Sunday, September 27, 2015


I think that becoming a parent, from at least the moment when your child is born, makes you at least slightly insane. Or it makes you so sane that it looks like insanity to anyone who hasn't been through it. I can't tell which.

The love makes you insane. The love, the hormones, the fierce protectiveness that makes you feel like you could set things on fire in their name with just a thought. It's a kind of insanity I'm very grateful to be experiencing.

Parenting is the strangest combinations of mixed, intense, emotions. On the one hand, I never want to be away from my daughter and miss a single second of her nuances in expression, sound, or movement. On the other, I'd really like to poop and/or shower without a baby staring at me or melting down if she's away from me for a few minutes.

My daughter sleeps with me, curled up to me, running her fingers through the wisps of hair in front of my ears as she drifts off. When she's awake she tries to pull them out of my head. She strokes my cheek as she dozes, awake she bats at my face and pokes me in the eye.

If I could extend any moment into eternity it would be lying with her, as she cuddles with me, her belly against mine, her father pressed up against my back. I could live in those moments forever and have no regrets.

This love makes you insane. And you want every single second of it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015



The first thing you notice about her will not be the subtle scales that play across her skin like opals set with inner flames. It will not be the impossible darkness of the ever-shifting cloud of her hair, threaded with seemingly thousands of tiny sparkling gems. You will forget the light luminous green of her sleek limbs.  You will not notice, at first, that she is half-naked, or that she seems to glide rather than walk across the deep jade floor. You will not realize that you have not seen the face behind that mass of deeply shadowed waves, because you already believe that she is beautiful. 

Instead, the first thing you will notice about her is the delicate looking tattoo etched along her spine. It is framed perfectly by the smooth curves of that pale, sloping back, and the blackness in which she floats. It travels along each individual vertebra from the top of her long neck to the base, just as her hips curve and disappear beneath a silky, draping skirt. You never see her feet.

The lines of the tattoo are so fine that you cannot imagine what tool etched it there. It moves with her body, so much a part of her skin that you believe she was born with it, like a strangely detailed birthmark. It slithers along her spine, always moving, like a living, breathing thing.

In a way, it is a mark of her birth, though it came upon her rather later than when she slipped out of the womb. This mark of her fall weaves along her spine in coils and curls, in delicate lines and swirls, shimmering with a hint of scales. The beauty of her body is equaled only by the desire to possess it, completely. Followed closely by the certainty that you never will.

It does not matter that you have forgotten why you are here. You have forgotten all the trials that led you to this moment, all the battles, all the blood. Your sword has been abandoned, your quest a pointless task easily put past.  Nothing matters but the body before you, its lithe muscles, Like countless others before you, you are drawn to the sway of her, the promise of heat and sweat.

Then she begins to dance.

Each limb becomes a fluid blur. She flashes towards you, small breasts pink-tipped and bare and free of any blemish. Her muscles move and slide with a sinewy, disturbing grace. The subtle scaling of her flesh glitters, the fair green sheen of it glowing in the dark. The tattoo seems to twist towards you with each smooth rotation of her hips. Her hair swarms about her, a wild haze of curls set with sparks.

She is shadow and light, a body of motions, a swaying skin. Each glide brings her closer, just shy of touching you. You want that more than you have ever wanted anything. Almost.

You still have not seen her face.

She spins around you and as she finally slides her startlingly cool hands up your back you sigh. Your clothes are gone in a moment. She runs palms up your spine, followed by those small breasts, finally skin to skin. Her fingers come around and over your belly. The wanting blossoms, full, hard, demanding.

She presses you down onto the smooth jade floor. She straddles you, her hair hanging over her face, swinging like living shadows. You reach to push it back and she holds you away with sinewy strength. You want to see her, need to see all of her, but you are helpless in those hands. Then you feel the heat between her legs over you and forget anything else. She laughs, then, throaty and dark.

Inside, you are lost to her slick heat. It holds you, rocks you, consumes you. You breathe for her, move for her. She lets you hold her hips as she takes her own pleasure, you watch as she comes in waves, her back arching impossibly tight, breasts thrust high. She is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. Caught within, she holds you on the brink, slowing you, taming you, claiming you.

Finally she lets you touch her, and you run your hands up her back, damp with sweat. Her spine slithers against your fingers as she clenches around you. She tosses her head and hair back as you are set free, aflame, hoarsely shouting with the violent, pulsing force of your coming.

You collapse beneath her, still filled with a wanting you cannot understand. You run a hand across your eyes feeling drugged, stung, drained. Her heat is your heat and you want her again, your hands yearn for the touch of her skin. When you look up you finally see her face.

The shifting shadows of her hair pull back to reveal eyes that ache with the monstrous, inhuman, terrifying beauty of the utterly damned. Her hair coils up, the things you took for glittering gems the eyes of hundreds of black snakes. Her mouth, impossibly red, smiles without pity. The slits in her yellow pupils regard you with a hunger that can never be satisfied.

Your last thought, as you become stone, is of that tattoo along her spine, the mark of her monstrosity. A warning and a promise of your demise.

She stands over her prey, a sad light in her serpentine eyes. She leans down and kisses the stony cheek, which cracks, splits, and crumbles. She considers the pile of dust that was once a human being before gently blowing it away. She glides toward another long hall and waits.

There will always be others.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Just For the Comfort of Sleep

New parenthood is hard. Anyone who tells you it's not is lying to you or themselves. Something being hard doesn't mean it's not also awesome, worthwhile, and rewarding. It's just also hard.

I'm a work at home mom, which means I'm raising while daughter while also working, usually in the same space. It's challenging. I feel guilty when I put on a show to occupy her while I check emails or do some writing. Most of what I get done happens during her naps. I love having her with me but I do sometimes wish I had help, even if it was just a few hours one day a week. I rarely get a shower to myself. Childcare just isn't affordable for us right now, though, and I'm glad I can be there for her. I know I'm lucky.

One thing I've learned is that while I'm teaching her a lot, I'm learning a ton myself. Especially to trust myself and my instincts.

This past weekend we decided to try the "cry it out" method on the advice of our pediatrician to get our baby to sleep through the night. I was honestly reluctant, she's never been a great sleeper and just has a hard time to working herself down. It's just how she is and while the "cry it out" method isn't as harsh as people think, I just wasn't convinced this was going to work for her.

It didn't.

In fact, it didn't work so spectacularly that she vomited from crying. Twice. And it's not like we let her cry for hours or anything. I know the idea is that they'll "work themselves out" and just go to sleep. Our daughter has really never done that, not without HOURS of frustration before then. She just isn't the kind of kid who shuts off like that. She has to be really tired, but she can still keep herself awake for a while before she finally shuts down. That's not helpful to anyone, least of all her, and it makes that particular method just completely useless. Because she isn't going to get the message, she's just going to be miserable, so we'll be miserable, and no one is sleeping.

I've read up on the vomiting thing and it's "normal" for babies to get so upset with crying they throw up. For me, that's just not acceptable. And the thing I had to remind myself is that I have the right to make decisions for myself and my daughter that I feel are right. That work for us. I know a lot of people whose kids didn't sleep through the night until their 1st birthday and beyond, regardless of methods attempted. It's just how it is. I don't think there's any one "right" way to do any of this, beyond the obvious like making sure they're fed and growing and loved.

There are 4 times my daughter has slept for 8-9hrs at a stretch, and nothing about any of those times has been any different. She wasn't out more during the day, she didn't play more, or eat more (or less). She just slept for that long. I've wracked my brain trying to see if there's any difference but there isn't. I never had to soothe her those nights to get her back to sleep, she simply...slept. If going out was the trigger, then the day we went to the beach should have resulted in a longer night. Nope. If more day feedings was the key, then the day she ate 32 ounces should have done it. Also nope.

Look, I trust my pediatrician. I'm pro vaccine, I don't think I know more than doctors, and I'm all about researched science. I've read all the stuff I could on childcare techniques for feeding, sleeping, all of it.

But I've also listened to parents, including nurses who work in pediatricians offices, and some kids things at their own pace. That's it. You can make yourself nuts or you can accept it. And you can learn to trust yourself that you know your child and that it's okay to do things differently than what you're advised when it just doesn't fit. Obviously make sure what you're doing is safe, and don't ignore medical advice in favor of "homeopathic" nonsense. But if you know your kid just isn't going to sleep without a bottle or a cuddle, well, that's how it is. Trust that you can do this.

And trust that though you WILL mess up, it won't ever be because you didn't love them and didn't try to do the "right" thing. It's just that what's "right" for your child may not fit any "technique". That's what makes them little people that you're learning about as much as they are learning from.