Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Cheese and Crackers

We’re sitting at the Vortex in L5P talking about random stuff, and somehow the story Douglas Adams (author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) told at his lecture in Athens came up. I love this story.

So Douglas Adams (or, "Doug," as I like to call him, you know, us being BFF, and all) goes to take a trip from London by train. Switching trains at a station, he has about an hour layover.

To pass the time, he buys a package of biscuits, a cup of tea, and a newspaper, finds the sole empty table, has a seat, and takes out his newspaper. While he is waiting for his tea to cool, a man sits down across from him. They nod politely to each other. They go back to their respective newspapers.

After a while, the man reaches across the table, opens the package of biscuits, and eats one. Aghast, Doug is too “English” to say anything: “We’re not known for being assertive.” To reassert his ownership, however, he reaches to the middle of the table, takes a biscuit, and eats it. Not too long afterwards, the man reaches across and takes another of his biscuits and eats it. This goes on until the biscuits are gone. The man leaves when his train is called. Doug (BFF!) continues to fume in silence until his train is called a short time later. As he gets up and folds his paper, he sees his package of biscuits on the table.

It’s a great story, but also a nice metaphor on perception/perspective. I heard it when I was 22, and since then, whenever I find myself in a situation where I’m butting heads based primarily on perspective, I try to tell myself, “It’s just a package of biscuits.”

Friday, May 20, 2005

Holy Terror

Emerson has been possessed by a screaming banshee. It’s hard to calm her down and she’s been skipping her naps. I spent the morning walking her and rocking her. She had plenty to eat, she was dry and not too hot or cold. At that point, baby books say to put her down in her crib and let her cry, soothing her every 15 minutes. It’s supposed to be supportive but allow you to keep your sanity.

I can’t do it. I can’t stand her lying in bed hysterical and alone. I decided to bathe her.


The motion of the warm water pouring over her shoulders made her pause just long enough to break the cycle. She lay in the sling, feet trailing in the water, whining softly and looking up at me with a pleading expression. I made up a song about oceans, boats, dolphins, and mermaids as I massaged her with chamomile-scented baby soap.

Gradually, she relaxed and began looking at things around her. The dish scrubbing wand. The shiny chrome faucet. The silver creamer on the windowsill. She looked up and me, gummed a smile, and sighed as I poured warm water from a pitcher<> over her tummy. She yawned suddenly and her eyes blinked heavily up at me.

I continued pouring water over her. Tiny rivulets skittered down her back. She poked out her tummy and ripples of water looked like seashore waves crashing over sand as seen from high above. It pooled in her belly button and trickled down her ribs. I kissed her tummy, her cheeks, her head, her feet. She yawned and sighed again. I filled up the bathtub with warm water and watched as she relaxed and her eyes closed.

She breathed slowly and deeply. Not wanting to disturb her, or leave her alone in the water (of course), I tried to lift the tub of water with her in it. Not happening. I couldn’t leave her there, so I chanced it and lifted her into her new hooded towel from Natalya. She stirred. I carried her to the changing table and diapered her quickly. Her eyes opened. I froze. All unseeing, they closed again.

I covered her with her towel and let her sleep on the table, knowing the straps and high sides would keep her from falling. And I sat in the chair in perfect silence with my book for a blissful half hour while she napped.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Pacify This!

Emerson cannot go to sleep without her pacifier, but once she falls asleep, her mouth goes slack and the pacifier falls out. She immediately notices a distinct lack of rubbery goodness in her mouth and lets out a mighty scream.

We go in, put the pacifier (which is obviously made of crack and will henceforth be named the Crackifier) back in her yowling maw, and watch as she squirms over onto her side and mutters to herself: “ayayayayayaya...”

I think that’s baby-talk for: “These stupid parents of mine with their total incompetence. Where’d they get their training - K-Mart? Can’t keep a little thing like a pacifier under control. Do I ask for much? Hell, no. Just keep my ass dry, don’t let me get too hot or too cold, and throw me a bottle now and then. Is it so much to ask for a pacifier? I ask you: Is that so WRONG?!”

This has gone on for about an hour tonight. After the third time in a row getting up from in front of the computer to replace the crackifier, I heard her winding up again.
“Your turn!” I called merrily to my husband.
“I know,” he said, and continued to read.
She hollered suddenly from the crib.
“Look, honey, just - where is the SuperGlue?” I asked. “We’ll make sure it doesn’t fall out again.”

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Date Night! No Baby!

Me: We can go see a movie tomorrow?
Scott: Yeah.
Me: Do you want to see “The Ring 2?” It’s at the $1 theatre.
Scott: But, we have the tickets.
Me: But it won’t be at the theatre much longer.
Scott: No, we’ll go see a movie at the big theatre.
Me: Really? Like grownups?
Scott: That’s fine.
Me: No, that’s not a movie. I mean, like WE are grownups.
Scott: ....oh.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Patron Verse of New Mothers

“...We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” I Corinthians 15:51

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Scott’s mother is cooing at Emerson, who is grinning up at her from her stroller.
Patsy: “Nona loves you! You are the most beautiful baby in the world!”
Me: “She is.”
Patsy: “Oh, did you know that? You’re the most beautiful baby in the world. They broke the mold when they made you.”
Me: “It sure felt like it.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Without revealing too much

The complete and utter disregard by some people for ethical and moral guidelines never ceases to amaze me. A former coworker has been impersonating me online. To what end? I don’t know that I have enough darkness in my soul to even hazard a guess. It would just never occur to me to - no, wait. I did once have someone IM me thinking I was someone else, and I IM’ed back: “Woo hoo! I love my pants! They’re on my head!”

But no one could possibly take that seriously, and I identified myself at the end.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Swiffer Than You

I’m trying to get the house clean before my parents visit. It’s not easy because our dog sheds like mad, and it piles up under the bookcases.

I sweep, but it’s not enough. I think I’m slick and I pull out the Swiffer that my mother bought us. I start in the bathroom and push it around the floor. It just pushes the dirt around (although very neatly).

“What the - ” I move into the hallway. I chase the dog with it (he’s scared of cleanng products, probably because he sees them so rarely). I try it in the bedroom.

“This thing is a piece of crap!” I call to my husband, who is feeding the baby. I lift it up to glare at it. “How is this rubber thing suppsed to...” I stop myself, and laugh. There’s no cloth on the bottom. What was I expecting the rubber pad to do, erase the dirt?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Mom Musings. Sorry! I'll Be Brief!

It’s been an amazing 3-month journey from our tiny, unresponsive-unless-she’s-crying little shitmonster to this incredibly interactive experiment in behavioral psychology.

Now she’s trying to roll over. She’s discovered that she likes to sleep on her side, and has a unique way of rolling over to get there. Instead of twisting her body to position herself on her side, she kicks her legs out in front of her and lets the weight of them pull her over. It’s deliciously comical: she puts her legs together, thrusts them into the air and a little to the right, then mutters “ayayayayaya” to herself while waiting for gravity to do its thing. It’s like she’s chanting while concentrating on the process.

But once she’s steadily on her side, she snuggles herself into a comfy sleeping position and sucks violently on her pacifier to soothe herself to sleep. The whole process is so adorable I could just eat her up.

I probably won't, though.

Monday, May 02, 2005


We’re out on the back deck, and I’ve been walking around in my underwear since Scott got home.

Me: “So, you haven’t even asked me why I’m walking around without pants on.”
Scott: “Why are you walking around with no pants on?”
Me: “You know the chair that I always get my beltloop caught on?”
Scott (smirking): “Yeah...”
Me: “Well, I was sitting in it at the computer, and it did it again. You weren’t here and I couldn’t get the loop unstuck. I had to slide out of them to escape.”
Scott: “That is incredible.”
Me: “Isn’t that great?”

Sunday, May 01, 2005


I’m changing Emerson, and she has her feet up to her chest. I take them and put them in my mouth. She giggles and lets out a mighty fart. I press the soles of her feet to her cheeks and say in a silly voice: “Oh, noooooo!” And she opens her mouth wide and lets out a short guffaw like I’ve never heard from her before.

It’s astonishing. It’s been kind of like living with a really pissy mime: the only noises she really makes are when she’s upset about something. So this is new. I almost tear up. I take her feet and do it again. “Oh, noooo!” She laughs!

It’s addictive, this laughter. It’s like every time I hear it, I instantly lose 5 pounds - of Mommy-Guilt. You know, that obnoxious part of yourself that second guesses every decision you make, even though you know you make it with the best of intentions and sound research.

She’s grasping my fingers now with her tiny little hands. I lift her up a little. She holds on. I lift her up more, gripping her hands firmly. She opens her eyes wide and makes an “O” with her mouth. I lift her up over my head - “wheeeeee!” - and set her back down on her feet. Up from her tiny little tummy came the cutest belly laugh, complete with snorting. I laugh so hard I startle her and I almost drop her. I stop laughing and grin at her. She grins back. I lift her again. She grins wider, and as I set her back on her feet, belly laughs again.

This is like crack! I lift her over and over until she bores of the game and looks around the room for something else to do. It kills me that she has such a short attention span, and I spend all day long trying to get her interested in it again. No luck, but that’s okay. I have every day for the rest of our lives.