Every other Thursday I explore the concept of possession with one of the many amazing women I have had the pleasure to meet in my almost three years of blogging. I love sharing these very talented writers with you, and the Dishwasher enjoys learning about other demonic appliances.
This week I have the pleasure of introducing you to Debra Cole of Urban Moo Cow.
I love it whenever I meet a fellow New Yorker in my blogging travels so I was very excited when I found out that she lives in Brooklyn with her husband, toddler son and their extremely neurotic corgi.
I love how your blog got it’s name. Could you share the story with my readers?
Once, in the sleepless days of my son’s first few weeks, I caught my husband beaming at us while I was nursing.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he said with a smile.
I supposed he was simply happy that the whole, fraught nursing thing was working out for me. I think he was also fascinated that I was making food for our child. In my boobs. “You are a very good Moo Cow,” he added, kissing me on the head. Rather than be offended, I embraced the moniker, and a nickname was born.
Deb, I always give the Dishwasher first crack at the questions and this week the possessed appliance would like to know, before you had your son what was the one household appliance you could not live without?
I don’t remember what I did before my son was born. I think it involved yoga and sleep and eating out at great New York City restaurants. None of those required a household appliance.
Now, I am thrilled to death to have a dishwasher. This apartment, where I have lived since May 2012 (so not even two years) is the first time I have ever had a dishwasher in my adult life. True story.
What is your favorite appliance now that you are a mom?
Have you ever had a possessed appliance?
Right now the trunk of my car opens on its own whenever it wants. I’ll just be sitting there minding my own business and the trunk flies open.
Okay, technically not an appliance but you got the Dishwasher’s attention, please explain.
My car’s name is Brunhilde. Because she is German. Before her I had Baby Hans, a slightly smaller version by the same maker. I loved Baby Hans. He handled great, and I spent a lot of hours driving him. We were soul mates. I could parallel park him like a ninja on any street in New York.
We had to get Brunhilde when the baby came because Baby Hans was too small. I’ve always sort of resented her. She feels clunky in comparison, and her GPS voice is super bossy. Plus, she’s almost always wrong about driving in New York. It could be 5:30 pm, smack dab in the middle of rush hour, and she’s like “Oh, the fastest way is definitely across 42nd street.” And I’m like, “Shut up, Brunhilde. I’m not going that way. I hate you.”
I think she’s offended and is now popping the trunk at inconvenient times, which is the car equivalent of sticking up your middle finger.
Excellent! Brunhilde’s devilish antics have more than appeased the Dishwasher.
Deb when I was a new mom I found people loved to give me parenting advice or make some comment about what I was or was not doing, what is the strangest or most annoying piece of parenting advice or “helpful” comment you have gotten?
Well, I’m going to punt on this one because I’m in a new book called The Mother of All Meltdowns. It’s a collection of essays by some great bloggers. And my meltdown essay is centered squarely on such unsolicited advice.
Here is an exclusive sneak preview of the beginning of the piece. You’ll have to buy the book to get the rest!
I lost my cool on a fine January afternoon over one simple word: hat.
I live in New York, a city not known for its tact. Even so, I was unprepared for the lengths people would go to stick their nose in my pregnancy and parenting. The chatter accumulated until one day, a middle-aged man on the street said the word “hat,” and I melted down.
But here’s another interesting anecdote. When I told my paternal grandmother I was pregnant, her response was — and I quote — “I hope it’s a boy so you don’t have to have another one.” ???
Yes, she said that to me. I don’t even know what she meant. Because boys are so fabulous that I could stop right there? But why would having one boy preclude me from giving him a sibling? My husband told me I was overthinking it.
What does being possessed mean to you?
Okay, now I’m going to get all deep and stuff. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (no, I do not know how to pronounce it), a psychology professor, introduced the concept of “flow” in the 1970s, it seems, although I was not introduced to it until 2002. “Flow” occurs when you become so absorbed in
I have done a lot in my life – I’ve traveled across five continents and lived on four of them; I have three Ivy League degrees; I am a certified yoga teacher. It turns out, however, that the only flow-worthy thing I do — indeed, have ever done — is write. I can sit down and start writing not look up for three hours. It doesn’t feel like work. It feels like life.
I have always been a writer. I started keeping journals when I was seven. I actually wrote a novella in sixth grade. (Nerd alert.) It’s how I study, how I process that which confounds me. So I guess you’d say I have always been possessed by writing; it’s just taken me nearly four decades to embrace the chaos and make it my own.
Writing possesses me. It’s the reason I still blog against all common sense.
Deb do you have a favorite post you would like to share with us?
I can’t limit it to one, sorry! My favorite funny post – It’s the End of the Boob Jackpot and I want a Refund. This post will always be one of my personal favorites because it is one that came pouring out without a lot of editing. (NSFW! Or men, for that matter.)
Favorite mushy mom post – Tethered as Heart. This is a short one from a year ago, but it still makes me cry every time I read it. “My love for him is somatic; I am tethered at the heart.”
And my favorite serious post – How Harmful is a Culture of Winning at all Costs? This post is very recent, but I’m proud of it. It is part of a new endeavor I began with four other sharp women called The Brilliant Book Club for Parents. It’s a book club for parents who want to discuss deeper topics than those explored, perhaps, in What to Expect.
Victim 2 Vikki Claflin