How I ended up cooking dinner naked…

My kid eating Triscuit minis off the floor should have been the first sign that the night wasn’t going to go as plan. No, wait, Grandma telling me that Potamus only took a 45 minute nap at church daycare  and didn’t eat much all day, was the first sign that the night wasn’t going to go as planned.

And then there was him playing in the recycling bin as I desperately tried to rustle up some food for this budding  picky eater connoisseur. Desperately steaming broccoli and defrosting blueberries, I shoved a pretzel roll in his grubby little hands and got him to calm down for two seconds to finish the prep process.

Meanwhile, I had started the chicken cooking for our dinner, and got all the pans and noodles out for that prep. His dinner was winding down when I got this awesomely bright idea to try and cut his hair while he was in the high chair. Because this blog isn’t old enough, you all didn’t witness my “I pulled a Britney before Britney” hair cutting experience of 2003, but needless to say, when the whim happens, the trim happens.

Dog clippers in hand, I begin buzzing away on my boy’s hair. He tolerates it for about 4 minutes until he gets a fistful of broccoli/hair casserole and promptly begins freaking out, crying, rubbing his eyes (which just gets hair in them) and generally being unhappy. With my chicken and sauce bubbling and noodles boiling I rush him back to the shower to get him cleaned off.

He had a poopy diaper.

I strip down in 3.4 seconds, run to turn down the boiling-over-pot of noodles, and jump in the shower with poop-bottom-boy who is crawling around the bathroom occupying himself with toys and generally smearing poop nuggets all over. I jump in the shower, get him all scrubbed off, and throw a towel around us while dashing (safely, in wet feet) down the hallway to the kitchen to stir the noodles and chicken. Standing there for a second to catch my breath, Potamus reaches his head down and begins nursing.

And that’s where the story begins, folks.

Stark naked. Baby nursing from my bare breast. Cooking chicken and noodles for dinner.

It was a scene from National Geographic if I ever saw one. Probably why those women keep there boobies bare, saves on laundry and lets you get some spaghetti cooked. Not that they cook spaghetti, but whatever. I manage to dash down the hallway, get him in his jammies, and make it back to finish up the final process of dinner making. Where he then proceeds to nurse from my other boob.


Realizing what a crazy ridiculous situation this was, I almost began laughing. But the noodles were done and I needed to stir it all together. Unlatching boy-wonder before he was fully finished caused a fit of toddler crying rage, despite my trying to distract him with a song and dance number (all still naked, btw). I go to cover the noodle dish with aluminum foil, to keep it warm, since Boof is running late, and the whole roll goes crashing to the floor and spreads out a good 4 feet of foil that I have to crumple roll back up. All with a crying baby.

About the time I would start to cry, I settle him down with an episode of The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and am able to get some underoos on this naked lady, and eat my dinner (probably without chewing, but whatevs).

Boof walks in the door, just as everything calms down and I am clothed, nobody is crying, and even the dog is behaving.


Thanks Universe.

Melancholy Monday

When I was in my younger twenties, I had less of an understanding of my issues of anxiety/OCD/depression and how it related to my career. Initially the anxiety pushed me to excel, be early all the time, but then there was a certain crash, where I felt unable to control myself. My early-to-work anxiety left me sitting in my car, weeping, writing in my journal, and listening to music, all in an effort to muster the strength to actually go to work. This pattern of thoughts/feelings ruling my actions actually became debilitating for awhile. I remember calling in sick from anxiety one day, and then sick again and again and again for four whole days because all I could muster was to putz around the house. It’s led to passive-aggressive sneaking around behavior at work, lying to my supervisor and generally acting like how I would imagine a young child would act when they are trying to get around their parents’ rules.

But I’ve come a long way since then. When I’m on medication, that has helped. I’ve done more introspection and understanding of myself and emotions and on days, like today, where melancholy rules, I still force myself to get out of bed, drive across the I-90 bridge in the not-quite-yet-sunrise, and walk into work. That’s where I am today, beginning my workday, with my emotions feeling raw and tender for no discernable reason (though leaving Potamus snuggled up with daddy certainly feels like that could be a starting point.)

I know that once I get in the swing of things this morning I will be okay, but for the moment, I cannot seem to shake the blues.


In other news, Potamus is a healthy 20lbs and 27 inches long…which initially concerned me because he hasn’t gained weight since his last apt (well, it has actually felt like he gained weight, and then lost it), but the pediatrician said it was totally normal and he is height/weight proportionate and that all his moving around has caused the slimming down. When asked about his reverse cycling, the pediatrician laughed and said that he was “sorry” for me, but that the baby is getting what he needs and is totally healthy. He was also very proud of my husband’s efforts to get breastmilk into Potamus in creative methods, like mixing with yogurt or using a clean Coke can, etc. What I found to be most fun, though, was that he is a dad of 4 and was totally pro co-sleeping. It was actually his suggestion for us, since Potamus doesn’t sleep longer than 2 hours at night, even telling Boof that he and his wife co-slept/bed-shared with their 4 kids. Awesome! Not many pediatricians would be so honest, especially since it is discouraged by the APA!

It started as self-care…

As part of my decision to buck up my self-care regimin, I have begun to re-read one of my favorite books: Trauma Stewardship. Reading this in not just a backup justincaseidon’tgetthejobthatireallywant anxiety push, but because it’s good and important to take care of myself ESPECIALLY since I have a young one and still want to work with at-risk youth (even if it means I don’t want to do CRISIS work anymore).

I saw the author, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, in a workshop a few years ago, and found the material to be AMAZING, like aloe vera to a nasty sunburn. So I picked it up, and one of the first things that stood out to me was:

There is a Native American teaching that babies come into the world knowing all that they will need for the rest of their lifetimes-but the challenges of living in our strained, cofnusing world make them forget their innate wisdom. They spend their entire lives trying to remember what they once knew.

This quote stopped me in my tracks. While I had read it before, and even read up and believe in past lives and lives between lives (aka, the soul realm), it really hit me in a different way this time…because of Potamus. He is such a kind and sweet and loving soul. Yesterday I yelled at Boof on the phone, not because I was angry, but because his phone wasn’t working right and he couldn’t hear me. Potamus started crying, like a hurt crying, but like a combination hurt/scared cry and he looked at me like, “what is that noise coming out of your mouth?!”

In a flash I flew back in time to all those conversations my mother would have about my using that tone of voice and how I just couldn’t understand what she meant (or I didn’t want to understand).

But in another instance, today, when trying to get my mother-in-law’s attention in the other room, I yelled again and BAM we had the same crying uncontrollably episode as the day before.


So here he is, sweet Potamus, born with everything he needs to know to navigate the world. All the trust and sweetness and love and innocence. And the world is going to try and take that away from him, and it will be hard and beautiful all the same. But I am learning something…my child is affected by moods…very much so. I’m trying to get ahead of this burnout so that I can learn to deal, in whatever situation I’m in, so that I can calmly, peaceably deal with my baby’s needs.


Maternity leave

In exactly 15 days I will resume my full time job responsibilities as a Crisis Intervention Specialist. I will also be a mom. I have no idea how I am going to do both of these things, let alone do both of them well. Today I layer in bed with Potamus having a mini panic attack that left my heart feeling crippled with fear and my fingers frantically searching the interwebz for part time therapy jobs that pay buco bucks (note: these jobs simply do not exist).

I keep telling myself that it will all be okay, that women all over manage to have babies and work, too. I tell myself that the first few weeks of Potamus’s life was hard, and I cried a bunch, and that this will be hard, but I will get through it, too. But I really feel like I just might poop my pants with fear of this transition.

How will I survive? Will Potamus still love me? Will I still be able to nurse him and have that lovely bond?