Thursday, June 16, 2011

21 months

This photo is pretty representative.  In the time it took me to get two bags of groceries in the house (only one trip) this whole scene transpired.  You found that your kiddie pool had some fresh rainwater in it.  You splashed, got wet and cold.  Managed to get your shoes off.  Tried your darnedest to get your sweater off, until you came trotting up to me in frustration. 

I have to say, getting to spend so much time with you these past couple weeks has been glorious.  You are learning so much every day, I finally feel like I am teaching, not just protecting.  I finally feel like my parenting decisions matter when I see you (sort of, sometimes) starting to share, because you look at me and know you might get a time out if you don't share.  I am seeing that you are always happy and even sometimes nice, which is a lot to ask of a toddler.  You are starting to make me proud of the little person you're becoming. 

You are still fearless.  And strong.  I hadn't realized how crazy it is that you like to climb up on your changing table when you need to be changed until other parents expressed shock at the thought.  Sometimes you don't even tell me you need to be changed, I just walk in and you're sitting there, quietly waiting.

Favorite things: cherries (if only you'd stop eating the pits), books, Elmo, babies (real and pretend), climbing, running, Vito.

My favorite things: watching you learn to communicate.  You've been doing two word phrases for a couple months, but you are now getting more creative.  You are now insistent in being understood, and if we can't figure out what you mean you pull on our hand to show us.  Utterly adorable, even when we don't really want to follow you around.  Your newest word is "alligator", which is really just "al-eaqnlfvdvhdbahqlbhvf" i.e. "al" followed by about two seconds of gibberish. 

Although I gripe about how high energy you are, I also love it.  You are a barrel of fun all the time.  Although you are a challenge, your joyfulness is contagious.  Your spontaneous hugs make me so glad to be home with you; completely unsolicited, completely unexpected.  I am curious how these next few months will go, as you and I settle into the routine of spending so much more time together.  I am excited to teach you more about the world, and to play a greater role in your day to day life.  When I'm with you, I get to see everything for the first time.  Things that have long since lost their fascination, like squirrels, flowers and the moon, are new again.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Make way for ducklings

This was going to be Wordless Wednesday, but I'm not good at keeping my mouth shut. There is a set of duck statues in Boston Garden, and if you've ever read Make Way for Ducklings(or had it read to you) then it's a must see in Boston.  Mj was very attached to one particular duck, kissing him and hugging him. But when she wandered away for a snack, another little girl sat on her duck.  When MJ turned around and saw that her duck had been taken over, she ran over and tried to push the little girl off her duck. It was not my proudest mama moment.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


It's a hot night tonight.  11:30 and still 90 degrees outside.  Our little AC has been full blast for most of the day, trying desperately to cool an entire house when it was only designed to cool a room.  In spite of having found a cool spot to sleep, I cannot sleep. 

The full weight of having quit my PhD is starting to fall on me.  I thought a lot about this before hand, it was not a rash decision, and it needed to happen.  But there are still things that didn't occur to me.  I thought about all this time I would have to raise chickens and can tomatoes and go to the zoo.  I thought about all these new job opportunities that would open up, but it somehow didn't occur to me that most of them don't require any kind of scientific background.  After a four year undergrad degree, plus six more years of scientific training, it is very sad to think that I may have to tuck my science brain away and watch it grow dusty.  I could apply for some full time science positions, though even those don't require the sorts of things I am trained to do.  And, importantly, they don't solve the problem of wanting to spend more time with MJ.  Why are there no part time positions for isotope geochemists with highly specialized training?  That's a tough one to answer, I know.

So I am sad tonight.  Sad to think that I won't get to investigate scientific puzzles.  That I failed at something.  That there is no way to study all these things I want to study without being away from MJ for most of her childhood. 

Furthermore, it's probably a bad sign that after only a few days of staying home, I am already bored.  There is so much to do with the move and all, but my brain is not engaged.   I'm giving myself until the fall to figure things out.  See how I like staying home.  Think about what I want to do with myself.  But I can tell you that after only a few days, the only feasible idea I come up with is to write a book.  Something about how isotopes can save the world.

p.s.  I really want to thank you guys.  Many of you have sent me very sweet, very encouraging emails and comments.  I don't really know how to respond, because I don't really know what I'm doing.  Or what I think.  But I need you to know how much I appreciate your encouragement

Monday, June 6, 2011

Life twin.

Do you have a life twin?  I highly recommend finding one.

When we were in Boston, we got the chance to visit some old friends.  We didn't get to visit as many old friends as we hoped, but you can only do so much in three days.  But, importantly, MJ got to meet Asa.  He took some convincing, but he warmed up to her.

I met Asa's mom when I moved onto her couch for a summer in college.  I had just broken up with a painter.  The painter and I only dated for a few months, but there was massive heartbreak involved.  She had just broken up with some writer-emo-very-sensitive-college-boy.  Also massive heartbreak.  I needed a place to crash for about a month and a half until I left town; Boston's expensive, renting a place wasn't really an option.  I knew her roommate and arranged a couch space. 

And since that time, we've been life twins.  We've drifted in and out of contact.  Dated each others friends.  Both ended up marrying fantastic guys within a couple months of each other.  Both ended up having fantastic kids within a couple months of each other.  Somehow manage to buy the same clothes despite not having seen each other for years.  Needless to say, we have plotted our children's futures together.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Boston, revisited

Boston is not what I remember. More accurately, I am probably not the girl that Boston remembers, while Boston is mostly the same.

Dh and I met in Boston. Almost a decade ago now. I was a senior, he was a junior, and I remember the first mineralogy class when I saw him. I'll save the rest of that story for another time.

But, because Boston is our roots, when Dh found out he had a work conference out here, he begged me to come. I was skeptical. Traveling with MJ is.... hard. Traveling for only four days hardly seems worth it, but the Boston appeal won me over.

But today, my love affair with Boston grew a little tired. It is such a hard city to get around. It takes so long to get anywhere. Cars are unthinkable. So much traffic and noise. Nowhere for a toddler to just run without getting trampled. Needless to say, I didn't notice or care about any of this as a college student. But others must have, because I think I could count on two hands the number of other strollers I saw all day.

Our life is just not the same. So Boston is just not the same.

What's up for tomorrow? DH told me to "live like a doctor's wife, go shopping on Newbury". Oh my, that is a thought. I'm not sure I'm cut out for the life of a plus one.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 1, 2011