to my children, something that had seemed so easy and pleasant when I nursed them and revelled in how plump and pink and rosy they became from relying solely on me for their food. It has taken away the satisfaction of experimenting with foods and recipies. Of baking. Or treating them with a free cookie from the grocery store while I shopped. It has zapped the anticipation out of upcoming birthday parties. Of looking forward to meeting up with friends, or enjoying a family dinner at a restaurant. Now I'm constantly aware that its inconvenient for any of our friends to try and celebrate or dine with us, as it requires prep work, and questions, and special requests.

But here we are. And we are blessed that our friends and family try to understand and help as much as they do. I feel loved when I get text messages from people who see a cookbook for kids with food allergies, or email me a recipe so I can still indulge my kids with cookies and milk at 11am on a Friday if I feel like it. That noone complains out loud when we're meeting up at the same 3 restaurants because they're the most allergy friendly.

And finally, this, which gives me hope; "The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them." (Bernard M. Baruch).

I never wanted to be this type of mother. Maybe I'll grow out of it.