Sunday, December 10, 2006


This is my 199th post, which I mostly find embarrassing. What a public and visible addiction I have. And being an addicted mom especially is really not acceptable.

However, I think some good things have come of this addiction. For one thing, I think my writing has definitely improved, especially since my 100th post. For another, I am much much happier than I was back in steamy, sweaty, exhausted July. When Swee'pea naps in the sling, that is my time to read and write, and I don't feel a bit guilty about it, or about not doing anything to stem the chaos around me.

I have just finished reading Dispatches from a Not-So-Perfect Life, and it's funny because she talks about how selfless attachment parenting is, and how much it takes out of mothers. But I have found the opposite. Giving up on getting Swee'pea to sleep in the crib has been positively liberating. Giving in to our desire to hold him, and to his to be held is so much easier than constantly trying to put him and distance ourselves. I certainly don't advocate this style of parenting for anyone. I don't really advocate any style of parenting except survival, and giving yourself permission not to worry about the future. That's when I find I get the most fucked up, when I worry about how our decisions now may affect our future, Swee'pea's future. And I give myself permission to let those worries go, because you can never really know for sure if you're making the right decisions. Even if your kids grow up to be great, fantastic adults, you can't put it all on your parenting decisions.

I'm surprised that Faulkner Fox isn't a blogger. Maybe she is, but if so she blogs anonymously as far as I can tell. So now I'm gonna wonder every time I read someone's blog, is this Faulkner Fox in disguise? I think blogging achieves a lot of the things that she was aiming for in writing her book, and the things she was seeking in relationships with other mothers. For me, blogging helps me "feel less alone, less crazy and possibly less guilty." I get some of this from real life mother friends too, but only when I make a point of being brutally honest. Most of the time, I have to be the one to confess before others will.

Fox's book seems to be to be like one big, cohesive blog. She talks about the scores she kept to mark the unequal division of labour in her home during the early baby years, despite the fact that both she and her husband believed 100 percent in the idea of a joint project. She writes, "I'm not charting anymore, but I believe I still put in slightly more hours at home. I definitely get more accomplished in my hours because I can multitask better. What a horrid skill to possess." (Hear hear on the horror of being a good multitasker.) She writes about responding to her neighbour's question, "How is it being home, enjoying a nice break from work?" with "This is the hardest thing I've ever done, [...] and my last job, director of a pro-choice organization, involved death threats."

Anyways, back to me and my blog. I do sometimes feel guilty about how much I blog, especially because lately I've started wondering if the eletromagnetic rays the computer emits to sleeping Swee'pea in the sling could hurt. But I do believe that if I'm going to be a good mother, an engaged mother, I need this time to think, to rant, to reflect and to read. And Swee'pea has made it pretty clear that he likes to be held while he sleeps, so it's win-win as far as I'm concerned.

So, in honour of my 199th post, I'm going to point you to some of my favourite posts. In return, I would like to ask my readers, why do you come back here? Why do you like my blog? Or maybe you don't like it, and you come back to be annoyed and irritated by my rants? Anyways, I'd love to hear from you... and this means lurkers too, please. Who are you?

Sure, it may be ego-boosting, but if you can't ask for a little feedback on your 199th post, when can you?

Some of my favourite posts:

My emails from South Africa in 2005. This was an amazing trip and I'm so glad I took the time to write as I experienced it. You can start with the first one here, if you like, and move through the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh installments. I wrote about our very last day there recently.

I also kind of like this post about the grocery store... I've written a few times about the grocery store since then, but this one kind of made me laugh when it happened. I think it came off grumpier than I really felt, but oh well.

I also really like this post. I like that I didn't sit down to write about the subject... it just happened. And it's something I'm really passionate about, although I don't write about it as much as I'd like to or feel I should.

And I really like my grammar grump stuff. Before I went on mat leave, I worked with a few other people to develop a corporate style guide. I really loved the discussions and disagreements we sticklers had on questions of usage and style, and that may be about the only thing I really miss about work. Besides the people I mean.

So there, that should keep you busy while you think about why you like or dislike my blog. Oh -- and in the meantime I also have some random bits for you.

* * *

Yesterday morning on our way to the Farmer's Market, we walked by the Armoury, where some kind of military exercise (I hope!) was going on. It was very surreal and actually kind of scary to see men in military fatigues yelling, swearing, running around, and most significantly, pointing a gun in our direction from a few hundred metres away. We just had to hope they weren't actually loaded. I heard them yelling at various times, "Get in the fucking rear!!!" and "No ID here," and a lot of other incomprehensible bellows. As I got a bit acclimatized to the scene, I started to wonder if these guys felt a bit silly as everyone stared at them playing their war game on the way to buy produce and local crafts. It made me wonder what plans the Canadian military has for its troops, and made me feel sad.

* * *

This morning I turned the shower on and it sprayed over top of the curtain, positioned in the wrong direction. I turned it off and and repositioned it, and noticed that it has a tickle mode. Which made me giggle. Then I realized it said actually said trickle, which seems even more absurd. Who wants just a trickle in the shower?!?


bubandpie said...

Your "I don't feel guilty about blogging" manifesto here reminded me that I've been meaning to thank you for going to bat for me over on my blog a couple of weeks ago. I felt very loved!

I think I keep coming back here because you're an unusual combination: very opinionated, very open-minded. Often the words "attachment parenting" are enough to send me fleeing for the hills, but you are never smug or judgmental about your parenting choices, as this post demonstrates (along with so many others).

cinnamon gurl said...

Oh... well you're very welcome. It's funny though because I've been considering emailing you to apologize for hijacking your blog on that occasion. You chose to read the commenter's words so nicely, whereas I read negative tone into every single word. I'm still unsure about intention, though I still suspect it was judgmental. And she obviously hit a bit of a nerve with me...


Beck said...

We're attachment parents, at least until the kids hit about 13 months old and then suddenly Daddy gets hardline about sleep training. (and he's the one who does it AND he does it well, so I have NO complaints. Sleep, babies, sleep!)
I DO like your blog, very much. You're a dandy writer, for one, and I'm a sucker for thoughtful mothers. I'm going to bookmark this post and come back when I have longer than three minutes to read all of your links!

Mad Hatter said...

Sin, I come back here b/c, to make a long story short, I like you. I like how you write and I like the honesty of the blog. I agree with you that you have become a better writer--not that I think you were ever a not-good writer; you clearly have talent. I see myself in you in so many ways: someone working joyfully but seriously with matters of self-expression and with the bursting comet that is love in the wake of becoming a mother. It's a deceptively tough genre, this form of writing and self-expression and I have really enjoyed seeing you come into your own with it.

Sometimes I think of you as a kid sister but not in any of the yucky pejorative ways. It's just that we both started getting readers around the same time and I see my experience mirrored quite closely in yours. The "kid" part of the "kid sister" reference has less to do with you being young as it does with my feeling old, btw. It also has something to do with the respective ages of our children.

Blog on, Sin, blog on into your multi-100s. I'll keep clicking on over here and enjoying the view.

penelopeto said...

I like you because I think you are the only mom in the blogosphere who has a higher-maintenance sleeper than I do, and tho we deal with it the exact same way, it took me a little longer to let go and become a path-of-least-resistance parent (at least, in sleeping). how's that for parental guidance?
also, now i know that you too have put together a corporate style guide where one may not have existed before. only a special few of us know the pain of such a task.

If you do go back to work, my only word of advice is, don't get as worked up as I did when you realize that nobody followed the g-d guide and all of your hard work went down the tubes in a hail of serial commas and super-scripted registration marks. To say nothing of the em-dashes.

Keep writing; I'll keep reading.

penelopeto said...

p.s. do not judge my super-human grammar/proofing prowess by my work in the blogosphere.

Her Bad Mother said...

199! Wow. I'm nearing that number myself, and I'm totally taking your 'don't feel guilty' mantra to heart.

ewe are here said...

Congrats on reaching 199 posts.

I'm a relatively new reader, linked via blogs we read in common, and I keep linking because you're funny, a good writer, and talk about/rant about things that are important to you. Things, as a parent of a wee one as well, that I can quite often relate to.

And I like you grocery store post. I, too, always seem to pick the wrong line. And don't move quickly enough when a new line is opened. Grrr.

Nancy said...

I am glad to have found you via Mad Hatter and a couple of other blogs we have in common. I love your writing style, and I really like your Flashback Friday posts.

And the way you talk about Swee'pea just warms my heart. You're obviously a devoted and caring parent, and that comes through in your posts.

bubandpie said...

That's what I liked about your comments - you were very direct and not in the least bit mean, which is something I find very difficult to do.

Aliki2006 said...

Chiming in late to say that I just really appreciate the tone of your writing--honest, clear, and unique. I love your photos, too--keep snapping them, even when you go back to work!