Thursday, November 21, 2013
Writing is something I have always loved. There is a box in our basement filled with folders of poetry and old journals that chronicle my life from elementary school through college and slightly beyond. I've affectionately labeled it "Pandora's Box" because whenever I open it I get sucked into reading overly-dramatic drivel for hours. The husband has been instructed to burn Pandora's Box when I die. It's that bad. But lately I have been trying to refine my talents, fueled by the success of my adoption article and the encouragement of family and friends. I have been entering writing contests and working on a YA novel. Things are slowly falling into place and some days I think it may actually be possible to become a successful writer! Then I start cruising the Internet and become completely overwhelmed. Writing is no longer about sitting in a secluded cabin by the sea typing away and then stuffing your manuscript into a manila envelope and hoping for the best. It's about getting yourself out there on social media and promoting your work and the work of others in your field. Once an introvert's dream job, a career in writing now seems more about who you know and how you can use your social skills to get published. That truly frightens this little introvert, who prefers to spend her days holed up away from society where I can remain equally fascinated and disgusted by the human race but take as little part in it as possible. But I want to be a successful writer, and that means stepping out of my comfortable imaginary cabin by the sea and interacting. Thankfully, I have started to make some new friends in the writing world who are not only providing motivation to keep working on my projects but also some much needed guidance. I am learning how to use Twitter (follow me!), write more efficiently with cool software, and query agents (must finish something first of course). It is downright scary, but it feels like the right path. Who knows, maybe people out there in the literary world want to hear what I have to say. Which would totally rock my world.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
...is my four and a half year old peeing the bed almost every night? We did not go through this with our oldest. When he was four I took him for his annual physical and when the nurse asked if he was potty-trained I proudly said yes. Through the night? she queried. Well, no he still wears a pull-up. Not fully potty-trained she logged into the laptop. Ugh. We went home and created a sticker calendar to keep track of dry days. If he could make it to ten days in a row I would buy him the pack of water guns he so desperately coveted. It was a painful few months of near accomplishment (seven days! eight days!! nine days!!! oops), but by early summer he was fully trained. And has not had an accident since. We tried a similar approach with John when he turned four. His reward of choice was a new Spiderman bike helmet. It took a bit longer, but he was finally able to make it ten days in a row and was rewarded with his new helmet. And then, the setbacks began. He would be dry for a few nights, then wake up completely drenched in pee. I was up changing his pajamas and sheets at all hours of the night, wondering how one little body could produce so much waste. We tried limiting his fluids after school - half glass of milk with dinner and only a mouthful of water with teeth brushing. That has reduced the quantity a little but hasn't stopped the bed wetting. We tried waking him up before we went to sleep and bringing him into the bathroom for a sleep-walking toilet visit. That also helped a little, but sometimes he would pee before we got there, especially if we were up late. The weird thing about all of this is that he gets out of bed during the night - sometimes two to three times - to use the bathroom by himself. I know this because he turns on the light, which shines through our bedroom door directly into my face. At 2 am. And then neglects to turn it off. (We have to keep the door open for the cat who will scratch relentlessly if she cannot go in and out freely.) The worst part of the whole bed-wetting process is that his laundry consistently smells like pee. He pulls off the wet pajamas and stuffs them inside out into his laundry basket. In the morning he proudly announces that he is dry and little do I know he has only been dry since 4 am when he changed his clothes. When I go to do laundry I find wet underwear balled up inside wet pajamas, and EVERYTHING STINKS! When I try to talk to him about it, he grins at me and laughs. LAUGHS! Huh?? Is that some sort of defense mechanism? Why do you think this is funny? I ask. Do you like the smell of pee? No. Do you want to go back to wearing diapers at night? No. Then please please stop peeing the bed. Help!
Thursday, November 7, 2013
In the early part of my adulthood, time was measured by duty stations. We never stayed anywhere for very long, and my memories involve temporary jobs, unfamiliar towns and strange weather. Now that I have been a mom for seven years (as of tomorrow), time is measured by milestones and holidays. The family is setting down roots in a place I never expected: our hometown. And my memories involve birthday cakes and Halloween costumes. I'm not going to lie - I miss that nomadic lifestyle, a lifestyle that involved throwing out whatever didn't fit in the moving van, discovering new neighborhoods and reinventing myself every few months. But we are here now, and we are settled. The husband started a new job, the boys are happy at school and have tons of friends and we have family right around the corner. Every year we bust out the Halloween decorations and devise new ways to scare the neighborhood kids. Every winter we head to the park in our neighborhood to sled down the hill. Every birthday is celebrated with a crazy cake and the grandparents are there to watch my boys blow out their candles. Life has become traditions and settling in. It's an odd mix of comfort and anxiety. Is this what the next 15+ years will be? The same thing year after year with slightly taller children? Is that really so bad?