Archive for January, 2008

First yukky water, then smelly air, and now a scandal at the Children’s Theatre?

January 24, 2008

What the heck is happening to Palo Alto? The water has been disgusting for weeks and will continue to be so for some time to come. The air, since yesterday afternoon, smells nasty and hazardous; reminds me of a chemical spill in my favorite creek back when I was a kid. Last I heard, no one had quite figured that one out. And I just got a bulletin that our beloved Children’s Theatre has been closed indefinitely, and there will be a criminal investigation.

Well, at least it distracts us from all the bad economic news.

What do they tell their daughters?

January 19, 2008

J0358769I just read a comment on a September post about trying to juggle childcare and parttime work that dissed the mom, essentially, for even thinking about working. 

And up popped the thought that always comes to mind when I hear such comments from evangelistic SAHMs: “What do you say when your daughter talks about what she wants to be when she grows up?”

“Oh, it’s nice you want to be a musician dear, and you’re wonderfully talented, but of course, once you have children you’ll quit the symphony and devote all your time to them; you can play music for your own enjoyment, you don’t need to do it as a career.”

Or: “You want to be a doctor? That’s great, because medical school is a good place to meet someone who will be able to support you. And he can pay back your loans, because after college and medical school and your internship, you might get a really prestigious residency, but you’ll have to turn it down, because you couldn’t possibly be a resident and have children at the same time. But hey, you can volunteer at elementary school to do lice check.”

I spend a lot of time and resources encouraging my children to find their passions; they don’t need to figure out right now exactly what they’ll do, but they need to try a lot of things, and follow their interests, and think about how those interests map with realistic careers, and about how they are going to support themselves when they are older in a way that gives them some kind of satisfaction as well as enough money to live comfortably and interestingly. I expect all my children to do this, my daughter as well as my sons.

I find it hard to believe that the daughters of the rabid “my children are my career and your children should be yours” folks don’t ever talk to their moms about what they want to be when they grow up. So I really do wonder, when this subject comes up, what do the moms tell them?

Perimenopausing and not liking it

January 8, 2008

Coulditbe I’ve been one of those women with a super-regular period. Twenty-six days start to start; I’ve always known exactly when it’s coming. Whenever I’ve been late, I’ve been pregnant. Even nursing round-the-clock barely broke the cycle (how unfair is that), with each kid I got my period at exactly six weeks after the birth, and went right back onto that 26 day calendar.

So being 10 days late, as I am right now, is a huge deal. Yeah, I’m old enough to know, intellectually, that this was something that I’d be facing soon; hey, I had my first hot flash about a year ago (not to be repeated so far, thank goodness). And I suppose I had a more recent clue, that is, I had a weird period last month—the period that wouldn’t end, something like 12 days instead of the usual 5 or 6.

But old habits die hard, so my first thought, of course, was “Oh my god what if I’m pregnant.” Never mind that that’d make medical history, since my husband got snipped something like eight years ago, and

though there were some pretty cute aerobics instructors on our Mexico cruise, I swear, I only looked. And then, while I can barely handle the three kids I’ve got, I debated for a while which would be worse, facing menopause or facing pregnancy. (I haven’t decided yet.)

Of course I immediately googled around, and quickly found out that a missed period puts me in one of the last two phases of perimenopause, either D, in which I skip one period but get the next, or E, in which the countdown begins, after twelve months without a period you’ve officially menopaused. (Shouldn’t it be called menostop?)

Whoa, I thought, what happened to A, B, and C, I’m not ready to jump to level D! And this one-year-clock thing is really creepy, an official countdown to old-lady-ness?

It doesn’t help that phase D or E or whatever the heck it is doesn’t mean simply skipping a period and getting back to normal, it means getting stuck in the day-before-your-period mode, that lovely day during which, if I’m sane enough to remember, I warn my husband that he’d best just not say anything to me, because I’m likely to take it wrong and bite his head off or burst into tears, that time in which I feel crampy and bloated and exhausted and my neck, which is sensitive since I lost a disc (left it on a plane over the Atlantic, I think, but that’s another story) is more sensitive than ever. In the past, I would pop some ibuprofen and go to bed early, knowing that when I got up in the morning I’d have my period and feel like myself again. But now I have no idea when the PMS day from hell will end; I’m stuck in my own personal Groundhog Day and I don’t like it.

It also doesn’t help that I just looked around for a kindred soul and noticed that 95 percent of my friends are younger than me, enough younger than me to have no clue or interest in all this. (That’s what happens when you are still having kids at age 40.) So I chased after a mom on the playground today who is a whole year older than me; she’s someone I’ve always liked but don’t talk to nearly enough, and I dumped my woes on her. She, it turns out, is in Phase-E-month-five-and-counting, so could definitely sympathize. It helped. A little. But I’m still tired and bloated and crampy and freaking out.

Waiting for the Big California Storm

January 3, 2008

Pe02397_ The wind has been picking up all morning. In an hour or so I’m going to go do the errands I was saving for tomorrow, and pick up a few things at the grocery store I normally would get on the weekend. But I can’t do anything about the biggest thing on my pre-storm check list except wait and worry. That is, getting my teen home.  He and his friends were in Tahoe for the week. Smartly, they cut the ski vacation short and started driving home this morning; I’m just hoping they arrive before the rain and gale-force winds do.