Sob Story

"Mother and Child," by William Zorach

For me, breastfeeding ROCKED.

I absolutely reveled in the nine months I spent nursing each of my daughters. It brought sweetness, peace, health, relaxation, natural breast enhancement, rapid weight loss – what’s not to love?

I’ll tell ya: PUMPING.

Now, I haven’t tested the latest model portable breast pumps, but I’m pretty darn sure they’ve evolved greatly from the one I used 15 years ago. The contraption was unwieldy and uncomfortable. It took quite an effort to assemble and put to use. Worst of all, it was noisy.

No, make that NOISY.

I recall a particularly cringeworthy 20 minutes spent pumping in the ladies’ room of a client’s office during a meeting break. It’s quite possible passersby thought the restroom was being renovated — if not completely demolished and rebuilt from scratch — as the monstrous whirring of the milking machine echoed off the tile.

But of course it was worth the effort to be able to provide that free and natural wonder food for my babes while I was away from them. And I was recently reminded of my pumping days when a dear friend, the mom of 6-month-old twins, told me she’d tipped over a full bottle of breast milk and…had a bit of a freak out. All that time and effort down the drain — or the side of the kitchen counter, as it were.

She knew I’d empathize.

She knew I’d understand that she wasn’t overreacting.

She knew I’d write a poem about it.

So, here’s to you, dear friend, and every breastfeeding mom out there: May your pumps run smoothly, may your freezers stay full and may you never spill a single drop.


Sob Story

After hours at a pump that’s been plying
Liquid gold from them, there’s no denying
Moms of lactating ilk
Know there’s one kind of milk
That – when spilt – fully justifies crying.

©2012 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

My Heart’s Desire

Our sweeties can treat us to flowers or jewelry or fancy dinners (or all of the above!) on Valentine’s Day, and we’ll be quite appreciative. But maybe they should be breaking out the rubber gloves and Mr. Clean instead. For, according to recent studies, women are more likely to feel amorous when their partners help out around the house. The media’s even created a term for the phenomenon: chore-play.

It makes sense to me. Who can focus on romance with a stack of dishes in the sink, or dust bunnies under the bed? And even though it’s the 21st Century and gender roles have been evolving for decades, the majority of housework still falls upon the woman’s shoulders.

So guys, take note. After you place that call to the florist, you might want to give these folks a call, too. Or dust off that dust pan and get to it.


My Heart’s Desire
I don’t want roses,
I don’t want chocolate —
as strange as that may seem.

I don’t want diamonds
or rubies or pearls
in settings all agleam.

I don’t want wining and dining,
not even a home-cooked meal.

Silky lingerie won’t sway me,
and perfume holds little appeal.

I don’t want a mani or pedi,
a facial or a massage.

A night out dancing won’t do it,
nor a night in a snow-laden lodge.

No, give me a tidy white kitchen,
a bathroom that’s pure and pristine,
a living room swept till it’s spotless,
with the cleanest floors I’ve ever seen.

Lure me into a boudoir that’s straightened,
on a neatly made bed I’ll recline;
for your dusting has turned me to lusting
and I’ll be your Valentine.

©2011 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz


A lovely distraction.


I received a friend’s Christmas card in the mail today.

It wasn’t a postal delay; it had been mailed on January 14th. At least she did better than me. I didn’t send out a single card. Simply never got around to it.

Which of course led to my New Year’s resolution: no more putting stuff off. And right at the top of my “TO DO” list? Getting back into the groove of writing this blog. Thus, I’ve sequestered myself in a corner of my favorite public library to write this post.

Now, no sooner had I resolved that 2011 would be my year to Get Stuff Done than I stumbled across a New Yorker piece about this very subject. (Um….yeah…I was procrastinating at the time.) The article explores the history, sociology and science of the all-too common, all-too human act (non-act?) of dragging our feet.

Turns out I have some very illustrious company in putting things off till later, including Civil War General George McClellan and author Victor Hugo, who “would write naked and tell his valet to hide his clothes so that he’d be unable to go outside when he was supposed to be writing.”

Sounds like a very motivating method. Not sure the librarians here would appreciate my trying it, though…



There are torn jeans that need mending,
and thank-yous that need sending,
bills I should be paying,
and a garden that needs spraying.

I’ve got closets that need cleaning,
a rug in need of steaming,
potatoes that need boiling,
plus a roast I should be broiling.

There’s my blog I should be writing,
lots of other work I’m slighting,
dirty clothes that need collecting,
and a car that needs inspecting.

I have dishes that need stacking,
and lunches that need packing,
Christmas stuff to put away,
and a workout gone astray.

There’s a smoke detector beeping,
wooden floors I should be sweeping,
appointments to be making
and a shower I should be taking.

Yes, you’d think that I’d get going
with this list that’s ever-growing,
but I have to keep it waiting:
I’m too busy…procrastinating.

©2011 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz