The Joys of Being a Mother AND a Daughter
kim | 22 October, 2005 12:36
Grammy: So, whenaya gonna let him go in the kitchen?
Me: What, are you his PR agent?
Grammy: No, no. I was just curious.
Me: When he knows that if he touches the stove it will burn him and if he eats Cascade it will kill him. Why, do you want him to make you a fruit salad?
The Best PR in the Business
kim | 02 August, 2005 23:28
Now the kid loves to put a name to everything - and he can. He's quite half-verbal as he can say half of almost every word that identifies an object in his world. Today he was looking at the overspilling magazine pile. He identified Queen Latifah's "pens" (lipsticks) fairly correctly, as they are sitting in a coffee mug, much like the one on my desk. Then he looked at an old issue of Oprah and pointed and said, "Pwa" and I said - who is this, sweetie? And he said, "Pwa" and me and the babysitter looked at each other and she said, "everybody knows who Oprah is." And we haven't really watched her since we stopped nursing which was about 16 months ago.
Later on, when my mother was here, I brought over the magazine, because he often has beginners luck, and I asked him who is was and he said, "Pwa."
My son knows who Oprah is. That's scary.
kim | 25 July, 2005 12:28
This morning my suspicions about the Stephane Marais line were confirmed by another makeup artist mom (it's awesome!) who was kind enough to send me some feedback on it and also to confirm that it truly is wacky being a makeup artist and a mother. With the former you are building up, creating perfection, moving toward serenity (emotionally and physically) with the latter you are embracing, or crying over, chaos and everything constantly falling down. The difference between applying liquid eyeliner - with its concentration, its call for a steady hand, keen eyesight and managed breathing not to mention an artistic vision - and watching someone aim a spoon filled with applesauce generally in the direction of his mouth is huge. Keeping it together and letting it all fall apart, that's my life.
All moms, I suppose, have these huge, elastic hearts that have to open in the presence of their children and then have to close shut when they are dealing in professional situations. My open heart always gets flayed when I misplace it on the makeup counter at work next to my brushes, to the left of my foundations. I have loved my work, I have enjoyed and respected people with whom and for whom I've worked. But love? Ouch. People you love always hurt you anyway. It's a double and triple insult if you work with them. Maybe that's why I haven't jumped back in with the same gusto. Actually, to be corrected, I've been trying to find the best work that suits my being a mom and a makeup artist with great big gobs of gusto. I've definitely found my balance in private clients, weddings and tv - pretty much what I was doing before with the addition of the once-a-week shoot with Noah (who just won a competition, hooray for him) and then this little thing here I call a website. But it's hard opening and closing like that all the time.
Doing makeup is such an initimate job: you deal with people's self conceptions, their fears, their histories and their souls. It's the same when you're a mom. The difference lies in a simple question: if you had to choose someone to pee/poop/vomit on you by accident, who would it be?
Mom/Save the World Post - Nothing About Makeup In This One
kim | 01 June, 2005 08:34
Yesterday I took the kid to the playground. I may have mentioned how much I hate the playground. I am no social politician and kids can be mean and although the moms can be nice, where I live, not so much. The sprinklers were on and there's nothing the kid loves more than some water comin' down. So, of course, I let him go under despite the fact we had no change of clothes and his shoes could have gotten ruined and he had a ball. I'm always in favor of fun over propriety. There were, not suprisingly, a bunch of obnoxious older kids controlling the spray, getting it all over me and their friends and loads of screaming. It was really fun for him although some of the older kids screaming was a little startling for him at times. And then there was this one girl who was in her bathing suit, sitting on a full pail and splashing the contents into the area that she was sitting over the pail into. Er, her crotch. I thought, well, I guess that feels good to everyone, trying not to judge, but really being uncomfortable. Then she ran around, and came up behind me and?nestled into?me?and I felt slightly honored. Kids, I wanted to say to whomsoever would listen, they feel safe with me. But then her nanny tapped me on the shoulder. Don't worry about her, she's artistic. Autistic.
And then I saw it, the flapping hands, the focused but far away look, the barrelling through people, the lack of awareness or I should say lack of connection to her surroundings. I was impressed that she could be around all those other kids in a full playground. I was impressed that her mother let her out of her sight. Then I thought of my friend Kyra, whose son has Aspberger's Syndrome, which is on the spectrum of autism?but not as severe. Fluffy can relate to his world and he's verily a genius, but socially, he's not interested. There is something about?not being able to decipher?faces and what they do?that makes them very scary and so he prefers not to socialize with anyone. That's not exactly it, but it's a version of it and there are, of course other aspects - the not sleeping which has had Kyra awake almost around the clock for a lengthy four years. But she loves her son and she's not a depressed person, so she is dealing with it in the most pro-active, positive, hopeful way I could ever imagine anyone dealing with anything. She barely has any?time for herself and yet she manages to write, garden, make jewelry, to crafts projects, stage political?events. I can't imagine it. If I had her circumstances, being who I am, I would be crying non-stop, trying to figure out how this was my mother's fault. She is just a stronger, sunnier person than I am. I wanted to go up to that nanny and ask for her parent's number and see if they were doing all the things Kyra is doing for her son. If they were doing all the research, changing her diet, giving her enzymes and vitamins, taking her for the many different kinds of therapy, putting her in the best possible care. I started crying in the park for her,?fully?understanding the circumstance of having a child that cannot connect to?other kids.?Here I have this kid who, so far, is pretty normal. What am I ever complaining about? I saw her strength, her courage, her beaming love, her brilliance. You just never know what people are going through even though you might be seeing them through it. Empathy can be theoretical or it can be experiential. I have innate empathy, but until I saw this little girl, I really could never understand what my dear friend is going through.
Nobody gets off from this life without any bumps and bruises (except for the kid, who I will be encasing in glass very soon, so nobody can hurt him or I will have to kill them).? I think to some degree or another, we all need comfort. Or maybe not. Perhaps some of us just need more stuff. But I'm more in favor of a human connection. Please, please, don't let people down when they need you most. Reach out to someone else today. Really imagine what it's like to stand in the shoes of someone who is in pain. In Judaism, it's called Tikkun Olam, and it means repairing the world. That's what you can do to make it all really beautiful today.
kim | 25 May, 2005 22:29
The ape-faced adult daughter of a famous woman was initially very nice to me when we both had newborns but then spent an hour with me and decided for reasons unbeknownst to all of us that she didn't like me and, in fact, was the leader of the Mean Mommy Brigade? Would I write about it in my blog? And what if I saw her tonight at an informal party and she had to be nice to me because I am friends with the hostess. Would I tell you her name in my blog?
No. Because mean people never get nice. They only get remorseful and kiss-assy as a manipulation tactic to maintain their power. Which she did and I held my head up with integrity and answered her questions and thanked her for her fake compliments about the kid politely. But I was gloating. She has to look at that ape face every day and I get to look at mine. Meaning: she's a bitch and I am nice. And I like it that?way. I'm not going to change.
kim | 03 May, 2005 09:29
Yesterday I did the makeup of a woman whose makeup I did when we were both pregnant. Now as I'm picking back up all of my private clients, I drop her a line, she has an event - boom, it's a date.
There's one problem: I don't have a baby sitter for that time so I have to take the kid. Usually he's fine. I just give him his own makeup kit and he plays. I have to kiss him every once in a while, but that's only at our house, and not during our witching hour. I was really nervous the night before but on Monday morning when we got up, it was even more nervewracking: he would not let me put him down. He was Dr. Cling-enstein, Mr. Franken-hug. It was going to be brutal and I knew it.
I kept him calm all day by plying him with the 27 bananas he requested and watching tv all day. Then the moment of truth finally arrived. I took the kid, his diaper bag, my makeup kit and put him in his retractable car seat and set off to the doomed appointment.
When we got there, the kid was so happy to see that?my client had a?daughter - because he's such a friendly kid - and they played for a minute. And her kid walked because she saw my kid walk, which was pretty miraculous. And then the nanny took her kid to the play room, which I knew was not going to go down well with him, so he stayed with us.
Now, don't forget: it's the witching hour, we're in a new place and he won't let me put him down. So I held him while we chose my client's outfit and then we put on some tv and set about doing her makeup. Her living room gets alot of natural light so I opened my kit on the coffee table, we put on Dora for the kid and set about doing the makeup. Well, let's just say that yesterday my child learned how to put makeup on himself. With brushes. I was doing fine, detailed work on her eyes and watching so that he would not ingest any poisonous materials with the eyes in the back of my head. Which just sprouted. They're a little tender, but they work well. She was incredibly understanding and sweet about the whole thing and could see how hard I was working but I felt embarrassed and terrible that he was there, stealing focus and perhaps making her not as confident that she would get the care she deserved. Which she totally did.? Despite the fact that several times he tried to get me to pick him up and was hungry for dinner. It was very difficult, but I handled both well, I think: she looked amazing and he?got his needs met.
Then we packed up and went home. All in a day's work. For a mom, I guess.
If My Writing Gets Worse and Worse
kim | 15 April, 2005 20:27
It might be because the kid keeps cracking me in the head with his head when he gets bummed out. Which, since he's 15 months and wants to do so much and can't (like suck on coins, put spoons in the radiator, eat vacuum cleaner plugs, write on walls and eat bananas all, all, all the time, put greasy hands on white couch - don't ask - go into the kitchen as well as into all the off limits areas and most of all, not take a nap) and wants to say so much but all he can do is say a million half words (although he did identify the letter "S" on tv the other day - he's quite a prodigy), he is given to constant frustration and keeps cracking me in the head when I pick him up after he commands me to do so.? It's like he woke up the other day and realized "off limits" is just a phrase that you can walk through just like vapor. Because it is, you know.
You may recall earlier in the week when I could not close my mouth. The pain was great and constant and now I can close it most of the way, there's just one stubborn corner. But then he got me right in the cerebrum today and I thought of that lobotomy that Jessica Lange endured right after the scene she had endured before and it was the last indignity for her. I hope that lobotomy cleared out all those bad memories, it's the least it could have done. Can you imagine if she had been castrated like that but had to retain all that?
So here I am with TMJ, a child that I can not take my eyes off of, a splitting headace and every day he head butts me worse and worse. I don't know how to get him to stop except when he's upset now and holds his arms up for me to pick him up, cuddle him and then quickly hold him aloft as he does it. I fear for the near future when my brilliant son will test all limits or I will have to break out the play pen again which is folded neatly in a corner of my house waiting to be filled up by the next person me and Mike make.
That's going to be a little later than sooner, it turns out.
TMJ is Not Pretty
kim | 11 April, 2005 22:00
Especially when it is sudden onset due to angry and over tired child headbutting you so that you see stars. I wasn't sure about it until he headbutted me again today, over and over again. Then he smashed the back of his head into the bridge of my nose. I was surprised that it wasn't broken. I can't close my mouth. I can't chew. I ate alot of ice cream today. Alot. Have you been to Emack and Bolio's. Oy.
kim | 07 April, 2005 22:16
Today we went to take the kid for a haircut. His last one was scheduled before his birthday in January and postponed several times due to several illnesses. His head basically looked like a crazy mushroom cap.
Now Mike is the King of Haircuts. This is one of the bragging points about my husband: he has style. He pretty much always gets a different haircut and can always articulate to whatever different person is cutting his hair how he wants it so that he generally gets what he wants. When he started complaining about the kid's hair, I figured he's a man who knows what he wants. But I sort of like all those soft, silky curlieques circling around his head like some Greek god haircut. So sweet. When's he gonna have those ever again. But Mike was insistent and it was an absolute bear to keep controlled. The baby looked like he had a Jew Fro and we're not really from Jew Fro stock, so it looked a little silly. I still don't know how I ended up with a blondish son with blue eyes.
So we walked over with his new fake key toy that does not distract him at all from wanting my keys, which is why I got it for him in the first place, and we got to the place - sort of an uptown place with a downtown hairdresser. So nice, funky, clean. Now, I haven't mentioned all the words that he's saying the beginnings of, but he has, like 20 intelligible words: balloon being one of the bigs ones. So I secure a balloon and he's lauging his head off because he has the best sense of humor and then we sit down in the chair and he's like, um, wait, a, minute. No, hold, on, I said, hey! She covered the mirror so he couldn't see what was happening, The Wiggles were on, there were bubbles,? a flashing microphone looking thing, a toy car, a duck, but he was just sitting in my lap hysterically crying, BABBLING SOMETHING, which he's never done before. No Mommy No I heard him say. But it was like a chanting prayer through torture that made it scarier for me. I held his face in one hand so I could secure his head and so I could let him know that I wouldn't let anything happen to him and I covered his ear with the other hand. I wispered in low tones how I would never let anyone hurt him (even though we're due for a bunch of shots soon, uch!) and he was okay and I loved him and that just made him scream and chant louder. I guess the sound of scissors is terrifying. And then it was over. This kid got the best haircut of his life. It looks so great.
Then we did a bunch of stuff but ended up at a small dog run so he could see all the doggies and scream with delight. And he will pierce your eardrums with delight. I was holding him up against the gate so he could watch the tiny dogs over it and I turned my head to see his profile and for a moment I could see what he was going to look like when he was a young man in his twenties. He is so beautiful that I almost started crying right there in front of the long haired Dacshund and the Corgi and all those filthy Malteses and Bichon Frisees. I wish I could protect him from everything, but I can't. I love him so much that I hope I can be the kind of mother that he will enjoy being around when he is that age. The one thing he will be able to say with certainty is that I dressed him well and got him great haircuts.
Doing It and Looking Good
kim | 01 April, 2005 20:46
Today I went to a one year-old birthday party for a friend of the kid's who shares the same name as my kid. It's a popular name. I love his mom, I think she's great. All my mommy friends were there and then some. There were 13 moms, two nannies and 15 kids ranging in ages from 6 months to almost two years. Somehow, perhaps I should act more disintrested and bitchier, I seem to attract the suck hole of any party: the person who wants to talk my ear off and not want me to talk to anyone else and not want me to say much about myself. Or not, maybe I'm misinterpreting. But I feel locked in a beam of their self-discovery that they want to share with me. Plus, the kid did not let me put him down until 20 minutes before we left and that's only because he was high on two mini-cupcakes with sprinkles, one so stale (I think they were purchased from a big chain of stores from the suburbs) that it outlasted his interest. He had it in his hand for at least a half an hour.
My poor friend's rug, is all I have to say.
When we left, only two strollers in the elevator at a time and I was the last one so me and the kid went alone while our friends waited downstairs for us. We got down, the doors opened only about two inches and stayed there. Then they shut. We went nowhere. Being stuck in an elevator with a kid with a sugar high and a mom with claustrophobia: bad. Luckily, we went up and then down again. But I later found out that the mom who lived there got stuck in that elevator for an hour, riding up and down, trying not to panic her kid.
When I emerged, my mommy friends were simply waiting for me, none the wiser. I told them and then we walked along. We were all so tired. One mommy turned to me and said, did you apply makeup in the elevator? I had taken out my lipglass and applied it because my lips were dry and there's usually never a time that I don't have on lipgloss. But it felt like an accusation. She didn't mean it that way. But I realized, I was hobbling along, nerves jangling from the holding and the sugar and the decible level and the randomness of all those kids running around, fighting for toys, falling off toys, whacking their heads on the uncarpeted section of the floors; and I still looked good.
kim | 28 March, 2005 14:44
Every other day I go to Duane Reade Pharmacy and purchase items for my family. Diapers, baby wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, pacifiers, prescription medicines, thermometers, medicine droppers, feminine protection, birth control, gum, water all run through me and my family or we through them. This stuff that sops up all? the fluids of life fills the closets of my home in rising tides and then it is all gone, washed down the drain.?Then I have to?pack up the kid and go across the street to get more. There will never be a time in my life when?these fluids will not overflow, when I one day have to stop going to the drugstore, like menopause. There, I'm done with toilet paper? Never going to happen.
I guess I should just?get comfortable with?the shopping, the shlepping, the spending. I?just noticed today.?
Chocolate, It's Not Just for Dessert Anymore!
kim | 27 March, 2005 09:36
Ever try sleep training with your kid? I do a modified version in which I go in a little after he's calmed down, but still yapping and give him the paci and the bear, tell him I love him and walk out. As many times as he needs. He would never, ever go to sleep while I am there. At the same time, I am a believer in the Brazelton method - letting the child know you're there; stay firm but don't abandon him. This is the hardest thing to do: to support your child through his discomfort but not try to either take the discomfort away or run away. Stay present with your child in his pain. Guide him through it. Essentially teach him how to fish. You wouldn't leave him when he's getting his shots would you? (I had to the first time, I was going to faint, literally) To me, it's the same thing. But now the kid knows that we're in the thick of sleep training, he is pulling out all the stops with the crying. Like wigs, he's trying on the ugliest ones and just when you think that's the ugliest one, he fishes down in the bottom of his trunk and pulls out a real doozy.
I imagine he's saying, "Why you do this to me, Damie? How could you be so cruel?"
I am sleep training him because he wakes up twice nightly and he's 14 months old. He insists on being rocked to sleep and sometimes he's up for two hours at a time. I need to function and he needs to learn how to sleep. Sometimes I wish that I could keep him at 3 months, all smushy and head lolling and put him in a sling and have him warm against my belly and he would just be all squishy baby in there and he would wake and sleep as he saw fit, no problem. But, then I would be talking about someone else's kid, because that was never our experience.
It must be done, but it's so hard for me. I have to fight the impulse to make him happy all the time at the expense of his well being. So I do it in the most loving and humane way possible. He has to grow up, and so do I. So that's why I need to tuck into the chocolate chips this morning. For the rest of the day, I will do some chocolate training. One uncomfortable person at a time in this house, please.
kim | 22 March, 2005 03:35
It's 3:30 am. How am I supposed to look good when my sleep keeps getting interrupted?
More Cake For Me
kim | 21 January, 2005 19:57
So no party today. The kid had a 101.6 fever and snot running down his nose all day. I tried to take his temperature and it made him so upset he did something all over my hair that he hasn't done since he was 4 months old.?Back then,?I was covered in it. All over my hair - it was a mess.?Just when I was missing the good old days when I could put him down anywhere.
One good thing was that I didn't have to see someone I erroneously invited. In a moment of magnaminity (is that a word?), silently forgiven for sins transgressed against me, I invited this one chick that I'm not going to invite to the re-party. The party, part two.
I think he got sick from class because one of our friends got sick, too, and she's in that class. Let's not call it by its real name. Let's just call it Germboree.
So we ate cake and our refridgerator is stuffed full with wraps, fruit and Pellegrino. And now the poor kid is moaning again to sleep, saying, oh! this hurts! oh! this hurts. And I gave him motrin but that's all I can do. I want to take away his pain but sometimes you just gotta work through your own cold like a big boy. And sometimes all that left over cake helps mommy witness her baby in pain.
But that's going to stop on Monday when I start Oprah's boot camp. For real, yo.
Happy Congestion Day To You
kim | 21 January, 2005 06:33
Last night I bathed and fed my perfectly healthy son before bed. After which he coughed once, ahem. Then he coughed twice, ooh is there something caught in there? And coughed a third time, this time a little phlegmy. Capital F. I thought.
Then there was the moaning all night. Like he was saying, ow, I'm so uncomfortable! Uch! This is terrible. And then more congested coughs.
I slept in his room on the floor on my yoga mat with a few blankets on top so?I could be there if he woke up or when he expelled the thing that was obstructing his airway? I was so worried. As you can imagine, my back is killing me and I am exhausted.
I just started the rounds of calls to my lovely friends. They are so nice, but it's hard not to feel like a loser. I hope he doesn't think that 15 balloons and cake and catering for 20 is his get-well present from me and that sort of thing is going to continue.
Happy Birthday, Smarty
kim | 04 January, 2005 14:13
With thanks to darling and supportive (and open and caring) Kyra, the omni-grounding and reality check giving Shari and the streamlining of Pamela, the kid is getting a birthday party at home.
I'm pushing the furniture out of the way, stashing the rug, clearing away the toys and putting the strollers in the hallway. Sushi for moms, sugar-free cake for kids and everybody gets their favor at the beginning so they have something to play with. It will have to be bigger than their mouths. But not the sushi.
So Shari, Lisa, Dana, Lara, Tara, Carrie, Nadine and Erika - you'll get your evite tonight.
Happy Birthday, Suckers
kim | 04 January, 2005 09:08
On January 19, my son will be one. That means a birthday party. Or not. I would have one in my home but I had a Chanukah party with three kids and three moms barely stuffed in here, with strollers in the hall and Dylan first crying and then eating Jake's toys, which freaked Jake out. But if I take him to a restaurant, it's a fortune and he will be walking around the entire time. Not to mention that he will never remember it. I had a suprise party for my second birthday that frightened me so badly that I cried. I sort of remember it, but not really. Why press the issue if there are so many negatives? It's really a community building thing and if all of his friends have one and he doesn't, isn't that a little bit of a bummer?
I have a save the date for the 21st, which my friends seem to have saved the date, but I'm still scrambling. I just want to be a good mom and give him the sun the moon and the stars, but does a pizza?birthday fit into that constellation? At least there are no horrible kid's theme restaurants here that could hijack us into being cheezy.
kim | 09 November, 2004 18:52
Dude,? I'm so tired.
I'll Take Another One In My Size, Thanks.
kim | 27 October, 2004 18:48
Tomorrow we're shooting at my house. The last time we did that, the kid went absolutely ballistic. There were too many people here, it went way too long and I think he was trying warn me in his psychic baby way: Mommy, these pictures are not going to come out right, don't work so hard and play with me already!
All I want to do is play with my child all day long. I need a break here and there, of course, but I just really enjoy being with him. If you're a mom, you know what I'm talking about. I've come to believe that there are some feelings that cannot be written. Or maybe I'm just not that good yet. Tolstoy was pretty good at that sort of thing, but he's dead.?Anyway,?I don't think he could have described?how painful it is?for a mother when she has to leave her child, if only to go to the store, because he was a guy.
But I also need to?finish my novel,?do this other amazing non-fiction project?and create work with Noah that is kick ass. I feel so lucky to work with the people I work with, but why couldn't I have met them eight years ago when I could have done stuff all the time unfettered by some kid's schedule?
Can there be two of me? One that could take care of my baby all the time and never leave his side and the other could conquer the worlds of beauty and books. As a culture, why haven't we figured this one out yet?
When you do or if you have, please email me and help me out. Barring that, if you?have heard?of any good cloning programs, I would be interested in that as well.