Saturday, July 30, 2011

antics to which I should become accustomed

This afternoon, after we ran out of things to do and after a pointed request from the back seat "Park. Swing-a-swings. Slide, please, Dadda," we steered the car in that direction for the second time today, somewhat begrudgingly, as there was no morning breeze or shade or Starbucks to power us through games of chase and hide and seek.

Totally glad we went.

After about 15 minutes of swinging (she's an enigma. she won't sit still for anything, but put her in a swing? ...a zen calm rolls in like fog) another family begins the approach - a dad, an infant and a girl around Harper's age. Harper greets them "hi boy! (to the girl) hi baby! (to the baby)" Totally enthusiastic. Totally typical.

Harper swings on... watching the other family closely. From her Zen perch.

What comes next? The best/most embarrassing part of my day.

out of the blue, it begins:

"Hiiiiiiii Grandpa!" says Harper, looking square into the face of the other dad.

..Brandon and I just look at each other quizzically. I giggle nervously. I glance around. Grandpa-looking men around. Just the other dad. In a ball cap, of average apparel, of average youthful appearance. Pushing their small baby in a swing.

And again, "Grandpa! Swing a swing!" Loudly. Pointedly.

Mild panic sets in, along with the inability to control my laughter.

"Grandpa! Come on! It'sssss Grandpa!"

All the while, I'm quietly shushing, telling Harper that it's not Grandpa. . . especially not hers, who looks NOTHING.LIKE.THIS.MAN. I giggle on. I can't help it. Harper knows she's tickled my funny bone, which only encourages her.

"Hi Graaaandpa. Grandpa's got a baby!"

At this point, I'm sending up silent prayers. I'm talking loudly over her trying to distract her. To drown her out. Anything.

"Grandpa, Grandpa!" ((more unintelligible toddler babble regarding grandpa, the baby and the girl))

Brandon is of no help at all. He's humped over in an adjacent swing, laughing silently, yet so furiously that I can see his back shaking in my peripheral vision. Which only encourages me.

After about 45 seconds of sweat-inducing swing peek-a-boo theatrics, I think she's forgotten Grandpa and Grandpa's baby 10 feet away and I begin to relax, yet remain fixated. evidenced by the next thing that comes out of my mouth, "Hey, look Harper! Grandpa's swinging with you!" (I meant Brandon, obviously).

Which starts everything up, again. "Ohh, Grandpa!"

I collapse into a defeated fit of laughter as the other dad. . . (possibly mortified. possibly amused. possibly hating Harper's guts. possibly questioning his sense of youth & vitality) pulls his baby out of the swing having never acknowledged the hot mess of a family next to him and gracefully turns his attention to his 2-year-old on the slide 30 feet away.

I can't imagine all uh dis is going to get better. . . before it gets worse.

Monday, July 25, 2011

the tattoo in question

"Oh my God! Brandon! Come here!"

Brandon makes a beeline. He knows that when a phrase like that is bellowed in our house and the computer is open on my lap, it's gonna be worth a look at least 50% of the time and he's holding out for something he's super interested in, like a half-naked Facebook girl friend doing something dumb. Beeline. The other 50% of the time, it's a picture of a cute baby, which he'll politely entertain.

I had no time for acute perception on this day, though. What I was seeing shook me to my core.

A friend I've known since middle school had just published some pictures. A friend who's always been super conservative. A friend who I'd bet my life would never alter her body or never, ever ever get a visible tattoo. Her momma would kill her dead and that's if her daddy didn't get to her first.

And certainly not a ...boob tattoo (!), but that's what I was seeing.

A tattoo. On her boob.

By the time I had sorted through the implications, closed my mouth which had fallen agape and began squinting to make out the shape of her rebellion, I felt the presence of a hopeful husband behind me.

I silently pointed to the tattoo (Brandon knows her, too) but words failed me - y'all.. I swear, by this point, I was positive it was a singular paw print. my mind was swirling. . . . our mascot in high school was a tiger but who does that! had she had it since high school?!

A lot like this. Except just one. And on the wrong side of the boob.

I waited for my astonishment to be verbalized by Brandon - because we've been together for that long - but he remained silent, staring, and instead,

quickly licked his index finger (and I'm all.. what on Earth is going on here?! she's not that hot! whaaat?! licking finger??) and extended it to the screen (i repeat..whaaat?!),

where he rubbed the paw print. . .nay, Harper's purple popsicle stain paw print. . . off the screen.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Katniss Everdeen she is not.

In the dense fog of morning, her Crocs glide silently undetected through the wet rye. Senses keen, she pauses - almost indiscernibly - to side-eye the sound of a dog leash as a puppy corners a turn onto her block.

After a motionless scan of her periphery, it becomes apparent that man nor beast will sway her conviction from the object of her desire.

She pads on slowly. Silently. . .

A mere 10 feet from the rare species, as any seasoned huntress would, she inconspicuously..
..throws up her hands and yells, "Gooood mawwwnin bunny! He eatin' bweakfast!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

growing pains.

I still call Harper a 'baby' and, to me, she still looks exactly like she did a year ago when her eyelids get droopy after books at night and I carry her over to her crib.

A few days ago (not today. I could have taken her to Spivey's Corner and we woulda won the grand prize..), a strange thing happened. Mise en scene: Back yard. She willingly let me take her picture.

First, I said something funny.

Then there may have been a little impromptu posing.

And finally, here's our girl. Her sweetest self. Our baby.

Today, I was thumbing through pictures of her (moms do this constantly) while she napped, smiling to myself, thinking. . . ."when was the last time she let me take more than one picture at a time?" I may be the only one who appreciates this - well, Brandon, too - because we're normally subjected to non-discernible pink and purple blurs of limbs and Crocs.

Well, the last time she sat for more than a few minutes was here. And that, y'all, brings the pain. ...In growing, that is.

While I'll probably still sneak into her room when she's 16 and asleep and she'll still look like a baby to me, the baby days might be drawing to a close. Ouch.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I was just frontin.

For three weeks, I've been sweating a fancy, on-sale ice cream maker, but in a twisty conflicted I-don't-need-this-but-it-might-revolutionize-my-life way that required input from a friend, a husband pleading with me to buy it (not because he really cares or wants it, but because he recognized my twistiness) and a preliminary trip to scope it out.

It's easy to get swept up into a lifestyle when you find yourself in a well-to-do area and rubbing elbows with the people who are.. well.. well-to-do, but its hard for me to swallow.

Somewhere along the way, I realized the value of a dollar. And that I don't make them anymore. And I don't scour clearance racks for sport.

It is with purpose. It is with a level head. It is with a nod to the future. It is with common sense.

And yet, I found myself pushing a stroller through the copper-hued palace of overpriced kitchenware and dreamily smelling the deliciousness of the demonstration kitchen - a lemon scone? yes, I believe we will - and fingering the stylish aprons and mentally placing that yellow bread basket on my dining room table for Thanksgiving and filling it with rolls and almost. . . . . drinking the Kool-aid.

But I was just frontin'.

As I waited for an apron-clad gentleman to find the model I wanted and box up my ice-cream maker (!!), Harper got fidgety. And then some woman broke something in a different part of the store requiring chivalry of immediate proportion on the part of said-guy-helping-me. And then before I knew it, I had been bouncing a toddler and trying to entertain her for 10 minutes so she wouldn't break anything - all the while, not being helped - and watching two other store workers blankly watching me waiting to buy an over-priced, half-priced ice-cream maker that was only going to give my butt an excuse to get bigger.

My resolve began to falter..

Ok, really? I felt the heat creep up my neck, characteristically brewing a full-on Mom (my mom)-in-a-department-store-when-they-wouldn't-let-her-return-an-item-fist-pounding rage attack.

And the straw that broke the stay-at-home mom's back?

Still playing the part of the never-flustered Martha, I effortlessly and simultaneously hoisted Harper to my left hip, straightened my skirt and switched shoulders with my handbag to free up my right hand - so that I could examine a deliciously breakable jar of cherry pie filling. For a split second, my mind drifted to the quick and impressive dessert I could prepare that night and. . . ((turns jar upside down)). . . for the low cost of $18.


And then as swiftly as ballet flats on buttery wood flooring may pad, we hustled on out.

To Target. To be among my peeps. And $2.00 cans of cherries. With principles fully intact. . . until the next Williams-Sonoma sale email.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Brace thyself. This is a rant.

Last night, I sat - concentration alternating between the computer screen and the Double Stuf Oreo container - sarcastically snorting  and gesturing wildly to Brandon (poor thing) because I stumbled across a piece written for Yahoo! Finance Financially Fit series, suggesting there are only five items you must have for a toddler. ((Snort.))

I am, admittedly, a card-carrying member of the school of "buy that baby a bouncer, a Jumperoo and a Cozy Coupe ('plastic toys' the author just 'doesn't miss')," and I take exception to her list. Bless her frugal heart.

She says a toddler needs:

1.Car seat. Duh.
2. Crib. Duh.
3. Stroller. Duh.
3. Sippy Cups. Yes. There were two #3s. Also, duh.
4. Potty. Duh.
5. Crayons. Heh?

She says a toddler doesn't need:

1. A high chair - and attests that her nearly 2-year-old sits at the table in a regular chair. Is her child in the 250th percentile for height or does she somehow velcro her plate to her pants? Because Harper is tall. And. She. Can't. See. Over. The. Table. Also, if the author's kid is tall enough for the table, I bet she's big enough for the regular 'potty.' ((mommed))

 2. Changing table - Ok, maybe. But it took me 5 minutes to change a squirmy toddler's diaper on the bed yesterday when it normally takes less than 15 seconds. Opportunity cost. I could have been reading her a book. Lady, the time will come when your child will realize her free will and you will subsequently have to pin down Free Willy's limbs with your knees so you don't have poop up to your elbows and that will make you feel badly. And on that day, you will wish you had a changing table.

3. Toddler eating utensils - She also indicates that her daughter is happy to eat with a salad fork and a teaspoon. ...I liken this to an adult attempting to eat a meal with a spatula and a meat fork, minus at least 25 years of hand-eye coordination. Their. mouths. are. smaller. and. so. are. their. hands. 

4. Books - "This is what the library is for." You'll hang your hat on crayons but draw (te-he) the line at purchasing books? ..Riiiiiiight. 

She doesn't 'count' clothes and diapers.

Well, enough ranting. Gotta go make Harper's oatmeal before she gets out of bed. . . . Oh. And get her utensils from around the side of the barn:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Possibly Unpopular Opinion of the Week

Harper Seven? ((bangs head on desk)) Why didn't I think of that?!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'm having too much fun to smile.

Like Brandon, Harper strikes a balance I'm still trying to achieve - she's intense and mellow at the same time.

I think this may be why, after all this time, I still like Brandon, not just love him.

Each day, I see more and more of our personalities in Harper. I see more and more I like about her. Somewhere along the way, she turned into my friend - not just someone I love out of motherly instinct or duty or because she's 1/2 of me.

So today, we went to the mall to return some stuff, scope out a kitchen gadget, ride the glass elevator to the top floor three times. . . you know. The usual.

I found myself oddly unencumbered, save the umbrella stroller, and Harper is really, really into trains right now, so when we glimpsed the kiddie train running through the mall from our perch atop the 4th floor, it had to be.

Words do not describe the child's excitement. . . She chose the green cart and in we went. I tried not to snap too many pictures. I kinda just wanted to soak her in. Besides, she was moving around so much, half of the ones I took were a blur of arms and legs.

When I showed Brandon the pictures of her great adventure, I started with, "Well, I didn't catch a smile. . . . ," and looking at it, you'd have to wonder, but she was too busy having fun to smile. No perpetual grin for my girl. She feels and she loves and she's serious about it.

Not pictured: The jig she danced between Ann Taylor Loft and Williams Sonoma when the conductor played a rousing train whistle version of Yankee Doodle.

Monday, July 4, 2011

This is how we do it.

Someone has inherited my pretty sizable space between her two front teeth (middle school. orthodontic headgear ((shudder))) and uncanny ability to get sick on long weekends. 

This time, it's a doozy. Fever, runny nose and, for good measure, conjunctivitis, which makes the whole shebang particularly pitiful. 

I defy you to deny a request for a third "puh-pull pah-zah-cool" (purple popsicle) when a two-year-old pleads through teary, snotty, red, swollen eyes.

Lucky for Brandon, he's home all weekend, too, which is awesome and relaxing for him, because he gets peppered with at least one question about pink eye every 15 minutes.

True story: I think he may have just faked an emergency at the hospital to get away from my overbearing momma bear antics. I'm just waiting for the call, "Honey, don't wait up. I'm taking this Sparkler injury into surgery. See you tomorrow night after work."

So that leaves me to ruminate over the plans that were, while I listen to a baby snore three rooms away (finally, after two days of not, she sleeps.). Sadly, she'll miss a parade, because goodness knows, the child loves a fire truck.

Shenanigans postponed in favor of the best we can do: Pink, pale and sad.