For Kristin

“The Story of Us” isn’t a great movie, but Michelle Pfeiffer’s monologue at the end when she decides to stay put and work through a rough patch in her marriage to Bruce Willis is so brilliant. My sister and I can recite it by heart.

Katie: That’s not why I’m saying Chow Fun’s. I’m saying Chow Fun’s because we’re an “us.” There’s a history here, and histories don’t happen overnight. In Mesopotamia or Ancient Troy there are cities built on top of other cities, but I don’t want another city, I like this city. I know what kind of mood you’re in when you wake up by which eyebrow is higher, and you know I’m a little quiet in the morning and compensate accordingly–that’s a dance you perfect over time. And it’s hard, it’s much harder than I thought it would be, but there’s more good than bad and you don’t just give up! And it’s not for the sake of the children, but, God, they’re great kids aren’t they? And we made them, I mean think about that! It’s like there were no people there, and then there were people and they grew, and, and, and, and I won’t be able to say to some stranger, ‘Josh has your hands’ or ‘Remember how Erin threw up at the Lincoln Memorial?’ And I’ll try to relax, let’s face it, anybody is going to have traits that get on your nerves, I mean, why shouldn’t it be your annoying traits, and I know I’m no day at the beach, but I do have a good sense of direction so I can at least find the beach, which isn’t a weakness of yours, it’s a strength of mine. And, God, you’re a good friend and good friends are hard to find. Charlotte said that in Charlottes Web and I love how you read that to Erin and you take on the voice of Wilbur the Pig with such dedication even when you’re bone-tired. That speaks volumes about character! And ultimately, isn’t that what it comes down to? What a person is made of? That girl in the pin helmet is still here ‘bee boo bee boo’ I didn’t even know she existed until you and I’m afraid if you leave I may never see her again, even though I said at times you beat her out of me, isn’t that the paradox? Haven’t we hit the essential paradox? Give and take, push and pull, the yin the yang. The best of times, the worst of times! I think Dickens said it best, ‘He could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean,’ but, doesn’t really apply here does it? What I’m trying to say is, I’m saying Chow Fun’s because, I love you.

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I Hate Babies

I think this blog should mostly be about parenting and cakes, since those are the only things that currently occupy my time and suck up most of my energy. They also get the most attention on my Facebook page. “I Hate Babies” might sound harsh for a parenting blog, but I think every parent finds an age at which they enjoy their child the most, as well as a time ( or several) when it absolutely sucks.

I am a communicator.  A talker. An over-sharer. It was my major in college (shut up) and after college I got my fix by interviewing B-list television stars (for work) and droning on endlessly to a long list of therapists (for pleasure). Though I couldn’t wait to be a mom and immersed myself in childcare classes and books, I was totally unprepared for one harsh reality: Babies are very poor verbal communicators.

My first son was born with a full head of hair that most people attributed to his Italian heritage. After five solid months of colic, I suspected that the locks were actually hiding three tiny 6s on his scalp. No amount of car rides or gripe water helped the screaming and I was at a loss at how to relate to a purple-faced, enraged larvae who had no good answer to my persistent, “What’s wrong baby? What are you feeling? How can mommy help?” The more I talked, the louder he shrieked until we both ended up in tears.

Infants are also hard to dress. Their little arms and legs bend all sorts of crazy ways, not like the stiff, plastic Baby Alive doll I practiced on in my childhood. Compared to a real baby, Baby A. was a piece of cake. She didn’t mind if I put her diaper on backwards, or forgot to put socks on her and I’m sure that woman at Shop Rite would never have yelled, “That baby needs a SWEATER!” had I been toting Baby Alive instead of my truly-alive 8-month-old across the parking lot. He does? He never mentioned anything about being chilly.

It’s also tough to entertain a mute child under the age of one. A toddler will at least reward you with a few words and a big belly laugh when something is a hit, but an infant offers almost nothing more than the same bewildered stare as you break a sweat trying to elicit a reaction. And a very calm baby, like my second, can be like living with one of those “Miracle Eyes” Jesus paintings-a tiny set of eyes fixed on you as you go about dusting and vacuuming. Following the spawn of Satan that was his older brother, my second son paid the price for his complacent nature by being left in his carseat for unnatural lengths of time. Shunning a bassinet or a crib, we let him sleep in it every night for months until his little caps wouldn’t stay on his increasingly flat skull Maybe he cared. Who knew?

My sons are 7 and 9 now and we get along swell. They still cry sometimes but at least they can dress themselves (turns out, they don’t LIKE sweaters, Shop Rite lady) and have let me know in no uncertain terms that I’m “not funny” as far as amusement goes. They’re pretty chatty, like me, and we usually talk nonstop. Until they start asking for a baby brother or sister.

It’s a conversation killer.

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huh?

My mother must be super-bored today, because I can’t possibly see any other way that I could have gotten 110 hits since noon. . .

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still working on it. . .

after these kids go to bed, for SURE. . .

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Hits!

I think 52 hits is a lot for 3 hours. Hmmmm. . .still thinking. . . .

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Hello world!

YAY! Thanks for checking out my blog! Right now I’m eating potato chips and wondering what to write. . .check again later.

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