Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Recommended title: If not for the cat

If not for the cat : haiku / by Jack Prelutsky ; paintings by Ted Rand.
New York : Greenwillow Books, c2004.

Animals -- Juvenile poetry.
Haiku, American -- Juvenile literature.

ISBN: 0060596775

Exciting watercolours for a change in a kids' book. A haiku for all the fashion show animals your kids love to learn about. Eagel, kang-ah-roo, odders and ants.. all haiku'ed up by a guy called Prelutsky! Took our girl some time to take to this book but now the short verses seem to be pretty desirable ear-openers on a regular basis. The deserving attribution of title comes from the following:

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Monday, February 27, 2006

My Other Blog Is... Non-Existent!

Why blog? Why bother? I don't know, shut up!

I imagine people blog for a variety of reasons, commercial, esthetic, whatever. Me, I do it for ART, no wait, for LOVE. Yeah, I want to feel like I belong somewhere, amidst the innumerable binary strands which comprise our virtual beings. That's me (so comment, you cruel bastards, before my meds bill bankrupts this family!).

Recently, Mo-wo said to me: I think it's time you got your own blog... (It's not you, it's me.) Then I reviewed a recent post on some blog-thing wherein the author asked: why do you blog? Mo- had commented, he replied, I couldn't keep pace with all this heady repartee. I needed to slow down, type a post with my index fingers... and spleen!

The author in question casts about what would be some serious fucking loot-generating figures from some blog-ashram type thing where blog humans I enjoy and enjoy disliking apparently write about shit that interests them; they attract readers, and even attract the holiest grail-Advertisers. Anyway, lots of money is being made by bloggers and fuck it if I am not seeing a dime of it. Which is to say: I am not seeing a dime of it. Does this mean I am too pure to blog for boodle - no!

It could mean I am neither good enough or peopled enough to join some blog-corp. which enables its contributors to make some spare change, or quit their jobs and move to Vail, or Monaco, or Lichtenstein. Am I green with envy? Of course! I want the loot, but without the inconvenience of the third set of revisions, the really clever blog-linkage, the meeting and enduring of, mmm, people. Let me know if there is a misanthropic blog group somewhere, that isn't fueled by radicalism of any stripe, which pays some big coin for lazily-crafted postings with very few references. Like this one, and unlike this other I read the other day, which was like peeling an onion while reading Foucault's Pendulum (which is to say, the author's cleverations compounded, names were dropping, concepts flying, tears streaming from my eyes as I went from one layer of meaning to the next to the next, blinded by the shiny white pages of the classical-Greek/English dictionary I needed to trudge through the post) which was produced by a writer who is on his game. Nauseating, really, all this cleverness. Those that can, do, I suppose, gathering nuts in May and all that. This author, and now several others in the 'we are dads' group, have joined or started another blog, or other BLOGS... there appears to be an ever-increasing number of poly-bloggers out there, smartening up the blogoverse. What gives? I can barely post twice a week, make it to work on time, and remember to wax those annoying palm-hairs, let alone consider seriously being a part of some other blog. Let alone some commercial enterprise blog with an actual budget. (Don't sentences require verbs?)

But who cares. If you're out there, looking for a feckless contributor, I'm your guy. Don't expect me to prove my worth- I won't. I, on the other hand, will expect you to be brimming over with initiative, patience, and americanos. I just want to say "my other blog is..." or "P-man's paying job is.." or even "Come have your scrotum blowtorched on...". Is that too much to ask? It isn't that we here at Chez Wo are flat broke, but we have another human on the way, and basically I am greedy. I want the money, people!

By way of CV, because the attributes I note above are tantalizingly few, I am of average height and build, except maybe in one crucial area which accounts for all the anger. I have two degrees from an accredited university, neither of which involved the learning of foreign languages, math, or dissecting house pets (except maybe as part of invoking some nasty deity on a former fine arts professor who suggested that I should like, try writing some modern poems, I mean, poems that don't rhyme, or whatever it was... appalling!). I am paid to be an obsessive-compulsive prick and I really like my job. I could go on about my lack of virtue, in fact, I am warming to the subject. I am a little teary...

In any event, this writer replied to Mo-, saying something like he was blogging for some kind of good reason, I don't remember what it was, I don't care; he pointed out he is not 'pure', he has some ads, but the money is not the point: he could get $2 per hour some other way... and of course he could, like if he was an illegal alien, but he isn't, he is a blog-guy and he is counting the coins. Anyone would tell you, you start at $2/hr., and you work your way up, bloggingbloggingblogging until you are firmly ensconced in mormon hearttland, living in a bunker next to the Armstrongs. Keep on typing, baby!

And if you are out there, you curmudgeonly blog-collective, and you have advertising for shit like movies, or joysticks, or some other crap people can buy at a national chain store, please sign me up. I'll be mean for money, honest.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

My Girl Friday

Don't offer, don't refuse. That's what the La Leche partisans say. That's the way weaning happens. I guess that happened to us last night. My nursing partner listened actively to the first half a Chapter 1, In which we are introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and some Bees, and the stories begin. Waning at nigh-night time she slips down our duvet, declaring sleepy. Alright then, "Off you go to your bed, honey. Daddy finish the story in your room."

OK, she says.

This won't work, I speak inwardly.

Toddler incarnate, sticky jammie feet on the hardwood floor find their way to her room and then comes her request, "Up, please." Into bed she goes. Daddy reads. I lie on the floor listening to her drift off without me; mixed up with fear, relief, pride and loneliness. It isn't really the first time. It is simply the first time without any nursing in advance. It is obvious she is ready. Me, I am more than the cliche not so much.

The tears roll down my childish cheeks summoning every one of my core weaknesses previously well developed by my life experience of breakups. Sob, sigh.. as her heels bang the mattress and I know her eyes will close momentarily .. smile. Bump, bump, bump. My mind has drifted to the baby inside of me. Nuthatch baby, you and I are lucky. Already, your sister helps us. If it were up to me I would drag out nursing to something untenable for all of us. But, Friday's child knows better. Her fabled disposition is making it impossible for the clueless to overlook the way forward.

Maybe, last night will be the new routine, maybe not. But I continue to be humbled by my little girl. She has from day one dragged me forward. Many times I have had to say, 'Well, I'm glad you know what you're doing, baby.' That was actually my first approach to breastfeeding. I will try to revive it at this end for us. She is so amazingly independent. All despite my mewing tendencies.

Wish her luck.

ps... As I tried to rock her in my arms today for naptime again she asked, "Down, please." I made her the promise as we moved to the chair more comfortable for us both just this last time, honey - Mommy needs a hug, please. OK, she agreed. Wish me luck. I sure don't want to let her down, sorry case that I am.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Personal Use Cookies

I had this friend from central Canada with no shortage of one-uppin' tales, much like certain other typists in the blogoverse who may be responsible for applying the shiny patina of spandex to mom'n'pop blogging by coining the "tag team" blog nomenclature. You know who you are, if you are out there, you clever fellow. This friend of mine, fiend really, is a lawyer, like certain clever fellows.

He had this one tale about a local character, a vendor of substances known to the local constabulary and noted for his fine selection of medicinal and non-medicinal products, who was arrested at home for possession for the purpose of trafficking. The police had discovered over 100 partially consumed (insert your own version of dube here) in this gentleman's bedroom. The matter went to trial and at trial the defendant, in his defence, claimed the product found in his residence was there for personal use.

I was reminded of this story this evening as I offered e a graham cracker to snack upon. She worked on it rapidly, wedging the cracker into her mouth, her cheeks looking like the flesh version of an autumnal curbside garbage bag, with a too-large stick jammed in, the delicate membrane strained by the pointed ends of the offending contents. In the case of e, it was only a matter of time before her limitless supply of caustic baby slobber broke down the biscuit, but no sooner was cookie #1 shoehorned into her gob when she asked for another cookie, somehow speaking the word "cookie" around the cracker, which was clearly feeling the effects of the gob onslaught, but had yet to surrender its angularity. I proffered the bag to her. She removed two more cookies and set about to eat a bit of one, then the other, while the first was wending its way triangularly down her tiny throat, the second and third cookies clutched in hand, her brown eyes looking with interest at the bag that I was furtively attempting to conceal... dad, I need those cookies for personal use. C'mon, gimme...

That is when I thought of Mr. Personal Use and his bedroom carpet, littered with the corpses of many roaches, and the officers, pleased by the capture, and subsequently demoralized by the acquittal of the defendant who at trial presented expert opinion evidence to the effect that the volume of roaches discovered strewn about the floor was likely, given the defendant's level of usage, the product of personal use.

Put that in your pipe & c.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mod, Modern, Post-modern Family Making, Good Luck Everybody

So there is this thing called the family and it is, well the building block of our universe, right? About 100 years, or so, ago our society started down a road to really f' up the family. We invented troubling things like career track employment and *gasp* mandatory schools. We promoted mobility of individuals, even -- horrors -- immigration. These systems changed the family for ever.

100 years is not enough time to work out all the ways we have really f'ed up the family. Or so it seems.

For example, when Miss Fancy was born p-man had cocked up a bunch of leave time and then she chose a time to arrive that did not coincide with an absence from work for him. Our compromise was that he would take 3 days at the start and then a day a week off for like 6 weeks or something. It was a cool solution. But the man tripped out at the end of the 6 weeks. At one point he even got in apologist mode about this family contributions and called himself a part-time parent! WHAT? P-man, this job ain't on the clock, baby, I explained.

As outlined so poignantly by brianwho? the fruit and nuts part of that other parent tag team blog this week, GTWD's are one bellweather of what I am talking about here. And trust me, I don't take the use of the word poignant lightly, click here to see brian's post. (This is a blog after all and not movie of the week.) The family is undergoing a lot of change. A lot of stress seems to go with it. Classes of parents are evolving and it ain't always pretty or straighforward.

The only untouchables are those cuddly creatures, the SAHD's? Actually, even they act on the urge to feel pitted against some invisible parenting adversary.

These days SAHMs, are gettin' raked by the eveready critic of the mother, you know, other mothers. Them and then folks like the lovely Linda Hirshman. Her kicks at the family can took hold for a whole series of posts on Blogging Baby last month, I especially appreciated L.'s content over there on the subject. There's nothing like a good homesick post to really cut the crap, bless 'er. Insightfully, she completely circumvents any twinge of the suburban prison mentality of the 60's that really is nothing more than a blip in family history. A mere smudge of certainty about family life on an enormous Jackson Pollock.

There is the undeniable SAHM and GTWM tension mothers have with their friends, their mothers, their employers. I came out of the pregnancy closet last week. My boss immediately said, "Hmmmmm, so what will that mean for you?" Well, good question. What the hell I am I doing? Will I quit? Not that I'm telling 'im.

I remember when he and I talked about my return to work last year. When I asked about job share I almost cried. Ironically, I was so disappointed I was not 'macho' enough to return to work full time that I wanted to bawl. I continue to have an uneasy relationship with working and seriously question how much 9 to 5 I will pull off while my kids are under age 4. I am looking to my peers out there in mommyville to see how they make out, too.

As one friend said, justifiably bemoaning the high cost of childcare and the sometimes low support IQ of some GTWD's... I wanna go back to the hut. I want to have another woman watch my kid so I can have a shower. I want to get a break on this gig. Where did we put the support system? Get me back to the hut.

Me, I like to blame society, but that don't get me too far. I am frustrated with childcare choices, I don't really make enough $$$ to make the options work for me. I am enamoured of this child and newly seduced by the prospect of being her teacher. I am on the parenting edge wondering which way I'll go. Stay tuned.

Further Reading

Here's an excellent book I like to hype, The Truth about the Mommy Wars. There is no Mommy war. There are just a serious variety of families. There are undulating work arrangements for one or both parents. This is caused by many different social conditions. Few families see the choices available as ideal.

Or on the specific topic; modernity and families a halfbaked idea at best: You might find origin to the content of this post within the anthropological treatement of childbirth, childrearing and the family, Our Babies, Ourselves.

NB: This post in no way should be taken to imply that family life prior to 1906 was a walk in the park. Or, in fact that it was any less/more fun than family making now a days. It was just a bit more straightforward.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Something whiny this way comes

So it has been 10 days of rationalizing; but, now I am simply beat. A new level of whining has been achieved by the toddler . P-man and I are internalizing the entire contents of Children : the Challenge as quickly as we can, which is not quickly enough.

I think we might have to get used to all these toddler goals, even when she is too small to pull off her plans. We're going to have to deal with communications we don't understand. We are going to have to refresh those negotiation skills we usually shelve once we hit our front stoop at the end of a work day. There seems a good chance there will be a lot more yelling in our future than has been in our past. Unbelievable.

Can anyone tell me what "No, Mine!" means, when repeated 20 times in a day, and possibly related to every manner of object. Barry the bear, well yes. Her hand when she doesn't want to climb in the park, ok. A piece of paper. That plant over there. The room... Wha' tha???

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Post-natal indulgences

After giving birth my life changed. Obviously. There were things I expected and things I did not. Here are a few things I have been surprised about since becoming mother-woman.

1. I no longer have to comparison shop.
At only irregular intervals do I care if I could save any money on an item by 'shopping around'. I used to be obsessive about this. Now, I see it and if I need it -- it is good as acquired.

2. My body image rocks now.
I know there is the MILFs action out there but I seem to have immunity, somehow. In this new era, I just don't care what folks think anymore on this issue. I would not pretend to be one of those imaginary people who loved being pregnant but.. I did experience the following metamorphosis thanks to it. First, I got really fat and for once it 'didn't matter'.. hell it was sort of a good thing. Then I got skinny again, thanks to my fear of weaning I got quite skinny in fact. In the middle I had this weird day where a lot of strangers saw me naked and in positions that I had erstwhile kept quite private. Arching over all of this I had to 'just deal with it'. I lost a lot of baggage through this process.

3. I say what I mean.
In pregnancy I was correctly identified as 'feisty'. I would have used another word... but let's go with feisty as it was used so sweetly by the nice man I had just taken aback.

4. I mean what I say.
The days seem to fly by too fast to tolerate any drawn-out or academic arguments. Now, when I am out of the workforce again this might change but for now I have am single-minded about getting things done. Talk is cheap.

5. Consider me livin' fast and loose with the environment.
Since the onset of parenthood I have completely renegotiated my realationship with mother earth. When paper towels first came out my grandfather used to rinse them out, dry them and reuse them. That's where I come from and that's what I do.. but believe me I have NEVER used so many paper towels in all my life. We do limit our wipes consumption but when you consider my breakup with cloth diapers around 10 months AND then the paper towel issue. I am now CEO of a serious biohazard facility.

So what are your indulgences, mothers and dads?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Je suis culpable

I am strapped for ideas. E is going through a somewhat vocal phase, uttering word-like things I don't understand, becoming frustrated when I don't understand, as I begin to panic... like a horse with a novice rider she senses my confusion and applies a high-decibel keening of a frequency similar to that of, of a little girl, and then I am hooped.

Mo-wo looks at me: You panicked, didn't you?

So now they both know, but I am unwilling to admit to the fear: Your mother called here 4 times today. What's that about?

You are an idiot.

Your mom clearly has obsessive-compulsive disorder.

You are an idiot.

I mean, she knows we work- why call here 4 times? I mean, really?

You are an idiot.

I am an idiot.

Good times, people, the best.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Recommended titles to jazz up every nursery

1. Charlie Parker played be bop / by Christopher Raschka.
Orchard, 1992.
Subject: Parker, Charlie, 1920-1955

ISBN: 0531059995

Miss Fancy really took to this book; I am sure because we really took to this. Selecting kid's lit is very often about what it teaches Mom and Dad about storytelling. This rhythmic arrangement will bring out the performer in even the shyest reader. Boppity, bippity, bop, bang! indeed.

For some sometimes different opinions you can find this title has also been reviewed on daddytypes.

2.Jazz A-B-Z / by Wynton Marsalis; Paul Rogers; Phil Schaap.
Candlewick Press, 2005.
Subjects: Jazz musicians -- Juvenile poetry.
Children's poetry, American.
Jazz -- Juvenile poetry.

ISBN: 0763621358

On the outside edge of the pukefest of last month I really had a lot of phone messages to return at work. While I made a half dozen calls baby girl mastered the pronunciation of Sidney Bechet, Art Blakey and Dizzie Gillespie. She already had Charlie Parker down, of course. I don't have the first clue why she loves it so much but this book is a real hit for our very young cat. What kid doesn't love the word Dizzie, anyway?

Don't take my word for it check out this review at monstersandcritics.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Alternate Olympic Sports

I am, I assure you, neither an athlete nor a patriot. That said, it is hard not to notice there is some kind of skatin', skiin' and shootin' competition going on right now, particularly given we here in V are reminded constantly that the next 2 week-orgasma of nationalist fervour, spandex, and pee tests will be held here, in the warmest part of Canada. How on earth, you may ask, did the Olympics end up in a place where winter scarce visits? I don't know, I answer. Where next? You ask. I don't know, perhaps Bermuda. Go Tucker!

I like sporting events. I like to view them on the idiot box. But I think we need some new events, and I don't mean more sports that involve the baked youth of today doing things in a pre-fabricated 1/2 pipe of ice. The only half a pipe those fine young athletes may ever tolerate. The thing is, every time we gain a new event, we lose an old one. It is unfair to the athletes who have trained hard and modified their body chemistry in furtherance of theirs, and their countries', goals.

I, your humble writer, have in mind some new events which I hope will reduce some of the sillier events and introduce some new events. I admit I am not a visionary. I would like to hear from both of you readers- what sports would you like to see at the next winter olympiad? Ice fishing? Reindeer roping? Let me know.

Human launching sports: Bobskating, Ski Jump Lawn Darts... I don't know.
Slide by shootings: Biluge-athon with Mac 10s. I love the biathlon. It should also be combined with figure skating. Damn that French judge. I demand a better result! In the alternative, this could be a way to dispose of those pesky skaters with their auto-salesman smiles.

Speaking of phonies, and the propagation thereof, I used to work with a guy who was the in-house marketing department at the wood-product-certification laboratory. He was the resident ideas guy, I was the resident burnout. He had ideas, I had unhelpful comments. Fortunately for him, I was at the bottom of the food chain. He did not have to pay attention to me. Fortunately for me, I was there on account of nepotism, so he couldn't kill me with his awesome nunchuk (?) skills. Or his flying feet. At the time I had disdain for his trade, believing that advertising was a base form of advocacy. (Years later I heard he had an advertising group of his own here in town so I checked the website to see how he was doing. His firm was, according to the site, away taking its quarterly colonic. I was asked to check back in time. One of these days I will check back to see if he is less full of shit.)

Now that my sibling unit is in that same field of endeavour I cannot foster the same narrow-minded opinion. It is time for me to let go of my snobbishness about advertisers and to forget everything I have seen in the movies on the subject. I have to admit I am jealous of the fine members of the advertising community, who are, I am sure, just doing their best to help their clients succeed. For some strange reason, I feel I am somehow lacking some essential thing that will make me a better, happier, longer, more virile man. If only I could put my finger on this strange yearning. If only there was some product that I could purchase!

I want to work in advertising, it's true, but I am just no good at it. I will practice, at home, in the dark, until I'm a real good advertiser. I will, in closing, offer you what I've come up with so far, for parents. "The Gap: Made for kids by kids." I hope they like it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Pushing my shopping cart again

A few weeks ago the family made their way to THE market and I became obsessed with getting a new stroller. God, our stroller is just, too big. I mean it is a freakin' Gracosaur and unbecoming of our sleek urban family demographic. We have a compact car and a compact house, our lawn is size-reduced, and we are both pretty short. Downsizing just makes sense. Some effort began and we casually looked for a new stroller, we re-read all the blogs.

Then we had to travel. Travel by air. The big voice says: Oh my god let's buy a new stroller and let's buy it this week. Hell let's buy two! A small voice said: maybe you could borrow a stroller from D...

We debated the merits of Zooper, Maclaren (of course), Silverwing... so an so is rep'ing the Ingelsina, maybe it's good? Lunch hours and evenings, we were buying a stroller. Those of you in the know will agree this is not the best environment within which one might make this type of decision, and the stakes are high. God, the only thing worse than owning a gauche stroller is entering the big ticket hell that is sleep or 'travel' baby crap.

By the time we heard from D, we had purchased 2 strollers. So we talk strollers with the A---s, they know 10 times as much as us about all manner of baby junk, what with being 10 times smarter and 10 times richer than us. We invoked the standard protocol and just looked on their paper. We're like that. The results of the conversation: The angels lent us their well-loved Maclaren for our trip and we are free to return the $700 worth of strollers we acquired on the panic purchase program.

Wu-wee, the Maclaren was soo cool, eh. We now must totally have one, right? Well maybe. It is a good stroller no doubt but it has its shortcomings. It is uni-utilitarian and that is sort of too bad. My big fat stroller is big and it is fat but it is also adaptable. It is a good high chair substitute with its snack tray and parents tray, too. As daddy pointed out when we bought it it even has a spot for your rolling papers. The Gracosaur is comfy and our girl is a good stroller sleeper when other methods fail. It was a great comfort to me when I went back to work last July that the sitters could take her out for a nice effortless walk and she'd be guaranteed a good doze in convertible bassinet on wheels, they parked her under the camelia and that's where I would find her happy and rested. The stroller I have has a big ass basket and I shop in town. 2 blocks east I have the 14 most competitive Chinese vs. East Indian fruiterers in the city, the German bakery down the block, and all the rest of it. That's how we shop. To the west I have the chain grocer, plus the organic hippies along side the fish store and stuff, that one's twenty minutes but it is a nice go around as grocery shopping goes.

I struggle with the Gracosaur, it is too large for many of the shops we frequent, but the replacements don't do all I want. It is the baby junk trap. Each product possesses a wide enough array of features to be alluring, but there is always a trade-off. All these things fuel a marketing algorithm that guarantees a certain degree of dissatisfaction. Always made better by the temporary usefulness of all things baby factors further layered on these things.

The most oft-told stories of my own baby days come from my Moms walking tales. She consistently tells of packing both my brother and I into the pram and setting off to town centre for shopping. I take my girl out just to walk sometimes but mostly I think in my travels I try to emulate my mom, or at least her memories of my early years. I really prefer to head out prepared to do something besides wandering. I guess I am looking for a shopping cart the size of a Maclaren. Wish me luck.

So cute as to border on edible report

The word, words?, of the week from Miss Fancy.


I am standing on the bed. ta-da.
I am eating oatmeal. ta-da.
I have just fallen on an assortment of stuffed animals. Can you see me? ta-da.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Blog On Blog Action

Or, as our neighbour G. would say, to my delight: Ack-cchyonn!

Mo-wo, she is too tired to type on account of our recent travels, iron deficiency, cooking up a foetus, a significant list of household chores and the like, but not so tired that I did not receive some directions on the post I am presently typing. She did not say: Please, darling spouse of mine, type by way of introduction some more of your usual meta-blog patter, I NEVER get tired of that. No.

What she said was: What is the deal with these blog-typing-types typing about meeting each other in the actual world? And meeting in the actual world? Is that right?

What I said was: I don't know if that is allowed. It doesn't sound right to me.

She: I want you to post about that.

I: Maybe I should type about it.

It has thus come to my attention that some avatars have met one another, in the corporeal form, for dead raw fish, or overpriced entrees, in the bay area, spirits and smokes in the sucked orange, and engaging inactual discussions about parenting strategies on the Pacific coast. One of mo-wo's favorite posts in the HISTORY of household blog reading had the lovely BMC out to virtually standup the perennial, perpetually impeccable Metrodad. Of course, these examples are probably not exhaustive in terms of the humans who populate the virtual world and meet in the actual world. I have only referred to the blog neighbourhoods I frequent, which is in global terms the equivalent of a walk in Greenwood . I imagine it is possible there are more blogs out there than I have read, seen, or can even imagine, and there are actualized virtual people meeting virtual actualizers for lunch, fly fishing, key parties- it BOGGLES THE MIND.

It is not so much that I feel left out- of course I do. But I am that self-sorry type who feels left out at the parties I host. It isn't even the envy that other people have lives so fabulous that they can meet and be fabulous, hang out in groovy places, or are so together that they can actually help work each other out serious parenting or personal concerns. The envy is there, do not misunderstand. I want to be wanted and so on. I want to pay outrageous prices for food and Monte Cristo #4s. I want to play at Budokan. Yep.

But besides the envy, the not wanted on the voyage aspect of my personality, there is something of greater concern. This exercise, wherein I occupy a virtual self, is fun. I only have to be a part of myself. This voice is just a voice- it is not the body. This is an avatar, a mere approximation. No, what I find unsettling about this blog on blog action is that it's too real.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Parenting Bad Habit Confessional #2: Who's bedtime routine is it anyway?

A couple weeks ago I had a bath. That was weird.

Don't get me wrong I have had plenty of showers since then and baths even -- but a couple weeks ago I had a bath, BY MYSELF. I realized I don't do that much anymore. Because we still take baths with our girl.

Earlier this evening P-man said to me, "I'm IN tonight." When he says it I can detect some relief, or something.

Ever since e was 6 weeks old we have taken turns taking her into the bath before bedtime. Excepting those early months when I still was dumb enough to let p-man have activities while I put the baby to bed!! Still had the bath but the turns part was sort of out.

Why do we do this? Well, exactly.

We didn't really like using the baby bath and she seemed to enjoy the fun of the big tub. But, more than anything it seems likely that the bath helps Mama and Daddy unwind. It is certainly easier than stooping over the tub and trying to control a slippery infant. Unlike some people we have never had any Merseygoldfish incidents in our tub either. Quite obviously OUR WAY this is the best way.

So why I am I embarrassed about it?


Monday, February 06, 2006

I Fought the In-Law (and Nobody Won)

Mothers-in-law are... the word, hmm... insane? overbearing? one step from being throttled? Oh, that's five, nevermind, mas-in-law are SPECIAL. If you are a mother in law, and you are reading this, I am sure this sentiment does not apply to you.

We returned recently from 3 special days in Armpit (not its real name) where we attended a family funeral (on mo-wo's side) and stayed at P-ma's (not her real name). For the astute mind-reading connecting-the-dotters among you (all 3 of you) (please, don't leave- we need you) that's right! It was a double-barreled in-law hyphenated funeral weekend o'fun for mo-wo and this writer.

Mo-wo, e, and I traveled by 'plane to the airport nearest Armpit (somewhere near the crotch of the province) with Mere et Pere Wo. Wo is I. Because Mo-wo is one of the three readers referred to above, I will say little else, other than to say my in-laws scarce deserve the animus I tend to feel towards them, except maybe Mo-ma, not just for her inexplicable collection of 20th C. abstract expressionist works, but her inability to do things the way I want her to do them without me having to tell her in the first place. Scandalous.

We spent our time in Ponyland with my mother who, notwithstanding the fact she raised her children in the bourgeois west side of this city, informs she is a "revolutionary." Mo-wo, who is some kind of socialist person who will, if elected, take away your cars and make you all ride trains, has some disagreement with this rather disingenuous position, which is easy to hold, if you spend your time tending ponies, renovating, and painting landscapes. In brief, Mo-wo and P-ma go together like tanning booths and colostomy bags.

Mo-wo, who is a polite guest, released her contents when we returned home. (What a shitty analogy. The pun is even worse- will I ever learn?) I found it difficult to offer unqualified support to the -wo because a) she was taking about my mommy, and b) I am SUCH a pussy.

In spite of my own failings as a spousal unit, I cannot deny there was no shortage of unhelpful observation and critique as to parenting efforts from the P-ma and it has not escaped my consideration that Mo-wo could have pointed out that at least her kid doesn't have any criminal and/or carceral background, although I suppose that comparison would be unfair given e's tender age and if you want to get technical the behaviours in question can hardly be labeled as criminal in the absence of any trials or convictions and a pardon is no mere technicality people! And so on. However she did not and here I am with the knuckles dragging & c.

I guess, if I am trying to say something here, which I may be, there is a special place for the in-laws. Iceland. I don't know if we blame them for instilling or somehow fostering in our partners the really annoying traits possessed by our partners (which I have seen suggested) (no, really) or if they are just plain annoying. In the case of my relatives I expect it is the latter. Is there a legal solution? No. Is this going anywhere? No, it isn't- and I am at something of an emotional nadir here, and I haven't the energy to vent in the manner to which I am accustomed. My humble apologies.

P-man out.