The half brain I sacrificed at the altar of motherhood + synopses of dozens of posts I wish I had time and brainspace to write…

The posts I want to write are queueing up. Noticing after noticing slipping away in the scatterbrained reality of motherhood.

Someone told me once that toddlers demand their mother’s attention at least three times a minute on average. I write a sentence and my twenty seconds of thinking time is lost. Train of thought broken. Transcendent insight forsaken. 

You get so used to the disruption to your thinking that the anticipation of disruption is as disruptive to personal endeavors as the disruptions themselves.  

I feel shell shocked. Each sound thrumbs my nerves and I anticipate this post being lost with so many others. We’re like magnets. I feel pulled to her at all times. And she feels pulled to me. This intense, all-consuming, mammalian draw is her best chance at survival. 

Sometimes I feel like I’ve permanently lost my creative, reflective side — the side that will one day publish the two novels I, at present, can only dream of putting on paper. Then I go to work and remember that my brain’s not lost, just intently focused on feeding and protecting and navigating the evolving emotions of my baby girl. 

Here’s some posts I’ll hopefully get to finish some day:

  • Farewell Mommy Cow! The tumultuous end of breastfeeding. In the midst of possessive howls and titty twisters and precious moments of bonding in peaceful harmony while nursing, I resolved to break the strings. And failed. For now. 
  • First Words and the Vanity of Not Competing. My internal war with deliberately teaching vocabulary, knowing I can never compete with my lingually exceptional sister and her daughter who could say 150 words (or something like that) by 18 months. Complete with a short list of the words Aria uses. 
  • Silly Aria!” A playful story to go along with the oft repeated phrase at the bottom of my daughter’s notes from school. 
  • A day in the life. A collection of “tiny tidbits” from school depicting the carefree existence of a toddler, complete with incident notes about biting, being bitten, and getting bruised from lodging herself inside a shelf…
  • Friendship at 18 months. A collection of pictures illustrating the remarkable existence of preference in company that my daughter exudes. She is different around different babies. Laughter and jokes with Ethan. Delight and smiles and side-by-side, blissful play with Alina. Combative territory protector with Luca. Self-absorbed and serious, ignoring the other babies when with Carson or Caleb or Owen. She makes friends quickly wherever she goes, and will happily play alongside strangers, but gets annoyed by pestering. How will this all compare to when she is older?
  • Aware. A look at how aware Aria has become of space and people. She can see a rock on top of a deck and then swoop down the stairs and see it from another angle and point in recognition. She goes looking for dad in places she knows he’s been, going “Da da!”
  •  Anger. Since DH left, I’ve felt a brimming anger and resentment inside of me. As Aria has become a toddler and work went through a major transition and my commute worsened because I do drop off and pickup and I had no one to talk to or to give me a break. When resting time finally comes, it is late and the duties of work come crashing in. I resent those moments where I desperately want to rest and read or write and instead I am crawled on, my phone stolen, my hair and skin pulled, my arm bitten, and the second by second demands that make adult relaxation a distant memory for God only knows how long. Aria too is angriest in these moments where I do not want to spend time together and I want to spend time alone. The parallel anger distresses me and I try to bury it deep. Instead I come out verbally biting in moments when I should be more patient and serene. I must reign in the dark side of the force. Though only in occasional moments, fifteen minutes every few days, they are a blight on an otherwise happy life. Perhaps Rey can help bring me to the light. I just have to hold on to hope that I can be better. But will that come before or after I recoup some semblance of “me time” in my life?
  • The Beauty of Language and Learning. As a mother I get the remarkable gift of observing a child learn to understand language for the first time. As I learn French Pimsleur-style at the same time, designed to teach language in similar way to how children learn, I am delighted with a new understanding of learning. Pieces of words put together for new meaning or broken apart for different use, language is like a puzzle where the pieces change shapes depending on the picture you are creating. I try to see the same connections in Aria as I hear myself repeating, combining, and breaking apart words to communicate to her. And she understands. 
  • Wipe your nose! Yes folks, Aria has discovered her nose. Thanks to dawning comprehension, when the stray finger heads to her nostril to unearth gold, I can hand her a tissue and say “You’ve got boogies sweetie. Wipe your nose.” And she does! Then I discovered this week I could imitate blowing my nose, and she figured it out immediately. I mean how do you learn to blow your nose? You just do! Life is extraordinary!
  • Left Handed, Part 2. I’m really starting to think Aria really is left handed, but I’m guessing it’s not because I slept on my left side all through pregnancy! She just seems to have a lot of recessive traits – blue eyes, dimples, baby blonde hair. Still kinda early to tell. But there’s no arguing my little quarter Asian is wholly unique! 
  • Water Baby. Aria loves the water. Last week I got a note from school, “Aria couldn’t get enough of water play today. She was the only one…”
  • The meDoc Generation. Aria’s generation is unique in having their whole lives documented from pretty much conception. A dozen pictures and social media posts for even the most insignificant milestone. What impact will this have on our children and, ultimately, our culture and society?
  • Grandparents! I’ve been wanting to write a celebration of grandparents, especially the two lovely grandmas Aria has who are related by love and marriage, but not by lineage. She is lucky DH’s dad and mine both found tender women to be companions to them and grandparents to her. Though she bares my mother’s name, I hope she gets many years and memories with my step mother and DH’s. 
  • Happy Dol! Yep, that’s how far behind I am. A tribute to Aria’s aunt Cindi and the rockstar first birthday she orchestrated. This will be an edge-of-your seat tale of the toljiabee choosing ceremony where Aria picks from a buffet of gifts to tell her fortune. Will she be a warrior or a scholar? Have many children, much wealth, or a long life? Will she be good with her hands, perhaps an artist or a doctor, or enjoy a lifetime of good health? Find out… someday!
  • And so many more! I feel like I constantly have posts in my head. Perhaps it’s time to go for shorter, rather than longer musings and noticings!

Select pictures for these nonexistent posts:

Farewell Mommy Cow!

First Words

Silly Aria!

A day in the life




Happy Dol!


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