Happy Birthday, Jo!
Happy Birthday to the best Auntie in the world!
Here is a cute picture for you:
and another one:
Foolproof Conception Instructions
1. Sign up to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
2. Start a new local chapter of Unifem, the U.N. Fund
(Optional) 3. Buy some expensive tight-fitting shoes
Viola. You WILL become pregnant.
I have been evading the Habitat for Humanity people
for the better part of a year now, but they finally caught up with
me ten minutes ago, having figured out my work number. I had to admit
that no, I am a shallow selfish creature, I have no time to volunteer
because I would rather play with my kid and when I am not doing that,
I would prefer to stare blankly into space/sleep. Now I am feeling
ever so guilty, but also like I should send a donation, since they
are directly responsible for Eliza's existence.
New Exercise Program: Swimsuit Wrestling
Not like THAT, you dirty bird.
It must be confessed that Jim and I occasionally come
at parenthood like a pair of scientifically irresponsible researchers:
So, what would happen if we... (put this hat on/play Led Zeppelin
loudly/feed her cheese/etc.) I say irresponsible because our subject
pool, consisting of one baby, makes any results inherently suspect,
especially as said baby has been known to change her mind on a dime.
But we persist in gathering our data in our efforts
to construct a personality profile, which now goes something like
this: Baby likes cheese; hates hats except when she can pull them
off and play with the tassels; has no use for baby-targeted items
including music, toys and television programs; prefers to play always
with the most dangerous possible option she can get her hands on,
be that keys, cats, or utensils; and is committed to mobility to the
point of foolhardiness, lunging/throwing self in the directions of
the desired object with little thought to actual ability to move or
to the obstacles in her path.
In our latest efforts to determine whether baby will
grow up to be Evel Knievel or Albert Einstein (and currently, as you
can see, she is trending toward the former), this Sunday, we took
Jim volunteered to be the in-water part of the support
team, seeing as how I refuse to expose that much flesh, which left
me as swimsuit-putter-on-er.
First, I had to remove Irascible Baby's clothes. Because
she does not approve of lying down, I have found that the way to get
the most cooperation from her r.e. changing is to let her stand for
as much of the process as possible. Which means that I put her in
front of a mirror and then use one arm to pin the lunging baby who
wants to lick the reflection, and the other for clothing grappling.
We wrestled our way into the swim diapers, and thence,
into the swimsuit. I don't know if you've ever tried to help a not-really-capable-of-standing-who-nonethless-insists-on-standing-on-the-wet-tile-floor
baby into two consecutive very tight pants-type situations, but it's
kind of like trying to wedge two uncooperative cats into their carriers
simultaneously. Twice. It's technically possible, but I don't recommend
However, could she be any cuter? (The beatific glow
is a happy accident caused by the humidity of the pool room befogging
the camera lens.)
Once clothed, I handed her off to Jim, who was in the
disturbingly (i.e. if everyone peed in the pool it would be this temperature)
warm water, and the response from our daredevil was a decidedly chickenhearted
clinging. When he stretched her out at arm's length and swirled her
through the water, she was horrified and started to cry, and when
he brought her in closer again, I thought she was going to burrow
into his chest for safety.
She was creeped out by the water and weirded out by
the floating noodles, and had this expression on her face most of
the time. I think this picture was taken right after she saw the dad
with the alarming
fur sweater back hair, and frankly, I can't
She did mellow out a bit once Jim gave her this watering
can toy to gnaw on and, clutching it desperately, consented to spend
about 15 minutes in the wet stuff. By the end, she had gone from naked
terror to mostly OK, and she even cracked a smile toward the end:
Working on the theory that she used to scream like a
banshee whenever she took a bath and now bath time is her favorite
time of the day, we are enrolling her in baby swim class.
Also, that bathing suit is to die for.
Because Toys Are (Still) for Sissies, Not Babies Who Crawl
The small two-legged creature cares not for toys; this
we know from previous postings. This week's non-toys playthings: Jim's
guitar, a padlock, plants, the bad-kitty spray bottle, cables (still),
paper (still), lightbulbs (for .00002 nanoseconds before we realized
what she was grabbing at and freaked out), spoons (wooden and metal,
some plastic), medicine droppers, carpets, and this lovely branch
from the vase in the corner of the living room. The branch had the
added bonus of driving Barney nuts:
In other news, Jim and I are greeting with some trepidation
her discovery of the crawling mechanism. She has been doing a lot
of pre-crawlig behavior and I had predicted she'd be crawling before
the month was out, and lordy, if it ain't true. She only goes for
three steps (or whatever you call it on all fours) and then collapses
because she's still working out the coordination and the strength,
but it's honest to God crawling, not the weird backwards commando
shinny or that funny 1980s breakdancing caterpillar move.
The diaper rash, an update.
We are now treating it with Nystatin anti-fungal cream
on the principle that perhaps I was right and the doctor was wrong,
it WAS thrush all along. The butt-skin is now crusty in a new way
that may signal healing, or the fact that her butt is about to fall
I'll let you know...
Over the past ten days, we have tried the following
diaper rash cures:
Airing out the tushie
Slathering the tushie with vasoline
Bathing the tushie in water with baking soda
Slathering the tushie with zinc oxide cream
Slathering the tushie with lanolin cream
Bathing the tushie in water with oatmeal
Slathering the tushie with a mixture of zinc oxide and oatmeal
Slathering the tushie with a mixture of lanolin and oatmeal
None have worked, with the added fun bonus that airing
out the tushie induces hypothermia in our lovely climate.
I finally called the doctor back and asked them if they
had any suggestions, because I was fresh out of ideas. They said to
air the tushie out some more and I told them to sell that to someone
else because I'm not buying.
Now, we are trying a yeast-infection cream on the theory
that though it doesn't look like one, perhaps it is one, and that
is why it has been so intractable.
As I was telling one of my friends yesterday, it's starting
to remind of when I was a kid and I would get hiccups, and people
would make suggestions for hiccup cures that initially sounded OK
(hold your breath; drink some water) and then progressed to become
steadily more outlandish (eat a spoon of peanut butter; stand on your
head and eat a spoon ful of sugar) to the point where I started to
suspect that now, people were just messing with me. Because, you should
see the various oatmeal concoctions, mmm, yummy.
Jim outright refused to apply them. "It's just
too weird," he said.
Yeah, I hear you.
The Small Creatures Who Sleep, and More
First, let me dispense with the cuteness.
Here is Barney, the clumsiest cat in the world, making
an unwise dozing choice, but somehow not falling ass-over-teakettle
off the computer:
Next, here is my baby girl, fast asleep after a hard
day as a subject of scientific study:
Huh, you ask, what's that about studies?
Well, the university where I work has a child development
department, and we were recruited for a study they were doing about
how 8-month-olds play with objects with and without sound, or something
Eliza sat on a hardwood surface, and then on a carpeted
surface, and received first a rattle that makes noise, and then one
that doesn't, on each of these surfaces. These 4 variants would be
repeated in a no-light situation.
We ran into several snags. First, she decided that what
she really wanted to do was crawl into my cleavage (a theme that was
carried to its logical conclusion later in the day when, during our
playdate with some friends, she inserted a Zwieback between my boobs
for, I don't know, safekeeping, maybe?). Then, she didn't want to
take the rattles from the scientist (STRANGER DANGER!). Finally, she
consented. The rattle that made noise, she shook back and forth. The
one that didn't, she tried to eat.
Then, she got hugely distracted by the other toys that
were lying on a shelf nearby, to the degree that she tried to crawl
over me to get to them. (One of the milestones the baby books are
forever blathering on about is "will work for toy." Oh,
my god, will she work for a toy. She will work overtime without pay
for a toy.) I thought it was very odd that they would leave distraction
materials lying around like that and wondered if that was the actual
point of the experiment.
Anyway, I spirited the other toys away (thus arguably
ruining the clandestine experiment) and we tried the dark thing, but
every time we turned off the light, she flung the rattle away and
headed for my chest again, so the guy finally gave up and said they
would just use the light part of the experiment.
We have no idea what they learned from our tiny genius,
but we got a free T-shirt out of it for her, so, score!
Tragically Unclear on the Concept: The Stroller Visor
I took this picture this weekend and forgot about it
until I was poking through my files just now. I had her sitting in
the stroller with the visor angled pretty far forward, when she grabbed
it and did this, and just looked so pleased with the adjustment that
I couldn't stop laughing.
a Good Thing You're so Cute
Eliza woke up at 2:30 a.m. and was not to be gotten
back to sleep by normal means, so I changed her diaper, wondering
if the diaper rash had perchance gone terminal. No, although picking
oatmeal out of various crevices required more attention than I was
happy to muster at that hour (but more on that in a second).
I got in bed with her and she consented to sleep until
5 — well short of the 10 1/2 hours she needs, but she would
brook no more sleeping-related activities of any sort (and especially
none on my part).
So I drug myself downstairs and tended to Missy, who
was not making motherhood very rewarding, what with the incessant
unnnhhhheeeeeeeee unnnhhhheeeeeeeee unnnhhhheeeeeeeee unnnhhhheeeeeeeee.
Sadly, my child takes after her father in that lack of sleep affects
her dramatically. Except he's MUCH nicer about it than she is, since
she has also inherited my flair for the overly dramatic reaction to
minor emotional trauma.
By 6:45, I was gathering materials to make the sign
I was going to hang around her neck saying, "Free to a
good home," when I decided that, really, what needed doing was
for her to go back to bed and start the day over. As soon as I lay
down on the bed with her and started stroking her hair, Eliza sighed,
started gnawing furiously on her binky, and went to sleep. See, sweetie?
Sometimes Mama DOES know what she's doing.
I lay there and gazed at her, wondering how I could
transfer her to her crib without waking her up, but then I decided
to sleep on it for a while.
We woke up shortly after 8 (why, yes, that is
when I'm supposed to be at work, thank you for asking), and in two
minutes of being awake the second time around, she smiled more than
the entire previous 2 hours, and she waved at me again, to boot.
Meanwhile, the diaper rash. I asked my Guru of Everything
(As a life-skills-challenged person, when I got this job, I was thrilled
to discover that one of my colleagues is one of those people who knows
many important facts about stuff grown-ups do. Seriously, whether
it's picking wedding photographers, applying for a mortgage, painting
your house - she's better than Google! Everyone should have a Guru
of Everything. I'd lend you mine if I could.) what she did for her
kids' diaper rash. She recommended a mixture of zinc oxide (A+D, Desenex,
whatever) plus oatmeal. Barney tried to eat it, Eliza tried to eat
it, and I'm not sure it's working, but I feel very pro-active, so
it has that going for it.
Some Things that Work, and Some Things that Don't
Yesterday, I explained that Eliza will only wave
at herself. As of this morning, that is obsolete information.
If Jim and Eliza are downstairs when I go outside to
go to work, they come to a window and watch me go to my car and drive
off. Yesterday, they got to watch me cursing the snow, as well, as
I spent a half hour shoveling out my damn car amid the fluffy deluge,
and who the fucking fuck decided NOT to call a snow day?! It's a good
thing we just replaced the windows with doublepaned glass, because
no child should be a witness to that much swearing.
This morning, the entertainment was watching me try
to figure out how come those little holes out of which squirts the
windshield washer fluid are both suddenly angled downwards on the
driver's side. (This is a whole topic in itself, why the windshield,
the wipers, and the fluid always seem to malfunction on the driver's
side but not the passenger's side.) Anyway, I was trying to figure
out how to repoint the little holes, and when I looked up, there they
were again, my two favorite people. And I tell you, when you smile
at your kid and her face lights up with an answering grin, that never
EVER gets old.
Jim held her arm and kind of flapped it up and down
as I waved back at her, and then all of a sudden I realized, wait,
that's not Jim making her open and shut her little hand in that fantastic
way that babies have of waving. That's HER!
I jumped up and down and carried on like a fool, and
she kept waving and grinning.
It was a most excellent start to the day.
On the downside, we have butt-rash recidivism.
Because she is a cloth-diapered baby, Eliza has never
had diaper rash trouble. Here and there, we've had some redness quickly
addressed with a preemptive slather of Desenex, but that's it, and
hello, I'd like to introduce myself, I'm sanctimonious mom.
Oh how the mighty have fallen! And also are stupid.
I had gotten some Burt's Bees diaper ointment because it smelled prettier
than the Desenex, and when she had one of her periodic could-possibly-one-day-become-rash
episodes of redness, I covered her with the Burt's Bees stuff. The
rash got worse, and I congratulated myself on my timely intervention.
The rash spread. I gobbed on more Burt's Bees. I took her to the doctor
because I was convinced that the thrush in her mouth had migrated
(it does, you know). The doctor said, uh, no, but have you used any
new lotion or soap lately? Why yes, I say proudly, the Burt's B —
Vitamin E, to which I am sensitive in topical applications,
is proudly promoted as one of the key ingredients, and apparently
my kid shares this sensitivity.
The treatment? Stop using the ointment, leave her tushie
naked to air out and slather on the vasoline.
Well, the kid's been naked so much she's probably going
to join a nudist colony when she grows up, and we're singlehandedly
driving up the price of oil with our liberal petroleum jelly usage.
The rash, sadly, remains, improving only incrementally
each day. I'd take her back to the doctor, but I'm afraid one of two
things will happen:
1. The doctor's office, whom I already call on a weekly basis because
I have some new Eliza-related paranoia, will decide they've had enough
of me and fire her as a patient, or,
2. They'll have us come in, take a look, and declare, why, that's
not diaper rash, that's NEGLECT rash! And then they'll call DSS.
A Baker's Dozen of Important Facts People Should Know About Eliza
1. She is the cutest baby ever. See photographic evidence
2. She thinks Cats
in Hats are hysterical.
3. She has not, as yet, grasped the concept of "gentle"
as pertains to petting the cats.
4. Her favorite music, in no particular order, includes
Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode, Garbage, PJ Harvey (Yes!!!!), U2, Bruce
Springsteen, Madonna, and Shakira. When she finds a song she especially
likes, she sings in a key having nothing whatsoever to do with the
music and waves her arms around in a manner that looks vaguely conductor-ish.
5. On a related note (Ha!), she is fascinated by Jim's
guitars, especially the cherry-red Fender. She stands in front of
them and twiddles the knobs and ploinks the strings.
6. Her favorite person is her own reflection. The best
way to get her to stop crying is by showing her a mirror. Her reflection
is also pretty much the only person to whom, on
occasion, she will consent to wave.
7. When she is happy, and you are holding her, she puts
her face up really close to your face, shakes her head back and forth
and says "ahhaahhhahhhahhhahhhahhh," over and over, creating
a nifty doppler effect.
8. If you bounce her, she will say "Ahhahhahhahh"
to the rhythm of your bouncing.
9. Her favorite things to play with are paper and remote
controls. She is not fooled by toy remotes.
10. She likes flap books, which makes reading "The
Very Hungry Caterpillar" very challenging, since she flips the
half-pages very quickly.
11. In the bath tub, she likes to suck on her washcloth
and must at all times have a soap or shampoo bottle within reach.
12. She loves coffee shops in general, and Starbucks
in particular. She and Jim go to one almost every day.
13. She got her middle two bottom teeth when she was
4 months old, then didn't get any for three months. Now, she is growing
some top teeth, but mostly in a vampire-type arrangement that has
the potential to look extremely creepy indeed unless those middle
top teeth get a move on soon.
It was kinda
warm out yesterday, so we went to the playground.
Jim wore his
sexy new leather jacket. I like the new leather jacket.
The kid wore
one of her coats that makes her grumpy. Then again, all coats make
her grumpy. Between that, and the anti-fungal meds she's taking for
thrush which she hates, and how I take her out of the bath when she
gets pruny, and how I change her diaper, she's none too fond of me
these days. It's pretty distressing, but I try to remind myself that
Moe hated me for a while, too, when I had to give her meds. And in
some ways, apparently, cats resemble kids, and so I am hoping that,
much as Moe has come around, Eliza will too once the antifungal meds
are done, summer comes, and I don't know, she gets toilet-trained,
when we dress her to go outside, Jim and I whine pre-emptively, so
she doesn't have to. She does anyway, most of the time.
Back to yesterday's
activities. When we arrived at the playground, Eliza consented to
be put in the swing. Hanging there, though, she looked none too sure
about the proceedings. Then we tried the slide, which she loved when
we tried it in Texas, except that was a really huge one (comparatively).
Technically, the playground equipment was just for kids, but we figured
kids are so fat these days that it was probably safe for us, and so
we zipped down the slide with her on our laps, which she LOVED. She
seemed to think the min-slide was for pussies, though, because she
looked around pretty disdainfully and dug in her heels, so we had
to look for new equipment.
- the teeter-totter! She loved it. I had quite the time getting on
since I was wearing an ankle-length dress and did not want to R-rate
the proceedings (there were a bunch of other families there), but
eventually we were all arranged and bouncing along. Daddy took pictures.
we went home, ate yogurt, and grabbed large handfuls of Barney fur.
The Cat Has Trained My Baby
One of Barney's
favorite things in the WORLD to do is to sniff people's breath. He
is not subtle about this, either. He will come and stand in front
of you until you open your mouth, and then he will insert his snout
sort of like an inversion of the old sticking-a-man's-head-in-the-lion's-mouth
circus trick, except the man is tiny, and orange, and has really huge
feet and fish breath. (Huh. Does that work as a metaphor?)
He does this
to everyone. When Jim's dad and step-mom came over last year for Easter,
he kept getting on the table and going to stand by Judy. He had her
pegged as simpatico, and she is. She did not, however, feel that he
should be on the table and tried various cat-behavior-correcting strategies,
including saying no and hissing at him. He stood there, eyeing her
attentively, and she triumphantly declared that her strategy had worked.
We didn't have the heart to tell her that really, he was just interested
in her chicken breath.
So, he's really
committed to this and it's to the point where when he hops up on a
counter and strolls over, Jim and I automatically open our mouths
and start exhaling at him.
has been going up to Eliza and adopting his open-your-mouth-please
stance. And our tiny sponge, she has gotten with the program: He comes
over, she opens her mouth and starts panting.
Brady, I Feel Your Pain
So, you know
how in every lame sitcom, at some point, someone's going to use an
inappropriate soap in some appliance and the inappropriate soap goes
all wonky and foams up and it's like, woah, the soap that ate my laundry
I always dismissed
this as sitcom ridiculousness, kind of like how a struggling chef
and a waitress would be able to afford THAT apartment in New York,
but it turns out that it's true!
I desperately had to run the dishwasher, but there was no dishwasher
detergent, no matter how many times I closed the cabinet and waited
for the soap-gnomes to deliver. So I grabbed some plain old dish soap
and squirted it around the dishwasher on the dirty dishes, locked
the bastard and hit start.
except it started running, so I went into the living room with Eliza
to play. 15 minutes later, though, I had to get something from the
kitchen, and lo, there, extruding ominously from various cracks and
pores around the door, were gobbets of bubbles and rivulets of water.
I dammed up
the liquid with towels, but I figured I'd better open it up and assess
the soap situation, and woah, the soap that ate my dishwasher - foam,
incredibly dense, fluffy, foam, was trying to eat my dishes. And this
was just the rinse cycle - we hadn't even gotten to agitation yet.
I plopped Eliza on the floor with a toy, grabbed a tupperware and
took care of the problem, but I have learned my lesson. No more inappropriate
soap from me!
PS - The dishes,
they were fine. Very lemon-y fresh.
WHY does EVERY
diaper change have to be a GODDAMN NATIONAL TRAGEDY?!?!?!
Arguments in Favor of Torture/Death Penalty
killing and torture is wrong, whether it's sanctioned by the state
or not. But some people are animals who don't deserve to live, like
And my attempts
to be respectful of all cultures are really challenged when I read
things like this.
as a matter of policy, kill/abort/abandon their female offspring in
favor of male offspring are off-balancing their populations' gender
distribution. Eventually there will be a shortage of baby-makers and
a resulting plummet in birth rate. How close to extinction will they
have to get before they shape up?
Katrina, I've had Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks"
stuck in my head.
Today I went
to the dentist. Usually, about a week before an appointment, I do
that sad, desperate flossing thing so that when the hygienist asks
if I'm flossing and I say yes, I'm not totally lying. This time, I
didn't bother - I don't have time for flossing, what with the baby
wrangling and laundry and more that I have going on.
hygienist asked, "How's your flossing?" and I said "Terrible!"
surprised her so much she laughed and forgot to scold me.
I don't like
those guys everyone calls "nice guys." They're usually so
wedded to their self-image as "nice guys" that they're indiscriminately
nice to everyone. I would like you to like me for me, not because
you have a reputation to uphold.
ago, I went on an ill-advised deep-sea fishing trip with my then-boyfriend,
my mother, and her boyfriend. The ride out was fine, but they stopped
the boat for fishing. This did not sit well with me, and Dramamine
notwithstanding, it took about 5 minutes before I was leaning over
the side getting hideously, horribly seasick. I thought my stomach
was going to crawl out my nose.
A man and
his young son stood nearby with their fishing poles, probably hoping
that vomit acts as chum, thus offsetting the fish-frightening noises
I was producing.
The man edged
closer and asked, "Would you like some Dramamine?"
I said, "I
took some, it's over there," and pointed to a patch of vomit
I feel that
it shows considerable presence of mind to be able to joke when you
are that seasick, but he was unappreciative.
Blogging as PTSD Therapy
So, this Christmas
being Eliza's first, I figured we'd better visit a grandparent, and,
my mother being the farthest away (Texas) and having the least access
to her grandbaby, she won.
I also decided
that I would go out early with Eliza, with Jim to follow us about
4 days later.
It is at this
point in the story that my colleague, Penny, interrupted me and said,
"Wait, you traveled by yourself for your child's first plane
trip? Why didn't you come talk to me?! I would've told you that was
a STUPID idea!"
talked to Penny.
We got up
at our usual time (5 a.m.) and were making good time until we noticed
that a. the car was encrusted in ice and b. that we had to drive in
that crap. At the airport, we were held up in the security line from
hell. Apparently everyone was getting the anal cavity search, because
it took forever. I had to take off my shoes and the baby carrier,
and I'm surprised I didn't have to whisk Eliza through the X-ray machine.
I ran, in
sock feet, to my gate, because by this time I had about 15 minutes
till take-off, managing to drop my license in the process, so no sooner
had I arrived, panting, than security called me back to pick it up.
A nice lady from Continental told me to stay put and get myself together
(I think she was unnerved by my fuzzy fuchsia socks) and she'd run
and get it for me. I vowed to write a nice letter to Continental.
At this point,
I should note that Eliza was dressed in black velvet pants, a red
fleece shirt with 2 kitties on it, and red socks, with a santa hat
stowed in easy reach to put on when we reached Texas.
to our row-mate that I was sorry he'd drawn the short straw and had
to sit with the lady with the baby, but he was sanguine: "What
goes around comes around - I've got three of my own." I did notice
he took out his Bible and read portions of it during the flight. I'm
not sure whether he was praying for a quiet baby or a safe flight.
In either case, his God deserted him, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
We had lots
of time to discuss what it was like to travel with children because
the crud that encrusted our car also covered our plane, and we had
to wait a good 90 minutes before we were de-iced.
took off - bumpy, but if that had been all, no big whoop.
By the time
we reached cruising, Eliza was starting to smell very urinary. Not
wanting to give the cabin an eyeful of baby coochie, I headed for
the bathroom, thinking (or was I) that there would be a changing table.
The flight attendant (a man) told me nope, "improvise,"
making vague allusions to babies on closed toilet seats.
I would like
to note for the record here that peeing while holding an angry baby
is difficult, especially if you are trying not to actually sit on
the toilet seat.
I closed the
toilet seat and put Eliza on the lid. She was vocal with her disapproval
of the proceedings, in no small part because the lid was curved, and
registered her distaste by peeing right as I removed her diaper, soaking
her onesie and her shirt. There was changing of the above, and there
was screaming. Stupid Continental without changing tables. We were
NOT the first mom and baby to ever fly - what were they thinking?
An hour or
so later, the pilot ordered everyone to sit down and shut up (only
he said it nicer), and made a sudden descent. As we levelled out at
a new altitude that can best be described as "bombing run,"
he came on the intercom to explain, only without using any of the
words I'm going to, that there was a pressure loss in the cabin and
he'd descended to 8,000 feet so we wouldn't suffocate.
later, he came back on, and again without using any of the words I'm
going to use here (seriously, this man should be working for the UN)
he explained that the wingflaps that would help us brake were malfunctioning,
and that we'd be landing without flaps, very fast, on the longest
runway, with fire trucks in case the brakes caught fire.
We made it,
but I would've headed straight for the margarita bar inside the gate
were it not for Eliza and the fact that, oh yeah, now I still had
to make it to Corpus Christi from Houston and I'd missed my connection.
This is where
my love for Continental curdles and grows to bitter hatred, because
they refused to move me up in the standby list despite the facts that
a. it was not my fault I'd missed the connection, and b. I'd just
had the flight from hell and c. oh yeah, screaming baby. Maybe the
6 p.m. flight. It was 1 at the time.
This is where
I briefly pay tribute to all the lovely people who kept me from going
insane - the nice guy who offered to give me his seat (Continental
bitch wouldn't let him, saying snippily that the seat would go to
the next standby person "And it's not HER!"), the business
guy who asked me if there was anything he could get me (I was deeply
depressed at this point and told him "no, there's nothing anyone
can do for me anymore"), the many people who commiserated. Anyway,
I don't know whose screaming, mine or Eliza's, finally did it, but
somehow, we got onto a 3:30 flight, and made it to Corpus.
I am still
in the process of drafting my irate letter to Continental (and have
I mentioned, by the way, that it's Continental that I hate so much
now? Because it's Continental that I hate, in case that wasn't clear),
but there had better be some first-class tickets anywhere in the US
in their response letter.
off the plane wearing a onesie (also slightly peed on but I'd run
out of onesies by that point), and velvet pants. Her socks had disappeared.
I felt awful
for my poor kid - if the flight had taken as long as it was supposed
to, she would've been fine. As it was, there was no nap to be had
since everytime she nodded off, the intercom came on to wake her up
again, and nine hours into our ordeal, she was inconsolable. And I
don't blame her.
I can't tell
you how annoyed I was when, on the flight back, when Jim was with
me and able to help carry the load, everything went smoothly and the
baby slept the entire way.
You and Your Educational Toys Can Go to Hell, Woman, Just Give Me
spent large portions of the day being annoying.
one of the things they don't tell you about in the books: that you
will have moments where you find your kid totally annoying. In Eliza's
case, being annoying consists of whining after about 2 minutes with
each toy and maintaining a sort of buzzing mosquito (but louder)
eeeeeeeeeeeee sound until a new toy is placed before her, to be
inspected and inevitably also discarded within 120 seconds. It's
like circuit training with ADD monkeys.
not do this all the time; in fact, she is often the bee's knees
to watch as she sits, completely absorbed in whatever it is that
she is playing with, drooling and panting at the same time. There
is nothing cuter, except for all the other cute stuff that she does,
after the fourth or fifth circuit of exersaucer-bouncer-music table-rattles-stuffed
animals-etc., I was getting pretty tired of this and starting to
count the minutes until I could give her a bath and put her in bed.
I noticed that she had spied with her maniacal eye the bungee cord
we use to hold her door shut (75-year-old house, don't ask). I handed
it to her, and lo and behold, she was utterly mesmerized for a good
next three hours, she played with: a drinks coaster, several remotes,
window blinds, pens, an ottoman, some refrigerator magnets, several
spoons, a washcloth, and a bowl. She also attempted to liberate
the phone and tried to eat several paper napkins. And not an eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
was heard the entire time.
called from work, I gave him a report of our child's activities,
he suggested that we try reverse psychology on her and start playing
with her toys all the time. Because that's what it's all about -
she wants to be playing with the big people stuff. This couldn't
be clearer really, because I have given her a defunct remote, but
every time she sees the one we still use, she tosses her impotent
battery-less version aside and lunges for the other one.