I’ve Moved!

16 12 2009

Last night in a fit of hatred for my job I decided to go shopping. So, I bought hosting to match my fancy hostnames. And I moved my blog. So, if you’re looking for the latest and greatest from Khoresht-e Catfish, please go to http://www.roeandstuff.com, our new home.

Don’t forget to update your RSS feeds and bookmarks with the new URL also. See you at the new digs!


The Post Where I Spout Depressing Talk

15 12 2009

Sometimes I have moments where I take an honest look at my life — where it’s been, where it is, where it’s headed — and I wonder how did it end up this way? And, I don’t mean that in a good way. That doesn’t include Azita. She really is the best decision I’ve ever made, the best thing that’s ever happened to me, just the best thing period. I just wonder about everything else and I wonder how are other people happy in a world like the one we live in? The polar ice caps are melting, people are killing each other, children are starving, I hate my job. How do people get happy? And how do I learn that trick? If anyone knows how one gets happy, I wish you’d teach me or at least point me in the right direction. And please don’t say ignorance. I already know it’s bliss, but I just can’t take that route.

Please excuse that digression. We’ll not return to the regularly scheduled upbeat portion of our programming.

The Precious

14 12 2009

The precious

Sometimes when no one is around, not even the cats, I talk to Azita as if I’m Gollum and she’s THE ring. I mean I do the full on Gollum voice and everything. Feel free to judge.

I Wish I Was…

14 12 2009

When I was a kid I used to play this little “game” with myself where I’d invent the person I wish I was. It went something like this. I’d decide I wished I was the most popular girl in my class. But then I realized that I liked my hair better than hers, so I’d want to be her but with my hair. Oh, and as long as I’m fixing things I may as well want Brooke Shields’ face. And Einstein’s genius, and the ice skating talent of Dorothy Hamill and the singing voice of Eartha Kitt and…you get the idea. Actually, as long as I’m confessing this silly game, I’ll confess that I didn’t just do this when I was a kid. I’ve wished to be a pastiche of people basically my whole life. Things seemed to have changed since Azita was born though. I’m pretty happy being myself. I still wish for different life circumstances at times, but I basically like who I am at the moment. It only took me 36 years. Maybe by the time I’m 40 I’ll be really happy with me.

Inheriting the Fun-damentals

13 12 2009

When I was a kid the whole “Reading is Fun-damental” campaign was pretty much unnecessary for me, as were the summer reading programs where kids could earn a pizza or some other treat for reading a certain number of books. Or any of the other incentives adults came up with to teach children to make reading a habit. I loved to read. I still do. By the time I was in high school I would sometimes read up to 2 or 3 books a day. Yes. I meant “per day.” I’m not exaggerating.  One of my coworkers insisted that I must be lying about this statement. I’m not. I know you’re doing the math right now — how many pages per hour?

Well, I can read pretty fast. I actually read slower now than I did in high school and college. But I read so much because I quite simply couldn’t put books down. Once I started a book I had to finish it immediately. This means that I was frequently walking around with my nose in a book, and it wasn’t uncommon for me to stay up in bed reading only to discover that the sun was once again rising. Luckily, I have  always been able to survive on very little sleep (a trait that has been very handy to me as a mother).

One of my sisters also loves to read as much as I do. We both still read constantly, and many of our conversations revolve around what we’ve read recently. My other sister is so very different from us, however. She does not enjoy reading. In fact, she’s not really very good at reading and was nearly illiterate for most of elementary school. It is this fact that breeds internal conflict in me.

See, I love reading so much that this is the one trait of mine I deeply hope Azita will inherit. If she has no interest in science and math, I won’t care. I won’t mind if she does not inherit my musical ear or artistic capabilities. I could care less if she looks like me. I want her to be a reader, and I want her to love it. I want her to be intensely curious about the world around her and to want to read everything there is to know about it. It is this trait of mine that has not only made it just about impossible for me to ever get bored, but it has made it possible for me to learn quickly and adapt to almost any situation.

I once had a professor who professed admiration for the fact that I learned new things by throwing myself into the deep end and learning as I did. It is true that I do this, and the only reason I am able to do this is because I feel confident that whatever I don’t know (and I don’t know a lot) I can learn from what someone else has written. I lack confidence in myself so frequently, but it is my confidence in learning that holds me together and brings me any success I may have in life. I want Azita to always feel secure in this way. To know that the great unknown is not so scary, because it is learnable.

I desire this so much that I obsess about it. I watch her every action around books. How can I tell if she will love reading as my sister and I do, and not dislike it as our youngest sister does? I mean, we all grew up in the same  household, and yet we are so very different in this aspect. How much of the love of reading and learning is nurture?

I frequently talk to my sister about my fear that Azita will not love books. Considering that Roger and I both love to read, it may seem irrational. But until very recently Azita would not let me read to her. Books were things to rip up and throw and chew on. On rare occasions I could make it through a couple pages of Goodnight Moon or Olivia before she would lose interest, but those occasions were very rare. My sister assured me that my worrying was for naught. “Just exposing your daughter to books will teach her to love to read,” she said. I had my doubts.

Then, this morning as I was feeding Azita her breakfast, she leaned over the side of her booster chair and pulled her “Colors” book over so she could flip the pages as she ate her mangoes and waffles. She was actually eating with her nose in a book. Just like I did at the dinner table when I was a child. Maybe all is not lost after all. We may yet be a family that reads together.


12 12 2009

Being a mother means that you are constantly a purveyor of TMI. Get two mothers in the same room, and it won’t be long before they are discussing the color and texture of the mucus they aspirated from their baby’s nose, the degree of their tears from labor and delivery or the ins and outs of their placenta. It’s true. When someone finds out you have a baby, they want to know how old the baby is and that leads to a discussion of how they sleep and how many diapers they go through in a day. Next thing you know, you’ve divulged that your baby’s last poop was green and was dotted with what appeared to be chunks of spinach and carrot.

This happens to every mother. I guarantee it. I am an extremely private person generally, but even I have fallen prey to this phenomenon. Maybe this is due to the fact that being a mother means you are completely responsible for taking care of another human being’s body. Maybe people who take care of ill and/or aging parents exhibit the same behavior. I can’t really say why this is the case, but I do know that I spent a good half hour last night at holiday party discussing with a woman I just met the position and length of umbilical cords in our pregnancies and the number of times we each vomited when giving birth to our children. And I am afraid this might happen again.

I don’t do this. I talk about music and politics and history and art and science and technology and other intellectual topics. I swear. But now there’s some woman out there who believes that I know nothing about anything outside of bowel movements and the physiology of a pregnant uterus. Next time I go to a party I’m sitting in the corner with the latest issues of the New Yorker and Scientific American and a copy of Atlas Shrugged, and I will only talk about their contents. I’m a smart and cultured woman, damn it. Hear me roar!

Say “Bye-Bye”

11 12 2009

Every weekday since I first dropped Azita off at daycare I have the same drop-off routine. First I get her out of her carseat. Roger opens his window and waves goodbye and blows kisses at Azita. Then I carry her into daycare. I talk to her daycare provider for a few minutes — tell her whether she ate breakfast, slept the night before, and basically anything else that might help her gauge Azita’s mood and behavior for the day. Then I hand Azita over and try to get her attention. “Bye-bye, Azita. Bye-bye. Can you say bye-bye to mommy? Say bye-bye. Please. Pleeeease. Say bye-bye. Can mommy have a goodbye kiss?”

Usually all of the other kids there say “bye-bye” to me about 20 times while I stand there making an ass out of myself. Azita never says bye-bye. She knows how to say bye-bye and hello even. She says it to her dad, and continues waving to him as I walk up to the door. She waves hello to Miss. Gail, her favorite caretaker at daycare. She waves bye-bye to Miss Gail when she is leaving daycare. She waves hello and bye-bye to guests visiting our home and to people whose homes we are visiting. She waves hello and bye-bye to perfect strangers on the street. She’ll even say “bye-bye” or “hi”, or at least her cute little baby version of the words. She basically says it to everyone but me.

It’s a little disheartening, but then I remember that her face lights up for me more than it does for anyone else. So, who cares if she won’t wave to me or give me even a little hello or goodbye? Not I.

Then there’s this morning. She waved goodbye to Roger as usual and even said “bye-bye” this morning. She waved hello to Miss Gail when we walked in and gave her a winning smile. Then she turned around and looked at me before I’d even removed her hat and coat and started to wave. “Bye-bye bye-bye bye-bye bye-bye…,” she said. Before I’d even really dropped her off.

She’s not even a year old and she already doesn’t want me hanging around. I know I asked for it, but does she have to be so enthusiastic about sending me off? I tell you, motherhood is one harsh blow after another.

And I love every minute of it.