Just the usual

So, everyone can stop asking about the baby’s name. When I can announce it, I will. Until then, you won’t miss it. It’ll be written in bold letters on my blog’s [ Facebook page ] and probably on the latest blog entry too. Asking and asking and asking and asking isn’t going to make it go any faster. It’s starting to get really irritating, and some entitled dipshits are starting to ruin it for the rest of you, so back off. You aren’t owed shit, no matter if you’re friend, family, or helped with the gift or what. This is a blog of people’s lives, not a sitcom.

Now that that’s said… on to family drama. Because you all know that’s what you’re really here for.

Marika and baby are doing beautifully in spite of their rough start. Breastfeeding is going amazingly smooth. She’s had one near-miss with mastitis and a plugged duct caused by a nursing tank’s built-in bra, but other than that it’s been perfect. She’s had a much easier time with her first nursing experience than I did, that’s for sure. She’s a goddamn natural, and it’s amazing to watch, Baby is growing like a weed and at just under two weeks she’d already gained over a pound from her birth weight.
Krazy has stayed out of the picture, thankfully, and the only communication we’ve heard from her is some “polite” emails that she sent to dad regarding some gifts she wanted to drop off. He told her repeatedly that she could stop by his house, whether or not he’s home, and drop them there but she never responded to that and for some reason decided to drop them off at the office of the social worker that has Marika’s case file. I find this to be a huge conflict of interest and completely unacceptable, not to mention kind of fucking scary. Her caseworker should not have any contact with someone who has been deemed unstable and dangerous to be around Marika and her baby.

On top of that, the social worker came by earlier last week to try and encourage Marika to meet with her mother, seeing as she’ll be “in town”. I was stunned. We spent the rest of the afternoon on the phone with everyone we could possibly call, including the supervisor of said worker, to lodge complaints and voice our extreme concern over this. It is in Marika’s safety plan to not have contact with her mom, so what the fuck is this woman doing chatting her up and having her drop off gifts at her office?
Ever since the worker did her passive aggressive thing in my livingroom my heart has been pounding in some sort of half panic-stricken/half-fury mesh of emotional bullshit. I can’t tell if I want to Hulksmash or cry; this woman was supposed to be protecting Marika, not getting ensnared by her mother’s manipulative web and using her power to try to force a potentially dangerous reunification. We have papers very literally stuck to the cork board by our door that have deemed Krazy a threat, in case she ever comes by and we need to call the police and have them remove her from the property. This worker was faxed a copy of these papers, but I guess she didn’t take the time to read them? Not fucking okay.

The whole thing screwed Marika up for the next few days and caused some other issues and fights between us. Marika is a good kid, and a smart kid, but she gets knocked off kilter pretty easily when it comes to her mom and feeling unsafe.
Don’t mistake: I’m not blaming her. I understand what it’s like to live with Krazy. I was her first victim way back in the day, except I was old enough and distanced enough from her to eventually understand that it wasn’t right, and I got away… leaving her with no one left but a tiny toddler to take out her aggression on. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get through the immense guilt I have over that.
At least Marika got away at some point, but damage was done. I don’t know if she fully understands her triggers yet, but I see them: and when she’s triggered into that unsafe place it’s like she backslides into this raw survival mode. And by survival mode I mean the place her brain needed to be in order to survive living with her mom. It’s not a good place, and sometimes it isn’t a safe place for her – that’s sort of what survival mode is all about. It’s not like she’s out doing crack or something, it’s just… unfortunate. And it makes her hurt the people around her, and do stupid shit without thinking. Shit that doesn’t need to be aired out in public.

Regardless, we managed to work through it just in time for (Canadian) Thanksgiving dinner last night.
Which is good because dad invited everyone – EVERYONE – to his house for a big dinner thing with fancy dress shirts and fine china. And given that literally the night before he and I had a massive blow out on the phone that ended in him screaming and hanging up on me, I told him that I was concerned this dinner may be rather awkward. Fortunately it wasn’t. It was only slightly awkward, but we all pretended it wasn’t, so it was good. Just another holiday in the life of our family. Because we’re fucking stable like that.
Seriously though, it really was an awesome dinner and everything went really well. The food was abundant and delicious, everyone actually made it and stayed an appropriate amount of time. My kids behaved themselves which is a miracle all by itself, and Brother didn’t make shit even more awkward than normal. Everything was amazingly smooth up until Sophie started puking everywhere because she touched some hot mashed potatoes and was upset that her finger hurt.

I’d never seen this behaviour from her before, but apparently whenever she works herself up into a tantrum, she vomits. Like, a lot.
After watching Brother’s Wife attempt to calm Sophie down by very firmly tell her, “You need to stop crying now, that’s enough, do not get sick” and completely understanding that it’s not what it looks like, I suddenly felt a lot more at ease with my own kids and all the shit that’s gone on between Brother and I over the years.
Sophie will be two at the end of this month, and him and Wife are finally beginning to understand a little bit of what it’s like to deal with behaviours that are “out of the ordinary”, and what it means to be doing it in a world where no one sympathizes or even cares to understand what’s truly going on.
I mean, it doesn’t reflect well on you as a parent to be standing in the mall telling your barely two year old, who seems hysterical, to “stop crying and don’t get sick” even though you’ve been dealing with them crying until they vomit every week of every month to the point that they’re medically underweight and you’re worrying that CPS might be called on you for that child’s failure to thrive.

(Fortunately, even though she’s tiny, Sophie’s doing extremely well in spite of her habit of vomiting excessively when upset… so no one’s getting on their case about it. Plus, they’re older parents, and let’s face it: the world is definitely more on the side of career-minded older parents.)

But still: for a brief moment, as Sophie angrily vomited all over a 13-person Thanksgiving dinner, I felt like the chasm between my brother and I wasn’t quite so large.


My friends got me this gift certificate for a spa when Zephyra was born and I never had the chance to use it due to her feeding problems not allowing me to spend any time away from her. It’s hard to get a babysitter for a baby who won’t feed and is almost guaranteed to be starving half to death by the time you come home from something completely unnecessary and selfish like getting a massage. There was something uniquely abhorrent about that idea, so I never ended up doing it, and eventually the envelope of spa information was misplaced and lost.
Earlier this week I moved my office supplies upstairs and began the rather daunting task of reorganizing it all to make the space into more of a “craft spot” rather than a work station, seeing as work and business no longer exists. May it rest in peace. I brought my laptop up and put on a movie from Netflix entitled, “Sex and the USA” while I was working, which proved to be an incredibly depressing and disturbing (not to mention frighteningly accurate) look at the effect of abstinence-only sex education on young teens. I highly recommend it!
Anyway, while moving my office shit around I found this envelope with everything still inside and briefly got really excited at the prospect of having some stranger rub me in all the right places. Then I realized the gift certificate had expired about a month ago. I decided to call the place up to see if they’d accept it anyway; maybe if I explained the situation they’d be understanding and sympathetic. Turns out their spa was closed down due to lack of business, but they now had a cool retail store that sold all sorts of organic bath and body products, and due to said closure they were still accepting old gift certificates. Or they could just give me a cash refund to spend at another local spa, which was super nice of them.
I had some free time the next day while the kids were in school so I went down to see what the store had. It ended up being pretty awesome, like Lush but better. I spent all of $4 (past a $75 gift card) on some seriously kickass organic bath and body products like amazeballs seaweed scrub that has left my skin shining and silky, a lavender spray for the kids to help them sleep, goats milk and honey soap that smells spectacular, and a bunch of other stuff.

But the best – THE BEST – purchase was this lavender face mud cleanser that you mix with a bit of water (or oils) and holy crap it leaves my skin so, so soft. I can’t stop touching it. After I washed it the first time I even made Curtis and my sister touch my face.
I even made my mom drive her little motor scooter all the way the fuck over here just to touch my face.
And they were all like, “That’s weird but oka–OHMYGOD IT’S LIKE SILLLLLK.”
Except Curtis, of course, who was happy to rub my silky face. And then wanted to rub his junk on my silky face. Which is cool because I bought him an aftershave made of the same stuff so now we can rub silky things together all night long.

You can also [ buy it online ] if you’re as big on this kind of thing as I am. Seriously. Soft face! It’s amazing. I’m not even that much of a “product” girl, but I’m quickly becoming a convert. I even briefly considered buying one of their age creams, because clearly I need shit like that seeing as I look so old and all.


Xan’s sixth – SIXTH – birthday was on October third. We bought him his own Nintendo DS as part of showing him that we are granting him more trust and responsibility as he gets older. This has been surprisingly good (so far. I mean, it’s still Xan and all), and he was legitimately super excited about it.
I cannot believe he’s actually six. It’s kind of blowing my mind. Six is the age that I consider a child no longer a “little kid” and they officially turn into a “big kid”, and he’s been my baby for so long that I find it really difficult to make that mental change with him. He can be the most flamboyant, loud, obnoxious, bratty kid sometimes and yet I can’t shake the feelings of him being this tiny, fragile baby boy. Even though it’s pretty obvious he was NEVER a tiny fragile baby boy. I don’t know, maybe it has a lot to do with losing Jericho and him being my only living boy. Or the next boy. Or just the next child after losing him. He’s always seemed so fragile by comparison, and so much more… little.
He’s six years old. Six entire years. He’s in grade one, in his own school, making new friends and doing all new things. He has such deep emotion and he expresses it in ways that continually surprise me, especially after raising Tempest who is generally very aloof.

I had this moment with him the other day that really made me realize how much bigger he is. I’d had a fight with him over not listening, again, which is the fight we’re all having with him 99% of the time. I’d had it with him being disrespectful and ignoring me and I told him, “When you don’t listen to me, I feel like you don’t care about what I say, or about me, or about the house that you live in.” Generally, as a crazyass five year old boy, this kind of thing gets no response from him other than an, “uh-huh”, but this time was different. He stopped what he was doing and looked at me. I could practically see his mind working as he carefully considered his response.
Finally he spoke. “That’s not true,” he said. His eyes welled up with tears. “I do care about you, and about this house. When your’e mad sometimes I think you don’t care about me.”
I’ve never heard him speak with that much conviction and maturity before. It completely threw me. My anger melted away, and I embraced him, giving kisses to the top of his head, and he hugged me back and didn’t let go.
“I care about you too, Xan. I love you very much, even when I’m angry I still love you. I’m angry BECAUSE I love you.”
“Huh? How does that work?”
“Well, if I didn’t love you then I wouldn’t care about the things you say or what you do. When you love someone, you care a lot about how they feel about you, and how they treat your things or even the people around you. It affects you. When you’re happy, I’m happy, and when you’re sad I’m sad too. If I didn’t care abut you at all then it wouldn’t matter if you were happy or sad or angry or if you broke things or anything like that.”
He paused to consider. “That makes sense.”
“You know how daddy and I fight sometimes?”
“No?”
I laughed. “What? You’ve never seen daddy and I fight?”
He looked at me like I was crazy. “No! You guys don’t fight!”
“Of course we do!”
“YOU DO?!”
This is a perfect example of how absorbed in his own world he tends to be. He really just doesn’t notice anything. Curtis and I don’t actually fight that often, but if we do have a minor disagreement we don’t exactly go out of our way to hide it because we want to ensure the kids see us modelling conflict resolution, and grow up to understand that you can sort through arguments without hurting each other… and that it’s normal. I’ve seen people get seriously fucked up from the belief that ‘people who love each other don’t fight’; their ability to have good, healthy relationships with pretty much anyone gets so screwed up. I don’t ever want to be the parent that contributes to the idea that a “good” relationship is one that never has any stress or tension.
“Why would you fight?” asked Xan. He was rapt with attention now.
“Because we disagree on something, or one of us has an opinion that the other person doesn’t share. Whatever the reason, we’ll argue about it because we care about each other. I care what daddy thinks and what he feels, and what happens to him, I’m not just thinking only about me. If I only cared about me, I’d do whatever I wanted all the time and wouldn’t even bother to talk to him, or you, or anyone else about it.”
He was quiet for a minute, then leaned on me. “I love you, Mommy”.
“I love you too, Xan-man.”

CPR Makes you Undead – Quite possibly the best instructional video ever, brought to you by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
How much do cats actually kill? – Too. Damn. Much.
Stop doing kegals – No really, stop. That’s not preventing pelvic floor weakness, nor is it helping you give birth. If you really want to strengthen that area and understand how the muscles work together, read on.
Amazing mind reader reveals his ‘gift’ – This is a viral marketing campaign about online safety and how to protect your banking information. Sounds boring, but trust me, this is an awesome campaign and a good video.
Mitt Romney Style – Apt.
Klingon Style – Okay, okay ,I’m done with the Gangnam style parodies now, I swear.
Elders React to Dubstep – I’ve never seen this series before, but holy fuck is it ever funny. It’s exactly what it sounds like. A choice quote from one of the old ladies, on why old people may not yet be enjoying Dubstep to its fullest: “It made you pump, pump your heart, faster, faster, faster! So probably younger people like it more ’cause older people they’d die maybe.”
Anthony Griffith: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – I linked this once, sort of, as part of a video watch list called, “You cry you lose”, but I found it again recently and it’s really worth a watch over and over again for being such a powerful and emotional (not to mention amazingly well told) true life story. The Moth is a comedy club that was having an event where comics come up and have the chance to express themselves in a different medium: story telling. The theme for this night was, “When worlds collide”, and Anthony stood up to tell the heart-rendering story of losing his still-too-small daughter to cancer while simultaneously rising to stardom as a clown. Bring tissues, this is not an easy watch… but it’s worth it.
Reconsider Columbus Day – Another repost, but an important one. Columbus is no hero.

Comments

comments

6 Comments

  • Korena says:

    Yay, I’m so glad you were still able to use that gift certificate! (Expired and the spa closed?! That’s pretty awesome customer service!)

    Amazing how much Xan has changed. That one pic of him all fat and gigantic makes me giggle every time because he looks like he could quite literally eat you. Happy birthday kid!

  • Diana says:

    Hey, were you guys ever able to pinpoint the cause Xan’s stomach pains?

    I love the pic of him in the pink striped shirt – so cute! Had to laugh at seeing such a chubby baby…what an adorable boy.

    • Babyslime says:

      Chubby doesn’t even begin to describe him as a baby! He was massive. 😉

      We haven’t yet, but he’s still in the midst of various tests. So far the only answer we have is that his IgA is extremely high so he’s getting a celiac panel and being referred to an allergist again.

  • Colleen says:

    I love that fourth picture down, of super fat little Xan. I’m never going to have a baby that pudgy and snuggly, I’m a little jealous.

    We chose a name for our new baby the day we found out she was a girl, back in April. It was kind of an accident, I randomly suggested a name I liked as a child and it “clicked” with my husband. I had already told him, though, that I didn’t want to tell anybody the name before she was born. For one thing, I dislike it when babies are called by name before birth (I really feel like you have to SEE them first to be sure it fits). For another, her middle name is my grandma’s, and I wanted to surprise my dad with the tribute (she passed away almost 3 years ago). And finally, I wanted SOMETHING to be a surprise, since we found out her gender this time. We had one friend who knew her name, and that’s only because she had considered it for her girl twin born two weeks earlier and I wanted to make sure she wasn’t upset if we used it. She had kept her babies’ names secret until birth and I knew she wouldn’t blab.

    Most people accepted the fact that she was going to continue to be “Little Sister” or “Beta”…but my immediate family spent the next 21 weeks constantly trying to get me to accidentally say her name. Not in a malicious way, really, but in the middle of a conversation about something else somebody or another would just blurt out, “so what’s her name?!”. I couldn’t tell my three-year-old because they even tried asking her. The more they asked, the less I wanted to tell them. I got my reward when I got a rather choked-up voicemail from my dad the morning after she was born about how perfect her name was.

    I’m sure Marika has her reasons for not sharing her little one’s name…I don’t understand it but then I don’t have to. When she’s ready, I’m sure it’s a beautiful name to go with a beautiful baby.

  • Jill says:

    I loved this post: I laughed and I cried.

    I laughed at: “I even made my mom drive her little motor scooter all the way the fuck over here just to touch my face.”

    I cried at: The entire story about Xan. Just seeing his pictures come into frame as I scrolled down, I realized: Hey, I’ve seen all these as they happened. I’m reliving this, too.

    You’re a brilliant blogger, Heather. Your life provides you the material, but the delivery…that’s all you. You are amazeballs.

Leave a Reply