Confessions of a Helicopter Mom

Monday, February 25th, 2013

LuluWith a title like that, you’d think I have a brood of kids. I don’t even have one — not of the human variety, anyway. But I discovered this past week that I am, most certainly and somewhat uncomfortably, a mom.

Lulu was really sick this past week for the first time in her almost five years. What started out as the sniffles on Tuesday ended up with her staying overnight at the vet on Wednesday for gastric stasis — likely brought on by the stress of the vet visit the day before. (She’d never been given syringe medication before, so she kind of flipped out.)

Given how dangerous this can be for rabbits, I was beyond concerned. I was positively obsessed. Despite trying not to worry, to take my mind off her… I couldn’t.  I’d heard stories of how quickly bunnies can go from stasis. They just “give up” from the pain. And I was terrified because she’d been swooped away by the vet so quickly without me getting a chance to really kiss her and say goodbye, so I was scared she might not come back.

We have one of the foremost rabbit vets in the country as our doctor, and the tech staff there is really great, so I knew she was in good hands, but that didn’t stop me from checking her room every 10 minutes, forgetting she wasn’t in there. Or revisiting the same scenarios in my head and talking them out to Mike, who was probably ready to toss me off the balcony at that point, but didn’t let on. (Thanks for that.)  I knew he was stressed, too, so I appreciated his calm while I fell apart.

It may seem small to people with human children, especially those with kids who undergo major medical procedures or live with challenges every day, but to me Lulu being sick or potentially gone was huge. Everything, really.  When I spoke to the vet and they told me they’d like to keep her overnight, my voice cracked as I asked if she would be left unattended overnight. And then I had to get off the phone because I was afraid I would flat out cry and officially become Crazy Bunny Lady, though certainly they’d seen much worse based on what I’ve seen at some rabbit events. Rabbit appliqued crocheted sweater vests make a few tears seem less crazy.

When Lulu was able to come home the following afternoon, I hovered. I fretted. I checked on her 18 times in as many minutes. I have never been more anxious to see poop in my life. I realized I was “helicoptering”… and that I was probably putting out too much anxious energy, so I had to chill out. We even left for a bit to give her some peace and I could eat my feelings.

Admittedly, in the past, while I tried to sympathize with friends who worried like maniacs whenever they were away from their kids, I never quite “got it”. I love my friends (and their kids), but when I’d hear moms say things like “I hope their father hasn’t accidentally set them on fire”  for the 30th time, you start to think, “Lady, relax. What can possibly happen? Have a drink before I roofie you.”

But I get it now, moms. (File that under things I never thought I’d say.) I could’ve used a roofie* or like, a tranquilizer dart.

To some, Lulu’s just a pet. But when you haven’t had any pets of your own in your adult life and you’re likely never going to have kids, you can invest a lot in your pets.  She’s a member of my family, my best girl, and ultimately an investment of 10 years of my life.

Never in a million years did I think going to the swap meet for a tacky birthday gift four and a half years ago would result in the best thing ever.


* Relax, I’ve been ruffied before, I’m allowed to throw it around casually if I want.

Categories: drama, Life, Lulu

Yo, Mama.

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Lulu and JoelleI read a post shared on Facebook this morning that was in reply to another post on HuffPo that now has me writing this post in a fit of “what the fuck?!”. I have already been ranting on my Facebook profile about it, but I need to expound and can’t full express my indignation in that tiny font.

First, the original article: Pet Parents are NOT Moms by (apparent soulless twat) Susan Maushart. The title alone is enough to give you an indication of why I’m incensed.

In late April, Ms. Maushart posted this article on HuffPo filled with blanket statements on pet stupidity and how “real parents” don’t live in a fantasy world. She claims pets “eat their own vomit” and “run into traffic” and in no way equate to human children and the work involved in raising them.

I’m not suggesting that raising pets is the same as raising children. I’m sure raising children is very hard work and I admire the women, like my best friend Kathy, who do it every day and do it well, even when it’s hard.

But has Maushart ever been to Wal-mart?  There are plenty of human children that run into the street, eat gum off the sidewalk and shove things in their nose/ass/ears. Kids grab their own junk, pee on the floor and tell strangers about how daddy likes to read magazines in the bathroom (let’s see a dog do that!)  They’ll eat their own vomit and crap, too, if we — as parents — don’t tell them not to. Lulu would eat the carpet/run out into the street/dig at the wall if I didn’t I tell her not to. It’s called parenting.

Maushart (I want to make immature “shart” jokes, but I fear it would weaken my argument) also turned her nose up at things like veterinary insurance. So, if her pet was hit by a car… what? She’d just let it die because oh well, it’s just a stupid animal? Veterinary insurance, while I don’t have it, seems like a reasonable investment, considering the high cost of medical bills, both human and animal. My rabbit Lulu is a valued member of my family. If she got sick or injured, I’d want to do whatever I  could to save her. But I don’t have the scratch for cancer treatments or surgery bills, so that’s where insurance comes in. Maushart’s implication is that you just let the animal go, because hey, it’s just a pet.

Dorian Wagner on wrote an eloquent response to this in her rebuttal, “Hey, Susan Maushart: Pet Moms ARE Real Moms!” so I won’t rehash it — I’ll just encourage you to read her post.

But, what in Maushart’s original article really lights a fire in me is the high and mighty-ness, the condescension, the outright judgement… as I said on Facebook, the internet has us up to our collective ass in mom superiority and I am SO OVER IT.

Look, I had a mom, I have good, dear friends who are moms, many of you reading this are moms. I probably like you and have no issue with your life. I also don’t tell you how to raise your kids. I don’t tell you how you aren’t a REAL mom because your kid stuck crayons up his nose or carried dog shit around the yard. Why? Becuse you’re the mom and that’s your deal. I might stop your rogue child from running into the street — because as roadkill goes, I’m more accustomed to things like squirrels and armadillos, not people, but ultimately, the parenting is on you. You’re the mama.

So where the hell does this Maushart broad get off dictating and judging how I build my family? There are many women in this world who cannot have children — should they be denied the right to love and nurture another living creature, raising it as a part of her family, simply because she can’t have her own? Or can’t adopt? Or otherwise chooses not to have children?

I’m not carrying Lulu around in a baby bjorn or dressing her up like Little House on the Prairie and putting her in a crib. There are definitely folks who take the “baby” aspect of pet ownership a little far, in my opinion, but that’s between the pet owner and their therapist. It’s none of my business and as long as they are providing a stable and healthy home for their pet, it’s not my place to judge them.

But, I’ve had enough. ENOUGH of this “moms are better than other women” bullshit. I love women, I respect women. And I respect the right of all women to be mothers however they choose. Being a “real mom” doesn’t give you a perfect, magic fruit-producing vagina that lets you judge everyone else.  Chances are your kid just ate dog shit anyway. Go check.

Categories: Life, Lulu, peeves

Hobo Bun

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Rescued!So last night, mikey was picking up Jack in the Box to bring home on his lunch break from work. I get a frantic call, “A homeless guy needs to give up his rabbit, can I bring her home?”  I’m a little stunned, but given the situation, I said ok.

Apparently, the homeless dude had been carrying her around in his arms while riding a bicycle and panhandling for food and change… for who knows how long.  He said that she’s 3 years old and potty trained (though I beg to differ — but that might just be because she’s stressed and doesn’t have her own space right now) and that she loves being held. That is true — she’s very good at being held and loves to be pet. She’s slightly bigger than Lulu, but white like her and marked with similar markings, just pitch black instead of gray, like Miss Lulu.  She looks like  little cow. New bunny looks like she could be a mix of English Spot, Mini-Rex and maybe some Californian. She’s got a big black schnozz that blends into her other black markings. Her eyes are dark chocolate brown, almost black.

So, mikey put her in the backseat and she just sat there the whole ride home. We put her in Lulu’s big carrier that we used for the move and let her out a little last night to run around and stretch her legs (keeping Lu separate), but she pissed from here to eternity. There’s a little potty in the carrier, but she’s a bit big for it and I don’t think she “gets” that its for her to pee in.

She’s eating like crazy and guzzling so much water, it’s no wonder she peed all over the place. I think she was pretty dehydrated and she’s sort of thin. Her nails need trimming really badly.  She’s sweet, though. She loves having her nose pet and if I thought I could bond these two bunnies, I’d consider trying. But Lulu is Queen Bee. Apparently, this bunny was a solo bunny, too — also female, so it’s not exactly peas and carrots. Bonding can be a lot of work and take a lot of commitment and time which I just don’t have in spades right now. I’d rather find a rescue who can take the little hobo bunny.

But I’m racked with guilt over it — I mean, I can’t do everything and I can’t take on the costs of a second bunny, which means vet visits (she’s got a growth under her dewlap that looks about the size of a super bouncy ball) and a completely separate set-up just like Lulu’s (at least until they’re bonded, which could take months) and double the food, treats, toys…  It’s just too much right now — we just got here and Lulu is just now settling into a routine, so bringing in a new bun is just too stressful for us all. But we couldn’t just leave her with the homeless guy who was at his wit’s end. He loved her, but he clearly couldn’t care for her anymore. Poor little bun reeks of cigarette smoke. At least we provided her a warm place to sleep and food/water for the night.

I still feel sick over it. There are so many bunnies who are abandoned, I feel like because I have the means to care for her, I should, but I don’t feel like it’s the right time or fit. And Lulu is not happy about this stranger invading her domain. I have to remember that I’m not abandoning this bunny, we’re simply the liaisons — the stopover for this bun from owner to rescue.

Anyway, I’m trying to find her a home. I’ve called the vet (had to make an appointment for Lulu to get her nails trimmed today), but they gave me the name of only two bunny rescues here in Las Vegas.  One doesn’t open until 11 and may be at capacity.  The other I sent an email last night, haven’t heard back and their phone number appears to be out of order.  I don’t know what I’m going to do if we can’t find her a rescue/foster today.  She can’t stay in that carrier much longer, she needs to stretch out and run around…

She’s such a love — I wish I knew what to do. Mike was right to bring her home — we couldn’t leave her out in the cold with Smokey the Hobo, I just wish it wasn’t so gut-wrenching.

Categories: Life, Lulu

Lulu’s First Christmas

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Lulu’s First Christmas from Joelle Reeder on Vimeo.

Clearly, I’m doing some housecleaning. In the meantime, enjoy this little video I made of Lulu’s first Christmas. The light was low, so the quality was iffy in some spots, but I think it lends a certain nostalgic charm.

Happy Christmas!

p.s. I’m also running all my feeds through Feedburner now. While I’ve switched platforms and will be redirecting my old link to the new link, in the meantime, it would be great if you could update your feed. Thanks!

Categories: Lulu

Look What the Bun Dragged In

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I’ve wanted to blog about a zillion times and then I open this publish page and stare at it until I’ve talked myself out of whatever it was I wanted to blog about to begin with.

But, I refuse to give it up. I just can’t bring myself to do it.  Sure, I write a lot more on Yelp and Twitter lately and of course, sometimes on Moxie Design Studios, but this is my blog… so much of my current existence is wrapped up in blogs that not having one of my own would be like separating Linus from his blanket. Sure, I’ve changed the name twice, but I eventually came back to where I started.

Blogging is a weird thing… it’s changed so much and I think one’s expectations regarding blogging have changed. A lot of us have been blogging since ads were considered “sell-out”, when the idea of a fancy design was having some celebrity photo slapped in your banner, when people actually commented in order to get traffic and everyone (including myself) didn’t lurk via RSS feed.  Now, while progress is good and I’m on board with it, I get a little nostalgic for those times… when blogging didn’t feel so cliquey and I met some of the best people I’ve ever known.

I love blogging. I am a blogger. I cannot separate myself from that label, despite my recent waning of interest in writing about myself.  There’s a certain element of “people pleasing” that happens when you blog and while I’ve never been a balls-out, emotional blogger sharing intimate details, I do feel myself holding back sometimes, feeling the need to keep up “appearances”… though I’m not sure what appearances those would be. And because I find that’s disingenuous, I just choose to not blog at all.  I’d rather shoot my mouth off in 140 characters or less.

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Categories: Lulu