Saturday, December 30, 2006

Free Will

Something not unlike free will is starting to happen up in here and I'll admit that I'm less than thrilled about it.

Used to be that Dash had to rely completely on us to accommodate his desires. He could wail and squirm and make himself generally unpleasant until he got what he wanted, but we always had the last word. These days, not so much.

It started when he learned to crawl, but didn't really come to a head until he was able to stand. The standing, although hampered by the fact that he had to be holding on to something to keep from tipping over, gave him greater access to forbidden things like Mommy's wine and the wipes container (which he empties with great glee about four times a day.)

One of Dash's favorite things to do since learning to stand is to help me empty the dishwasher. He likes to pull spoons and forks out of the utensil basket and try to gouge his eyes out with them. I have always been able to keep him from completely blinding himself, however, by pulling the top rack out to limit his access to the bottom. This morning he figured out that he could just push it back in and, voila, an embarrassment of forks. I know this story is less than astonishing, but I cannot express how completely unprepared I was to see him puzzle out that top rack thing. I just stood there like a moron, pulling the top rack out and watching impotently as he pushed it back in. We must have done it 30 times before it finally occurred to me to empty the goddamn utensil basket.

The final straw, though, happened a few minutes later when I glanced up from the morning paper to see him standing completely unassisted, drinking his bottle like a teensy wino in footie pajamas. I'm pretty sure he had no idea he had done it because he hasn't tried to do it again. But he's got the skill, and soon he'll be walking and that, my friends, will be the end of Dash's babyhood.

I am not prepared. Not one bit.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Dash's First Christmas, Part I

You'll notice we didn't get a tree this year. We're new, but we're not stupid.

Friday, December 22, 2006

It Takes a Village

I realized today when I stopped at Dash's school to drop off the last of his teachers' Christmas gifts--last of seven, by the way. gifts for his teachers have cost as much as a week of daycare-- that they think they own him. And that I like it.

They delight in telling me about his faces and strides. I recognize their pride when they brag on his latest milestone because it's the same as mine. We all, the eight of us, cluck like mother hens about him and it feels delicious. If someone had told me that a near stranger would take symbolic ownership of my child, I would have predicted that I'd have to claw that person's eyes out. So I'm pretty surprised at how content I feel about it.

I guess it's about the fact that although these women probably wouldn't lie down in front of a bus for my child, I'll bet they'd go pretty far to protect him. To make sure he's growing strong and sturdy and doesn't spend even a moment feeling unloved.

I also learned today that Dash has joined a gang. There are four of them and they hang out in the ball pit, sqwaking and and babbling with great intensity at eachother. I'm looking into having matching satin jackets made up to make it official.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hanukkah 2006


One day, probably many years from now, I will refuse you a favor. Maybe it'll be a ride to the mall, maybe you'll want to borrow the car. Perhaps you'll want a $20 for the movies or permission to break curfew on a special occasion. But I'll say no and it'll piss you off. It'll make you even madder when I refuse you an explanation. The reason will be this: Hanukkah 2006.

That'll teach you to be an asshole when we're expecting 10 for dinner.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I saw a quote recently:
Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music. ~ William Stafford
I didn't really know what that meant until I saw that somehow you had learned to dance. You are entirely indiscriminate about what inspires your booty quake. It can be my cell phone ringtone, the Arrested Development theme song, Daddy's or my wince-inducing attempt at a tune. Truly, any time I hear anything even vaguely like music I know you will wiggle. It is spectacular.

The other night most of your favorite people came over for an early Christmas dinner. At first you were a little overwhelmed and we worried for a second that all the hubbub might be too much for you. But you rebounded and became the most charming little fucker. You stood at the coffee table, where I had put nibbles for before dinner, and ate an entire blue cheese-stuffed olive. Then you ate another one.

You eat almost like a regular person now. You still like butternut squash, but now I dice it instead of puree. You love mango and sweet potato (!) and yogurt with tahini. You'll eat pasta 75% of the time. You will not eat cheese. Not string, not cheddar. (Although I think you ate the blue cheese in the olive. What are you?) You ate broccoli the other night and seemed to be down. We'll see if you do it again. Today I bought some organic buckwheat pancake mix and am excited to see how that goes. Maybe a little apricot jam will entice you.

Your hair has grown into something of a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back. It kills your father who threatens to take you for a haircut. It will not happen under my watch. I will protect every strawberry-blond hair on your fuzzy little melon like it was an organ. There will be no visits to the barber's chair until we hear our first, "what a pretty little girl." After that all bets are off.

Speaking of, you are reddish-blond and blue eyed. Apparently you didn't get the memo that you're a Jew. I will start soon to prepare you for a lifetime of, "before you continue telling your joke I think I should let you know that I'm Jewish."

You are the best age that you've ever been. You are a riot. You laugh for any reason and have very serious discussions with the vacuum cleaner. I literally can not wait to hear what's on your mind.

I love you with the heat of the sun.


Thursday, December 07, 2006


I spent the better part of the day on Monday feeling a little sorry for myself because I wanted a pair of $600 Marc Jacobs boots but had to settle for a pair of $200 Franco Sarto boots instead.

That evening when I picked up Dash I was given a note detailing his school's participation in Operation Santa and a letter about the family Dash's classroom adopted. The mother of a 6-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy has hit hard times and can't afford to give them a Christmas this year. The little girl's teacher wrote a letter to Santa on her behalf because the idea of these kids going without broke her heart.

So, yeah.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Thing learned the hard way

Here's some free advice:

No matter what you think he's capable of. No matter what you've seen him negotiate successfully into his mouth. No matter what his teachers tell you he's ready for. Do not allow your 10-month-old to feed himself steamed rice.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Only (part the second)

Close readers of this blog (hi, Josh!) may have noticed that I removed a post from a few days ago called "Only." It was my sad attempt to talk about my feelings on family size and that Dash may, could, likely will be an only child. Except that it didn't even begin to address my feelings and instead it was all "blah blah hard to get pregnant got too fat no money cry blah!." So it took it down because, my God, really? Stop whining. So I'll try again here:

Before Josh & I started trying to have a baby we always talked about two. We were both only children and although I think we were both happy and never felt a lack, the novelty of having two appealed to us. Then we started trying and it didn't work. It didn't work for two years and after countless procedures and medicated cycles and monitored follicles and blood draws and even a couple of surgeries. Every month that ended with a negative pregnancy test shaved away a little bit of hope that we would ever have even one child.

And then a miracle happened. We found the right doctor who made the right diagnosis and we got pregnant with Dash. At that point all I could think about was coming out the other side with a healthy and whole baby. I thought that if I were given the gift of this one child I would never ask for anything else ever again. I hadn't decided to never try for a second, I just knew that the stakes were lowered. No baby would be the end of the world. One baby would be plenty.

But this weekend we visited Josh's oldest friends and got to hang out with their two boys, ages four and two. These boys are quite clearly bestest friends. The enjoyment they were getting from one another's company was palpable and dazzling. Although I'm completely unused to the chaos of a two-toddler house, I found it delicious and for a moment I became so sad that Dash would likely miss out on that. Hell, that I would miss out on that. It was the first time since I got pregnant that I really, seriously considered doing it again.

Most of the time, though, I've got a shaky confidence that we have what we can handle. That Dash completes our family and that what resources we have ought to be directed solely at him. I know this seems like a freakish attitude to most, so I seek out other families who stopped at one (Parker-Brodericks, I'm looking at you) for reassurance that we're not hurting Dash by denying him a sibling. You know, if we deny him a sibling. Because the confidence? It is shaky.

I guess what I want today is to know that whatever happens, we'll be ok. That Dash will be as happy alone as he will be with a brother or sister. I want to know that any decision, if we get to make one (because I don't so much get pregnant as have medical procedures performed upon my person) is the right one. That our lives will play out without regret.

Are you fucking joking?

So, you've got a pretty good bead on my mother at this point, yes? You won't be surprised to read that she called me last week to say that she was literally unable to sleep at night because the child hadn't gotten his flu shot yet, right? See, we missed the clinic four weeks ago because, to tell the truth, we just couldn't get our shit together to get over there. Then I did a little reading about flu shots and all the crap they put in them and had a little heart attack and decided to let it simmer (i.e. do nothing).

But then my mother called and although I run a department and a family, I turn to pudding when she bosses me around and so I made the appointment for the fucking shot. Guess how long it took after the injection for my son (off of whom I had finally chipped the last of the dried snot just two days before) to be covered once again in the familiar green goo. Go on, guess.

So, two things:

1. Never again, flu shot, you bitch. Never again.
2. I am renaming this blog "Mucus," because really.

Sunday, December 03, 2006