Friday, May 31, 2013

Room with a (pretty good, if distorted) view

Some days I've been able to do so much even with the baby like work a little, attend doctors visits, go grocery shopping, visit with friends, cook dinner and then still have energy to play with Wally or take him to a playground when he gets home from school. Then other days I'm thrilled if I bring the recycling down and change my shirt (I just wear t-shirts to bed now so it's less obvious when I don't). I like "baby-wearing" (though I don't like the name) for the most part and it has allowed me to get out and about easily from the first days but I haven't found any carriers that are really truly comfortable for long stretches of time. I guess there is something called the Moby (I actually have one someone gave me). But it's like 35-feet long and you have to wrap it around and around in the most outrageously complex way and then stuff the baby in there and hope it passes out quickly. I just do not have the patience for that especially with the sound of escalating screams in the foreground. The Ergo was great with the infant insert but now it's too hot for that. The sling I have works intermittently.

The only time I have done anything without the baby was on the first night back from the hospital when I had to run out to get a few groceries. Alex had a massive headache from a tooth infection. THAT NIGHT! Anyway, I felt as light as a feather dashing around that night even with the baby weight and the pain. 

You know that iconic New Yorker cover that's a map where New York City as disproportionately huge compared to the rest of the country?

The one that sort of illustrates the Steinbeck quote "The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else must be, in some sense, kidding."

This map Wally drew reminded me of that. But then all kids have that distorted view of their own world. And maybe we don't even really outgrow it, we just learn to be more discreet about our warped perspective. 

Wally has enjoyed the view of The Empire State Building especially at night with its changing colors for quite a while now. But he seemed hurt when he found out it's not the tallest building in the world anymore - hasn't been for a while. It did have a pretty good 40-year reign, which must be longer than any other building's I would think. Now Wally's intent on visiting Dubai, entranced by the exotic sound of that distant tower Burj Khalifa. He'll have to extend his map. China somehow made it in there. And it turns out China has plans to go even higher than Dubai. A pretty ambitious idea, especially from the point of view of someone looking out the 10th-floor window facing East, wondering if I can get back outside before the hottest point of the day today, whether it's worth it or not to try to change out of the t-shirt I wore to bed last night, especially now that the baby's in the sling, nearly asleep. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Someone wrote that they'd checked my blog wondering if I'd posted any pics of the baby, or mentioned a name at least. 

I'm not one for birth announcements or formalities of really any kind, but on the other hand I don't want to go so far in the other direction so as to become irritatingly abstruse. The baby's name is Petra Miriam, our paternal grandmothers' names, a sort of counterpoint to Wally's namesakes (William Waldemar, maternal grandfathers). She looks identical to how Wally looked at that age, which is in turn identical to how Alex looked. Here are Wally and Petra together, on the day she was born.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wally made a map of space this morning, our galaxy. In an act of defiance, he includes Pluto. He wants to go to the moon some day, like many kids must, or so I would imagine. Perhaps I've been too serious and realistic in describing the life of an astronaut. Wally's hope is that he can be astronaut for a day, which sounds like maybe a rather uninspired emo band name.  

This morning as I made a sandwich for Wally's lunch (without really being able to see what I was doing over the baby in the carrier) he brought it up again. I told him it's not really a job you can do for just one day.

"Why not?" he asked.

"First of all, I don't think you'd even get there in one day, would you?"

"You wouldn't?"

"Plus there's a lot of training involved," I said, feeling impatient, flexing my shoulders against the strain of the baby's weight.

"What do you have to do?" he said, reaching for a piece of the sandwich so he could eat it right then, a weird habit I've somehow allowed him to slip into. Since I had the baby, I notice there are many of these.

"Well you have to learn how to survive without gravity," I answered, searching around for his lunch box. "And we're pretty used to gravity by now. Plus I think you might have to even be a pilot first or something."

I didn't mean to discourage him. He has so many plans -- he wants to have a princess hair-styling boutique. He wants to open Wally's Healthy Bakery where he'll make banana coconut oatmeal bars. He also wants to get his stories on to Nick Jr. Maybe the temporary astronaut idea is just another half-fantasy he should be allowed to revel in. Or maybe I'll be proven wrong. Maybe by the time he's old enough for a lunar visit, hopping up there for an hour or two won't be any big deal.

The baby's only 9 pounds but feels so heavy in this carrier. Maybe I'm not so used to gravity.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sorry for the facebook status-update type posts lately, all I can seem to manage.

A few minutes ago I was rummaging around in the fridge thinking about heating up the blue cheese red onion pizza Wally & Alex made for dinner last night. Then I glanced at the clock and momentarily thought: Is 9:30 too early for lunch? The breastfeeding-all-night-on-demand mother's equivalent of an alcoholic wondering how much before noon is okay for a drink. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Not sure my feeble attempts at providing a commercial-free childhood have been in any way successful. 

Me this morning: "I didn't know there were so many ads on Nick Jr!"

Wally's response: "Mom, those are not ads. Those are things you can buy that are like good for baby and good for your pores get too big, you can't shrink them just by washing your face. So do you wanna get that?"

Monday, May 6, 2013

Is Pluto still there?

Two weeks ago at this time the doctors felt they'd given the Cytotec enough time and there hadn't been enough progress so they had to start Pitocin after all. But there were still lots of hours left to go on Earth Day and the light was going down slowly over the city roofs and water towers. This new person next to me was still pretty much a total mystery. 

Wally was overjoyed to meet his sister, born in the early morning the next day. But in the hours and days that followed he's struggled at times. He misses "three family". He feels sad that the dinosaurs went extinct. He wonders how it is that we just become nothing after we die. He sobbed over a popped balloon. Feels so sad that his sister (Petra) won't get to meet my grandmother Miriam, the one whose apartment we live in. He knows only that he did get to meet her. He asked if we could write her a letter. (To which my dad replied, out of Wally's earshot, "You're gonna need a lot of postage.")

The other day Wally asked, in the tiniest voice, "Is Pluto still there?"