Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In My Shoes

Last night I was making dinner when I looked over my shoulder and thought to myself, “Who is that little girl stomping through the kitchen in my shoes?”

I wasn’t so much questioning her identity as I was marveling at her very existence. In that moment, as I diced an onion for the horseradish pasta salad I was craving, the October air was abnormally warm in its gentle push through the windows, and the waning daylight was natural and calm. It wasn’t unlike other occasions over the past thirty years when I felt relaxed and unattached to time. The difference between last night and the rest of my life was the girl with tiny feet passing through my periphery in very, very big shoes.

Read more here. . .

Note: Believe it or not, I will be participating in NaBloPoMo again this year. It stands for National Blog Posting Month and it entails publishing a new blog entry every day during November. I pulled it off last year and I plan to do it again this time around. Coming off roughly 3 months of non-posting, I realize that it's often feast or famine around here. But such is life.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Finding the Catskill Mountain House

We were staying at a small bed & breakfast in the mid-Hudson River Valley this week when we found out--on our last day there, of course--about a nearby site that was heralded as just the balm for sore eyes. Needing no convincing, and not daunted in the least by unfavorable weather conditions, we headed out in the direction of the Catskill Mountains toward what James Fenimore Cooper called the “greatest wonder of all creation.”

. . .continued, with photo illustrations, here.

Friday, October 05, 2007

On the Farm

This morning The Boss began regaling me with a story about a "caterpillar named Doggie" as soon as I walked into her bedroom to retrieve her from the crib.

"A caterpillar named Doggie?" I repeated, with a questioning lilt at the end. I do that a lot. I've become something of a repetition machine. Between her mimicking and my clarification-seeking, it's constant reverb around here.

"Caterpillar named Doggie!" she cackled. "Woof, woof!"

This was noteworthy because, usually, The Boss wakes up talking about horses. This is not to say she does not recognize other animals. In fact, she can identify by sight and sound almost any critter between here and Africa. She can converse at length about all of them. It's just that she seems to have taken a particular shine to horses. In fact, she projects almost all her spoken emotions onto them.

"Horses soooo sleepy," she'll sigh as she rubs each eye with a balled up hand.

"Horses soooo hungry!" she'll shriek, before dinner.

"Horses afraid." This one often emerges out of the seeming blue and almost always merits a hug.

As obvious as it is that she's not just talking about horses, I still wonder what's going on inside her head. Though I have an idea what she's feeling, I can't imagine what images are galloping through her imagination. What does she see? What does it mean to her? And why horses? I mean, whenever we encounter the majestic creatures in close-up reality, the girl is terrified. Even horses of the painted and inanimate variety are too much for her. We rode a carousel once and the only thing she would sit on was the bench.

So my questions remain unacknowledged. The only one who can clear things up for me is The Boss--and, as verbal as she is for a two year old, she's not saying.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Their Father

The Partner loves nothing more than educating people. This is, I believe, why he ultimately agreed to have children. It certainly isn't because he likes kids, or thinks that humanity is something worth perpetuating. No. What he signed up for is one or two malleable minis* whom he could shape into tiny versions of himself, and who would idolize him for it.

He's a smart guy, but I think he's been gazing a bit too long into the pond of parental narcissism. If he got up and looked around a bit, he'd be forced to admit a singular truth that flies in the face of his hopes for his children: that he's nothing like his own parents.

The Partner's mother and father are a sweet, compassionate and generous couple. They believe that people are intrinsically good.

The Partner, on the other hand, is surly, insensitive, and loathe to spend money on anyone but himself and his family. He believes that people are generally (and this is an exact quote--I just asked him about it this morning) "clueless, gullible, unable to care for themselves, and unable to make decisions for themselves." He also thinks they all suck as drivers.

The funny thing is that he used to be like his parents. He didn't rebel against his caring and open-minded upbringing until he went off to college. Then he started paying taxes and there was no turning back.

I don't know what our children will be like, but I neither hope nor think that they will be exact replicas of either one of us. It just wouldn't do. They'll be more unique than that. And The Partner will love them anyway, and provide for them, and teach them, despite his neanderthal notion that in order to truly recognize them as his own, they need to be just like him.

Photo by Lauren

*I read this aloud to The Partner and he chuckled because he thought I said "minions." That works, too.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Who Does Number Two Work For?

The Boss will soon have an underling. Barring unforeseen contract disputes or better offers from more prestigious employers, Number Two will begin work sometime around April 22. We're flexible. The Boss strolled in nine days after the agreed upon start date and nobody batted an eyelash. It's a laid back work environment.

[Note: If you are not familiar with the theme and naming conventions in this blog--or if you've forgotten, given my 3-month hiatus--here's a recap:

The Boss: Our two year old daughter and one of the youngest Johnny Cash impersonators in the USA

The Partner: My long suffering husband. It's very difficult being married to me, you know.

Me: A work-at-home mother and writer.

And, now....Number Two: Our second child, currently in fetal form, expected to make his or her grand entrance in less than 7 months.]

In preparation for Number Two's arrival, I've been hording sleep via daily afternoon naps scheduled during a block of time usually reserved for blogging. I'm mildly sorry for the absence, but since sleep has always been my number one priority, I'm not about to go all apologetic on you. I will say that I am now back for the duration. Almost twelve weeks into this pregnancy, I am beginning to feel a bit more energized and considerably less nauseated.

On Monday, I got to hear the heartbeat for the first time when the midwife placed the gel-covered Doppler on my lower abdomen. It took her a while to find it, but finally, after several assurances that it is normal to have to search a bit, the hyperdrive beat was audible. "Yup, you're definitely pregnant," the midwife said.

I grinned and looked down at The Boss, who was walking around with the plastic Pap Smear cupholder. She tilted an ear toward the amplified sound. Her brows were furrowed.

"That's the baby's heart beat," I explained.

She raised one of those furrowed brows and sort of shrugged. Then she focused in on the bendy black light used to illuminate vaginal canals. She tried to unscrew the bulb.

I sighed happily.