Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We've been doing some stuff around here.

Everyone with a blog has been making terrariums lately. Ours has button fern, Venus Flytraps and dinosaurs. Aargh!

We've been working hard on getting the garden up and running this year. Our soil is hard and dense clay and we've been slowly breaking it up and amending it over the last couple of years. This year we planted (from seed) some wildflowers, radishes, cilantro, basil, lavender and other things that I've forgotten completely. Lovely, delicate green things are slowing coming up to greet us and the gnomes.

I'm still trying to teach myself how to embroider. These are going to hang over Dash's bookshelf in their hoops. The great thing about making these for a two-year-old is that no matter how amateurish my attempts, he thinks they're magical. (I got the grumpy gnome pattern from here. Thanks, Andrea!)

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Josh and I did not expect to have a boy. We were absolutely certain from before I even got pregnant--before we even started trying--that we would have a girl. The hours I spent planning the nursery online revolved solely around pink toile and gingham check.

We chose to learn (or confirm what we already knew about) Dash's gender over dinner with our closest friends, so we asked the ultrasound doctor to write us a note and seal it. We opened it that evening after taking a poll around the table. Seven votes for "girl." One vote for "boy," and that guesser was just being contrary. I have never been so surprised by anything in my life as I was when I saw those three letters: B-O-Y. It just never ocurred to me that it was a possibility.

Then Dash came out to greet us and he is blond and blue-eyed. Again, I am a little jarred every time I see him. I mean, yes, Josh is blond and blue but I assumed that my dominant genes for brown and hazel would beat his dainty little recessives into submission. Wrong again.

And now. Now it is becoming impossible to deny that Dash is a lefty. Again. It just never occurred to me in a million years that it could happen. And I had given it some thought because for some reason Josh was always joking about hoping he threw lefty as southpaw pitchers earn more. But I did not believe it could happen. I knew for a fact that he could not be left-handed. But he is. It's fine, of course. Better than fine. But it is so totally "other," to me that I just can't wrap my mind around it.

So what next, little man. What other surprises do you have up your sleeve for me? Maybe you'll have a great singing voice (inconceivable) or you'll be good at math or directions (impossible to believe).

It's interesting, isn't it? These little lessons they teach us, even this early, even from the very start, that they are them and not us and will surprise us at every turn because they are separate. They're distinct from us and we'd better learn it sooner rather than later because the divide between us is only going to grow as the days pass.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


We bought Dash a bike for his second birthday. Except it doesn't have pedals because two-year-olds don't know how to work pedals. The plan was to give him the fake bike at two and then a real bike for his third birthday. I was not looking forward to having to teach him how to work the pedals (I can't ride a bike so getting my feet caught in fast-moving pedals is a teensy phobia of mine).

But on Sunday we were at Target (I know! can you believe it?! me neither!) and Dash saw a little trike abandoned in the middle of an aisle and hopped right on. He didn't really get what to do with his feet and the pedals were kinda knocking into his shins so Josh was all, "OK Dash, push with your feet." And that was, as they say, that. The kid rode that shit up and down every aisle in the store. He made turns and navigated around crowds and debris. So now Dash has two bikes.

Here are some blurry camera phone pictures.

And speaking of blurry pictures of us spoiling our baby (people make fun of me for continuing to call him a baby. they can go fuck themselves): did you know that a great way to keep them from letting go of their balloons in the supermarket it to tie a lollipop to the end and let them gnaw on it?


Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Dash has attended the same daycare since he was nine months old. We started in the infant room, where two lovely grandmothers cared for two babies each. Dash was held and loved and spoon-fed and coo'd to endlessly. He thrived there. Then he turned one and moved into the toddler room where he made friends and learned manners (the other week he had a diaper rash so severe that the skin was broken and weeping. at every diaper change all he could do was cry fat tears and scream, "no, thank you!" over and over while we wiped his butt.) That room was four kids to a teacher and they raised him like he was their own.

Then he turned two. He was moved into a room with 50 kids, 15 or so per teacher. The chaos was palpable. He returned home at least once a week with his milk and lunch untouched because he'd fallen asleep before lunchtime and no one remembered to feed him after. His teacher was sweet but very, very young. Just four credits into her childcare credential and paid $8 an hour. When I noted the excessive whining and tantrums to her she replied, "I know! He's like that all the time!" Awesome. Thanks. Obviously it was time to say goodbye to that school.

So we did. We're now 4 days in to a smaller school. Two teachers share a class of 10 kids, total. They do Spanish class on Mondays, dance on Tuesdays, Tae Kwon Do on Wednesdays, movies on Thursdays and gymnastics on Fridays (or some approximation of that schedule. I don't actually have a calendar. nice participation, Mama.) He's already got three friends there (defectors from the previous school, too) and we're so happy and optimistic.

Obviously, it's not all sunshine and unicorns. He is two, and it is a transition. There have been more tantrums than usual (I didn't actually think he could squeeze more tantrums into a day. I was wrong.) and he seems a bit shaken and insecure. But I seem to be taking it harder than anyone, so that's reassuring. All in all, it's been a touch trying, but I'm so goddamn hopeful and excited all the time. I have always wanted Dash's daycare to feel like an extension of our own family. I wanted to know that they were our partners in this. And for the first time in a long time, I do.

The new school's director saw me vibrating with anxiety as we left on his first day, and so emailed me pictures of him having a blast about an hour later.