Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Dash has lived his entire life under the threat of being punched in the face, hard, by both his Aunty J and his father. The fact that I haven't yet eaten his cheeks clean off his head is a testament to my self-control. When he started school his teachers warned me that he would likely be returned to me with bite marks on his thighs.

There is, I learned yesterday, a word to describe this barely-controlled insanity of loving a person so much you just want to beat them to death. It is, in my opinion, the greatest word in any language: nervio.

Pablo and Claude illustrate nervio

Monday, April 23, 2007


It has been my experience that there is no epiphany to accompany motherhood. I did not have, as Oprah would say, an "ah-ha moment." It's just been a slow dawning on me that, no, I probably won't be seeing that movie until it's available on Netflix. And yes, I do have a dependent that I can claim on my taxes. And I just said "foot," then he just said "foot," so I should probably stop saying "fuck" so much. You know, like that.

But we just learned that Dash will come in to a small inheritance from his G.G. that--if we're very careful and Dash keeps his academic aspirations mid-level--could pay for his college. So we started to look around at how to invest that money. And then I had it. The epiphany.

I have always considered myself this child's Mother. The giver of life and comfort and cuddles. I am to love him and feed him and nurture him and read to him and cringe when he falls. You know, Mother. What I didn't really ever consider was that I am also his Parent. Half of the team who will have to teach him to balance a checkbook and cook a meal and wash a load of laundry. The day will come, heaven permitting, that this boy-man will proudly announce that he has been accepted to college (or, you know, trade school. no pressure.) and then start looking around for someone to start waving around checks.

And our job, when that time comes, is to start waving around checks.

Our job, when that time comes, is to be Parents.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

House Rules

It’s been brought to The Management’s attention that several important house rules have been recently broken. In order to avoid future uncertainty and aggravation, we hereby set out our policy, along with the penalty for each transgression. We hope this will allow us to continue living collectively as a peaceful and civilized society.

1. Disinfectant wipes and their containers are used solely for the purpose of cleaning and/or disinfecting surfaces. They are not to house poop or any poop-related materials. The introduction of poop into the disinfectant container cancels wholly its disinfectant qualities and renders it and its contents useless.

1a. Rooting around in the Diaper Genie for poops is also highly discouraged and frowned upon by Management.

Consequence: Wipes containers will be removed from the Offender’s reach. Offender will no longer be permitted to open and close the lid in order to hear the satisfying “click.”

2. Wild halibut, purchased at $23/lb and prepared with love by the Proprietor, is not to be thrown on the floor for the cats to consume [Cats’ petition to nullify rule 2 has been received and is scheduled for a vote at the next assembly]. Items deemed unfit for consumption may be ignored or hidden under napkins.

Consequence: More halibut for dinner.

3. Sleep begins at 8:30pm and ends at 6am every day. Exceptions will be considered, in advance, and on a case by case basis. Awakenings beginning at 1am and ending at 4am will on no account be approved.

Consequence: Every instance of an unauthorized awakening will deduct $20 (twenty US dollars) from Offender’s first car fund. Long term awakenings--consisting of more than two (2) hours of lost sleep for the Proprietor—will result in a $30 (thirty US dollars) deduction. Because the amount of the first car fund has not been publicly established, this is an especially risky matter. $20 could mean very little to the bottom line. Could mean quite a bit. Does Offender feel lucky?

4. A minimum of one (1) hour must pass between a diaper change and a poop. The recent increase in frequency of routine diaper changes followed immediately by poops is unacceptable to Management.

Consequence: Nobody hates diaper changes more than Offender, so, you know, stop it.

5. Offender has recently learned to lean in for kisses. Management would like an increased occurence of that behavior.

Consequence: Offender will continue to get whatever he wants whenever he wants it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Three days after Daddy & I learned that your heart was beating inside me, when you were still a secret between us and the doctors, your great-grandma Oneta (who we call G.G.) saw a look pass between us in the car on the way home from dinner and announced, “You’re pregnant!” There was not a prouder or happier person on Earth at that moment than her. And she kept our delicious secret for a few more weeks until we felt safe in announcing.

By the time you joined us, G.G.’s body was starting to let her down. She was 91 years old and could hardly manage to sit up through meals. But on the day you were born, she sat in a hospital waiting room for eight hours to lay eyes on you—her second great-grandbaby, and first great-grandson. The pictures of her holding you on that day tell the story better than I ever could. You were hers as much as you were ours, and we were better than glad of it.

Your G.G. passed away this morning. She was 92 years old and very ill. But even at the very end, when she hardly had the strength to speak, she knew your face and lit up whenever you entered her room. She would watch you run around and wave and clap as though you were performing magic. The love she had for you was bigger than anything else in the room, and possibly in the world.

I’m sad to know that you won’t remember your G.G. But I am comforted by my certainty that her spirit will follow you through your travels, and that her love is in your blood. I hope you will honor her by spending your life the way that she spent hers; by holding your family close and loving them fiercely.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Do Not Read This

Dash calls our cat, Big Boy, "Bih Ba." But, in that way that babies just learning their way around the universe do, he calls everything that is furry "Bih Ba." Photos of dogs and cows in his board books? Bih Ba. Squirrels making their way along our back yard fence? Bih Ba. The hero bunny in the storytime book they read at Borders this weekend? Bih Ba.

Yesterday morning, as I was about to hop into the shower, Dash took a big long look at my lady parts, pointed straight at them and decreed: Bih Ba.

I'll see my waxer on Monday.