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Mama Interrupted January 6, 2009

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family.
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Interruptions. They seem to punctuate parenthood. They also seem to punctuate working from home. The phone rings at the most inopportune moment, the spouse calling (or texting) to inform you that they have to stay late at the office, the bell rings during the toddler’s elusive  nap time, the call of “Mama, Mama, come play with me” interrupts the train of Pulitzer-winning thought that was flowing effortlessly from your fingers to the keyboard, and so on.  Those are among the basic, daily interruptions that  many of us contend with in one way or another. Then there are the big life interruptions: illness, death, pregnancy, going into labor, airport delays, war, severe storms and blackouts … oh yeah, and the holidays, which as much as we might anticipate them, do seem to interrupt life’s usual rhythm of chaos.

For us, the holidays and the end of 2008 were marked by a series of some of these “big”  interruptions (thankfully, none of them too tragic), but definetely enough to have 2008 end for us with neither a bang nor a whimper, but more of a dull thud that resonated into 2009  much like the overtone series or the series of ripples on a pond after being upset by the smallest of pebbles.  Actually, I’ve been Mama Interrupted for the greater part of the fall and winter, so it only seems befitting that this state of being should have carried into the holidays.

The holidays started with delusions of stress-free normalcy: cleaning and decorating for Christmas (no we’re not the decorate-the-house-and-string-the-lights-the-day-after-Thanksgiving family);  getting to the market; shopping for the The Boy’s last Christmas as an only child; getting out holiday cards, and the litany of other pre-holiday preparations.

But Mama isn’t the only factor involved. There are also The Husband, The Boy, the “baby” and the Fates.  Apparently my Muse went on vacation — perhaps to Hawaii to hang with the Obamas and the press corp — and left me with her cousins, the Fates, who thought that it would be all too much fun to mess with me and my grand plans for organization, to get ahead on work, research my next opus and make plans for our new schedule once the husband takes his newly elected post.)

The Fates tinkered with me. They decided to toss in a heaping table spoonful of snowstorms and for added flavor, two dashes of tiny colds — one for me and one for The Boy. For The Boy, this was but a mere inconvenience of having Mama chase him with tissues to remove the shiny gel cascading from his nostrils onto his upper lip. For Mama, it only added to the exhaustion of being pregnant while chasing after a toddler with said tissues, and fully determined to not make The Boy’s last singleton Christmas not suck.  Meanwhile, our house lay in limbo between campaign-aftermath and the holiday season as The Fates toyed with schedules and extra pre-vacation committments for The Husband, and needing to also prepare for his local swearing-in ceremony scheduled for New Year’s Day.

We managed to make Christmas and The Boy was elated. But this effort did not go without punishment from The Fates. The lovely ladies decided to knock me on my ass — well, more like flat on my back — allowing the effects of their simmering brew to take full effect.The day after Christmas, I was really sick. But that was not enough for those playful ladies … oh no! They decided that The Boy’s naps should also take a vacation, and that The Husband should bring home work.  I had no choice but to let them have their fun — the three dancing around me with great zeal and choreographing in counterpoint to their own dance, a pas de deux between my two children — the elder singing “Mama, Mama” every few moments, imploring me to join him on the floor with his cars, the one within me using my thimple-sized bladder as a bosu ball. All the while The Husband clickety-clacked on the computer, occasionally chanting to The Boy, “let Mama rest.”

“What next?”  The trio of tricksters asked each other. Perhaps, a black-out. (The sisters are quite fond of drama.) And thus storms ensued along with what for us was nearly two days without power, and initial forecasts from DTE that it could be several days before everyone was back up and running at full capactiy.  Ironically, only a mile away, my sister-in-law was spared from the darkness, so we went there … but not without my Muse’s sitters for me in tow.  Excited to be with his cousins twice in nearly as many days, The napless Boy wanted no part of bedtime, and did everything in his power to avoid it. (The Fates, by the way, like to share their fun, and did so with a greater portion of the area.)

Our power was restored (along with the phone and Internet), but not without leaving us to have to reboot and renetwork everything and a two-day frenzy of making preparations for The Husband’s big event, planning orignally scheduled for the period of time when we were without power. (Oh joy, oh bliss! The Fates giggled as their dance became an all-out jig.) My darling sitters gave me enough energy to make it through New Year’s and the Husband’s big event … but decided next to prey on The Boy as a parting gift for me in anticpation of the Muse’s return from her hiatus. By Saturday night, The Boy had a fever. By this morning, he was too sick to resume daycare, an event I was anticipating eagerly so that I could return to my work and the beginning of our new schedule — one that I’d planned to get a handle on during the holidays and when The Husband was on “vacation.”

Each attempt to gain clarity and regain control became more elusive as the Fates insisted that at every turn, Mama was to be inter—

Hang on, I hear a fuss from upstairs. (It’s all good — The Husband’s on it.)

While interruptions happen, I’ve decided that the Muse left me in the hands of  her cousins, to create a grand finale of interruptions to mark the end of a very interesting 2008 and start of 2009 wherein Mama will weather the interruptions better and be more focused, creative and constructive in doing so.  So instead of the interrupted resolutions list started before we lost power, for 2009, I think I will sum up as having an overarching theme. One that is for a new sense of discipline — in spite of the interruptions that may come flying at me. The Twisted Sisters can go play with someone else for a while — and when they’re back for more fun and games, I’ll be ready for them.

© 2009 Erika-Marie S. Geiss

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Touching on a Memory May 21, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, toddlers.
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As he often is, Michael was in our bedroom as I was getting dressed. Next on deck for getting dressed and clad only in his diaper, he was playing by the side of the bed, searching for something in the basket of toys that I keep there for him. With my back to him, I could still see him in the mirror. He found the bear that he wanted and started to climb onto the bed, but lost his footing and slipped back down. While he landed on his feet, he stumbled backwards and landed in the basket. It was terribly cute, but he did scrape his back on the basket handle and he was stuck in the basket. Still partially dressed myself, I ran over to scoop him out and climbed on the bed with him and checked his minor scrape. But something happened to both of us at that moment. (more…)

Tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show 05.07.08 May 7, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Cyber Savvy Show, education, parenting & family, writing/editing/blogging.
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This May, I am featuring a series of related topics on cyber bullying and e-venge on the Cyber Savvy Show with Erika-Marie S. Geiss at Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio (PIVTR).

Tonight, I kick the series off with Sue Scheff, parenting advocate and founder of P.U.R.E. — Parents’ Universal Resource Experts.

Ms. Scheff will be talking about her experiences with cyber bullying and about her new book Wit’s End, a resource and guide for parents in the midst of handling troubled teenagers. Ms. Scheff has appeared on television and featured in articles including on: 20/20, ABC News i-Caught, CNN Headline News, NPR and BBC Talk Radio as well as in articles in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Forbes and many other periodicals.

I am honored to have her on tonight’s broadcast of the Cyber Savvy Show. To learn more about Ms. Scheff and her work before tonight’s show airs, please visit www.helpyourteens.com or to www.suescheff.com.

To purchase an early-release copy of Wit’s End (Health Communications, Inc.) online, visit www.witsendbook.com. (Wit’s End will be available in bookstores in June.)

Please join us at 8 p.m. Eastern time at the Cyber Savvy show to hear about these very important topics.

Listen Live at 8 p.m. (click)

If you miss the live broadcast, the podcast is available about an hour after the show airs: here.

We hope that you’ll tune in to tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show, with guest, Sue Scheff.

→After the show ←

please join us for and hour
of continued discussion with Sue Scheff
at the PIVTR forum.

You can access the forum three ways:

  • Logged-in forum members go here
  • Forum log-in (members who aren’t already logged in) here
    Then scroll down to the Cyber Savvy Show thread.
  • Register for the forum here
    (If you are not registered for the PIVTR forum already, and want to participate in the discussion, please register for the forum before the show ends at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time. Registration is free. After registering/validating your subscription, enter the forum, and scroll down to the Cyber Savvy Show thread.)

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

Toddler Love March 20, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family, toddlers, WAHM/WAHD Stuff.
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A soggy Cheerio (or a handful of them) offered to you. A partially eaten piece of steak (that you don’t realize was chewed until after it’s been shoved into your mouth). A big wet and sticky kiss. A sudden nuzzle out of the blue or a hug that leaves little hand prints as its aftermath.

Gross? Yes—to almost anyone except the parent of a toddler. (more…)

Smells like teen spirit February 22, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, politics, WAHM/WAHD Stuff.
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Actually, it smells more like dog spirit. My house that is. It’s been three days since the offending canines have left my house. (See “A morning in doggy hell” for that horrid story.) I’ve finally reclaimed the house, or rather, returned it to The Toddler, but the house still retains a ghost of the doggy odor. Thankfully, it’s only the smell of wet dog and not dog crap, but nonetheless, it seems to linger. I’ve febreezed. I’ve lit candles. I’ve lit incense. I’ve sprayed with fresh lavender mist. (Real lavender that is from my favorite little oasis.) Perhaps the smell is up my nose or in my brain, as I’m still a bit ticked about the whole experience from the weekend. I know, I need to get over it…except for the fact that when Darling Husband told sister-in-law about Saturday’s events, she laughed. No “sorry.” No “that’s awful.” No concern over her nephew eating her dog’s crap…just a laugh, (more…)

GreenBlog3: Plastic, plastic, plastic January 26, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Green & Frunchy, parenting & family.
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Recently a friend said to me, “I know how you hate plastic,” in discussing storage options. Ever since I started using eco-bags for my groceries and other shopping, I’ve learned that it’s not easy being green. But your greenness can also be confusing to your friends and extended family, especially when it comes to green parenting. Apparently, making greener choices for yourself and your family opens you up for a whole host of assumptions that range from you’re a green hypocrite because you’re not “green enough” to thoughts that you’re a “tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, macrobiotic freak.” (My son and I do have Birks. My husband’s not quite there yet, but I’m working on him.) (more…)

A healthy new respect… November 30, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, toddlers.
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cast1.jpg

I have a healthy new respect for mothers (and fathers) who are taking care of a child who is chronically ill, has a disability or is in any way “special” or “differently abled.” Normally, I hate such p.c. terms, but having a child with a cast on makes me understand in a whole new way. (more…)

The resilience of toddlers November 25, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, toddlers, writing/editing/blogging.
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My darling son seems intent on proving that the delightful moniker I was given when pregnant with him of “elderly prima gravida” is true. I’ve always been pretty speedy and agile. I can even boast to having stolen 21 bases at a H.S. girls softball game during my limited high school softball career. My husband, who ran track in high school, is also a pretty speedy dude. And while we’re both still relatively fit and healthy (despite gym avoidance), we are finding that our son seems to have inherited the gift…in spades. But chasing after him, I’m feeling quite, *ahem* elderly. Now, I know that the new gray hairs that have sprouted are directly related to his accident, but I’m ready to trade in the prenatal vitamins (which I still take for some reason) for Geritol. (more…)

Giving Thanks November 22, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family.
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My husband and I have much to be thankful for, loving families, our own little nuclear family, God of course, good friends, fulfilling jobs and most recently, that our little guy only sustained a fracture to his humerus after a tumble down the stairs. And, on a funnier note, I’m thankful that my sister-in-law took the helm to host Thanksgiving this year.

On a day like today though, it is hard to not think of those who are less fortunate in many ways. Those who are thankful that they can take another breath today, those who are thankful for the basic things that most of us take for granted…a simple meal, much less a feast; a new pair of socks much less an overflowing drawer-full; a pair of shoes, much less too many to count. (more…)

Tough Love… November 5, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, parenting & family, toddlers.
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My darling boy does everything to the fullest. He is a living example of the old Irish proverb that says, in part: 

  …dance like no one is watching;
sing like no one is listening;
love like you’ve never been hurt … .

But sometimes, his love does hurt.  After his bedtime stories tonight, he scampered along my husband’s prone body, who reached to give our son airplane rides–doing chest presses with all 32 inches and 27 pounds of boy.  When the airplane rides were over, our son straddled his papa’s belly as if riding a horse and proceeded to bounce, bounce, bounce.  With every “oomph!” groan and wince from my husband, our son giggled harder and tried to bounce higher, until my husband was finally able to unleash the tickle monster.  With squeals of glee and pure unadulterated delight, our son wiggled, giggled and screamed, slapping both hands upon my husband’s cheeks with a great “thwack!” leaving two small red spots to form in their wake.  Of course, since papa’s facial expression was so funny (to our son, anyway), he did it again. “Thwack!” and then leaned in to kiss papa on the nose.  So a couple of fading pink spots later, a fleeting belly ache, some sore ribs, and a great rush from all of the laughter made this kind of tough love worth every moment.