Sunday, December 24, 2006

I Met A Man Who Lives In Tennessee

It's a long time, 13 hours. In a plane, we'd be in Australia by now. But in an overloaded Mitsubishi, containing a barely potty-trained pre-schooler, you can only get to central Michigan. The trip actually went as well as anyone could dare hope. Miss M went through her Bag O' New-Car-Approved Entertainment Devices pretty quickly, but stayed in pretty good spirits throughout the day. I have to thank the good people of Crayola for the truly wonderful Color Wonder collection of mysteriously appearing paint and marker products. I have no idea what sort of chemical magic makes those things work, but they kept M happy and the upholstery mess-free for much longer than any other art product could have done. My best investment, however, was the $2.89 pair of Fiskars for Kids and a $1.59 pad of construction paper. The scissors were sort of like pinking shears, and M spent hours carefully cutting tiny little lettuce-edged squares. I almost sprained something patting myself on the back for that one.

Other highlights of the trip included the vast and astounding array of trailer home Christmas decorating, the completely childish amusement caused by passing Big Bone Lick State Park, and the strangely satisfying sight of Beef Jerky Unlimited. Other than the concept of a full day drive itself, the only real lowlight was the unexpected return of my pregnancy sciatica, which struck about 15 minutes before we got in the car. I had a deep, throbbing pain from hip to knee and spent the entire drive trying to find a position that would allow me to sit without actually using my butt.

We're now at the Admiral's dad's farm, where Miss M is finding entertainment in the horses, tractors and seemingly endless supply of flashlights. We've been eating an unmentionable number of locally produced hot dogs and homemade chocolate malts, although I'm still crediting the fetus for that rapidly growing bump at my waistline. We'll be here tonight and will be expecting Santa's visit before morning, although we hear that he'll also be making at stop at Grammy's house, so we'll be heading that way sometime tomorrow afternoon. It's the first year that M is cognizant of the whole holiday, and on top of the usefulness of the Mighty Santa Threat, it's a pretty joyful thing to see her getting into the spirit. And of course, in her world, the spirit of Christmas means behaving just well enough that all her stuff doesn't get taken away. Which I guess is a start. She's got plenty of time to figure out the whole peace, hope and charity thing. Like the 13 hours it'll take to get home.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

What A Jagged Little Pill

Hey, look, I have a blog! It was hard to remember that over the screeching, pulsing pain in my sinuses, let alone conjure an original thought worth posting to such a site. The entire SAM household has been felled by one type of crud or the other, with The Admiral and I both succumbing to matching sinus infections. As further proof of the gender disparity of childrearing, my prescription was for antibiotics and a saline sinus rinse. The Admiral's little paper, from the very same doctor, included instructions for antibiotics ... and codeine! With refills! So I'm standing over the sink shooting saltwater and baking soda up my nose and he's off in Narcoticsville, the seat of Happy County. It is all so very, very unfair.

I resisted taking the antibiotics, because I'm not a big fan of mutating superviruses, but after spending three days feeling like my head was in labor, I finally gave in to the magic bacteria-eaters. My midwives did give me some other options, and I'm sure they were very valid, but I didn't have any of the needed oils or balms in the house, and the idea of trekking out to get them with my eyeball threatening imminent explosion just wasn't so feasible. So I'm on the Omnicef, which is making me feel throw-uppy, and I still haven't quite shaken the congestion, so just when I was about to revel in entering the second trimester, I'm back to feeling like it's my 7th week of pregnancy.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Little Things You Haven't Got Could Be A Lot If You Pretend

Something about PTA meetings always makes me feel like I'm in a surreal netherworld. Okay, technically they're MPA, or Montessori Parent Association, meetings, so we're just talking about appropriate snacks and lost jackets rather than debating the cost of a new metal detector, but I still don't quite feel like I belong. It's not that I don't feel old enough, because I'm four months pregnant with a raging head cold and a daily average of 4 hours of sleep. I can't recall ever feeling older. It's more about not feeling parent-y enough, like at any moment someone's going to demand my credentials and politely but firmly declare that having one tiny little 3-year-old barely qualifies me to assume the title of Mother.

Tonight's meeting was about the upcoming holiday program. It's officially called the "holiday" program on all written material, but they're not fooling anyone. It's a Christmas program. There are angels and donkeys and a big visit from Santa. My cherubic blond, blue-eyed daughter is, of course, a donkey. Or at least that's what I'll be telling myself as I go out to buy her required white dress (wings are provided by the school). I was initially kind of squicked out about the amount of Christmasness being espoused by our non-denominational choice of pre-school. But I'm comfortable with the fact that they talk about a lot of cultural and religious traditions, and to the best of my knowledge, don't seem to officially sanction any one philosophy (other than the mighty cult of Dr. Maria). No, upon further reflection, what bothered me was the fact that my daughter was getting the bulk of her Christmas education from her well-meaning, well-rounded instructors and not her supposedly Christian mother. I couldn't even get her to understand what the Advent calendar was for, other than beating the top of the piano.

Hopefully I get some maternal points for taking notes, staying alert despite weepy eyes and fused sinuses, and even mentioning that we failed to receive our school picture proofs. If I'm going to feel like I'm faking it at these things, I may as well try to be convincing.