Spence, the magic dragon lived near the lakes And frolicked in the autumn leaves in a land called Nordeast, Little Byron Kitty loved that rascal Spence, And brought him bugs and electric cords and other fancy stuff, oh...
I was supposed to read over 100 pages of Gadamer for today's class, plus another 50 of some secondary source.
The very fact that I focused on the number of pages, not the text tells you a lot, eh? I didn't really read it. I didn't even really read the link that I included on this entry.
Don't fret. It didn't stop me from talking in class. I found myself defining the Romantic movement (I used context clues from the discussion), surfaced the POWER issue (an ace in the hole...always able to bring that one out) and questioned the fused horizon concept as too static (mildly got shot down). It felt familiar. Almost as if I was back in college, not graduate school.
I'd like to say that my inattention to the demands of classes are because of The Boy. But, it is not exactly that simple. It is the fusion of my core lazy issue, the complete identity upheaval of shifting between mom/graduate student/wife/friend/me, and Spence's unreliable nap schedule.
I am overwhelmed by my future. What used to be so simple when I was 10 (lawyer/weekend vet) is now fleshy and unmanageable. I am hurling myself towards a doctoral degree without a clear road map.
Walks are always tough with the boy. He is very particular. We have tried two different strollers, with very little success. We used a moby wrap when he was a little guy, and now alternate between the pad thai (our name for the mei tai) and the patapum.
We always try the stroller first, tucking the wrap du jour in the basket for meltdown. Lately with his weight increasing (a solid 18 pounds now), we do all we can to entertain him before breaking out the carrier. We got the obligatory toy bar...painted plastic from China that plays a mildly annoying ribbety song. Buys us about 3 minutes. I try to run ahead, whipping my head around to surprise him. Another 4 minutes. Growling, roaring like a tiger. A whopping 5 minutes. But yesterday, we discovered the money move. Me, running along side, schunching the fall leaves, high stepping to force the leaves off the ground like confetti. We entered into no man's land...double digits.
The boy loves fall. He samples the yellowing leaves and wrinkles his nose at the taste. Attempts to wriggle out of my arms to pull the colored leaves off of the tree. He cranes his neck to watch the birds migrating high up in the sky. Squirms at the sensation of the innards of a pumpkin.
The tentative looks on the travelers' faces betrayed them. These strangers were not nearly as excited for the first "all Mama" weekend as I was. I know it was their version of baby roulette....all silently praying that we wouldn't land near them. We did land next to an elderly couple who had recently met in person, after meeting virtually for months. Spence and I huddled up in our window seat in the very last row...playing with a teething block, reading books and drinking ice cold water. He kick, kick, kicked the seat in front of him when I finally offered him his second favorite liquid an hour into the flight. The guy in front deserved it...he knew that we were two and still leaned his seat back. Here's to traveling before the boy is mobile...
And then, shortly after touchdown, the boy became mobile. I watched as he assumed the crawling position and instead of just rocking on all fours, he moved forward. Progress. Right there on Aunt Emily's floor. A mixture of horror and delight all meshed together filled my heart. The closest Dave and I had come to babyproofing the house was to say the word aloud. No action. But, mobility waits for no cabinet latch. Our boy is crawling.
And biting. Those two pearly whites, still hidden from view, have been practicing on my nipples. Love at first bite? Spence seems to think so. He drink, drink, drinks and then chomp. A blinding grin follows. I try not to shriek and check for blood drips. I keep trying to burn into my memory Dr. Sears' mandate...push the babe into the breast after a bite, not away. It all flitters out of my head as the next bite floods my pain sensors. Seven bites and counting.
"These are days you'll remember. Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this. And as you feel it, you'll know its true that you are blessed and lucky. It's true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you."
My bloom and I were lying in the sunlight taking note of each other. Really, lying nose to nose. Snuggled in on the bed.
He squealed in delight. I mimicked. He giggled.
He shrieked. I echoed. More giggles.
Silence. He looked up at me with his eyes wide. Then he eeked out another unique Spencer-sound. I mirrored. He bubbled over with laughter. The laughter that wrinkles your nose and squints your eyes.
More silence. Spencer-sound. Before I could repeat, his face softened and snickers fell out of his lips. His anticipated! I giggled and squawked out the Spencer-sound. More laughter.
"These are days.
These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break. These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face. And when you do you'll know how it was meant to be." "These are Days" by 10,000 Maniacs
Tonight, bath time took an interesting turn. Somewhere between the bellowing of "Splish Splash" (me) and adoring the rubber ducky (Spence), Spence started sucking on the side of the plastic bath tub. Gnawing more like it. After visions of drowning plodded through my head, I redirected. He nibbled on the washcloth. Something was amiss. After a little investigation, I found 'em.
Teeth. Maybe two.
Little Bugger wouldn't let me near them. I could feel them, but he wouldn't let me see them. He sucked on his bottom lip. Stuck out his tongue. Turned his head. Chomped on his hand.
I kept pushing my fingers in his mouth and feeling around. I was dying to see them. Still am.
There are many joys of having a kid...you could pick up any mama memoir and read them for yourself. But, one of the most overlooked is the ability to dress said child in costume...any day of the week. Take a Wednesday. With one $12.99 costume from Target, it is suddenly transformed into "Chicken Day." I had all sorts of excuses for forcing the screaming Spence into the chicken outfit today. It was cold, cold, cold and the costume was warm, warm, warm. We need a few test runs before Halloween. And well, it is fun.
I am one of those people who is always looking for opportunities to coerce friends into dressing up. Add a pair of hoop earrings and some jelly shoes and suddenly you have a total break from reality. You take up a new persona, a new view of the world. And you birth more grins into the world.
But, I am too insecure, too socialized to dress up solo. Insert my partner in crime. Do I dress up with the kiddo? Nope. I let him be my stand in. Yes, I am living vicariously through Spence.
Don't worry. We already started a counseling fund.
Britney Spears Anna Nicole Smith Eva Longoria Cameron Diaz Sarah Jessica Parker Dina Lohan Rumer Willis Spencer Pratt Kristen Bell Drew Barrymore
For the next six weeks, I will hope that these 10 celebrities will choose to use their lives in a way that will earn me points. For every pregnancy rumor, mental break, coupling and break-up, I will score a point. Simple schadenfreude. But, the worst possible kind...I gain, gain, gain.
Yes, another season of Celebrity Shit Club has begun. This morning, 10 women gathered in my house for brunch and our celebrity fantasy "football" draft. The conversation was limited to the text of other's lives. If someone deviated to novels or current events, they were quickly redirected.
Maybe I should be embarrassed. I kind of am. Especially when I will start earning points for Brit Brit's break from reality. But, whenever I reveal my secret society, my own personal Masons, I am greeted with raised eyebrows and conspiring grins followed by the inevitable question..."Can I get in on the action?"
How quickly paper dolls and Barbies are replaced with living beings to act out our fantasies and fears. We move from actively constructing fantasy lines of couplings, break ups and wars to passively listening in. Is it that we live vicariously or use Brit Brit to justify our own moral superiority?
I am addicted to making baby food. In my freezer, I currently have 14 ziplock bags of food, each with an average of 12 portions. From apples to zucchini. All carefully labeled and frozen into little ice cubes, which are ready to serve at a moments notice.
I have a whole mantra that plays in my head as I am steaming the latest organic veggie that I picked up on sale at the co-op. 'It's social action against commercialism!' I tell myself. A rebellion against multinational corporations that try to tell us that food in a jar is superior to what I can cook. It is a statement for the earth. Organic foods will help make the earth safe for all of us. It is a move that will ensure that Spence is introduced to and loves a wide assortment of foods.
In the 15 minutes it takes to throw together some pluot puree, I have fostered more than just a sense of quick accomplishment. I have convinced myself that I am saving the world.