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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

2006-03-24 ... 12:49 p.m.


I did something recently that seems to have triggered a whole bunch of weird feelings and memories. I looked at all our old videos of Nora, particularly the ones from when we were in China. Figlet wrote something about doing this, and part of it was about how her memories of that time didn't quite match up with reality. Figlet remembers a bit of a bumpy ride, but seeing how often her kid cried on film came as a shock (although the tyke seems like a happy enough sort these days).

Let me just get this out there: I am sometimes uncomfortable talking to people who are interested in adopting from China. Part of it is that I can never be sure if they are regular people or Cat-Sweatshirt People, and part of it is that I feel like a hypocrite. Because I feel compelled to mention all the problems that can occur with international adoption (attachment issues, feeding issues, developmental problems common to institutionalized kids), and then in the next breath I have to say that we have experienced none of these. And I am not bragging, believe you me, I'm cringing and knocking on wood and worrying that people who are still on the China-adoption fence and who might have fucked-up criteria for making decisions will think "Aha! China it is!" Of course anyone with half a brain will know that there are No Guarantees In Life Yadda Yadda. But still.

It also makes me feel a bit unqualified to be giving advice of any sort. Who wants to hear the been-there-done-that from someone who has had such smooth sailing? Looking at all our China video footage, I was struck by how Nora has been a beautiful, calm, self-possessed child from almost our very first moments. She was kind of snotty-nosed and fussy during our visit to the orphanage, but she was also overtired and hungry. That very same day there is video of her and I looking right into each other’s eyes. By the second day she's smiling at the camera. By the third day she's learning how to crawl on our hotel room floor. By the fourth day there is a very funny short clip of Nora gnawing on something, and LT asks what it is, and because I've been at the mommy thing for DAYS now and am obviously SUCH A FUCKING EXPERT ON CHILDCARE, I authoritatively say "a taxi card---it's nice and sturdy, she can't really get a piece" and of course immediately she bites off a big hunk and the video cuts off as I dive toward her mouth to fish it out. Nora obviously looked to us for comfort almost right away. One could argue that's not so much "attachment" as it is the "any port in a storm" mentality of a baby who's just undergone a massive change in her routine, but there it is.

I am by no means writing a sonnet to the superior parenting skills of me and LT. We just got lucky up until now (there is plenty of time for shit to go wrong), and we got spectacularly lucky in one tiny facet of the whole adoption journey. If the next eighteen to twenty years go splendidly, we will have earned the right to pat ourselves on the back, but not before. And I know I'm not unique in loving my kid or feeling lucky she's in my life. Most parents feel that way, regardless of any "issues" the kid does or does not have.

Anyway, remembering how none of my obsessive reading about the early problems of adopted kids came in handy has prompted me to think about other areas where everything has been all Skittles and beer and happy happy. I married the right guy. I got to do some serious travel and probably will again. I have a job I like. I have a kid who so far has been easy to raise and relate to, and who I feel like I understand in a deep and groovy way. I like where I live and am glad we bought for so little money, even if our place needs a whole lot of cosmetic improvement in the near future. Everyone I love enjoys reasonably good health.

There are online people, who I will not name or link, who find all of the above annoying. In some ways I share their feeling---no one hates a self-satisfied dumbshit who smugly trumpets how good she has it as much as me. I just hope that I'm conveying my non-self-satisfied-ness and my non-trumpeting in this diary. I don't want catastrophe to befall me, I would never manufacture drama just for the sake of a silly little web diary, and my favorite online writing is that of regular joes and janes who break open their mundane moments like piñatas and let all the cool shit spill out into our laps. Using the Internet as their baseball bat, I suppose, if I take my tossed-off analogy to its limit.


Yesterday was Nora's 3-year-old checkup---she's still woefully puny (stuck forever at 26 pounds) but everything else was great. The pediatrician said something like, "Okay, in addition to blah blah blah, I like to ask the 3-year-olds a lot of non-yes-or-no questions just to see where we are with the language and social interaction thing."

Pediatrician: What's your favorite color?
Nora: Green.
Ped: Green is great!
Nora: Actually, I like BRIGHT green. Not regular green.
Ped: That's good too!
Nora: You should paint the walls in here green. Bright green. Right now it's just white and that's kind of regular.


Someone pointed out that the "carrying case" aspect of the fake butt (I like fake butts and I cannot lie!) is all but begging you to try and take it on an airplane, preferably in some Middle Eastern country where the customs officials can barely handle tampons or women's underpants. I say why not take it as a carry-on and actually perform fake rectal examinations on the fake butt in flight. Your seatmates can't fault you for practicing! You are dedicated to your craft!

---mimi smartypants, for what it's worth.


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