Thursday, June 30, 2011


Two years ago, Mark and I got a really nice tax return because we bought a house. With some of that tax return, we bought a washer, a dryer, and a couch. Why? Because at that time we were living in a house with no washer, no dryer, and a second- (or third-... or fourth-) hand couch. Barbaric, I know.

Anyway, I was so excited about my new washer and dryer. They were front-load with the little windows you can see in... so exciting for someone who hasn't run their own household for very long... well, maybe exciting for anyone with a household. But that isn't the point. The point is, they were new, and shiny, and environmentally friendly... and I could finally do laundry in my own house without having to worry about Mark's grandmother sneaking down to the basement to fold my underwear when I wasn't looking.

Flash forward two years: All of my laundry smells. Especially my towels. And for some reason, no one else can smell it in the clean laundry but me. Last night, I presented Mark with a towel.

Me: "Smell this!"
Mark: "It smells like a towel..."
Me: "Uggggggghhhh."
(We have had this conversation about towels, blankets, wash cloths... you get the picture.)

So, I finally got on Google... my worst enemy and best friend. And Google told me that I might have *gasp* mold in my washer.

I marched straight into my laundry room, whipped open the washer door and... lo and behold. THIS is what I found. 


I am now on a quest to get rid of this. Any suggestions? Tips? Aside from crawling under a rock... but that is SO what I want to do...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unicorns and Meat Cleavers

Currently, I am doing a clinical rotation at a psychiatric hospital. Every week I am either on an acute unit (where the people are psychotic, but could possibly be released into the community after treatment), a forensic unit (in which the people are either Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity or being restored to competency for trial), or an adolescent unit.

The acute unit is full of very sick people. The adolescent unit is full of children that have behavioral issues beyond the scope of most parents’ imaginations. But the forensic unit… that unit is full of people who have committed crimes. It is full of people with antisocial personality disorders (sociopaths, for those not on the up-and-up with cutting-edge psychiatric terms) who couldn’t care less about your or your feelings… and, honestly? It is my favorite unit. As long as you can accept that these people don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves, it is a very interesting learning experience.

Whenever I am talking to these people, though, I can’t help but wonder about their lives. What led them to where they are? What kind of a childhood did they have? What are their parents like?

And it all brings me back to those age-old debates about “nurture vs. nature” and the “chicken or the egg”. Sure, dude killed a bunch of people… but he was abused by his dad from the time he was born. Was he destined to be this way? Or was he molded by his childhood into what he is now? Do you learn to only care about yourself as a way of survival? Or do you only care about yourself because your DNA is programmed that way? Are we shaped by our pasts? Are we pre-determined to be “good” or “bad” from birth?

I, of course, don’t know the answers to these questions. I do know that my sister and I were raised by the same two people and we have the same DNA, but we are very different.  As different as night and day. I know that my husband and his seven brothers and sisters were raised similarly, and they are all individual and unique. Not one of them the same as the other.

I think not knowing which factor is more important sort of scares me for my son. I mean, I am by no means a perfect parent. And I will never be. But, to some degree I feel like it doesn’t really matter what I do. My son will make the choices he is going to make no matter how I raise him.

That’s right. I could surround him completely with love and butterflies and unicorns… and he may still grow up to be a meat cleaver- wielding crazy person.  And that just sucks.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Too Big

Being a working mom is difficult. Being a working mom AND a student is next to impossible. I am not saying that my workload is so unbearably heavy that there is no way I can stand up under the weight of it (though it is pretty friggin hard). I AM saying that I miss things. And, frankly, it sucks.

I wasn’t working or in school when Spence was in the NICU and I stayed home with him for the first four and a half months of his life. When I went back to work, my baby was barely succeeding at tummy time. He hated being on his belly and I was afraid that he would never lift his head up on his own. And then, one day, I picked him up from whichever grandparent was watching him and he was rolling over, lifting his head, doing tiny baby pushups. Before I knew it, he was crawling. And I felt like I missed it all. 

I went back to school in January. And my little man was learning how to eat solid foods. He had serious tongue-thrust issues and he gagged on anything that had chunks. And then, one day, my mother-in-law was talking about how she fed him a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for lunch. I just don’t know how that happened.

And now today, my husband informed me that he got Bug to take a few steps to him when he picked him up from the in-laws. I cried in the car on the way home.

I feel like my son’s childhood is already whizzing by and I am missing it. I question whether I really am making his life better by finishing school or if he would be better off with me by his side every day. I wonder if it is selfish of me to want to be there for all of his firsts, to want to hold onto his babyness with both hands as long as I can because I am afraid I am going to blink and it will be over.

Truthfully, I feel selfish. I feel like I should take pride in my son’s advances. I should be thankful that he is healthy and happy and beautiful in every way. But, sometimes, I just want to freeze life… just for a little while… so I can get in some extra snuggles with my already-too-big-to-be-believed baby boy.