Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: Why This Will Never Be A Parenting Advice Blog

Why This Will Never Be A Parenting Advice Blog - via Oaxacaborn
Oh, this little person.

She’s very much a two-year-old. Perfectly quirky. She loves pirates and hates greens. She’d rather eat kefir than a donut, or almost anything else, except “mac and roni” which trumps all. She yells “Hi, baby!” to every non-adult she sees, no matter their age. And she has her own way of talking. “Fat put-tee”, of course, means “splash puddles”. And “kay yay-yi-yo” is her own little riff on “thank you, Aveline”. She sleeps every night surrounded by dozens of stuffed animals, but among them all, only Mr. Fox, Baby Fox, and Football Dog need to be kissed goodnight.

She loves to have her hair and teeth brushed. She always is sneaking into the bathroom to dab at her cheeks with mama’s makeup brushes. And destroying one of papa’s paintbrushes in a muddle of dull brown mixed watercolors, well, that’s a delight all its own.

She sings about the itsy-bitsy spider every chance she gets, “Fider, up. Fider, wain, down, ‘way. Fider, up sun, Fider, ‘gain!” When she hears dogs or neighborhood kids outside, she yells “Some babies! Some barks! Some dogs!” and runs to the window.

She’s a perpetual motion machine, my wild child.

And I’ve never done this before, this wild-child-raising.

I don’t know how.

Every day, I’m faced with situations that don’t make sense. (Toddlers don’t make sense. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.)

I don’t have all the answers. And in my very short experience so far, I’ve seen that parenting is simultaneously humbling and exhilarating and terrifying and rewarding. I don’t have it all figured out. And I don’t imagine I ever will.

And that’s why this isn’t, and never will be, a parenting advice blog. First of all, I don’t have any to give. And second, my goal isn’t to figure it all out. I’m not chasing the answers. I’m not chasing perfection (thank goodness!) I’m chasing joy. I’m chasing hope. I’m chasing Jesus.

So you won’t find answers or advice here, because don’t have any. But what I do have, I can share; glimpses into our lives, beauty in the everyday, and the reason for our hope.

And I can tell you this — there’s not a day in which I don’t ask beg God for wisdom!

Poetry & Words

WRITING & WORDS :: The Miracle in the Midst of the Noise

Aveline reading on the couch - photo via Oaxacaborn dot com

Sometimes, it looks like this.

(Sometimes. Not today.)

It has sounded more like this, today: “Don’t put your head in the toilet.” “Why are you putting that piece of sandwich between your toes?” “Hey! Don’t eat my makeup!” “I am not a trampoline.” “Good job helping! Yay! Thank you! Wait! Was that a red dress? We’re washing whites!”

But those are just the things I’ve said.

I don’t want to drown in the sound of my own voice.

I’ve got to remember the things she’s saying, too.

I’ve got to remember the joyful shouts of “Mummy!!” whenever I reappear. The MO MOW! (more milk) and MO SEE-WOH! (more cereal) breakfast chorus. The “Oh, wow!” marvel at everything from a cookie to a piece of lint. The giggling “Ready? GO!” shrieks followed by hugs-from-a-running-start.   The “Help. Stuck!” announcement that’s she has woken up from her nap. The bouts of uncontrollable laughter. Even the endlessly dramatic “Oh, no!”, which drives me crazy sometimes.

Because, even though every day doesn’t look like that photo, every day won’t always sound like this, either.

So on days like this, I ask God to let me see the miracle in the midst of the noise. And you know what? Every time I remember to stop and ask him to see with new eyes, He always, always answers.

“You have put gladness in my heart.” -Psalm 4:7a

Poetry & Words

WRITING & WORDS: The Parental Bragging Complex

The parental bragging complex, a humorous article on Oaxacaborn dot comThere’s a strange phenomenon I’ve observed since becoming a parent: the irrepressible urge to brag.

Oh no, I don’t mean pulling a quintuple-fold wallet out of one’s pocket and loudly showing the pictures to everyone within earshot. That’s to be expected. The instant one becomes a parent, one firmly believes the wrinkled child held up in that room is the best-looking, smartest baby in all of humankind’s existence. That’s normal. That’s to be expected.

It’s beautiful, actually.

But the moment a parent lays eyes on any other parent, a bizarre transformation takes place. Alongside the beautiful pride, a strange and paradoxical pride also rises up, causing the parent to believe his or her child is not only the handsomest and most gifted, but also the worst and most awfully-behaved.

Remember the Topper, a character in the Dilbert comic strip? No matter what anyone said, Topper would top it.

Well folks, when this Topper complex is observed within the parental habitat, it’s truly a weird thing to behold.

Exhibit A:
“Hi, friend! How’re you doing?”
“Oh, pretty beat. My kid didn’t sleep much last night.”
“Psh. I have thirty-eight kids and none of them slept through the night until they were twelve.”

Exhibit B:
“Oh hello, friend, where have you been lately?”
“Yeah, it’s been a while. My kid just got over chicken pox.”
“Ohreally? That’s nothing! Mine came down with an extremely rare case of TURKEY pox! It’s so rare, my doctor hadn’t even heard of it. Here, let me show you the rash. He’s still incredibly contagious. Yeah, it’s the grossest rash ever…let me just pull down his..”
“Ummm, actually, yeah, we were just leaving…”

Exhibit C:
“What a coincidence meeting you here!”
“Yeah, my kid is going through this phase where he’ll only eat bananas, so…”
“Psh, don’t talk to me about grocery shopping. You’ve got it easy. My kid only ate fin-less goldfish and square cheerios for eight years straight.”

Exhibit D:
“A cast? What happened?”
“Oh, it’s ok. My kid fell out of a tree in the backyard and broke his wrist.”
“My Bobby fell out of the Eiffel Tower and broke seventy-two out of the twenty-six bones in his foot!”

Friends, I have no answers. No tidy little explanations. Honestly, I can’t figure out if this sort of behavior stems from a superiority complex or an inferiority complex.

The bottom line, it seems, is that each parent wants others to believe his life is better — or is it worse? — than every other parent’s.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go scrape off some cheese (?) my daughter stuck to the television screen. I guess she can escape her Pack n Play now.

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Cloth Diapers, Poetry & Words

How I Quit Cloth Diapering (and Faced the Mama Mafia)

The cost of using cloth diapers vs the cost of using disposable diapers I quit cloth diapering.

There, I said it. The cat’s out of the bag.

Actually, I quit at the end of January. I’ve kept it a secret all this time. I’ve been careful not to talk about it. I’ve been careful not to post any photos of Aveline in which she’s obviously wearing a disposable.

Why did I hide it? Because I was afraid of the backlash. I was afraid of the Mama Mafia.

The Mama Mafia is brutal.

But this week, I made another decision. I decided I’m not going to be intimidated, nor am I going to make excuses. I’m going to be honest. Because truthfully? Cloth diapers are gross.

Before you stick your hand through your computer screen to grab me by the throat, let me say that again. Cloth diapers are gross. They just are. It’s a fact you can’t really argue with. You can downplay it and talk yourself through it in order to save money, but you can’t deny it.

I reached a point, nearly a year in to cloth diapering, when I asked myself, “Ok, how much money am I actually saving?”

And so The Great Disposable Experiment began. At the end of the trial period, here’s what I learned.

The Cost of Cloth Diapers vs. The Cost of Disposables

  • It cost approximately $5.63/week ($22.50/month) on electricity, water/sewer, and detergent to use cloth diapers.
  • It cost approximately $6.25/week ($25.00/month) to use disposable diapers.

And that’s not even counting the hundreds of dollars I spent purchasing (used, not new) cloth diapers.

A savings of $2.50/month? I quit cloth diapering.

Fellow mamas, let’s be brave. Let’s be free. I’m done hiding behind the mask of fear. My baby wears disposables. Now you know.

And you know what? I’m ok with that!