Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Watch the Vegetarian Eat Crow

Now that I'm in my 30s, I am thoroughly aware that I am an idiot. My teens and 20s were typical; I thought I knew everything, or close to it. But now... not so much. Or maybe it's because I've got this baby, I am painfully aware that I'm an idiot. And I happen to be in my 30s. I don't know the two facts are all that related. Although my friend, Rob, has told me numerous times that women lose brain cells after having a child. Thanks, pal.

So, my point: I thought I was smart, turns out I'm dumb. Here are just a few examples.

(BC = Before Child)

BC: I thought whiny pregnant women were annoying and kind of wussy.
NOW: It may have been some kind of cosmic justice kicking me in the face, but I spent 40 weeks-- 280 days-- either vomiting or dry heaving. And not just in the morning, Mr. Whoever-came-up-with-that-dumbass-phrase. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. If I didn't eat, however, I would dry heave. I actually lost weight. I had a million food aversions, including some of my veggie staples, like tofu and all that crap. I swelled up like a bouncy castle with an angry child trapped inside trying to punch its way out. My joints ached. I got lightheaded and dizzy. And I hated everyone and every thing. Now I want to buy pregnant people candy and flowers.

BC: Ryan and I vowed to never make poop part of any casual conversation. Note: Especially during mealtimes.

NOW: Sure, BC, we were a little uncomfortable with the way our once-normal friends nonchalantly talked about the excruciating details of their child's bowel movements. We literally told each other we'd never do this. But it all changed that very first day in the hospital. We bookmarked the chapter on "The Other End" in my Baby 411 book. We talked about color, consistency, effort, smell, size-- you name it. Every day. Not only during meals, where Ryan would take a big scoop of chili and I would talk about loose stools I had witnessed earlier in the day, but around other people without even thinking twice about it. Poop is majorly important. Apparently more important than good manners. (Or not...)

BC: Kids' music is ridiculous and unnecessary. And it sucks. Norah will listen to the Stones, Nirvana, and Sublime, and like it.

NOW: Well, I still sing "You Can't Always Get What You Want" in the shower, but it's the Yo Dazzler's version. And I bop around at work singing the theme song to Martha Speaks. And I think I heard Ryan singing "Party in My Tummy" the other day. A little embarrassing. Except for "C is for Cookie," which is classic.

BC: Kids swearing is funny.

NOW: Okay, I'd be lying if I said I didn't still think it was a little funny. But it's slightly concerning when it's your own kid who is trying to say "rock" but can't quite make the "r" sound, and instead replaces that sound with the ending sound in the same word. Long story short-- we met a colleague of mine and the first thing out of Norah's mouth was a very, very loud... well, figure it out. Stupid eye-catching landscaping that got her attention.

Those are just a few instances that demonstrate my arrogance and ignorance. More to come, as the list is virtually endless.


Thursday, June 10, 2010


Norah learned a new word. Well, a new concept, really. And that concept is ownership.

It started a day or two before Memorial Day. She was sort of juggling Bear Bear in her hands and babbling, and then clearly said, "Mine." It was very sweet-sounding. Just as if she wanted Bear Bear to know that he/she forever belonged to Norah. We awwed.

Then we had a BBQ Memorial Day and invited a pile of people. Rob and Tamara are our oldest friends; since high school. They have two boys, Lincoln (4) and Will (2). Then Sara and John and their daughter, Samantha, who is just a month older than Norah. Kristi came bearing ridiculously spicy chips. Then our folks and my sister came by, too, to join the chaos.

Once Norah saw the kids run to all the toys-- her toys-- she froze. You could almost see something boiling up inside of her as her head moved back and forth across the yard. One kid in her sandbox. One at the water activity table. One had a ball. Norah's brow was furrowed. Then it raised with a sort of helpless panic. Suddenly, a shriek erupted all the way from her belly out of her mouth: "MINE!" A couple people near her stopped and looked at her. "MIIINE!" she screamed. Tears began swelling in her eyes like tiny balloons and spilled down her cheeks.

After some cuddling, a nuk, and some parent-assisted playtime, she was fine. She still would snatch something out of another kid's hands if she saw fit, and Ryan and I would remind her of the virtues of sharing, but after the initial meltdown, she had a grand time with her little pals.

So what if she didn't know the kids playing with her stuff? I overheard a mom conversation about park etiquette. If you bring something to the park, it must be shared with all children. One mom was smack talking another because her child wasn't sharing his truck with her son. Another was talking about how she brings snacks for other kids. Strangers. Just random kids. So, your toys are public property, if you bring food, you have to bring for all, and if you don't abide by these rules, you are ostracized? Since when did the park become the Soviet Union?

It makes me think of another mom comment I had heard somewhere. Why should kids learn to share anyway? Parents are always telling their kids to share. It's perfectly acceptable for other kids to ransack your house and monopolize your toys. You can't bring a toy to the playground and not share it with perfect strangers, even. Sharing is a keystone learning experience for all children. But if I went to the park with my iPod, the hell I'm sharing it with the jerk sitting next to me. Adults totally don't share.

However, I do think sharing is important, to an extent. Sharing with friends is good. Yes, I'll share whatever a friend needs or wants: beer, car, money, music, books, whatever. I like it when my friends come over and play. And sharing is clearly a good idea when it comes to charity and volunteerism and such. I have too much stuff. I want to share it with people who maybe don't. So, there's a balance, I think, as with anything. Share stuff with your friends. Share stuff with those less fortunate than you.

But don't share your shit with the strangers at the park. Tough. Maybe they should have brought their own toy truck.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Good News

Well, it's been a good couple of days. I got a new job, which rocks. It's actually with a company I used to work for-- Atomic Learning. And in honor of the end of my college writing center career, I'd like to post my favorite top five typos, misnomers, and general oddness I've seen over the last school year.

5. "This gay is an expert on the subject." 

The author meant "guy." Now, I'm not a twelve-year-old boy who laughs at disgusting gay jokes, but when the author is terribly homophobic, it made me a little pleased to point that one out.

4. "The infant picked up the polar beer."

I hope it was at least after noon.

3. A paper on why stereotyping is bad used an example: Not all male hairstylists are gay. Later on she reported, "Gay men are good looking, stylish, and into fashion." Not to stereotype or anything.

2. "...attorneys who work pro boner."

No explanation needed.

And the greatest misnomer I have ever seen:

1. "There were mazel tov cocktails thrown at the front porch."

Nope. It wasn't Rosh Hashanah.

Ryan was also transferred to a different department where he used to work, which is awesome. He really liked his old boss and the work he was doing was a lot more stimulating than selling light bulbs to unreasonably indecisive consumers.

And Norah's latest success is a flood of new words: Baby, heart, star, please, hands, and banana (sort of.) She can also indicate when she wants to brush her teeth by moving her finger back and forth across her mouth and saying "Chshhh chshh chshh." Unfortunately, she always wants to brush her teeth. I know, get a real problem.

Anyway, here's to a great summer!