My one male reader asked me tonight why the “density” of my blog is “so low.” Apparently, he needs something to read while he’s supposed to be working. So Damien, this is for you.
I could give you this song and dance about how I’ve been “so busy,” but I haven’t. The power went out for five days because of the wind storm, but we went to my father and stepmother’s house and had every amenity available to us. I discovered that my baby will sleep alone in a crib if she is in a room that doesn’t smell like me, and I am elsewhere. My house is so small that you cannot fart without everyone else in the house knowing about it. Viva will announce, “I have a trumpet in my butt!” If Odie sneezes in the kitchen, it will wake the baby sleeping in the bedroom. I have a baby monitor, but I don’t need one.
In my dad’s house, a baby monitor is delightfully essential because once I was downstairs with a pint of Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream, I couldn’t hear shit but the sound of my arteries hardening.
I loved, loved, loved having my daughters in two different rooms. Viva sleeps in a toddler bed that’s really just a crib with one wall missing. When we read her bedtime stories, we have to sit beside the bed. At my dad’s, she got to sleep in a queen-sized bed, so I was in bed with her, and I really enjoyed that time.
Odie got a few extra days off work due to the power outages, dangling power lines and downed trees that made traveling to school treacherous. It was like two snow days, which he obviously hasn’t had since he taught in D.C. It made our Thursday-Sunday into a four-day weekend and being at my dad’s made it like a weekend getaway. If only we’d been able to have some romance. Like I said before, Odie and I each took a kid and a bedroom. We were ships passing in the night, taking turns with girls: brush teeth, walk and shush, rock and read, switch. I can’t exactly ask my dad to watch my kids for an hour while Odie and I go upstairs and do the nasty.
My dad is still bewildered as to how I got two kids, since I’m a virgin.
Let’s see, we got through Thanksgiving, wind, celibacy, and now we’re at my job news. I slipped it into the last post, but let me be perfectly clear. I received an extension on my leave of absence from my school district, and I get to stay home with baby Pringles until the 2012 school year begins in mid-August. She’ll be nearly fourteen months. There are probably twenty reasons I am pleased as punch over this news, not the least of which is I will never have to pump breast milk at work. I will never have to make my baby take a bottle. All efforts to do so have failed, and now I get to quit trying! Whoo hoo! She’ll be eating cereal in a month, and probably start drinking from a cup.
Viva was supplemented with formula when she was first born. She lost weight, and instead of trusting it was normal and she’d gain it back, I believed a nurse who told me she would silently starve to death before my milk came in, panicked, and bought bottles and formula. I remember Odie giving her a bottle at a wedding I was in three months postpartum, and that was the last time for a few months. The next time I tried to give her a bottle, she wouldn’t take it. Not from me, not from anyone. Viva was done with bottles, and she didn’t have a sweet way of declining them either. Screaming and throwing were her preferred methods of refusal.
It wasn’t until she was seventeen months old and in day care that she asked for a bottle. You see, all of her friends drank milk from bottles, and she wanted to do what they were doing. If that’s the last time she asks to do something just because everyone else is doing it,
I’m not even going to finish that sentence because there’s no way.
Pringles is like Viva. Smart. Who in her right mind would take a bottle over a boob? (Odie says if the bottle has Bohemia, it might be a draw, and why can’t it be both?) Boobs are soft, warm and made out of mommy. They’re attached to the rest of mommy. When she’s finished drinking, she can use it as a pillow. A pillow with mommy’s heart beating inside.
No bottles. No pumping. No getting up and going to work instead of blowing raspberries on her chunky rolls of baby fat, which is my current part-time occupation. I honestly did not know how I was going to make it, having to get two girls to day care by 7:15 and then go teach. I knew I could, but I didn’t know how. Now I have eight more months to figure it out.
This week was Odie’s birthday week. Yes, he gets a week. Not a day. This year, he’s forty. I stayed up after he went to bed and put up a “Happy Birthday” banner in the kitchen. I bought him “Portal 2” and vowed to play it with him. I’m a giver. My sister bought him mini cakes and Viva and I sang to him while he held Pringles. It was his first birthday where his daughter sang Happy Birthday to him, and he was appropriately moved (cried like a bitch).
His best friend is here for the weekend with his wife and two daughters. We ate snacks from Trader Joe’s, drank beer and mimosas, and played games (board and video) all day and into the night. Last year, I was pregnant with Pringles, working, missing Viva, suffering from morning sickness, and struggling with the pain of continuing to nurse through my pregnancy. Odie told me not to worry about his birthday and I stupidly believed him. I didn’t even get him a card. Boy, was he pissed. He never said so, but I could sort of tell. If he’d been a cat, he would have pooped in my shoes.
This year, I made it special. And we’re not finished yet. His birthday week has one more day: brunch, cake, and more friends await him in the morning.
And frankly, so does a hangover.