Wednesday, March 31, 2010
My first year of marriage, I loved the way the way the word "husband" felt in my mouth. I would let the phrase "my husband" roll off my tongue and hang in the air, announcing my grown up status to anyone who would listen. But even though people acknowledged me as a married woman and called me Ms. Kargas without flinching, I still felt like I was making believe, like I was playing a part. The part of spouse. The role of a woman who had a full set of matching dishes and and a joint checking account. Months after exchanging vows and wearing the white dress, I still felt the same. I still felt like a 21 year old kid who had just earned the right to order a glass of wine with dinner at Applebees.
I had a similar experience adjusting to motherhood. I remember scheduling Zachary's first appointment with the pediatrician. "Hello" I told the receptionist over the phone "I need to schedule an appointment for my son" The word sounded so foreign to me, and I half expected the woman on the other end of the line to object, "No, you could not possibly be the mom". And even though I often still feel like a child, nobody seems to look shocked or surprised when I tell them that I am the mother of two.
And today, as I headed to work on the BART, dressed in my stylish knee high boots and my trench coat, a newspaper tucked under my arm, I almost felt like I was the adult that I was trying to imposture. Then it happened. As I walked from the platform and onto the train , I scanned the car for a place to sit. With no available seats, I found a spot near the side where I thought I could lean my body into the wall for support and read my paper. I stood there, feeling like a true adult, opening up the business section of the San Francisco Chronicle when the train lurched ahead and gravity failed me. I pitched forward and fell into the lap of the man seated directly across from me, sending my smart newspaper into the air, and his laptop onto the floor. He grabbed for his computer and grumbled as I tried to compose myself. I apologized profusely, and he looked at me with a mix of empathy and disdain. Amateur, he must have thought. Silly girl, you have to hold on to the bar. What an idiot.
What a phony.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I got a job. The kind that pays money. I am pretty excited, particularly because it is only a six week contract for a full time position with a great company. This means that I get to try out the whole working-mommy thing and get a real taste for it. If it is too overwhelming, than I have an easy out. If I love it, then I have to pray that my contract is extended or that at least this job makes me more marketable for future work in the bay area.
In any case for six weeks I get to wear real grown-up clothes (the kind that are not stained and wrinkly), and head to the city daily with the rest of the commuters. I get to talk to grown ups all day, and activate the non-mommy side of my brain once again.
It also means stress. Because of the short-term nature of this contract I had to make myself available right away with little time to figure out the childcare situation or mentally prepare my kids for much less mommy time. I am interviewing a potential nanny tomorrow, and if that doesn't pan out I will need to rely on a fairly complicated combination of a known in-home daycare provider for Evan and after school care for Zack. Not ideal. But at least I am fairly confident that this scenario assures that I am not trusting my children to an axe murderer, whereas with a new nanny...just how do you know... for sure? There are reference checks, yes. Background checks too. But this woman would be a stranger and it is a bit unsettling.
Things will be hectic here. Two full time working parents means that the laundry and the grocery shopping are less likely to get done reliably. That play dates cannot easily be arranged, that there is less time to maintain a social life for the family. And less time for blogging. (Horrors!)
I will miss my boys. Well okay I will miss my boys sometimes, but lets be honest, in the past couple of weeks I have watched Evan transform from a cuddly agreeable bundle of joy to a moody teething toddler. I could use a little break from temper-tantrum central. Yet I know I will miss them none the less. I'll miss our sunny afternoons at the park and the trips to the library. I'll miss picking up Zack from preschool each afternoon and hanging out for "circle time". I'll miss my time at the Y, I had actually started working out regularly and I know I can kiss that goodbye.
But it's six weeks. Six weeks. You can do just about anything for six weeks right?
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Boy 1: "Dude, I may or may not have made out with one of my best friends on Saturday. I can't remember for sure."
Boy 2: "No way. Do I know her?"
Boy 1: "Nah. She goes to another school. Her name is Ally"
Boy 2: "What is her last name? I might know her."
Boy 1: "I'm not saying"
Boy 2: "Come on man, what is her last name?"
Boy 1: "It starts with a P....it's Peterson"
Boy 2: "Yeah, I have heard of her! She is totally hot"
Boy 1: "I know, but she is my friend"
Boy 2: "So what, she is stacked".
Boy 1: "At least I'm not like Thompson I heard he hooked up with Kayla Jones last weekend."
Boy 2: "No way! Man she is a mess and she isn't even cute."
Boy 1: " I know, he must have had beer goggles on!"
A total teenage cliche right? But for some reason I was particularly annoyed by these two snarky hormonal kids. I wanted to look them in the eye and tell them how ridiculous they sounded, and to inform them that perhaps Ms. Kayla Jones wasn't much to look at now, but in a couple of years she would likely blossom into a super hot sorority chick who wouldn't give those pimply snots a second look.
Then it hit me. I had the gut wrenching thought that in about 12 years, my kid might sound an awful lot like these boys. Oh no. Oh never. There will be no making out right? There will be no talking about the bust size of a classmate, right? There will be no wild underage drinking parties...right?
Wrong. I know I am wrong. At one time I fantasized about raising daughters, and I worried about how I would instill a strong sense of self-esteem in my girls, while protecting them from date rapists and teen pregnancy. Now it is fairly evident that I am not having daughters, and instead I have to worry about raising boys who respect women and don't get themselves killed by frat party alcohol poisoning. There is always something to worry about. Perhaps it gets easier with time, as my kids gradually get older, it won't seem so offensive that the boys will be sexual beings, and someday adults. But right now, I simply want to push those ugly thoughts away. I want to keep my boys innocent and pimple free.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
After the kids arrived, we tried to keep the traditions alive. When Zack was about 1.5 I remember heading to "happy hour" on St. Paddy's day with a few other couples and their children. We went to a Mexican bar that was attached to an Irish bar. We sat and ate chips and salsa, drinking coronas, and wishing we were over on the other side, the side that was crowded with young people and full of celebration. In the years that followed we gave up on trying to join the throngs of partiers, and instead ventured downtown in the early morning by foot to watch the annual parade. It was a nice tradition.
Now I find myself in a new city, and there is no such thing as tradition anymore. Everything must be recreated, and while that can be refreshing and fun, I miss the comfort that "home" provided. And as the days get warmer I think of my favorite times in Denver. I think of evening walks to the Red Trolley for gelato, I think of the hot summer days I spent with my sister and our children at her pool, I think about drinking a cold Coors Light in my best friend's air conditioned kitchen while our husbands played guitar hero and our boys fought mercilessly over hot wheels. I miss the familiarity and the love that comes from family and old friends.
So here I am sad on Saint Patty's Day, and no green beer in sight to drown my sorrows.
I miss you Denver. More importantly, I miss you Denver people.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
To: All Staff
Regarding: Company Policies
Dear Kargas Inc Staff,
I find it disappointing that I must draft this important memo. I feel however that I can no longer ignore the blatant disregard I have witnessed for our company policies. It is time that I address these issues head on.
Let me please remind you of the following Kargas Inc policies.
Confidentiality Agreement: At the time of hire each employee entered into a confidentiality agreement with Kargas Inc. This agreement protects the organization's trade secrets and must be adhered to. This agreement has been breached on several occasions over the past few months. One staff member disclosed to a subcontracting organization, The Jewish Community Center that his favorite pizza topping is sausage and that his father prepares bacon for breakfast on the weekends. Completely and totally inappropriate. This very employee has also exposed the assets of our private supply closets to visitors not employed by Kargas Inc, therefor embarrassing our janitorial staff.
Harassment Policy: Many companies claim to have a zero tolerance harassment policy. We feel that we are a little more realistic here at Kargas Inc. We expect the occasional taunt or wrestling match between staff members, but we simply must draw the line and ask that staff refrain from using blunt or sharp objects in such disputes. Additionally the verbal harassment has gotten out of hand, our Chef was very distraught after one staff member threw her chicken parmesean on the floor screaming "I don't like that". This type of abuse will no longer be tolerated. You will eat what is served, and you will like it. Period.
No Shedding Policy: As the months are getting warmer we have noticed that the support staff is having a much more difficult time adhering to our no shedding policy. It is extremely important that this policy is followed, for the unsightly fur reflects poorly on our company and might be considered a health hazard by some. For those of you who cannot refrain from shedding all together, we ask that you restrict such practice to a designated shedding area (the garage).
We value your employment here, we want to create an environment where all employees feel safe and appreciated. It is also critical that we maintain our good reputation and image in the business community. We need your cooperation to accomplish these goals. If you have any questions or concerns you can share them with your supervisor who will likely tell you... tough cookies.
Kargas Inc Co-Founder & CEO
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
It doesn't matter where we are. In the car, at the bank, in the grocery store, at school and perhaps the most unfortunate in his bed in the middle of the night. It's the middle of the night snorts that are the most offensive. Zack might wake up, pad down to the bathroom and then return to his bed and snort for a good five minutes before falling effortlessly back into slumber, leaving me wide awake and cursing the snorts.
I admit it. I am starting to snap. On more than one occasion I have whirled around to my snorting offspring and crossly demanded "what is that??? why do you do that?" But he just stares at me blankly as if the answer is obvious, as if we all go around announcing our presence with giant nasal noises.
Is it a nervous habit? If so, he had better grow out of it before middle school. I can see him now a pimply skinny adolescent sitting in math class...snorting. The girls all snicker and say "gross!" and the boys will tape a "kick me" sign to his back. I picture him being awarded the "most likely never to get married" title in his high school year book. His life doomed because of this relentless snorting.
So unless I want to end up an old lady with no grandchildren this snorting business has to stop. If only I knew how to snort it out.
Don't forget to enter my blog contest. Read instructions on how to win in my last post!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Please join me for a once and a life time opportunity. For a mere $1999.99 you could join me for my weekend retreat: "Find the beast within; throw The Tantrum of your life."
Your package will include:
- Two nights stay at the fabulous "Playroom on Sacramento Street"*
- Meals from top chef, my mommy. Sample meals include : Macaroni & Cheese with a hint of pureed vegetables of some sort (recipe a variation from Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook), Frozen Waffles with a delicate smothering of Value Time "maple syrup-flavored" product, and her world famous "left over lasagna."
- Workshops addressing the following key areas of tantrum throwing: "Timing is everything, catch them unaware", "Location, Location, Location, a public place should be your destination", and the "Martial arts of tantrum throwing" (learn techniques such as the back arch, and the windmill/spitting leg kick".
- Network and share tips and stories with other local tantrum throwers!
This is a unique opportunity with limited space. Sign up today, you will not regret it!
*Visitors at the "Playroom on Sacramento Street" must supply their own bedding and supply of "pull ups", if required. Nightmare insurance is provided at an additonal cost.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The nurse comes in with not one, but two shots and a worried look on her face. The shots are to be given in his behind. Zack lies face down on his tummy and pulls his spider man underwear down exposing his tush. He does not appear worried, the kid has had shots before, and shots usually bring good things like stickers and lollipops. As the nurse brings the needle close to his flesh, she motions to me to grab his hands. I oblige. The shot is administered and the wails begin. Frantic tears. Scampering to get off the table, but wait there is still one more shot. Holy hell.
"Zack" I say into his ear, holding his arms down, trying to sound soothing, "It will be over soon, you are so brave!" Zack responds with a heartbreaking "mommy, don't let her hurt me again...please!"
After the second shot, the very loud crying continued, for thirty five minutes. We had to wait in the lobby for fifteen of those minutes to make sure that Zack did not have an allergic reaction. During our stay, Zack stood in the crowded waiting room with his pants at his knees exposing his bare, sore bottom and refusing to pull up his undergarments because it "HURT!" He wailed. The nurse brought juice... for one. But there were two. There was also a 20 month old brother who wants whatever the senior sibling has, and Zack was not sharing. So now we have two kids sobbing and a room full of strangers staring at us. As we leave the office Zack waddles behind me, I cannot pick him up because I have Evan in my arms and I honestly cannot carry both boys. We are standing in the parking lot in the rain and Zack won't budge. His arms reach for me. I come to him and kneel down looking into his sad eyes. "Mommy" he says looking at me for some sort of reassurance, some form of protection, "that shot hurt my feelings". I hug him and say the first thing that comes to my mind "Oh sweetie, that shot hurt my feelings too". Because it did.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
I was never, never a cool kid. I had an awkward vulnerability about me and I wore my little heart out on my sleeve. Adolescent girls knew just how to prey on that weakness. I was always getting kicked out of the "group", or blatantly made fun of in front of my fellow classmates. I remember some of my predators vividly. The comments;"Your hair is too greasy", "Your chest is too flat", "Your personality could be better" are still stuck in some part of my sub-conscious. Today I am Facebook "Friends" with some of these tormentors. Really don't you remember? You hated me! Now we are trading quirky remarks about the latest episode of The Office?
Okay, okay, even I can accept that we were children then and we have grown up, but I have to admit that if I really start to think about it I want to pass those girls a grown up note with all of the come backs that I have dreamed up over the past 20 years. They are good.
To be perfectly honest, I was also not exempt from the mean streak of the pre-teen. I could dish it out as well. One of my most horrifying moments was a cruel note a friend and I wrote and placed in a locker of an overweight classmate. It haunts me to this day. In my defense I was so plagued with guilt after the note incident that I turned myself in to my teacher and apologized profusely to the victim. But the damage was done.
To the best of my knowledge boys are different. They do not establish their dominance and self-worth the same way that girls do. There is less struggle over social status, and males simply don't thrust words around like swords the way that we "ladies" do. I realize that there are different battles to be won amongst the opposite sex. I worry because my boys have as much of a chance at being tall and athletic as I do of winning a contract with the Ford Modeling Agency. But somehow I feel that it will be easier and kinder.
I dreamed and dreamed about having a daughter to dress in frills and tea party with, but perhaps I am lucky that my offspring are sons instead. Time will tell.