Day 20: Your biggest insecurity.
Being a good mom and parent. Coraline is my first (and likely only) child. I freely admit: I was virtually clueless going in. The most consistent contact I had with babies up until then was hanging out with or babysitting my nephews. Now, if I’d been about to adopt a puppy or a kitten, I would’ve known what to do with my eyes closed. But a baby? My baby? Talk about being terrified you’re not doing something right before you even start.
I skimmed through but didn’t actually finish reading most of the parenting books I bought or was given — there are so many books out there, and a lot of them give completely contradictory advice. Instead I Google things all the time (symptoms, milestones, etc.); I told Mom a while back I have no idea how she or anyone else parented without the Internet there to provide answers or support 24/7. I (and Rich) have learned a lot along the way, and continue to do so. We’ve turned to our family and friends who are parents whenever we’ve had questions or needed advice; thankfully, that hasn’t been a frequent or regular thing. Oh, and I call the pediatrician about the seemingly most trivial things. They’ve got a great nurse line, and I’d rather be safe than sorry when it comes to something I never have to think about for myself (is it OK to use Neosporin on a cut? How much allergy medicine since she’s under 2? Is it OK to have peanut butter in the house?).
I’m doing the best I can to be a great mom to Coraline, and I will continue to do the best I can for her. She and I (and Rich) have gotten very good at learning as we go. I will say I truly believe I am mom enough for her. She’s happy, she’s smart, she’s healthy (save for those blasted allergies), she’s kind, she’s sweet, she’s confident, she’s fearless. I’ve had a hand in a lot of that, you know.
Walking hand in hand (5/7/12)
Day 19: A skill you’d like to learn.
As much as I want to learn how to stunt drive, I’m going to say archery (that sound you just heard was Rich breathing a sigh of relief. Also, my lead foot just detached from my leg, looked back with disgust, and left me). And, yes, it’s partly due to Katniss Everdeen’s kickassery with a bow and arrow in The Hunger Games. But I did learn archery many moons ago, at Casa Mare Girl Scout Camp in Galveston, albeit for the short time I was there. And given that I was pretty young, I wasn’t that bad. I say that since I never hit a living target. Over the years, I’ve been reminded by this or that that archery was something I really enjoyed, and the desire to take lessons would once again pop up. Surely there’s a place in Knoxville that offers classes; someday I might even find the time to take some.
In the meantime, I’ll order the Katniss Everdeen Barbie doll. She can join all the other collectible Barbies I have high on a shelf where Coraline can’t reach. For now, anyway.
Kickass Katniss Barbie
Day 18: Something you are afraid of.
I’m not going to say what my biggest/worst fears are, because I’m an incredibly superstitious dork who fears that articulating those things out loud (or writing them out loud here on my blog) will make them come true. Ridiculous, I know, but that’s how superstitious I am.
So what’s something I’m afraid of? I actually went to Rich and asked him to name something I was afraid of. After a moment’s thought, his answer: “Success.” He is of course referring to my endless of supply of excuses for why I can’t find the time to write (vs. me making the time). Because if i write then someday I might get an agent and/or get published. It’s baggage like this that keeps therapists in business. I’d be a cash cow on this issue alone. And honestly, if books like this can get published and become best sellers, surely there’s hope for the rest of us, right?
Day 17: Are you named after anyone?
No, and I am named Patricia only through my dad’s intervention. Mom apparently wanted to name me Yesenia when Dad (thankfully) stepped in and said no (no offense to any Yesenias out there). He also had a hand in naming my sisters, which is why all three of our names have “a” as the second and last letters in our names. Synergy!
Day 16: Your least favorite chore.
Despite being the Keeper of the Litter Boxes, I’m going to have to say cleaning the bathroom is my least favorite chore. At least with the litter boxes I can keep everything pretty well contained. When it comes to the bathroom, though, there’s just so much more to clean and more chemicals to deal with. It’s essentially this germ-phobe’s nightmare. (Although I did get into the habit of wearing latex gloves while cleaning/dealing with chemicals when I was pregnant.) It works out that Rich almost always takes bathroom cleaning duties while I take kitchen duty when we go on a housecleaning bender. Now if only I could afford a maid, I’d never have to worry about who has to clean the bathroom. Or the litter boxes.
Day 15: Something that bugs you.
I can only pick one thing? That makes this so much harder. Hmm. I was going to say people’s faces staring at me from magazine covers (creeps. me. the. hell. out.), but I’m going to go with something that bugs me so much it makes my dander stand up: people who text (or worse, answer their cell phones) during movies. Anytime a fellow movie-goer’s cell lights up with a text, it may as well be a lighthouse, it’s so bright to me. And, oh, how my blood boils when those rude people don’t turn off their phones or at least keep them out of sight. Holding it up to your face in the theater? Really? And honestly — WHAT is so important that you have to keep texting during a movie? Or answer your phone? I know that most of the people sharing those darkened auditoriums with me are not bigwig CEOs or gifted, in-demand neurosurgeons or anyone else without whom the world can’t survive for a two-hour movie. I say all this as someone who has put the verbal smackdown on my own family and friends for these horrible cell-phone cinematic transgressions on more than one occasion. (I am that person who will report you to theater management.) Going to see a movie? Turn off your damn phone. It’s what I do. It’s a simple common courtesy. And if you are expecting a life-changing call or text (ha!), then don’t go see a movie. Especially not one with me.
*I thank God cellphones were a rarity when I worked at a movie theater. It was never an issue. I miss those days.
Day 14: One thing you want to do before you die.
To get off my ass, make the time, finish at least one of the books I’ve started, and get published. Because I have to say, seeing (and reading) some of what makes the best-seller lists these days is quite the eye-opener.
Day 13: How you relax.
Relax? Reee-lax? Am I pronouncing that correctly? That should tell you how often I relax and how good I am at it. When I do attempt to relax, it usually involves me stretched out on the couch like a slug catching up on recorded shows on the DVR. I’m pretty sure in a former life I was a potato; in this one, I just happen to be a couch potato. And most of the time when I do stop working on whatever I’m doing around the house, it’s usually on the spouse’s orders. He’ll actually sneak around to catch me if I’m trying to work when I should be relaxing. It’s not always easy quieting this scattered, multitasking noggin of mine. But some days I do manage to do just that. I could get to much more done if I only had a clone.
Day 12: Something you do every day.
Believe it or not, I, Patricia Sanchez Lee, recovering Catholic, say prayers every night at bedtime. I know some people who believe I’m a godless heathen because I don’t regularly attend church (admittedly a rarity here in the Bible Belt), but I’m not. Just because I don’t attend weekly services doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God, Jesus, heaven, hell, and all that goes with it; I’m just more spiritual than I am religious. I firmly believe that God is everywhere, as I was taught in church, so I know He hears my nightly prayers. But I’m definitely open to the idea that someday I might find a church with which I feel compatible.
Day 11: A photo that makes you laugh.
I’ve done really well taking pictures of Coraline every day so far this year. Getting them uploaded to my Flickr account is another story. In taking all these pictures, I’m always amazed at the range of expressions she makes. From shy smiles to Scrunchie Face© (her trademark, on-demand expression) to coy looks to hamming it up, she covers all the bases. For some reason, though, this is the picture that makes me laugh every time I look at it. It’s not that unusual an expression for Coraline, it’s just so not Coraline. I took this at bedtime one night while she sat in the chair in her room. It’s like she decided to channel an indecisive, aloof old man in a diner or something. Rich and I agree we have no idea why she made this face. We also agree that we love her face, no matter what the expression.
"What can I say?" (3/11/12)