Saturday, August 11, 2007

Reading, Writing and Bad Articles

* See update at bottom!

Suddenly, Parents magazine has started to show up in our mailbox. It isn’t a very good magazine, though I can’t say I’ve been an avid reader over the years: I make this judgment based solely on the quick glimpses I’ve had of it in gynecologist waiting rooms. As a self-proclaimed magazine expert, I give myself this self-proclaimed right.

Anyway, I was flipping through the latest issue before I recycled it and an article caught my eye: “Eight Things No One Tells You.” This is right up my alley, so I start perusing it. That’s four minutes of my life that I will never get back. I have very little time to pursue reading activities and I shouldn’t have wasted precious minutes on this triteness. It is positively scary how really extreme things were discussed in such a lighthearted way. The subheadings in the piece announce things like “You’ll Feel Helpless” and “There’s No Privacy” and “You’ll Have No Control” and “There Is No Learning Curve.” Great. Sign me up.

If a hobby engendered such reactions, you most likely wouldn’t do it, right? If you were reading an article called “Eight Things No One Tells You About SCUBA Diving,” what would you think if you saw subheadings like “Your Lungs Might Collapse Under Water” or “You Could Be Attacked By A Man-Eating Shark” or “Danger Lurks in Unlikely Places.” Seriously.

I have to give the magazine credit for addressing such an important topic in a sea of fluff pieces, but I just wish it was handled in a more hard-hitting and serious way. Don’t try to make it cute, because things like feeling helpless isn’t cute. Not having control isn’t just a downer, it is downright horrifying. Also, I can’t shake the notion that the subtext of the article is, “Silly little lady. Being a parent is hard.” [Say that in a mocking, exaggerated, fake-whiney sorta tone.] If you feel like you are losing control, the article says, then you can remember that this is a good time to practice counting to 10. Are you kidding me? That doesn’t even work with a four-year-old.

I have started to read the Adrienne Rich book, which showed up yesterday, and it is fantastic. Amazing. Eye-opening. I read the first three pages and I am stunned at how elegant and eloquent her writing is, and how honest she is. To wit: “My children cause me the most exquisite suffering….It is the suffering of ambivalence: The murderous alternation between bitter resentment and raw-edged nerves and blissful gratification and tenderness. Sometimes I seem to myself…..a monster of selfishness and intolerance.” This quote is an excerpt from her journal. Her journal, a place where you jot down thoughts and write about your feeling. A place where you write extemporaneously. My journal entries would sound like “Today I was mad. SO very mad! Arrgghh.” She manages to sound like Shakespeare as she sorts her feelings out. I can’t wait to read more of this book. And I still have to finish Harry Potter. I love having a stack of books that I can’t wait to read.

Oh, the new store on the corner is a T M*bile store. Yawn. That does NOTHING for me at all.

Pictured above is Miss Maddie holding onto Nicole’s fingers. This is Maddie’s little way of ensuring that she isn’t put down to sleep by herself. Put her down and remove her fingers and she wakes up. Screaming. Pacifier be damned. I have to try that someday.

*I posted another belly shot in my last post, which shows it at its most horrifying angle. The front-on shots just don't do it justice. It looked almost flat-ish in those shots and it is so not like that!


Shelli said...

Could you guys make a silicone mold of Nicole's hand as a "lovey" for Maddie? Just a silly, but potentially winning suggestion, to help bring circulation back to Nicole's hand...

And yeah, it sucks, it's hard - there were days we wanted to give Malka back.

Now? We wouldn't trade her for all the tea in China, but man, in the beginning? hell yeah! Send um all back, give them to me at 8 months old.

Emory Student Midwife said...

I'm glad you like Rich's book. I now must check it out. I'm currently reading "Pushed" by Jennifer Block. A very eye-opening book.

calliope said...

I wish you could, in all of your copious free time, write magazine articles that tell it like it is. Honestly- if it weren't for the blog mothers I read I wouldn't have a clue about the reality of motherhood.


Dee said...

Isn't it funny how fickle babies are. You never know just what it's going to take to keep them happy. So indecisive. Your girls are gorgeous!!!!

K J and the kids said...

T-mobile REALLY ? I thought it was going to be something cool.
I remember my Syd doing shit like that. I would have to practically crawl in to the crib with her. She liked to hold on to my hair. I would seriously be head down in her crib patting her back, slowly PEELING her fingers off of my hair. continue patting. slow and then stop patting. stand to wait. walk away. SCREAMING !!! Start over.
She is a WONDERFUL sleeper now. Has been since 9 months. There is still hope.

Holly said...

T-Mobile? Is that supposed to be a good thing!?? I was excited for a second when you asked if it was a Houlihan's!
BTW - Adrienne Rich was my favorite writer when I was an undergrad. I haven't read her stuff for years, but you've motivated me to go back and revisit her work.

Holly said...

BTW - the picture is absolutely precious...and I agree with calliope. It's the info I've gathered from the blogging mommies out there that have really provided info. I've never read Parenting or any of the other fluff mags.