And the Mommy Award Goes to…ME

February 22, 2011

Having nearly survived NYC’s brutal winter without abusing my children, I, like most mothers, deserve a medal.

Having a two and three year old in the cold city while the apartment is under construction feels like one of the bigger accomplishments of the year, now if only I could dedicate this much effort to editing the novel…

Today nearly a dozen workers swarmed in my apartment to install new radiators and adjust radiator covers. While attending to them and taking away rolls of tape from the kids, answering the phone, picking up thrown shoes and serving coffee, I managed to get out the door. We proudly walked to the subway, then rode the ferris wheel at Toys R Us in Times Square while my son tried to climb out of the car, then went to the kids’ first movie screening while said son climbed up and down the stairs and ate stray popcorn off the floor.

It was gross but I did not know how to stop him. Even if I picked him up and let him scream he would wiggle out of my arms. I did not want to bring him out of the theater and leave my daughter and her friend (who is so over-protective I fear she will soon require additional adult supervision for the kids’ playdates). So I tried to push the popcorn away from him and call it yucky, This did not prevent a 50 minute post movie meltdown that had me at several points asking strangers for a few kernels of their freshly popped corn to avoid buying a bag on the way OUT of the matinee.

For this, and for tantrum my son threw on the street while I held his sleeping sister, complete with shoes thrown off, ended by the doorman helping me carry my son to the door, I deserve a medal. Or at least a massage. Or some sexy lingerie. Instead, I get an hour and a half of near peace while they sleep and the workers hammer and drill and pain.

In My Mother’s Shoes

February 15, 2011

The red mink is my favorite. It’s a long reversible coat with a hood, one side a bright red the other black.

While it’s not en vogue to wear fur, friends cannot resist rubbing the material between their fingers. And even though the jacket is not perfect – it’s loosely knit, letting in a breeze and does not maintain great form, I love it. I love it because my mother loved it, and loved receiving compliments on it. And more than anything, it reminds me of my mom.

In one swoop I inherited my mother’s furs, a collection which includes not only her mother’s furs but also her boyfriend’s mother’s furs. The handbags were divided among my sister and I, and the jewelry we are enjoying on a rotating basis. But being the only heir in a cold weather climate, I have the winter coats.

My sister and I had gone through her closet offering her collection of black T-shirts covered in white dog hair to the housekeeper and dividing the designer items amongst ourselves. Then there were the shoes. The ratty loafers she wore every day and the new Kate Spade heels she donned for a few hours at my brother’s recent wedding in sizes too tiny for my sister or sister in law.

When a stylish girlfriend came over I thought to offer some of the lesser worn heels but my husband stopped me. “Nobody wants to wear your dead mother’s shoes,” something that I am just beginning to understand now.
But they are great shoes. They are free. Some have hardly been worn. What else am I going to do with them? I have trouble throwing out a half eaten sandwich, let alone a lifetime’s worth of shoes.

One of my mom’s friends, size 7 1/2 adopted all of the shoes. I do not know if she liked them and hoped to wear them, as with the BCBG flats or if she was being polite taking all that I offered. She really wanted four pairs of her black Aerosoles? I talked the friend into taking everything, even the shoes she did not feel hip enough to don, because what else was I going to do with them, slowly pawn them off to every friend with a 7 1/2 shoe size?

Then on a friend’s retroactive advice, I wished that I had held on to at least one pair of my mom’s favorites for the kids to play dress up, but when you loose your mom and edit her closet you are not thinking of your kids’ future entertainment. Nor was I thinking of the kids when I donated her old glasses. The shoes are out of the closet and someone else can have the burden/pleasure of disposing/enjoying them.

I’ll just wear the mink and think of my mom anytime someone comments on it.


February 10, 2011

John Lennon said Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. As a mom, I’m understanding this more and more. When I have an afternoon with my kids, going to the grocery store is not just an errand for me but an adventure for the kids. An opportunity to explore. That is life. If I am not in a rush, cold, exhausted, impatient or [insert adjective] I delight in watching my toddler’s experience whether it is climbing up a brownstone’s steps or jumping over a crack in the sidewalk.

This also means that a simple trip to the nearby store can take significantly more time than one might anticipate so less important things may not get accomplished, a call to a friend, an email return, [insert a task that regularly slips through the cracks].

And when I do have time to follow up with someone, I don’t necessarily want to engage in a long detailed conversation so I may cue a child to cry. Instead of replying to specific and lengthy emails, I’ll cite a crying munchkin even if both are out at the park. It’s just that life is fast and I’m learning I cannot do it all as thoroughly as I might like. I’m trying.

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A Mouse In the House

February 8, 2011

I’ve seen too many Disney movies, An American Tail, Ratatouille, that I think a mouse is kind of cute, until he is in my kitchen.

For over a month, that hairy little rodent would come in my kitchen and chew through the plastic bag and chow on my bread leaving a trail of crumbs and forcing me to throw out the bread. I’d hear him rumbling through the plastic garbage bag under the sink and occasionally he would let me see his furry tail. A small little fellow, but I was scared nonetheless. Sealing wall holes, sprinkling poison and setting those sticky traps in a kid free place did nothing.

Rationally, I understood that the mouse was not dangerous, just a carrier of diseases, and he would not harm me but I still found myself huddling in the corner when I was convinced he was stuck in the trash bag.
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That’s not a whore

February 5, 2011

I remember reading a Cosmo confessional by a mom who recently sent her daughter to sleep away camp. The husband was upset but then the mom gave him oral in the kitchen and all was forgiven.

I don’t remember how old I was, but I am sure I thought blow jobs were gross and that behavior was unacceptable. “That’s fine,” my mom said probably adding that a married couple should still have spontaneous sex. What I originally considered whore-ish behavior was condoned by mom.

My sister never had this revelation and while posing for boudoir photos, she alternated between encouraging me, you look beautiful, that is so sexy to frigid, you look like a whore. I know her relationship in the bedroom is not nearly as exciting or liberating as mine because she has not found ways to empower and assert herself.

While I did not realize it then, that incident was a foundation of my sexual inhibition. Risque behavior was exciting and there was nothing wrong with initiating sex.

Of course in my trials as a single person, I was sometimes hesitant to initiate if I did not think the affection would be reciprocated. One guy actually stopped me from sucking his dick. We were in bed in a hotel in Amsterdam kissing. I was going to India the next day and he was returning to Switzerland. I went under the sheets and put his cock in my mouth and he stopped me. He pulled me up and well, there was not much more action after that. I did not see him again for another year. After our remaining twelve hours together that day, it was not terribly awkward.

By the time we reconnected, I had met my husband – then boyfriend, and he had a relationship with someone, but I do not remember the details or how they had defined themselves the previous year. We never talked about that night and in fact saw each other again in New York City with presumably the same girlfriend. After that our friendship fizzled in the pre-Facebook era. I did search for him once, but his name is common enough to list at least 25 guys, some whose photos do not show their faces. So, unless he looks for me, or if I figure out how to do the advanced friend search, it’ll remain a pleasant memory.

About That Whip

February 3, 2011

I recently replaced my bedside table with a skinnier version and bought a stack of drawers to squeeze between the wall and the nightstand. I asked my Colombian nanny/ housekeeper to assemble the Ikea wares and transfer my items from the dresser to the new pieces.

A few days later, I was looking for something in my husband’s drawers with the nanny beside me. A black and white feathery thing caught my eye and without much thought, I pulled it out.

“Oh this must be from a costume,” I said holding forgotten sex toy, a rod with a frayed whip on one end and a tickling feather on the other.
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It Takes A Village

February 3, 2011

When I try to push my double-decker stroller through a tight space, or up a step in order to enter a store, and someone offers to help, I say, “it takes a village.” Repeating the same line with the same prompt is yet another sign that I am turning into my parents, but I digress.
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