Books, Goals, Guilt, and Gratitude

Shopping at is too easy.  They don’t even put me through the hassle of entering the last four digits of the credit card I have on file (believe it or not, I don’t have it memorized).  I just click a few times, the order is placed, and as long as I spend twenty-five dollars (e-a-s-y), the shipping is free.

What did I buy this time?  Books. I bought “Making Babies: Stumbling Into Motherhood” by Anne Enright and “Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood: The Good, The Bad and the Scary” by Jill Smokler.  I purchased both books for opposition research (ha!).  I’d like to write a book about motherhood, too, so it makes sense to see what others in the field are doing.

I read an interview online with Anne Enright and then read an excerpt from her book, which made me want to weep (happy weeping) because her writing is so brilliant and honest.  Jill Smokler is a mom who started a blog, built a brand and then wrote a book.  Now she’s buying cute book tour outfits, doing the morning talk show circuit, and probably shopping around Hollywood for a movie deal.  I’m sure she’s really nice and a great mom, but I kinda hate her.    (Jealous Mama alert!)  I just hope if there’s room in the world for a Scary Mommy, then there’s room for a Runaway Mama, too.

Just so you know, I bought both of these books in hardcover.  This Shopaholic Mama wasn’t going to wait around for paperback, and the Kindle versions weren’t much cheaper.  Lately, I’ve been reading books the old-fashioned way.  I still love the way a book feels in my hands, and besides that, my Kindle is getting old and I want a new one.  (Mike, if you’re reading, Mother’s Day is just around the corner.)

Here are the other books piled on my desk and bedside table just waiting for a lazy, rainy, kid-free, dish-free, laundry-free, blog-free day (i.e. never):

“How To Get Your Kid To Eat…But Not Too Much” by Ellyn Satter.  This book had promise until page four.  In talking about a young child’s early food experiences, Satter wrote:

“Very few adults would be willing to deliberately do something that would hurt a child’s feelings or lower her self esteem.  But that happens all the time in feeding.  It happens because adults have their own hangups about eating and play them out in the way they feed their children.” 

That was as far as I got with that book.  Go ahead, tell me I didn’t give it a chance, but I think I’m smart enough to know that I’ve reached the maximum limit of guilt that one Mama can handle.  Reading that passage brought me straight back to the baby food aisle where I would buy 20-30 jars of Earth’s Best baby food per week and subject Dylan to pureed spaghetti with cheese or vegetable beef pilaf.  He hated all of it, but I was a New and Isolated Mama, and I didn’t know what or how else to feed him.

“The Magician’s Assistant” and “The Patron Saint of Liars,” both by Ann Patchett.  My friend Colby, who works in publishing, sent me these books after a conversation we had about Patchett’s “Bel Canto,” which is one of the best books I’ve ever read.  I started “The Magician’s Assistant” a few months ago and it’s wonderful, but I got sidetracked by, well, motherhood.

“The Weird Sisters” by Eleanor Brown.  I don’t know much about this book, but I kept hearing about in the blogosphere, and I succumbed during a fierce shopaholic moment in Barnes and Noble.  I love buying books as much as I love buying $58 t-shirts at Anthropologie.  I’m not sure when I’ll read it.  Maybe after Riley goes to college.  That will be around 2027.

“Raising A Sensory Smart Child” by Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske and “No Longer A Secret: Unique Common Sense Strategies for Children with Sensory Motor Challenges” by Doreit S. Bailer and Lucy Jane Miller.  Every time Dylan’s OT recommends a book, I buy it immediately.  Doing so gives me a sense of control over a situation of which I have none.  This is what happens when I try reading these books: (1) I get confused because sensory processing disorder is so freakin’ complicated and intangible to me, and (2) I cry.  I have a lot of guilt – still – about not diagnosing Dylan sooner. My sanity and emotional well-being depends on these books’ indexes occasionally being browsed but their pages rarely being read.

“The Space Between Us” by Thrity Umrigar.  I started reading this gem of a book because it was chosen for my next book club meeting.  I’m enjoying it every time I have a few minutes to read a few pages, but I have no babysitter the night of book club, so this one, unfortunately, might join the Ann Patchett books and “The Weird Sisters” and be read in about 15 years.

There are at least a dozen more books stacked on the lower shelf of my bedside table, but those are so far down on the queue that I’m not going to write about them (or think about them or look at them).  In fact, my 2012 gratitude journal is strategically resting on top of them.  That’s been gathering some dust lately, too.  Shit. Or, as I try to say around the kids, sugar snaps.

April 5, 2012 – I’m grateful for the abundance of books in my life…whether I read them or not.  I’m also grateful I had the chance to give two large bags of children’s books to my cleaning lady who is going to give them to her church. (ß Paying it forward!)

What books have you bought, read, not read, hid and or given away recently?

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Filed under books, food issues, gratitude, guilt, Jealous Mama, jealousy, sensory processing disorder, Shopaholic Mama, shopping

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