Saturday, May 21, 2005
I fit into a size 4 Gap pants and a small top today. Way to go, Mom, but really, we would have still loved you if it had been a size 6.
For Gen’s big day, we went to her friend Abel’s birthday party at a baby gym in Astoria. She loved the pink ball and the cyan balloon with the yellow string. She crawled through a large plastic caterpillar and lounged on his red tongue. She even had “Happy Birthday” sung to her after Abel’s turn. This didn’t register at all—her mouth just hung open in mild confusion.
Tomorrow is Nick’s mom’s memorial in New Jersey. Then next Saturday is my birthday followed the next day by our wedding. And while the wedding is being held in Astoria, it is not at the baby gym, although it might be fun for one hundred wedding guests to roll around on a padded rainbow floor.
We are all belly button deep in planning. There are still a zillion details to be figured out, but that is okay. We get done what we get done. And what we don’t get done, well, it goes undone. Way to impart the wisdom, Mom, but really, you made it through the year, way to go.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Genevieve’s being sick has become second nature to us this past week, but this morning took a new turn. She was crying uncontrollably for an hour and a half and had a red pin-prickly rash all over her body. We called our nurse line, a service provided by our insurance company, and were instructed to take her to the Emergency Room.
This time we strolled the sidewalks in the slanting rain. In the hospital, we waited for Genny’s name to be called, while in the background Montel Williams supplied a poor, unfortunate 4’11” girl with a makeover to make her feel good from the inside-out.
A short time later, Genny was awarded the Triple Crown: a new tooth, a virus called Porvo and an ear infection. Certainly nothing worthy of a hospital visit, but more than enough to cause an about to be one year old girl with a crying jag. We set back out into the cold rain with a prescription for antibiotics in hand, or rather, in pocket.
These must not be the times that other moms mean when they say, Enjoy every minute of it. It goes so fast. I could stand for a few of these screaming baby days to go a little quicker.
But it is true that tomorrow is her first birthday, which is strange—since she was only born just yesterday.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Genevieve developed a need for a security blanket today, or rather I should say, a security baby doll. It’s a simple plastic doll with fluttering plastic lashes that her great-grandparents gave to her. She hugged the doll to her face and every time I tried to pry it from her dirty hands, she would wail.
So, Genny ate dinner with Baby Doll, who enjoyed her own banana-blueberry treat on her round cheek. Baby Doll went for a swing at the playground. And Baby Doll got dragged around the apartment, sweeping up kitty-cat fur clumps as she went.
I don’t think I ever had a security object. My sister had a blankie that eventually disintegrated from so much use. I did have a “pretty spoon”, which I loved to eat my cereal with.
As we strolled along 34th Avenue, Genny with Doll and I with iced latte, my mind floated back to my teacher’s lingerie comment and I realized that he might have said black negligee, not black lingerie. Not that there’s much of a difference in the impact of the meaning.
Did my teacher see something in me that I didn’t? Or did he create some desire in me to fulfill men’s fantasies?
Perhaps it’s all hooey and his words didn’t get into my brain. Maybe I would have become what I became no matter what, but it does make you think about how a simple statement just might impact a child’s life path.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
My friend Julie and I were holding our writing workshop tonight. We were discussing a piece of her memoir. I felt very excited when a parallel became clear to me that she’s working on in her manuscript. For a brief flash I could envision her completed work—finished and structured and published.
I have moments like this with my own memoir, but tonight’s revelation was smaller. Just more of two parallel moments worth exploring. Something that might have had a bigger impact on me than I ever realized before.
Well, I’m not one to tease and leave, so—When I was in grammar school, a certain teacher made a joke to explain a point. I can’t for the life of me (what a strange expression) remember what word he was trying to illustrate, but it must have been something like “awed”.
So, Mr. Teacher says, “Imagine that Danny is standing in a room and then all of a sudden the door opens and Sheila walks in wearing black lingerie.” All of our little minds were trying to compute what this meant. I remember feeling awkward, yet somehow pleased to be plucked out of all my other classmates to be described as causing this interesting effect. Not that any of us kids knew what he was talking about at the time.
The story gets stranger. When I first came on stage one shift at The Oasis, (now a Starbucks coffee house) I spun around to come face to face with the aforementioned teacher. Here I was, dressed in black lingerie, facing down the man who had envisioned just such a scenario.
Suffice it to say, he did look “awed”.
After I spun back around, all I saw was an empty barstool amidst a sea of smarmy faces.
Could it be that somehow or other that one comment expressed when I was a child burrowed its way inside my soul and took root? Did my whole life divert itself to fulfill a teacher’s word definition? I set out to awe the world just to recapture that brief moment of feeling special?
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Welcome to my day.
Genny’s little forehead has been kissed many times. Crankiness was an unfortunate side effect—for both her and me.
Even with Genny feeling as crappity as she did, we still managed to get a lot done today: three loads of laundry, a trip to the grocery store, and a walk with friends to the playground.
And now here I sit, with my mail piled on my unbuttoned jeans lap, my belly poofing comfortably out. My unwashed hair pulled back in my usual ponytail. An enormous pimple on my chin. I feel like the opposite of glamour. I can’t even remember what it feels like to feel pretty.
I’d love a facial. And a manicure and pedicure. And a massage. And a clothes shopping spree. And a new purse and pair of shoes. And—this is me being needy and greedy. To go from a single independent woman who bought lots of fun stuff to an overworked and underpaid mom can really suck. Not that I’d wish to trade it. I’m just being silly. And tired.
Will I ever not be tired again?
Monday, May 16, 2005
I picked Genny up from her babysitter’s and learned that she had a fever. I thought she was doing better, but the poor thing was as hot as a baked clam. Well, no, she was only 101.6.
I put her to bed early and she dropped right off to sleep. I haven’t heard a peep from her since. My motherly instincts tell me I should go in there and feel her forehead.
And no sooner do I speak of her, but I hear a little, cough cough.
As coughs go, this one is pretty gosh-darn cute.
My own throat feels a rather tightening sensation. A scratchy, lava-bubbling rawness. Please do not let me get sick right now. There are too many must-be-dones dangling about me.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
I’m reminded of how difficult it is to be a child on the playground—hoping the other kids will like you and that you don’t do anything stupid. I always felt so awkward and shy around other kids. I’m hoping that by introducing Genny early to lots of playmates she’ll be easy-going and make friends easily.
I’ve found it a lot easier to make new friends since Genny was born. She has helped me to feel less shy—I now have a point of reference to chat about.
I feel like I’m just talking in a circle tonight. Nothing seems genuine or important. Maybe it’s just the tired catching up on me. I think I’ll say goodnight now.