Monday, October 26, 2015

Re, a drop of golden sun...

55 Weeks

You haven't lived until you've seen a room full of 1-year-olds taking turns strumming an adult's guitar with a pic the size of a plate. ("Taking turns" being relative to 1-year-old manners.) We accompanied Ren to a music class for babies. (I know, a first-world luxury.) There, we learned to keep a beat on a bongo, share by asking with a palm facing up, and that we shouldn't greet a stranger by grabbing her nose. (Explains why I'm awkward at office parties.) Being in the presence of other children in an educational setting gave Ren a chance to see that it's ok to stand without help and not everyone within seven feet of him must give him applause. (Another lesson for Mommy and Daddy.) Are we the only parents who hope our child starts a kindergarten punk band named Julie Andrews?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fast Forward

54 Weeks

If you happen to read books about babies, you'll note that they all devote extra pages to thwart expectations about a child's first birthday. A kid turning one does not mean a magical switch will flip making him or her officially a functioning aware member of the human toddler race. They don't wake up the morning of their birthday party and say, "Hello Mommy. I'd like a piece of cake now." Time is a mental construct and diapers need to be changed sometimes even while they are being changed.

However, Ren did wake up calling me, "Mama" on the morning of his birthday party and that day, I swear you could see his mind evolving right through the pupils of his eyes. He played with his cousins and new toys with intense curiosity. I think he looked up maybe once to make sure Greg and I were around. There is nothing more satisfying than watching your kid do a thing on his own. Anything on his own.

Of course, I might be impressed by different things he calls me when he becomes a teenager. Poor kid. I'm so fumblingly in love with him I will spend most of his life accidentally embarrassing him and our family. I'm preparing myself now for the barrage of eye rolls that he inherited from me circa 1989. You're welcome, parents.

13 Years

It's All in the Reflexes

52 Weeks

"What is it? Do we just keep giving it to each other over and over? Like caged animals? Like the zoo?"

"Your immune systems are down. You've all probably caught something else."

The week before Ren's simple, little, just-family birthday-turned-production-before-a-live-studio-audience party occurred, we had several challenges to overcome. I had to learn how to use my stove. Our contractor disappeared, leaving our revolutionary new guest bathroom a toilet in a closet with a light bulb. Greg worked out of town for four days and my job became one for four people, especially because I was sent to Urgent Care in the middle of the week and told not to come back. (I'd had a coughing fit from which my boss had to become a birthing coach. Quarantine.) I hit a deer in Greg's new car. And all three of us got sick—again. At one point our amazing nanny and friend asked if she could help prep for the big party by cleaning. I almost french kissed her. I'll never forget the look on the Greg's face, starved and sneezing through the checkout line at Party City, as I grabbed two bags of M&M's, tossed them on top of the piƱata, and asked the cashier to ring them up first since it was our lunch. Mama's got a party to throw. I read somewhere that chocolate covered peanuts are good for pneumonia.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


51 Weeks

Greg's birthday precedes Ren's by exactly two weeks and on the timeline, Greg and Ren are separated by two weeks and 43 years. By sixth-dimensional, time-warp, worm-holeness, karmic soul-mate, unified field, apple/tree-like standards, I have a hard time seeing the separation.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Blinded by the Blight

50 Weeks

Tired and Irrational Mommy (TIM): [On her car phone.] Hi.

Sleepy and Irritable Daddy (SID): [At home in front of a muted baseball game.] Hi.

TIM: So. I just wanted to say I'm sorry.

SID: OK. [Long pause.] Where are you—

TIM: [Interrrupting.] I'm on my way back from the store.

SID: How much did you spend—

TIM: [Interrrupting.] I was trying to be funny but it was mean and I was mad and I was trying to make a point and I thought it would be funny but really I had an agenda so I felt bad after I thought about it but it was funny, you thought, huh?

SID: What?

TIM: It was like something my mother would've done.

SID: Yeah?

TIM: I feel bad. I thought it would make a point. I feel bad though.

SID: I don't know what you're—

TIM: [Interrrupting.] I just, I couldn't ask again— Another time— I couldn't but then— Wait, what?

SID: What are you talking about?

Greg and I bicker often when we are stressed. And when you're sick (we caught Ren's cough) and tired (from coughing) and just trying to get through the minutes (without coughing... or mainlining coffee) of a chaotically busy week (now including doctor's appointments, antibiotics, and chicken soup runs), you tend to get frustrated that you can't control even the little things. To make up for it, you make sure to control the little things your partner does, like breathing, and then, well, when it gets out of hand, the rest is a country and western song.

It was a precious Saturday. I don't like to be a person who lives for weekends but more time with Ren and less time at a copy machine will always get my vote. We spent the day at a company picnic complete with sack races, cotton candy, beer, and hamburgers. It was also the first day we'd chosen to start weaning Ren off nursing and that meant I needed to pump as often as possible while rubbing elbows with Greg's colleagues. Not easy. It also meant our grocery list was increasing by the hour. Ren's growth spurts are Hulkish. So after a day of frisbee and dodge ball with people who I wished had worn name tags ("Hey yooouuu. Yes. Greg talks about yoooouu all the time. And how are yooouuu and your kids? Are they here? Oh, riiiiiight, you don't have kids..."), I had to head to the store before it closed. Long day. And then I saw them...

Greg had, once again, taken off his dirty socks and put them on the kitchen counter.


I repeat.

Dirty. Socks.

On our kitchen counter.

I swiped at them in anger and turned to head upstairs where I last saw the culprit. Then I paused. I'm tired of being the nag. I'm tired of feeling like a stereotype. How do I make my point? How do I make it stick? How do I make this the night the man of the house stops inspiring the head woman from acting like a sitcom wife? And then I saw it...

Greg had, once again, set out a can of soup and a box of noodles to heat up for his supper.


I repeat.

Box of noodles.

On our kitchen counter.

I ripped open the box, stuffed the dirty socks inside and shut it back up again. That will show him. That will teach him. He'll laugh. He'll cry. He'll have to throw away his dinner. Mean, yes, but so is making me continually disinfect. I giggled and zipped out the door. As I drove, the guilt settled in. By the time I'd reached the check-out counter, I barely set my goods on the belt for rushing through to get back home and apologize profusely.

Tired and Irrational Mommy (TIM): [On her car phone.] What am I talking about? Honey. Have you had dinner yet?

Sleepy and Irritable Daddy (SID): [Still in front of a muted baseball game.] Yeah.

TIM: You ate? Soup and noodles? The noodles on the counter?

SID: Yeah.

TIM: You're finished with dinner?

SID: Yes. Why?

TIM: Honey. The socks. I shouldn't have done that. I feel bad.

SID: Oh. [Long pause.] That was you?

I will never not smile at this story. And I will forever love this as an example of my beautiful marriage. Those moments when the universe stops you and reminds you to laugh at yourself and of course, your husband. I still wonder how much time he spent wondering how, why, when, where his socks ended up in that box of macaroni. Two seconds? "Huh. Weird. Whatever. Hungry."