Tuesday, December 27, 2005

a new, calmer me

Well, I'm relatively calm now, and I'm looking forward to buying an office desk and organizing on the break. I LOVE organizing. I can't wait until I retire so I can organize everything into neat color-coordinated boxes with labels on them. Organizing makes me feel like I am in control of every aspect of my life, like I can compartmentalize my emotions and circumstances into labeled containers. The prospect of uninterrupted time to organize literally makes my body flood with adrenaline.

Christmas was so much better than Christmas Eve. We went to Ryan's family first, where we totally scored (thanks, Jesus!) and then we went to my parent's house where we also totally scored. Cousin Amy kept trying to get Ben to smile at her, and he kept refusing. She is just a tad aggressive.

Benjamin does not care about Christmas yet. He didn't like Santa, he didn't like opening presents, and he didn't like all of the people in his face. But he was very nice the whole day, and he kept these feelings to himself. He already knows how to hide his distaste better than his mama does. Success in social situations is something I'm still working on. I hope it's easier for you, Ben.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

the kind of christmas eve that makes you want to shoot a certain someone in the balls

Say you are at a Christmas Eve party, and a guy offers another person's baby, a twenty-two-month old, a sip of vodka. Then, just for a lark, say you tell the mother of this baby about it, and she says, "Well, I give him beer sometimes, but that's only like 5% alcohol. Was it a mixed drink? Or straight vodka?" Say she asks you this LIKE IT MATTERS. Now I'm not the sort of person that thinks it's funny when you blow marijuana smoke into a cat's ears, but I'm definitely not the sort of person who thinks it's funny to get a baby, a vulnerable, completely dependent baby, to drink alcohol.

We drove home last night from this situation and we turned around to see Ben sleeping peacefully in his carseat. We said, "Ben is so lucky he has us." But then I thought about this, and I realized that Ben is not at all lucky he has us. Every baby should have at least one parent who loves them and gives them everything they can and protects them from the ills of the world. This is not luck; it is what should be. And the sad thing is, so many babies don't have this, and you imagine these babies becoming adults and you know the odds are against them, and you close your eyes and you pray that they beat them.

P.S. I don't care who reads this.

Friday, December 23, 2005

happy fucking holidays (or merry christmas, bill o'reilly)

Happy fucking holidays, Kaiser Permanente. On this joyous occasion, I just want to take this moment to thank you for ignoring my FOURTEEN MONTH OLD SON'S APPLICATION FOR MEDICAL INSURANCE. I have no idea whether or not my son will have health insurance for the new year. I LOVE AMERICA. AND I LOVE INSURANCE COMPANIES.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

the cutest baby alive Posted by Picasa

baby weirdo Posted by Picasa

who the hell do you think you are? Posted by Picasa

babies on the loose! Posted by Picasa

aunt tif and ben Posted by Picasa

ben, jill, ryro Posted by Picasa

aunt alice and ben Posted by Picasa

family photo Posted by Picasa

close up on the red-eyed monster Posted by Picasa

a spirited young gent Posted by Picasa

me, ben, danielle Posted by Picasa

looks just like daddy here Posted by Picasa

santa: drunk. me: uncomfortable. ben: looks like a girl. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 17, 2005

an early motherfucking new years resolution

I just tripped over a measuring cup on the living room. There are baby pajamas hanging from the "office" chair. An Italian cookbook is perched precariously on an arm of my couch. There is a pink strip of something or other stuck to the kitchen floor. There are Cheerios, half-eaten granola bars, Christmas stockings, blank CDs, English 1A papers, all located in inappropriate places throughout my house. As I was driving home ten minutes ago from the hell that is Target, the following line of reasoning popped into my head: I will go home, feed Ben, put him down for a nap, put a load of laundry to wash, mop the kitchen floor, dust the house, and generally restore order. I will wrap my grandmother's present to ship off to Ohio on Monday.

But yesterday I made an early resolution to take myself more seriously as a writer. Yesterday was the end of the semester, and I was driving home to the sounds of Arcade Fire, and I began to feel inspired, and I had just read an essay of mine and thought that I wasn't so bad after all.

So fuck the house. And fuck wrapping presents. I'm sitting down to write this. And then I'm going to open a blank page in Microsoft Word and begin to take myself seriously again. There are people who suck who think they are amazing. I, on the other hand, am better than I give myself credit for. And, as an added bonus, I'm humble as hell.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

the diarrhea jackpot...not the kind of jackpot you want to hit

It's finals week for me and Ryan--that means mountains and mountains of work to grade. So Ben has decided to not sleep all week long. He's been getting up at regular intervals at night, either with a cough, or, most recently, explosive diarrhea. Last night was a diarrhea fest. We went through two sheets, two pairs of sweatpants, two pairs of footsie pajamas and two onesies. Each of us had diarrhea on our hands and clothing. Ben was screaming and trying to grab his red, bumpy groin as we attempted to plaster Desitin all over the scene of the crime. We are tired. We have mountains of work to grade. If I wasn't claustrophobic and scared of insects, I'd dig myself a tunnel deep enough so I couldn't see or hear anything, and I could just lay there in the ground and sleep. And poor baby Ben has a rash all over everything, a weird appetite, and an angry soul. I guess he figures if he's not happy, nobody will be happy.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

so i know i'm such a slacker...

but I've got a lot of work right now!! Whine, whine, whine. Anyway, this is the catch-up post, and then I will disappear into a cave in the side of Mt. Research Paper. I will emerge 72 days later, dehydrated, hungry, near death, clutching an Excel spreadsheet with all 180 of my students' grades neatly entered. So here goes--

1. Thanksgiving
Cool, if you like family and food. You know, if you're into that sort of thing. Ben ate a whole slice of pumpkin pie, and he wore a corduroy jacket with suede elbow patches. He was a good boy.

2. Favorite Expression
"He doesn't like me because he thinks I sparkle too much."
-Crazy Grandma Wanda
(I know how she feels.)

3. Favorite future T-shirt logo
"Teddy bears are adorable, but I fucking hate 'em." (Thanks Jill and Ryan)

4. Update on Ben
Ben recently found his hair. He walked around the house clutching a fistful of it, and crying when he tugged on it too hard. He still doesn't quite understand how everything is connected.

Ben also probably has asthma. We spent a night in urgent care involving nebulizing, pinning him down naked in a chest X-ray machine, crying, fighting with the pharmacist and each other, surviving on little to no sleep, etc. Being a parent blows sometimes.

The cutest thing he does right now? There are so many. He has taken a liking to licking his chin, so he walks around with his tongue hanging out. He walks with a swagger sometimes, sort of like a cowboy, overconfident, with one arm swinging.

But my favorite thing is when he sees a cat. When he sees a cat, an expression of pure bliss takes over his face. He smiles and emits the most loving sound and tries to hug the cat, but when he gets too close, he hugs onto me. It is one of those things that makes you soft, that literally makes you want to cry right out in Aunt Alice's sunny front yard at 8:30 in the morning.

5. Pictures of Ben
I have them, but I'm not sharing. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!! No, seriously. I can't find my camera, and I don't know where to begin looking, and I have a mountain of work to do, and I'm tired. So leave me alone.

6. Gymboree
Cool, if you're a mainstream baby. But Ben is a nonconformist. He doesn't happen to like Gymbo the Clown that the baby-talking, brace=wearing instructor pops in a face. As a matter of fact, he doesn't happen to like the instructor so much, either. OR any of the other parents. OR any of the other babies. Gymboree is for suckers. It's for the masses. And Ben is an independent baby. So they can take their "educational" programs and their "stimulating" baby equipment. Ben chooses to roam beyond the confines of that purple and turquoise hellhole and make his own way in this world. So, no, we won't be signing up for 10 more weeks.