23 June 2013

non weaning, yes, another update

after that shitstorm of emotion, that instantaneous shift that I was clearly not ready for...

she's nursing again.

what does it mean? it means I got a front-row preview of my actual process, and while it does suck, I will live.
tears don't kill us, thank god/goddess/all-that-is
but oh! there is grief
and gosh darn, how much I don't want to slog through that.... but I will, and I will live, even if it is astonishing in its complexity

but since i am in the habit of looking for hidden gifts, it also means I got a glimpse into what it might be like to sleep without the weight of my not-so-little-one slung across me, and, well, in some ways that will be nice. hello deep breath, I remember you.

it also means that I am aware of the fact of my own complexity, and at least I can practice (and practice and practice) self compassion...

thank you for your kind support while I struggle my way through this

22 June 2013

on not weaning, part... heck, I've lost count...


Yesterday Della woke to a stiff neck. As a reminder for those of you who might have missed some salient points, we co-sleep (a most excellent plan that helped us survive her infancy, and a most shitty plan when it comes to making or even envisioning changes), and are still nursing especially at night since I am like an all-dessert exhausted buffet.

So, her stiff neck was horrid. A full hour of shocked horrified tears, full blown, so very sad and horrible to not be able to do anything to help (no! don't rub it. no! no warm compress...). She tried to nurse to soothe, and each time she tried, it hurt really badly and she cried harder (not good for either of us).

Her neck THANKFULLY improved as the day went on, but a midday attempt at nursing still hurt, so...

We tend to nurse to wind down before sleep, but last night.... no. She said she was done.

And then we went to bed, and for the first time ever, she fell asleep next to me and not on me, and I cried hard and lay awake for hours trying to come to grips with this sudden change.
I was not ready to have it break off like that, associated with pain, and Oh, it was bad for me.

Midnight, she turned and nursed one side.
3am she nursed the other.
(Engorgement pain is no joke, and I was surprised and grateful)

Then, this morning, we're up and going and I guess I won't know where we stand until tonight.
I do know this: change is part of every moment, and while some of this is about me holding on to things I will never do again, and a kind of closeness that is one I have never experienced, and a connection with her that I know will transform, but this I know... this transition is one of the most fraught with emotional complexity that I have ever dealt with philosophically or in real life.
This is really, really, really, really hard.

16 June 2013

good intentions and the unintended consequences of Yes

So, I had good intentions.
Before Della was born, before I knew who she was, I imagined creating a world for this new being that was full of yeses.
I imagined making the kind of space that would allow for free ranging (with supervision of course) but without the million navigational "nos" that I had seen others use.

Yes, a fantasy, a FANTASY created by me, kate, with no prior experience with kids.

So, I tried yeses.
As many yeses as I could.
I yessed whenever possible, and sometimes spend energy making a no situation into a yes situation just so I could stick to my oh-so-innocently-conceived party line.

Then, inevitably, the Nos came.
They had to, right?
and they were met with shock.
And defiance.
Really? No? What does that even mean? (I could hear her infant brain asking with stunned surprise).

I had one of these too during my teenage years. A clear memory of a No that came out of left field, the shock that came with it, and the hurt that felt as if I was not trusted.

(I know so much more now, I know that was not the case, sometimes limits are protective in other ways).

So here we are, navigating a sea of Nos that corresponds to 2 and a half, an unbelievably willful child with a clear vision of what she wants.

And I confess this:
I have, in the past 3 days, begun to use 5 chocolate bits as a once-a-day outright bribe. Nothing awful-- I say-- standing at the top of yet another well-intentioned slippery slope. Nothing bad--I say-- since I am just trying to get out for a walk, or wait a few hours before nursing (another post for another day on not weaning)...

And I am aware as I am doing this that the solution that feels the most harmonious right now, may simply screw me in the near future.

I did not realize how much of parenting is survival in the now, and regret in the soon.

13 June 2013

where I've been

I know I have been somewhat absent here comparatively speaking-- I've been "on assignment", posting daily over at heartwork. I've spilled a lot of content over there, things i would have said here about my grief stuff. I am consolidating, sort of, as I think the grief work I am doing is somehow tied in with the Workwork I am supposed to be doing.

These past few weeks have been chock filled with stressors-- I have been sick for several weeks, first with a nasty cold, then with a sinus infection that laid me out. Just finished the hallucinatory antibiotics last night and hope I am done. It was about 3 or 4 weeks start to finish.

I've also been working very hard at moving my own personal grief work forward, and well, I over did it.  Too many long trips in real time/space, too many long trips in memory space, and too many complications because of financial and emotional needs and those various conflicts, and well, shit.
Breaking point.

Two nights ago I had a panic attack, my first ever. And let me say this to all of you who have had them:
DAMN. I have never experienced anything like it, where I felt so hijacked for so long, so powerless, and so horrid.

Doug is now up in Maine for the summer, and we were to visit today. But daycare has a new barfing flu thingy going around, so I am staying home since I do not want to get sick there, on the way there, or on the way back or bring it to a summer camp (Opening day bonus gift!!! sick staff!, um, no).

So last night I slept some with the help of Rescue Remedy and a lot of safety nets in place.
I am totally exhausted, insanely so.
Will be home today with Della, praying that the barf gods pass us by.

Once safely on the other side of the barf zone, having flown over or slogged through, I think this will be a time of reconsidering- I cannot continue to ignore my stress signals, clearly, but am not sure how to give myself permission for better self care. I am a world-class-should-er and it is really hard to decide not to use such a well honed skill.

Just wanted to let you know where I've been.

08 June 2013

two and a half and so much more

Sweetest Della,

you are so much more than two and a half.

you are fairy wings and chocolate popsicles
you are fierce and tender
you are talkative and quiet
you are independent and tucked in close
you are so incredibly smart
and so incredibly stubborn
you are mercurial and delightful and silly and embody fury and frustration
you laugh hard, and cry hard
you hold my face when I push my lip out
you ask me to tickle you
say stop stop stop stop stop
and say

your sweetness and beauty are breathtaking
your stubborn ability to ignore me and not do anything I am asking is maddening

I am learning about my own strengths and weaknesses
how much I love to snuggle
how much I hate to raise my voice
how much I want cooperation and peace
how much I do not ever want you to be hurt

I am learning that anger does not sit well on my face or in my belly
and that you are smarter than anyone I know
can play out a story all day long
are sly and cunning
and truly the light of my life.

after a full day refusing 100 offers (each time with great drama) to let me remove an ouchie "boo boo bandaid", you took it off in one quick pull when I offered a mini cupcake for the privilege.

well played, my little one.
well played.

04 June 2013


Because there world is filled with so much hate, and it is so much what we hear every time we turn on the news....
this made me cry in a very very happy way.

kindness is *so simple*--

02 June 2013

have you ever....

My friend Lorraine recorded this really fun song, and dedicated it to DELLA!
Love her bravery and love the lyrics.
Hope it sticks in your head (happily) like it does in mine.

Please share freely.
We could all use a little more whimsy.

01 June 2013


anonymous shared a great comment on my infermentality post, about her feeling of otherness as she knows her family building days are coming to an end... and it really supported a feeling I've been having, an ongoing revelation maybe, that most of us, at the core, feel "other".

We may not feel it all the time, or every day, but there are always times when we feel like we are outsiders from an individual or group that we feel *should* be familiar somehow.

I know I have always felt this way with women. like there was a handbook that I did not get, and finally, so much time had passed, it was embarrassing to ask for one so I didn't. I've felt other in the arty school, other in the techie school, other in friendships sometimes when I felt less evolved, or just so different.

I think that is why community matters so much, and our support groups however virtual or distributed.
No one community, just like no one individual, can sustain all of our needs. We are complex creatures, and the person I talk tech to may not be the person I talk with about shamanic journeying, or reiki. The group that sings is not the same as the group that writes.

I realize, getting older, there are infinite layers of otherness just waiting to be explored. I am no longer the target market for anything except estrogen replacement therapies, rosacea cream, and antidepressants. Oh, and chocolate and face creams. So yeah, I take that back. I am a very targeted target market, because I have moved into a niche from the mainstream.

Which brings me, briefly to the idea of a normal curve, the idea of an average anything.

I recently came to a magical revelation that I want to share that I think has broad ramifications in the radical self acceptance movement:

no one has ever been you, living your life, making your choices, having your experiences.
you are the only expert on what it means to be you.

I know we all know this, but isn't it sort of awesome?

As a parent, I felt sort of freed up when I realized that no one has ever been me, parenting my child, with my partner in the context of my life, my work.... so to not find me reflected in a  book or expert is actually more expected in this framework than surprising.

but when I look more deeply, not at just the role of parent, but at the whole of kateness.... well,
I am rocking the kateness like no one else can, because no one else is me.
of course, somedays rocking it is quite literal in the rock and hum sort of way.
rock and hum and eat chocolate and pray for bedtime.

So, thank you anonymous! I so appreciate the comment and also appreciate the nudge to really expand my conversation about otherness.  there is a pantload of suckitude in feeling other, but then there is this little bit of magic that I hope to cultivate.  Gives envy a harder job.