Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Calgon...Don't Take Me Away

Maybe I do need a pedicure so mama's feet can look good when I kick your ass.

---- my quote to our current governmental administration and various and sundry individuals who just don't get the mama message

Friday, April 21, 2006

Early Spring

Our little house sits on .06 of an acre of land. It is a weird long triangle shaped lot with no real yard to speak of. Still, in that space (thanks to my husband’s power of magical thought) we have a tree that I make crabapple jelly from, a sweet tiny perennial garden, and glorious raspberry bush and prolific rhubarb patch crammed up against the composters. Monster grape and hops vines climb the peeling paint of the back of the house. Skirting the curb in the front are lilacs and the plum tree with Sophia’s placenta buried beneath.

Thanks to an unseasonably warm early spring Sophia has covered our driveway (an infinitesimal square of asphalt) with rainbow chalk murals. Sheep and cats arabesque beneath flowering arches (a la Angelina Ballerina), frogs leap, and shooting stars circle the word “MOM”. We have so little space to use that we have taken her art to the city sidewalks. Along Loomis Street, down School Street, pausing in front of Manghi’s Bakery are the harbingers of spring. She does the art and I faithfully transcribe the text she dictates to me. “Pig Asleep”, “This puppy likes cheddar cheese”, “Mama cat says to baby cat I have some tea for you!” are some favorites. On days when we have done it all Fimo sculpting, coloring, reading, and chalk art we plant seeds.

More, more, more. I wanna plant more, Mom.

Sophia is filling flowerpots of all sizes with soil. We have dozens of seed packets. Some area few years old and are distant hopes but we’ll try them early and if they don’t work we will re use the pots. Already we have some Salpiglossis and Globe Amaranth that went nowhere.

“They just didn’t sprout,” I explain.” We will try others.”

“I guess they just didn’t sprout,” I hear the little voice repeat as she works.

We are shameless. Early April awash in seed packets and we are miserably overplanting. Pots where three or four seeds would do are being packed. They are getting a fraction of the space they want. Sophia makes careful holes with her index finger with no regard to spacing or depth. She drops in a seed, or two or three and pats the dirt down neatly. More, more, I wanna plant more.

Seed after seed, the perfect orbs of sweet pea, wispy fly-aways of bachelor buttons, almost invisible chamomile, prickly needles of cosmos are woefully packed together and over watered and I let her. I say gently, ”Oh let’s just give those a small drink, a sip” I show her. “Maybe the Bachelor Buttons don’t like to be planted quite so deeply, see?” I show her. But when she pokes her finger down deep into the earth I’m not going to stop and measure. She is happy.

Who knows what the hell these pots will end up like? She did them all herself

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Supersonic Hearing

March 21. 2006

This morning my daughter woke up, sat straight up in bed, still bleary-eyed and began very softly whispering- 'koo-koo' (Choo-Choo for train), her arm pumping up and down excitedly, still looking half asleep.
I didn't hear any trains (sometimes there is one that passes behind the house), but maybe she did somewhere in the distance with her super sonic hearing. It was pretty cute.


Supersonic Memory

March 27, 2006

We were half listening to Cat Stevens floating in from the kitchen. My daughter was in the living room with me watching her new favorite movie, Totoro. The song Peace Train came on, heard in fragments. All of a sudden, she leaps up, forgetting temporarily about Totoro and shouts: KOO!-kOO! over and over again. At first I dismissed it, not connecting her shouting Koo! Koo! to the Cat Stevens song in the kitchen (my mind was pretty dim that day). There was no trains on Totoro, nor was there any outside, passing by. I just figured she thought of a train randomly and that was it. Then, she ran to the kitchen.- I followed her. It dawned on me then (finally), as I stood at the gate barring entrance to the kitchen: Koo!-Koo!-Peace Train. Oh, it clicked somewhere in my tired brain!!!
She pulled the word 'Train' from that song all the way in the kitchen from the living room while watching Totoro.
Talk about super-sonic hearing.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Vermont’s Mothers Movement

I discovered Vermont’s Mothers Movement after our twins, Carson and Austin, were born. I didn’t define it that way at the time. To me, I was simply seeking advice on tandem nursing at a twin moms meeting, requesting used toys on a local listserv, or chatting with other moms and dads as we passed the time at the playground. But I didn’t put these activities together as the building of a movement. In my mind, that term was reserved for monumental paradigm shifts and for masses of people demanding change. The parents I was talking to weren’t protesting in front of the statehouse or writing angry letters to the editor. We were just looking out for our kids.

Or were we? Webster’s definition of a “movement” as “a collective effort by a large number of people to try to achieve something, especially a political or social reform,” sounds softer than a revolution. It could describe the weaving together of hundreds of interactions by parents daily in our Vermont communities. Behind the fragmented conversations on creative work arrangements or new programs at the local school is a common vision for healthy, happy, knowledgeable families.

So, how can this underground vision, this whispering movement, actually influence political and social reform? Do we have consensus on what we want for Vermont families - high quality health care, excellent education opportunities for parents and children, affordable childcare, safe environments, fulfilling work, rewarding relationships with other adults and confidence? Mothers and fathers are already building a framework one conversation at a time at their homes, playground and workplace. Now is the time to elevate the debate to a higher, public level of discourse. Mothers, as well as fathers, need to be in places where important decisions are made - whether that means speaking up at town meeting, joining a local committee, running for City Council of taking the Executive Director position. Our kids will thank us.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Journal Entry: February 21, 2006

'I long for the day when I can wear perfumed Lotions again. I was never one for actual perfume, but the perfumed lotion-that is my thing. I was just going through the container where all the lotions are kept. Got a bit sad in cleaning it out. God, some of that stuff was absolutely rank. I haven't worn any kind of lotion since I became pregnant with my daughter-just turned 18 months a few days ago!!. '

Well. I'm still longing for that day. As all mothers (most) know, nursing and perfume/lotions just don't mix well. It interferes with that instinctual 'Mama Smell'.