Tuesday, July 19, 2011


It was 88 degrees at 10:00 in the morning, the dewpoint was 80, and I was driving around South Minneapolis trying to find swim diapers.* It appeared that the city had all its crews out on all the streets trying to do all the work at once, as I dodged asphalt and utility crews every other block. The uppity grocery store hardly carried any diapers, let alone swim diapers, probably because rich white kids don't crap, but the Walgreen's across the street offered up "Swimmies" at $9.99 for 11 diapers.

(This is one time I know that our cloth swim diapers beat out disposable economically, as one "keepie" cost $9.99, and he has been using it for two years.)

Whatever. I paid for the Nemo-encrusted things and headed back to day care. Once there, I was met with "M- doesn't think these could possibly be a boy's swim suit," as the orange and fishy bottoms were waved in my face. "And who is S-?"

"S is the little boy who used to own those, and what happened to Finn's trunks from yesterday?"

"His grandparents took them with them when they picked him up."

At this point, I thought I might cry.

Nothing was really wrong, but it had been a bad night of sleep followed by a morning of little glitches that added up to an 85% chance of tears. Our Internet doesn't work when it's hot, Finn doesn't listen because he's three, and I just could not get us out the door. Not without one very short time out, at least. Once we started out onto the porch, I was met with the car seat, sitting like a statue, not in the car at all. I led Finn back in and attached the car seat, already sweating by the time I was done with this three-minute-activity.

We drove through town and were tail-gated by a woman in a very big hurry. I set my cruise on the speed limit and took my usual route. She tried all sorts of little detours and short cuts only to wind up behind me again. Twice. Were that me, I might have drawn the conclusion that these tactics don't work in city traffic, but she was tail-gating, so she's already not me.

I should have left day care and headed straight to a coffee shop to work out my mood with some quiet time (because you really can't go to a bar until after 11:00 a.m.), but as it was, I would not arrive at my desk until 10:30.

How many do-overs do you get in a season?

*Obligatory liberal guilt disclaimer: These are all first world problems, but that doesn't mean it didn't suck this morning.

Friday, July 15, 2011


It's happening again.

For the past two or three weeks, Finn has been sleeping in his bed. By himself. Most often through the night. We were trying not to make a big deal about it.

Because somewhere, in the back of my mind, I knew the zombie would return.

Eat braaaaains...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Want My 30 Dollars!

I don't know what happened to me. I went into the store looking for a three dollar bargain, I came out with thirty dollar Nikes.
For a freaking kid.

We've been fortunate in the clothing department. Most of his clothes are hand-me-downs, so we have not had to buy much. If were a girl, this might be met with a certain amount of melancholy, but boy's clothes are boring. It's too bad for boys, really, in the long run, because unless they go into the theatre, they are stuck looking at a lifetime of beige.

It's also too bad for the style-minded parent who wants to pick out cute things for his or her kid. Cruise the aisles of any department store, and the boys' section is an eyesore of brown, navy blue, grey, and maybe some green. The tee shirts are encrusted with monster trucks or branded with transformers. If you want something stripey, which is practically the only fun thing left for boys, you have to go to the photo albums of your childhood or the thrift store.

It's not all that much better in the girls' section when it comes to gender stereotypes. It's dripping with ruffles and cutesy ribbons and the glitter left over from Newt's last press conference. You can't swing an equal rights amendment without hitting a Disney princess between her big, blue eyes.

In the past, when we needed shoes, we have either lucked out with brand-new second-hands or the three dollar clearance model. The only shoes we have spent real money on are his Keen sandals, which we buy to appease our upper-middle class REI gear-hog mania. We convince ourselves that they are somehow good for him and are worth the thirty dollars on sale per season price tag, but really, we are just brand whores who fitting into a certain crunchy with money niche. (Are we Munchies?)

I did not want to buy the full price Nikes. I don't care about that brand (there's a certain brand set we adhere to, and it's probably not hard to figure out), and they were red, white, and blue. (Mostly white, which has been the prevailing and entirely ridiculous trend in sneakers for the last two decades or so. Completely stupid for a shoe that is supposed to be getting some sort of workout.)

As I tried the ridiculous shoes on the boy, I was thinking ,"No way, this is stupid. I am not paying thirty dollars for shoes. I pay three or no dollars for shoes. Unless they are for me. But that's a different story. I managed to not buy delectable shoes today even though they are gorgeous and I have been eying them and they are on sale..."

Wait. I am getting off track.

As I was convincing myself that I was not buying the shoes, I could feel the rationalizing starting. "Well, most of his shoes have been free or almost free. And we don't have to buy many clothes." The other voice started back, "Yeah, but that's how you save money. By not filling up those gaps with other purchases."

"Screw you, rational voice of reason. I dont want to go to any more stores looking for shoes. I don't want to try to take them off his feet. I'm buying them."

"But if you just tried one more place, you could find something cheaper. Look at these, even these are nineteen dollars. That's better than thirty."

"Whatever. They are ugly, and they look cheap."

"He's three. And a boy. He doesn't care."

("Look at my shoes! These are my shoes! These are the right shoes for me!" Jump jump run.)

"Think what you could do with the money you could save on those stupid, overpriced shoes, you lazy git."

"Yes, and think what I could do with the time I spend trying to get a deal. Think how much gas I will use trying to get a deal. Think how much time I am wasting on this interior monologue."

We are at the playground, and I am watching the shoes run around with babywhumpus in them. I am still rationalizing, and clearly, the shoes are staying. The shoes are adorable, he likes them, and they are on his feet.

And there they will stay.

John Fluevog, take me away.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Baby on Board

This afternoon, I found myself in 1987, driving behind a car with a "Baby on Board" sign in its rear window. Remember those? They were everywhere, on every minivan in sight. I never understood them. So what if you have a kid in there? Is it driving, and that is why you are letting the world know? Are you proud of your breeding and or reproductive skills? Congratulations and everything, but why do you have to declare that there is a kid in your car? Are we supposed to be super extra careful around you, so we don't wake the baby? Is that sign supposed to make us all better drivers because we will be thinking of the childrenz?

From what I could tell, a "Baby on Board" sign means "Caution, there is a kid in this car, so I am completely distracted and driving like an asshole. This is my left front wheel, over the center line. This is me, digging around behind the seat for something while I drift slowly and inexorably into your lane. This is me, sitting at a green light while you wait, contemplating my annoying car sign. This is me, pretty much convinced that I am the only driver on the road."

At least she didn't have those ridiculous "this is my family in stick figures including the dog" decals on the window too. I may have run her off the road.

Like Riding a Bike

You know what's just like riding a bike? Riding a bike.

The first time I got back onto a bicycle in over ten years, it was completely bizarre, and it did NOT all come back to me, like they say. I was wobbly and uncomfortable, unsure of my balance.

This past weekend, I got back onto a bicycle for the first time since before I got pregnant. (I stopped riding while pregnant in order to be careful. With hindsight, I can safely say that I could have ridden all that spring, and barring cars, it would not have been a problem.)

It was just like riding a bike. A little weird at first, and I completely forgot how to use the gears, but I managed.

The only problem is that my little computer was eaten by squirrels, so I had absolutely no data on the ride.

How do I know it actually happened?