Thursday, March 30, 2006

no soap, radio

today, since it was finally spring-like outside, wile and i flung open the windows and did some spring cleaning. we vaccummed, which is one of his all-time favorite activities—as soon as i turn on the vaccuum, he throw his hands in the air and takes off across the room yelling at the top of his lungs, not in fear, but in pure joy. weirdo.

so we were about halfway through the vaccumming ritual, at which point he was starting to lose interest and was just wandering around playing with various toys and not toys, when he came up to me laughing and pointing in to the dining room, motioning for me to come and witness whatever hilarity was ensuing in there. i parked the vaccuum and followed him, expecting to see one of the things that usually make him crack up that much: 1) the cats, or 2) something that he has spilled/strewn all over the floor. but, no! what he led me to, the big ha-ha, was....a can of tomato paste! on the shelf! sitting there! on the shelf! oh my god, you guys, it was sooooo funny!

i guess this is preparing me for having to laugh 150 times at "orange you glad i didn't say banana?"

Monday, March 27, 2006

i'm thinking about me today, not the baby. i know! call child protective services!

i had a memory pop in to my head today: freshman year of college. lounge of my dorm. somebody from career services came in and gave us one of those multiple choice tests that are supposed to tell you your perfect vocation. the only answers i remember giving were that i was artistic and would rather work alone than with a group. and based on those and 48 other answers, i was told that i should be a florist. which i remember being vaguely insulted by (granted, at 18 i was vaguely insulted by most things). but today, i started thinking: you know what? i think i'd be pretty happy being a florist! i started imagining this very style-y flower shop and all the creative designs i would do... and i thought, if society still operated the way it did back in, say, renaissance times, i would have been apprenticed to a florist around the time that i took that test, learned the ropes, and eventually struck out on my own. and then i wouldn't be bothered by the biggest, ugliest roadblock in my career path: the inability to make up my freakin' mind.

every couple of weeks someone—another mom at playgroup, my mother-in-law—will ask me when i'm going to start working again. you know, for money. and i give some vague answer that usually contains the phrases "when wile's in preschool" and "start my own business" and, sometimes, "fuck if i know". if it's someone i don't know well, that question is usually followed by the question of what kind of work i did before i got knocked up. and i'll tell them about how i was in school when the blessed event occurred, and before that i was an editor. but i could also tell them that before that, i was an apprentice chef, and before that, i got my b.a. in political science. and that though i was an editor for 5 years, it wasn't a career that i actively pursued: i moved to manhattan, was waitressing, thought i wanted to perhaps do illustration/design, a friend of my family had a publishing company, i got an internship in the design department but sucked because i didn't know quark, was shunted over to editorial by the frustrated design department, was noticed/mentored by an editor and eventually hired to run a travel book project, looked up five years later and found myself sitting in a cubicle, said "what the hizz-ell am i doing here?" and got out. even my current line of work was less a result of planning and more a result of serendipity and lackadaisical diaphragm usage.

part of my problem is that i can't definitively say no to something until i've experienced it. which is why i dated so many guys who were wrong for me, why i have to try on seven different pairs of shoes with an outfit before i can be satisfied that the first ones i took off the shelf were indeed the right ones all along, and why i have bounced all over the place in my search for a career. every time i think i settle on something, i start to think "but i also like to _____. and i'm pretty good at _____. so maybe _____ is what i should really be doing!"

you may be thinking, "but you did make up your mind! you went back to school, you chose textile design!" well, yes. yes i did. but the thing is, the program wasn't "textile design"; it was "textile and surface design". which means i took classes not only in designing for fabric, but for designing paper products, dinnerware, wallpaper, etc.. and even within textile design, there's the big choice between apparel and home decor. and how do you want to design? painting? silk screening? computer? when i first decided to go to f.i.t. i'd tell anyone who would listen that what i loved about the program was that it was "so broad" and taught "so many types of design"! oh, yay! so although the scope is narrower, there is still plenty of opportunity for indecision.


i have an idea.

i don't want to talk about it yet. but it's there. and i think it's something that i can make myself stick with.

now if only all the other ideas will please stop barging in all, "but i'd be a funner thing to do! pick me! pick me!"

Thursday, March 23, 2006

smells like baby spirit

we are continuing our descent into the 2s here at wile's house.... the latest permuatation is a fixation on the clothing. as in, unless it's something he's picked out, it would be easier to dress lulu in a corset than get a simple t-shirt and pants combination on to wile.

the other night, when stephen offered up some red footed fleece jammies, wile said "absolutement pas!", and insisted on a thin cotton union suit that barely snaps together anymore. somehow, stephen was able to convince him that it would be super-hip to wear a fleece jacket to bed that night....

so i've been giving in, mostly, and he hasn't left the house looking too insane. yet. though there are some times when i want to pin a sign to his back that says "i dressed myself today!" as in, "my mother, if she had any power at all in this situation, wouldn't have really gone with the reindeer hat with the football jacket." when we were down in the florida, the main issue was pants: he was against them. so we mainly went without.

this morning, when we were trying to leave the house to go to the store, there was a major outerwear meltdown. wile luuurves the windbreaker (ours is turquoise) that we bought before we left for florida. we don't shop for him too often (why shop when the gifts and hand-me-downs keep flowing in like water?), but one day iden and luella rolled in to the playground sporting these windbreakers and i knew we had to have one. so we trekked over to old navy and did what we had to do. and wile really enjoyed the whole process of picking out the color, trying it on, buying it.... yes, i do fear that he liked it too much. which is why our next lesson in shopping 101 will be "thrift stores and you: perfect together." but anyway, he loves him some windbreaker. so of course he wanted to wear it today. fine and dandy---except when we came to the part where i told him that it was cold out and we had to put another coat on over it.

15 minutes later and 10 decibels quieter, i had managed to get a fleece jacket under the windbreaker and a scarf around his neck and was reasonably satisfied that he wasn't going to freeze.

what about a hat, you might ask? oh, don't worry---he had his hat on. in fact, in the past four days or so, he hasn't taken his hat off. playing in the house? hat on. at playgroup? hat on. eating dinner? hat on. taking a nap? hat on. i expect sometime in the next week to be dragged to the local coffeeshop for open mike night, so that he can perform his angst-filled songs about the alienation he feels as a toddler living in an adults' world. you know, plus some pearl jam covers.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

puttin' on the foil, coach

so when i told people--my dad, some moms from playgroup--that i was going to the rangers game last night (that's hockey, people) , the response i got across the board was a tight smile and a "oh, that's nice!", like the response you would have if someone came up to you and said "i'm heading out to a hare krishna revival tonight!", or "i've got a ticket to the doors reunion tour!" (or is that only me who's repulsed by "comeback" tours where they have a fill-in for the dead members?). but to them i say, "don't knock it till you try it." granted, i had never given hockey even a millimeter of space in my brain until i married a hockey fan--baseball is my game, and football is a nice distraction in the off-season. and i still don't love watching it on tv, and refuse to listen to it on the radio. but a couple of years ago stephen took me to a rangers game, and i got it. live hockey is a seriously good time.

allow me to present a few compelling arguments in favor of live hockey, rangers hockey, and hockey in general:

1. people always knock hockey (heh, "knock hockey") as being violent and blah blah blah. but do you know what the players do after they score a goal? not just sometimes, but after every single goal? they have a group hug.

2. at any given baseball game, i'd say about 75% of the crowd is there to really watch the game, and actually know who's on the field and what the infield fly rule is. the rest of the crowd is made up of a combination of people who are just there to enjoy some beers on the lovely summer afternoon, people on group outings with their office/school/organization, the ting girls in the xxx-small baby-pink jeter shirts, and other assorted people who should shut the hell up so that i can enjoy the game. but at hockey games, the crowd is serious. as awesome as madison square garden is, people don't go to hockey games just to "enjoy a nice night at the garden". everyone there is there to watch the game. once play begins, the crowd is nearly silent, so you can hear the sticks slapping the puck. don't get the wrong idea---when a goal is scored, or our goalie makes a great save, it's deafening. but you can feel how intent the crowd is on the game, and i love that.

3. every so often during the game there would be a loud, short cheer from one of the upper sections of "[unitelligible] sucks!" so about the third time it happened, i turned to stephen and asked "what sucks?", and he said, "oh, they're saying 'potvin sucks'---potvin was an old islanders (ny's other hockey team) player from like 20 years ago." awesome.

4. two words: petr prucha.

5. two more words: slap shot.

ps: big shout-out to auntie meg for making our hockey night out possible by sitting for the little man. the report from the home front was that all went well--she even washed his hair--until she had him almost asleep, after 15 minutes of walking him and then some laying next to him on the bed, and she sneezed on his head. at which point he didn't cry, just sat up and pointed up and out, like "now we begin again--recommence the walking." and after she had him almost asleep for the second time, lulu came flying through the door like a rabid bat, did a little crazy dance on the bed, and then shot back out of the room. but after all that, he slept for a good long time---around 10:45 or so i heard him wake up and make some noise. since he has mastered "mama", that's what he's been saying when he wakes up in the night, rather than the "eeehhhh!" that used to be his nocturnal battle cry. and the other night, when stephen put him to bed, when he woke up he cried out for "dada!" but when he woke up last night, what i heard through the monitor was "eeeeehhhhh? mmmuuhhh? du? um? uuhhhh.......? [rustle, rustle, trailing off to nothing]". it was like he was going "shit, what was her name again? it wasn't mama, it wasn't dada.... i know her..... oh screw it, i'm going back to sleep."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

vacation hangover

my bags still aren't unpacked and i'm still feeling a little unsettled. and cold. so the most i have been able to do so far is get the photos organized, which you can get to through wile's site.

stories to follow soon....

Monday, March 13, 2006

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

wish you were here

i'm in a public library because my mother has yet to bring the joy of the interweb in to her home, so this won't be long.

wile and i have entered phase 2 of spring break 2006: we have left behind the glamour of miami for the more prosaic, yet still awesome because it's 80 degrees out, charms of port saint lucie, spring training home of the mets and, more importantly, full-time home of the nana. wile and the nana are in the children's room while i'm typing this; every couple of minutes i can hear a "bah!" so i know he's okay.

wile has taken to nana in a big way. the first day we were here, they were hysterically laughing over a piece of dried flower that they found on the floor of her bedroom. she would say "what's that, wile?" and flick it across the floor, and he would crack the hell up. when she's not in his line of vision, he looks around and asks "nana? nana? nana?" until she comes back. the way he says her name is hysterical: it's less of a "na" sound than a "nyeh", like "nyeh-nyeh-nyeh-nyeh-nyeh". and the emphasis is on the second "nyeh", but that seems to be his vocal pattern in general. i'm "maMA", stephen is "daDA", the ball is "baBALL", the boobs are "baBOO". we think he's part french.

okay, my time on this computer is running down. if you never hear from me again, we probably got eaten by the alligators at the playground. no, for serious: there's a sign at the playground that says "beware of alligators". at the playground.