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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

2005-01-11 ... 1:02 p.m.

Whiny me. Work is hard and about to get harder. This particular Chicago winter seems to be all about colorless sky and low rolling clouds like living inside of a bong. And maybe this is the mild depression I've been fighting since the holidays talking, but most days I wish whoever is in charge would lift out that bowl and inhale us right up the tube. I spent Sunday morning/afternoon having brunch with my family, which was fun, and dealing with the remnants of a wine hangover (the kind that is less about physical pain than about the constant refrain of "I SUCK" in your head), which was not. Nora was a jaw-achingly-adorable, precociously verbal, wunderkind all day, but somehow even that managed to make me weepy and maudlin-sentimental instead of cheerful.

Nora's good mood lasted, as is usual these days, until naptime. When Nora first came home from China, she sucked at sleeping. About a month later, she got really, really good at sleeping. She would lie down happily and sleep all night, and three-hour naps were not unusual. A few weeks ago, out of nowhere, we started having tears at bedtime combined with wails of MOMMY MOMMY NO BED! She then cries, hard, for about five minutes, and then hiccup-moans for another five, and those ten minutes make me very sad. Not that I do anything about it. A year ago my policy was not to let her cry for even one minute, but frankly going in there seems to prolong the trauma, and I do not want to reinforce this idea that bed is a terrible place and that Mommy will rescue you from it if you just freak out long enough. Nora probably thinks I am a crazy person, actually, because when she is stamping her feet in the crib and crying NO BED I simply act like everything is completely normal: I say all the usual bedtime words, kiss her crying face like there is nothing wrong, put a blanket over her shoulders like a cape if she is refusing to lay down, etc.

So there is my particular Parental Mindfuck for the day. Am I doing the right thing by not acknowledging Nora's bedtime drama, and allowing her to shriek and gibber for a spell each night? Is this a simple developmental phase of hip-hop-don't-stop toddlers who want to fight for their right to par-tay, and who feel that being imprisoned in the crib is a righteous bummer? Or is there something really wrong, and I am being cold and uncaring for not responding to it, and Nora will grow up to be a drugged-out skank with gold-capped front teeth and a wardrobe full of bike shorts and those t-shirts that have airbrushed wolves on them?


1. Everyone I know has read this Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell book. Kat read it and thought it was just okay, but a different friend of mine was talking it up and said it was really good, and that he kind of couldn't stop reading it and was sneaking chapters when he was supposed to be working. That intrigued me, so I borrowed Kat's copy, but it is still languishing on the stack while I try to finish up my Christmas books and backlog of New Yorkers. LT has been reading it instead, and while I have not asked for his opinion yet,* he sure does seem engrossed. The other night we were reading in bed, and I started to make some Overtures, which, while they may have seemed subtle to outside observers, should have been pretty darn obvious to him, because we have been married for nearly ten years and honestly, there is only a handful of ways one can initiate sex. Although I have not yet tried semaphore. Or a telegram. GET NAKED STOP MEET ME IN BEDROOM STOP HOT MONKEY LOVE URGENTLY REQUIRED STOP. Anyway, I was doing my little mating dance, and LT was still reading the stupid book and I pretty much had to send the aforementioned telegram before he caught on. So maybe I won't read Strange/Norrell after all since I already harbor it some ill-will: because of it, I had to wait SEVERAL MINUTES before my carnal urges were acknowledged and satisfied! Oh the humanity!

*LT has just informed me that I would not like this book anyway, slightly-delayed orgasm or no slightly-delayed orgasm, because there are fairies in it and I do not care for made-up crap in my fiction. Well, obviously I don't mind made-up people, or made-up situations or emotions or even governments and robots, but I cannot stand made-up crap of the unicorn/elf/fairy/wizard variety. Basically, if it is made-up crap that would be at home adorning the front of a Trapper Keeper, you need to keep it far away from me.

2. I spent an entire train ride home writing (in my head) an outsider-art concept album called Songs From A Lemon, about a lemon that comes alive and is able to vocalize, but it does not really have language per se (I mean, it's just a lemon) but instead goes HURRRR HURRRRRR HURRRRRRR, the same chewy growly noise over and over, and then we add beats and backing tracks and it is an international pop sensation! Maybe I should contact Lawrence Krauser to collaborate, although his lemon did not speak.

3. I own terribly unfashionable winter boots. They are the kind with a waterproof bottom and removable liners, they are a boys' size four because I have tiny freak feet, they are a sickly army green, and they are from some downmarket place like Marshall's or Wal-Mart, I can't even remember. But on days like today, when the snow is all melty and there are ankle-deep puddles of slushy standing water everywhere, I take great pleasure in stomping in front of Those Girls, who are trying to daintily hop over the frozen muck in their pointy-toed hundred-and-twenty-dollar suede Whatevers.

---mimi smartypants is ,o,o d,styu[smyd one row over.


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