Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dailies 4/30


This picture isn't even from today, but it's the only semi-decent one of Ivy lately. Ivy, who is 20 months old now—almost 21 months—which means I just tell the people who ask, "She's almost two."

She's almost two, and it was so warm out today it reminded me of the day she was born. It was positively summery, and I was so grateful. I finally feel completely thawed out.

We could see Mt. Rainier on the walk home from school, and every time I see that mountain I'm momentarily awestruck and speechless. I've been living near it for nine years, but Rainier isn't always visible through the rain clouds and giant evergreen trees. You almost forget it's there, until it's RIGHT THERE. Like Gaia sneaking up on you.

* * *

Ivy is a wiggly nurser. She twists and thrashes at the breast, and her newest trick is maneuvering from side-lying to downward-facing dog without breaking her latch. Until she pops off and announces, "Milk! I-down!" Milk upside-down. Because, why not? Today she actually managed to get some breast milk up her nose while nursing in down-dog, and I can't say I felt bad for her.

So a few weeks ago, Ivy was doing her "gymnursetics" and I was drinking a mug of chai. Just when I thought it was safe to take a sip, Ivy decided to work on her arabesque, and managed to kick tea all over both of us. Fortunately, it was only lukewarm by that point, because when has my tea not been lukewarm in the past 20-almost-21 months? It was very cinnamon-y chai, however, and Ivy's eyes lit up.


"No cookies, honey. It's tea."


I realized my last batch of cookies had also been very cinnamon-y. "You're smelling the tea," I explained. "We don't have any more cookies."

Ivy hurriedly toddled off into the kitchen, and asked again: "Cookie?"

"Cookies are all gone, honey."

She started to cry. "Mo' cookie! Mo' cookie!"

My poor chai-covered nurser. I had no choice. I was forced to make a batch of cookies so she could have one. Fortunately, they freeze well.

Milk Cookies!

Ivy has a million little sentences now, but "mo' cookie" might have been the first. I'm not exactly sure about that, but I'm going with it for the purposes of the imaginary baby book.

She also says "bless you" now when someone sneezes.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Goodnight Mush


All day, I think about writing. Words and phrases bubble up in my mind that so perfectly sum up the moment, right now and I know I'll want to remember this little something when my kids are bigger.

Tonight, I think, when they're in bed, I'll write about this. But then the good-nights happen, and the dinner dishes are finally put away, and the library books are stacked up, and the diaper bag is packed with a ridiculous amount of stuff for tomorrow, and I sit down with nothing to say. My thought-filled, wordy brain is a lump of leftover oatmeal between my ears.

What was I going to say? What did I want to write?

It's a cliche, the tired-all-the-time stay-at-home mom. But here I sit, tired. Tired, brain-dead, storyless.


When I was 18 (and 17 and 16...) I wanted nothing more than to be a filmmaker because I loved visual storytelling and I believed I had something to say. I remember sitting in the computer lab the first week of college, planning out my coursework. I buzzed with the anxiety-joy of it all. I was going to read Victorian literature and take women's studies classes and make movies. My advisor, who insisted we call him by his first name, said, "So you're going to be the next Jane Campion." I totally was. I was going to make deep movies about trauma and women's minds. I was a storyteller.

Even though nothing much had happened to me yet.

I wonder where that came from, thirteen years ago. That powerful sense of having Something to Say. I wish I'd saved some of it for these evenings, now that I've actually had a few experiences that might, with a little Hollywood glossing up, be the jumping-off points for screenplays, short films, pilots.

All day, words fill me. Stories everywhere. But when half the house is sleeping and there's a little creative space around me, I have nothing. The stories must go to bed with my children.

Goodnight, loves. See you in the morning. 

* * *

Oh, wait. Here's something: you know that coconut oil-coffee thing all the crunchy mamas and CrossFitters are doing? I was making it on occasion, but I can't anymore. When Ivy sees coffee going into the blender, she comes running.

The other day, she got herself a cup.

In here?

And I can't not share with her. Because she is a trickster baby and I am in love with her.

Engage coffee break.