5.11.2006

Working Mom

What a reediculously redundant phrase. What mom isn't working? Sometimes I get so fed up with all of the advice and judgments - good and bad - about whether or not mothers should "go back to work". I still go around with the feeling that I have to justify, defend, and explain myself. To God, my mom, my clients, co-workers, strangers at the grocery store. Sometimes I'll jokingly refer to myself as "bad mom" - telling a friend how I accidently clobbered the cub with my Target bags when I was introducing myself to the prospective new nanny, for example. But I know I'm just playing with the deep fear that I might, in fact, be a bad mom. I think I'm a pretty good mom, but then there's that lurking, nagging, hard-wired self-doubt, which is the grain of truth that makes the joking funny.

Another one for the bad mom archives: I learned two more foods not to give to a 13-month-old tonight. Polenta and creamed spinach. The polenta might work after it's really set, and then cut into pieces and fried in the skillet to reheat. It wasn't set enough tonight, and wound up in the cub's hair, nose, eyes, ears, all over the hands and arms. He was very unpleased. Couldn't get rid of the stuff, and everything he touched became covered with it, including himself. Little King Midas with corn meal. And the spinach - well, it was just plain deadly. He's eaten spinach before, but just on it's own, cooked and thoroughly chopped, and flavored with some goat cheese or a dab of butter and lemon juice. He usually likes it alright. So I thought we'd advance to creamed spinach. I was very proud of my lower fat version, with diced red bell peppers and mushrooms, built a roux with whole milk instead of using a lot of cream, added a bit of grated sharp cheddar for flavor zing, and it was darn good. But I didn't chop up the leaves like I should have before I put them in, and so I gave my child what was essentially large, slippery, clumps that he couldn't easily chew to eat. What was I thinking??!!! So, dinner was sort of a disaster. I had to take him out of the chair to hug and comfort him and apologize when he had to struggle with a clump of spinach that really scared him/pissed him off royally, and he was in no mood to get back into mommy's chair of torture to eat any more, so I had to hold a little tray of peach pieces and bits of veggie burger in my lap and let him eat standing up holding onto my knees (as he isn't really walking or standing without holding onto something yet.) The dog was having such a feast that I had to lock him up in our bathroom for a little peace. I have been told that once the cub starts walking, he will refuse to eat sitting in the high chair and will just need to get up and move around during meals. This will be a boon for the dog. He'll think he's died and gone to heaven except that I still won't let him sleep on the chenille sofa.

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