Monday, October 10, 2011

A series of dilemmas

1. the mascot

I was on the English academic super bowl team in high school, an fact that should surprise exactly no one. My cousin, who was a senior when I was a freshman, was also on the English team. In her day, the team made it to the state meet one year. On the way, they stopped at one of those gas stations with the random souvenir section and found a giant stuffed fish on a styrofoam tray, wrapped in cellophane like a fish at the grocery. They bought it and treated it as a team mascot of sorts for a few years. Then the bibliophile and I found it in the back of a cabinet in our team coach's classroom at the end of our senior year and ended up taking it to college with us because we knew the kids coming up after us wouldn't have any idea what its significance was.

Now it's 12 years later, the fish is at my house, and I'm in the midst of my Year of Decluttering. So what do I do with it? I really don't need it, but I feel bad just tossing it out. In a perfect world I could post a detailed Craigslist ad and send it on to be someone else's mascot, but in reality I suspect no one on Craigslist would even get it. I've thought about sending it to the current English team at my old high school (which wouldn't be totally insane since I have a friend who teaches there), but they probably won't get it, either. So what…just send it to Goodwill? Put it up in the attic? Poor old fish. What would you do?

2. the reunion

There is a geology club reunion this weekend that I'm on the fence about attending. The core group that's attending are all older than I am, and the version of the club that they reminisce about is one that I just caught the tail end of, before they all graduated and moved on to other things. I haven't been to a reunion since about…2005, I think. They're usually on weekends I have to work or they're five hours away and it's just not feasible to go. This year it's only about an hour and a half away and I'm off on Saturday, so I've been thinking about driving up just for the day. There are a few people there I'd really like to see again, but I'm concerned that I'll get there and everyone will be hungover and sleeping late and I'll just be sitting around, or that I'll go and just feel all peripheral and not in on the inside jokes and it'll be awkward. Further complication - Nico and I got invited to a bonfire and hayride thing at a friend's house on Saturday night, so I'll have to leave the reunion around 3:30 to drive home and change and get Nico ready to go. So, go to the reunion, or chill at home and go to the bonfire and have a more relaxed time of it?

3. the reception

I'll be going to a reception for a friend's wedding next month, but not the wedding itself as it was a private family-only affair. I went to her bridal shower and brought a gift from her registry then, so I'm unclear if etiquette indicates a second gift in this situation. Normally I wouldn't think twice, but holiday-related budgetary insanity is coming.

4. Hallowean

I'm thinking seriously about weaning Nico by the end of the month. I was hoping he'd just lose interest on his own so I didn't have to push it, but no luck so far. I love the idea of "the baby will let you know when he's ready to wean," but not if it means I'm nursing until he starts preschool. Not to be graphic, but I don't think he's really getting much out of the deal these days anyway, and we'll still snuggle and have bedtime stories and songs, so I don't feel like it's going to matter much to him once it's done. I just don't know quite how to initiate the process. A friend of mine had a chat with her son about it being the last time and then had her husband put the kid to bed a few nights, but Nico historically doesn't go to bed well for MB. Maybe a chat and extra cuddles and after a few days he'll get used to it? Ugh. I told myself I would not feel guilty about this, but now I kind of feel guilty. I shouldn't, I don't think…I almost didn't get to nurse him at all so getting to 20 months is pretty damn good, right?

Reading:  The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Playing  Nightmare Revisited


  1. I weaned Jackson earlier--around 15 months or so--so that may be why I was able to get away with no real big "conversation" about it. I just...stopped nursing. A few times he would reach for my shirt at bedtime, but I would just say, "no, no more nursing", and then distract him with something else. He put up a tiny fuss on the first night, but after that he'd occasionally would reach for my shirt for about a week, but without any fuss. Then he just stopped.
    I felt guilty for a little while, but then I felt SO glad to have my body back (after the hormone crash), so I was glad to have done it.

  2. 1. Fish - Um, how big is the thing? Goodwill is probably your best bet - somebody will get a kick out of it and give it a new home. Personally, I'm a sucker for that kind of weird sh*t.

    2. Reunion - If you're really undecided either way, just flip a coin. Or use a Magic 8 ball.

    3. Wedding - Yep, you've gotta gift again. Something inexpensive is fine. OH HEY! How about the fish? Two birds with one stone.

    4. Weaning - Never had kids - can't help you there.

  3. 1. The Mascot. The problem here is that there is very little chance it can be appreciated. The goal, then, is to maximize what little chance there is. Sent to Goodwill? Zero chance. Sent to old high school with funny over-the-top story about how their team has finally come to the point of being ready for the honor and responsibility of The Fish? Still no guarantee, but a much bigger chance. That's what I'd do.

    3. I think it's two different events, two different gifts: you brought a shower gift to her shower, and now you'd bring a wedding gift to the wedding. But I can get a little crazy about how unreasonable wedding gifts can be. Like, showers are SUPPOSED to be SMALL items---but now they seem like they're a way to get two wedding gifts out of each person. So if you already bought something major for the shower, AND since they've invited you to the reception but not the wedding, I ALSO think a strong case could be made for attending the reception and not bringing a second gift.

    4. Different things work for different people, but what worked at our house was giving something else instead. Like, give him a sippee cup of milk to sip while you're reading stories, that kind of thing.

  4. 1. How about giving mascot fish to Cousin's daughter - the one that's into animals and the like? Or Cousin? I assume you mean Amethyst.
    2. No clue. Is is worth the gasoline to hang out with hungover people?
    3. Would a nice card and a $10 gift card suffice?
    4. Since my sister has done it four times, I would ask her. I can send you her email, if you like.

  5. I don't know how much you're nursing, but I've heard (and done) various weaning things. Drop 1 session at a time, and replace it with something else. Like an activity, a snack, a cup of something. The hardest to drop are 1st thing in morning, before nap, before bed. Morning can be "let's make breakfast together" (age appropriate of course), before nap can be books or songs, same with before bed. Cutting off access with a shirt that isn't nursing friendly is good too. And I would explain what you are doing if you get resistance. "When boys get to be as big as you they drink from a special cup instead of mama's milk." (Get a special cup! /rambling