Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One-Stop Holiday Shopping


And want to see something that maybe I'm not supposed to show you?


Interesting, no? They switched it in the end because they thought my pregnancy made me look fat. No, I'm totally kidding about that. Although they did photoshop the bruises off of Ben's legs because it looked like maybe we'd been disciplining him with a croquet mallet. And I'm not kidding about that. I mean, the croquet mallet part I'm kind of kidding about--that wasn't their exact worry. Not that we were whacking at Ben's shins with any kind of bat or club, I swear.

Don't buy the book because you think you would like it or because a friend is expecting a second baby or because it offers a holiday sentiment (albeit in the form of Ben's commentary on the Grinch's penis). Buy it because you pity me. After two weeks of coughing, choking misery, the doctor grinned and diagnosed me with a "cold." Then I had to sit there trying not to look like a person who is waiting to be prescribed the cough medicine with codeine in it. You can't look like you want it too bad. "Anything for the cough?" I said, casual as a fig newton. And finally yes, yes there was something for the cough. Last night I slept on the bottom of the ocean floor--the sleep of the heavily, heavenly drugged.

I wanted to thank you for the comments you have already posted about this column at wondertime. Over and over again, that "you are not alone" feeling offers me more relief than you could imagine. And Ben's fine now, of course. It was just a heartachey breeze blowing past.

There was this, too, from last week that I never linked to, busy as I was laughing at your suggestions that I make that pinata photo the cover of my "next book." (If you have any more information about this "next book" please do write and let me know!)

I hope you enjoyed a Thanksgiving filled with thanks and with the great and ceremonious unbuttoning of your pants at the dinner table.

57 comments:

  1. Kris H.4:29 PM

    I already own the book (and have read it a couple times...and have insisted that all of my friends buy a copy!)...

    I absolutely ADORE that picture and really wish they had used it for the book cover!!!

    Insist that they go with a picture for the next book!

    There will be a next book! Right? Right! PLEASE!!!!

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  2. Oh for Pete's Sake!
    God forbid you look *gasp* pregnant on the cover of a book about being pregnant!
    I bought the book because I love Ben and Birdy stories and the way you honestly and eloquently phrase things. I am sorry to say that I have passed it along to a friend(sorry to screw you out of the royalties! :-))

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  3. Well, I think I will buy it for at least one person...but ONLY out of pity for you. Not because it will forever remind me of nursing my sweet KayTar...or because there were many times that you made me laugh so hard while reading/nursing I startled my snuggle bug out of a milky coma...or because it is the single most honest, funny, wonderful book about motherhood I have ever read. Nope. None of those reasons. Just out of pity. *lol*

    I'm sick too. Boo for bronchitis. Blech.

    PS- If you are taking a vote about whether you are going to write another book, my vote is yes. :)

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  4. Hope the "cold" is waning by now. I too love that special cough syrup, it really is the only thing that lets you sleep.

    Just looking at the other cover is so strange. For so long I have been looking at the other version. I really like the photo version but I guess I have been looking at the other one for so long it seems strange to see you on the cover!

    Wondertime. Wow. That was a beautiful, sad, raw piece you wrote. It really is gut-wrenching in the most literal sense to watch your child and know that you cannot protect them and fix them with your magic Mommy dust.

    My eldest experienced being excluded last year (in Senior Kindergarten!) and her attitude was, "if they don't want to play with me that is fine". It was so mature -- I was the one acting (well thinking at least) childish. Amazingly, this resolved itself and the same group are all friendly this year.

    What I have found is it brings back our own memories and makes our hurt for our children that much more since we truly understand the pain. It makes you want don orange safety vest and place pylons around your child while you wave the traffic of life by in a safe and orderly manner.

    As usual, you capture this piece of the parenting pie with grace.

    Thank you.

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  5. I'm waiting to buy the book when I'm pregnant again (with my second). I have this idea that it'll be a treat to myself, as I undergo yet another "not-glowing" pregnancy (mine sucked!).

    Your next book? Something like, "The Bird Has Landed." Ha, no. It would be nice to see Ben become the basis of a fictitious character for a short story, kid's story, novel, because the things that seem to come out of his mouth as so unusual. In a good way, I mean.

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  6. Mmmm...codeine (sp?) I know, oh so well, the "never look too eager" maneuver. Last year I got two colds back to back and the second time I ended up at the doctor I found myself saying, "I know you gave me the heavy duty cough syrup last time but I just don't know what I did with it. I probably threw it out." HA! What I'd done is finished ever last drop. Good luck with your continuing book sales!

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  7. Anonymous6:59 PM

    the column at wondertime made me cry this morning. i've been feeling the same way about one of my sons for a couple of weeks. different issue, but same gentle nature. he's doing well so i need to get over it, right? wish i had some wisdom for you, but all i can say is that you aren't alone.
    -kelly

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  8. Please say there will be a next book!
    I've been hoping to hear about one coming out any day now, but I guess I can live with just your columns and blog for a while longer=).
    I love the picture for the book -- it's too bad they didn't use it!
    And I'm sure I'll be buying another copy for a friend or two for Christmas.
    Hope your cold is getting better -- at least you're sleeping now!

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  9. I love that photo. I can't believe they didn't use it.

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  10. Anonymous7:10 PM

    You'll be happy to know I already bought the book before reading this post as a Christmas present for a pregnant friend. (This will be my 3rd time buying it...do I get some royalties now?) Thanks for being so great at what you do...you make my Mondays!!

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  11. Anonymous7:27 PM

    Catherine,
    What a beautiful, heart wrenching piece this week. As usual, you perfectly capture all these super-sized emotions we feel as mothers. I got my first taste of a similar thing just a couple weeks ago, though it was in a 3 yr-old world, so I ain’t seen nothin’ yet. A classmate told my son (who is a gentle soul), “Don’t play with us,” and my heart shattered on the spot. But I tell this only because it has an eventual punch line. I told my son that I thought his “friend” was having trouble sharing and didn’t use the right words to say so. A week or two later, my mom was visiting and was arranging a Thomas/Brio track. You know when you run out of pieces and can’t get the track to connect the way you want it to? I started sticking my nose in, trying to help of course, and before we knew it, we both got--shall we say--“animated” in what was the “right” way to fix it. My son said, “Are you guys having trouble sharing?”

    Anyway, I’m a longtime lurker who has never posted a comment. Usually because there’s so much to say that I feel I need a few hours to do so. But for now I’ll just say that I SO get you on so many things…the super-crazy, neurotic, worse-case scenario fears that seem to creep in at the best of times; the nostalgia for a simplicity we’ve never know a la Little House even with the recognition that it must have never been simple; wearing your sappiness on your sleeve; the mojitos…I could go on but instead I’ll say THANK YOU from the very bottom of my shattered and re-glued heart (I’m having visions of the vase from the famous “Don’t play ball in the house” episode of the Brady Bunch) for your beautiful and sometimes side-splitting writing (loved last week’s Sex & the City story), for sharing your family so profoundly, and for the virtual community you’ve created for all of us.

    All the very best to you and your family,
    Karen in Chicago

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  12. Early in my current pregnancy, when the nausea had just kicked in full force, I caught a nasty coughing cold from the children. All four of my children got antibiotics. I was running a fever and feeling like I was dying, so I went to my own doctor, assuming I too would get antibiotics (and, okay, yes, the codeine cough syrup). My doctor said, "Suck it up, buttercup, it's just a cold" AND wouldn't give me the codeine. Way to fight the war on drugs with a feverish pregnant woman who almost had to get someone else to drive her to the appointment.

    Oh, wait, we were talking about YOU! I'm sorry to hear about your gross cold, and glad to hear you pulled off the casual thing and got the cough syrup--it's the ONLY thing that helps, all the over-the-counter stuff is crap.

    I buy _Waiting for Birdy_ for all my friends who are expecting. I love it so much. I'm so fond of the current look of it, it's hard to imagine it looking different!

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  13. Ginny9:20 PM

    I just received an early Christmas present - a Borders gift certificate. I immediately checked to see if my local store has a copy of your book in stock - so I am off to buy it later this week - I can't wait. Yes, I am another of your adoring fans...you are so wonderful, you know that, don't you?

    And poor Ben. Poor you. This summer, my five-year-old was doing a pre-kindergarten preparation camp thingy (Safety Town) and she wanted to sit with two particular little girls one day. She'd sat with them on other days. She went over to them, one of them looked at her and said, "Don't sit with us anymore." Charlotte looked at me with a puzzled expression on her face and said, "Mom, she said don't sit with them." I was surprisingly calm (at least outwardly; inside my heart was breaking) and helped her find another girl to sit with. Charlotte got over it in a snap; I spent the rest of the day alternately seething and wanting to cry. And worrying about the rest of her life when people won't like her. (How could ANYONE NOT like her? I mean, I get fed up with her sometimes, but nobody else can NOT like her!) She's ok; Ben's ok; we're ok.

    But, by letting sperm meet egg, we've signed ourselves up for a lifetime of worrying. Damn.

    Ginny

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  14. I could barely read your latest wondertime post because the thought of dealing with my little one's hurt feelings makes me feel ill. At the same time, I'm even more worried that she'd be the one inflicting the pain.

    I'll be a great mom to a kid who, like me, got teased and laughed at and grew to eventually (I flatter myself to think) value real things in people. But I wouldn't know where to start with a kid who picked on other kids! I can't even fathom it.

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  15. Tina G9:35 PM

    I actually just bought another copy today as a matter of fact, because my copy is, um, signed by the author and I have it locked in a glass display now (only kidding)so I can never lend it out again (that part is true). I'll gladly buy more to cheer you up if need be ;^)

    I think you should write your new book going along with the Dalai Mama concept- parenting mindfully, but with large doses of reality and humor. You seem to do that combination so brilliantly- I want to print all those Wondertime columns out and start a binder or something, ya know? (I was going to do that with the Babycenter columns -"Bringing up Ben and Birdy the BOOK"-but I think we would have needed a truckload of ink from Staples...)It's all great stuff, though. Write what you know, they say!

    As far as this week's column- I know, I know....and when he has his first girlfriend you will feel even more powerless to protect him from the emotional wounds that are sure to come. Really, having a sensitive child who is kind at heart with a gentle soul is a far better scenario than having the other kind of child- the ones that are not so gentle and kind. That's often much harder to navigate as a parent, and brings much more worry and sadness to a mother's heart.

    The previous week had us both chuckling. I really need to go to Staples now for a binder and some ink.....

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  16. All three female members of my family have perpetually bruised up legs. I don't know what's the matter with us.

    Big hug to Ben. Of course you know any pain he suffers will only make him a more compassionate person than he already is. Of course, that is NO consolation whatsoever. Silly me.

    My Rachel was part of a threesome best-friendship for a couple of years and it was sometimes painful. Somehow dynamics keep evolving, moving on. Sometimes I wish I could control it all and then I think, THANK GOD I can't. What a disaster that would be.

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  17. It's on my wish list at Amazon :)

    I know, it just kills me when I think my new-kindergartener doesn't have anyone to play with at recess.

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  18. Glenda11:10 PM

    I LOVE Waiting For Birdy. It's one of my very favorite books. I laughed all the way through and read aloud to anyone who would listen. I agree that they should have used the picture. You looked great!

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  19. I love the picture, and I am surprised that they didn't use it. I wish I had looked that good during my second pregnancy.
    Your piece on Wondertime made me wish I could come over and hug you. I seem to worry and get sick every time one of my kids has a "shy" day at preschool. I am obsessed about why all of the sudden they seem so shy. Are they having problems with the other children? Worry, worry, worry....blah! I think most parents can relate to that piece so you have plenty of company.

    I hope your cold passes quickly and that cough medicine gives you lots of drug induced sleep!

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  20. Your Wondertime piece made me cry, not an easy feat! My son also has been on the receiving end of exclusion. He has Developmental Dyspraxia--he's on of the smartest kids his doctor has ever dealt with, just his co-ordination and handwriting are really awkward. But because of his co-ordination problems, he has been made fun of and teased to the point of tears.

    I understand how hard it is to watch them go through all this stuff. Every day of my life I wish I could suffer his hurts for him and that the Dyspraxia was mine and not his and it just breaks my heart to see him struggle. But like Ben, he is a gentle soul and he always bounces back very quickly and has the best self esteem of anyone I have ever met.

    These kids of ours are incredible gifts and I learn something from mine almost every day.

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  21. P.S. In the photo version of the book cover (which I adore, by the way) I don't think you look fat at all...just happy and beautiful. And, don't all little boys legs look like they have been beaten with a mallet? My sons' do, and have since he started crawling!

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  22. I absolutely adore your writing and have somehow not obtained a copy of your book yet. WTF??? It will be bought for myself. I dont have kids. I just really like your writing! If it makes you feel better, you can say its cause I pity you but really its because I love your writing. LOL :)

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  23. I love the photo - you look radiant. Um, next book? I've been begging for a next book for a couple of years now. Please, Catherine, you could write about choosing paint colors and make it heart warming. "Waiting for Birdy" is my most treasured book.

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  24. Katemma9:30 AM

    My heart broke for you & Ben. My son was recently bullied in his 4-yr old preschool class ("You're not my friend. You're a stupid-ol-head.") I went in to Mama Bear mode instantly! I wanted to kick some 4-year old butt! (Don't you hurt my baby!!) It took the teacher to gently remind me that while it certainly was not ok, and he was being bullied, that clearly my son is loved and that's not true for all kids. Yikes... a little empathy lesson for me; and I'm a child counselor! It's so hard not wanting our babies to feel hurt, and knowing these are learning/life experiences.
    I give you a lot of credit for your kindness regarding the other kids. You inspire me in many ways, Catherine.

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  25. Katie9:58 AM

    Catherine,
    I just recently bought the book and love love LOVE it! I'm pregnant with my 2nd and am due in the Spring and this was my treat to myself. I am SO happy I'm not alone in my feelings of uncertainty of loving another as much and the guilt of taking my 100% undivided attention away from my son. I feel like you're writing my thoughts!!! I was also excited to see Michael was from St. Louis, as am I!! Thank you for making this transition so entertaining for me, I just can't wait for the journey to begin!

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  26. maxine10:57 AM

    My doctor once said when she saw the bruises on my son's legs, "Ah, heathy." When I looked confused she said she worries when she DOESN'T see the bruises on little boys' legs.

    I absolutely loved your book, Catherine. I am done having babies but will keep this book forever. And recommend everyone buy it, of course :)

    As always, I loved your latest entry and I feel for you and your Ben. Can't wait for the next installment.

    God bless.

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  27. I loved your latest column. I was going through this recently, even though I only have a four-year-old, when his best friend visited. He recently moved away and while he was here the kids were arguing and I was trying to reason with them that since they only get to spend a short amount of time together now they should spend it having fun instead of fighting. My son's best friend shrugged and said, "I don't care, I have friends at preschool now." And I watched my son's face fall and thought, "This kid's just going to have to leave my house." And then I shook myself, FOUR YEARS OLD. The kid's four years old. It's too early to begin big momma vendettas. Anyways, I can't imagine it at seven years old, and you are right about it being partly about us. (My worst nightmare: We left you and found friends that are better than you...) Such a good post. I think you're gorgeous in that photo, by the way.

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  28. Laurie1:03 PM

    Kay,

    I ADORED the article about Ben and his friends. This is a bif off topic, but I was a part of the Oprah show Pay it Forward challenge recently and due to recently having some of the same experiences you so beautifully described... one of my "good deeds" was purchasing "kindness journals" for an elementary school class.. I tried to do it in my daughter's 1st grade class but due to time constraints, etc they couldn't implement it in their curriculum (another story). So, this wonderful 2nd grade teacher at a neighboring school will now have her entire class write weekly about "good deeds" they do for their peers, and how that made them feel, etc.. I am hoping to spark some empathy among little ones... wish I could start an "empathy campaign" for the world.. it's very hard to be mean to someone when you put yourself in their shoes... I find it so ironic that this was your topic this week.. My 6 year-old daughter is also the kind hearted soul, sweetie pie of a kid type and it kills me to even think about the situations that are waiting for her out there.... and some that have already occured in her little network of friends... aagghhh.
    Dear Lord.. if ALL kids could learn the wonderful gift of empathy .. think of how different things could be..(and don't get me started on the adults). HA! As usual though, you rock.

    Laurie

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  29. No, girl, they need to buy it cause it is the Effing Shite. In a good way, mais bien sur.

    And dang, yeah, you look totally great in that pic. The weirdness of publishers.

    And guess whose birthday card got mailed today, finally finally? Time is an illusion, right? Sigh.

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  30. Anonymous2:09 PM

    I've been surprised at how young an age we have to deal with our childrens' hearts getting stepped on. My little Brenna is only 3 and has friends who will sometimes say hurtful things. I am always amazed at how quickly children get over things and think that adults should take that lead. But it does not take away the pain we feel, for we only want our children to feel safe and loved. I can't imagine if I'm dealing with this in preschool, how elementary - middle - high school will be. But we all survived it in our own time. And so will our children. ~Melanie Dostal Omaha, NE

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  31. Let it be known that I just did a meme on my own blog (www.mamainwonderland.blogspot.com), and for "favorite book", I listed "Waiting for Birdy." And it is.

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  32. I just read your last two posts over at Wondertime and last week's had me literally doubled over in laughter, I can so relate--especially the getting in the car. It's like they've never done the routine before!! And then I read this weeks and it so touched my heart, my oldest is similar to Ben (he's 4 1/2) and it absolutely breaks my heart when someone is even unfriendly to my sweet boy.

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  33. leigh4:53 PM

    I have been a loyal reader for years. I have a 3 1/2 year old boy and an 11 month old girl. Thank you so much for sharing your lives. You are such a great Mom! I just wanted you to know that when I get a short break from the chaos, it's so refreshing to check in with an old friend! Hope your cold improves! I've been coughed and sneezed on so much this week, I'm just waiting for pneumonia to set in!

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  34. Of course I would buy it if I didn't already own it! And I can't think of anyone that it would be appropriate for. Maybe my little brother? No. I need to keep thinking. None of my friends even have any kids.

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  35. Oh Catherine! I hadn't read this week at Wondertime until just now. My BubTar is such a fluttering little socialite, that I've never thought about that before...and as I was reading my heart filled with sadness for Ben and compassion for you and fear for my little ones in the future.

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  36. I did buy your book and LOVED it! I read it over and over and over again while waiting for my second child to be born. It is one of my favorite books of all time. Please, please write another. I promise to buy it!

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  37. When I read your Wonder Time column this week I felt like I was reading my life of a few months ago. It's amazing how absolutely unbearable it is for me when someone hurts my son's feeling, since he is such a sweet, gentle soul with his heart in his face a good deal of the time. It is very different with my daughter - of course, I can't bear for her to get her feelings hurt either, but it hardly seems to happen - she's so full of fire and "f*** you!" when someone even tries it, and always bounces right back.

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  38. Like so many other people, I could write for hours to tell you all about the times when your columns have struck a resounding chime in me. This one perhaps even more than most, though, since my six-year-old is going through similar stuff just now too, and your empty orange simile was just perfect. Makes me wonder whether I'm not carrying unrecognised resentment against my own mother for not having used her magic Mummydust to greater effect when I was facing similar difficulties (and I did, a lot). The hard thing, I find, is not to project and assume that their experience is the same as mine. Once again, your column expressed wonderfully a complex and uncomfortable feeling. Thank you so much - I do hope they pay you well for this stuff!

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  39. Catherine,
    I would love a book--and I have an idea for one! And, it might not be a bestseller (or it might only be an article), but nevertheless...

    I love how you integrate concepts from other cultures and religions into the lives of your families. It could be a "How To" book (with the background that dolts like me need to make it relevant), OR it could be a year of telling your fabulous stories about how B&B interact and react with these happenings. Probably the later--could you see your book in the "How To" section where they keep the books on electrical wiring? :)

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  40. Personally, I think the cover of you and Ben would be the height of uber-fantastique-ness! I think its absolutely gorgeous!

    I'm thinking we all need to write the publishers and ask them what in the world is wrong with someone actually looking pregnant on a book about having a baby? I mean, are you supposed to be rail thin, with your bones sticking out all over the place and looking totally unhealthy and gross? Come on. Sounds like they need a reality check.

    And I'll probably be buying another copy of your book for myself. I've worn out my first copy, and now that I might be pregnant (5 days late... but yet the HPT hasn't come up positive yet), I'll need another copy so I can read a truthful account of being pregnant and laugh my way through the barfing....

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  41. cathye1:05 PM

    I loved your column at Wondertime. It hit home.

    My mother told me when I was born she wanted to take me to a deserted island to raise me and shield me from the hurt of the world.

    I understood what she meant when my little girl turned 2 years old. A little boy was playing with one of her toys and she wanted a 'turn.' (You can see where this is going?) She went over and gently touched his shoulder, cocked her head and said "Please share?" to which he pushed her in the chest so hard she landed flat on her butt.

    My blood boiled. My heart broke.

    To know that your child is going to be out there in this crazy world, where even when they do all that you taught them is right and good and kind, they'll at times end up flat on their butts. With no good explanations. And hurt feelings.

    It's true, you aren't alone in this. It's every parents burden to suffer on the sidelines.

    And on a completely different note, if it makes you feel any better--I adtually DID want to marry the Fonz. He's totally hot.

    --Cathye

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  42. Laura1:14 PM

    Okay - I have had a book idea!

    Remember "Under the Tuscan Sun"? It was fiction, but it was written like a Memoir with a bunch of recipe ideas throughout it...

    How about that???
    You can write an UN-Martha Stewart Book (Can you just see the cover with you mocking her, with holding a burnt Turkey and messed up hair etc?)

    It would be just like Waiting for Birdy style, article/memoir written format with all you crazy craft or snack recipes all thrown in! We all need to know how to CREAT the Boobie Pinata you know!

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  43. Catherine, I just love you so much. Thank you!
    One of the bittersweet parts of motherhood for me is that amorphous continuum between the memory of what my childhood was like (mostly very happy,) my kid's childhood (so far, so good!) and my awareness of how things I say innocently to my mom now, as an adult, can make her feel heart wrenchingly guilty about things that happened 30 years ago, when I was a grade-schooler. Did you read _Cat's Eye_ by Margaret Atwood? After I read it I made the mistake of telling my mom that parts of it reminded me of my childhood. Oops. Even now I could tell that she would give anything to go back and somehow prevent the pain caused me by *mean* little girls when I was young. Just like we all would do whatever we needed to protect our own young.
    You have so beautifully communicated that painful, driving desire to protect my children from the heart-breaking experience of navigating the emotionally treacherous space of the playground. And take heart! You've provided your own children with such excellent resources! Funny, kind, smart, thoughtful. They're equipped. You’re putting well equipped people out there in the world. That's the thing that we all need to do for each other. Your kids will do no harm. (Now we just have to sequester all the *mean* kids, right? :))

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  44. Catherine,
    Thanks for that. Wish I could actually talk to you somehow. (sorry I am so much more boring than you !!)

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  45. fat pregnant lady! yuck - no! repeat after me, 'must look like angeline jolie! must look like angelina jolie ...
    repeat until you really hate yourself.
    congrats on the book - i'll look out for in the uk.

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  46. Catherine,
    Could you please, sometime, write about how you managed to even write this book, not to mention keep up with your weekly BabyCenter column (some of which overlapped, I realize), your other job(s), Michael and Ben?? As a writer and mom of two 2 and under I'd love to hear about it.

    Becky
    (with a whole-hearted endorsement of Waiting for Birdy, one of the few books I've read more than once)

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  49. Thanks for sharing the other book cover. I love the feet on tummy.

    I find the marketing of books fascinating. Especially with this whole "chick-lit" phase, the books are pink and look like 1950's martini napkins.

    I like your book with either cover, though, for me (a biography/memoir junkie), I appreciate photographs. I feel as if I've purchased someone's personal scrapbook, and I like that.

    I am so happy to have found your blog and your Wondertime column.

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  50. I am going to get the book as a present for myself. I started reading your column long before I was pregnant, and even then I wanted to print them all out to keep as a reference guide to how I wanted to parent. Now that I'm expecting, I may have to do just that (along with buying the book) because I read your columns and always think, I hope I can be that kind of mom.

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  51. Anonymous11:05 AM

    Good greif, I so know what you mean (in your latest Wondertime installment). Sometimes I watch my own sweet girl on the playground, when she's unaware that I'm looking at her, and my heart just breaks for no reason. She's only 3 and a half, so I know I'm totally in for it when she starts 'real' school.
    I have my very own copy of 'Waiting for Birdy' and I LOVED it. I too hope you continue letting us into your life by blogging, or writing colums or another book.

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  52. Wow...I just have to say that I think the photo of you pregnant with Birdy with Ben's wee feet on you is beautiful.

    I think it makes a much better cover then the other one personally.

    I have 9 and 10 year old boys and this year I have been trying to help my 10 year old through the betrayal of his best friend since Kindergarten telling him he isn't as intelligent as even the special education kids in their class. We have walked the path and feel the hurt no matter how much we long to carry the burden for them. They will be stronger better people for it, at least I hope so. People of character and empathy, though clearly your Ben is just full up on empathy, he is such a loving gentle soul.

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  53. Anonymous1:59 PM

    okay, catherine, it's me again, (not that you know who "me" is out here in reader land!)..... but i wanted to give you a warm fuzzy feeling here.......... i am a long time reader, for years, and the other day i was feeling so very blue, kids sick, husband and i so tired and grouchy with each other, and i said to myself "what can i do right now at night at home to make myself feel comforted?"...... and, no lie, i immediately said to myself "Read some of Catherine's old journal entries of Ben and Birday!" .............. big smile from me here! ........... once again, i say that i am one of your loyal groupies, honey, and i thank you yet again for all your writing and sharing! (i will have my name not be "anonymous" or whatever as soon as i take 4 seconds to figure out how to register my name here!) take care. sending you hugs and holiday cheer from another East Coast mom!

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  54. Anonymous9:24 PM

    I cried when I read your entry about Ben the innate motherly need to protect our children from every bad thing in life. I feel the same way about my sons, I think most good mothers feel the same way about their children. Life is a cruel place, our world is mean and children lose their innocence so quickly especially when they reach school age.

    Then I laughed when I read your comments about the brusies on Ben's legs in the photos. My son always seems to have the most of them when we are going to the doctor's office for a checkup or something. I feel like I shoudl put makeup on them or wish I could photo shop them out. Its amazing how active little boys can bang themselves up!

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  55. Anonymous10:22 AM

    When will there be a new Dalai Mama post on Wondertime? It is almost two weeks since the last one! I miss it!!

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  56. hi catherine!

    my husband bought me your book for Christmas (after some hinting from me).

    i loved it. thank you so much.

    sheri

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