28 May 2008
ONE, take three
Time supposedly flies when you’re having fun. I guess, if that’s truly the case, I’ve been having a complete blast this past year because I have not seen the time go by.

(That’s not exactly true—in certain areas I have felt each second as it’s slowly ripped a chunk of my sanity from my brain in passing. But I’m not going to complain about those things right now.)

One year ago this was me.Good Christ I looked tired. I was tired. Worn slap out, actually. I don’t honestly look much more alive at the moment, but I certainly don’t feel as dreadful as I did when this picture was taken. Two small monkeys (God, how they’ve changed! They look like such wee babes!), eight months pregnant with the third, non-stop, never-ending nightmares about every particular detail in life, LE total!

And then, whoosh! I lost a whopping 10 kilos in one day! 10 kilos is over twenty pounds. In. A. Day. And I got this out of the deal:

I still think this was the best birth of the three. Marc got to stay with me, and while I’m fine talking to the nurses and other OB/OR staff, it was really nice to have him there. And he got to hear her first cries, something he missed the two times before. And I still have someone with whom I can joke about what a purple Hulk-like creature she resembled when we first go to see her. We’re both still amazed by that. And her uni-lid, Cyclopes forehead. We’re terrible people, I know.

Now, a year later, well, look:She looks not at all the same. Instead of being off the charts on the high side, her weight is now almost off the charts on the low side. She’s still growing fine, and developing fine, but food? Bah! Who needs it! (Yes, it’s a continuing battle, but we’re getting there.) She’s not walking, not really technically crawling, but she does get around using her hands and her cheeks—yes, those cheeks, not the ones in the picture). And she says “mama” all the time and “papa” not at all, which I love because FINALLY I have a child who wants ME and not just Papa 24/7. And at one year she’s still all baby, sweet, cuddly, lovable baby.

Happy Birthday Melly-Belly!

posted by Doc at 22:07 | Permalink | 5 comments
25 May 2008
Happy Mothers’ Day to ME, again!

Yep, I get to celebrate this holiday twice. Ain’t it grand!

The first time around I was treated to a lovely hand-picked bouquet of wild flowers by the monkeys. That was back on America’s Mothers Day. Two weeks later the French get into the spirit and I got this lovely bracelet. Now, I am not about to knock the creative energies of my son. Nope, not at all. I ADORE this bit of find handicraft. But, look at it closely. Do you see it? Right there. That round bit of cork! Champagne cork actually, with its origins not even disguised in the slightest. That, my dear friends, could only happen here.

Oh, and mentioning to the other (French) moms at the bus stop that I get to celebrate this holiday twice? That’s a big no go. Oh dear, the looks of pure disgust I got! How very dare I be spoiled twice! So if you’ve not made this mistake yet, let me advise you against it. Mothers are a jealous sort.

In keeping with the mother theme, I figure an update on the three reasons I’m now allowed to call myself by that word are is in order. So:

Monkey-1, The Boy, The first-born. How I love this child! He’s in the beginning of the gross word stage and as agonizing as it is not to laugh at everything he comes up with (like “Ma, your soup smells like ass”, only said in French with a cherubic smile and those killer blue eyes), there are moments when I just can’t help myself. (He turned around and ate two bowls of the ass-smelling soup, so I’m not too concerned, however this has prompted his father to say “Smells like ass”, in English so the boy child doesn’t necessarily pick up on it, every five minutes or so.) School is going well, although he’s decided to forego the afternoon nap in pursuit of other pleasures, like hitting on the other school director and trying desperately to get her to fall in love with him. In the evenings he’s often very tired and honestly very easy to put to sleep. Unfortunately there’s one problem…

Monkey-2, The Big Little Sister, The Hellion. She’s too much, this second child of mine. She’s smart, and funny and absolutely perfect except, well, she’s a nightmare to get to bed, a nightmare that can drag on for hours some nights. We’re literally at wit’s end with this new manifestation of two-year-old will. She wants the door open, the door closed, the light off, the light on, to sleep in Monkey-1’s bed, to sleep in her own bed, with animal, without animal all at once and she will not go to sleep until she’s got it all! ARGH! OK, it’s a stage, and one we hope to get her past as quickly as possible, because it’s overshadowing all the cool things like how she counts in English (“one, two, three, poor, five, dick, seven …), how she plays with her brother (by letting him think he’s the boss) or her sister (where she actually tries to take care of her, which is why we often find the youngest one half naked and diaper-less and extremely happy about it), or how she gives the most fantastic hugs in the world—and that is no exaggeration—just ask her papa! She’s so tall, and so smart, and so far advanced for her age that we often forget she’s just two, not even two-and-a-half yet, and that’s almost as frightening as watching the screaming evil baby she was turn into the future world dictator she’ll probably be.

Monkey-3, The Baby, The Little Angel. I think she was truly marked for life by the over-abundance of sugar that cursed her pre-natal days. This last baby, and yes she’s still willing to be a baby, is pure sweetness. She smiles! She giggles! She’s happy just being alive! I know no two babies are alike, but she’s just been such a 180° turn from the second monkey that, if she didn’t look exactly like her older brother with chipmunk cheeks, I’d swear she was switched at the hospital. She’s in no hurry to do anything. And this has caused all its own set of problems. I’m used to wild monkeys, climbing over everything and in Seek and Destroy Mode at all hours and stages of their lives. Nope, not this time! So instead of forgetting how young this child is, I’m worrying that she’s falling behind when she is, in fact, right where most babies of her age are. She’s started creeping, not quite crawling, and now the world has turned into her play ground. And while I’m sad to see pass the days where I could put her down and still find her in the exact same spot hours or even weeks later, I am relieved that she’s getting around. After all, the other two, at the same age, were climbing stairs and clawing my nerves. Of course the other two also refused to say 'mama' for the longest time, and this one? Well, I guess I'm her favorite!

posted by Doc at 16:35 | Permalink | 1 comments
23 May 2008
Gah! Where do I start?

Do you feel neglected? Have I done that to you? I feel like I’ve neglected you, and the burden of guilt is weighing me down so much that I just neglect you some more. I’ve fallen off the ole Bloggin’ Wagon, and Dear Sweet Jesus, do I ever need help getting back on. So here I am again, giving out (probably empty) promises that I’ll be back in the saddle soon, and spreading wit and pointless stories like Typhoid Mary.

Or maybe I’m just teasing you. Wouldn’t be the first time, right?

Anyway, Here’s me, sitting right in front of the same ugly computer in the same ugly corner in the same ugly house in the same ugly village… I should probably stop right there. You’ve got the picture, right? Nothing noteworthy has changed. We’ve still not moved. We still have no idea when that will ever happen (although, just as an aside, the fact that I’m stating we don’t know when, as opposed to not knowing if, is a HUGE mark of just how optimistic I’m forcing myself to be in that department).

The kids are growing, and I’d really love to share a picture of the three of them in all their little monkey glory, but unfortunately I don’t ever manage to have the skills required to catch all three of them in focus in one picture, and as there’s three of them I’m not sure I’ll have the time to upload one of each. Maybe I will. If there are pictures attached then I did. If there aren’t, well, some other insanity has rescued you from that bit of cuteness.

I am, for the moment, off the happy pills. Wow! No, I’m not healed, probably not even on the road to mental health (does that even exist?), or even feeling that much better. It’s more of a ME thing, really. Why should I need to medicate solely to be able to support the overbearing presence of Mr. Manthing? If that is truly the problem, and it feels like it is, then I should just bully him back into being the way she should (IMHO) be, right? So new tactic, and so far it seems to be working, or at least working as well as those old happy pills but without running up the Secu’s debt any. Yay Me!

Or maybe not. Because sometimes I wonder if the man really knows who he married. This past weekend I had some very nice people over, people with whom I have some sort of connection with on at least some level. And after all these people had gone back to their respective sleeping holes for the evening, Mr. Manthing looks over at me and says something about how he’s not really sure he knows the person I am, implying that when those people were here I’d somehow mutated into someone I’m not. And this struck me as something so fundamentally sad, probably the root of all the “maritals” running through this marriage, because for once I felt almost like me again. For months, probably years at this point, I’ve felt lost here. I’m not stay-at-home-mother material, I’m surely not a housewife, and the one weekend, the first weekend in a coon’s age I’ve been able to step outside both of those roles—at the same time (!!!), I get accused of not being me. You have no idea how frightening this is.

So I’ve had minor irons in the fire, little tidbits to help keep me sane and prevent me from drowning in a sea of crayons, unusable sidewalk chalk (yes, there’s a rant there), and shitty diapers. The biggest of these projects, and probably the most interesting—no, certainly the most interesting, was my visit last weekend with this English dude named Ian. See, Ian’s got a book—a REAL book—that talks about things like farming, relationships, and those nasty Londoners who like the English countryside so much they drive the locals out. And he’s English, so he’s got one of those POSH accents that comes to him naturally without having to fake it, like say, I would—although I personally think my English accent is rather…OK, it’s fake, totally fake. Anyway, Ian came for a visit and we did a book-signing in Joinville and he sold a few books (which was nice) and we talked about me eventually writing The Book That Ends All Books, you know the one where I officially bump The Bible out of the Most Books Sold slot, that one, because he totally thinks I can (please don’t let his delusions fool you—he is rather intelligent otherwise). Actually, we spent a good bit of time talking about publishers and what total arseholes (his word) they can be. Because he’s really been dicked around on his book. I’ve read it. I liked it. And he’s gotten a lot of really, really extraordinary reviews. But the publisher is letting the book sink right off the face of the earth. It’s sad really, because it’s a book with a message (like THINK, you stupid rich people, about what you’re really doing when you buy that lovely country home that you’ll spend all of four weeks in a year), with lots of good characters, good stories, laughter, tears, the whole nine yards. So, if you’ve got nothing else to do, go over to Amazon and buy yourself a copy—or let me know if you’d be interested in meeting the guy, because I’ve got his schedule of events committed to memory. But beware girls, he is married…

posted by Doc at 15:23 | Permalink | 12 comments