Showing posts from May, 2013

In Wonderland: Thoughts on Alice

Maybe it was all of your awesome comments on my last post, or maybe it was a late morning talk with my mom and a nap while Henrietta napped, but ultimately today was better. Sam is still struggling to bounce back, spending his days in bed, for the most part. So it was all me again this afternoon. And somehow, I didn't hate it. She was giggly today. I bent and unbent my legs after our naps, and she laughed hysterically. I minced my fingers toward her nose and she laughed hysterically. I sang her little songs, and she laughed hysterically. I could get used to that.

It occurred to me that she might want to watch The Brave Little Toaster, a show I used to enjoy when I was a kid. But they didn't have it on Netflix, so we watched the old Disney version of Alice in Wonderland instead. She sat on the rug and watched it, really watched it, her face turned up to the television as if she were seven and not seven months. It's the first time I've ever put a kid's show on for h…

Fearful Things

Henrietta, as best we can tell, is only afraid of one thing. She's not afraid of any of the things we expect her to be; she isn't afraid of the cats, or strangers (she lives for strangers), or the edge of the couch, or of falling while climbing our staircase. She's afraid of this little wooden train whistle that belongs to Sam. He put it in her room, thinking she'd find it charming, but the other night when he made it whistle, she burst into tears. Our willful little seven-month-old is inexplicably afraid of a train whistle.

I'm thinking about fear today, since it's what I felt for a good bit of it. And just as inexplicably, in a way. It's a fear I've actually been waiting for, a fear I've been anticipating for most of my life: the fear of caring for a child by myself at home during the day. I remember thinking about it a lot as a teenager and in college. I could not understand how I would survive a day with its mouth wide open ahead of me, all alon…

Emergent Occasions

Last night, while I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, I came in the living room to see Sam dancing with Henrietta to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He was swinging her around and tossing her up in the air and she was squealing with joy. Sam was shirtless, and I tried to talk him into putting a shirt on so I could take video of it, but he declined, and so I just sat and watched them, laughing.

When I finished the kitchen and came upstairs, Sam was sitting on the floor of her bedroom, and he was worried. His throat was tight and his left arm was numb, which are alarming symptoms when you're a man who had a heart attack at thirty-five, which Sam happens to be. I changed the baby's diaper while we talked it over--it being whether or not to take him to the ER. We prayed about it, and I felt more worried than I had before we prayed, so I talked him into letting me call his cardiology office. The doctor on call said what we expected: don't take a chance; he needs to go …

Happy Mother's Day, Indeed.

When a woman delivered flowers Saturday afternoon--a giant yellow bouquet--and the card from Sam made me weepy, I thought, "Man, this Mother's Day thing is not bad at all." I know plenty of women who don't like this day much, or at least feel complicated about it (see this and this), and though I can understand this intellectually, for a moment, I didn't really get it.

But Sunday morning when Henrietta woke up at 4:30 and fussed her way to 6:30, I carried her into Sam and realized I understood at least part of the complication: was I supposed to be all mother-y because it was Mother's Day? Or was I supposed to pass her to Sam and get some sleep, since it was Mother's Day? Luckily, Sam agreed with the later, and I got a bit more sleep, but the whole day was kind of like that. I had a complicated day with Henrietta, while I think Sam had a pretty lovely day with her. In fact, the last thing she did before going to bed was climb all the way to the top of ou…

(Green) Smoothies for Beginners

Let me say this first: you don't have to be a hero with the green. You're eating leaves. You're putting leaves in your smoothie and drinking them. And as far as I'm concerned, these are bonus greens. Bonus greens! Two handfuls of green things that you wouldn't have gotten any other way. So I wouldn't start with kale (it's a little ... stinky), or chard, or dandelion greens, though all of these might be in your future. (Trader Joe's has a really nice baby-greens blend with kale and spinach and chard that I've been meaning to buy again ...) For now, try baby spinach. I mean it about the baby part. It's nicer; not quite so overwhelmingly green.

And then, you need to find your smoothie formula.

I think smoothies are personal things, you know? You have to find what you like in all sorts of areas--thickness and temperature and sweetness and fruit combinations and how much green you can handle. And I realize it's blaspheme in some circles, but I …

A Cathedral Without a Roof

Last week (or has it been two now?) my brother came into town for work, and brought along his lovely wife, and we spent two really sweet days with them in the city.

While my brother was in meetings, we picked up my sister-in-law from their hotel in Copley Square and went to find some lunch. We tried to take her to one of our favorite restaurants in Boston, but as we got closer we realized how close it was to the site of the Marathon Bombings. There were workers repairing the sidewalk a block or so down from it, and when we got to the restaurant itself, it was closed, and people inside were obviously trying to put it back together quickly, and a man was up on a ladder out front, retouching their logo painted on the outside of the building.

We kept walking, and I remember pushing the stroller, looking down at Henrietta's white lacy sunhat, and realizing it was so much closer than I had even imagined.

After finding another place to have lunch, we sat in the Public Garden, which is …

Isn't it Incredible!: A Conversation with Sam

[Scene: Driving down I-95, both of us running on 3-5 hours of (interrupted) sleep. We're holding hands; Baby's asleep in the backseat. Our tiredness is tipping into punchy, making us feel more in love instead of less. (It happens ... on occasion.) Sam's just gotten off the phone with the cable company.]

Sam: It's just seven dollars more a month! And we'll get HBO and a million other channels and ... [sensing I'm unimpressed] they'll send us a parakeet! And a piƱata! And ... a new car!

Deja: Yeah, but you always reach the point where you'd pay them seven dollars to take away those channels.

Sam: I know, isn't it incredible?! The wheel of life!

And then we both laughed hysterically.