So, in the prep for hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year I busted out the steamer mop and gave the living room/kitchen/dining room a once over. Later, I glanced at the 11 month old (wait. what? That was fast- life is just a quick sprint to the grave once you start having kids- I SWEAR.) while she was sitting on the floor and I snatched her up with a gasp while saying “What did you spill? Or did you pee? Why are your pants …dry.” Because I thought she was sitting in a puddle of water. What was she sitting in? A shiny patch of floor with light bouncing off it. Because it was clean. Spotless, even.
THIS IS MY LIFE NOW I DON’T EVEN RECOGNIZE CLEAN FLOORS ANYMORE.
Plastic is scary stuff, what with all it’s mimicry of estrogen in the human body. And in fish. And in animals. And… yeah. So I actually think this latest generation will be similar to the last generation that grew up with lead paint and leaded gas- we are very close to a full realization as to how dangerous this stuff is and our behavior as a society and products WILL change to reflect that very soon- of this I believe. *Hand on heart while staring knowingly into the distance. Sunset behind me. Eagle cries ringing overhead.*
BUT- I sure as hell wasn’t going to wait for Johnson and Johnson to make the change for me. So with all the girls- we used glass jar baby food as much as we could. Glass storage containers. Few plastics in the girls eating utensils- no melamine plates, ever, but there were some plastic cups for a short period of time. Those have long been replaced with small glass jelly jars. I buy olive oil in glass jars. I’m… yeah. It’s important to me.
I have gone off the deep end, a BIT, with it with our latest daughter. Metal baby spoons (turns out Oneida makes some still). Organic blankets. Organic crib mattress and mattress pad. I tried glass bottles, but she wouldn’t go for it- but we use the only organic, American made formula once we started supplementing at 7 months when I was just DONE pumping at work 3 times a day. Morning and night we still breast feed though. And yeah, we can’t help but use the plastic baby food pouches, but they’re organic at least- scout’s honor. Wooden toys and teether (she uses the teether to hit the wooden drum and has never once put it in her mouth. But then, she hasn’t been teething yet either, so I’ll hold off saying that $17 was wasted yet. Who am I kidding. Totally was.) Did I order wooden baby bowls and plates? Maybe.
The biggest one- which I could CARE LESS at the expense of- was a 100% wood high chair from Great Britain. Yes- I had a damn high chair shipped from Europe- but the only one I could find in the US was plywood- and hell, that might be worse than plastic. I just plan to turn it into a heirloom. And I figured we saved so much by borrowing baby stuff and not going overboard on swings or other baby gear that we still came out on top. And it may sound like it, but I am not justifying the expense- I’ve never once felt guilty about it- it was totally worth it for my plastic fearing self.
Wooden high chair, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
How self righteous does this post sound? Oh god. So very. Here’s my point though. What’s the WORST plastic in the house? The cheap bath toys- can’t seem to find a good alternate to those. What are Mary’s favorite toys? Take a guess. Does she crawl around the house with one in her mouth, INTENT on torturing me? You bet your ass she does.
I HATE that I can’t spell champagne without sounding out CHAM-PAG-KNEE in my head. Just did it again.
Going out to eat ALWAYS takes more energy than just sucking it up and sautéing some chicken and tossing a salad together. Sheesh when am I going to learn that one.
I love wet weather- nothing will make you feel more alive than a light mist coming down at night. Cool on the face and forming haloes on street lamps… love it.
The fact that the words fluid and liquid don’t mean the same things annoys me. Fluids shouldn’t also encompass gasses- I’m just going to come out on that side of the heated debate not at all raging over this one.
Chikungunya. One: it’s a disease that is spelled like that. Two: it’s a disease that has nothing to do with chickens. And three: I’m an idiot.
I could (or not) say many things. But others will say them better.
What struck me though were all the female pundits and newscasters dressed in white: suffragists at the start of the evening. Brides left at the alter at the end.
I’d LIKE to think sharing this article is not like drinking spoiled milk and going “oh my God- taste this!”
It was hard to read. Read it!
It’s an article by a favorite writer of mine about mothering her dying friend through Hospice care. And the whole article is lovely and haunting, what with it’s ripping the curtain back from the Wizard of Oz- only it’s Death, always Death behind the curtain. (Jesuschrist, woman. Downer much on a Sunday?) So yes- the whole article is hard to read- but important. The thought that gets me is that her friend asked for champagne, right before she died. She was told, “No, it’s 6am we don’t have any champagne.” God help me- god help me to give someone champagne. Please – please let someone give me champagne before I die if that’s what I want. Agh. It’s the detail that gets me on that. For some reason that’s the thing that haunts me.
I think it haunts me because I can draw correlations to my grandfather’s last day. He was very antsy. Plucking at the arms of his wheel chair. Agitated. He wanted to stand repeatedly. In the middle of a small concert of hymns. In his room. In the hallway. I called an orderly over each time. We heaved him up by his belt and under his arms. He stood for as long as he could each time. It was important to him. I hope it was his champagne.
On that afternoon I got him a new tank of oxygen. Wheeled him around the facility. Here’s the garden. Here’s your room. Here’s the other hallway. He fell asleep looking out a window in the main living space as I rubbed his shoulders and hummed Silent Night- just like I hummed to my children. The window was overlooking a large red oak tree. The tree was pretty but I picked that one because it also overlooked Dean Word Construction Company’s back property. You could see all sorts of loaders, and backhoes, and heavy equipment. I thought he’d like that.
I sat with him as he slept. And when my Aunt and Uncle got there I left for home. It was just hours later my brother called me to say he died in his sleep as my Dad and my aunt sang and played piano for him. He won his long fight.
Anyway. I don’t know what my point on this one was. I saw some correlations between that article and past experience and it’s opened the wound that is everyone’s mortality for me a bit. It’s… all okay though. Because it has to be- because it’s always been the truth here- the price we pay for being here is to eventually leave and I get that. And that’s okay too. Not easy in the slightest, I’ll sure as hell tack that on though.
To being an object.
Fat lot of good it’ll do me, though.
(Oh man. Not the poem-ing type over here… but this wouldn’t stop rolling through my head a few weeks ago when the whole Grabby-Hands McShittySteaks video came out. I totally forgot I wrote it down, but just stumbled across it in my drafts folder. Figured I’d share.)
Also? Your poem sucked, Joyce Kilmer. Totally sucked. You’re what’s wrong with the world, honestly. You and Grabby-Hands McGildedRot.