Archive | February 2012

And speaking of adoption…

And speaking of international adoptions, please read the article recently in the Globe and Mail.  And check out the comments!  I read the first two pages, then quit while I was ahead.  Trust me, they always deteriorate. Wow, along with the usual drivel, adoptive parents speak out and add their  2 cents.  Good for them!  It’s interesting how some people think that adoptive parents shouldn’t even have a say.  Hey, guess what, everybody should have  a say. Even the asshats who love to tell you that you who exactly you should adopt, even though they have no intention whatsoever of giving a child in need a home. And for the love of all that’s holy, do we really need to hear that “why don’t you adopt from your own backyard?”  Adopt Canadian?  We’ve got a big ole country full of provinces who do not work with one another and some effectively discourage adoption.  How many times have I read a blogger who wanted to do just that, and children’s services (on both sides of the border) made it nearly impossible?  Omigod, don’t get me started.

The article highlights rising costs and roadblocks to international adoption. I tempted to email this article to a the girl who once suggested I adopt from China.  Come to think of it, she was Chinese.  Yeah, that application would have gone down in flames. And  I thought 2 years was a long wait.  Hah!  Too fat, too black, NEXT!

So let me know what you think.

Another road less travelled

I’ve written a few paragraphs, edited it, then deleted the whole thing only to start again.  I wanted to say something, but figured what I was trying to say was completely useless to the women who read my blog, completely useless to those who are still trying to conceive, or completely useless cause you’re just fine as you are.

Two years into having a child in our lives, I wonder how long I will still identify as being infertile.  Seriously, I’m 48 now.  Cranky.  With a seriously compromised uterus.   (Did I mention I was carded at the liquor store a few weeks ago? Yep, that made me a lot less cranky.) There have been a couple of pregnancy announcements lately of women in my acting sphere, one of which is in her 40’s) and I admit I felt that little ping.  It’s almost like a kneejerk reaction from the old TTC me.  You know the one.  The one that says she’s pregnant and you’re not and never gonna be.  Followed by the right thinking brain that says, hey, girl you’re 48, you know and a mother already who doesn’t pee when she sneezes, so stop it.  You have gray  hairs and chin hairs, really, why should you care?  Observe the thought and then watch it pass.  I guess I’m always going to care, at least a little bit.  In that I’ve always wanted to go to Greece but I’ve been banned from ever travelling there kind of way.

Of course, I also have a child – yes, people JUST ONE, and I’m quite content.  Grateful to be able to share the experience of parenting with my spouse.  I will now go to baby showers if I’m invited.  I will hold other people’s babies.  It doesn’t hurt anymore.  That old dream of having a little girl half me, half DH is long gone.  Perhaps she’ll  manifest in another lifetime, who knows?  In the present, I’ve got an amazing little boy who is teaching me that motherhood is not for the weak. I am rewarded not with big paycheques or big movie roles, but with smiles, smooches, and “thank you, Mama”.  He’s not the slightest bit interested in propping up my sagging ego, but he does want me to pick him up and kiss his booboos away.  On those days, I stop worrying about what I don’t have.  Didn’t have.

Oddly enough, when my back aches, I’m tired from having my sleep continually interrupted and I’m bored out of my mind from daily routines, I think of what it would have been like had our adoption not taken place.  Remember my plan if things didn’t work out?  I was planning on going to Bali to have a nervous breakdown in very dramatic fashion.   Or if we had just chosen not to be parents at all.  No doubt, I’d be a little bit skinnier, perhaps I’d be working full time and I’d definitely be doing more creative work.  We might own our own home, probably a condo downtown, we’d be travellling more.  I’m sure I would have been content. I also know that in a part of my heart, my child that never was would be alive and well, keeping me company at 3am.

On those days, I think of all the women whose babies died or never came to be.  I wish adoption had been an option to them.  And yes, I do understand why a lot of people don’t go that route to become parents.  It is NOT  a choice for everyone.  I’m certainly not going to attempt it again myself.  I get why women try over and over and over.  Cause I did, too.  Yet, I wish some of those incredible women, whose hearts are so big and so full of love to give to a child, had chosen to adopt a child from wherever.  So that they could go down the other road less travelled. It’s nice here, even when it rains.

What’s the big deal with Greece, anyway?

Sick days

The Precious had his first really bad cold/cough this weekend.  He had one while we were away on the island, it seemed to be getting better though he had diarrhea all week.  So we cut back his milk, juice and even his homeopathic cough medicine (which had sorbitol in the first few ingredients.  Sorbitol and too much juice can be a culprit).  We risked a play date with his sniffly BFF, and then he seemed to get another virus.    His cough was wet and chesty and he was lethargic, whiny, irritable and broke out crying at the slightest thing.  DH and I took turns watching cuddling  with him on the couch.   Don’t ask me how many times I watched Dora the Explorer.

I was up with him in the middle of the night, with Advil in one hand and a cool cloth in the other.   I felt kind of grateful to realize that this was the only time he’s been sick enough for me to have to go in room and take care of him.  It made me remember how my mum would surprise me with Vicks Vaporub in the middle of the night.  Whenever I had a cough, I would try like hell to suppress it because I knew what would happen if she heard me.  And she always heard me.  Mmmm.

Anyways, he’s still hacking, but he’s better.  He put chewed up mac and cheese in my humidifier.  HE’S BAAA-AAACK!

Topic of conversation

The other day at brunch with our friends (and our kids), hubby reminded me that I was talking about my kid a lot.  “Remember, when you told me to remind you if you started to go on and on about your kid, well, you’re doing it.”  Ahem, he has done this twice recently.  And each time, I tell him, yeah, you can stop reminding me that I reminded you to do this 2 years ago.  You can STOP NOW.  Because frankly, I know I’m talking about my kid but it’s to someone I know very well who HAS a kid.  And it’s a CONVERSATION not a monologue.  Oh, I get his point, all right.  I did say that because it used to drive me NUTS when people went on and on about their kid to me when all I really wanted was to talk about anything else.  I wanted to talk about shopping or shoes or  sex.  I had scars in places where the sun don’t shine from my years on infertility island, the last thing I wanted to do was be caught in a conversation about the funny thing my kid said the other day or labour and delivery stories.  That was always my cue to go pee or get another drink or something.

I think what he MEANS to say is that HE’S sick of hearing me talk about my kid in public.  Which is odd cause all he ever does in private is talk about the kid.  This brings me to my next point.

I’m  a little bit embarrassed to not have ANYTHING ELSE to talk about.  Besides typing in the dark for 4 1/2 hrs for consumer research.  Which by the way, I’m not supposed to talk about because occasionally clients will ask me to sign non-disclosure agreements.  As if anybody but them gives a flying fig about the next new flavour of crappy cookie they’re putting out.  I used to talk about working with this or that celebrity or auditions or a film party or something vaguely glamorous sounding.

And speaking of auditions, I had one.  A good part, too.   I had to take the kid though – no sitter for the middle of the day.  I thought he could sleep during the drive there and back.    So off we went, me talking to myself the whole time, trying to psych myself up, trying to convince myself that I was bringing along my lucky charm, my #1 fan….. who proceeded to object to me leaving him in a waiting room full of good looking strangers. He clutched on to me.   What a nerve, eh? I forgot that the last time I had brought him, he didn’t have the power of speech or separation anxiety.  He used to be entertained by a smiling cute face of a woman with a shiny object.  Now of course, he was wide awake and not willing to let any facsimile of me get close to him.    I was next of course, and I had to tell them to WAIT.  Then I was invited to bring him in THE ROOM.  I was apologetic and mortified at the same time.  A casting director tried to say, hey, let’s watch mommy on the monitor.  He wasn’t having that either, so she went out with us into the waiting room and proceeded to baby wrangle (charm) him while I snuck back in to do my audition.  I thanked her profusely and we left. I bundled the Precious back into his stroller and zipped on the raincover as we strolled out of the studios in the pissing rain.   Of course, I tried not to dwell on the fact that I didn’t have two minutes to myself to truly concentrate and settle down before I unleashed my prodigious talent for the camera.  I don’t think I sucked, I just don’t think I did the job I wanted to do.  We stopped in at Starbucks  a few minutes later for a piece of cake and a coffee.  I wanted to savour the moment my career truly died.

Maybe I could talk about THAT the next time we go for brunch.

Protected: Peace in the morning

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We went away last week for a little trip to Duncan on Vancouver Island to see an old friend, husband and her 6 year old boy.  Just me and the Precious and Juno cause hubby had some meetings to go to.  We were going to meet up with him at the in-laws the next day.  The ferry ride, usually a time for hubby to take the kid to the play area and a time for me to read a magazine, went by quickly.

I met a mum with a little boy was great at playing with the Precious.  She was pretty chatty and within minutes I had learned she was a single mum and that the boy’s father was schizophrenic and alcoholic and she was better of without that drama.  In return, after a comment she made about our children growing in our bellies, I told her he was adopted.  Honestly, it makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes to let people think I gave birth to him.  You know, cause I am such a proud infertile and all.  We’re having that strange heart to heart talk that complete strangers can get into about motherhood and sons and then the next thing you know I’m on my soapbox about adoption and how adoptions are not as easy as everyone thinks, yada, yada, yada.  I tried very hard not to sound simultaneously grateful and bitter at the same time.   Then as we were saying goodbye, I felt like an idiot for blabbing on about it.  I mean, here I am talking about adopting a kid from a low-income mum to another low-income mum who probably never considered giving up her child.  Mmmm.  I don’t consider myself rich in any sense of the word, but I can afford things she can’t.  I have a husband to share the responsibility of raising a child  and we drive on to the ferry despite the crazy ass fees.   My dog eats raw food and wheat free treats.  I probably spend more at Starbucks than she does on food for the week.  On the flip side, I also know people who eat out 3 or 4 times a week and shop without looking at the price tags.  It’s funny this motherhood thing.  You end up talking to women you’d never talk to normally because your kids play together for a few minutes. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I would stay far away from the kids’ area and I could barely look at a newborn.

I was a little nervous about driving on my own but with the help of my new friend, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I arrived safely  in Duncan with minimum fuss.  It was a fabulous, sunny day and traffic was light.  Hubby showed me how the GPS worked and I have to say it was fantastic.  I’ve never travelled with both of them (the dog and the kid)  on my own and I was pretty darn busy, but it was a great experience just being with my son alone.  I’m lucky, you know, I’ve got an easygoing kid and an easygoing dog.   We arrived in the afternoon and we had to make some stops at the pet store, liquor store and Tim Hortons for Timbits.  The pet store, because I had forgotten to bring the dog treats, and a rake comb because the dog decided to drop all her winter hair in a day and I didn’t want any more hair for my friend to clean up.  The liquor store, well, for obvious reasons, and Timbits because what kid doesn’t like sugary donut balls?  I wanted to bring flowers and food, but I couldn’t bear to drag the kid out of the car seat and go shopping one more time.  I was pushing my luck as it was.  He decided to protest by sitting down in the liquor store.  Luckily, it was not busy. Savvy mum that I am now I just let him pout and grabbed a couple of bottles and let him find his way to me at the till.

We had a nice time with my friend.  She’s an artist who used to design stained glass in Vancouver.  The walls in her home are covered in her art work. She’s about as opposite from me as someone could be.  She recycles,  composts and grows plants and trees and stuff.  She shops only in secondhand stores and doesn’t watch TV.  She listens to CBC radio.  Ugh.   I have no doubt that we are still friends because she calls me about once or twice a year to check in and continually invites me to her “pancakes and jam” sessions she’s been doing for years.  She used to live in a an old broken down house with about 4 or 5 revolving roommates, managing the house, cycling 2 hours to work and serving pancakes to various banjo strumming, bluegrass type people and singing Beatle songs. (That broken down old house has since been torn down and rebuilt as a brand new “heritage” home).    I loathe banjo and bluegrass music but her enthusiasm was infectious.  You never knew what kind of person you could meet at her place.  Alas, no one date-able.  She was a real artist, her easel set up with some fantastical image in the dining room surrounded by little pots of paint.  I admire that kind of talent.  She would encourage me to paint with bits of spare canvas.  We met because her boyfriend at time was an actor who played baseball with the same acting agency and she basically befriended my newly arrived self.  She was so bubbly and artsy that I found her quite charming.  Once, when her relationship with her alcoholic boyfriend deteriorated into a bit of an ugly mess, hubby and I had to pick her up at her house to spend the night with us.    She eventually stopped trying to recycle men and found herself a decent, stable guy and they had a baby.  She’s kind and loyal and has that community activist spirit.

I hadn’t actually seen her in about 4  years since she moved to the island.  At the time, her son was about 2 and as delightful as he was, it was a little bittersweet to watch my husband run around with him.  She was one of a few women I had known who had conceived later in life and it seemed as if everyone I knew had gone on to motherhood but me.  Now, of course, it was a different experience.  Now we talked more about raising little boys, getting older and dealing with perimenopause.  Neither one of us can/will have more children and we were grateful to have our beloved sons.

And speaking of getting older, when we left, I realized 1/2 hour onto the highway that I had forgotten the Precious’ sippy cup (oh, no) and the dog’s food (raw, in a cooler in my friend’s fridge).  I turn around, anticipating the ribbing I’m going to get when I arrive in Sidney for being scattered and absentminded,  the GPS the whole way back telling me to turn left and make a U-turn, only to remember once I arrived in her driveway, that she had gone to pick her son up at school and then go swimming at the community centre.  Oh, brother!  Her neighbour graciously tried to help me get in, but she had locked all the doors and so, with my bladder bursting, I get back in the car and find a Starbucks to empty myself and grab a latte for the road.  We finally get there, the Precious happy to be reunited his with his daddy and summarily dismissed me.  By now, it was obvious that both of us had a cold – not sure who gave who what.  And yes, I did get the gears for forgetting the dog food (hubby had to go look for a raw food pet store)  and the beloved sippy cup because the kid was in whiney nasty mood by bedtime and wanted his cup of milk.  And no other cup would do, of course.  Sigh.  It was like daddy was taking over and he never would have forgotten anything.  Grrrr. Yeah, right, whatever.

We had a pleasant weekend, but I was glad to get back home to my own space.  By the way, I went without my laptop!  Hah!  First time for everything, ta da!