Monday, March 30, 2009

Nursery Rhymes, Cannibalism, and Awkward Exercise Poses...

*Warning: This post may contain graphic nursery rhyme lyrics.

No, I am not so hungry from my new diet that I have resorted to eating other people. For the record, I am AGAINST cannibalism. Nursery rhymes, it turns out, are not so much against cannibalism. How did I find this out? Playing my SILLY SONGS CD (thanks mom!) for my very small & impressionable 3 month old child. Two months later, I am just now recovering from what I can only describe as a complete and utter shock to my fragile mommy senses, and quite frankly, a loss of innocence. (You have to understand the glee and excitment with which I started out when I carelessly tore off the plastic wrap and shoved the brightly colored CD into my car stereo, exclaiming: "Nursery Rhymes Baby J!!! They're the best!!!!") If only childhood nostalgia actually came with memories, we wouldn't need warning lables for childrens' songs. I feel compelled to share my findings so that you too, can be properly freaked out. And let me just say: it doesn't end with cannibalism. (If only it were that simple). So sit back, relax, and soak up the following darling lyrics that we've all been singing 'night night' to our children with for the past few hundred years:

We'll start with Found A Peanut (scroll down to the 'alternative version' for the whole picture). Sounds innocent right? Child finds a peanut, eats it, turns out to be rotton, no biggie, oh but wait, child then needs an operation and THEN:

Died anyway
Died anyway
Died anyway just now
Just now I died anyway
Died anyway just now.


Went to heaven, went to heaven...Wouldn't take me, wouldn't take me...
Just now Heaven wouldn't take me...Went the other way, went the other way.

Well, that's nice. Very comforting. Next up, more ways to perish! Here comes The Crocodile. This tune is set to an especially cheerful tune and it's easy to whistle to as the lyrics set in:

She sailed away on a sunny summer day
On the back of a crocodile
"You see," said she, "he's as tame as tame can be,
I'll ride him down the Nile."

The croc winked his eye as she bade them all goodbye
Wearing a happy smile
At the end of the ride, the lady was inside,
And the smile was on the crocodile!

Catchy, right? Perfectly fun and normal - being eaten up by a crocodile! No problem! Now that we are warmed up - we're on to the King of the Cannibal Islands

Once again the tune is so dripped in sugar and repetition that you will find yourself humming this happily to the gas attendant as he fills up your tank and throws concerned looks toward your drooling, babbling baby in the back seat:

Hokey pokey winkey wong
Parley magoo gagoo gagong
Handaree rangaree chingaree chong
The King of the Cannibal Islands

His kingdom stretched for miles and miles
Around about the neighboring isles,
His subjects sharpened their teeth with files
Like the King of the Cannibal Islands

After a long day of teaching Baby J about Monkeys who fall off beds, Yodeling Austrians, What to do when no one likes you (Eat Worms), and Camels who turn into horses when their humps are taken away, I like to bring it down a notch and end it southern style with Short'nin' Bread.

Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread.

Three little children, lyin' in bed
Two were sick and the other 'most dead
Sent for the doctor and the doctor said,
"Give those children some short'nin' bread.

Yeah. So, how 'bout that. Let's have a moment of silence for the DEAD CHILDREN lying in bed while the other kids get a round of short'nin bread. That's fair.

In other news, I returned to the gym after a 14 month hiatus and discovered TVs are now attached directly to the treadmills!!!!! This new development alone almost completely makes up for tragic peanut/crocodile/cannibalistic/shortnin bread death songs! But, in all honesty those sassy little songs are not bad work-out music. Heck, a combination of Arigga Bamboo & Fooba Wooba John is enough to give me the energy to attempt PRONE STRAIGHT LEG LIFT WITH PUSH UP.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Goodbye Maternity Leave. Maternity Clothes: You're Staying.

So, I am headed back to work next week. One. More. Week. That's it, then full time Mommy Duty is done. As much as I love my work (especially since it keeps me away from my couch and kitchen - two spots in the house I have gotten to know way too well over the past 4 months) I am worried about the following:

1) Who will observe Baby J's minute to minute changing facial expressions? There's more than I can count at this point, at least 18. He has 4 different takes on Confusion alone. As in: Mom, I am so confused about this, that, there, and up.

2) What if I have lost the ability to speak "Grown Up" and alienate co-workers with high pitched baby talk? "Who's little stapler is this? Is this mommy's little stapler? What sound does a stapler make? Clicky clicky clicky. Can you say clicky? Oh, who's the smartest little person standing in my cubicle about to staple my mouth shut? Clicky clicky cooooo....!"

3) How will I handle situations that involve people not wanting to peruse my digital camera to see for themselves the various expressions of my cool face making baby? For example, what if my boss doesn't think this should be on the agenda of my first day back to work check in meeting? Talk about tension, that would be really awkward.

4) All kidding aside, I don't want my little bugaboo (see, honestly I have no ability to talk normal) to sit for hours making confused faces that mean: Where is my mom? Where has she gone?

I truly believe every corny expression in the world was invented by parents. Because cliches just move in the second you bring a baby home. You think, I want to cherish every moment. I don't even use words like cherish. Well I do now, obviously.

I know this transition is going to be tough, especially at first. But I look forward to the times he will be able to tag along with me to various work events and have an understanding of what I do everyday when I leave him. He'll learn that he's been a part of my work before he was even born, when he was just a hope in my heart and a birthday wish as I blew out the candles, he was an inspiration to me to be someone that my children could be proud of. I want him to know I am taking time away from him for a few hours everyday (or even a lot of hours) because I am not only helping to put food on our table, I am also trying to dedicate my life to be in service to others, because I believe we have a responsibility to look out for one another, and to stand up and be counted not just for the big things in life, but everyday little by little we have to show up and say "I'm here, I'm ready to do my part". Because that's what my work is to me. That's what the Union means to me. It's my second family, and I love that J will be a part of that family too. One day I'll show him photo albums and say, "Look, you were in Mom's tummy then, you were with me when we worked to protect health care for kids" or "Here's you, a few months old, at the State Capital with me while we talked to State Senators" And as he grows older, he'll know exactly where I am when I'm not with him, I'm out there making a path for him - just like so many parents do, each in their own way.

For now, I'm going to savor, inhale, enjoy, extend, and cherish every single moment with him that I possibly can. I mean, just look at him:

PS -- I haven't written a post in awhile because I have not been able to upload video (I don't know how is the explanation for that) so I'm afraid of angry hate mail regarding my lack of Superman video I promised. I know, I know, I live in an imaginary world where people are obsessed with my blog and baby. This is not actually true but in any case, it's my rationale for not posting. Someday I will figure out how to upload video and then we can all sit back, sigh, and enjoy life, finally.