Archive for August, 2011

She’s Like the Wind

No one likes to be without electricity, let’s be honest. I think, however, there is a SPECIAL KIND of power-less status when you have a small person with, uh, a Dora addiction and also a major desire for things like fresh foods and a very special sound machine that makes the ONLY SOUND in the entire universe that is acceptable, did you know that? And did you also know it doesn’t come with a battery back-up? WHY DOES IT NOT HAVE A BATTERY BACK-UP?


The soother of destiny.

I can’t even talk about it without getting some kind of wild PTSD-related twitches, because my child DID NOT SLEEP the entire time! And neither did we! FOR TWO DAYS! HA HA HAAA! And we drove around town like refugees! But NOT BEFORE we sat through the storm and witnessed my neighbor’s house get basically, uhhh, decimated by the winds, as tree after tree toppled over, demolishing bit by bit of the poor guy’s yard, fence, gazebo, and finally, house.

(He’s fine. His, um, life-size replica of the statue of David and accompanying blue-lit gazebo is … not. I can’t type that sentence with a straight face. Yes, David was situated so he faced the rear windows of the house in all his glory, and yes, he was LIT UP IN BLUE, rain or shine, every night of the year. I GOT NOTHING HERE, PEOPLE. Except my neighbor has promised he’s going to “Rebuild! Bigger and stronger than ever!” WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT MEANS? WILL DAVID GET A BIGGER PENIS?)

Irene was supposed to be this BIG OVERHYPED THING, according to New Yorkers, who we learned are the center of the universe. “New York is safe! Hallelujah!” read the headlines. Meanwhile, everyone else was not doing all that well — including large parts of New York’s economic sisters-in-arms, Connecticut and New Jersey. And Vermont! Oh, poor Vermont, right? I feel a little shattered every time I hear what’s going on there, and when I see pictures of all the roads we used to travel on that are literally GONE, I feel even sicker.

I also feel a remarkable appreciation for working light switches, and Sam quite literally WEPT WITH RELIEF when she pushed the button on her sound machine and it turned on. She cried from happiness. “I can go NIGHT-NIGHT!” she declared through a mixture of laughter and tears. “MAH MACHINE!”

Good God, did I fuck this kid’s sleep up good and hard or what? It seemed like a good idea, this sound machine. We live in a single-story ranch! That sound machine’s presence enables us to watch television and take showers and have conversations after 8 p.m. and GOD, I HAVE MADE HER DEPENDENT.

She seems relatively unscathed though.

Heeey, did anyone ever tell you what a CRAP IDEA those little carts are for small children? And how it will turn grocery shopping into a horrible adventure, filled with injury (crashing into your heels), intrigue (will she take out the ENTIRE display of parmesan, or just nick it?) and excitement (Look! It’s like bumper cars! Except not at ALL HA HA OH GOD)? Never again. I will do ANYTHING to stop my daughter from finding that little cart ever again, even if I have to call the manager of Price Chopper MYSELF and demand all removal of toddler-size shopping carts from their existence at the CORPORATE LEVEL.

(Too unrealistic? AIM HIGH, I say.)

I hope you have a great Wednesday, or whatever day you read this!

*YE OLDE SWAYZE

135 comments August 30th, 2011

Somewhere a Clock is Ticking

I’ve been cat sitting for a good friend of mine, and it has, oddly, made me feel better about hiring babysitters, because one of the most irrational fears I had about having someone in my home was that they would, uh, snoop around? And discover … well, probably nothing exciting, is the hilariously ironic part. I mean, even my bedside table drawers contain little more than some old knitting projects, hand lotion and an ancient pile of magazines. Anything of value/informationally harmful is locked in a fireproof box, and if they want to dig through our filing cabinets to find old copies of our water bill, by all means, KNOCK YOURSELF OUT.

But the thing is, I hire nice, upstanding, respectable babysitters who would never DO that, and yet it’s always been my fear. And there I was, in Jess’s house the other day, creeping through her rooms with such deference that I didn’t even want to look around, lest I see something I shouldn’t. Meanwhile, I am normally at her house so often, I might as well LIVE THERE, and don’t even think twice about rooting around her cabinets for a snack, but when I was there ALONE, I was petrified of … disturbing something or opening a drawer and having, I don’t know, a TAX RETURN fly out and READ ITSELF TO ME, thus leaving me with accidental knowledge of their inner workings that I did not want. I can’t even fathom LOOKING for those things, and I genuinely don’t know anyone who WOULD, much less the nice women who come and hang out with Sam.

Also, um, DING DONG HELLO, you guys, I’ve been using the library and I FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT, IT IS SO AWESOME. I know I talked about this whole, um, request feature, but ah, the whole going to pick up FREE BOOKS that I just READ and then RETURN THEM when I am finished is … um, whoa. Yes, I know this concept is hardly revolutionary, but IT IS TO ME. I previously used the library only for older books that I fished from the shelves, but now? There is BOOK PLANNING. And people, I love nothing more than to PLAN. This is why BUDGETS MAKE ME HAPPY. And the library request system is like … like a BOOK BUDGET, kind of.

I do struggle with the fact that I’ve always like to use my discretionary income to support authors and bookstores, so this is … hard for me. But honestly, I read too damn much to be able to justify the cost, particularly when half the books I read are just throwaways (I’m looking angrily at you, Linger, with my LET-DOWN EYES). This way, however, I support the library and the right for everyone to have free access to good books. I particularly like to do this with my late fees, which are ALWAYS on books I get out for Sam, because I CANNOT REMEMBER which ones we own and which ones are the library’s.

And finally, I’ve been having several Bloody Beefs lately — prompted entirely by That Time of The Month, and I am ashamed to admit it, BUT IT IS THE TRUTH — about various things, typically money-related, because this is an area I feel like I HAVE CONTROL, so I become HYPER-FOCUSED ON IT, which is just ridiculous, because a) we’re fine; b) it is what it is, please, you show me an American family who has no financial worries whatsoever and I’ll show you … well, half of MetroWest, probably. Affluence is the name of their game, They of $300K Median Incomes. But whatever! THAT IS NOT THE NORM.

So there I am, having my monthly PMS-related freakout about — wait for it — the cost of college tuition. Which, yes, a worthy thing to freak out over, but you know, my kid starts PRESCHOOL NEXT WEEK. And I was so worked up about all of this that tonight, I announced to Adam that YES, FINE, Sam can live at home while she goes to Mass Bay Community College, it’s FINE. I said this as if it were FACT and GOING TO HAPPEN, because, according to my PMS-fueled calculations, a state school education is going to cost SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR, and I want another kid! Do YOU have an extra $150K lying around for ONE YEAR OF SCHOOL? I don’t think our 529 plan is going to grow THAT MUCH, do YOU?

(Picture this all said in a hysterical, this-must-be-handled-RIGHTNOW voice, if you will.)

And this, seriously, is where I love my husband so hard, because he puts up with exactly NONE of my bullshit and does nothing to fuel my anxiety, but instead, replied with:

“You know who we should ask about this. Gary.”

“Who’s Gary?”

“Our next door neighbor, the financial advisor. IN THE HOUSE WE LIVE IN SIXTEEN YEARS FROM NOW. Do you see how ridiculous this is now? I love you. Goodnight.”

Aaaand, fin.

*Snow Patrol

115 comments August 25th, 2011

Love, Etc.

My mother often worries about what an anxious person I am, and if that’s not a bizarrely ironic statement, I don’t know what is. I think that sentence about sums it up, but I can’t help but chuckle to myself just thinking about WHERE I might have gotten such anxiety FROM?

After all, the woman who raised me is the same person who, upon learning that I would be wearing my (beautiful but fairly modest, at least by local standards — I mean I’m not rocking an eyeball on my finger or anything) engagement ring on my honeymoon, was absolutely HORRIFIED and fretted aloud that I needed to guard my hands everywhere I went, because someone could just come up to me and MACHETE IT RIGHT OFF MY FINGER, and she was completely serious. Oh wait, no, I think she meant that they would MACHETE OFF MY ENTIRE FINGER, not just the ring. So.

(We honeymooned in Aruba, which is incredibly safe and not at all prone to rogue machetes, even in a post-Natalee Holloway world.)

(Not that I’m blaming the victim here, but I think we can all agree that it was highly unlikely that I would be getting wasted and trekking off to parts unknown with strange local men I had just met on my honeymoon, I mean, right?)

She ALSO forwards me EVERY SINGLE THING she gets that is a warning of some kind, whether it’s the woman who narrowly missed going home with a guy who had duct tape and rope in the back of his car or how to keep yourself safe in the event of a person who wants to steal your car in a parking lot (throw your keys in one direction, run in the opposite direction. Scream a lot.)

I don’t even know where I’m going with this, except I keep laughing at all the warnings she gives me about keeping my eye on Sam when we’re out in public, when first of all, HAAAA, as if she raised me to be anything but PSYCHOTICALLY SUSPICIOUS, but also, every mother of a two-year-old knows that taking your eyes off them in a public place is JUST NOT POSSIBLE. I mean, yes, you don’t want them running into traffic or being abducted or what have you, but the more pressing reason is that they are like tiny destructive robots who will leave rubble in their wake if you leave them unattended for like, five whole seconds.

For God’s sake, I was putting CUCUMBERS IN A FRACKING BAG today at the grocery store, thus occupying my hands for what, a FRACTION OF A SECOND?, and the kid nearly took out the entire banana stand. It was teetering! Bananas were at risk! Repeat, BANANAS WERE AT RISK.

So yeah, geez, I keep an eye on my kid for the safety of everyone involved, including the bananas, but also because yes, my mother raised me to be EVER VIGILANT of people who want to do me or my child harm.

(I’m sure she’ll comment here. Keep your eyes peeled.)

Along those lines, I have said this elsewhere before, but when we lived in South Carolina, we were always warned to not go near golf balls that had fallen into the many ponds around our house (or anywhere, really). South Carolina — at least the area we lived — was pretty lax when it came to allowing fairly large alligators to live in the lagoons on golf courses and housing developments, and the one behind our house was particularly gigantic. I wouldn’t put Sunny on a lead out there, is what I’m saying. ANYWAY, every golfing season, some jackhole would lose a limb digging after his golf ball, because he found out too late that the golf ball he was digging at was an alligator egg, which HA HA.

But the thing is, wouldn’t YOU take off the limb of anyone who tried to harm your kid? I would BREAK THEIR NECK, honestly, without even flinching, and if ever there was a time to have sympathy for an alligator, motherhood is it. See also: I have an entirely new appreciation for the peril we were actually in when I was on a hike in high school with my boyfriend and some friends, and a baby bear — an adorable, tiny, picture-perfect baby bear — rolled right in front of us on the trail. At first we were like, OH LOOK, a baby bear, how CUTE! And then, OH MY JESUS GOD, A BABY BEAR! RUN! because that bitch would have TORN OUR FACES OFF.

Apropos of nothing, now might be the time to mention that Baby Bear’s (Sesame Street) speech impediment makes me positively ENRAGED. I’m all for being inclusive and making kids feel like everyone is different and speech impediments are okay, but my GOD, it’s TERRIBLE and not even REALISTIC-SOUNDING and SESAME WORKSHOP, I’M PRETTY PEEVED.

I hope you have a great Tuesday. Give yourself a cookie for making it through this absurdity unscathed.

*Pet Shop Boys

103 comments August 22nd, 2011

Kids

Did I ever tell you guys about the time we — and I do mean we — flipped out royally and took Sam to the pediatrician, convinced she had a rare neurological disease for what turned out to be ah, her first temper tantrum?

Yes. Yes, we did. People really do that. In our defense, it was just after she’d had strep, and if you Google strep in children, it comes back with all these wackadoo side and after effects, and one of them is this thing called, ah, PANDAS. Mind you, I did not make this discovery, as I was too yanked out over whether she had meningitis to be concerned about anything else (“Sam, can you put your chin down for Mommy? No, down? DOWN?”), but she started acting, um, weird (HAAAA) and Adam came into the room, eyes nearly brimming with Tears of Parental Concern and said, “What is this PANDAS crap? I don’t like it.”

He’d been Googling. And my husband NEVER Googles. I AM THE CRAZY GOOGLER. But no, there he is, Googling about this INCURABLE disorder that causes nervous tics and OCD and bizarro behavior, and HA HA, a tantruming kid looks a lot like that, right? RIGHT. So we make an appointment for 20 minutes from that moment — I called the pediatrician in tears — and was fuming that I couldn’t get her in sooner (“Mrs. Rubin, that’s … in twenty minutes.”), and HAAAA OH MY GOD.

The conversation with the ped included a diagnostic line of questioning about her potential OCD habits, to which my husband replied entirely earnestly, “Well … she’s REALLY into the mail.” (And she is, but … oh God, it all was so LOGICAL in that MOMENT, you guys, and OH MY GOD, I KNOW.)

The whole thing turned out to be the unfortunate coincidence of the developmental onset of temper tantrums combined with the tail end of strep, and finally, the doctor who, to his credit, did not laugh, announced, “I … I think she’s just fine.”

There you have it. Whenever you find yourself wondering if you should call the pediatrician, now you know. I called — oh, did I not mention it was a HOLIDAY? — and made an EMERGENCY APPOINTMENT because my child was having a TEMPER TANTRUM, and they still take my calls.

I think of this because, surprisingly, my kid fell and basically bashed her head in and is GUARANTEED to have a black eye in the morning, and I was/am surprisingly chill about it, and … well. We’ve come a long way, baby.

I think that’s enough humiliation for the day.

Have a great Thursday!

*MGMT

52 comments August 17th, 2011

Enjoy the Silence

Last week mostly sucked. I wish I could be more eloquent than that, but man, it just wasn’t a great week. Between the jackhammering of our foundation (OMFG), a napless kid thanks to said foundation hammering and the fact that I realized A-HA! I was supposed to have a BABY this week! … it was, um, unpleasant. I was in a mood the likes of which I haven’t seen in months and months. It wasn’t until I stormed away from the construction workers muttering, “Are you fucking KIDDING ME?” only to come inside and — oh, I can barely type it without cringing — throw a head of cauliflower so hard on the counter that it shattered in a jillion florets that I realized, HM. Perhaps I am not being myself here. You know, because I’m sobbing into my sleeve amongst the cauliflower shrapnel while my daughter– my poor, sweet daughter — asks, “Are you okay, Mommy?”

(I picked up the florets and roasted them anyway. Do you think less of me?)

(Genuine, turnaround-quality bright spot: A delightful day at Davis Farmland with Maureen and her perfect children. I love her. And them.)

The good news is that my ClearBlue Easy fertility monitor sticks are somewhere in Cleveland, thus, giving me the perfect excuse to hold off for another month before getting back on the Train of Potential Conception, although I have to tell you, I feel kind of ready for another baby, and that’s something I couldn’t say a month ago. One of my best friends is pregnant, and her due date is coming soon (November!) and I can’t wait! I can’t WAIT! I want to hold the tiny baby! I want to SEE the tiny baby, and I want to see her daughter, Lila, with a little brother, although I think Sam is going to be pretty pissed off, because Megan is her favorite. She already gets the scraps from Lila, and when there’s a baby in Meg’s lap, HAAAA, rage.

Plus, you know, Sam starts school in a few weeks, and I’m seriously acting like she’s headed off to college. Tonight, I asked Adam if Sam is still going to like me, or if she’s going to want to live at school. I wasn’t even being a little jokey about it, because what if she hates me? What if this is the end, and she’s all done with me and just wants to hang out with her friends? What if she stops holding my face in her hands and saying, “MOMMY! I love you…”? THEN WHAT?

I will burn down the preschool, that’s what.

Speaking of babies, we up and left our precious child with a (great, new, reader of this blog) babysitter on Saturday night to see Harry Potter at the Imax and eat sushi. And you GUYS. Yes, the movie was great, blah blah, and yes, we go to an Imax theater that is, mysteriously, inside a furniture store (I don’t know, either, but those Jordan stores are like MINI DISNEYLAND), but the thing is, Harry Potter is a loud movie, right? And add the Imax experience, which includes “butt-kickers,” which vibrate the seats during explosive-type scenes, and … well, you get the idea.

The thing is, so there’s Harry Potter, one of the loudest movies EVER — I mean Deathly Hallows is basically one big battle scene, and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying so — and near the beginning of the movie, there was this BIG! EXPLOSIVE! sound and then … silence.

Which is precisely when the man next to me farted. Very loudly.

YOU GUYS. In a twisted way, I felt HORRIBLE for him, because MY GOD, the movie was SO LOUD, and WHAT ARE THE CHANCES that he’s going to let one rip JUST as the SILENCE FILLS A CROWDED THEATER?

But the worst part — the WORST! — is that Adam was wholly convinced it was me, and he was GLARING at me, like *I* was the asshole who FARTED IN A CROWDED THEATER. By that point, I just lost it, and I was snickering uncontrollably, tears streaming down my face, and OH GOD, I had just made the Harry Potter Farter feel even worse, because how do you not know that’s why I’m laughing? How do you NOT think that the lady next to you is wheeze-laughing because you ripped it in the movie theater? HOW?

Ah. Anyway. It was a great night, I loved the movie, with the exception of the VERY end, which was … poorly executed, although I don’t want to give it away. I just … CHILDREN SHOULD NOT HAVE CHILDREN, is all I’m saying, and there was a bad casting call there.

This is wrapping up awkwardly, but three things:

1) I tried raw oysters during said night out when we made a last-minute restaurant change. I … don’t get it. This isn’t some, “oh, check me out, I wrote something somewhere else!”, but a, NO SERIOUSLY, what am I missing? I need to know what you think, because I do NOT get it, and this seems like something I SHOULD get, but when I read reviews of food critics eating raw oysters and describing their nuanced flavors with wine-type language, I’m like, wait, what? I TASTED TABASCO. But also, I didn’t find them remotely repulsive, I just found them TREMENDOUSLY BORING.

2) I have essentially stopped washing my kid’s hair because it’s getting TOO DAMN ANNOYING. She acts like I’m dumping hydrochloric acid on her head, and GOD. I know this is not good, but there you have it. CONFESSION TIME.

3) I started using the library request system, and you guys, it’s like, FREE BOOKS THAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT, instead of picking through the shelves. What a revolutionary idea! And one that is actually preventing MANY MELTDOWNS from Sam, because she is so desperate to go downstairs to see Fred the turtle that she cannot bear the three minutes it takes me to find the book I want. Linger, you shall be mine. OH YES, YOU SHALL.

Happy Tuesday!

*Depeche Mode. And you know, I am REALLY GLAD I didn’t get the giant cross with “DM” tattooed on my leg back in high school. OMFG.

45 comments August 15th, 2011

Make This Go On Forever

We went away for our anniversary this weekend (Portsmouth, NH and Ogunquit, ME) WITH our small offspring, and though we were smart enough to get a two-room suite this time, lest anyone forget LAST year’s getaway, which involved a baby who woke up at 2:30 a.m. FOR THE DAY*, I tell you, vacationing with a two-year-old is rather, um, rigorous. This is particularly true when it’s a last-minute weekend trip and you’re in a hotel rather than a rented house-type property and HOTELS ARE NOT FOR FAMILIES WITH SMALL CHILDREN, is all I’m saying. She woke up at 5:30, perky as all get-out, and though we tried to do our usual switch-off on the sleeping in thing, there are, you know, only two small rooms, so we were ALL up at 5:30, which is a VERY EARLY TIME TO START THE DAY, if you didn’t know, and it turns out, walking to Starbucks and plying her with donuts only takes up, like, an hour and you guys, IT IS STILL ONLY SIX-THIRTY. WHICH IS ALSO EARLY.

*Yes, she woke up for the day at 2:30 a.m. on the Cape last year. And just to refresh y’all’s memory about how it all went down, we were SUPPOSED to have a two-room suite, but for reasons that don’t matter now, DID NOT, but we didn’t realize that until we arrived. Our child CANNOT sleep in the same room as us without … not sleeping. And waking up early. And whatever, YOU GUYS WE SLEPT IN THE CAR ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. LIKE VAGABONDS.

Next year, we’re planning ahead and renting a house. Which brings me to …

Maine. You guys. I’ve lived here off and on for years — YEARS — and every time I go to Maine, I am struck anew about how beautiful it is. Meredith described Nantucket as being one of those places that just fits her, and man, Maine is that for me. Yes, here. It’s cold and harsh in the winter, and although I bitch about the snow here, you know, that’s just the price you pay to live near someplace so beautiful. Besides, I am a four seasons gal and BESIDES, besides, have you guys ever been to Maine on a hot summer’s day?

The shoreline is rocky, as you would expect from a Maine beach, but oh, the water is perfectly crystal clear and such a deep turquoise, you almost think you’re in the Caribbean. I mean, until it rains and drops 30 degrees in fifteen minutes, that is.

And Portsmouth! So close, but hell if you don’t feel like you’ve been transported to a quaint seafaring town in another COUNTRY, for God’s sake.

We went on a long cliffside walk on Marginal Way, wandered around the towns and beaches, ate lobster rolls, took Sam for ice cream and then, you know, passed out at 9:30 p.m. after grabbing take-out due to an overtired toddler, but you know what? Still magical. I want to go back next year for an entire week, and hell if I’m not spending every free second looking at properties, because I WILL NOT BE CAUGHT UNAWARES NEXT YEAR, SUMMER VACATION!

(Yes, it’s true I’ve had, like, ELEVEN VACATIONS this year, what with Las Vegas and North Carolina and Nantucket and plenty of beach visits and water parks and HA HA I AM SPOILED I KNOW. It’s just that Adam was along for exactly zero of those non-Vegas trips, so we had to do SOMEthing, and next year, we’ll plan better so he can, you know, have a family vacation too.) (Oops.)

Anyway, the whole thing beat the pants off of BlogHer, is all I’m saying. It’s not that I didn’t love BlogHer last year, or that I think the conference isn’t great (it is!), it’s just that if I’m not going for business (and I do, sometimes, go to those things for business — in fact, I was a hair’s breadth away from being a booth babe this year in San Diego), but if I’m going just for the socialization, I’m totally doing something like The Blathering, because, well, I like smaller groups and 3,000 people makes me twitchy, and I’m not really into the sessions for my own personal interest AND AND AND, so whatever, I went to Maine this year and I loved it and am now campaigning to MOVE TO MAINE.

(Not really.)

Man, I hope you’re having a great summer, too. It’s going so FAST and in three weeks — THREE WEEKS! — Sam goes to preschool, and though I am excited for two! glorious! hours! to do exciting things like work and clean the house, I am SO IMMEASURABLY SAD about it, as though I am driving her to college and leaving her in a dorm room.

For, you know, a whopping five and a half hours a week. OMFGGGGGG.

Have a great Tuesday.

*Snow Patrol. Whatever, cheesy title, WHATEVER. I AM ON VACATION. (Not really.)

48 comments August 8th, 2011

Some of These Days

Having a two year old is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever done. I know, GROUNDBREAKING. But honestly, it is. They’re absurd, irrational little beings. Yesterday, for example, we had plans to go to the beach. Sam LOVES the beach. Loves it. “Babing suit? BABING SUIT?” is a common refrain around here. The day after we came back from North Carolina, she threw a giant tantrum because she couldn’t walk to the beach in ten minutes or less.

However, yesterday — the ONE DAY out of the hundred days this summer that she’s ASKED to go to the beach when we are ACTUALLY GOING TO THE BEACH — she announced, while buck naked on the couch, “I don’t WANNA go to the beach!” (This was obviously preceded by, “I don’t WANNA put on a diaper!” OKAY THEN. HOW ABOUT YOU NOT PEE ON THE COUCH?)

As for the beach, you know, fine, kid, but we are GOING TO THE BEACH. Except HAAA, we didn’t, because her beach partner and BFF fell and scraped her knee on the way to the car, refused to leave the couch HERSELF because she needed her boo-boo to feel better, and nothing would cure that except sitting with a warm Elmo ice pack on her knee and watching Mickey’s Clubhouse. So, you know, beach plan aborted, and they ran around screaming for two hours inside. Boo-boo was obviously cured.

This morning, she threw a tank-size tantrum because I wouldn’t let her drink my iced coffee. The GIANT ONE from Dunkin’ Donuts. Yes, child, let me load you with 3,000 milligrams of caffeine, ensuring that you refuse to sleep until the second grade.

And quirks! HER QUIRKS. You guys, she is obsessed with her frog boots, but for some reason she only associates them with a bowl of strawberries and blueberries. It’s … weird. “Mommy, berries, please!” Beat. “I NEED MAH BOOTS!” And there she is, booted and berried and completely happy. The reverse, for the record, is also true. “I wanna wear my boots!” *runs off, puts boots on* “MOMMY! I NEED MAH BERRIES!”

Ridiculous. I told you. RIDICULOUS.

But then — oh, then — she is the sweetest. It’s like mood swing central up in here. She loves to be tickled and snuggled and will say, “Mommy!” so softly and with such affection, I could die happy right there on the spot. Physical affection is her game, and I love it. I LOVE it. All down time is spent against me with as little space between us as possible. “Sit with me?” she asks on an hourly basis at least. “Sit with ME, Mommy!” And DUH, I DO. Moments later, she’s wiggling into position, moving my arm to the exact location she prefers it (on her hip) and sticking her foot in my face. “Rub mah foot? FOOT?” And like some kind of slave, I do. Always.

Tonight, oh holy God, she sat with Adam and told him how much she missed him today. Later, she took my face in her hands and said, “Oh, MOMMY. I love you.” I am typing this from beyond the grave, because that moment killed me. KILLED ME.

Five minutes later, she’s refusing to go to bed until she has “JUICE! SNACK! JUICEEEEE! SNACCCCCCK! NO NIGHT-NIGHT!” and hurling herself dangerously off the couch in frustration. When night-night did finally commence, she was asleep in approximately three seconds. The harder they protest, the harder they fall, those little contrarian crazy people.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to bury myself in a 28-ounce glass of wine.

(That’s my kid! She’s so beautiful, isn’t she? I KNOW, THIS WHOLE ENTRY WAS SO INDULGENT. Photo taken by the mom of the aforementioned be-boo-boo’d toddler and one of Sam’s BFFs, the woman I mention ALL THE DAMN TIME, but come on, how talented is she? Megan, of Megan Jane Photography.)

Have a great weekend!

*Andrew Bird. So … has he ever been known to date anyone? Is he married? JUST ASKING, FOR MAYBE FANTASY PURPOSES.

45 comments August 3rd, 2011

Both Hands

While driving to the UPS store this afternoon, I caught a dude waiting in the car outside of a daycare — presumably, I am praying, to pick up his child — like, um, the Rum Tum Tugger, from, uh, Cats? The (former) Broadway musical? There are many weirdly disturbing things happening here, not the least of which is that, you know, my first thought was that OMFG, that dude is the Rum Tug Tugger, and second, WHY? WHY? But also, YOU GUYS. I saw Cats at the Winter Garden theater back in the day, and though I was young (high school?), I … I distinctly recall having a STEAMY REACTION to The Rum Tum Tugger, which was a man … dressed as a cat. And even though I KNOW I wasn’t (am not) alone, it’s still a bit disturbing to me, in retrospect.

I’ve never felt so close to having a plushie fetish than right there on Rte 20. Except, through Googling just now, I learned that it’s more of a furry thing, and let’s just say that there are things one cannot un-see.

Separately, I’m not much of a grudge-holder, but there are a few incidents that happened YEARS ago that still make me angry when I think about them. Does this ever happen to you? Like, you’re OVER IT, but once in a while, you think about it, and you just get BOILY WITH RAGE?

I dated an identical twin in college, and his brother ALSO went to college with us, and to make things MORE confusing, this girl in my sorority dated the OTHER twin, i.e., the one who was not my boyfriend. They broke up rather horribly, if I recall, and though it would be a few years before my twin and I would come to the same fate, at the time, we were happy, and this set this girl off into a bit of a crazy rage against me. Urgh, college. Not the most mature of times, right? ANYWAY, this girl was the bullying type to BEGIN WITH, but then, after the breakup, amped up her meanness to eleven and directed most of it straight in my direction.

And you guys. She was mean to me, all the time. ALL THE TIME. She confronted me in public, accusing me of leaking information about who she was and wasn’t dating to my boyfriend, who would then tell his brother (I didn’t, because surprisingly, WE DID NOT DISCUSS HER), and on one memorable occasion, she sat in a room with a bunch of people and took subtle pot-shots at me that she thought were going over my head, but in fact, were smacking me clear in the face. Stuff like that, over and over again. FOR MONTHS.

And I, being on super-shaky ground coming off of depression (more on that in a minute), was too chicken to confront her or even call her out on her behavior, because I was SURE that everyone would side with her, and honestly, I was probably right. I’ve never been that good at that kind of warfare.

She graduated a year before me, and my senior year, called me to get her twin’s contact information (my twin and I were still dating). Even though the risk of her doing my personal life any damage had long passed (she was gone, I wasn’t even IN my sorority anymore, having realized it was a bit, um, toxic, particularly for someone in my situation), I STILL DIDN’T TELL HER TO STUFF IT IN HER ASS. I HAD NOTHING TO LOSE, AND STILL. I should have said no, lady, you were cruel to me for MONTHS. GOOD DAY, SIR.

So I carry that around. I’m not even mad at her anymore, I’m RETROACTIVELY PISSED AT MYSELF for not telling her to fuck OFF. But I’m afraid — like, legitimately — that if I ever run into her again, I will punch her in the face just to even the score with … myself.

I don’t know why I started thinking about this, except that I read this post by Melissa Summers, and I tell you, I am not particularly into the general concept of people’s depression confessionals as being “brave.” I think it’s … overused. Simply confessing that we’re battling with depression is NOT an act of bravery, particularly when so many people think that they can just declare it, and by its simple declaration, have it begin to fix itself.

However, I think that Melissa’s post WAS brave. Very brave, for so many reasons, but what struck me (out of, you know, SO MANY THINGS) is that she talks about what lot of people who have been depressed or anxious or struggling with any kind of mental disease or glitch don’t often do: Depression can turn you into a person who can seem to others like a real asshole, and not in the “oh, she’s just so SAD all the time!” kind of way. Admitting this is so freakin’ hard, because you don’t come off looking particularly rosy, you know?

Depression often looks like someone who is acting like a jerk, and it takes its toll on relationships. You can push people away. Lie to them, even. Treat them poorly. Pick fights. Fight dirty. End relationships. Focus so deeply on yourself and your own issues that you are patently unable to do anything for other people, even the simplest of courtesies (like being honest with them, say). Owning up to, and taking responsibility for, something like THAT? Well, that is brave, because for some people, depression is damn ugly, and you come off looking like a real ass because, well, YOU WERE ONE, no matter the reason. And almost no one on the outside recognizes it, so you have to do a lot of clean-up at a time when you feel least equipped to do so.

(I’m talking about myself here, obviously, but I think Melissa addresses herself perfectly in a way that resonated with me.)

(Note: I am attempting to compliment Melissa on the way she seems to be handling it, but instead, fear that I am calling her an asshole. Which is not my intention, obvs. THE OPPOSITE.)

You know. Errrgh, this shit is so hard.

(This was years ago for me — college, in fact, as I mentioned, but that post brought it all back in kind of a good way. OWN YOUR SHIT, is what I’m saying, even the ugly stuff. Yet, also be kind to yourself. Clearly. GOD IT IS ALL SO CONFLICTING AND CONFUSING.)

(However, that girl was still a total and complete bitch, and I AM AFRAID I WILL PUNCH HER IN THE FACE.)

Um, on a MUCH LIGHTER NOTE, today (Tuesday) is my anniversary. Eight years! Eight! Years! I feel like I blinked and BAM! We’ve been married eight years. I told Adam that statistically, we’re on the good side of the divorce odds, because most couples who divorce all it quits by seven years, and by then, have already known it was coming for a long time. So let’s get complacent! Imma FIND ME A GIGOLO THIS WEEKEND!

No. Being married is the easiest and hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s work to be polite when you want to be a grump. It’s WORK to think of someone else before you think of yourself, and sometimes that rears its head in the big things, and sometimes it’s about making a different choice for dinner. But man, it’s been worth it. Eight years! Eight years of so many good times, and so many challenges (why, this year alone! OMFG) and yet, we keep on trucking along and having a good time, for the most part. I am happy. So stupidly happy with my life, and a big part of that is because I married him. He’s funny and smart and kind and handsome and a great dad, and an outstanding, thoughtful husband — seriously, he ALWAYS does the right thing, even if not at first, he comes around and we talk about it, and THE MAN PUTS ME TO SHAME, because I am stubborn and difficult.

Above all, and underneath it all, we like each other. I love him — oh, more than anything — but I also really LIKE him. He drives me up a wall, and I know I’ve infuriated him to the brink of insanity, but somehow, we always make it work, and we come back around to having a damn good time together. That’s something, and it’s sure worth the effort, I’ll tell you that.

Happy anniversary, Adam. Eight years! EIGHT! I don’t know why, but it’s making me feel so old. THAT IS ONLY TWO LESS THAN TEN.

*Ani DiFranco

32 comments August 1st, 2011


Calendar

August 2011
M T W T F S S
« Jul   Sep »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category