Thursday, March 26, 2009
In addition to being incredibly unprofessional, it was also utterly perplexing at first. It happened while I was watching the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are, which was one of my favorite books as a kid and is-- to my delight-- T's favorite book now.
We read it every night, him and me. He memorized it long ago, so that I simply need to say "The night Max wore his wolf suit..." to get him going.
The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another, his mother called him "WILD THING!" and Max said “I’LL EAT YOU UP!" so he was sent to bed without eating anything.
I'm finding the age of 2 (almost 3) to be kicking my ass. It's both frustrating and humbling that a person who still wears robot pajamas can cause me to lose my patience in a way no one else can. They don't tell you this when they hand you your baby at the hospital, when your love is simple and overwhelming. They don't tell you that your love will get deeper and more intricate, and in a few short years, you will vacillate between wanting to gather your kid in the world's biggest embrace, and wanting to leave him on the doorstep of a kind-looking neighbor. Or maybe even a neighbor who doesn't look like an ax murderer. Perhaps just someone who’s not actively holding an ax.
I wish there was a book I could read; one that would tell me that there are other people out there who feel guilty about not feeling guilty when they leave for work in the morning. People who have to spend 48 hours alone with their kids, and feel so utterly exhausted at the end, and well, embarrassed that other parents out there that do this EVERY SINGLE DAY, not just two. And they likely do it without fantasizing about being on a tropical beach, or hell, maybe just having a half hour to read Us Weekly cover to cover. People who—despite those feelings, still feel this complicated tug on their hearts when they walk in the door at the end of the day, and hear the shrieks and the little feet running as their keys hit the lock, a wordless testament to just how much their kids miss them.
That very night in Max’s room a forest grew and grew and grew and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around. And an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max. And he sailed off through night and day, and in and out of weeks, and almost over a year to where the wild things are.
Since I have only a few hours with the kids each night, we stick with a schedule. Each night, after we read the story, he makes me re-open it to the part where the forest starts growing in Max’s room. In fact, we’ve been doing this for so long that the book falls open to this page. We prop it up on a pillow, and he falls asleep curled towards it…it’s part of the routine. I know there’s going to come a time soon when he asks for a different story, or shrugs off the whole Propping of the Book altogether.
And I think—no, I’m pretty sure--that that’s why I started tearing up today. By the time he’s going to be old enough to see the movie, it--and thereby, the book he so loved as a toddler--won’t be relevant to him anymore. He’s going to get taller and faster and less chipmunk-cheeked; it’s happening already, I see it every day. He’ll turn into a little boy, and I’ll need to let him go. Not completely, of course, but to let him stumble-—to deal with it on his own when someone takes his toy, or to pick himself up when he takes a spill, or run off with his friends without a second glance back towards me. And even though he exasperates me sometimes, I want to hold him that much closer when I think about all of this.
And when he came to the place where the wild things are, they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws till Max said “BE STILL!” and tamed them with the magic trick of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once and they were frightened and called him the most wild thing of all.
I mean, it’s scary, raising little kids. You struggle with wanting to bring them up to be good, confident people without crossing that line of turning them into spoiled, cocky brats. You want them to be humble, but not timid. To speak their minds, and be independent, but not seem arrogant. You struggle with wanting to be yourself --not some parent-like automaton--but still set a good example at all times. It’s not easy, this constant juggling. At the end of it all, you turn them loose on the world, hoping that it treats them right, and that you’ve given them whatever skills you can to enable them to navigate their way through in it.
“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”
I have no idea what comes next. I’m phasing out of thinking of T in terms of being one of my two babies, and wrapping my mind around the idea of him as a little boy. I’m sure he'll fill the coming years with good times and times that are…less so. And even though this book may gradually drop out of his life, and even though I’ll be an imperfect mom at times, if I do my job right, he’ll always know that this is the place for him, the place where “someone loves him best of all.”
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Well, perhaps this is un-parent-y of me to admit, but that is totally how I feel about potty training. Imagine my delight, therefore, when I was contacted by Pull-Ups to blog about potty training T. My wish! Granted! Huzzah! I'm excited, but also scared, because this isn't like when I blog about lip gloss, or hobos, or any of the other topics I know like the back of my hand. You see, I am by no means a potty training expert, so this is going to be...fun? Interesting? Possibly involving numerous laughs at my clueless expense?
I'll be writing about the process at my other blog over the next few weeks; my first post is live, so please come check it out. And my god, HELP ME:
So, I have to admit something—up until recently, I was feeling pretty good about myself, in terms of the whole parenting thing. I mean, sure, it’s really a “learn on the job”-type gig, but with rare exception, I wasn’t really questioning my skills.
Like I said, UP UNTIL RECENTLY.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I haven’t been much for breakfast these past few years; most days find me waking up nauseated (at worst), or with no appetite (at best). Oh, I get plenty hungry as the day wears on, but the mornings? Not for me. I’m fairly certain it has something to do with the fact that I spent a combined total of almost 18 months pregnant, stricken with “morning” sickness, and consequently, barfing my way through each pregnancy. (And yes, that is up to and including delivery date of both children.) Invariably, I’d kick off each day with the ever-pleasant “brushin’ my teeth, brushin’ my teeth, OH SHIT, HERE WE GO AGAIN… HWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK COUGH, COUGH. GWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUCHHHH.”
(Thank you, Kdiddy, for your most accurate barfing sound effect help.)
So, yeah, Movie Poster. I guess you could say I’ve developed these unpleasant associations with morning, and all that it stands for. As a result, I usually walk around in a state of blehhh as the day begins, subsisting on coffee, and then commencing the inevitable March to the Vending Machine around 10 am or so. Yes, I KNOW, that’s not “healthy” or “nutritionally sound,” but you’re a movie poster, for crissakes, so I don’t know where you get off, passing judgment on people.
Where was I?
Anyway, Movie Poster, the time has come for us to have a little chat. I know you’ve seen me these past few weeks. I’m the brown-haired girl hustling down the subway corridor from Grand Central Terminal each morning, wearing a hipster-ish looking white knit beret thing (It’s WARM, OKAY?) and carrying a bag large enough to smuggle a morbidly obese cat. I know you’ve seen me, Movie Poster, because the first time I spotted you, I literally stopped in my tracks, mouth agape for a good minute or so. And considering that this expanse of the corridor is populated by drunken sleeping hobos, the Walking Insane, as well as Blind Homeless Guy Who Sings Off-Key Renditions of Big Band Standards, all of whom I pass without a second glance, it takes A HELL OF A LOT to make an impression on me.
Oh, don’t PLAY COY WITH ME, Movie Poster. You know EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID. Look at yourself! LOOK AT YOURSELF!
Yeah, not so chatty now, are you? I mean, my god. What were you thinking? Your title is pretty self-explanatory, and although I personally have no interest in scary ghost movies (I’m pretty sure I still have PTSD from seeing The Ring five years ago, and OH MY GOD, SHE’S HERE RIGHT NOW ISN’T SHE? SHE’S GOING TO CRAWL OUT OF THE TV LIKE A CRAZY-ASS CRAB LADY AS SOON AS I TURN MY BACK WHYYYY), I know some people are into that sort of thing. And presumably, would have paid good money to go see the film you’re touting. So, I’m thinking maybe an ominous-looking house, a wraithlike, shadowy blob of evil, or hell, even a possessed child or two leering out from the poster would have sealed the deal for them.
And so, I must ask—what was the goal here? To shock? Mission accomplished. But in terms of getting asses in movie seats, may I ask who in GOD’S NAME—even if they enjoy the, uh, demonic possession genre—is going to see this poster, and think to themselves, “Will you look at that! A young boy, projectile vomiting into mid-air! And—oh, wow! I can ACTUALLY SEE the vomit, with great detail! Honey! HONEY! We simply must get tickets! Fandango this mofo!” Who, I ask you, who? And Movie Poster, if you even JOKINGLY bring up 2Girls1Cup*, I WILL END YOU.
My point, Movie Poster, is that I have a hard enough time getting through the morning on even the best of days, and you are not helping matters IN THE LEAST. I literally want to throw up every time I see you, and even if I look the other way? I STILL KNOW YOU’RE THERE. And hey--I know times are rough, and if I thought the AGGRESSIVELY GROSS image plastered across you was somehow driving people to see the movie, I’d try to understand. I sincerely doubt, though, that that is the case.
And so in closing, Movie Poster, I hope one of the corridor-dwelling hobos defaces you post-haste so I can once again walk to the train without fear of Impending Barf looming. Until that time comes, however, I will be taking the long way to the train, cursing you with every fiber of my being.
*I blame my favorite morning radio show (Opie & Anthony) for the fact that I know what this is. Please, please, if you don’t already know what it is, you are better off, and I am jealous that you can continue living your life without knowing. In the name of all things sacred DO NOT GOOGLE. And if you refuse to listen to me, then for crying out loud, don’t Google at work. NO, SERIOUSLY.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
J and I decided long ago that we would allow ourselves the “luxury” of sending out our laundry rather than doing it ourselves. Before you write me off as some bonbon-eating layabout, you should know that we both work full-time, and our building does not allow washing machines in individual apartments. And so basically, our options were:
(A) spending half of our Sundays fighting with the crazy old bats who commandeer the machines in our laundry room, INCLUDING THE ONE WHO FILED A FORMAL COMPLAINT THAT SOMEONE CAME TO HER APARTMENT AND REMOVED HER BRA WHILE SHE SLEPT AND I WISH I WAS KIDDING BUT LO, I AM NOT;
(B) Engaging in some wacky Three’s Company-style hijinks to secretly smuggle in a mini-washer/dryer, which would undoubtedly flood the building and then we'd need to live in our parking garage space, and we'd end up on the Tyra Banks Show because she'd have decided that she was going to do another one of her hard-hitting "investigative journalism" pieces where she puts on a bandana, ripped jeans, and smudged eyeshadow on her face to pretend she's homeless; or
(C) Sacking up and shelling out triple the cash to have someone else do the job, and return the clothes to us all fresh-smelling and neatly folded and SHUT UP IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Honestly, we’ve been doing this so long that I kind of…forget that, you know, ours isn’t the only laundry that the service does.
I was reminded of it a few summers ago, when I pulled these bad boys out of the laundry bag, and was scarred forever.
Partially because of the, you know, strange granny panties mixed in with my clothes, but also because it meant that the laundress (I am bringing that word back) apparently thought that these just seemed like they suited me. I mean, she’s SEEN the rest of my clothes, you know? I don’t own pleat-front pants, or mom jeans, or a denim vest with floral appliqué. I was deeply saddened by her insinuation.
Since that time, we’ve only had an errant itchy wool or turquoise-spangled sock here and there in our laundry. I’d honestly pretty much forgotten all about the drama of the granny panties.
Today, I found this in our laundry.
I inspected the raggedy thong, and informed J that we had once again been visited by the Strange Laundry Fairy. He was all, “how do you know they’re not yours?” And while the question was valid, I handily answered his question by informing him that:
A) My butt—being larger than a Bratz doll’s—would never have fit into them.
B) If I had purchased the teeny tiny doll-sized panties in a fit of delusion, I’d certainly have tossed them by this point, given their current dilapidated state; and
C) Perhaps most importantly, my name is not Lupe. Even if it WAS, however, I would not—as Lupe did—write the name “Lupe” on the tag of my underwear in permanent marker because I am not 14 and at sleep-away camp.
The real question here, obviously, is which would you prefer mixed in with YOUR laundry?
My god, this is like some sort of amazing personality profile assessment come to life. (Granted, I have no idea what your choice would say about you, but still! I have one whole semester of Cognitive Psych--from nearly 10 years ago-- under my belt, so I’m prettttty sure I can figure it all out.) I mean, in the game of Mystery Unmentionables (which, by the way, is going to be the next single off my album), if you had to choose one, would you rather find Aggressively TALL Floral Granny panties, owner unknown, OR the tattered G-string worn to shreds by Lupe the Underwear Personalizing, Tiny-Butted Lady ?
Having experienced both, I'm still not sure of an answer, but whatever.
I'm cueing the Jeopardy music as we speak, people!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
[attempting to find appropriate scent-related analogy...]
Like a PIG digging for TRUFFLES!
ANYway, I need more information about Electric Youth. I had no idea Debbie Gibson had her own perfume, and this saddens me greatly. Also, a number of commenters reminded me of a few scents I inadvertently left off my list—Ex!Cla!Ma!Tion!, and the Gap scents (specifically, Heaven and Dream), which I distinctly remember wearing mid-high school, and which I also remember eliciting the following comment from my mom’s friend: “That stuff makes you smell like the type of lady who was ridden hard and put away wet.”
I WAS FIFTEEN.
I will keep you posted on my search for the next great scent; thank you all so much once again for sharing your perfume favorites and memories (good and malodorous).
And because there really is no great segue from perfume to Jewish rituals/holidays, I’ll just have to dive right in:
The holiday of Purim began last night; as I mentioned when I wrote about it last year, it’s kind of like a Jewish Halloween, in terms of costumes and candy. And sorry, God, for that gross oversimplification, but there are COSTUMES TO DISCUSS. COME ON, MY...YOU.
Now, T is still at that amazingly malleable and suggestible age where we can decide what we want him to be for Purim, and he’ll just go along for the ride. I figure I have two more years, TOPS, before he decides he will NOT be, say, Early John Lennon, but rather, that he needs to be Diego, Superman, or Harvey the Mystical Woodland Gnome. The latter of which is not, to my knowledge, an actual licensed character (YET), but who knows what’s going to be big in 2011?
NOT to disparage any of those costumes, but I do like going off the beaten path a bit with these types of things. Anyway, we looked high and low for a costume that could top Purim '08's Later Elvis.
For this year, I had a master plan involving dressing him up as Johnny Lawrence, but the gi was too large. Also, it did not have “Cobra Kai” emblazoned across the chest. Nor was it black and yellow. Or sleeveless. Or--okay, basically, it kind of just looked like oversized pajamas. Like in those Frosted Mini Wheats commercials from the mid-‘80s where the stodgy adult would espouse the virtues of the wheat side of the...Mini-Wheat, and then they’d shrink in their (now-super-big) clothes and talk about how “the kid in [them]” loved the frosting and DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT I KNOW YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.
So, a big fat "no" to that plan, then.
Just when I’d given up hope and was going to grudgingly buy a cartoon costume, I spotted it: Pleather pants! Mesh tattoo sleeve shirt! Fake chain! Red bandana! Guitar and microphone!
BABY BRET MICHAELS.
Okay, FINE. It wasn’t Bret Michaels, but rather, a more innocuously-named “Toddler Rocker” costume. I KNOW THE TRUTH, Costume Company! T’s a HUGE fan of anything music-related, particularly when it comes to guitars, so we knew this would go over in a big, big way.
I must say, he rocked the shit out of it.
“Evvvvv’ry roooose has its thorn...
Just like evvvvv’ry night has its dawunnnn…”
As for Lo, she was going to be a giraffe, but honestly, that just seemed kind of...not in the same realm of her brother’s costume. Well, unless she was going to be one of these giraffes:
And then I remembered--she had the world’s most hideous jeans! And so, we decided to make her a hippie, incorporating said jeans into the costume. All it took was one $10 shirt, an old, weird necklace of mine, and a 49 cent headband to pull the outfit together:
This kids had a blast at the Purim carnival that took place at our synagogue last night, during which Lo completely passed out cold. This, according to my brother, was due to her “tripping HARD on Baby Motrin and exhausted from a full day of fighting The Man.” SO TRUE, man.
At this point, the only real question is what they’re going to be next year. If I may say so, these costumes are going to be hard to top.
I'm thinking something disco-ish, possibly involving platform boots with live goldfish in the heels. I'll let you know.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I was pregnant when she wrote her post, so I’ll blame the lapse in memory on Pregnancy Brain, a convenient catchall excuse if ever there was one. Still, I’m glad I mentioned it to her, because I’d have hated for her to read this post and think to herself, “That Metalia. Not only does she drink corn juice, but she also steals post ideas and passes them off as her own.”
However! I promptly forgot about the idea to write the post (as I am wont to do), and was only reminded of it once again yesterday: I had occasion to try a bunch of new perfumes (by which I mean, “wandered out for lunch and found myself lured into Sephora by some sort of cosmetic-related tractor beam”), and -- I don't know, you guys. I really wanted to find a New Perfect Scent, and maybe I have some sort of hypersensitive olfactory issues, but it’s like, NOTHING made me happy, perfume-wise. I finally settled on one (ONE) scent that made the cut (i.e., to actually try out ON MY PERSON, as opposed to the little paper stick), and it was a colossal mistake. It smelled kind of okay, but also kind of like you’d imagine a drunk-ass ho would smell on Taxicab Confessions. Or Flavor of Love. Or Rock of Love. Or--well, any show featuring copious appearances by drunk-ass hos, really.
I suppose it’s back to my old standbys for now, but first! (With a nod to lovely Slynnro) I bring you my perfume timeline:
1) Tribe – Okay. I’m probably the only person who ever wore this, but this was one of the “body sprays” made oh-so-popular in the late-‘80s early ‘90s. I believe the commercial had some heavy
2) Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden- Oh, how I begged for this for Hanukkah when I was in eighth grade. BEGGED. To my delight, I received it, and thought it was pretty much the best scent ever. I distinctly recall telling my mom how I would never be sick of it, ever. In retrospect, “cloying” doesn’t even begin to describe this perfume. I am sad to report that on special days, I would apply the perfume…while wearing my awesome floor-length navy blue jumper, which was covered with…you guessed it! Enormous, man-eating sunflowers! Completing the look were scrunch socks and clunky mary janes, so I really had quite the look going there for a while.
3) CKOne- Oh, ninth grade. The scent is actually not too bad, but once again, it’s what I wore it WITH that makes me cringe: Doc Martens, baggy jeans, thermal tees and flannel shirts OHMIGOD I KNOW, I LITERALLY THOUGHT I WAS ONE OF THE MODELS IN THE AD.
4) Polo (the men’s version)- I didn’t personally wear it, but a number of my guy friends/boyfriends in high school did. This, to me, still smells great, and if I catch a whiff of it, it totally takes me back, and makes me think of high school boys.
Wait!! I didn’t mean--Not ACTUAL high school boys, right now, it’s just that it reminds me of BEING in high sch—No! No! Call off the Cougar alert! NOOOOO!
5) Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey – Show of hands: Was there honestly anyone out there who DIDN’T wear this, at least for a little bit?
6) Dirt by Demeter – I love this brand’s concept of kitschy, offbeat scents (e.g., Play-Doh, Funeral Home, etc.), and Dirt is my very favorite. I actually bought this in the Sephora located at the mall beneath the
8) Light Blue by Dolce & Gabanna – I began wearing this mid-college, right around the time when I first met J (we didn’t date until after we’d graduated, but that’s a story for another day); as a result, my scent memory (that’s a thing, right?) has the two of them inexorably linked in my mind. It’s still my go-to scent, and I really will never tire of it. ( Or him, for that matter.)
9) Spring Fever by Origins- I began wearing this when I started my first job, and wanted a new light-but-professional scent to be my "Work Perfume." (I AM A LOSAH.) Though, strictly speaking, I can’t speak for the perfume itself, but I am a huge, HUGE fan of their scented “body soufflé." To me, this just smells FRESH and CLEAN and SPRINGY (the season, not…not--the metal coils) and is another one of my “classics” that I hope I never get sick of.
10) Brit by Burberry – SPEAKING OF getting sick of things, I got this riiiight before I got pregnant with Toopweets. I loved it! Wore it everywhere! Adored it to no end!
After I became pregnant, I was stricken with really bad morning sickness, the kind that’s set off by merely thinking about boiled chicken, or shampoo, or…or..,YOUR (HERETOFORE) FAVORITE PERFUME. My god, it was truly a marvel at how quickly my feelings on this perfume turned.
Mentally, I knew I ENJOYED the scent, but in actuality, it had this visceral, violent, hurl-inducing effect on me. Of course, by this point, it was, like, embedded in everything I owned, so I pretty much wanted to die. Well, throw up constantly. Whatever. Funnily enough, even though I’m no longer pregnant, and the perfume no longer makes me ill, the MEMORY of it has effectively killed this perfume for me, forever.
So! What about you? What were some of your favorite perfumes/HUGE-ASS FRAGRANCE MISTAKES?
And equally important, now that you know the scents I currently wear on a regular basis (Light Blue and Spring Fever), do you have any recommendations for me? As much as I love them, I’m still looking for a new scent, considering I haven’t found (a new) The One in over three years.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Thoughts from watching a rerun of Unwrapped WAY too late at night, after being stuck inside all day. (Thanks a lot, BLIZZARD.)
- THAT’S Chef Paul Prudhomme? I thought that was Dom DeLuise. In fact, I’m still--yeah, I’m pretty sure they’re the same person. And I have no idea why.
- Speaking of which, I wonder if anyone else ever saw that movie Dom DeLuise was in, with the rascally mob-affiliated dog--voiced by Burt Reynolds--who gets snuffed out in a mob hit by a rival mob dog, and then he can’t get into heaven, and so he enlists the help of an adorable earthly orphan moppet, and then a ginormous sewer monster/alligator sings like Ethel Merman. No one ever believes me when I tell them that this is an actual movie. For children. Or anyone who's not currently under the influence of vast quantities of hallucinogenic drugs.
- Wait—was Dom DeLuise even IN that? Or am I confused because it’s a Don Bluth film?
- Ah, thank you, Wikipedia. It’s a Don Bluth film STARRING Dom DeLuise. Or possibly, according to me, Chef Paul Prudhomme. THIS IS JUST CONFUSING.
- Focus, Metalia, focus. Annnd, host Marc Summers just used the phrase “my inner squirrel,” which, while troubling, would also make a FANTASTIC band name.
- Commercial for Ace of Cakes! Must squelch weird secret crush on Duff! Squelching, squelching…Ah, the moment’s passed.
- Oh, this is some bullshit right here. What a ripoff. I could TOTALLY make my own sea salt, SHOW! All I need is…oh. Access to the sea. And an intricate drying tent involving a complicated system of solar panels. Huh. Well played, sea salt artisan. Well played.
- Too many of these episodes remind me of the fact that actual human hands have touched my foodstuffs before they reach me. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.
- And now Marc is talking about shelf-stabilized pickles, which, gross. Also, the Vlasic pickle stork is among the freakier Random Cartoon Mascots. Doesn’t the stork bring babies? Are pickles a metaphor for babies? Pickle babies? Who thought of this? WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE? On the scale of Cartoon Mascot Badness, this is worse than that freaky mock turtleneck-wearing Golden Crisp Bear, but not quite as bad as the Charmin toilet paper bears. NOTHING IS WORSE THAN THEM. And ohmigod, the guy in the Pickle Stork costume is NOT helping to distract me from the fact that Purim is next week, and I STILL haven’t picked out costumes for the kids. (IF SOMEONE GIVES ME AN AWESOME IDEA THAT I USE, I WILL...I WILL…GIVE YOU SOMETHING. SOMETHING AWESOME. LIP GLOSS? A CD? GOLDEN DOUBLOONS? PLEASE HELP MEEEEEE.)