Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Au contraire au pair

I was standing in line at Starbucks today and there was a beautiful young woman behind me pushing a stroller in which sat the chunkiest, poutiest, blue-eyed baby. So, trying to be friendly, I asked, "how old is your baby?" In fact it wasn't her baby, she explained in her Scandinavian lilt. She was the au pair.

Now what woman in her right mind is going to hire a beautiful Scandinavian woman to live in her house, WITH HER HUSBAND, and watch after her baby?

Wait, maybe I'm being to quick to judge. It wouldn't be the first time. Let me reassess the situation for a second. I've just had a baby so I look four months pregnant, even though I'm not pregnant at all. I have milk stains on every blouse I own. My hair is falling out. I have post-partum acne. And my spouse is seriously sex-deprived. I know. I'll hire a beautiful woman with a sexy accent and a washboard stomach who wears those low-rise jeans that on normal women create that oddly popular "muffin top" effect but on her only provide better viewing of her hip bones and her thong. And she can sleep down the hall.

Nope. I just can't spin it. Bad choice any way you look at it. Bad bad choice.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Miss Communication

We went camping over the holiday weekend to Olema Ranch up in Point Reyes National Seashore. Usually we're too disorganized to reserve a spot six months in advance which is the earliest you can ever reserve and the only time anything's available six months from then. Especially for a three-day weekend. But friends of ours did the reserving and then asked us to join, then canceled when their baby girl came six weeks early.

It took us a good six hours to pack up the car and leave the house, at the tail end of which I looked at my husband and we just giggled. I mean, is it really worth it? Is camping with babies that much fun? I mean, not really. By the time we get everything in the car for the 48+ hours we'll be gone, we may as well go to Mexico for a week and stay in a resort. It's just so much stuff. And diapers. And toys. And enough Elmo underwear for three months. And a ton of food. And a hundred sleeping bags, two tents, two chairs, a stove, a folding table, 46 stuff sacks, and a flash light. It's dizzying.

But we do it because in the end it is enjoyable and the kids love it and it's fun for us to watch them roll around in dirt and not care. My daughter started walking on this trip which was an extra treat. But by walking I mean five consecutive steps - we still have to schlep her around in the backpack to cover any ground. Which we did, on Sunday.

Friends met us in Point Reyes Station which is about the coolest little town I've ever had coffee in. From there we drove to the trail head. The hike itself is fodder for another post. We ended up on a quiet beach in Tomales Bay and had a picnic. My son and his pal took off their pants (he had peed in his and she just wanted to be naked) and ran around and we ate and relaxed and fed the baby who continues to astound even the casual observer with her special aptitude for inhaling food.

We were getting ready to leave and the baby was holding two cheese sticks in her hand and whining. My husband said, "let's just put her in the pack and get going. She'll settle down." So we put her in the pack. She starts crying and waving the cheese sticks with greater gusto. "Maybe she wants an animal cracker." I give her an animal cracker. She throws it at me. Now she's hysterical and throws one of the cheese sticks at my head and gives me the hairy eyeball. It dawns on me that she might actually want the cheese stick. So I take off the wrapper and she gobbles the whole thing and smiles and sucks her thumb.

My husband and I were laughing so hard. She must think we are a pair of idiots. I mean she could not have been clearer in her communication. Here is a replay from her perspective.

Her: Can you open these cheese sticks?
Dad: She's tired.
Her: No, aba, I want the cheese. That's why I'm waving them at you. I can't open them.
Dad: I'll just put her in the backpack and she'll stop whining.
Her: Sure. AFTER you open my cheese stick pops. What is wrong with you?
Me: Maybe she wants an animal cracker.
Her: What in god's name would make you think that me waving my cheese sticks around means I want a friggin' animal cracker? Do you see the cheese sticks? Do you see me waving the cheese sticks? I'm pretty sure you see me throwing a cheese stick at your head ma! What is wrong with you people?!
Me: What is your deal freaky?!
Her: My deal? Maybe you should take a class in non-verbal communication and then it might occur to you that I WANT THIS CHEESE STICK AND IF I HAVE TO EAT THROUGH THE PLASTIC TO GET IT, I WILL!

Poor thing. Half the time I'm just projecting onto her what I want. Like a nap. And an animal cracker. But she clearly has a mind of her own.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My pee pee is big

It started about three months ago. While I was trying o sing him to sleep my son would get up and look kind of panicked and pace on the bed and clutch his crotch and grunt. And I'd be thinking, for the love of crispies, just settle down Rover and let me sing you to sleep.  I would ask him what's wrong and he would just whine, I don't know! This went on for several days until finally he cried out, Mommy my pee pee is big!

I had a peek and indeed it was bigger than usual. In fact it was erect. So I told him to kneel down and wiggle his butt in the air. I don't know. It was the only thing that came to me. Like child's pose but with a little wiggle. Then I told him to go pee. That helped. 

Several months before then I remembered that when I would wake him up at around midnight to zombie-walk over to the toilet and pee (so he wouldn't pee in his bed) he would have an erection. The first time I didn't notice and he peed straight ahead and hit the toilet seat cover and it splattered everywhere. When it happened the next time I was prepared and pointed it down toward the bowl. It used to totally freak him out. I can see why. I mean, suddenly a part of you grows twice it's normal size? I mean what if your left arm was suddenly down to your ankle? That would for sure be super freaky (it's my blog, I can split infinitives). 

I mentioned it to my husband and he was like, yah, that happens. I'm trying to be as nonchalant about it with my son so he doesn't get some weird hang up about his penis. I think it's working. Tonight he just stood up and unzipped his pajamas and said, my pee pee is getting big again. I better look at it. Yup, it's big. Then  he got into child's pose and did the wiggle. Worked like a charm.

This is apparently all very normal according to the world wide web. I googled "toddler erection" and a wealth of information emerged. If anyone would have told me five years ago that I'd be googling "toddler erection" I'd have scoffed. Anyway, for those of you who are googling "toddler erection" and seeing this post, your kid is normal. Go back to checking your email.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Woofing and Hoofing

Is it weird that the only word my 15 month old daughter says consistently is woof-woof? She was born the ear of the Dog... You hear about these kids who don't talk until they're like three and then one day they come out with, "mom, can you please pass me the ketchup." Right? But I don't know. I feel like she can't hear and that's messing up her speech. I mean she claps when we sing and she turns around maybe 70% of the time when we call her name. Although I usually call her name in such a high pitch (where does that come from? I'm so not a high pitch kind of mom) that she's probably just responding to the ringing. Along with the rest of the dogs in the neighborhood. Woof-woof.

Come to think of it, she's still on all fours. Maybe she really IS a dog. I mean she likes to be "walked" (read: hold onto to Aba's hands and walk around the house) and she's even started bending her knees a little. But come on Frankenstein, pick up the pace, eh? Although if she did walk she'd be just about the shortest bipedal on the planet, bless her heart.