March and a haircut

If you’ve been following along, you know that the election sent me into a deep, persisting feeling of hopelessness, and that after an initial burst of inspiration to become an activist, I settled in to wallow for the long haul, because what difference can I make?

That remains to be seen, but I decided to march in Cleveland’s sister march to the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday. I also decided to bring The Baby.

Unpaid protester. #womensmarchcleveland #lovetrumpshate #whyimarch

A photo posted by Reanna (@arkayokay) on Jan 21, 2017 at 8:16am PST

I’m so glad I decided to go. I walked with a few friends (one of whom was also wearing her baby), and was surrounded by thousands upon thousands of peaceful but defiant women (and plenty of men!) There were amazing signs and an amazing vibe. Cleveland Police confirmed that about 15,000 people marched.

#womensmarchcleveland #makeamericaclevelandagain

A photo posted by Reanna (@arkayokay) on Jan 21, 2017 at 8:27am PST

I remember reading somewhere on Instagram as I perused the #womensmarchcleveland someone talking about how the election had made them feel lonely, and that the march was an antidote. I related very much to this sentiment. My values may not be represented in the White House right now but they’re sure as hell represented by the millions of people who are angry, sad and worried enough to protest around the country and around the world. I need to keep this in mind in the coming days, months and years as I do my best to fight for these values.

Okay, enough politics. That was the exhilarating part of my weekend. Now onto the traumatic.

We cut The Baby’s hair today. (And by “we,” yes, I mean his father and I actually did the cutting after watching a few Youtube tutorials. The results are not terrible considering how much a 13-month-old moves.)

The Husband has been pushing for this trim for awhile now, and I pushed back. The Baby’s bangs were starting to get in his eyes, and he had what appeared to be wings sprouting from the sides of his head. And also some sweet curls in the back that I liked to cradle in my palm like the feathers on a baby bird or twirl in my fingers while he nursed. I’ve heard moms get sentimental about baby hair before, and I GET IT NOW.

The resistance to cutting his hair felt almost visceral to me. Once it was over, my fears were confirmed: He’s really, really, really not a baby any more. I know hair grows back–maybe the curls will return–but time only marches forward, and babies don’t keep.

At the start of the haircut, we dropped one wispy curl into a little silver keepsake box someone gave us at our baby shower. It’s a lovely little box, and a beautiful little curl, but altogether it’s just a time capsule, an inadequate memento from a time I wish I could freeze forever and step into whenever I want.


March and a haircut

Greetings from an old mom

Hey, Internet.

Last I left you, I was feeling overwhelmed with my life and despondent about the turn of events in American politics. I decided to take a breather from blogging because it felt like one more thing I was failing at, and that’s a pretty bummer outlook on something that was supposed to be a fun hobby.

I found some time today, so I thought I’d do a quick catch-up post. No promises that this will be followed up with any consistency. In no particular order, here’s what’s up.

I don’t think I can call myself a new mom anymore.

The Baby turned one year old on Christmas Day. We threw him a hell of a party earlier in the month, complete with a fire code-violating guest list (sorry, all our guests), a cameo from our friendly neighborhood Santa Claus, some damn good gingerbread cupcakes if I do say so myself, and a near nervous breakdown from yours truly. It went great, we had a blast, but I have a longstanding inability to acknowledge my own social anxiety or remember that I don’t really like hosting things until I’m elbows deep in gingerbread cupcake batter with dustbunnies and laundry strewn about the house and a squalling toddler with a pretty sizeable cold.

In addition to ramming through that one year milestone, The Baby has mastered walking, running, walking backwards, tripping, climbing things and getting into everything. Lately I’ve been looking back at those days in the 4-6 month stretch that seemed so impossible to get through with longing… It used to be I could put The Baby down and he’d be exactly where I left him. Now, I put  him down and find him 37 seconds later having emptied a box of tissues, eaten and vomited a few up, and emptying the contents of my dresser onto the dog’s bed.

We also are officially past the cosleeping era, which is wonderful and also a little bit sad. The Baby still wakes up once a night to nurse, which I’m generally OK with. The times that a cold or teething have messed up his sleep have been rough, because he won’t cosleep anymore. The couple of times I’ve tried to bring him back to my bed so I can get some sleep, he has promptly stood up and proceeded to stomp around threateningly toward the edge of the bed until I con The Husband to taking over the go-back-to-sleep routine.

I’m still just as tired as I ever was, but for different reasons.

My house is a prison.

Not really, of course, but it’s winter in Northeast Ohio and today’s wind chill upon waking was somewhere around -12. When you’re a toddler on the move, this is unacceptable. I’ve had to really, really commit to getting out of the house for a good, long errand every morning to keep both of us from going totally nuts. This has taken more and more creativity because I will bankrupt us switching back and forth between Target and the grocery store.

I bought a punch card for the local rec center and have gone a few days since mid-December. I drop The Baby off at the little daycare room there and actively ignores/avoids me as soon as his feet hit the floor, preferring to ambush any other children there to steal their toys and try to bump heads with them (which is what he thinks hugging is).

I skipped this week because TB has a cold (again) and I’m anticipating insane post-New Year’s crowds, but next week that will be back in the rotation because it really wears us both out nicely. (God, it feels good to exercise again. I’m slow as hell, but that indoor track is like heaven.)

I also ventured into an off-brand Chuck E. Cheese-like indoor playground that’s right around the corner from my house. I’ve avoided it thus far because it looks sketchy AF. We went yesterday, and I can confirm it is pretty sketchy (I saw more duct tape than I’d like to see, and the netting under all the climby-tube things had a LOT of debris), but The Baby loved it. And the whole time we were there nobody emptied out all the drawers in the kitchen. Four dollars well spent.

Today, we managed to make it out to The Rainforest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. This was The Baby’s second visit, though he was just about 3 months old the last time, so he was far more interested in the animals than the last time. That doesn’t mean a whole lot, as we spent 10 minutes climbing and descending a small set of stairs and entirely ignoring the underwater exhibit they led to, but again: nobody trashed anything at my house while we were there. Score.

I’ve come up for air with work (for now).

The end of the year remained fairly busy for freelancing, so it felt really good to not have to factor blog posts into my weekly to-do lists. I’m in a little bit of a lull with that, but The Husband and I recently redid our miles-long to-do list around the house. I reviewed my billing for 2016, and while I wasn’t trying to make big bucks, I was a little surprised to see how much work I actually managed to do.

Now that I’m out of the newborn phase of things and it’s clear how much The Baby wants to get out of the house and around other kids, I’m looking forward to trying part-time child care again (abandoned in October because of constant colds, and yes, this is a possibility again, but maybe his immune system is a little stronger by now?). Anyway, I think it’s time to start sending him off into the world a little more so I can spend more time writing (for money), designing (for money), and putting things back in drawers in peace.

It’s time to admit failure.

I was pretty gung-ho about getting more civically/politically active in the wake of the presidential election. I even mapped out what seemed to be a manageable plan for educating myself and taking appropriate action. Here’s the thing, Internet. I’m just not there yet. I still aspire to do better, to become more informed and more active, but I just don’t have it in me right now. I know that’s a lazy excuse and it makes me feel really terrible to say it, especially after I publicly declared my intentions, but I overestimated what I’m psychically, mentally and physically capable of doing right now. I’m still trying to take steps where I can, donating, signing petitions, contacting elected officials, and maybe I’ll pick it back up later on, but right now I’m still just deflated and feeling ineffectual. Sorry.

Okay, that’s about it for now. Maybe I’ll see you again soon! In the meantime, stay warm, stay active, and stay out of my kitchen drawers!!!

Greetings from an old mom