Saturday, July 28, 2007

Plane ride...

Boarding the plane, I was brimming with hope after a succcessful waiting period in the airport with Lily Lu. We had just finished a delightfully nutritious meal of hot dogs and pizza, and I was privately congratulating myself on my stellar mom ability to manage through security with a stroller, a diaper bag, a giant purse, a sippy cup with fresh milk, and a little girl with some extremely happenin' pink boots whom everyone was "oooohing and ahhhing" over.


"I'm good at this," thought I. "Here I am, little pregnant mom with little cute girl boarding a little plane for a little ride with little cute things to keep her content." In full control, loaded with crayons, gummy worms, binkies, books, and her favorite toy keys and cell phone I thought it would be a quick one hour jaunt from Vegas to home.

WrOnG. wROng. WROng. STUpiD sTUpid NAive NaIVE MothER.

To briefly describe our return home from Vegas this week in a nutshell: The worst possible experience of human motherhood with a toddler on a plane that literally at one point made me wish we were sitting in the emergency release door section so that I could pull the lever and attach cushions to myself and my daughter, assuming that we would survive such a fall more easily than the monstrous flight home we had just embarked on.

A bumpy ride? To say the least. But not because of the plane or any current wind conditions: it was Lily Tyler Haack.

Lily Tyler Haack, you say? That radiantly darling child of which you spoke so fondly of in your last post?
YeS. If I could claim an alien possession of my sweet daughter's body to justify her behavior on the plane I would, but alas it was/is my child. Not only did she throw tantrums when I wouldn't allow her to get down and run up and down the aisles, she threw her gummy worms at fellow passengers in between saying " Hiiiii." Not only were we sitting next to two men, one of whom was rather large, but the kind flight attendant informed me I needed to put Lily's diaper bag, stuffed full of distracting hopefuls, under the seat. Consequently, everytime Lily was ready to switch from the current toy (approx. every 2.5 seconds) I got to bend my pregnant belly down and drag out the bag from under the seat while holding my child on my lap, seeing how she flew for free because she is young enough to qualify as a "lap child". Moving like this in a space of 14 square inches provoked profuse sweating from both myself and my child.

Sitting, squirming, smothering, sweating little pregnant mom with little cute child with little fun toys.

Ohhh, but that isn't it! The grand finale came in the last 13 minutes of the flight, when Lily officially snapped. I blame it on possible ear pain (despite the fact she had a pacifier), because what ensued even I didn't imagine my child capable of. SCREAMING, INCOHERENT, FREAKING OUT TANTRUM. KICKING, BITING, SOBBING, FLINGING HORROR. For the last 13 minutes not only myself but every passenger on board endured the most painful wrangle with a child that had officially lost it and loomed in a new realm of toddler plane-induced dimensia. Nothing I could do would console her. No gummy worm or promise of Mommy's gum could calm her. I calmly tried to calm her, and calm her, and calm her, to no avail. SCREAMING, SCREAMING, SCREAMING. Soon I panicked: Was it her ears? Has she mentally snapped because she has an undiagnosed case of severe claustrophobia and I forced her into a space too small to breath? Am I going to arrive home with a human vegetable that is now a residual trace of a wonderfully normal little girl because I pushed her to her claustrophobic capacity? Or is my child just this naughty? AAHHHHHH!

Once we landed we rushed to deboard, racing other passengers who at this point were also scrambling for their lives to get off. The poor men next to me. While trying to be polite, I'm sure they were anxious to get off and tell their fellow mates about the screaming little brat who made their ride the most miserable flight experience yet. I know there were a mixture of moms aboard who took pity, some others who thought I should just give her a good beating, and others preparing speeches to their daughters about why they shouldn't have children young, because they had just witnessed one young mother incapable of handling anything.

We were first off the plane, but had to humiliatingly wait while an attendant brought our stroller to us. I got to confront every passenger who looked at me and my red faced child, now beaming and pointing happily to other "aaippann" (airplanes). My worries about a claustrophobic melt down fluttered away as she smiled and laughed. I'm sure Lily and I single handedly solved at least two passengers' internal dilemmas of whether or not to utilize permanent birth control, as they stomped out on their cell phones making an appointment to hurriedly be nuetered. Trying to hold back a torrent of tears at this point, I blubbered as many apologies as possible to many graceful passengers, one grandmother of which insisted I take her straight to a doctor for her ears, to which insisted back that not only would a doctor be consulted (for her), but a team of qualified therapists as well (for me). Two people asked politely if I needed any help, and I responded that unless they had any powerful, illegal narcotics to spare at this point I could handle the situation. Haah, handle the situation.

After missing Tyler for a week, my visions of a beautiful airport scene running to him with our little girl for passionate kisses and hugs amounted to handing Lily immediately to him while I tried to stop shaking and not cry.

But... we are home. We are home. Hallelujah we are home! By the time we reached the car I couldn't help but return to loving adoration as I watched her kiss her daddy and fall soundly and happily asleep. Wow, motherhood. It does, at times, make you appreciate the days of old: reading a magazine and complaining about "other" people's children while riding an airplane.



Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lily

It has been so long since I’ve written! Each time I would try to sit and compose some post worthy thought a screeching radar in my mind tuned in like an emergency broadcast system:
“RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR......We interrupt your pitiful attempt to muster something worth saying to remind you that you still have nothing of consequence, or interest, to share.......”

How am I ever going to be a regularly featured columnist in O Magazine unless I can consistently say something- anything!???
I won’t even attempt to flatter myself with the self proclaimed title of aspiring “writer” or “journalist” or “columnist” really. My grammar is poor, my thoughts mediocre, and even at best- my writing is simply an extremely self indulgent method of speaking on and on without being interrupted.

With that being said, there is one subject of whom I can always find something worth writing about, and to all readers she will always be worth reading about: Lily Tyler Haack

Oh universe, if only I could search your nooks and crannies for words fitting enough for my little girl! I do her no justice when I try to speak, write, sing, or even interpretively dance about her (Okay, okay...I don’t really interpretively dance). Still, I have to try because my feelings inside for her are at constant risk of severe nuclear explosion if I don’t let off some steam, somewhere. Either that or Lily will accidentally be eaten by her mother in an overwhelming display of pure cuteness.

I think back to the day I took that pregnancy test in our old condo’s bathroom, now just over two years ago. Thrilled to my fingertips and jumping with excitement, it is funny that even at that moment with all our anticipation, Tyler and I still had NO CLUE the all encompassing joy and meaning that was suddenly in the works.

Just two years ago, my life was very neat and tidy. My hair looked fabulous. I wore heels everyday, whether to work or play. Tyler and I could afford sushi- in fact we were the weekly basis goo goo gaa gaa feed each other with chopsticks sort of sushi snobs. We slept in every weekend. I even slept in darling little lingerie get ups, with no stretch marks where my thighs met my buttocks. And we were happy.

Now, my hair frequently is pulled back with Spaggettio remnants laced throughout. I adore flats. Tyler and I eat sushi in between pregnancies and bonus checks, and when we do go out to eat instead of feeding each other in our goo goo gaa gaa fashion, food is flung at us (and anyone within a two mile proximity) from our goo goo gaa gaa girly. We are positively sleep deprived, and quibble over whose turn it is to sleep that extra hour on an occasional weekend. We sleep in a giant V shape, with our feet touching and heads tilting off opposite sides of the bed and Lily very comfortably sprawled between. Our toes therefore get to make an incessant amount of love, sometimes the only representatives of our still steaming hot feelings for each other.

We read stories, go to the park, and eat ice cream cones. We love “Buwiids” (Birds) and dancing to the Wiggles. Our cupboards are full of sippy cups and binkies. Our backyard has the most luxurious form of blow up pool fun and our grass is speckled with Lily Lu toys. We wake up to big kisses and hugs and loves from a beaming toddler -with matted hair and a pee pee diaper- and fruit oatmeal preparing for its regular morning application all over the walls. And we are happy, enormously happy. Happier than happy.

Why? You might ask. How could a return to juvenile monotony with bedtimes and cartoons and whole milk be so fulfilling? Especially in comparison to personal free time, undisturbed sleep, and sushi sushi sushi!!????

My answer would be: I have NO idea. It just is. And that is the best part about it. The miracle and mystery of your capacity to love a person you’ve created is just that: a miracle and a mystery.

The other day Tyler came out of our bedroom after getting Lily to sleep. He said, “Ohhh, I was just in heaven. Lily was laying there with me and cupped my face with both of her hands and leaned in so close that she was touching my nose and just began smiling whispering in her baby gibberish ‘Heeee beez beez beez weezy wee’, it was so great I didn’t want it to end!” Lily makes him more giddy than I could ever hope too. That’s okay though, she’s the only other female allowed to share his affection.

A few nights ago, upon discovering we were out of Lily’s precious whole milk supply, I packed her in car and headed quickly to the nearest 7 Eleven. Pulling up, there was a plethora of Reno’s finest late night life gambling addicted souls (Any Reno native understands who I’m talking about here. The kind of people that spend their time at gas stations, gambling all night...). In a moment of obnoxiously self righteous indignation, I mumbled to myself, “What is this, loser hangout central?”
This mumbling was interrupted by a high pitched little squeal of “HHHIiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!” as I turned back to witness my little golden curly haired girl waving her pudgy hand excitedly at a man who possibly holds the Guinness world record for the highest level of ink injection humanly tolerable (translation: very very tattooed).



As he smiled genuinely and waved back I shamefully reflected on my beautifully innocent and very non-judgmental daughter beaming in the back seat. Even as the hardened adult man that he appeared, his eyes shone through the same vulnerable appreciation in being shown affection and care and attention.

Just as Tyler didn’t want one of his very special moments to end with her, I savor this time of indelible sweetness and innocent trust. Sooner than later, cynicism and doubt and mistrust will settle into to those pudgy little hands and itty bitty nails as she waves less and less to humankind. Sometimes, it will be cynicism and mistrust taught to her by her own mother, who ironically treasures this time of smiling and undiscriminating perfection. One day, it will be me who will teach her she is not like the Mr. Tatty-too with his twelve pack and sunken eyes, and we most certainly don’t date men who hang out at Seven Elevens in the wee hours. It will be me that will try to surround her with people that I think will help her, therefore removing her from those that don’t. Slowly, from myself as well as peers and family and every human crossing through her life, she will learn the good and the bad. And that is so sad. But for now, as long as she is in the protection of my arms I pleasure in her perfectly unstained interaction with others.
Maybe that is why anyone with a relatively healthy emotional I.Q. can’t resist the smile of a chubby toddler. It isn’t just the round eyes and toothless grin that draws you in, it is the reminder that there are really perfect little people in our presence. They are like the breath of freshest air in a world of sometimes putridly stagnant humanity. They redeem us, they are our next chance at something better. Clean little wonderful slates with chubby bellies and knobby knees.


We were once them too. I was. Mr. coked out Tatty-too was. The only difference lies in the fact that somebody might have failed Mr. Tatty-too along his path- maybe he trusted things that weren’t to be trusted. I might not have his sunken eyes but I have a disgraceful level of judgment to be doled out in Seven Eleven parking lots. Nonetheless, he was once perfect and trusting and beautiful, as was I, and Lily reminds us of that of that now distant fact.

I am in the presence of perfection everyday. It comes in the form of a toddling diapered lady swishing through my house, dumping goldfish on the carpet, smiling at complete strangers, and singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider. I live for her kisses and hugs. Maybe that is why this whole parenthood thing feels so good. I live for her happiness, because she is the truest definition of mine!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Stay tuned....Good stuff ahead

Please check back shortly....

I absolutely REFUSE to write another post without smothering it in pictures of Lily Lu. This whole thing is supposed to be about her anyways- and my camera is broken!!! The world is missing out on the cutest little 18 month old chubby cheeked sassy frass to ever walk planet earth....

I'm getting it fixed within a day or so...or buying a new one. Until then, I am just bursting at the seams with the mindless ramblings of a 23 mother swimming,floating,at times drowning, and positively bursting through this wonderful life.....