Sunday, February 19, 2006

Dog Eat Bunny Day

It is the kind of bitter cold weekend where your teeth hurt when you go outside. The snow is starched stiff, the cars don’t start and even the dog don’t dilly-dawdle when she pees. Not much fun for sledding or snowfort building, so we all kind of hibernate in our apartment. Miss Petunia’s got a drippy nose, seems tired and screams with gas pain (?) from time to time. All she wants to do is nurse. Jujimo’s got a sore throat and achy ears, so other than swim lessons on Saturday morning, he stays in his PJ’s and watches the Olympics, builds with blocks and tries to harness some solar energy to power a small radio. The dog sleeps in patches of sun on the carpet.

I finally get out of the house to go to the gym late in the day, a much needed break, as I feel I’m melting into the baby. When I get home I try to break up the frozen packed-down snow from the sidewalk (one of the neighbors started shoveling, but only got halfway through the job and then disappeared (alien abduction?). Little Petunia falls into my arms when I get upstairs and drifts off to sleep. But within minutes, the thin veneer of civilized family life slips away.

The dog, riled up from being out in the cold, races around the house with the baby’s stuffed bunny in her mouth, crashing into the laundry basket while barking at the noises coming from the heating vent. The baby's cries wind up into a screaming fury of unconsolability (she’s way overtired) and Pappa J and Jujimo are in the kitchen arguing about how to make mac and cheese (no you don’t need butter, yes you do, no you don’t...). Fake cheese powder, the color of construction-cone orange, goes flying and uncooked noodles coat the stove. The baby keeps crying. Jujimo serves up the mac and cheese and Pappa J cooks some morning star frozen veggi bites and broccoli. Dinner is eaten standing up while watching Apolo Anton Ono come in first in the speed skating short track semi-finals.

By the time Shani Davis speed skates into a gold, bumping the PO’ed Hendriks into sixth place, Jujimo has picked out and eaten all of the red skittles out of a one-pound bag, the dog successfully marked the baby’s bunny with her dog-breath drool, and Pappa J and I have argued about the basket of wet laundry sitting on the bed, the un-shoveled sidewalk, the fact that he had to work on Sunday and how he got me a size small sweater for our 10th anniversary, knowing that I was still wearing my “postpartum”clothes. Now, as I sit here trying to teach baby Pet to put the nuk in her mouth herself (a good night’s sleep and she’s fully recovered) I can laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, but I’m telling you, yesterday was a dog eat bunny day.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

By Way of Introductions...

I was inspired by other mothering-oriented blogs and websites to start my own rambling blog, Monpon. I am a stay-at-home mom with a new baby girl, 3 months (Little Pet) , a 9 and1/2 year old son, (Sir Juji, esq. Child lawyer) and Stelladogdingo, the jealous, aussy-mix middle dog-child. My husband, Dr. J, is finishing his residency in Neurology. I am going to art school part-time and have a background in non-profit writing and editing. Since I am only taking 3 credits this semester, I decided to entertain myself with a this new past time.

Little Pet is on my lap right now blowing bubbles and reaching for the keyboard. It is a stormy, snowy midwest afternoon and I will be digging out my car to head to class in a few hours. Last Tuesday, my father-in-law, who usually watches Little Pet, was out west for the week so I decided to take her to lecture with me. This is a class of about 300 hundred, so I figured no one would notice this little head of black hair sticking out of my pouch, and plus, I looked forward to the lecture on digital arts, and getting out of the house.

I admit I had this underlying suspicion that it might not go over that well with the college crowd, who for the most part think anything related to babies is uncool. I'm about 10-15 years older than the typical college student and I can say from the bottom of my heart that I am really glad to be over 30. But the guy sitting next to me didn't seem to mind, just kept text snapping open his cell every few minutes to check for messages. A couple of young ladies snorted when I sat down, diaper bag in tow, and got up to move with a snide "I don't want a screaming child in my ear" comment spoken to no one in particular. I just figure if other students can eat, sleep and play poker on their laptops during lecture, I should be able to bounce a baby on my lap.

And Little Pet did fine; she slept for a half hour, sat in my lap and looked around for another half hour and not until the last half hour did she start smacking on her hands, sneezing and fussing. I even got away with a stop-and-draw moment (in which we speedily draw whatever is projected on the slide). So, aside from minimal hostility, the whole bring baby to work (or school) thing worked out ok, but let's admit that this society aint exactly child-friendly. Now, the next challenge is bringing Sir Juji to my 3 hour lab class in a few weeks...