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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

2004-07-29 ... 12:41 p.m.


Nora's word for her behind seems to be "booty." This is most definitely the fault of me and LT. When we were clueless new parents, inwardly screaming oh my god we have a baby approximately eighteen times a day, it took two of us to effect a diaper change. That seems laughable now, when I have been through the Great Poop Disaster and survived, and when I have changed Nora's diaper in locales as diverse as an airplane and the floor of a sushi restaurant's bathroom, but it is true. This is how clueless we were: we invented a little faux-reggae song, with Jamaican accents and everything, to help us with diaper-positioning. It was called "Put The Booty In The Crease." Now, when Nora is kicking it toddler-style and in the body-part-naming mood, she will stick out her nonexistent rump, point to it, and say "booty booty booty" like she's an MTV dancer or something.

(DIGRESSION) I am slightly conflicted on the whole "correct names for body parts" issue. My mother was very big on the proper names for everything, and I remember owning a very 1970s book on how babies were made, with soft-focus naked people and many clinical terms. I also remember being five years old and casually telling my grandmother that I did not have a penis. After seeing the look on her face (I doubt she ever heard that word spoken in her entire life), I followed up with a soothing, "Oh it's okay. I have a vagina."

So on the one hand, I am not sure I am totally jazzed about the idea of a kid running around referring to her vagina, her vulva, her clitoris. I mean, I probably wouldn't use those words unless I was talking to a doctor or to a friend about some medical issue---they are downright laughable if you are trying to talk dirty, and they are not quite right for casual conversation. On the other hand, I am all about the woman-centered genital pride, and I certainly don't want my kid to grow up whispering about "down there" or using some silly made-up baby-talk phrase. Is there an in-between?

Nora likes all music, but she really perks up and starts rocking out to the following:

1.Sesame Street album. Favorite track: "C Is For Cookie." She even makes the eating noises at the end.

2. They Might Be Giants, No!

3. Antonio Vivaldi, "The Four Seasons."

4. Anything by Pavement, particularly "Cut Your Hair." She likes the ooh ooh oohs in the chorus.

5. This ragtime clarinet number on Sesame Street that accompanies some kids painting a mural of the number of the day. I have no idea why she likes this so much but it seriously makes her bug out.

6. AC/DC. The other day I put on "Back In Black" and she started dancing, which mostly involves deep knee bends and rocking side to side while grinning like a maniac. I turned away to do something and when I looked back Nora was still dancing, and also trying to take off her pants. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this incident does not foretell a future career choice, and that taking off her pants to rock music will remain a mere hobby for my daughter. Maybe the song rocked so hard that she had no choice but to disrobe. I have not yet experienced that level of rock but someday I hope to.


Phallic onion rings to shove down your gullet. Take it! Take it all!

Can you imagine the sad human beings on board this ship? I can, because I have been to Excalibur.


1. Fish sandwich and fries at O'Callaghan's, an irritating Irish bar on Hubbard Street. I was craving deep-fried protein in a big way, and although I don't eat fish very often I could not think of a place that would deep-fat-fry me a grilled cheese. The sandwich was okay but the fries were lamer than lame and the staff looked at me like I was an alien when I asked for malt vinegar.

2. Life's Work by Lisa Belkin and Welding With Children by Tim Gautreaux were both just eh and gave me the most unsettling feeling of d�j� vu, like have I read this before?

3. New Mission of Burma CD. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but I was not overjoyed.

4. The departure of my next-door office neighbor, who had deep religious beliefs and who I managed to offend somehow on a daily basis. I think I have some sort of Uptight Fundamentalist Sensor that trips and lets my mouth override my brain whenever I get near these people, because there is no way it could have been mere coincidence that I swore so much and busted out the pro-choice, pro-porn, pro-keep-Jesus-stuff-out-of-public-education opinions so often in front of her.

For part of this weekend I will be in Madison, Wisconsin, staying with friends. The plan is to bring the playpen, put Nora down to sleep in it when she is tired and has reached her socializing limit, and then clip the baby monitor to my belt and continue drinking. Let us hope this plan works and that Purple Dog fulfills his sworn soporific duty to protect and soothe. Have I ever mentioned that Purple Dog is black? When LT and I make him talk, for some reason it is always in this super-deep, radio-friendly, slightly African-American man's voice. I don't know how or why this got started and part of me is scared to examine it further.

---mimi smartypants enthusiastically endorses the use of transitional objects.


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