Come, Mommy

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Better Late Than Never

I'm only 48 hours late with this, but I'm so behind with so much these days that honestly, I'm almost on time! Zeph and I had the distinct pleasure of hosting a playdate attended by Chichimama, Suzanne, and their kids on Thursday. In one house we had five kids (all under the age of five), three moms, and a fun time. Can you believe it? The kids played really well together, and there was actual adult conversation to be had, which is really a treat in the late afternoon around these parts.

We had thought about walking up to the farm for apples, but the kids immersed themselves in play so quickly that we decided to stay put, especially with the threat of thunderstorms hanging in the air. And I'm certainly not about to turn down the opportunity to sit still and engage in conversation for a couple of hours...

I wasn't having one of my best days - sleep just didn't happen the night before, so I was particularly tired. I kept thinking to myself, "What on Earth am I going to do when I actually have two kids? I've only got one and I can't focus on conversation, and Chichimama and Suzanne have two apiece and are conversing intelligently. I am so doomed!" Fortunately for me, these two ladies make parenting look easy. I know that in fact parenting is not at all for the faint of heart, it's the toughest job you'll ever love, and all that, but watching them talk and simultaneously handle kids gave me some faith that perhaps I'll be up to the challenge.

At any rate, we had a great time, and I hope we get the chance to do this again soon. So does my son. As the cars drove away, Zeph stood in the front yard yelling, "Bye-bye! Thanks for coming and sharing your fun with me!"


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Three Funny Things From This Week

1. I asked Zeph if he'd like to bake cookies. He said he did, so I asked him what kind. "Eh, I would like to bake butterhopscotch cookies, Mommy. Butterhopscotch is the best kind."

2. Zeph is currently running around looking for a misplaced toy "hopgrasser."

3. I happened upon an opportunity to pick up tickets to a show. I'm not sure we can even get a sitter that night, and as tired as I am the whole idea of venturing into Manhattan for a late evening seems daunting. Still, I think I'll get the tickets. If we can't go I can always give the tickets to friends. Hey, Chichimama, I bet M is dying to see this show, no?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fall Redecorating

Welcome to the new and improved Menagerie House - now with with more color and all the usual chaos! Sit down for a while and take a look around, y'all!

Thank you to Julie at Pilcrow Text and Design for spiffing the place up. She's done really creative blog designs for some friends, and so, when Kevin asked what I wanted for my birthday this summer, I decided I wanted a new blogskin. If any of you want new looks for your blogs, you need to contact Julie. Right away! So, thank you, Julie and Kevin!

And with that, I'm off to console Zeph, who is in serious Gran-Gran withdrawal, and who is dealing with it by asking me to read him his his entire P. B. Bear collection, poor kid. We had a great time with Gran-Gran (more about that later), but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and that's hard when you're only two years old. The good news? She'll be back in two weeks!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Seemingly Innocent Lunchtime Conversation

Gran-Gran, Zeph, and I were eating at a restaurant for lunch today. The waitress brought Zeph a dish of ice cream - one big scoop and one little scoop:

Zeph: "Look! A Mommy ice cream and a Baby ice cream!"

He spent a moment in deep thought...

Zeph: "The Daddy ice cream must have gone to work."

Gran-Gran: "What does the Daddy ice cream do at work?"

Zeph: "Eh, he chit-chats. Then he comes home and cuts the grass."


I always swore my family would not be conventional. We would question mainstream culture. We would be intellectuals. We would support the local food co-op. We would never, ever vote Republican.

These days? We've got the Waldorf schooling, the cloth diapers, the nursing toddler, and the vegetarianism. I've never voted Republican, and I doubt my husband has either.

However, we've got a house in suburban New Jersey. With a freshly-mown lawn. There is no food co-op. We just ate lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. Where my son ate French fries, most likely laced with hydrogenated oils. We shopped at the mall this morning.

The mighty have fallen. In fact, the mighty are looking more and more mainstream every day.

Whatever happened to all those idealistic dreams of my youth? When everything seemed so clear and straightforward? Not that I honestly have anything of a serious nature to complain about (other than our President and his henchmen, and the fact that the rest of the world is falling apart, natch), but gosh, sometimes it's hard to reconcile where we are with where I thought we'd be.

I guess along with adulthood comes practice in the fine arts of compromise and pragmatism.

Please excuse me whilst I go make a donation to the first liberal cause that convinces me the world can be saved.....

Monday, September 18, 2006

Wanna Know Something Cool?

I had to go with this title because all day today Zeph has been saying, "Come, Mommy I have to show you something cool."

Cool Thing #1: I have an evening to myself since Zeph and Kevin are out.

Cool Thing #2: Zeph and Kevin are out at the airport picking up Gran-Gran.

Cool Thing #3: Gran-Gran is staying until the end of the weekend! Lots of fun for Zeph, and down time for Mommy!

Hurray for Gran-Gran!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sights of the Season

As I look out the window, high cirrus clouds jockey for position above the yellow-tinged sweet gum leaves. Down the street there is a constant rat-a-tat of falling acorns accompanied by the swoosh-swoosh of romping squirrels. Kevin is out spreading mulch across the garden.

Behind me, Liam is lying in bed, asleep. His eyes and nose are streaming, his shirt is spotted with orange juice, and his cheeks are flushed. It's the first cold of the season.

Ah, Autumn, she has arrived!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

When Imaginary Worlds Collide

I love the rich imaginary lives of young children. Liam, as you know, refers to himself as "Zeph." Zeph is a small brown train-riding donkey who eats macaroni and cheese and banana bread. Liam's friend "I" is a fan of the Bob the Builder series. "I" refers to himself as "Bob" while he gives his friends and family members names of other characters from the series. This is all fun to listen to until you have something like the conflict of this morning's playdate:

"I": "Liam is Wendy."

Liam: "I aren't Wendy. I'm Zeph."

"I": "Yes, you are Wendy!"

Liam: "No, I aren't!! I'm ZEPH!!!"

"I": "I'm Bob and Liam is Wendy!"

Liam (bursting into tears): "I aren't! I aren't Wendy! I'm Zeph!"

All afternoon Liam kept asking me, "I'm still Zeph?? I aren't Wendy??" I'm wondering what the conversation was like over at "I"'s house...

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Things Kids Say

Me: "You are very cute, Liam."

Liam: "I'm not cute! I'm Zeph!"

Me: "Oh, so sorry. Well then, Zeph is very cute."

Zeph: "Eh, I know. The lady at the toy store said that to me this morning."

Self-esteem is clearly not in short supply around here.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

One for the Baby Book

I haven't recovered much energy yet, so another choppy Weekend Roundup will have to suffice for now...

For the Baby Book:

Despite my funked-out, I-am-the-world's-worst-Mommy approach to life this week, my son remains convinced that I'm doing OK. We were in the yard yesterday when Zeph ran up to me, hugged me, and said, "I love you Mommy. Zeph loves Mommy!" He gave me a big slobbery kiss - "Muah!" - and ran off to inform Kevin, "I love you, Daddy!"

That is the first time Liam has ever told either one of us he loves us. Not that we thought otherwise, but boy, that sentence is a sweet thing to hear.

From the Incidental Annoying Accidents Department:

I already vented at Phantom's Place (and won chocolate - thank you, Phantom!!), but for the record, I'll repeat the story here...

Liam managed to trip over Casey. In the process of falling to the ground, he whacked me across the face with a T-ball bat. My nose swelled up. And it hurt. Thank goodness it wasn't a real baseball bat. That would likely have hurt more. And produced more damage to my face.

In the end I discovered that not only did a swollen nose reduce my ability to smell the still-stinky skunk-chasing hound, the whole incident provided great amusement to two of the township's bike cops. Who, according to neighbors, watched the whole spectacle, laughed, and biked off. I do what I can to lighten the burden of New Jersey's finest. So it wasn't all bad.

For Child #2's Baby Book:

I had my first ultrasound this week. There is indeed a baby in there, and #2 is looking very healthy. All is good in the baby-building arena. I guess we should start thinking up some names, because "Child #2" seems a bit awkward for the birth certificate. Not to mention how hard it would be to make it fit into those circles on the SAT form.

From The Department of Ferret Health:

We took miss Penny in to have her seizure history evaluated, and came up with good news. We were worrying that she had developed insulinoma since that is the leading cause (by far) of seizures in ferrets. However, it seems that she seized because the respiratory infection she was fighting at the time caused her to stop eating, thus leading to the hypoglycemia that caused the seizure. We have no evidence of insulinoma. This is wonderful news!

From the Strange and Bizarre Things We Do For Our Pets Department:

I took Casey for a walk tonight. He unwisely elected to pee on a rose bush, and got certain delicate areas quite entangled in the thorns. I managed to get him out of the rosebush, hoping all the while that our bike cops were off-duty, and took him home. I then spent the next twenty minutes removing thorns from his nether regions, and applying pressure with a gauze pad to staunch the bleeding. Casey is fine now. Also? If the neighbors didn't think we were an odd family before, they sure do now.

And a Question:

My sinus infection is pretty much over. I'm into my second trimester. I'm still really tired. Anybody got any helpful advice/explanations? Or, failing that, any energy reserves I could tap?

All input appreciated...

Monday, September 04, 2006

It's a Sad Day for Animals and Those Who Love Them

Whether you loved the guy, thought he was nuts, or both, Steve Irwin has arguably done more for the promotion of animal conservation than anyone in our generation. He was killed today while doing what he loved best - showing the world the beauty of wild creatures and the importance of conserving both the creatures and their habitats. Rest in peace, Steve.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Why My Brain Has Disappeared, Explained

It seems that whatever energy my body has left after spending all day building a baby has been used up fighting the Evil Summer Cold Virus. I am sorry to report the battle was unsuccessful, and after spending the morning at the ER yesterday, I now have in my possession a bottle of amoxicillin tablets to fight the sinusitis that has won out. And I have absolutely no energy left in me to power my noggin.

I should have known - the hacking cough never died down, the runny nose never stopped, and my head feels like it's full of goop two full weeks after catching said cold. But since I am the Mom and therefore feel I'm not allowed to be sick, I managed to ignore it a bit longer than I should have. I fortunately have a husband who is well known for possessing extreme quantities of patience. As a result of his heroic acts of Toddler Entertainment over this weekend, Kevin is now firmly in contention for Husband and Father of the Year. You rock, Dear!

I don't make for a good patient. I get all kinds of funked out when sick. I have managed to convince myself that I'm a crappy mom, wife, and general citizen. Kevin has reminded me several times that I'm not evil, just sick, and that things will be better soon. So I guess I should hold off on the psychiatric referral for a bit longer.

Meanwhile, I am drawing calm vibes and general relaxed attitude from Miss Houdini:

"Don't worry, Ma. You'll feel better in a few days. Take your amoxicillin, drink lots of fluids, and get plenty of rest. See how fun I make the "get plenty of rest" thing look? I'm all kinds of comfy here. And just remember, it could be worse. It could be bird flu."