Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flying Solo

Rob left this afternoon for several days at a national allergy meeting so I am doing the solo parenthood gig for a while.  Violet was terribly sad when we dropped Rob off at the airport, mournfully wailing "DADDEEEEEEE! DADDEEEEEEEEE!" as he walked into the terminal and we drove away. Sad!  Grace, thankfully, is now old enough that a) we can tell her about these types of things ahead of time and prepare her and b) she can understand that in such-and-such number of days he will be home.  My biggest challenge with her today is that she thinks the city Rob has traveled to is named, not Phoenix, but "Penis".

The thing I am the most worried about while Robert is gone is that Violet has been KILLING me lately with the bedtimes.  Blech.  She has been fighting going to sleep like you would not believe, crying and thrashing and refusing to stay in bed until, usually, my bedtime.  I think we are up to 6 nights or so of this, and believe you me, I am ready for this little phase to end.  Ironically, this miserable phase came on the heels of her sleeping so so well for a number of weeks, even finally breaking the 8-hours-of-undisturbed-sleep mark that had been her previous highest achievement to the elusive, heavens-breaking-into-song, honest-to-goodness sleeping through the night.  Oh well, what's a mama to do? It'll all be different a week from now anyway.  It's like kids change really fast or something.  In this case, thank goodness, because these evenings have been rough.

Speaking of Violet, she recently has discovered the alphabet and can identify almost all the letters.  She still confuses b and d and the like, but the cockles of my maternal heart are warmed by her glee about the letters.  It does surprise me a bit to sit in the car with my not-quite-2-year-old and have her read off "U-P-H-O-L-S-T-E-R-Y" or some such group of letters, especially since I know Grace didn't know her letters by this age.  I give all the credit to Word World. I also think that TV show may deserve the credit for Grace finally starting to understand the smooshing of letters/sounds together to make words.  She is not really reading yet, but something has cognitively clicked in her brain so she gets it at some level and her motivation has received some kind of boost as a result.

My most recently completed reading was Rethinking Thin; here's what I wrote on Goodreads:

Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss--and the Myths and Realities of DietingReally interesting. Kolata (a New York Times science writer) follows several overweight people as they participate in an academic weight loss study and explores why they do or don't lose weight and do or don't keep it off. There's a section on the history of dieting, which is wacky and interesting, explorations of what research has shown us about why we weigh what we do and cultural attitudes toward obesity, but the section I liked the most and found the most challenging to my preconceived notions about weight and dieting was about the biochemistry of satiety and appetite. She succeeded in convincing me that most thin people are thin because they are hard-wired that way, that being overweight is not really much of a health risk for otherwise healthy people (people with regular exercise and healthy diets), and that permanently losing weight is just not as simple as "eat less, exercise more", thermodynamics notwithstanding. Kolata doesn't give advice about what to do with this information, either on a personal or a policy level, but it does put how I choose to eat and live and think about my body in a new light.

So anyway, when I first finished the book, I felt so liberated and content and like my eyes had been opened to a new understanding of my body. (For context, I've lost a lot of weight since Violet was born but for the past number of months my weight has not budged, still a nonnegligible amount above what I had thought of as a good, happy weight for me. I am overweight according to my BMI.)  I then had some in-real-life conversations about the ideas in the book with someone who dismisses these kinds of rethinking of weight issues. These conversations have really affected me and made me feel kind of awful; now I cannot quite seem to recover my baseline equanimity, not to mention the new contentment I had right after reading the book.  I feel like my confidence has somehow evaporated and I'm actually feeling worse about my body right now than I have, I don't know, ever.  I've got to somehow snap out of this.  I've been rereading some different thoughts on body image, and staying far away from any fashion magazines, and reflecting on where my security/value/identity really come from.


Eva said...

I am flying solo with just one kid, who doesn't even flip, let alone crawl, and it is challenging. I am in awe of you. On the flip side, she does sleep through the night. Good luck with the coming week.

Without having read the book, or having seen you lately. I will dare to say that ¡of course you are fine!. We all know that you eat well, you excercise, and you are generally a reasonable person. Screw the canon of everybody has to be within a narrow range of body mass index.

amydove said...

I agree with Eva, you are a healthy person! Of course it is hard for me to be so reassuring since I myself am on a mega diet, and trying to figure out what healthy means now that I'm not 18 anymore. If the book was so helpful to you then maybe you just need to read it again, and stop talking to that other person about it!

Heh, "penis."

Kiki said...

I kind of hope Grace tells her teacher where Rob went!

I just read a blog post about how we as moms shape our daughters body images by how we view ourselves. If we think we are beautiful, they are more likely to think they are beautiful. So much pressure!

Joanna Hise said...

Two things:

1) Asher did the same sleeping thing to me. He was sleeping beautifully - and for the past 10 days AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I feel your exhaustion :)

2) I think a blood work up is a far better indicator of your true health. I am in the "healthy" bmi and body fat range yet when I got some blood work done, I am in the borderline cholesterol level. I believe the health of your heart and lungs is a better measuring tool than that outdated bmi. With your eating style and excerise, you are far ahead many of those "skinny fat" people out there. Just my opinion though :)

Carlie said...

World World. Cool. ("Note To Self")

So sad about Violet's goodbye wailing...that's super heartbreaking.

So intrigued by the book you read. Will have to go read it pronto.

Emily said...

Julia, you are beautiful woman. The best thing I think women can do to look good at any size is to 1)wear clothes that actually fit (hello, you make so many of your own clothes, so you know they fit well) and 2)smile.

Christy@pipandsqueak said...

I really feel your pain with Rob being gone. I have been there most of the summer and fall. Not fun.

I laughed at Grace's pronunciation of where Rob went.