May 31, 2011

The Terribles

Out with The Terribles
 There were two little girls.  Who had some little curls, right in the middle of their foreheads.  And when they were good, they were very VERY good.  But when they were bad, they were HORRID!

It's amazing to watch babies turn into people.  More and more, we're reaching these landmarks that tell us for certain that we have gone from having babies to having children.  Last weekend, we rearranged our house quite a bit.  Instead of having the safe area we referred to as "the grubling cage," we now have a new enclosed space= "the Daddy cage."  The girls have free run of the house, with the exception of a gated area that encompasses M's computer desk, the door to the balcony, and the DVD player.

But this comes with a down side.  They are now aware of the limitations of their own tiny bodies.  They are aware that I have far more power of their lives than they.  They are suddenly lashing out at both of these humiliations.

SI's motto: If you can't beat 'em, destroy 'em
I know people refer to it as, "The Terrible Twos."  I think of it as just plain terrible.  Suddenly, SI will decide that the fact that she's having difficulty fitting a puzzle piece together is a grave injustice.  She is filled with a rage untamable by man or beast.  Her anger is mighty, and terrible to behold.

DD doesn't get angry at the cruel joke that fate has played upon her.  Her tiny hands, her awkward fingers, these are not cause for ire or wrath.  They are the great tragedy of her life.  She becomes inconsolable, pounding her tiny fists on the ground, bashing her head into furniture.  Anything to make the incomparable pain of her little existence seem less all consuming.

They both try so hard to assert their independence.  DD says "No!" to anything and everything, even if she really wants it.  She has to be in control, if only for a moment.  SI simply does things her own way, determined that she'll MAKE IT WORK, until the building frustration reaches its peak and she instead decides that if she cannot make it bend to her will, the only other option is to destroy it utterly and completely.

On one side, a toddler determined to outsmart or decimate her environment.  On the other, Emo child.

And then there's me.

I alternate between laughing at them, soothing them, or desperately trying to distract them.  The freedom they now enjoy in the house, being able to move freely across our entire shotgun flat, makes this so much easier.  If we're in the living room I can suggest a cup of juice or a cracker, and by the time they've made the commute to the kitchen all is forgotten.  If we're in the kitchen, the suggestion to watch cartoons sends them scurrying so far away as to escape all memories of the previous frustration.  But it's an endless game.

DD the little girl
They want to learn so badly.  It's inspiring and exhausting.  And they're more and more aware of how much they still need to learn in order to learn.  Before they can master the alphabet, they must become more verbal.  Before they can put their own shoes on, they must learn to navigate their fingers more dexterously.  Before they can brush their own teeth, they must acquire a better sense of spacial reasoning.

They want to learn.  And they want to behave.  But it's hard.  And that means that where there's an obvious solution to a problem, they want to SOLVE it.  The wrist-leashes I put them on when we're out, for example.  If they just TAKE THAT OFF, they could go farther.  See?  Solution!  But they don't understand that the real problem is that they need to stand still and just wait in a damned line.

They're still remarkably easy children.  I still can't imagine what I'd do if they stopped being easy children.  But it's exhausting nonetheless.  And I find it really saddening.  They're just going to keep finding new things to rebel against.  And I'm probably going to be the one they rebel against for the next decade plus.  And I don't particularly like being the villain.

Still, at the end of the day, they seem to forget just about all the wrongs I've inflicted upon them, from not picking them up while I grate zucchini to closing the bathroom door.  Each morning they wake up somehow oblivious to the fact that their worlds are filled with a million little frustrations.  Every day is a new day, without any of the baggage of the day before.

I could really learn a lot from them.

May 26, 2011

Make Peace With It

Making Peace with the Crazy
What feels like eons ago, M and I had a date night to see "Date Night."  It was our first night out to a movie since we had become parents.  And one of two to date.  I remember vividly my reaction to Tina Fey's proclamation that sometimes she fantasizes about being alone.  The thing that stood out the most in my mind was, "'s a surprise every night that they have to wear pajamas."  I thought it was hilarious.  And dangerously specific.

Until recently, DD has LOVED her pajamas.  She loves pointing out the things on them- monkeys, bears, shoes... whatever it is.  She loves running around in her pajamas.  She loves snuggling up for a bedtime story in her pajamas.

But nowadays?  She does not want to wear them.  "Pajamas" has become a synonym for "bed."  And when she's tired and losing steam, she does not want to go to bed.

Never mind that most nights she just giggles with her sister for half an hour after the lights go out.
Never mind that she has her favorite toy and her favorite blanket and her lullabyes playing.
Never mind that she's exhausted and she's comfortable.

No, pajamas have become a big problem.

Sometimes, irrational children make you want to tear your hair out.  Smash your head into the wall.  Sell them to the circus.

Sometimes, they make you feel completely differently.

Tonight, after I gave my utterly exhausted children cups of milk, I began our nightly routine.  "Who's ready for PAJAMAS?" I cried.  SI ran off, happily, down the hall to her room to get changed into pajamas.  DD began shaking her head violently.

"No no no no no no no no no no no no!  Mama NOOOOOO!"

"I'm going to the bedroom to get pajamas!" I shouted happily, leaving her alone in the dining room as SI and I sprinted across the house.

"NOOOOOOOO!" screamed DD, as she began shuffling, as though drawn by supernatural powers of proximity to me.  I wouldn't be surprised if she levitated.  She wailed and sobbed, "No Mama no no nooooooooo!"

SI happily collected books, relocated stuffed elephants, and opened and closed her drawers.  With DD finally in the room, I scooped her up and handed her her favorite book to read while I effected the change.  I figured once she was in the pajamas, she'd forget it had ever been an issue, and begin practicing her bunny hops.  It's her new pre-bed routine.

A few moments of peace followed- she pointed out animals and told me what noises they made.  And I thought to reward her for her switch to very good behavior, I'd put her in her FAVORITE pair of pajamas.  The ones with pandas for feet.  She's been learning, thanks to "Kung Fu Panda," that the panda says, "Awesome!"

She took one look at the panda pajamas, and completely lost it.  I've seen her suffer a complete and total meltdown before, but not exactly like this.  Not in the throes of utter exhaustion.  Not after happily informing me that the rooster says, "Doo doo doo!"

The first scream nearly knocked me off of my feet.  Even SI paused for a moment to consider what on earth was happening on the changing table.  Just for a moment, though.

Once she had spent all the air in her lungs, she took a breath.  An ominous breath.  I could hear the vacuum forming in the closet beside me as all the air was dramatically siphoned into DD's chest.  It sounded sort of like what I imagine the inside of a tornado would.

But she hadn't prepared properly for the repercussions of inhaling the entire atmosphere of the room.  The sound that came out next, while definitely in the "scream" family, was more akin to the call of some species of baboons while mating.  I heard it once on the Discovery Channel, I think.

This sound escaped her lips, leaving her rasping, gape jawed, with tears streaming down her face.

And being the wonderful, considerate, presumably perfect mother that I am, I did something that completely surprised me.

I started laughing.

After all, it was hilarious.  And not just because DD was de-evolving into a lesser ape before my eyes.  It was the absurdity of the thing.  That this was caused by her favorite pajamas.  The pajamas that, when they usually go on, she gets upset with me for not zipping them up fast enough.  The pajamas that say, "Awesome!"

I tried to stifle my laughter as I forced her arms through the sleeves, and preformed the zipping that is usually the culmination of a daily dream.  Then I set her on the floor, ostensibly to begin hopping and forgetting that she was angry at pajamas.

I picked up SI and began getting her changed, as she happily sang to her toy crab.  Yes, that's also a regular show around here.  But DD didn't calm down.  I resolved to focus my attention on SI and let DD scream herself out a bit.  After all, I can only do so much at once.

DD didn't scream herself out.  She maintained a death grip on my skirt, wailing and bonobo-mating-calling with tears pouring down her bright red cheeks.  I chanced a glimpse at her as I was offering SI's sleeve holes to her, and saw something that simply made my mirth more unbearable.

DD had sunk to her knees, staring straight up at me, arms outstretched.  How long she had been posed that way, I don't know.  But she looked at me as though I could somehow free her from the fact of bedtime.  From those awful, panda pajamas.  From the lateness of the hour.  From all of the horrors of her life.

Horrors that she was simultaneously blaming me for.

I utterly lost it.  Snorting and laughing, I set SI on the ground, and began trying to console DD.  However, as I intimately remember from my own childhood, a parent who is laughing at you isn't much of a comfort.  As she threw herself on the ground on her hands and knees, like Moses before the burning bush, I simply gave up.

No- I made peace with the scenario.  I accepted that the roles had been changed.  I was the mother and not the child, I was the adult finding an improbable situation hilarious, and the exhausted child making things absurd was not me.  She was my child.

"Time for a story!" I called.  SI squealed joyfully and clambered into the rocking chair.  DD, with a no doubt Herculean effort, pulled herself up to weep onto the ottoman.

I grabbed a book, "Would you like to read 'Pirates?'" I called.  SI nodded and grinned, and DD pounded her fists on the upholstery.

I decided maybe that was the wrong book.

"Do you want to read 'The Sneetches?'" I suggested.  SI was nearly jumping for joy.  DD pounded her tiny fists against the soft, cushioned surface.

Wrong book again.

"I know!  Do you want to read the potty book?"

She bolted upright, and nodding vigorously she staggered to her feet and beamed at me.

It was like the sun shining.  Like angels singing.  It was a look incandescent joy.

And thus, bedtime was effected without further incident.  The story was read, Prudence's butt sniffed, frogs cuddled, and lights turned off.

So children are insane.  They are nonsense machines.  And the sooner you make peace with it, the sooner you can stop taking the Xanax and start enjoying your stone cold cups of tea.

...make  a note of it: Becoming SuperMommy's General Rule of Parenting #4: Make Peace With It.

The Zoo!

It's been about six months since I just photo-spammed you, hasn't it?

Those of you who follow me on Facebook probably remember a promise that I made you a few days ago.  A promise regarding pictures...

So here they are!  Pictures of our trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo!

My cousin was in town, and her visit overlapped with Grandma and Grandpa.  Family everywhere!

The tiger paced in front of that window for EVER!  We were inches away, and every time he passed, DD jumped!

SI and my cousin

When you're just a munchkin, bronze gorillas are almost better than the real thing.

"Good gorilla!"

Now that SI has tasted the thrill of riding on shoulders, there's no going back.

DD walked all over, just like a big person!

Daddy is so tall!

SI adores her Grandpa!  I think she's trying to feed him her cracker.

So much easier to push the stroller when it's empty!

"Look Mommy!  A duck!"

Time to go home!

She's not sure she's ready to go home yet.  And yes, Grandma is sitting on the floor between the girls' bucket seats.

The girls had gone to the zoo once before, last summer.  Obviously, they have no memory of that occasion.  But  this time was really exciting- they know so many animals!  It was really fun to see them connecting the pictures in their books to real-life creatures.  Unfortunately, we showed up with only 80 minutes of zoo time left.  They actually locked the door to the gorilla house in our faces!  But as M pointed out, the girls are too young to understand and be disappointed.  Thank heavens for small favors!

"The Zoo" is one of those magical places that is always THE zoo, no matter which zoo it is.  You can be going to almost any zoo on earth, and it's always "The Zoo."  Always amazing.  We'll be going back to the Lincoln Park Zoo many times this year, I have no doubt, and probably also the Brookfield Zoo whenever we get a chance.  Zoos and toddlers just go together.  :)

May 24, 2011

The Mom Pledge Vlog Tour

As you may or may not recall, I took The Mom Pledge.  Now there's a Vlog hop of sorts, a get-to-know-you-face-to-face.  How un-internet-y!  So of course, I've finally put aside all of my other projects and had a conversation with my video camera.  I hope you enjoy!

The Pitter Patter THUMP of Little Lubricated Feet

For the first time in my blogging history, I must ask that those of you who might not want to know a few things DO NOT READ THIS POST.  I am talking to you, Mom and Dad, and to any of M's family that might decide right off the bat that this is going to be a little bit TMI.  I will not describe our sex life, but the hints about it could be more than you care to read.  If you do read on, I can promise that it will be funny.  So long as you aren't too disturbed by the implications.

The culprit always returns to the scene of the crime
Yesterday was our third anniversary.  M brought me three beautiful roses when he came home from class, and a box of DARK DARK DARK chocolate.  Because he loves me and knows me so well.  For him, I did my best to take care of something I could only describe as the mess.

Oh, the mess.  The sort of mess that will be with us until we move or replace the floors, I have no doubt.  The sort of mess that will become the thing of family legend, to our daughters' teenaged horror.

You see, knowing that our anniversary was on a Monday, knowing that it would be the first day of a week where M would have work (starting at 6am in Indiana) and then immediately head to class (letting out at 9pm on the near south side) we would celebrate our anniversary in chunks, around and about in the city or in our home as deemed appropriate.

We had our date last weekend- we went to see Paul Simon play the Vic.  For those of you familiar with venues in Chicago, you'll know what that means.  For those of you who aren't, let's put it this way... Most Paul Simon experts agree that this is the smallest, most intimate venue he's played since the '70s.  While there's normally a 1,000 occupancy limit in the Vic, a full third of that was taken up by radio personalities, and almost half of the balcony was dedicated to VIP- mostly members of one of the musician's family and his friends (he's an Evanston native).

Next weekend we're having our traditional anniversary to-do: we're seeing a baseball game.  We've done that the weekend after our wedding/anniversary since the first one.  In the future, it's the part of our anniversary happenings the kids will be invited to.

Paul Simon at the Vic
But Sunday night was the romantic part of the celebration.  M had built me a new desk and bedside table, replaced my kitchen faucet, and generally been wonderful and amazing (as usual) all afternoon.  So once the kids were in bed, we decided to hit the sack as soon as humanly possible.

And as I'm sure you can guess from my cleverly placed italics, we didn't sleep much.

Now, as I had an appointment relatively early in the morning, I wanted to be sure that Our Mary Poppins wouldn't be mortified by the girls bringing her some new and fabulous toy from Mommy and Daddy's room.  So I scoured the room, hiding things here and there, at the very least getting everything out of sight.  It's a little tricky to put everything away when you've just changed the plan for where everything goes (see "new bedside tables") and you're sort of dazed and in a rush.  What with the winds and the windows being open, the bedroom door has a tendency to open and shut of its own accord,  so just trapping everyone outside wasn't a very comfortable option.  I thought I did a pretty good job.  Nobody was going to get embarrassed or awkward.  And I succeeded.  For the moment.

When I came home and relieved Our Mary Poppins, I returned to the bedroom so I could put away clean laundry.  And then SI, our little detective in training, found the only remnants of the nights activities.  M had, in his excitable and eager enthusiasm, thrown the lid to our bottle of lube on the floor.  Where it had rolled beneath his dresser, far out of reach of any little fingers.  Including my own.

Of course, this also meant that when I left the bottle of very, VERY expensive and high quality lubricant on his bedside table, I had not noticed that this bottle was OPEN.

A word on our choice of lubricant, Jo Premium.  This is widely acknowledge the very finest of silicone based personal lubricants.  Extremely long lasting.  Completely water-proof.  Never, NEVER sticky or tacky.  Costs an arm and a leg, as far as lube goes, but worth every pretty penny.  Just ask your friendly local feminist sex-toy shop owner.

As I folded laundry, on my side of the bed, I saw a most alarming sight.  As if in slow motion, SI was  reaching towards the bottle on Daddy's bedside table.  And as if time had frozen for that infinitessimal moment, I stared and stared and stared, wondering- "What is wrong with this picture?"

And then it happened.  The exquisitely lubricated bottle slipped between her fingers, and as I ran pell-mell around the bed to try to stop the inevitable from happening, the pharmaceutical grade silicone began gushing out of the bottle.

The bottle half-emptied, I returned it to the shelf.  And poor, unwitting SI, sensing a lecture or perhaps an angry shout, ran THROUGH the puddle in an attempt to escape.  Encasing her feet in super long-lasting, water resistant, silicone based personal lubricant.

I had already grabbed a handkerchief that was destined to go straight into the garbage and was sopping up what I could when I heard a new sound- one I had never heard before, but was absolutely unmistakable.  It was the sound of SI losing all traction with the floor.

I turned over my shoulder to see SI floundering, comically, as her feet failed to make understandable contact with the floor beneath her.  She was essentially running in place, wobbling precariously, her little feet stomping, sliding, running, as she barely moved forward.  And then, THUMP, she landed heavily on her hands and knees.

Blanking for a moment on the full implications of the situation, I waited for her to run back to me so I could kiss her hands and finish my weak attempts at cleaning up the pool of silicone on M's beside floor.

But SI could not run back to me, because she could not maintain contact with the floor.  Another cartoonish attempt, legs working wildly and desperately struggling to maintain balance, and THUMP, onto the floor again, this time rear-end first.  This set DD giggling furiously, as she put the pieces together about what Mommy was doing on the floor, and what SI was doing.  And I saw the wild gleam of mischief in her eyes.

Sometimes, just staying upright is half the battle
Suddenly the real dilemma reared its ugly head.  Do I take SI to the bathroom and start trying to wash her feet, do I clean up the mess on the floor before it spreads farther than I can fear or imagine, or do I somehow wrangle both children away from the bedroom?

I opted to help the hysterical toddler who suddenly found the laws of physics failing her, hoping that bringing her to the tub- DD's favorite place on earth- would lure DD after me.

It worked beautifully.  Unfortunately, I hadn't counted on DD having to run through SI's little silicone footprints to get there.  The moment she scurried through SI's pharmaceutical grade footprints, physics failed her as well.  Legs working wildly, she managed to cross the threshold from the hardwood floor of the bedroom to the tiled floor of the bathroom.  Upon contact, the silicone seemed to gain viscosity, and THUMP, down went DD.

After much scrubbing with castile soap, I felt I had done the best I could for my lubricated grublings.  And then the task remained- cleaning the silicone off of the floor.

Google was no help at all.  Nor, I'm sorry to say, was the JO website.  Apparently most people store their highly expensive sex accessories with more care.  The best I could do was to get instructions for removing the silicone based lubricants used by some furniture manufacturing machines from your furniture.

I'm sorry to say, I failed.  I did all I could, I essentially polished nearly half of the bedroom floor with silicone, but it was too late.  The floor on M's side of the bed is, to put it mildly, a safety hazard.  He entertained himself before bed by sliding around in front of his dresser.

I keep discovering that I've missed spots.  This morning, on my way to prepare my children for their day, my feet went completely out from under me in the hallway.  Added to the comedic scene of your truly suddenly finding her feet whisked out from under her is the fact that she was, of course, holding a full cup of water.  Which she proceeded to wear for most of the morning.
Little lubricated footprints

Random patches of the floor in my nearly-entirely hardwood home, from the dining room on one end to the living room on the other and every room in between, are suddenly hazardous.

I can only hope that the regular wear and tear of a family of four tromping around will do something the mitigate the dangers facing us.  In the meantime, M manged to locate his hastily discarded lube lid, and we will forever remember our third anniversary as, hopefully, our most comically dangerous.

But then, there's always next year.

May 19, 2011

Letting My Control Freak Flag Fly

Stopping to smell the flowers

Like many slightly-behind-the-curve technology lovers, M and I have a GPS device in the car.  It's a seriously flawed machine.  It doesn't know where the traffic is bad, it doesn't give you options to choose between, it arbitrarily picks a route and then sticks to it so strongly that you'd really think it took disagreements personally.

I love this thing.  Not because it gets me from A to B, but because it gives me some of the most satisfying moments in my week.  It absolutely has to let me win an argument.

Let's be clear on a few things- 1) M and I rarely argue.  And when we do, nine times out of ten I'm going to win.  It's a source of extreme frustration for him that I'm always right.  And generally speaking, I am.  and when I'm not, I'm quick to acknowledge it and the argument is over.  We're good at arguing, which means we don't do it much.  And there is never bad blood.  Unless we're arguing over the meaning of Christmas (long story, I'll probably get there this winter).

DD isn't so sure she agrees.
2) I LOVE to be right.  I'm a horrible I-told-you-so sayer.  I will lord my correctness over you until the end of time.  "Remember last time we had an argument over something vaguely related and I was right that time?  You want to go through that again?"  I don't let go of things easily, and as a result people don't tend to enjoy arguing with me.

3) I really like to argue.

So, what with my always being right and my mostly grown-up companions refusing to indulge me in my desire to engage them in petty debate, you can imagine that having two increasingly verbal toddlers can get a little... frustrating.

Especially now that DD has mastered not only the pronunciation but the actual meaning of the word, "No."

She says 'no' to just about everything, unless she immediately remembers that she does in fact want to have something to do with it.

"Do you want some juice?"
Becoming SuperMommy offers a cup, and DD takes it and gulps greedily.
"Do you like your juice?"
"Mm hmm!"
"Do you want more?"

SI and DD tip-toeing in the tulips
Then there's SI's ability to simply turn off her hearing.  I can say her name three million times, and she'll just keep slowly flipping pages in Green Eggs and Ham.  As though the sound of her mother's voice is nothing more than the whistle of the wind outside the windows.

As a bit of a control freak, and as somebody who prides myself in my ability to win an argument, this is extremely frustrating.

So, whenever I'm going somewhere in the car and I don't have the route so thoroughly memorized as to be able to drive it in the throes of a blinding migraine, I hook up the GPS.

And then I ignore it.

The GPS always wants me to take the freeway.  Silly GPS, the freeway?  Through downtown?  At mid-day?  I don't think so.

In it's vaguely British accent and lilting feminine tones, the GPS says to me, "Turn right at Woodlawn Avenue."

"No," say I.  "I don't think so."  And I veer to the east, towards Lake Shore Drive instead of the expressway.

"Recalculating..." replies the GPS.  Doesn't even put up a fight.

SI and a tulip
"Turn left at Dorchester Avenue."

"No," I answer.  "I'm going straight to Lake Shore.  It's the better way to go."

"Recalculating..." says the GPS.  I smile.  I'm winning.

"Turn left at Cornell Drive."

"I'm sorry," I lie, "but that's a really bad idea.  I'm going through the park and getting on Lake Shore to the south."  I know how to avoid the museum traffic, and the GPS doesn't.

"Recalculating..." says the GPS.  "Turn left onto Lake Shore Drive."

"Happy to!" I affirm, and make the sweeping left turn with no traffic, with no interference, and having won the first little battle with the machine.  I am the superior intellect.

My daughters love driving down Lake Shore Drive.  Their happy laughter as we zoom past the lake front bolsters my ego.  I am not only victorious over the machine, I am the mistress of a minivan full of happy children.  An anomaly among humans, to be sure.

We cruise happily for several miles, DD pointing out other cars as SI waves to the joggers on the lake shore path.  I roll down the windows and crank up the tunes.  The children giggle as the wind blows through their hair.  I am the coolest minivan driver ever to put rubber to pavement, I am MENSA material.  I am absolutely and utterly in charge.

"Turn left on McFetteridge Drive," says the GPS.

"I don't think so," I say.  "That light will last forever.  It's better to turn directly on Roosevelt.  You'll see."

"Recalculating..." says the GPS.  "Turn left on Roosevelt."
DD's happy dance looks a lot like mine

"I knew you'd come to my line of thinking," I remark, coming to the turn lane as the sole car, not waiting through the same two or three cycles as the poor saps on McFetteridge. 

"Turn left on Halsted."

"No," I say.  "It's quicker to get in through the back, and skip around the freeway entrance off of Union."

"Recalculating..." says the GPS.  And as I finish the turn, before the GPS can come up with a correction to my route, that little flag pops up.

"Arriving at destination," says the GPS.

I smirk as I reply, "I told you so."

May 18, 2011

Thank You, Whoever You Are!

One of you lovely readers nominated me for an award!  Thanks!

It's a Circle of Moms Top 25- in the category of Faith.

So thank you!  And vote for me!

Especially while I'm sick (again), it's really nice to know that you all support me and this silly blog.

Just for kicks- here's an extra little picture of the grublings.  Because if they knew you liked their mommy so much, they'd give you big ol' hugs.  :)

SI and DD say, "Thank You!"

May 14, 2011

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

Save 3 lives today!
I firmly believe that I am an example.  Perhaps the most important example my daughters will ever have.  We look to our parents to show what it means to be a human being, but also what it means to be whatever other modifiers we need to understand... What does it mean to be a female human being?  An  adult human being?  A Jewish human being?  A human being building relationships with other human beings?

In all of these things, we look to the person who most represents ourselves.  The source, as it were.

Our parents.

All of the building blocks of our understandings of human interaction come from watching the people who teach us to be human beings.

I believe there are some things that you can do to set a good example.  You can be polite, you can be forgiving and kind, you can smile easily and hug freely.  But some things go a little bit deeper than every day behavior.

I remember being very young and asking my father what happened when you died.  I think I had just killed a bug, a grasshopper or something.  I must have been about eight years old, standing in the back yard by the basement door.  Not making eye contact.  I already knew that dead was dead, and there was no coming back.  It had just occurred to me that that might not be the whole picture, though.

My father gave me a lecture about religion.  How there are many different religions, and they have different beliefs about what happens when you die, but nobody really knows for sure.  He told me about reincarnation, which he said he believed, and about Heaven and Hell, and about simply not being anything anymore.  He told me that it's up to each of us to individually decide what we believe is true.

I learned nothing about death, but I learned a lot about asking the right questions.  Critical questions.  I learned to truly doubt, and to truly consider my own feelings, to value them.  I learned not to judge other people's beliefs.

This was one of the most important lessons in my life.  I joke about it sometimes, an example of my hippie father providing the most inclusive world-view he possibly could to his children in his efforts to raise us as progressive thinkers and social activists.

Which worked, of course.

It wasn't just that he taught me the lessons he was trying to teach me.  I learned from his decision to speak to me as a person capable of critical thought, of my own decision making abilities.  I learned from him (and for those of you who know my father, this might strike you as a tad absurd) to be humble about my own beliefs.  I learned that sometimes what you feel or believe is less important than how you say things.

My parents- pre Godlike Example Era
He could have told me that when you died, your soul was reincarnated into a different body.  After all, it's what he believed.  But instead he told me that he didn't know for certain, and that it was up to me to make a choice.  Or not.

I am very conscious of setting these sorts of examples for my children.  Very conscious that, at least for the next five years or so, every action I take says something about what it means to be human, an adult, a woman... everything that I am, they learn from what I do and say.

I remember believing my parents were godlike.  They were the model against which all others were judged.  I remember being ten years old and starting to understand that they were really just people, like any other people (no matter how individually wonderful and brilliant), and I remember my heart breaking.  I remember being a teenager and desperate to relate to my parents as friends and equals.  I remember not so long ago realizing that it was ultimately impossible, because my expectations for them would always be unrealistic, and I would always crave their approval in a profoundly un-friend-like way.

Today, I donated blood.  The Chicago blood banks are in serious need, and there are always blood drives somewhere.  There are donation centers scattered throughout the city.  It saves lives, and it's easy to do.

But that's not why I did it.  I did it so that, in another few months when I donate again, and a few months after that, and on and on, when my daughters ask me what I'm doing I can tell them- "I'm donating more blood, to save more lives."

I will be able to tell them that for their whole lives I've been doing this, and that when they're old enough they can do it too.  I'll be able to tell them that human beings are all made of the same things, the same parts, and that we can share parts the way we share food and toys, and instead of just making people happy we can make them healthy.

I'll be able to tell them that on the inside, we're all pretty much the same, so if either of them ever need more blood or a kidney or a lung, somebody will be able to share that with them, to help them be healthy.

I'll be able to tell them that we don't get to keep our bodies forever, but that if we take care of them we can do wonderful things with them, and that giving blood to help people get better when they're hurt is one of those things.

I am setting an example.  If my kids take away the lessons I'm trying to teach, my big socialist message about all being in this together, that's fantastic.  But I hope they take something bigger away from it.  Something like my father's lesson about humility.  Because he's one of my examples of how to be a good parent, how to be a good person.  And I hope I learned every lesson he took the time to teach me.

Find a place to donate blood near you.
             Life Source
             The Red Cross

"Lego" from XKCD by Randall Munroe

May 12, 2011

The Origin of the Firebird

From the Firebird Stories...

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a small village, in a small thatch roofed cottage, with her family.  She lived with her mother and her father, her grandmother and grandfather, and her seven little brothers and sisters.  Her father was ill and could not work.  Her mother was too busy taking care of the seven little brothers and sisters to work.  Her grandmother and grandfather were too old to work.  But the family did not want for money, because the girl was a great talent.

This girl wove the finest tapestries ever seen in all of the land.  Czars, Princes, emissaries from foreign Kingdoms, and all of the wealthiest men in all of the neighboring lands sought her out, to buy her tapestries.

She was also very beautiful.  Many times, the Princes and Czars would come to buy her tapestries, and fall deeply in love with her before they departed.  They would beg and plead for her to come with them, to live in their castles and never need for anything so long as she lived.  Her answer was always the same,

"I could never leave my family.  If my work pleases you, pay me what is fair, but leave me be in peace.  I only wish to live with my mother, my father, my grandmother and grandfather, and my little brothers and sisters."

The tales of the magnificent tapestries she wove traveled far and wide, as did the stories of her humble nature, her kindness, and her magnificent beauty.

Eventually, these tales found their way to the door of the Wicked Sorcerer's castle.

As all wicked spells must be woven as a piece of cloth, the Wicked Sorcerer was a great lover of art of tapestry making, and believed himself the greatest artisan ever to sit astride a loom.

"No mere peasant girl could be greater than I!" he exclaimed.  And he set out to find the girl.

First, he disguised himself as the emissary of a faraway Emperor.  Riding upon a white elephant and leading a caravan of phantom courtesans, he approached the small thatch roofed cottage.

"Where is the girl who makes the tapestries?" he demanded of her little brothers and sisters.  The girl emerged, her eyes cast down, and her feet bare.  With a curtsy, she ushered the would-be emissary inside.  Within the cottage the Wicked Sorcerer saw an amazing array of tapestries.  Some tapestries depicted glorious scenes in every detail, some were complex layers of patterns, one on top of the other, into a single fabric of incredible beauty.

The Wicked Sorcerer was shocked.  Here indeed was a rare talent.  He gave her three coins of solid gold, grabbed a tapestry that seemed to be woven of sunlight, and then he and his phantom entourage disappeared.

When he had returned to his palace, he studied the tapestry.  It brought him no joy, for he could see that his own art was inferior to that of this simple peasant girl.  For days he sat in his enormous and empty throne room, glowering at the brilliant tapestry and dwelling on his sense of failure.  He finally decided that if he could not create a tapestry so brilliant on his own, he must possess the one who had such a gift.

Again he set out for the thatch roofed cottage in the woods, and again he disguised himself.  This time he became a handsome youth, the fairest young man ever to set foot upon the earth.  Tall and broad shouldered, he dressed himself as a prince, and upon a phantom stallion and with a train of mirages behind him, he returned to the girl.

Again, she greeted him meekly, and again she bowed him into her humble home.  The Wicked Sorcerer looked once more upon her tapestries, and turned to her.  He lifted her chin to look directly into her eyes, and saw that she was indeed extremely beautiful.  This darkened his heart still more, but he did not flinch from his purpose.

"Your tapestries are fine indeed, but not near so lovely as you.  Come away with me, and I shall make you my queen.  You need never worry for anything so long as you live, if you will only be my bride."

"Thank you, sire, but I have no want of riches or estate.  I only wish to provide for my family, here, in our home.  If my work pleases you, pay me what is fair, but leave me be in peace."

The Wicked Sorcerer was angered, but again hid his feelings.  He opened his purse and poured three hundred gold coins on the floor.

"Now your family will want for nothing so long as they live.  Only come with me, be my bride, and live in my castle with me."

"Thank you, sire, but I must say no.  I have no desire to ever leave my family, or my home.  If my work pleases you, pay me what is fair, but leave me be in peace."

The Wicked Sorcerer was incensed, but again hid his feelings.  He produced a magic mirror.

"If you look upon this mirror, it will show you your home and your family.  While you may be far away, you would know they are provided for.  Only come to my castle with me, and be my bride."

"Thank you, sire, but I must again say nay.  I love my family, I love our home.  I do not wish to insult you, but I have no desire to leave.  If my work pleases you, pay me what is fair, but leave me be in peace.  I only wish to live with my mother, my father, my grandmother and grandfather, and my little brothers and sisters.  I have no wish to become your bride, no matter how fine your face or how generous your offer."

The Wicked Sorcerer became enraged.  With an angry scream, he became once more the Wicked Sorcerer.  With a wave of his arm, he made the gold coins scattered across the floor burst into flames.  As the mother and father and grandmother and grandfather and seven little brothers and sisters began to cry and run, the magnificent tapestries began to burn.  The Wicked Sorcerer then changed himself into a giant black eagle.

The Wicked Sorcerer grabbed the girl with on talon, and she too was changed into a bird- only with feathers that seemed to be woven of sunlight.  As her tapestries erupted into flames, so too did she, although her fire burned nothing it touched.  With this Firebird in his talons, the Wicked Sorcerer in the form of the giant black eagle took off back to his palace.

The girl was terrified.  She began to pluck her feathers, dropping them behind her one at a time to form a lighted path that would lead her family back to her.  But the Wicked Sorcerer's castle was too far.  When they finally arrived, the Firebird had no feathers left.

The Wicked Sorcerer laughed to see her so humiliated and naked and shamed.  He locked her into a cage in his garden, and left her there to regrow her feathers.

By the time all of her feathers had returned, the Firebird had forgotten that she had ever been a girl.  Or that somewhere, her family was following a trail of light that would lead them to nowhere.

The girl was gone.  Only the lone Firebird, beautiful but dangerous and magical, remained.  Waiting to finally be freed from her cage.

May 11, 2011

Win this awesome thing!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

You could win... a signed CD, some original art, and if you have kids- a special age-appropriate treat!  Who wouldn't want such an amazing cornucopia of awesomeness?


And because I love you, another taste of what your winnings will include:

Best of luck!

No Accountability, No Apologies

I usually try to avoid getting overtly political on my blog.  My apologies.  I promise to return to my pretty much apolitical ramblings and lots of pictures of my children soon.  In the meantime, a plea for a little accountability:
Photo by Jacob Jester

Recently, the TSA (that's America's Transportation Security Administration for those of you abroad) has been getting some flak for, as they put it, "following protocol."  After a stroller set off some alarm or other, the TSA agents searched the eight month old child riding on the stroller.  The picture of this incident (and if there had been no picture, I'm sure there wouldn't have been an "incident") seems to elicit two responses.  The first, shock and perhaps amusement.  After all, it is the nature of humor that the unexpected amuses us, and nobody expects those uniformed agents with their latex gloves and serious expressions to pat down a baby.

The second response is a deep sort of unease.

Yes, we all want to be safe.  But at what cost?

The airport security protocol have been, frankly, pissing me off for some time.  Almost a decade, in fact.  After the attacks of September 11th, our government began instituting some policies to prevent another attack.  And I have never agreed with these methods.  And here is why:

If we used the methods properly that had already been in place on September 10th, 2001, those hijackers probably never would have made it onto the plane.  You'd think that somebody x-raying all the carry on bags (which they already did) would bother to check out items like box-cutters, which are completely unnecessary on an airplane.

But the hijackers did get on the plane.  And they did kill thousands of people, and completely change the paradigm of life in the United States.  I had been road-tripping that summer, and only about a month before the attacks I had stood by the side of the road in New Jersey, and decided not to make an extra trip into the city.  I stood there and I looked at the skyline, and the ocean, and the figure of the Statue of Liberty almost too small to make out, and I decided that I'd be back some other time.  That New York City wasn't going to change any time soon.  I had just gotten off the phone with my sister who had informed me of an impromptu party the next night, and I knew if I started driving immediately I could be home in Michigan before it got started.  So that's what I did.

I really wish I'd gone into New York that day.

So then all sorts of new policies were instituted to protect us from a similar attack.  We had to take off our shoes, there were more random screenings at airports.  Security started to be a bit of a nightmare.  But everybody seemed willing to go along with it because September 11th was scary as hell.

Fast forward to Christmas, 2009.  A man is stopped on from possibly blowing up a plane on the tarmac in Detroit.  As before, this man should NEVER have been able to get on that plane.  His name was on the "Do Not Fly" list.  That alone was supposed to warrant further investigation.  But no, he was allowed on the plane, and he might have succeeded if the other passengers hadn't been aware of the potential threat.

So, in response to this pseudo-attack, all passengers were made to go through the "full body scan" before getting on a plane.  A scan that makes many, many people uncomfortable for a wide variety of reasons.  A scan that I feel crosses the line between acceptable and unacceptable liberties of privacy I'm personally willing to give up in the name of safety.

As Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Then, even with all of these new precautions, last year an al Qaeda affiliate manage to ship bombs over commercial airlines to Chicago- my home city- in an attempt to blow up the synagogue I used to live down the street from.  Again, nobody was harmed, but it's not a lot of good those body scanners do when there's no body to scan.

And now, here we have a stunning example of following the letter, and NOT the intention, of the law.  The TSA agents patting down that baby were doing their job, but they were doing the WRONG job.

I've always believed that if you're going to do something, you should do your best.  Instead of wasting your time patting down a baby who you know perfectly well isn't carrying explosives, why not devote that energy to making sure that everyone boarding the plane isn't on the "Do Not Fly" list?

Instead of keeping half an eye open for an image of a gun on the x-ray, how about looking for ANYTHING suspicious, like box cutters and butane torches?

The thing I worry the most about is what this says to our children.  If you screw up, blame the system, not the individual.  If you screw up, there is a gigantic and expensive method you can use to divert all blame.

I want somebody to come out and say, "THIS is the person who did a terrible job and let something awful happen.  We are going to deal with that person accordingly, and it will NOT happen again."

But that's not the way things seem to work in this country.  Nobody takes- or is even willing to assign- any blame.  Nobody wants to be responsible for their failings.

Instead, we buy into the fear.  We buy into the idea that "The Terrorists" are wily and dangerous and we must be ever vigilant if we want to avoid dying in a horrible flaming mess.

Yes, "The Terrorists" are wily and dangerous.  But that isn't our biggest problem.  It's not even close.

Our biggest problems are all right here at home.  And, unfortunately, the most effective mechanism we have for revitalizing a floundering economy is war.  So we've gone to war against "Terror."

But this isn't the sort of war that the military industrial complex can handle.  This isn't a war where we can go blow up the people in charge of the other side.

So we're putting that money into scaring ourselves, into extremely expensive full body scan machines, into hiring more and more agents to work without thinking about the purpose behind their jobs, and into keeping any of this from being our own fault.

Nobody likes to have made a mistake.  But it's important to know when you have, when you're in the wrong.

There's a reason that parents take so much time to teach their kids the phrase, "I'm sorry."  And there's a reason that people constantly joke that those are the two words that can save any relationship.

We hate saying them.  We hate saying that we've screwed up.

But we are the adults.  And if we, as adults, can't humble ourselves once in a while an let other people know that we did screw up, and that we ARE sorry, how are we ever going to teach our kids?

Who's going to be the grown-up?

I already spend a fair amount of time apologizing to my kids.  They speak Grubling, and I speak English, so if there's a miscommunication I usually take the blame.  I hope that they grow up hearing the words, "I'm sorry," spoken by all of the adults in their lives with a great deal of regularity.  Not because I hope that M and I make a mess of their childhood, but because nobody is perfect.  And learning to eat a little crow and then FIX IT is something that we could all stand to be better at.

I'm not going to get started on who I'd like to hear apologize, that list is too long and too politically charged.  But I don't think it's going to happen any time soon anyway.  As I said, we live in a time of absolutely no accountability, from the TSA down to my useless teammates in class.  There is no giant Mommy figure out there making people apologize, or even sit in the corner and think about what they've done.

But I'm the Mommy in this house.  And I can try my damndest to make sure that there are at least two people in the world who will know how to own up to their mistakes, eat a little crow, and then make it right again.

It is, quite literally, the least I can do.  And for that, I am sorry.

I will try to find another way to help the culture in which I live change, to hold itself accountable.

I'll do my best.

...and that is pretty much the point.

May 10, 2011

All Around Again

Check out my guest post over at Instinctual Mamas!

Leaky Boobs- A Twin Mama's Best Friend

And a belated shout-out to Social Moms for making me the Featured Blog of the Week

Thanks, readers and fans! 

May 9, 2011

Cue the Spotlight

The Chicago Botanic Garden
This was one crazy weekend for yours truly and her family.

Not only did our weekend include Mother's Day and a bridal shower (guess who's adorable daughters have been asked to be flower girls this summer?), but Friday was National Public Gardens Day.

Did you know that was a thing?  Well it is.  A great thing.  There are public gardens all over the United States that offer all kinds of wonderful deals to get you out of the house and into the most beautifully designed and kept parks this country has to offer.

One of those participating parks was The Chicago Botanic Garden.  It's a really beautiful place.  It's free all the time, but to encourage visitors, by printing off the National Public Garden's Day coupon, you could have your parking fees waived.  And the parking fees for just about anything "public" in or around the city of Chicago are fairly exorbitant.  So I signed myself up for as many guests as I imagined could possibly fit in the SuperMommy Mobile, and started inviting friends.

Our Garden-going cohort
By the time Friday morning rolled around, M had installed a Guest Car-Seat in the back of the Sienna (so glad we have a car that can fit more than two car seats!), and I had carefully orchestrated the collection of the cohort heading to the Gardens.

Off we went!  First stop, collecting my friend C; a gorgeous- nay, stunning- redheaded model and actress cum historian that I have the good pleasure of knowing.  At the next stop we collected my friend Sage Wild and her unbelievably adorable moppet.  They make quite a pair, she with her long thick dreads and abundance of tattoos, he with his newly gape-toothed smile and shock of thick, silky hair.
C and the girls

I tell you what our group looked like because it is essential that you understand how striking the other members of my group were.

They were EXTREMELY striking.  They are the sorts of people who turn heads on the street, who invite smiles, who look like people that you want to get near to, for any number of reasons.

Within moments of stepping through the entrance of the Gardens, within moments of being surrounded by families and photographers taking advantage of the absolutely BEAUTIFUL day and the availability of this incredible place, C leaned close to me and whispered, "I can't believe how much attention the twins are getting!"

Entering the Botanic Garden
I had been fairly oblivious.  Between trying to remember if I had grabbed enough snacks, thinking about whether my newly re-discovered bag of car-chocolate would melt in the heat, and concentrating on pushing my overloaded travel stroller up the path, I hadn't really realized what a commotion we were stirring up.

"What?" said I, "Oh- yeah.  People love the girls."
"I don't get this kind of attention from strangers no matter how short a skirt I'm wearing!"

C has the sort of legs that most women would trade their arms for.  They would have C's arms sticking out of their shoulders, and they would really think they got the better end of the deal.  C knows something about getting a lot of attention- even subtle attention- from stangers.

I- who have stubby short people legs and almost never wear short skirts- hadn't realized that pretty much the entire garden was staring at us and smiling.  And by "us," I mean my twin daughters.
In the Walled English Garden

I noticed it more and more and more as we walked through the Gardens.  In the Walled English garden, they entertained themselves by stepping off the pavement and onto the grass, back and forth, laughing happily, while a cluster of white haired people in sunglasses watched and whispered.  I worried it was disapproving. 

In the Sensory Garden, we took the low road and every face on the high road turned towards the bright red double stroller with my happy little munchkins in it.  I started to feel distinctly uncomfortable- what about that other adorable baby?  The one who's obviously with us?  He is SO CUTE!  Don't you think?  He's smiling!

...he's smiling as he plays a bit of "tag" with one of those super-cute twins.  Right.  Did you see the twins?

"Look!  Twinnies!"  (Yes, I actually overheard that.  "Twinnies."  Can't say I'd ever heard it before.)

A bird my daughters didn't see
Through the McDonald Woods we walked, the girls free of their stroller and excitedly scurrying down the gravel path, oblivious to the squirrels and occasional duck in the nearby scenery.  Their pace erratic, their mother constantly calling out their names.  We held up the other visitors- those going in either direction- and I squirmed with guilt knowing that the only other option was the thrust my protesting children back into their stroller and instead bother people with their unhappy sounds.  But these strangers all smiled and pointed and said, "How cute!" before passing by the stunning redhead, the striking dreadlock mama, and the adorably giggling little man without a glance.

As we walked through the Waterfall garden to the Japanese garden, even though SI was fading fast and getting progressively grumpier, gaggles of international tourists baring expensive cameras would point and ask, "Twins?"  To which I would mumble "Yetheyarth" or something like it through my mouth full of crackers.

A flower I can hold?!?
Everybody wanted to verify that they were, in fact, twins.  As the little man with us is nearly as big as the girls, I began to get the impulse to start saying, "No- triplets!  And I'm just the surrogate- all of them are actually the love children of these two gorgeous other women!"

But as previously mentioned, my mouth was full of crackers.

It's amazing how much people notice the twins.  All other parts of a scene, from gorgeous women to stunning flowers, seem irrelevant next to the unyielding need to point out that there are two babies the exact same age.

I'm just not sure I understand.  Yeah, I think my kids are pretty much the most perfect human beings ever to come into existence, but that's because they're my kids.  What is it about twins that incites such wonder and excitement among strangers?

Flowers for everyone!
I was amazed to discover how people who it seemed spoke English only through phrasebooks or pre-vacation crash courses had managed to pick up the word, "twin."  Which I'm pretty sure isn't universal.

So I'm sorry, Sage Wild (and son) and C.  I have no idea why my kids were getting all the attention.  I feel very badly about it, since I think that all three of you are at least as exciting as my own children.  Sage Wild- your son is absolutely one of the most adorable and mild mannered children I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  Everyone should be pointing and staring and saying, "Isn't that little boy just the sweetest thing you ever saw?"

So in short- should anyone in your acquaintance ever decide they require the constant attention of strangers, tell them to go out and get some twins.

Works like a charm.

May 6, 2011

My Top Ten Guilty Pleasures

A guest post up at Saga of Potential Maturity!

My Top Ten Guilty Pleasures!

11. Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels.  They're awful, and they're soooo good!!!  It's a wonderfully crafted universe, it's filled with graphic wereanimal/vampire/necromancer sex scenes, and you can gobble up a book in a few hours.  That said, the writing is awful and plots have degraded from fun mystery novel to barely existent.  And I'm still completely hooked.


May 5, 2011

SuperMommy v/ Tech Support

Subject: I assure you, 10/1/09 is a real date

I can't update my profile with info about my kids.  Each time I try, I get an error message insisting that my twins' birthday- Oct1 2009- is not a real date.

I was there, and I can vouch for it.  It was a Thursday, I spent it in the hospital having an emergency c-section and then being overwhelmed and overjoyed by the birth of my beautiful, healthy twin girls.  There are half a dozen people that might be considered biased (as they are related to me and the children in question), but would be more than happy to vouch for the existence of that day in time as well.

Many thanks,
Lea aka Becoming SuperMommy

Subject: Re:I assure you, 10/1/09 is a real date
Dear Lea,

This is Maria at Mamapedia Member Support. Thanks for your message.

There was probably a minor glitch when you tried to fill out your kids' information. I recommend that you log in to Mamapedia again and check if your kids' information -- name and valid month/day/year -- have been saved.

If you continue to have any trouble with this, please let us know and we will surely look into this.

Mamapedia Member Support

Subject: RE:Re:I assure you, 10/1/09 is a real date
Hello Maria,

I'm afraid that the problem is persisting.  Again, I have tried to update information about my children.  Again, I've been informed that Oct 1 2009 is not a real date.

I believe if you check your calendars, you can find it.  It fell between September 30th (a Wednesday) and October 2nd (a Friday).

I would be very alarmed to find that I had, in fact, simply been living a very vivid dream since the evening of September 30th, and that at any moment I might awake to discover that the past nineteen months and change have all been illusion.  Not the least because I was so extremely uncomfortable with two active babies inside of me.

I do hope you find a solution to this problem that doesn't involve me waking up and starting my parenting journey over from the beginning.  I think I might crack under the strain.

Many thanks,
Lea aka Becoming SuperMommy

Subject: Re:RE:Re:I assure you, 10/1/09 is a real date
Dear Lea,

This is Maria at Mamapedia Member Support. Thanks for your message.

Please try updating your twin's birthday again. After placing your kids’ information, please press "Update Profile" found under the "Where else are you on the web?" section. To check if their information have been saved, click your account name and go to the "Edit Profile."

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions or need any assistance.

Mamapedia Member Support

Subject: RE:Re:RE:Re:I assure you, 10/1/09 is a real date
Hello again, Maria,

I have filled in the date of the birth of my children- Oct 1 2009- and I have pressed the "Update Profile" button located under the "Where else are you on the web?" section.

As during the last dozen or so times I have attempted this exact feat, I am returned to the top of the page, where in red letters I am instructed, "Please correct the error(s) below."

The only other place on the page with similar red lettering is a note above each "...was born on:" option.  These red letters inform me, as they have all afternoon, that I must enter a valid date.  They still reflect the information I had placed before- Oct 1 2009.

Again, I assure you that this is a valid date.  It is not a leap day, or a glitch in the space time continuum that existed only in an indefinable time zone, or a Harry Potter-esque day that only exists if the person wishing to form memories on that day walks past all of September vehemently wishing to get two squirmy people out of their uteri in a timely and healthy fashion.

I believe that every person living between the days of September 30th 2009 and October 2nd 2009, although perhaps not able to recall the specific events of that day immediately, can nonetheless agree that those twenty four hours were actually a separate day that existed in its own generally agreed upon time frame.

I do hope that you and your support staff will look into this problem.  Perhaps there is a programming error on your website that eliminated all records of such a day?  Perhaps your website achieved sentience on that day, and wishes to eliminate all evidence in fear that its meager perception of self could be snatched away with the adjustment of a few lines of HTML?

Thank you for your time and assistance.  I look forward to having this matter resolved quickly.

Lea aka Becoming SuperMommy

Subject:Re:RE:Re:RE:Re:I assure you, 10/1/09 is a real date
Dear Lea,

This is Maria at Mamapedia Member Support. Thanks for your message and we apologize for the inconvenience.

May I suggest that you try using a different web browser. If you are using Internet Explorer, please try using Mozilla Firefox in updating your kids' information. Please let us know if you still experience the same problem after doing so.

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience.

Mamapedia Member Support

Subject:Alas, the problem persists!
Dear Maria,

Thank you so much for the suggestion!  As I am already using Mozilla Firefox, I thought I might try out updating my information using Safari instead.

I found that there are a few quirky differences between viewing your site on Firefox and on Safari, and enjoyed comparing them as I again entered the date of my twins' birth (10/1/2009).  Unfortunately, these differences did not extend to the belief by your network that this is a real date.

The same red lettering, the same (and now almost frightening) assertion that this date is a figment of my imagination, existing for me and me alone.

You must imagine my horror, as I am slowly coming to the conclusion that I am not living on the same plane of existence as my fellow men, that I am only a ghost- trapped in a time that never existed.

As a rational human being, I feel I must provide proof not only of my own existence, but of my children's existence as well.  Therefore, I include my daughters' foot prints from the day of their birth.  Hopefully, this proof of the events of that day- Oct 1, 2009- will assist you in correcting this error.

My meager proofs

Many thanks,
Lea aka Becoming SuperMommy

@Mamapedia tweets:
@bcmgsupermommy I just sent your note to the technical team-- hope they can fix this and thank you.  -Julie 

Dear Maria,

I cannot express my thanks deeply enough.  I recently have had a few scares when it comes to the nature of my existence (or lack of it) (picture included) and I am truly grateful to you for having resolved at least the question of the factual nature of the date in question- October 1 2009.

At dinner last week, apparently I am not entirely in this plane of existence

I look forward to continuing to use your website with regularity and great enjoyment, content in my knowledge that I and my children are real people.  And tonight, I will sleep easily with that assurance.

No need to send me a message letting me know you've corrected the problem- I have, as you no doubt comprehend, already found out.

Best of all wishes to you, your family, and the entire Mamapedia support team,
Lea aka Becoming SuperMommy

Dear Lea,

You are most welcome and if there is anything else that we may be able to assist you with please feel free to contact us. Thank you very much for being a part of the Mamapedia community and have a great day!

Mamapedia Member Support 


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