miercuri, 20 iunie 2018

A year of pumping at work

I pumped at work for about a year now and this week I finally took the pump back home. I will keep it around for a few more weeks just in case there is any trouble but everything went well so far even though I now breastfeed only when I am with my baby. This weekend we probably had our last flight without an assigned seat and the flight attendant was very surprised to hear he has less than two years. The amount of milk I was extracting slowly decreased over time, probably because he is eating much less during the night although he still wakes up frequently for comfort especially towards the morning. I never got to use the designated room because it was on a different floor and I was always tight on time. We are still dreadfully late in the morning and I like to leave early so R. gets shorter days at the crèche.

There were a few moments when I was pulling my hairs because of pumping. I found a large scarf gave me enough privacy to save some time by pumping at my desk but I am fortunate to share the office with another parent that was always very gracious and understanding even when pumping got noisy. Occasionally things were less convenient when somebody was coming in the office to have a chat or when the cleaning lady was washing the floor during my pumping break. I adjusted my schedule and I managed to avoid putting up a "pumping in progress" sign. Things you do repeatedly wear you down more than a bad day from time to time. This only increased my respect for people that mow the grass or lay a brick un top of another day after day. Cleaning all the small parts took longer than I was expecting so each pumping session took at least half an hour. The plastic parts got mouldy after the first few weeks because I was not thorough enough and everything had to be replaced. It gave me nightmares just to think that I was feeding that to my little one.

I cut short my lunch breaks and somehow I managed to supervise two interns, teach a class on deep learning, give two talks for our group, advance a research project, get two articles published, qualify as a lecturer in France and receive a Marie Curie research grant for the next two years. All this got me back to my highschool weight but not without some more gray in my hair. On the plus size by now so many people have seen my breasts in parks, shops, airports, planes, and on the street that I find it hard to believe that at some point I was considering being in a relationship without showing my breasts because I was too insecure about my bra size.

miercuri, 2 mai 2018


 În conia de pământ miroase a ciorbă de fasole verde, bunica face rântașul și mai are nevoie doar de frunze de pătrunjel din grădină. Asta e treabă mea, alerg repede să adun un mănunchi de frunze, trec prin târnaț, cobor trepții, și în trecere strivesc cu tălpile goale câteva fragi negre căzute din frăgar. Oricum nu mai sunt la fel de bune de pe jos după ce le-a încălzit soarele. În grădină sunt multe de văzut și adun cu grijă fiecare frunză, așa că bunica o să mă mai aștepte ceva vreme. După ce termină ciorba îmi clătește tigaia de rântaș cu un polonic de ciorbă pe care o să îl mănânc eu prima înainte să vina toată lumea pentru prânz. Primul polonic e cel mai gustos și nimeni nu face o ciorbă mai bună ca bunica.   
 După ce toată lumea a terminat de mâncat copiii merg obligatoriu la somn în casa din sus unde nu sunt muște și e întuneric și răcoare ca să nu ne mai aibă în picioare toată ziua. Dacă ajunge bunicul de la spital cu cursa și nu dorm toți copiii o să fie mare prăpăd, știe dacă dormim sau nu din vârful dealului. Mi-e frică să-l supăr dar nu știu ce s-ar putea întâmpla. Până acum cel mai rău lucru a fost să mă trimită după buruieni și frunze de napi pentru rațe. Mă revolt. Acasă nu ne pune nimeni să dormim și nici la bunica de la Vidra, tare aș mai fugi încă un pic prin curte după rațe. Azi o să mă prefac doar că dorm cu cearceaful tras pe cap și nu o să știe nimeni. Poarta de la grădină se trântește cu zgomot metalic pentru că bunica aleargă prin curte după o treabă sau alta. O data, de două ori, de trei ori...
 Acum conia e bucătărie de vară cu geamuri termopan, frăgarul a fost tăiat pentru că era mult prea înclinat și cineva a dat cu capul (nu destul), alți copii aleargă prin curte și altcineva pune ciorba în farfurie (niciodată la fel de bună). 
 S-a dus Anuca.

miercuri, 27 decembrie 2017

luni, 13 noiembrie 2017

A Halloween story from county Galway

I started reading the story of the missing children from Tuam on the bus to my first Saturday out as a mother, with my own little darling safely asleep in our bedroom on his Montessori tatami. I was already feeling nauseated because of a stomach bug that would eventually clear out after a rainy Sunday at home with my boys. With our Halloween decorations still out, it made me think of the furious fight of my Christian friends on Facebook against these celebrations. Why celebrate the witches, the ghosts and the demons they ask. Maybe because they still haunt us for a good reason, and maybe because sometimes we should be just as horrified by nuns.

Later edit

While the missing children from Tuam seem mere relics from a time long gone, this article sheds some light on a more modern debate in its dark conclusion.