Aug 30, 2008

Should we go to the beach TODAY, Mommy?

Of course we should. We should bundle up and go get cold and wet and we would probably have a swell time, but Mommy is a lazy ass and has not taken a shower in days and would rather shuffle around the house in her pajamas complaining about the weather.

Imagine the whining that accompanied this expression.

Indoor activities included feeding chips to Max. We could have read books or colored or practiced counting, but this was WAY more fun for me, and didn't require any effort on my part.

Aug 29, 2008

Who's the biggest loser?

Actual conversation:

"I think I was rejected today by someone I hadn't even decided I wanted. Yesterday he confessed his feelings for me, so I spent a night weighing the possibilities, then today he said he couldn't just walk away from all of his obligations. He seemed angry. I actually cried when we hung up."

"Wow. Poor honey. So I think the wedding planner broke up with me on the phone the other night. I was kind of drunk and he woke me up, so I don't exactly remember what we said, but I don't think it was good. You think I should call and ask what happened, or wait and see if he ever calls again?"

Dating must suck.

Aug 28, 2008

I haven't yet found the meaning of life.

I have found a few pounds I'd lost, though, and learned how truly cranky a toddler can become after five straight days of being cooped up inside due to cold, wind and rain. Promises of the beach with Gabba ("Grace's Favorite Things," below right) were what persuaded her to miss school and tolerate an interminable car ride, so I couldn't blame her.

This is the first time she didn't look through these binoculars backwards.

Poor noodle. But stylin', no?

Aug 15, 2008

Gittin' outta Dodge.

It's about 140° in the house right now, and we're all a bit cranky. Grace and I are leaving tonight for a road trip; Ducky will be joining us, Brady's not so lucky. We're off to visit my parents at the beach for starters, so I'm going to stuff my gas tank with hundred dollar bills and drive, crank the music and ponder the meaning of life. I will try to post if I can find a computer and an internet connection. Otherwise, I'll be back when the temp drops below 90°.

Aug 13, 2008

While the memory is still as fresh as the smell.

(Warning: I'm going to talk about poop now. Lots and lots of poop in all its glorious detail.)

I shouldn't have bragged about Grace's potty training. She's got the peeing down, but she's one of those kids who doesn't like to poop because she doesn't like to be wiped and as a result she sometimes holds it in until letting it go hurts like a mother giving birth to a GIANT-HEADED baby. I know when she's having a normal poo, because she stands quietly in a corner and yells, "No, don't come OVER HERE!" if I so much as glance in her direction. She needs her space, and I can respect that. But when it's a big bad poo, which doesn't happen often because we're pretty careful about her diet, she screams and cries and all I can do is hug her and rub her back and breathe through my mouth. She had one of those on Monday, and then her poor little bum was fire-engine red and I figured she was planning on never pooping again.

Yesterday morning Ella was here with Nathalie and Kitty and we were in the backyard, soaking up the beautiful weather and laughing at the girls playing. Grace was bare-bottomed, because I had a feeling she might need to have a little movement and she's more likely to do it on the potty if she isn't wearing underpants. The potty was on the patio and she'd already demonstrated her peeing prowess several times, although she really needs to work on her aim. Suddenly I realized she was off by herself, really quiet, so I asked, "Gigi, are you pooping?" and she shouted, "NOOOOOO!" and then Ella said, "Ohmigod, it's halfway out! Get her quick!" I ran and picked her up under the arms and on the way to the potty the turd fell and landed on my bare foot and bounced into the grass. So I set Grace on the potty to finish and went in to wipe my foot and get a plastic bag. (I've had twenty years of picking up dog poop, but I never thought I'd pick up my child's poop the same way.) Grace insisted she was finished, then screamed bloody murder when I wiped her sore bum, and I knew we weren't out of the woods yet because every time I wiped a tiny bit more would appear.

After a long nap, she whined and cried and acted like a complete asshole (Ella says I can't call my child an asshole on the internet) brat from the minute she woke up until the end of dinner, which was cut short when she expressed her sudden disdain for guacamole by pouring a glass of water on the table. I figured she was grumpy because she had more business to take care of and didn't want to, so I decided to get it over with by giving her a suppository laxative. (I'm not sure who enjoys this procedure less.) Later, I was folding a mountain of laundry on our bed, and one minute Grace was downstairs with John (wearing pull-ups), and the next she was upstairs calling, "I pooped, Mommy!" Because I'm such a sunny, optimistic person, I assumed she'd pooped on the potty in her bathroom, so I came out to do the high-fiving and dancing and congratulating, but instead was confronted by a trail of poop all the way from her room, down the hallway to our bedroom door. A truly mind-blowing combination of runny poop and chunks of solid poop and poop running down her legs. All on her bedroom rug, a rug in the hallway and all the carpeting along the way -- pale beige berber carpeting.

Accidents happen, as we've learned from hundreds of viewings of "Elmo's Potty Time," and one must remain upbeat about potty training. But come on. While I washed Grace in the tub and John did the best he could with the floor, I honestly thought my head might explode. I hummed the "Accidents Happen" song so Grace would know we weren't mad, but all I could think about was putting her to bed and having a beer. Lots and lots of beer.

Aug 11, 2008

I don't think I'm qualified for this job.

Grace spends her days trying to snap her neck, I believe. She throws her body around with total abandon, and when I'm certain she's finally done it and I'm trying to decide whether to take her to the ER at Legacy Emanuel, which is closer, or Legacy Good Samaritan, which is usually less crowded, or just call an ambulance, she jumps to her feet giggling and says something like, "That was CRAZY!" This afternoon our neighbor came over with her one-year-old, who is just starting to walk, and we winced repeatedly at Grace, who is just starting to fly, apparently. After one horrifying maneuver made us both gasp, Grace stood tall and announced, "I'm not weird, I'm just crazy!"

I can't complain on the potty training front, however. She has taken to it with such glee and pride; she sits on the potty and screams, "I'm peeing!" and it's all I can do to not piss myself.

Aug 7, 2008

The grandaddy of all rejections.

I'm getting used to rejection letters, but this is just cold. A stamp on my own original query letter? You just know some intern with a shred of sympathy added that written note. I love the idea of saving paper and all, but SEND A FRICKIN' EMAIL.

Aug 5, 2008

She's messing with my HEAD.

Breakfast and lunch weren't too much fun yesterday, as my post may have subtly suggested. As usual, however, the universe slapped me upside the head and reminded me it's not nice to be an asshole. I put Grace down to nap after a long morning of semi-successful potty training, and she was so adamant about NOT NEEDING A DIAPER, I thought, "Fine. Marinate in your own pee for a couple hours," and left her in underpants and shorts. When she woke up? Totally frickin' dry, and she went straight to the potty and took care of business.

I felt so bad about the blog post, I set up the pool and let her drown whatever she wanted in it. While she was doing this, I assembled the little picnic table that had been sitting in a box in the front hall for weeks.

She's all, "Yeah, ya gotta take the bad with the good, huh?"

Aug 4, 2008

Someday, maybe she'll cook for me.

And do you know what I will do with whatever food she lovingly prepares and serves me? Pick it up, whine, "I don't LIKE this!" and throw it on the floor. If I'm feeling really frisky, I may sweep my arm across the table, sending plate, flatware, beverage and napkin flying. Then I will look up at her innocently as she gasps in horror and ask sweetly, "What happened?" While she's cleaning up, I'll cry as though she's done something unforgivable to me, then piss my pants to top it all off.

Aug 1, 2008

Holy yummy pastrami, Batman!

A few weeks ago I wrote about my first boss, David, who now lives in San Francisco and, with his wife Rachel, hosts a radio talk show about food, wine, dining and travel. They've also created a line of artisanal cured meats, and today I went to Elephant's Deli on NW 22nd to sample David's Old World Brand Pastrami. This is the Classic Grilled Pastrami Reuben, and it set me back $9.95. It was worth every penny and every minute of anticipation on the drive home. (I decided to take it home with me, a wise choice because the noises I made while scarfing it down had Brady pacing nervously and surely would have been disturbing to the well-heeled patrons of Elephant's.) I will be returning ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE RIVER soon to buy some by the pound. That's how yummy it is.