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The Little Engine That Could was a woman. Obviously.

8 Nov

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Last Line: Where the Wild Things Are

8 May

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WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE “…and it was still hot.”

No matter what you do, momma loves you best of all. And also, your imagination knows no bounds. Never stop dreaming.

After his mom sends him to his room, Max sails off on a wild adventure only to return home “years later” to find his dinner waiting for him. “… and it was still hot.” It’s actually a longer sentence, but that last clause is the kicker.

Thank you, Maurice Sendak. R.I.P.

Meaningful Last Line: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

14 Apr

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ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY: “Even in Australia.”

Hey, things kinda suck everywhere. Ought to get used to it. Love, Mom

P.S. Nowhere is better than where you are. Live each day. Don’t wait.

Fear and Labor

16 Jan

Here. Omg. This is up! I feel super cool and all embarrassed, and I’m so honored to have my writing up at The Feminist Breeder!

San Francisco seemed as good as any place to pee on a stick. After two weeks of driving cross-country feeling a little off, blaming car sickness and altitude changes for my nausea and exhaustion, it was time for more wine, one last cigarette and the inevitable. (Read more)

An essay about my fear, (terror?) of having a baby and how I transformed into someone I’d never thought I’d be.

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Paul Grossmann took this of my gigantic boy belly. He's an awesome photographer you should know.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was scared shitless and was really looking for someone else who was just like me and got through it.

The fact that women do it every day, have multiple children etc. did not matter. I thought my fear was something no one else had or could even understand. What I found was women who were anxiously anticipating the arrivals of their little bundles, not someone who wondered if she could just ask to be knocked out and have them take the baby out. (Although, I was also terrified and mistrusting of hospitals, doctors and bitchy labor and delivery nurses.)

This essay is a small snippet of my entire experience, but a really important snippet. If one other terrified pregnant woman who envisions childbirth as the climax to a bad (good) torture-horror film finds this and is calmed, at least for a moment, I’ll feel pretty good.

Experimenting on my Students: A Cure for my “Cell Phones in the Classroom” Rage

11 Jan

The Phone Stack is a brilliant and fun idea for a group of friends out to dinner, whereby everyone puts his or her phone on the table and whoever goes for it first, pays the check. I LOVE it, because I hate myself when I realize I’m sitting, having a conversation with someone AND checking my emails, in part because, 1. it’s rude, 2. because I wasn’t able to recall the instance I picked up my phone and began checking emails, and 3. because this idea has so many other possibilities for use.

Family dinner for one. However, my son is not even a year old, and while we do all eat dinner together, we are so involved in feeding him and ourselves, that out iPhones stay away. So, I will catalogue this idea for future reference.

In the meantime, I am definitely going to try something like this with my students this semester! Their incessant texting under the desk drives me up a wall. I’m a pretty laid back professor, but my uber-rage turns on when I see the glances into the lap and the thumb typing. And, when I call them out, it’s usually like, “Wha?” I have tried a number of things to get them to stop, but it really is a disturbing compulsion. Kids. Seriously! Draw in your notebook! Write a note to your boyfriend! Freakin’ zone out and daydream.

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Sometimes I long for simpler times.

So, I think this will be a fun social experiment and maybe they can then police themselves I hate policing when I’m trying to take about story arc and immediacy in storytelling.

But, what should be the penalty for the person/people who go for their phones? It can’t be something that punishes the whole class and it’s got to be something that others would want someone else to have to do. Like picking up the tab at a restaurant. Teachers? Students? What do you think?

Be reasonable! Or don’t. I like ridiculous suggestions, too!

A (totally not serious) Critique of Suess’ Marvin K. Mooney

9 Jan

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Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! is not one of Seuss’ best. It’s no The Cat in the Hat, it’s no One Fish, Two Fish, or even Hop on Pop. The basic story is, as the title suggests, a plea for this Marvin K. Mooney character to “please go, now,” yet, it’s never specifically defined where he should go or, perhaps more importantly, why the narrator is so insistant upon him going, thus begging the question, what is the occasion for the telling of this story?

Perhaps Mooney is being asked by the narrator to please go to bed, but it’s not explicit. I think the reader needs to know for sure, ground us in some sort of reality. It would change the whole tone and ultimate conclusion of the story and help define just how we are to feel for both MKM and the narrator. As it is, the narrator’s anger just increases with each suggestion on how exactly MKM could possibly get to where he should go, but this, to me is anger for anger’s sake and snappy writing (which Seuss does a good job at).

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It’s not rooted in anything I can understand. Is there some past between the narrator and Mooney that we should be aware of? He has to go. What of it? What’s a stake for Mooney, the narrator if he goes or does not? Would knowing that help round out these characters?

I do enjoy the suggestions the narrator makes for modes of transportation that Mooney may take to “go.” They range from the common, skates, skis, a hat…

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To the whimsical. (A Zumble-Zay.)

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But, still. This just isn’t doing it for me without knowing more about these characters. Overall, it was a quick read with lots of fun colors and some good potential characters to draw out from the narrative. Additionally, my 8 month old reports that the cover tastes good and is fun to bang with his hands.

Most Heartbreaking Line of All Time

14 Dec

In “Goodnight Moon,” the narrator enumerates the items found in the great green room of a little bunny-boy, only to then say goodnight to each one. Most of the things listed are tangible–kittens, mittens, a brush, a bowl full of mush, a creepy old lady knitting. But, after each thing is bid adieu for the night, this blank page and these stark, sorrowful words interrupt the pattern in a most heartbreaking way.

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Most Beautiful Line Ever Written

13 Dec

In this scene, Toad, paralyzed by the loss of his To Do list, can’t do anything. Frog joins him in a lovely show of friendship and compassion.

My heart aches; it’s so full.

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Nipple Confusion is probably goth.

9 Dec

Jason Reitman’s new movie, “Young Adult,” looks great, of course. It is just about everything I like in a movie, (even though it’s written by Diablo Cody… that’s a whole other topic.) But, I like it even more after catching a glimpse of this on the trailer.

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OMG! NIPPLE CONFUSION!! Best name for a band ever!

What other breastfeeding/parenting/baby related stuff makes for great band names???

Sleeping With Knives? No.

16 Nov

I saw this on The Today Show and then read this article Milwaukee Runs Provocative Ads to Wake Parents Up to Dangers of Co-Sleeping about this advertisement to warn parents of the dangers of co-sleeping.

Co-Sleeping is NOT (NOT) like a baby sleeping next to a freakin’ meat cleaver.

Yes, there are dangers involved with co-sleeping, just as there are dangers with a child sleeping in the crib. (You need a snug sheet, no drop side crib, no bumpers, no stuffed animals etc…) Read:  Why We Never Ask “Is it Safe for Infants to Sleep Alone?”

Yes, people need to understand and be educated about safe co-sleeping (a world wide practice), and Milwaukee has something of an epidemic apparently, but this kind of shocking image is unnecessarily graphic, inaccurate in its implication, and irresponsible. The image of the baby sleeping on the bed with loose sheets and a mountain of pillows is also incorrect and displaying dangerous co-sleeping. If the goal of this ad is for parents to not share sleep with their infants, this is not the way to do it, because, to look at this one could simply say, “Well, I don’t let my child sleep with a butcher knife, so, therefore, I’m okay!”

It is important to educate and not shock with an image that is not true! For example, a antismoking ad will show a person with a tracheotomy to scare. It may work, because that can actually happen! A baby with a knife, though isn’t true.