Yay! Restrictive laws!

it still seems so weird
to leave exhausting concert
and not smell of smoke

Last night at the Coldplay/Fiona Apple concert, these little girls in front of us (who talked on the phone for the entire concert) lit up some cigarettes. And whatever – if you want to smoke, smoke. But don’t make me smoke. And don’t make the Gestator smoke, especially in a facility that is famously non-smoking.

Before I could even work up some indignation, though, an usher appeared from nowhere and told the girls to put out the cigs or else. It was fabulous. And even though it’s still a little weird to leave a concert and not have a burned out throat and watering eyes and smelly hair, it’s something I can get used to.

So the concert…. good and fun and concerty. I, apparently, didn’t get the memo about having to be 17 and clad in an "ironic" t-shirt to be allowed in to the concert, but the guards took pity on my fat tummy and my perplexed husband (Fiona Apple sings those angry songs, right?) and let us in anyway.

Fiona channeled Janis with her angry, screaming songs, and it was great angry, screaming fun.

Chris Martin was so dorkily hot with his curly hair and weird white boy dancing, that it was lucky for him that three tiers and a pregnant belly slowed me down in my attempt to heave myself onto him while he sang "Don’t Panic."

Perhaps the best part, though, was as we were leaving the show about a gamillion hours after I usually go to sleep. As I tottered through the door, grasping a half-eaten King Size Snickers, a security guard looked from my belly to my candy bar to my tired but happy face and then patted my shoulder and said "bless your heart." ha.

In other good news, the wee one stayed with my sister and her husband overnight while my hubby and I enjoyed the concert and a swank hotel (which overlooked an indoor ice-skating rink so we could watch people fall on their asses – lots of fun). Everyone survived the wee one’s visit, and he didn’t miss us once.

In order to congratulate him on his accomplishment, my hubby and I bought him a toy hippo. It’s hard plastic and heavy and has an open mouth and is both hilarious and possibly educational. The wee one has named him "Fighty" and decided that "man hippos aren’t mommies." I don’t know what that means, but I guess I’m OK with it.

yes, we love Fighty
he may not be a mommy
but he has moxie

All in all, a good weekend, even though I am old and refused to spend $45 on a Coldplay t-shirt so that my friends know how cool I am.

knew it

shouldn’t let it bug
yet it eats away at you
while you ignore it

I knew this was going to happen when the wee one started school. I didn’t know when it would happen, and I didn’t know how it would happen, but I knew something like it was coming.

The wee one is apparently "behind." Or something like that. According to his teacher at Mother’s Day Out he has "weak motor skills." This means he grasps a crayon with his fist instead of holding it delicately like you hold a pencil.

He’s 3 1/2.

He had a conversation with me in the car yesterday about hubris.
He double-clicks a mouse like a pro.
He can tell you every single character in every single Star Wars movie.

I know not to worry about this. I know that he is incredibly smart. But what bothers me is that, at 3 1/2, I’m supposed to be grooming him for kindergarten. It bugs me that he’s supposed to go into school already reading and writing. When I tell people that this bugs me and that I went into kindergarten not knowing how to a hold a pencil, I get tongue clicks and chastise-y sounding statements like, "It’s been a long time since then." Well, duh. But still.

I don’t like the idea of feeling that I need to tutor my kiddo so that he can write his full name with precision before he gets to school. Is there no time to be a kid anymore? Is there no time to learn things on your own? Must I force it down his throat – THIS IS THE ALPHABET, REPEAT AFTER ME. He’s going to get it when he’s ready to get it.

And, frankly, I feel judged. I feel judged as the mom who’s not doing everything she can to make sure her baby is already on a waiting list for Oxford. And I resent it. My son will be fine in school whether he writes his name at 3 1/2 or not. He may be much less fine if I make him write letters everyday instead of learning them on his own. To me, there’s a fine line before enjoying to learn becomes dreading it. I will not make my child dread learning. I want learning to be a discovery for him – light bulb moments. And, yes, I will excitedly guide him to these light bulb moments. But I will not condone rote memorization. Not now especially.

Anyway, this is obviously not an eloquent post. I just don’t want to feel bad about my kid having "weak motor skills." His motor skills are fine. It’s the education system that’s weak, when you have to prepare toddlers for the state and federally mandated assessment tests they’ll be subjected to when they go to school.

copper-wool

seven years of this
and he still puts up with me
and does the laundry

Seven years ago at this very moment I was at the beauty parlor getting a mess of tiny flowers practically surgically attached to my curls. And then a few hours later I was at a small white church, standing in front of friends and family with the man I love, waiting for a train whistle to stop so we could hear our vows.

And now here we are. Today will be a fairly uneventful anniversary – he’s working, I’m at home with the wee one, feeling grumpy because of the cold, and I already know I’m going to be too tired to cook a fancy dinner tonight. But I did (shhh!) buy us tickets to the Coldplay concert in Dallas next weekend. And I did (shhh!) book us a night at a shmancy hotel next weekend. So nice dinner be damned, I have good plans up my sleeve.

I’ll be happy if we can just sit together tonight and reflect on everything we’ve done in seven years – the magnificence of the wee one, a nice house with colorful walls, the Gestator, not strangling the dog, not strangling each other. We’ve done well. And I love him so much. Almost as much as Coldplay, even.

opposite of an earworm

I beseech you, blog readers who are smarter and more knowledgeable than I:
There is a John Prine song. In this song I believe he duets with a nice sounding lady and they talk about Austin and how much they love it. An actual line in the song is "damn I love that town." Or maybe it’s "Damn I miss that town."

WHAT IS THIS SONG CALLED? I can’t find it anywhere because, duh, I don’t remember 99% of the lyrics.

Anybody?

questions

always good to ask
you could learn amazing things
or get made fun of

A lot of people have been finding the blog by searching for very specific questions. As a community service I will answer some of your questions as truthfully and briefly as I can.

"Does Jimmy Carter sell brand name peanut butter?"
I don’t think so, but I don’t really know for sure. Maybe you’re thinking of Paul Newman? Or, wait, I don’t know if he has peanut butter either. Here’s a trivia question for you that has nothing to do with peanut butter, but something to do with Jimmy Carter: Do you know who was the other peanut farmer elected president of the US?

"What does it mean when my dog keeps licking his butt?"
It means that you should not let your dog lick your face. (And maybe he has allergies. Seriously. Give him some Benadryl and ten to one the butt-licking will cease for a 4-6 hour period of blissful, wonderful, non ass smacking quiet.)

"Why do anorexics always shake?"
Dunno. Maybe because hugging you when you first meet is a little weird? Har.
Really, though, I have no idea. I’d guess they shake because of weakness from lack of food? Always being cold from lack of food? Also, this says it could be social anxiety disorder.

"Can a haiku have a contraction?"
How far along is the haiku and how close together are the contractions?

"everytime i work up the nerve to swallow the pills someone does something to make me want to live and i’ve never said thank you  for saving my life"
The first hit from Google when this whole thing is typed in is "Rushville Republican – In Response to the State of the Union." Make of that what you will.

And to the person who keeps searching for "pizza fack movie" I can only guess that maybe you’re thinking of American Pie and have confused pizza with apple pie. Or maybe you’re planning for a lovely evening of pizza, facking, and movie watching? If so, you have no need to ask any questions of Google. It sounds like you have things enviably under control.

emerging from the rabbit hole

breathing is so nice
not overrated at all
and it’s healthy too!

In my attempt to use every prescription medicine known to man while I’m pregnant, I have now entered into the world of Albuterol inhalers. With a spacer for maximum bronchial happiness.

Because of the Virus That Won’t Die, last week I had an exciting few days of not breathing. I am now enjoying an exciting week of inhaled steroid-induced rage attacks. Fun for the whole family!

Just a few days ago I pelted the dog with the Benadryl tablets he refused to take, and then I almost, almost, shoved them up his butt so he could lick them out and at least get a time-release version of his meds.

Since then I’m learning to calm the rages and to try to not have breathing problems that require the inhaler before I drive. I have normal, non medicine-induced rage when driving, so the added insult of steroids could turn me into a full-on pregnant sociopath on wheels.

I hope that my rage (and all the evil drugs I’ve taken in the past few weeks) aren’t harming my tiny girl. The doctors assure me all is safe. But Jekyll and Hyding all day doesn’t seem like the best way to grow a baby.

Oh, and as an interesting side note, the Typepad spell check tried to replace "Albuterol" with "Albatross." Albatross, indeed.

Now stop reading this before I kick your ass.

free dog to good home

dog. can’t live with him
but can’t just give him away
wee one would be pissed

I am at the point where I would like to give away my dog. I won’t, of course, because the wee one wouldn’t stand for it, and also because somewhere deep deep deep down inside I might have an inkling of possible kindness I still feel for this damn dog.

If I were to give him away, though, here’s the ad I would post:

FREE DOG TO GOOD ANY HOME

35 lb. mutt answers to the name of Newman or "godDAMNit."

Likes:
– Shaking his head and scratching the crap out of his chronically infected ears
– Taking a huge diarrhea dump on any new rug in the house (and then costing you $100 for the subsequent vet visit where the vet says there’s nothing wrong with him except for, of course, his ears).
– fetching tennis balls and then, instead of returning them, sitting out in the yard and eating them.
– barfing up said tennis balls on any new rug in the house
– licking babies until their skin is dry and chapped (but only after spending the afternoon licking his own butt)
– licking his butt
– $40 prescription dog food for "allergic dogs who require re-sized protein molecules to combat their allergies"
– did I mention the shitting on the carpet?

Dislikes:
– sleeping through the night without whining or shaking head or pooping at least once
– being outside for longer than 4 and a half seconds
– sleeping anywhere except on the master bedroom’s new, clean sheets
– actually eating any of the $40 prescription dog food for "allergic dogs who require re-sized protein molecules to combat their allergies"

Give me a call if this sounds like to dog for you! We’ll really miss him but he, uh, needs room to run and, uh, we don’t have the space. Right. No space.

What do you think? Should I post it on craigslist?