Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Replies, Ironies, News

REPLIES: The Divine Miss K (and she is) sent me this link, to Jane Brody's New York Times article about the various benefits of neurontin. I'm not taking it for night sweats, although there was a period there when I had some nasty ones. Of course, now that I'm trying to think back to when they were and what I was taking at the time, I'm coming up with nothin'. So I'm afraid I cannot be an illuminating anecdote on this subject. I may even be an anti-dote [groan], because I can't swear that it wasn't during the time that I was taking a rather large-ish dose of the stuff that I was having those sweats. All I know is they went away a few months back, and I'm perfectly happy not to explore the subject any further.

IRONIES: So, Monday is my first day as a telecommuting, freelancing, work-at-home mom! Yippee! Except, um. Let's see: Monday at 8:30 am I have a meeting with my new part-time boss at the medical school, and some of my new colleagues. After that, I have a meeting in my soon-to-be-old office with the designers for the medical school's annual report, which I'll be writing as part of my new part-time job. After that, my soon-to-be-old office is having a baby shower for one of my soon-to-be-old colleagues. I figure I should be able to get out of there by around 1, 1:30. Which is exactly when I leave the office on Mondays in my current, soon-to-be-old job. Yay telecommuting!

NEWS: Not that you all spend hours each day reading and rereading my archives, but I'm going to be doing a bit of construction and cleaning back there over the next couple of days or weeks in preparation for a likely (though not yet signed-on-the-dotted-line) move to another server and a bigger, better venue. It all has to do with that "new parenting website" I've mentioned in the past, and I cannot tell you how excited I am. No, really. I cannot tell you. Because, see, I've signed this confidentiality agreement...

Anyway, as soon as I can say more, I will. I think it will be A Very Good Thing for me, for this site, for its visibility. I can't wait. But I have to, because the wheels of progress, they do turn slowly.

Don't worry, though. I'll leave a forwarding address, I promise. And a few posts directing you to the new site, assuming the address changes. And emails to those of you who've commented here so that you know where to go. And banners and skywriters and carrier pigeons and personal visits to each and every one of your front doors. Not that I'm self-promoting or anything like that...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Separation of Church and State?

I am going this afternoon to enroll N in kindergarten. I have, finally, gotten together his proof of immunization, his TB test, his paperwork, the utility bills to prove residency. I also need to gather something to prove his age and legal name. Here are my options, per the information sheet sent home:

Proof of age and legal name: The child's legal name must be used on all school records. Please supply one of the following (originals only -- please, no photocopies)
1. Birth certificate
2. Passport/Visa/I94 Card
3. Baptism Certificate

Yes. You read that right. A baptism certificate is considered proof of age and legal name. Because, you know, baptism is state-sanctioned and legally binding, right?

You have no idea how close I am to bringing in N's brit milah--his certificate of circumcision--and insisting that it be accepted as his proof of age and legal name. After all, a bris is always done eight days after birth, and that IS his legal name...well, his legal Hebrew name, at least. My fear, of course, is not having the argument with the school district--if you don't know how much I would relish that, you don't know the big ball of bitterness that is me--but that some day years in the future N will spontaneously and retroactively die of embarrassment. ("Oh, god, mom, tell me you did NOT make them photocopy my bris certificate and put it in my permanent record!")

Oh, all right. I'll behave. But really. I mean, REALLY.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I'm sleeping in Em's bd tonight. She woke up when I came in to turn off her night lamp, and was shivery and sick to her stomach, so I put her upstairs in my bed with Baroy. (Lest I be accused of selfishness, let the record show that Baroy absolutely refuses to be the one to sleep in the kids' beds--not out of any unusual amount of nurturing, but because he finds their beds extremely uncomfortable. And so, if I want Em where any problems in the night can be readily detected, I have to leave her to Baroy, whose ability to wake up and hear her is variable. In other words, I'd rather be there than here. Well, except for the fact that Em kicks and moves and talks when she sleeps. I won't miss that.)

It's weird to sleep down here. This may be my/Baroy's house, but this is Em's room. It's not that I've never spent time in here, but rather that I don't really feel like I belong. I don't feel comfortable. (Not to mention the Hilary Duff calendar above my head. She's dressed kinda slutty, and I don't like having her stare down at me. This is what I put my daughter to sleep beneath each night? I must be crazy.)

Sheesh. I'm having some nasty PMS this month. One of my friends has been talking about her current journey through menopause. She's totally despondent about it, but all I can think is that if with the loss of estrogen comes the settling down of these monthly mood/patience/anxiety swings, bring it on. No time like the present.

Ugh. The corners of this room need sweeping/vacuuming. Badly.

Both cats have followed me in here. This is going to be one crowded twin bed.

The guinea pig's cage stinks. It needs cleaning something fierce.

A week from Friday is my last day in the office. Adios, dudes.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Little Oeddie Strikes Again

N came up to our bedroom Friday morning to cuddle with me for a few minutes, as he often does.

Me: Do you know what today is?
N: No.
Me: It's my and Daddy's tenth anniversary.
Me: Do you know an anniversary is?
N: No.
Me: It's the birthday or our marriage. We've got married ten years ago today.
N, coldly: That's not so cool.
Me: Well, I think it's cool.
N: I don't.

When we went downstairs a little later, Baroy gave me my gifts and I gave him his cards, and we opened a package from my mother (a gorgeous wedding quilt she'd had trouble with at the time and only finally finished recently, after threatening to give it up entirely). Baroy and I kissed several times during this, each one prompting a squealing, angry scream from N. "Stop doing that!" he yelled oh-so-seriously. Finally, I promised him that if we were going to kiss again, we'd warn him. But I forgot a little while later, at which point I was greeted with a screeching, squealing, full-blown temper tantrum: "You did it again guys! I don't like it! I'm not part of your family any more!" And he hid under the couch pillows.

Ah. Sigmund would be proud, no?

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Bastard!

Em and I went to the mall the other day, to pick up some clothes for her for the cruise. I knew she'd been there the day before with her dad, pre-shopping as it were.

Me: Em, I don't want you to tell any secrets or anything, but I just need to know if Daddy bought me a present yesterday, because we're not supposed to be buying each other presents for our anniversary.

Em: Nope. He didn't buy you anything.

Phew. So we go home, and I fill out my ten cards, thinking, "Hah! For once I'm going to be the more generous one!"

You know where this is going, right?

That night, as Baroy was leaving Em's room after kissing her goodnight, and I was entering it, he said to me, "I can't believe you tried to trick our daughter into giving away a secret!"

"What do you mean, a secret?" I replied. Lightbulb goes on: "I can't believe you bought me something!" Looking at Em, who is giggling madly: "I can't believe you lied to me!"

"I had to!" she protested. "Daddy told me not to even tell you he'd bought anything!"

I sputtered a bit and used a wide variety of curse words. (N doesn't only get his vocabulary from Baroy, you know.)

"Oh, please," Baroy said. "It's just a little something."

And so this morning I got my little something: a diamond and emerald pendant on a gold chain.

As for Baroy? He got cards.

WHAT am I going to DO with that man?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tin or Leather?

Tomorrow after work I'm going to be taking N to his Very First Sleepover. It will, of course, be at the infamous and still-much-beloved WeeyumWise's house.

Tomorrow, if there's a god, Baroy will be taking Em to her 3,978,645th sleepover. It will be at the house of, well, I'm not sure yet, because I haven't yet heard back from Choice #1's mother. But it will hopefully be somewhere. Because...

Tomorrow is our 10th wedding anniversary, and I intend to celebrate in style. What is "in style," you ask? I'm thinkin' wine. I'm thinkin' a fire in the fireplace. I'm thinkin' nookie. Best of all, I'm thinkin' not having to put anyone to bed except my husband, and I'm thinkin' not having to wake up until we wake up together. I'm thinkin' bliss.

Sound a little sedate? Well, I could remind you that we're taking a cruise in April, and so really don't need to be spending more of the money we don't have. But that would be misleading. Because, really, that is about as perfect an evening as I can think of. Booze. Ambiance. Sex. PRIVACY. Be still, my heart.

Side notes:

1. I bought Baroy ten anniversary cards, one for each year, and I tried to do a little 'remembrance' of each year in each one. Question to self: You can't remember your own middle name most days. What the fuck made you think you'd be able to remember anything special about March 2002-March 2003?

2. Yes. The two Jews got married on St. Patrick's Day. Why? As I'm sure I've said before, Baroy has a very succinct answer for that question: Because it was the date the catering hall was open. But it sure did make choosing a color scheme for the wedding quite easy; we even signed our marriage license in green ink. And it makes remembering our anniversary easy, too. Win-win.

3. Em gave us a pre-annivesary gift earlier today: a little plastic heart-shaped box that was missing its lid and was filled with dried pinto beans and had one of those fake craft-jewels sitting atop the beans. "Oh," said Baroy, trying bravely to sound excited. "Beans! How...unusual!" Em pouted for a while, insisting that we didn't like her present. And while I tried my hardest ("It's great, honey. But it's...beans! Dried beans!"), she persisted. So now? There's a plastic heart-box full of beans and a craft-jewel emerald sitting on one of our display shelves. I know, I know. But still. She's eight! It's beans! All I'm saying is that I'm not keeping it there for the next six years or something. A girl's gotta have her standards, you know.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

1 AM

It hailed today, in March, in Southern California. Hailed enough so that areas of the foothills in which I live looked snow-covered for a while. Hailed enough so that Baroy let Em and N put on their winter gear (of which we have only a pitiful collection) and go out and collect scoopfulls in a baggie. Hailed enough so that our downstairs bathroom is piled with their wet jackets and scarves and mittens and pants and shoes. Two children. Enough wet articles of clothing to cover a small nation.

It's cold, and we're spoiled. We complained all day about how freezing it was, at a high of only 55. When we curled up tonight to watch a movie together, Em asked me to start a fire. But it’s hard to keep a fire going with the wood we have piled in our backyard. It’s eucalyptus—thick and slow-burning. And so, after a few aborted attempts, I let it go.

That was at 8, 9 this evening. Just a little while ago, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed that the log was smoldering a lot, so I turned it over. It roared--or, rather, quietly grumbled--to life. And so here I am, laying in front of the fireplace, enjoying this fire while my family sleeps. I’ve put a blanket on the floor, and taken the pillows off the couch, and I’m going to take advantage of the crackling and the warmth and the quiet and the solitude and have myself a little inside camp-out.

Good night, all.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Where My Time Goes

I was recently trying to account for my time, and where it goes--or, rather, into what black hole it is sucked. Because really, there's no way that my days have the full 15 to 18 waking hours I'm told they're supposed to contain. (Nor do they have the 6 to 9 sleeping hours I've heard tell about, either.)

So I was looking at my week, and trying to sort of break down what sorts of activities I engaged in, and what sorts of activities I was supposed to, but didn't, engage in. The first thing I realized? That it's tempting to lie to myself, to claim to have devoted myself fully to the things that will make me sound selfless and motivated. (Even in my own mind, I want desperately to make a good impression. How sick is that?) It's even more tempting to do so here, online, in full view of all of you.

But instead, I give you the truth.

The truth is, I've spent WAY too many hours so far this week playing Web Sudoku. I tend to get addicted to these games, and right now it's Sudoku's turn. The pull? That you can rank yourself against other players, see where you fall on the bell curve. It's become critical to me to be on the front side of that curve at every level. Can't deal with the idea that there are people who can do this so much faster and more efficiently than I. I=Pathetic.

I've also spent a ridiculous amount of time this week--or at least the time I've spent at my office--gossiping. Mostly about myself, to be honest. Because, you know, I'm so damned interesting.

But I have done other things, too. I've finished all of my edits for my altmed journal, and begun reading proofs. I've sent about a million emails. I've completed work for both my old office and my new one. So it's not like I'm shirking...just not quite getting as much done as I otherwise could. (I'd insert here a defense of myself of the "of course, nobody can work all the time, which is why the goofing off is OK" line, but I know that's crap, because I'm playing well past stress-relief time, and well into obsession time.)

The one thing missing from this? My kids. Haven't done Floortime with N in ages. I barely have the energy to listen to Em when she's reading or babbling, though I am able to focus when she talks about 'real' problems, thank goodness.

[As an aside, I love that she comes to me and values my advice and really listens to what I have to say. I know that it's because she's only 8, and that it's only a hormone-laden second away, that day when I become stupid and evil, but I'm trying not to think about that, and to instead focus on the here and now, the loveliness of my relationship with her, and how it's nearly exactly what I'd hoped it would be. N's still too young to have a relationship with in that way, and I fear that it will be harder to develop a similar one with him, anyway, since he already has that 'boy thing' going on where he doesn't know how to talk about his internal day, his life inside, whereas that's always been Em's forte.]

But as my working-mom friends are wont to say, to everything there is a season (turn, turn, turn). Who knows what the next week, and the week after, will hold, right? In the meantime, I have to go. I still haven't mastered the "evil" level of Sudoku, and that is just not acceptable.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

In Which I Demonstrate My Lack Of Attention Span

1. I don't know what all those reviewers are talking about. I thought Jon Stewart was hiLARious. Though clearly the only person at the Kodak Theater who agreed with me was the scrumpdillyicious George Clooney.

2. N is starting to read. At first I didn't realize he was doing so, because he's doing it the complete and total opposite way Em did. She was a sounder-outer of the first degree, while he...well, he still can't tell you what sound various letters make (even though he can identify and write every single one of them) (she says, making sure nobody thinks her kid is slow, because she's That Kind of Mother) so sounding out is not his thing. With him, he just picks words up, one or two at a time. When you point to a word he either knows it--and thus doesn't hesitate for a second before saying it--or he doesn't, in which case he shrugs and says, "I dunno," and waits for you to tell him.

3. My mother turns 65 on Thursday. Wow. (And yes, she was young--not quite 23--when she had me. She always says we grew up together.)

4. South Dakota can blow me. So, for that matter, can Dubya. But neither of them can have sex with me. Because if I got pregnant, I'd be shit out of luck.

5. It's looking like March 31 will be my last day as an office slave. Can I say woo? And hoo?

6. N may not be able to sound words out, but he has finally--at 5 years of age--figured out how to rhyme.

N: Hey, Mommy!
TC: Yes?
N: I can make a rhyming! Watch this! ... Duck ... Fuck! They rhyme!


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dum DumDaDum Dum Dum

I graduated from therapy yesterday! I'm fixed! (Shut up, you.)

You'd think I'd have lots and lots to say about that, but I don't. It was obvious to both of us that, in the absence of new Stalker Sightings, the rest of my problems have significantly abated over time. Taking that final step, finding myself work that I can be excited about and by, taking control over a situation I thought was uncontrollable...that's been done. When I first started seeing her, a year and a bit ago, I was absolutely certain that there was no way out for me at my job and in my unhappiness. And then, suddenly, there was. Or at least I could recognize the options before me, and consider the trade-offs, and have control over whether I did or did not do something to make myself happier. Which she did for me, or with me. And for which I am truly grateful.

So I have control. And I'm happy (though I feel great trepidation saying that, putting it out there, lest the gods of hubris strike me down). Certainly, I'm less anxious, and less scared about what will happen if I become anxious. I'm still me, and I still have my foibles, and I still don't have control over Stalker Girl, but I'm about as well-positioned as I can be in this, my life. And so I'm moving on, though with the promise that I can come scampering back should the need arise, of course.

The only bummer? No cap and gown. And no senior prom. I never did get a senior prom.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Little Bits of N

A sneeze from downstairs.
"My sneeze is still back!"
"Oh? Oh, yeah, I hear that."
"My sneeze is still back, but my cough is gone. My cough is gone, but my sneeze? Still back."
A sudden cough from downstairs.
"Oh no! My cough is still back, too!"

Baroy: OK, guys, time to get in pjs.
N, stamping his foot: Fuck!
Dead silence.
Me: What did you say?
N, smiling slyly: Fuck!
Me: Where did you get that word from?
N, without hesitation: Daddy.

[Baroy's only comment in the email he sent to his brothers? "Busted."

There was an immediate, detectable difference in N the other night. As we were getting ready to leave, to take him and Em to a group babysitting site so that Baroy and I could go to a PTA dinner, he grabbed his stuffed dog. "This is for in case I get scared," he said.

As we were walking in, he announced, "I'm not shy of the people. I'm shy of Mommy and Daddy leaving." We explained to him that we'd be back later, that Em would stick by him and help him. I did note, with raised eyebrows, that he let us go quite easily.

But nothing could have prepared me for what we saw when we got back. Em, in one of the downstairs rooms, playing with a friend from school. And N, upstairs, in another room, watching a movie with the rest of the kids, sitting on the lap of his "new best friend," a teenaged boy.

As we left, the various people there called goodbye to him, told us how adorable he'd been, how much they'd enjoyed having him. Nothing about crying or hiding or baby voices or imaginary friends. Em said he'd played with the big boy primarily, but with other kids as well. Other kids! There just aren't words for how my heart leapt. This could have been--almost should have been--a recipe for disaster. Instead, I show up at the end, and nobody looks at me funny, nobody talks to me about "warning signs" or "red flags." They just think he's adorable, and they tell me how well he did. They don't know that there are or have been issues. They just know that this cute kid came and played and left. Like any other cute kid would.

I couldn't have been happier.

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