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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

2004-07-06 ... 11:46 a.m.

Woe is me, and also you, probably, as we come to the end of the long weekend. Mine was even longer than normal, as my office was closed both Friday and Monday, and I took Thursday as a vacation day. So let me help you with the math, that makes FIVE DAYS. I got a nap almost every day. One exception was Sunday, when my upstairs neighbor decided to blast his craptacular R&B Booty Bass CDs at inhuman volumes, so loud that even noise-tolerant me could not drift off and ended up lying in bed thinking of poetic punishments for this neighbor, like maybe Luther Vandross would be interested in a little extra money and would kick the crap out of him for a reasonable fee. Or I could draw him a cliché bubble bath with rose petals like the ones featured in all those SLOW JAM COMPILATION commercials, only instead of water the bathtub is filled with Keith Sweat's sweat, okay that was lame but I tried.

The other day I did not nap was Thursday, because Nora and I went on an adventure to the suburbs. That's right! We are so brave! We willingly went into the thick of chain restaurants and pedestrian-free Sidewalks To Nowhere and a remarkable lack of ranting homeless people! A commuter train avec toddler is a very interesting experience. On the El, I just leave Nora strapped in the stroller (no matter how many times she politely asks for "out"---she seems to think that her most pleasant tone is going to trump my common sense. Nice try, kid.) And of course in the car she is always trapped in the car seat. But on the Metra she was free! Free to climb on me, to excitedly point at everyone and call them "babies," to steal other people's tickets from the little ticket holders on the back of the seat, and to take off her Velcro sandals and stick her little baby feet on the window. She was actually pretty quiet, and I never let her run wantonly around the train, but boy was she ever wiggly and boy was I ever grateful that we were going in the outbound, nearly-empty-train, non-rush-hour direction, because to have the very! happy! traveling! Nora! next to some cranky commuter with a cup full of Starbucks would have been a scalding and a dry cleaning bill waiting to happen.

So we spent the day with my mom, who was in full Grandma mode. She took us shopping, bought us lunch, and showed us off to her coworkers at the library. Her library is absolutely gorgeous, and has a huge children's center with great Montessori-style wooden toys and a climbing apparatus and reading nooks and a play kitchen. Nora headed straight for the play kitchen and started turning knobs on the oven and opening and closing the refrigerator door, and then she cracked me up by finding some baby dolls and playing Crack Ho Mom. She had a white doll and a black doll (Nora! Where your baby daddies at?), and she stuffed the white doll into a toy highchair as if to feed it. She was unsure what to do with the black doll, and there was only one highchair, so she ended up stuffing the black doll in there as well, creating a precarious pile of at-risk infants in dire need of a visit from their social worker. Then she threw some plastic cookies on the highchair tray and wandered off. You brats shut up and eat your Chips Ahoy! Mama's got tricks to turn!


It is not enough to give kids books. We must give them ones that don't suck ass.

Prepare to vomit for the entire month of October. Is there anything worse than that Canadian twig's warbling? Is there anything worse than the just-shy-of-abusive photographing of innocent babies wearing big cabbage suits or whatever the fuck? And now these two are collaborating on something unholy. Oh god.


I always thought I would be the super-easygoing kind of mom, and as long as no physical harm or property damage was actually taking place I would be all hip and chilled out and let the kid explore her environment. For the most part that is true, but there are some things that drive me crazy, such as the maddening tossing of food off the highchair when Nora gets bored with eating, the supremely irritating squirming and kicking during some diaper changes, which inevitably are the messy ones, and the obnoxious throwing of blocks (I feel inconsistent about this, since I let her throw balls, but dude. You can't throw blocks.) What the hell can you do, really? "No" means almost nothing to Nora right now, although I say it anyway in the hope that it will somehow penetrate into her consciousness, and I take the blocks or the food away. With the diaper thing I mostly just hold her down and work as quickly as possible, and I get a little offended at the squirming and carrying on, because if a caretaker were lovingly removing my feces-encrusted garments I would be grateful, damn it, so what the hell is her problem?

So I have a baby who is not young enough to sit there and stay out of trouble, but not old enough to really grok the consequences of her actions, with the result being that I follow her around saying "no" to the things that are forbidden and feeling like I am talking to a small, curious alien who is having some trouble with her language-processing algorithm. I guess there is nothing for it but to keep trying and wait for her cognitive skills to hit the big Right vs. Wrong stage. In the meantime I shall also continue gritting my teeth whenever the subject of toddler discipline comes up in conversation, since many otherwise normal people's ideas range from "fucked up" to "really colossally fucked up" when it comes to this topic. There was the crazy person on a parenting messageboard who talked about spanking her son for hitting other kids on the playground, and I think she must have tripped and broken her Logic Bone because that makes no sense at all.* The What To Expect toddler book recommends ending the meal and taking your child out of the highchair immediately when he or she throws food, which sounds great except that LT and I are still eating, and I'll be damned if I am going to have half a meal just because Nora has decided she is bored. Then there are the people who seem to have no concept of just how young seventeen months is, such as the (childless) coworker who, when I made some joking comment about babyproofing, and how I no longer have any knickknacks or breakables on low shelves, said, "Well, when I was a kid my mother kept all that stuff out. And we knew better than to touch it." Yeah, you knew better. When you were seven. Not when you were one. For crying out loud.

*I am steadfastly anti-violence when it comes to children, but I completely understand that your kids can make you act crazier than you ever thought possible. I have not even been at this mommy thing for a full year and already I will admit to yelling and kicking a door (after I had washed her hands and two seconds later she stuck them in the catbox), putting her down somewhat roughly after an hour-long crying jag, and engaging in some punitive face-wiping after a frustrating meal. She was not that dirty but I sure enjoyed getting in there with the damp rag, ha ha Nora! You do something I don't like, I do something you don't like! I felt guilty and petty afterwards but someday she will be thirteen and mouthy and I will probably do worse.

On the other hand, one reason she makes me crazier than I ever thought possible is that I love her more than I ever thought possible, and every time I think we're all full up on the love thing it just increases. Maybe I am just fragile today, but after this long weekend I was all choked up on the bus going to work, realizing that I am going to miss many hours of Nora's fabulousness while I am at the office, and this is the first time I have ever felt that classic Working Mom Pulled In All Directions thing that so many people write (and write and write) about. So on top of feeling crabby, conflicted, and stressed, I get to feel unoriginal, crabby, conflicted, and stressed. Yay.

This whole entry has been me blithering about my kid, for which I apologize, but apparently I have a lot to "work through" in a stupid, un-entertaining, self-absorbed, online-diary-as-faux-therapy fashion. I will work on being more blowjob- and pus-drinking-nun-focused in the future.

---mimi smartypants is upset that you cannot find Siegfried and Roy online by Googling "homosexual German beastmasters."


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