Why did I start this blog? I'm not sure, really. A spur of the moment whim after months of entertaining the possibility. The most definitive impetus was the requirement to create a log-in ID with Blogger to comment on my SO's blog. I signed up, then thought I might as well start a blog of my own, instead of just commenting on his at intervals.

I still don't know what my real motivation is. Fame and fortune, possibly - there's a part of me that would love to be widely known and respected for my wit, wisdom, and winning personality. But a bigger part of me shies away from public recognition and thinks it would be a burden. I don't handle praise very well - it tends to make me stop whatever I'm doing.

And my Beloved has been encouraging me to write for quite some time now, so I suppose part of this is a desire to please him. And to prove to myself that I can do it - that I can write regularly, and well. There are a lot of pretty bad blogs out there, let's face it, and if they have a right to publish, so do I.

And I guess part of me just wants my voice to be heard, by however small an audience. I'm still undecided as to whether I want to keep this anonymous or not. I'm not a terribly controversial person, so I don't expect what I write here will shock anyone who knows me, but perhaps I'll reveal more of my insecurities than I'm comfortable sharing with my friends and family.

I guess we'll see.


Staring at a blank page

I told myself I'd try to post something every day, at least weekdays on my lunch break. So here I am, with nothing to say. Sometimes I come up with interesting (at least to me) ideas on my commute to work, but this morning free thought was drowned out by memories of Raffi's 'Aikendrum', which we listened to on the way to daycare/school. I turned it off as soon as I had the car to myself, but it was too late - the tune was firmly lodged in my frontal lobe. On Monday, it was Fred Penner singing "Sandwiches are beautiful, sandwiches are fine".

This is something nobody warns you about when you're thinking of having children.

On the other hand, there's also nothing that prepares you for the heart-searing love you feel when, for no particular reason, your child wraps his arms around your neck and whispers "You're the best, mom, just the best."

Other moments of parental joy:
- when my daughter discovered how much fun reading by herself could be.
- getting a labouriously handmade get well card when I've been sick. With a poem, no less.
- when we all build and stomp sandcastles together.
- holding hand at the park.
- when either of them masters something new - riding a bike, shooting hoops, booting their own software (OK, that's something of a mixed blessing) ...
- when other people tell me how great my kids are. I know it, but it's nice to get some external validation every now and then.

And all the millions of moments when you can watch them, unaware, caught up in whatever they're doing. And the sticky kisses and grubby hugs they bestow so freely.

Motherhood - I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Routine Patterns

I was thinking about routines this morning, and my lifelong inability to stick to them. Conventional wisdom - that vast pool of 'common knowledge', mostly created by someone trying to sell something - that if you repeat something new every day for 30 days, or 6 weeks, or some other guru-imposed time frame, it will become a habit and you'll continue doing it automatically from then on.

Ah hah! I knew I could find a suitable quote (first page of Google results, too):

"Experts say that it takes about 3 months of repetition to form a habit."

It's quoted for things like launching a new exercise routine, flossing your teeth, learning organizational skills ... pretty much anything that's good for you. I don't know how much success others have had at introducing new habits this way, but it's never worked for me. Yes, I can develop a new (usually self-improving) habit through diligent repetition. But sooner or later, without my realizing it, I revert to my old, unimproved ways. Or take up something new, although I'm usually more aware of that. I kept a DayTimer diligently for 8 or 9 months, logging each and every thing I had to do ... then looked at it one morning and realized I hadn't written in it for 2 weeks. I took vitamins every morning at breakfast for almost a year, then noticed the bottle, obviously long neglected, collecting dust on top of my fridge. I don't even drive to work the same way every day - there's sufficient scope for variation in my commute that I can take any of 4 or 5 different routes home, and my choices are inspired more by spur-of-the-moment whim than traffic patterns.

Which is not to say I have no habits - I know of a few, and I'm sure those who live with me could point out many more. But they seem to have all developed involuntarily on my part. I'm still undecided as to whether this is a personal weakness, or the mark of greatness - a sign of advanced intelligence, or defiant non-conformity.

In either case, it doesn't bode well for this blog. Odds are very good that I'll keep it up for a few months, then realize one day in January that I've forgotten all about it - including my log-in ID.

So don't say I didn't warn you.


Random Thoughts

On Being Awakened Far Too Early

A not entirely restful night last night. Someone Short has a cold, a hacking cough that manifested itself every half hour or so all night. My sleep instincts are still twitchy - it's a maternal thing, I think, as I used to be able to tune out anything (I lived next to a firehall one year, heavily trafficked train tracks another, with no loss of sleep) but am now awakened by the sound of a child rolling over in bed in another room, through 2 closed doors. And I remember how hard it was not to wake my own mother, even when I was a teenager. My Beloved Partner wakes to the sound of squealing tires or shouting voices during the night. I never hear those, but I wake to every butterfly sigh of dreaming children.

All of which is to say that SS did not contribute to a sound night's sleep, then decided 6am was a good time to wake up and demand breakfast (salami and cheese on a mini-bagel - I would have insisted on something more traditional, but he's very sadly with this cold and it didn't seem worth the tears a bowl of Cheerios would have induced). As he fall asleep in my arms at 6:15 last night, I'm the only one who's short on sleep. He's snorting and snuffling loudly, but is otherwise quite chipper and perky.