Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Truly a Thing of Beauty

I know what you're thinking: you wish your washing machine could be so chic, so sleek, and so high efficiency.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Status Report

Good news: Shef only cried a little at Paul’s today. Just for a moment before lunch, they said. This makes me feel happy instead of guilty, which is nice.

Bad news: Shef pulled a candle holder down on his head at Cupcake’s house and now has twin gashes on his poor little head. Another case of bad parenting, I’m afraid.

And now, go to Dooce and check out Udder Boy. So funny.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I Forgot About Looming Deadlines

We're back from a therapeutic weekend retreat at Love Lake.

Shef toddled into the water multiple times per day, and therefore slept soundly at night and naptime, except for when he discovered he could hurtle himself out of his full-size travel crib and crash head-first on the wooden floor.

This troubled us, and we'll be bringing a crib tent on our next excursion.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Big 3-0

Pal Renee's mom managed to stun her with a surprise 30th birthday party at The Roller Garden.

Many guests hadn't been to a rink in years, but those guests have not been middle school teachers. Those of us who have, well -- we were more than familiar with the scuzzy rental skates and the ins and outs of the Snowball.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Status Report

When I arrived to pick Shef up from school, he was crying, but Teacher Tina assured me it was because he’d just woken up.

“He loved going outside today,” she said, smiling. “He went in the play houses and everything.”

“Oh good,” I said, kissing his sweaty little head. “Did he cry the rest of the day, then?”

“Well…” She looked down for a moment, and I could tell she was deciding how much of the truth to tell me. “He stopped a little at lunch, too.”


We’ll be back at it again on Friday.

Back to My Roots

This evening I’m reminded that I love Super Nanny. No one else can call a six-year-old “cheeky madam” with such panache.

And since I watched Super Nanny without the convenience of Tivo (my delightful husband refuses to call the Tivo Guys and figure out how to make it work without a phone line), I learned about another compelling reality show soon to debut on ABC: Brat Camp. In it, assholic, sexually active teenagers are sent away to be tortured and transformed.

If I ever get my Tivo back, I’m definitely capturing that magic.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hop, Skip, Jump

There are lots of wonderful things about our new neighborhood – the aforementioned wading pool, Cupcake, the proximity to the River – but the best thing is being six minutes by foot from the house of Jordan, bosom friend.

At 4:30 she called, we discovered we were both husbandless for the evening (Dan is sitting in on depos in Jersey), and we hatched a plan to consume Chipotle at her house at 6:00 while Shef waxed cacophonous on Solana’s toy piano.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

Not What The Doctor Ordered

What we really needed was a slow, relaxing weekend. We wouldn’t have a tight schedule -- one of us could give our lawn a plow while the other walked the baby to the neighborhood wading pool. (Yes! We have a wading pool at one of the two community centers that are within walking distance. Isn’t that charming?)

Instead, the weekend was absolutely jam-packed with important, mandatory events. These were things we really wanted and needed to do, but there were just too darn many of them; and now I’m feeling close to comatose.

To make up for it, we’ve vowed to escape the madness in seven days and sojourn to The Lake, where we’ll begin drinking g&t’s at four and try to keep from falling off the dock.

Friday, June 17, 2005

He's An Only-Child

One after another, the moms of Shef’s friends have been giddily announcing their second pregnancies.

Their babies are due in December and January, and they’re already glowing.

“I’ll be a lot of work, but we’re thrilled,” they say, gazing lovingly at their adorable one-year-olds.

I can’t understand it, really. It’s as if they’ve completely forgotten the abject misery of the third trimester and the harrowing darkness that is labor.

I manage to close my gaping mouth and choke back the nausea (it inevitably accompanies the thought of conceiving again) long enough to deliver the appropriate congratulations, the inquiries about how they’re feeling, the warm, knowing smiles exchanged between mothers who have already welcomed babies into their homes.

This morning at 3:00, when Shef had woken for the fourth time since nine, I told Dan that one child was most certainly enough.

“I’m not doing this again,” I said.

Dan sighed, probably thinking that there was surely a better forum in which to discuss this than in the dark at three AM. “It could be different next time,” he said hopefully.

I suppose he’s right. Maybe I won’t dry-heave for twelve weeks straight or have ankles the size of Ohio. Maybe my second trimester won’t be punctuated by daily, deadening headaches. Perhaps I won’t swell to 200 pounds or need an emergency C-section with general anesthesia. It’s possible that the new baby will sleep for longer than two hours at a time with some regularity, or not want to nurse every thirty minutes around the clock for the first six months of his life.

It’s just the chance that it won’t be markedly different that triggers the hyperventilation.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Status Report

I’ve been calling Shef’s daycare every day around noon to see how he’s doing and to decide whether I should come rescue him immediately, or let him try to gut it out through naptime until three o’clock.

On the second day, Diana told me that I should come and get him – he was tired and crying and ready to go home. I raced out the door, of course, arrived breathless, and swooped him out of Tina’s arms.

“Ma ma,” he whispered pathetically. His eyes were puffy and he was weepy; but in the car on the way home, he listed the names of his new school friends.

“Ahn-dy,” he said. “Net! New-ah! Dew!”*

This was a good sign, I thought.

Sure enough, on the third day, he recognized the parking lot of St. Paul’s as we pulled in. “Pahw’s!” he exclaimed. “Ahn-dy!”

When I called at noon, Diana told me that he’d been crying a bit, but that they wanted to try him for nap. If he didn’t fall asleep, she assured me they’d call me to pick him up.

"Please do, I said. "I can come any time."

After 1:00, the beginning of nap, I checked my phone every five minutes, sure that it wasn’t working – that the ringer had been turned off or that my service was down. Surely, Shef, The Child Who Would Not Sleep, had not succumbed to the schedule at Paul's.

When I finally walked in to his classroom at 3:00 on the nose, he didn’t notice me at first. He was busy wandering around after Tina, pointing at things and talking to her. He had fallen asleep next to Terese at one, and had just woken moments before.

A miracle.

*I never know if I should quote Shef phonetically or write what he means. This is what he sounded like saying, “Andy! Nate! Noah! Drew!”

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Bad Professor

If a professor of mine is good at his job – if he has obviously read the assigned text book and more about the topic covered in the course he’s teaching, there’s no way I would comment about his boil-like facial growth on my blog. That would be mean-spirited and, therefore, off-limits.

On the other hand, if a boil-faced professor happened to know very little about the subject of his course – if, say, a student asked a question about the topic; he responded, “I’m not really clear on the history of that;” and then the student opened her textbook to page one and promptly read the answer to her own question – you better believe his lesions are fair-game.

Aesthetics aside, I had pretty much decided to drop my summer school class in the first twenty minutes of the three-and-a-half hour session when the prof launched into an interminable lecture about the horrors of plagiarism, which were outlined in his syllabus. He’d know if we did it, he said, because he’d look on the internet. We’d get in big trouble, and he always has a “sense” when something is fishy about a paper. We shouldn’t try to engage in any questionable activity. Or else.

When he got around to the last page of the syllabus, which was a list of references for further reading about the topic of the course, a student noticed that one of the citations was dated 1966.

“This one seems old,” she said. “Is this a pivotal study? Particularly important to the field?”

“Oh,” he said, “I’m not familiar with that one.”

The woman seemed surprised, as he had listed the article as an important supplemental resource for the course he was teaching.

“Well,” he explained, “I inherited the syllabus.”

Things got worse at the end of the night when we asked him to summarize the findings of a study we’d seen described on a video tape he’d just shown us.

“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t seen the end.”

Monday, June 13, 2005

A Whole New World

Congratulations to Shef, who has made it through his first day of day care. He began the day with breakfast in a big-kid chair, and the only snafu was grabbing and eating off of the plate that belonged to Nate, his unlucky table neighbor.

Kind teacher Tina fixed this problem by offering Chow Hound another muffin.

When I picked him up, Diana told me that he’d cried off and on, and that he’d gotten so tired that he couldn’t stay up any longer. She handed off deep-sleeping Shef, who woke screaming and yelling, “NOAH!” (the name of one of his classmates) when I put him in his car seat.

We’ll try the whole thing again tomorrow.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

It Turns Out It's Possible to Over-Accomodate

I try to support Dan in his career as much as possible -- encouraging him to socialize with his colleagues, trying to be understanding about the long hours, accompanying him to firm events, even when they're hours-long river boat rides that are inexplicably beverage-free.

It was in this spirit that I tried to remain nonchalant about his revelation that he'll be in the midst of pre-trial mayhem around the time of our third anniversary this summer.

"Oh that's okay," I said, waving my hand dismissively. "You know I don't really care that much about it anyway."

Dan found this comment less supportive than cold-hearted, and was (I suppose) rightfully indignant at my flagrant lack of marital sensitivity.

Friday, June 10, 2005

At Least the Toilet Is New

Dan and I are simply desperate to remodel the bathroom. What with the shit-brown tile, the unfinished plywood walls, the washed-out blue wainscoting, and the maroon linoleum – not to mention the obsessive bat-checking accompanied by intense claustrophobia incited by closing the door – we just can’t deal with it for much longer.

Thank goodness genius architect Jackie arrived this evening with alternative plans. She can’t guarantee a guano-free environment, but she did suggest a clawfoot tub.

And bless her for not flat-out accusing me of insanity for thinking the work could begin before September.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

At Tower Hill Park

It all started innocently enough with a purely academic interest in online identity formation, and now, here I am, counting the hours until I get to imbibe a little with these blogging pals.

(Lee prefers to remain mysterious.)

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Even Elmo Couldn't Save Him

Despite his own personal television, placed perfectly for scissor distraction, Shef staged an impressive protest

while being transformed from winged wonder

to savvy, trim toddler

Keep Blog Rollin'

I have come to think of my friends without blogs as somewhat inconvenient.

I mean, really, how am I supposed to keep up with people if they won’t write amusing synopses of their daily activities and publish them all on the internet for my easy access and enjoyment?

It was with great happiness, then, and frankly, a good deal of relief, that I got word of another friend-blog’s beginning today.

A good start, I think you’ll agree.

Saturday, June 4, 2005

The Money Pit

As they say, “When it rains, it pours,” and it turns out that if you’re the proud owners of this house, it pours unfiltered toilet water through the kitchen ceiling.

Dan called to ask me whether our new toilet should be “bare bones” for six hundred and fifty dollars or the "Cadillac" for one thousand. Naturally, I chose the deluxe model.

I’m happy that our new john is guaranteed not to clog, but less than thrilled that our kitchen now smells faintly of Eau de Stale Urine.

Thursday, June 2, 2005

The Good News and the REALLY Bad News

While we thought the girl we saw across the alley this morning, standing in her backyard and brushing her hair wearing only a towel, was a funny, quirky feature of our new house -- a sign, if you will, that we’d moved into a charming, casual neighborhood that we’d surely enjoy – we were faced with a less auspicious omen in the afternoon:

Sonny, the kind representative from Wildlife Management Services, could barely hide his glee as he presented a detailed report of the bat activity going on between our roof and our baby’s bedroom.

“If anyone does get bit,” Sonny suggested helpfully, as I tried not to vomit on my new living room floor, “we do recommend you get tested.”


“For rabies.”