Back to Diaryland

the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2006-04-28 ... 9:37 a.m.


Four days out of five, I kiss Nora goodbye and we both start our days without incident or tears or me feeling like I am going to chew my own hand off from stress. Mondays have been a different story, at least lately. Is there some reason that a 3-year-old who can use the word "camouflage" correctly in a sentence cannot understand the difference between weekends and weekdays? Particularly when I have carefully explained How Things Are Going To Be both the night before and the morning in question? Oh the drama. Oh the mommy don't goooooooo. I was late and out of patience and I was not particularly sweet to Ms. Nora during all this, so I got to feel like shit on top of everything else. Yeah, she was fine as soon as the day got going. Hell, she was fine by the time I was on the train and she and LT were settled in front of the television with Wheat Chex and soy milk. However, this knowledge did not stop me from wanting a very large beer, nor did it stop me from taking more than my fair share of turns on the I Totally Suck merry-go-round.


This is a remote control rat. I don't know why he is so angry. Cheer up, rat.

Rat penis.

Actually, forget the rat penis, I'll have some rat testicles instead. This abstract gets major points for "saclike cremaster muscle" and "gubernacular mesenchyme." I can't stop saying it! Gubernacular mesenchyme forever!



The other things I jotted down on the back of a Walgreen's receipt (7 service basics!), to remind myself to record them in this here diary, were as follows:

My urine.
Possible Girl Fight Tonight at preschool tumbling.
Joyless manic phase leading to incredibly bad ideas.
Small blip of hate, how I don't particularly care, and how it means I'll never be a proper mommy-blogger.
Skate rat in progress.

Let's get started before all these mental cardboard boxes grow toxic mold in the wet basement of my brain!


After a recent routine physical, I was told I had "microscopic hematuria," which is fancy-speak for invisible blood in the pee. My doctor did not seem particularly concerned, and it was easy to understand why once I Googled my condition---mostly the causes are a whole bunch of nothing, and it could just be a total mystery, and way on the other end of the spectrum is bladder cancer. However, according to the medical literature this is pretty unlikely as I am not over 60 and have not worked in a dry-cleaning plant for most of my life. I was told to come back to the lab and pee in another cup in a month or so, and in the meantime I amused myself by pretending to swagger around all macho like James Frey, saying things like I PEE BLOOD. COME ON MOTHERFUCKERS I'LL PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH AND CHUG A BOTTLE OF TEQUILA AND SPRAY MY BLOODY PEE IN THE ALLEYS OF THE COSMOS.

On the second pee appointment, the itty bitty blood cells were still there, and I was told to make a third pee appointment so the lab could send it for "cytology," which is code for "check and see if you have The Cancer." By now I was thoroughly sick of traveling to Evanston in the early mornings to pee in a cup. Can't they send a Pee Guy to my house? I will meet him at the door in my robe, he will hand me the cup, I will excuse myself to go fill it, and then he can get on his way. Hey! Pee Guy! Sure you can't stay for a cup of coffee?

After the third pee appointment, I log in to get the results and there is an apologetic note from my doctor saying that this time there is no blood, but that the lab "forgot" to do the cytological analysis. So can I please come back to pee again?

For crying out loud. Pee Guy! We need you!


As previously mentioned, Nora is in this park district tumbling class for 3- and 4-year-olds. Although she is not the youngest, she is definitely the smallest. One of the 4-year-olds is a princessy type named Alexa, the only kid who shows up in actual leotards and legwarmers, and Alexa needs a puppy or a little sister because she will not leave Nora alone. Alexa hugs Nora, tries to pick her up, muscles in to "offer" her assistance on the equipment. Nora is obviously not digging this, but (at least at the class I witnessed) does not do much about it other than squirm away and throw occasional pleading glances in my direction. Meanwhile I am mugging frantically on the sidelines like some demented stage mom, trying to mime my opinion that Nora should in no way put up with this baloney.

Later, we had a discussion where I explained how Nora should tell Alexa to leave her alone. We practiced saying it with authority, and then I added, "and if she doesn't listen to you, just push her away." Whereupon Nora lights up. Parent-sanctioned pushing! Multiple times that night she outlines the Alexa Verbal Smackdown plan, and without fail lingers with fascination on the PUSH HER AWAY part. Me and my big mouth. Each time I try to backpedal and emphasize the part about solving the problem with words, and each time Nora listens and adds the bit about using physical force. Shout-out to Alexa's mom: maybe I'll see you in small-claims court!


I have had a bad case of hamster-brain lately, a restless urge to Do Something Big. But what? We are already plastering and painting the living room, and shopping for a new couch. There is not much money for travel, because of the couch. (As someone who is just now, very slowly, outgrowing the dumpster furniture/Craigslist furniture/futon store furniture/IKEA furniture cycle and heading to the next level, my sticker shock has been rather intense.) My hamster-brain races ever forward in search of spectacular ways to fuck up my life, and it came up with two really awesome candidates recently: how about I go to graduate school? Or have a baby?

Graduate school. For about a year I have been toying with the idea of getting a master's in public health, because I'm interested in it, I have a lot of familiarity with the topics, and statistics is the only kind of math I like. But really, hamster-brain, let's get real. I work full-time and I have a 3-year-old. GRE prep classes? Student loans? Writing a thesis? Right.

Baby. I always thought if we had another, we'd of course adopt again. But hamster-brain says: why not try it the other way? Why not see what pregnancy is like? A sibling for Nora, another baby to snuggle, eventually another toddler all awesome and inscrutable. (That is as far as hamster-brain got, since I don't have any older-kid experience yet.) I dreamed about this for about a day and then I mentally slapped myself across the face because OH MY GOD. When I rewound and played back that little daydream, I realized I had been kind of fast-forwarding right over pregnancy and birth and placentas and meconium and nipple shields and night feedings and the fact that those floppy little just-born things can't even hold up their own heads, and instead focusing only on happy rainbows and sibling love and sunny days of two-kid bliss. And I do not really need a stressful postpartum year to fuck up my marriage, I can probably do that myself during the living room project by saying, "um...about this color? Now I'm not so sure..." as LT stands there with a dripping paint roller in his hand.


These days, when I thwart Nora's will, she's more likely to get angry than sad. It makes sense in a developmental way---when she was younger she and I were more entwined, and she was baffled when I did not want the same things she wanted. Now she realizes that we are separate people, with different ways of doing things, and that my way is often dumb and irritating. At least in her worldview.

I don't even remember what the particular problem was, but one day after I told her no, she stood very still and glared at me with a furious Richie Aprile look on her face, and then said, "I hate this. I hate you."

Like every other woman of my generation, who becomes a parent and suddenly thinks she is all original and interesting, I put in my time reading the endless volumes of memoirs and personal essays about motherhood. Inevitably there is an "I Hate You" essay, which is usually about the first time one's child says this, and about how one's heart shatters into a million pieces and oh my little baby who I once held in my arms and so forth. So when Nora delivered her message of hate, the meta-level of my brain prepared for the heart-shattering. And it did not come.

Mostly because: eh. She doesn't hate me. She is testing out her new word, pretty much. She is expressing levels of frustration and pissed-off-ness that are new to her. And that's okay.

"I think that's because you're really angry right now," I said, and kept on doing what I was doing. Nora retreated to the couch and flopped about with Purple Dog for a while, looking grumpy, and ten minutes later we were laughing and making a raft out of pillows and pitching stuffed animals over the side, just so we could rescue them again. Hearts intact and hate forgotten.


Yesterday we walked to the playground and found it to be swarming with skateboarders. Nora stopped in her tracks at the sight and that was the end of any playground activity. Skateboarding was suddenly all she had ever wanted to do in her life. Danger! Wheels! Tricks!

Nora: What are they doing?
Me: They're skateboarding.
Nora: Can I do the skateboard?
Me: Maybe when you're bigger. Hey, let's go on the swings.
Nora [ignoring me]: What is he doing now?
Me: Looks like an ollie kickflip.
Nora [whispering reverently]: Ollie...kick...flip...
Me: Oh good lord.

So we stood and watched the skateboarders for a time, and Nora kept inching ever closer to the action. Let's stand here Mommy, I want to see. Fine. One of the kids says hi, and I say, "You've got an audience, because I think she wants a deck real bad." He says, "She can try if she wants," and offers Nora his board, and I am all about to say oh no no, she's too little, we will just watch, and then I see Nora's huge eyes and think wait, what the hell kind of message am I sending? My kid will not be some lame-o Betty standing on the sidelines while the boys practice their bean plants and fakie tail grabs. So we each held her hands while she rolled along, and all the way home she would not shut up about it, and now I wish the Tony Hawk videos would have interludes of sight word reading or counting in Spanish so I could pretend they were educational.

---mimi smartypants is sofa king we todd ed.


join my Notify List and get email when I update my site:
Powered by