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

2004-04-15 ... 1:05 p.m.


1. Put large, translucent, glitter-specked pink plastic sand bucket on head so that it covers head and shoulders completely (think Valley Girl astronaut). Stagger around and chant incantatory nonsense syllables.

2. One at a time, and with great deliberate seriousness, push Go Fish playing cards under the rug. Once cards are all gone, lift rug and attempt to remove them. Some of the cards will be pushed too far under to remove while simultaneously holding the corner of the rug aloft, and the rug will flop down on your back, nearly knocking you over. Act more and more frustrated by this. Eventually hurl yourself into the middle of the rug and sob with despair.

3. Scribble with crayons. Bite off tip of purple crayon and then drool purple onto the paper. Mash the saliva-soft purple piece into the paper for an interesting three-dimensional effect. Repeat until physically restrained by audience member.

4. Hold toy tambourine to ass with both hands. Shake ass to produce sound. Make sure everyone is watching you. Laugh until they do.

5. Don disguises and pose for photographs, a la Cindy Sherman.

The above are all Nora-related. However, if they took place in a black-box theater, if you had paid ten dollars to see them and brought your own bottle of wine, and if they were performed with great seriousness by a pretentious eternal grad student rather than a goofy fourteen-month-old, they could easily go the other way.

I just got back to work after three days at home, a no-reason just-because vacation. Playing at being all-day mom (a phrase I vastly prefer to "stay-at-home mom"---it's a baby, not a house-arrest ankle bracelet). Monday did not count, really, as I spent much of the afternoon at a coffeeshop being interviewed and photographed for an upcoming article about this web page. (See Mimi's Meta Corner, below.) But Tuesday and Wednesday were all about naptime and tofu time, and about going to the park and smiling shyly at the Headscarf Mommies (my secret nickname for the gaggle of stylish Muslim women and their children who hang out in the playground to the south of me) but not being brave enough to speak directly to them, and about playing, playing, playing. By my count, I read Dr Seuss The Foot Book twelve times in a row one day---Nora would simply hand the book back to me and nod when I asked, "Do you want to read it again?"

Do you want me to read The Foot Book to you? I'm quite good at it. Or maybe you'd prefer What Color Is Elmo? (seven times in row). (SPOILER ALERT: it turns out Elmo is red.) Or Where Does Maisy Live? (a mere four times in a row). (She lives in Maisy's house---you would think that would be one of the first guesses but it was not). Why does Nora own so many books with question titles? Maybe for Christmas I'll get her a copy of What Is To Be Done?

I loved these days at home, not least because I got to wear pajama pants instead of business suits, and of course because Nora is so endlessly sweet and amusing. On the other hand, on the train to work this morning I felt exuberant, like WOW I HAVE MY BRAIN BACK. It's not that hanging out with a toddler all day dumbs you down, exactly. It's more that when I am with Nora, her needs, her desires, her achievements and disappointments, her jokes, her activities, her hugs and kisses all expand balloonlike to fill every corner of the day and of my mind. At each naptime and bedtime I would think "okay, here is my chance to read/write/return e-mails/clean out closets" and then I would end up reading or snoozing on the couch, suspending myself like a robot on standby until the waking-up sounds came over the baby monitor and it was time to start mommying again.

The author of this book (which I have not read) gave an interview in which she said that most of the inequity and stress in two-parent families does not come from the number of actual hours logged with the kid, but in who does all of the "psychological work." Which means all the stuff like keeping track of pediatrician appointments, making sure everyone is up/fed/dressed to leave the house on time, watching over homework, packing the diaper bag with snacks and a change of clothes and a million other what-if items, fretting over how well and how often your child interacts with others, obsessing about developmental milestones, and so on and so on. LT and I are cool with splitting things like housework and basic Nora chores, but I sometimes become aware of the greater portion of my attention that is devoted to this weird combination of long-range and day-to-day intangibles that constitutes the "psychological work." But then he will go and prove me wrong by arranging unprompted playdates or signing her up for a toddler music class. (Yes, Nora's tambourine-ass will soon be put to good use. Shake it, girlfriend.)


1. I think it is quite fitting that an interview with Chicago's thousandth-best online diarist (me) will soon be published in its second-best free weekly paper (Newcity). I rambled on a bit to the interviewer but I think I was mostly coherent. The photo shoot was weird because part of it took place on the street, in front of Filter, and at one point they wanted a shot of me from the back. So I got to stand on the street looking casual while cute girls crouched down behind me and fiddled with camera lenses. Hi, my name is Mimi and I'm a professional booty model.

(Mimi's Meta Meta Corner: Hey, the last two paragraphs ended with mention of asses!)

2. I keep forgetting to mention that I will be reading at the Gaper's Block party tomorrow. Of course I have not prepared for this in the least, so I either need to get my act together and select some entries or I need to drink a shitload of beer that evening and deliver some kind of impromptu, staggering-drunk, obscenity- and non-sequitur-laden monologue, which will make everyone laugh more and more nervously, until finally not at all. I hear that this event is supposed to be a lot more "party" and a lot less "reading" than the Uncle Fun thing, so bring a six-pack (at least!) and come say hi to me.

---mimi smartypants eats, shoots and leaves.


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