Tuesday, May 30, 2006

ah, young love

mona: you guys left wile's sweatshirt at our place on friday.

me: oh, whoops.

mona: yeah, gwen found it and brought it to me, saying "wile? sweatshirt? wile? try? on? on?"

me: heh.

mona: so we put it on, and she kept it on all afternoon. then when it was time to go to bed i tried to take it off and she flipped out, so we left it on.

me: she wanted to sleep in his jacket?

mona: yep.

me: oh, man.

mona: yep. and it was such a warm night, she was sweating like crazy, but she screamed when i tried to unzip it. i had to peel it off her after she fell asleep.

Monday, May 29, 2006

two steps forward, one step back

so, i know you're dying to know, how is the sleeping going?

the long answer is:

right after we went through the change there was an almost total reversal due to a nasty cold that kept him up at night horking and snotting, and i feared that all was lost. but once the germs left the building, we were back on track, though there was still some major heavy lifting to be done: he started waking up earlier, around 2:30 or 3:30, and asking for the ba-boo. now, when he was sleeping till 4 or 5, i was fine with giving him the ba-boo when he woke up, after which he would sleep for another couple of hours. but earlier than that? i had to just say no.

i don't think i can fairly represent the pathetic-ness of the cry of "ba-booooo? ba-boooooo?" that wile would subject me to when i went in at the earlier waking and didn't make with the boob. it was quavering and weak, yet insistent, tearful and indignant and filled with all the sorrow that the world has ever known. and i'm in a weakened state, my brain addled from being ripped from a sound sleep. let me tell you, he nearly broke me a couple of times. but i stayed firm. i found that talking to him—which all the books tell you never to do, no words, no, no, don't speak, don't speak—helped; if i calmly told him that he had already had ba-boo, and that it was time to sleep now, he calmed down a lot faster. there were several nights of this kind of negotiation, then a couple of nights where i went in, there were maybe one or two reps of "ba-booooo?" and then he was back asleep. sweeeeet!

yeah. then there were the past few nights, when i would go in when he woke up at three and he would "ba-booooo?" for 20 minutes, clawing at my shirt the whole time. then, after he finally gave up, exhausted and defeated, and flopped himself down on his pillow and fell back asleep, he'd wake up again at 6:30. not. acceptable.

but! then last night, he slept from 9 till 5:45, then till 8. it was a beautiful thing.

the going to bed alone, however, seems to be here to stay. there were a coupe of nights last week that gave me a little scare—i put him down, he was silent for about 5 minutes, then up and crying (ma-maaaa! ma-maaaa!) and needed me to come up and lay with him for a couple of minutes until he calmed down. the second night this happened, i had to go up twice. but that seems to have just been a little blip. most nights he's down no problem, and saturday night we had a sitter and he didn't give her any guff, said good night and went right down.

and then last night.... stephen and i were both in with him after bath getting his diaper and pajamas on, then he gave us both kisses and hugs, then i was about to take him from stephen to say goodnight to his things and sing and put him down when he looked at us and said "bye" and then looked at the bed and said "down!" ooookay! don't have to ask me twice! stephen put him in the bed, he lay down, and we took off. not another peep till 4:45....

so the short answer is:

meh.... but a mostly positive meh.

of course, i'm sure our upcoming trip out to california, to sleep in strange beds in a different time zone and probably not be able to keep to the nice regular schedule we follow here at home, is going to shoot any progress we've managed to make all to shit.

oh and speaking of sleeping, i found out on friday what happens to wile when he doesn't nap. in short: he loses his marbles. we took a trip in to the city to do some shopping, and of course he wouldn't nap in his stroller (which he does just fine, all the time, on the boring old relatively-quiet brooklyn streets, but not in super-exciting manhattan, apparently...). so we gave up and just plowed on to h+m, where he spent almost the entirety of our 45 minutes in the store running laps around the baby department, barefoot and pants-less, throttling two little stuffed monkeys—one in each hand—that he had grabbed from a display, shrieking and yipping like a purse dog on uppers: "yi! yi! yi! yi! yi! yi! yi! yi! yi!"

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

seems like only yesterday....

the other day as i walked in the house from the farmers' market past the blooming columbine, with a bunch of ramps in my bag, i realized: holy crap, it've been doing this pookiellama thing for a whole year!

as is the case with most of life with baby, it feels both like no time has passed and like ten years have passed. i was actually thinking about this the other day, before i even had my blogiversary revelation: wile and i were on our way to the park, he was in his stroller eating some snack out of a little tupperware. halfway there, he held the container up to me to take away. i did, then he said "wauh", so i gave him his sippy cup of water. then i stopped dead in my tracks, because the enormity of what had just happened hit me. he was eating a snack out of a tupperware container. when he had had enough, he knew how to ask me to take it away. he was thirsty, so he asked for water. all of which seem totally commonplace and unremarkable to me now. but six months ago? six months ago, we would have been stopping every three feet so that i could hand him more crackers, because if i gave him a tupperware to hold he would have littered the sidewalk with its contents like hansel and gretel. six months ago, if he was thirsty, he would have just started crying/fussing, and i might have had to go through a whole list of options before hitting on what it was that he wanted. [i often used to feel like i was contantly living out harpua, (that's a phish song, for you non hippies/ex-hippies), where the one person is like "how about a goldfish?", and other person is all "i! don't want! a goldfiiiish!", and the other person tries again "how about a goldfish?", and the other person is still all "i! don't want! a goldfiiiish!!" and it goes on like that for a little while....] six months ago, i would have offered up a limb or two for things to be like they are now. but now that he does communicate easily? it ain't no thing. it's just...normal. which is how it will continue to go as he grows up, of course. but what made me stop in my tracks in the middle of the sidewalk was the the thought that i should take the time to notice and appreciate these things, especially as he gets older. because for now, all the things that he is learning to do and the independence that they're bringing him isn't pulling him away from me. or, if it is pulling him away a little, it's not a bad thing—it's nice to be able to, i don't know, pee without someone sitting on my lap.... but as he moves from toddler to kid to (dear god) teenager, the things he learns will pull him away more and more, and he will begin to tear apart from me. and it will hurt. i know it will. but it will also be amazing to watch, and our relationship will only get richer, and i'll be able to share more things that i love with him, and he'll discover other things on his own and share them with me. but i want to know that i've been paying close attention through the whole process.

and writing on pookiellama? helps me pay attention. so thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

mmmm, varnished wood

i was in my closet this afternoon when i heard wile in our bedroom making a weird noise, kind of like panting.

i went in and found him standing next to stephen's dresser.

"what're you doing?" i asked him.

he grinned up at me, but no explanation.

then i noticed what looked like a wet spot on the side of stephen's dresser. and another on the side of my dresser. and another on the window.

"are you.....wile, did you lick daddy's dresser?"

he grinned up at me and—there's no better word for it—cackled. and then he licked the dresser.

Monday, May 15, 2006

don't it make my white cat brown

dear con ed man,

i don't mind that you show up to read the meter at 8am. other people, this might bother, but lord knows i'm up. and i don't mind having to come all the way downstairs to let you in.


when i ask you to please shut the cellar door on your way out, i'd really appreciate it if you listened. otherwise, an hour after you leave, this walks in to the dining room:

6 great iPhotos

6 great iPhotos

and drops this at my feet:

6 great iPhotos

dear god what is that thing, you might ask? i'll tell you what that is. it's the mutilated plastic exoskeleton of what was once a furry toy mouse. trucky (that's dusty mcdirty up there) likes to "play" with the mice by first sitting on them for a while like a mother hen, then gnawing on them till all of the fur comes off, then eating the fur, then gnawing on the plastic, then, and only then, batting them around like a normal cat. i'm guessing this one got batted under the cellar door a few months ago and has been festering in the basement ever since, till you came, left trucky his opening, and allowed him to retrieve it and come up and drop it at my feet with a triumphant "mmmaaaaaooooo!".

look at that thing. do you see how, if you look at it right, it has an elf face? a creepy little elf face? staring right at you?

shut the door. please. that thing is haunting my dreams.


Monday, May 08, 2006

quick bat quick bat

my mother swears up and down that if it hadn't been for the electric company, i wouldn't have learned to read as early as i did. she read to me a lot too, and did little phonics cards, but still she gives the majority of the credit to tv.

pretty much the only thing that i watch on tv during wile's waking hours is baseball. and not too often—i'm usually more than happy to listen to the game on the radio. but every once in a while i'll put the game on, or just turn it on sporadically throughout the game to catch the replay of a delgado home run or a pedro strikeout or a sweet d. wright catch (or close-up). all in all, i'd say he's watched about 7 or 8 inning total of baseball in his entire life.

but apparently, he's been paying attention.

a few weeks ago, we were in the ball pit at the playground—the fenced-in area where there are sprinklers in the summer—wile scooped up the ball, turned to me, said "pih!", then kicked up his leg a la dontrelle, cocked his arm back and held that position for a few minutes, then let one fly.

once i picked my jaw up off the concrete, i tried to remember if i had ever "pitched" the ball to him in one of our countless games of catch. i couldn't remember ever doing it. we'd talked about pitching when we'd read his baseball book, but the pictures in the book only show pitchers in their follow-through, not in their wind-up.

then last week we were in the dining room playing a rousing game of take all the empty plastic seltzer bottles out of the recycling, and, awesome game though it is, i got a little bored. so i picked up one of the bottles and the ba-ball that was lying on the ground, said "hey wile, check this out", and threw the ball up and hit it with the bottle. you could just about hear all the bells going off in his head. he broke out in a huge grin, grabbed a bottle, held it up over his right shoulder, rolled the ball to me, and said "pih! pih!" so i threw him a nice lob, and he whacked it. a clean single.

all of which leads me to two conclusions:

1. we have to really think about what we let him watch on tv. or listen to on the stereo. or listen to coming out of our mouths....

2. though we've suspected it for some time now, he truly is destined for the big leagues. obviously.



Tuesday, May 02, 2006

the good, the bad, and the ugly

but let's do them in reverse order, so that we end up happy, not pissed off....

the ugly
we spent this past saturday night at our friends sam and gabi's house, in a little town outside of baltimore. on the way in to their place, we passed a sign outside a little restaurant/lunchonette that said "PIT BEEF". so of course on sunday morning one of the first things out of stephen's mouth is "what is pit beef and do we have to stop for it?" sam, when he stopped laughing, said that he wasn't sure what it was, so we decided we had to go find out. pit beef, it turns out, is basically roast beef cooked on an open grill, so it's got a nice smoky thing going on, and it's absolutely delicious on a roll with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo. add in one of the "real old-fashioned milkshakes" that were advertised on the side of the building, and it was a perfect lunch.

about an hour later, as stephen and wile and i were making our way up I95, stephen turned to me and said "did you get your purse from the back of your chair in the restaurant?" hmmm. i looked around the van, then said "nope, i guess not. call up sammy and see if he can go back and get it for us?" i could not have been more unconcerned. little lunch-counter place in a little town? surely someone had spotted it and turned it in at the counter. sam called back, no problem, he'd go get it. then sam called back again, from the restaurant: no purse. some lowlife piece of crap had stolen my bag.

two days later now, no bag. sam left his name and # at the restaurant, no dice. i called the restaurant today, they could not have been nicer, but nothing has turned up. and of course, everything was in my bag: my wallet, my phone, the camera.

stephen and i have spent the past 48 hours cancelling all of credit cards, closing our bank account and opening a new one, changing the locks on the house, etc, etc. and though that was annoying as all get-out, it's not really what's got me down.

the first part of what's got me down is all of the stupid sentimental stuff that i'll never get back, including:

> the crocheted "kitty sushi" (literally, a kitten on seaweed-wrapped rice covered in roe) keychain that sarah bought me in san francisco;

> the plastic sports radio 66 wfan new york mets keychain that has been on my keys for as long as i can remember, which i can't just go out and purchase again, since it was a promo giveaway thing;

> my favorite newspaper clipping ever: one year around christmas we were at my parents' house and in the local paper there was an ad from the aspca showing all the pets up for adoption that was set up like personals ads—each pet had a photo and a little description. and there was one that showed a cat named lulu, whose photo looked just like lulu, and whose description read something like "lonely? let this lovely lady in to your life...." or some such nonsense about how she was going to be all cuddly and sweet and not a shredder of arms and furniture alike;

> all of the pictures and movies of wile that were on the memory card of the camera.

the second part of what's got me down is that i can really only blame myself, for leaving the damn thing on the back of the chair in the first place. and there's no one it's easier for me to stay mad at than me.

and the third part of what's got me down is...well, i think the librarian at our local branch expressed it best this morning when she was commisserating with me over the whole situation while i was getting wile a new library card: "i know, honey. it's just that it's your stuff! and it's not the stuff that matters, you can get new stuff. it's that somebody else has your stuff! and they got no right! and there's not one damn thing you can do about it! makes you wonder what's wrong with some people." exactly.

the bad
on on top of that: i'm still kind of sick and hacking up phlegm; i pulled a muscle in my thumb picking up the big man the other day and am sporting an ace bandage on my right hand; and i ate some dried fruit that must have been processed in the a plant that also processes mangos, because i've got hives on my wrist, back of my knee, neck, and herpes-esque blisters on my lips.

hot, no?

the good
the reason that we went down south of the waffle house line in the first place was for bill and marie's wedding, and it was a blast. there were about 15 kids under the age of 7, and wile totally rocked the party. in fact, he can now say party: "paaaah-ee".

he spent the first couple of hours raising havoc out on the dancefloor with the other knee-biters: running back and forth at top speed, climbing up on to the dias and under the table, pulling the flower arrangements apart, flopping on to the roll-away parquet floor like beached baby whales....

then it was time for cake. wile has never shown much interest before, preferring salt to sugar (apple? cookie? no! cornichon? olive? caviar? mais oui!). i smooshed a small bite of cake and frosting on to a fork and handed it to him, expecting it to be shoved back in to my face. not so much. he stripped the fork in .5 seconds flat and demanded "moe!" and when we had finished the whole slice, he still wanted "moe!". so we went back to the cake table, but now there was a line. i got in it, set wile down next to me, and started to explain that everyone wanted cake and we needed to wait.....at which point he took off, ran past the whole long line and up to the serving table, and stuck his fork in the cake.

[stephen also had a transporting food experience: wile and i came back from a visit to the bathroom to find stephen in the buffet room hovering over the roast with a carving knife, hands and mouth slightly greasy. he turned to me, starry-eyed, and said "i've never been left alone in a room with a cow leg before."]

after we got back in line and then got and consumed our second slice of cake, wile decided to work off the extra calories by getting down with his bad self on the dance floor. he started off with some basic moves: the butt, the deep knee bend, the march-in-place. but that was just the warm-up. the main event? breakdancing. his signature move: head and hands on the floor, downward-dog style, with butt up in the air and one leg thrust out to the side and kicking. we had video of it, but, well, yeah. not anymore. but wait, this is the "good" section! and the good is that the wedding photographer was enamored with our little breakdancer, and took about 500 pictures of him. we're going to get in touch with her, so after all we will have a record of wile's first time as a dancin' dancin' dancin', dancin' machine.

and that means that the terrorists didn't win.