• domesticity

    fastidious freak

    I put the baby’s pacifier back in her mouth when she woke up from her nap and guess what? She went back to sleep! I’ve been getting her up when she starts to rouse but now I’m thinking I should leave her in her crib more often and let her take long naps if she needs them. What a revelation!

    Every day I learn new things about Baby Bug. She really is something else.

    I’m looking at my big pile of bills and papers to file and miscellaneous projects to finish and then I look at the clock and the sleeping baby and say, phooey! I’m going to blog instead of “getting things done”. This is my downfall. I only have so much free time during the day and my priorities are thus:

    1. clean the house
    2. write a blog post
    3. answer emails
    4. read blogs and comment
    5. tackle projects/work

    I’m proud that I usually manage to clean the house but I’m sad that work is at the very bottom of the list. I lag lag lag on work. I guess my heart just isn’t in it anymore. What I really need is a big cup of coffee and then I could power through it in half a day. But I can’t drink coffee anymore. Or can I?

    This is where I need an “Ask the Internets” category like Kristin has. I’ve been letting myself have a sip of coffee now and then (because I’m falling asleep sitting up and my eyeballs feel like scratchy balls of gravel) and I’m not sure if those are the days that Baby Bug is extra fussy and won’t go to sleep promptly at 8 p.m. like she usually does or if it’s just a coincidence. I am not very scientific in my testing and there are so many variables from day to day I’m often completely confused. So what does caffeine do to babies and does it hurt their development?

    I really miss my coffee.

    So what else is new? I’m loving having a new car. It’s so great to be able to get up in the morning and plan my day without having to negotiate with Toby and his photography schedule over whether or not he needs the van. Freedom is wonderful. It’s also scary. I’ve realized that my odds of getting in a wreck or hurting Baby Bug in some way have jumped exponentially. But I can’t just sit at home in a bubble all day. I must get out and go to IKEA and Target and Baby’sRUs! The possibilities for good old fashioned American consumerism are endless! Arg.

    I hate it that half of my fun outings involve shopping for things that are going to fill up the landfill. Do I really need a plastic high chair that only costs $19? Yes, yes I do. It’s so much better than the monstrosity peg perego one that I got hand-me-downed from the kid’s I babysit. Ugh. Just thinking about cleaning rice cereal out of the nooks and crannies of the nylon cushion gives me the heebie jeebies. The new plastic high chair is so sleek and visually it takes up half the space because it is white and it blends right into the wall. I love that. If I weren’t worried about boring Baby Bug to death, I’d like it if everything baby oriented was white and invisible. I love color, I do. I just hate how it clutters up my house. But Baby Bug’s happiness comes first so brightly colored plastic things are a big part of our life whether I like it or not. We’ve already talked about that.

    I watched a show on garbage the other day and it almost kicked me into being a raging environmentalist again. Not that I ever was but I did go to college in the bay area so some liberalism rubbed off on me. Speaking of environmentalism… there was a sticker on my new car that said fumes from my car could cause cancer and birth defects! Why is this world so depressing! Is the new car smell going to melt Baby Bug’s brain cells? I think I should ditch the car and buy a bamboo bike. But then I’d have to breath all the exhaust and break dust from all the cars that are whizzing by me and giving me the finger because I am causing traffic jams with my baby strapped to my back who likes to arch her back and cause me to weave about dangerously.

    I guess we’re all going to die one way or another.

    About the “towel spreading” that I mentioned yesterday… (as if you are all waiting anxiously to find out what that is about) Back in college I used to live with my best friend from high school and she had OCD. I’d never experienced this kind of freakish cleanliness before. As you know, I was raised in a MUCH DIFFERENT environment. I was in for a big education on how to keep things neat and clean. Daily, I got lessons on why I should not use hair spray in the bathroom. (The residue! The spots on the mirror! The smell! The air must be clean for the plants to breath! I had to go outside to spray my bangs into perfect submission. Or even worse not use hairspray! ) If I took down a message on the pad of paper by the phone, I had to place the pencil beside the pad in an exact way or else all hell would break loose. We had this little string that attached the pencil to the pad of paper and I remember the string HAD to be wrapped around the pad. You couldn’t just leave it laying any old way it fell. Sometimes I would on purpose make lighting bold shapes out of the string just to piss her off. Thankfully my friend has always had a great sense of humor about her wackiness.

    So anyway, my roommate/best friend from high school also liked to spread towels on all flat surfaces so that she wouldn’t have to dust. This meant all the countertops in our tiny little apartment kitchen had towels on them. On top of the refrigerator, the microwave, the shelves in the pantry…towels everywhere. We had a lot of towels. It used to drive me crazy. I hated the towels.

    But somehow her funny little quirks have stuck with me through the years and now in my old age I have towels spread about on things I never would have thought possible when I first met her. I have a towel spread on the back of the toilet and on top of the microwave. And just the other day I bought black towels for the passenger side and back seat floor mats of my car. I got tired of looking at the little white flecks of lint and dust. Until I find a small vacuum that will plug into my cigarette lighter, the towels are going to have to do the trick. “Biff”* would be so proud of me. I’ve turned into a fastidious freak.

    *not her real name of course

  • illos,  Life Lessons

    The Dent

    Like all new car drivers, I like to park my car as far away from everybody else in the parking lot as possible. I don’t mind walking farther if it means avoiding door dings and shopping cart scratches. So when I pulled into the meeting room (church) parking lot, the same rules apply. I surveyed the available spots and opted for a shady spot near the back.

    What I didn’t realize was that this Sunday was “All Day Meeting” which means pretty much what it sounds like: meetings all day. And lunch and lots more people from out of town that fill up the parking lot. Silly stupid me. So when I came out to my car after the first meeting, you can imagine my alarm when I saw this big industrial-sized van in primer gray parked RIGHT NEXT to my shiny new car. All I can think is: they are too close! There is no way they can park that close and not smash their doors right into me!!!

    I rush out to the passenger side of my car and peer down at where their door would make impact. Sure enough, there’s a tiny crescent shaped nick the size of my very short pinky fingernail. I look directly across to the side of the van and there’s an itty bitty piece of red paint stuck to the corner of their door. ARG!!!!!!!! I knew it would happen! Why! Why! Why was I so dumb to trust that people who go to church are more careful and considerate than the average public. I am an idiot. I should have parked down the street or better yet taken the bus.

    The dent is very very very small. In fact when I told Toby about it when I got home, he asked me not to point it out so he could find it for himself. He couldn’t see it. I had to show him. So really there is nothing to get all upset about EXCEPT that I hate it when I think something might happen and then it DOES happen… it’s like having a pet peeve. Or getting kicked when you already have a bruise. Whatever. Maybe I’m over-reacting.

    I went back into the meeting room, seething. I know who this van belongs to and I had half a brain to go and confront the guy. Except I’m at church and I’m the prodigal daughter who is coming back to the fold after being gone for ten long years of eating locusts in the desert. I’m not really in a position to be getting confrontational with a “brother” about my big fat shiny new material object that I can’t take to heaven with me when I die. Plus, this guy has a big family and they all pile into their rusty old van that is painted primer gray because that is what they can afford. I could buy FOUR vans AND put braces on all his kids with the money I spent on this car. So I need to eat humble pie with a capital H.

    But it gets worse. As we’re standing around talking and greeting people, I am introduced to my denter and he shakes my hand. I’m trying to be nice and not think about The Dent but HE HAS A LIMP FISH HANDSHAKE!!!! His fingers barely touch my palm before he pulls his hand back and shoves it in his pocket. I hate it when people shake hands like that. It’s like a sign that says, “Don’t Trust Me”. A limp hand shake isn’t sincere. Are they afraid they’re going to catch something from me? Why bother shaking hands? Why not just pull the ol’ I-was-just-leaning-forward-but-then-I-decided-to-smooth-my-hair-out-instead move? I don’t know. I was rumbling inside. I wanted to say “Listen Denter, you dented my new car and you shake hands like an old lady!” (I take that back, I know a lot of old ladies who shake hands very warmly and sincerely. So maybe it was like an old lady on her death bed…)

    I didn’t say anything. I just smiled and tried to be the better person (or the better wimp according to Toby). This guy probably has no idea he nicked my car. He probably didn’t even notice that my car is shiny and new. Or maybe he did it on purpose to teach me a lesson. I have no idea. Maybe he was yelling at his kids or pondering some scriptures or just in a hurry to get out of the car and wasn’t careful. I’ll probably never know.

    At the end of the day it was bound to happen and I’m learning to get over it. Maybe someday I’ll get to know this guy and we’ll laugh about it while we scoop ourselves servings from the mystery casseroles in the pot luck food line.

    I have to wrap this up. I’ll have to fill you in on the towel spreading that “Biff” would be proud of tomorrow. The baby is insisting that she CANNOT play by herself and she needs me right this very minute.