Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Swimmer Girls

For the past month and a half or so Miss Monkey has been a champ in swimming lessons. The first go 'round in the Guppies class, getting more comfortable in the water and learning basic things like bubble-blowing and breath control. I was pretty proud that she mastered these already and was recommended to move up to the Tadpole class. Her swim attempts are looking more and more like real strokes, big-arms and all. Then this past couple of classes we purchased some inexpensive goggles for her, and she's now almost totally diver-girl. She'll ask me to move to the "far" side of the shallow area in the pool so she can practice swimming/diving to me. She pops up every breath to check to see how close she is, but less so now with the goggles. "They have treytles on them!" Today I remember, that since I'm a swimmer, I have goggles too! So we spent some time hanging out underwater smiling at each other and blowing bubbles. What once was old is new again. :) At almost every opportunity she orchestrated our simultaneous bobbing so that she might see my face as she swims toward me in her tadpole-halting way. I had some real moments of child-like joy today in these 'submarine' moments. Oh how I miss the salt-water, one day we'll visit Baby Beach at Spreckelsville again, and enjoy the morning like we did when Little Girl was months-old. One day I'll get a lovely open water swim in the big beautiful ocean!

Point of pride in this swimming lesson experience: When I was small, 4(?), I was in a swim class. I don't remember wanting to be in the swim class. What I do remember is a terrible gripping fear that I wasn't good enough, I remember a massive pressure to please because I was the youngest in a Tadpole class of 5-6 year olds. Maybe my age-group class didn't make. I remember vomiting, or dry heaving, every morning before my lesson. I remember hating the smell of chlorine, the simple thought of swimming in a lap pool terrified me.

Much more recently I remember having panic attacks in the gym locker room before I got in the pool…A young man that noticed my anxiety and talked me down somewhat so I could swim…. Finally, I remember, after a month or so of triathlon swim training, standing in the shower realizing that the anxiety wasn't mine to begin with, that it was given to me, and I didn't need it anymore…I let it go. Sometimes that vague habitual memory of panic returns around the edges of my conscious, then I simply let it go again, confident in my abilities in the pool now.

I am so glad, that I didn't pass my anxiety to my daughter.

Alter the pattern, break the chain, change the legacy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Endurance Comfort Eqtn

Pregnancy is an endurance challenge. We're just outside the 2 month countdown, and I'm feeling as if it's the last mile or so of a race. I didn't think I'd be so ready so soon, suppose I'll just be more than ready when baby finally decides to make his/her appearance.

Maternity clothes suck. I've been trying to get creative with what I can wear lately. While before it was, "Oh, look, she's pregnant and can still fit in her regular gym clothes, how cute." Now it's bordering on ridiculous. The belly begins to hang out the bottom of shirts. This is an honest assessment, not a negative one. At some point, in every pregnancy, I wager that every woman begins to feel ridiculous. At the consignment shop, with those dastardly full length mirrors, I can only LAUGH and laugh, my profile is just so...clownish to my mind. It's for good reason, all this stretching and comically oversized proportion—there's a person in there. Today, this person, has found much entertainment value knocking my innards around, and baby is only going to get bigger. As of last week, Doc said I was measuring almost a full week larger than what 'the math' says.

As the wardrobe wanes, the prospect of making do with what I have, for over 2 months, is daunting.

C = {((AvMW + NF)Ex)SA}/S+R+H

Where comfort (C) can be translated as enjoyment of pregnancy, AvMW is available maternity wear, Ex is exercise, NF is nutritional food, SA is spousal attention, S is sugar, and R is rest or sleep. Of course this is adaptable per the gestating lady's personal preference. I used Exercise as a multiplier 'cause I find that the more consistent I am (just as pre-pregnancy) the bigger an effect it can have on Comfort. Nutritional Food is, of course, paramount to almost everything else—but let's be fair, food in general is paramount to anything where a pregnant woman is concerned. I know I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if you want to really engage a gestating female, talk about food. Spousal attention (SA) might be assigned a whole number value, i.e. 1 for minimal attention leaving the base equation unchanged, a higher number increasing the feminine confidence doubly so—as pregnancy is an incredibly powerful thing. Sugar (S), minimally applied for the day, i.e. another value of 1 can also leave the base comfort level unchanged, where a 10 or more might cause an ultimate crash, completely undermining all value in the numerator. Rest (R) can have a cumulative effect, some mommies choose to leave it out all together as it's such a big variable, and applying a whole number value to it might prove impossible. Although I suppose that using a whole number value as to the quality of rest, 1 for good quality and 10 for poor quality, could apply properly. And finally there's the dreaded Hormone (H), a whole number integer assigned might be as great as the thousands, and could completely decimate the entire equation, some might say it should be imaginary, never know if, when, or how, hormones might affect the equation…I'd rather it was exponential, but couldn't find the superscript. ;)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Disappeared Kitty

I thought I heard something rather odd.

Writing, licked

I just caught her licking the bottom of her snow boot. Really. Why do these small people do what they do? I've no idea. "Hey, I wonder what the bottom of my boot feels like on my tongue…"

Just, wow.

She writes her name. No, for really real. On leftover night this past week, there on the table next to her plate, a pencil and paper. As I'm in and out of the kitchen prepping the our adult plates (she eats first 'cause she's sooo slow eating), Miss Monkey says, "Mamma, I wrote my name!" She hands me the paper. I gave the chicken scratch a cursory glance, "oh? Nice, well done…" or some positive parenting remark. Then I looked again. Really and truly, fairly legible, laboriously written, exaggerated preschool lettering, there it is, her full name with last letter barely hanging on the end. "OH MY GOODNESS! You're right, you really DID WRITE YOUR NAME!" This exclamation prompts The Exhausted Man off the couch to come see. We express appropriate pride and encouragement and hung the paper (to be gilded later) on the ever-more-crowded fridge. Aside: What we really need is a wall of cork-board for what I foresee as the plethora of artwork and visualizations we'll be posting about. J

Again, a following evening, during a floor pad coloring session, a GIANT name appeared in purple of course, then hands and feet on the back, dated and coveted by yours truly. I don't think I've mentioned how ridiculously excited I was to see her first creature drawings. She was pretending to "study" her little diorama sea creatures in Papa's office. I mentioned to her that "studying" meant taking notes on what the creatures were doing, and drawing them. A little while later when I checked on her, there were little drawings of blobs with eyes, nose, mouth, fins, teeth, whiskers, flippers & toes. Too too neato for words!

When she proudly decided to write her name in pencil on the carpet, I had to draw the line. Her eyes wide surprise, her newest skill though pride inducing, wouldn't be tolerated on just every surface in this house. Aside: We'll also have some chalkboard wainscot(s) in our house someday. "Let's keep it on paper, okay?" a slightly disappointed, "O-Kaaay" response.