Friday, January 24, 2014

January 24th

This morning, Meri and I danced around downstairs to the sounds of Tupelo Honey. Like the good girl that she is, she was drawn to the music, looking over at the computer speakers with fascination and jumping up and down in an excited, if uncoordinated way.

In general, she enjoys most of the songs on my Dire Straits Pandora radio station. It is my fond hope that by exposing her to such good music so early, I am inoculating her against any Justin Bieber-esce nonsense that in her future pop culture might hold.

Only time will tell if I am successful in this endeavor.

This morning, I am eating breakfast while it is still warm and the bed is already made and on the fridge, a message of love is spelled out in alphabet magnets: love u kitns.

This message is laid out above the chart for a weekend juice cleanse, which for some reason still hangs on there, despite the fact that I pretty much have abandoned the discipline, and must now figure out what to do with a pound of spinach leaves and other assorted vegetables.

Keith came home from work early yesterday, just in time to catch a cooking show where they were demonstrating the art of the cheese steak sandwich. This particular version was made with three kinds of cheeses, including mozzarella and cream cheese. We were in awe.

"Your mom used to cook like that for me," Keith told Meri sadly.

Those were the days. I suspect they will be returning shortly.

Meri has grown so much; each morning, she looks cuter. She is growing out of all her sleepers and onesies.

When she wakes, she sings to herself softly for a long while, before deciding that enough is enough and she has better turn up the volume and so announce herself to the waiting world, and also to wake Mom.

When she sees me, her entire body is filled with joy and her face is filled with laughter. It's the most marvelous thing. When I carry her down the stairs, I swing her around so I'm holding her wrapped close in my arms, because lately she loves to fling herself one way or the other, heedless of gravity or any other consequence.

"Safety latch!" I declare to her, smiling down at her and she breaks into a delighted grin. She thinks this is a game. But when we reach the foot of the stairs, she likes to stay there, curled up close to me, just looking up at me, and we end up dancing slowly around the kitchen, even when there is no music.

Per her doctor, we have started her on rice cereal. She was not impressed with this foreign substance and could not figure out why it was being put in her mouth. She promptly spit it all out again, as if that were her job. When I persisted, she pouted and looked around her for reprieve, any reprieve.

It broke Daddy's heart, who happened to be filming this event. It is not for nothing that we have dubbed her sad expression "the pouty face of infinite cuteness." It rarely appears, but when it does, to a man we are undone, we are slain. This does not bode well for future discipline, but we will do the best we can in the face of unstoppable adorableness.

Keith had to try the rice cereal himself, as he doubted that my bright expressions of "It's delicious! Delicious num nums! Delicious num nums for you!" held any truth.

Indeed, they did not. "That is not delicious," declared Keith, bitterly.

I tried to explain to Keith the Theory of Parenting When Trying New Things, but that was not the moment for it. Keith was filled only with commiseration, so we ceased Operation Num Nums, knowing that the battle might be lost, but the war was not over.

Two weeks later, she is willing to eat half the bowl- which amounts to a tablespoon, and even manages to swallow most of one spoonful at one go. The rest of it goes everywhere else.

She sits on my lap during this process, because, as her highchair was being assembled, a strap got caught in the place where the instructions strictly warned and forbade it from getting caught- we will not say whose fault that was- and now it seems to be permanent part of the structure, unless we can figure out how to undo the hinges and each time I look at it, I am filled with despair, so my lap it is.

Which reminds me of her last doctor's appointment. It was set for three in the afternoon and coming up on this event, that hour seemed to provide ample time for preparation. In fact, in order to prepare, I had given the baby a bath in the morning, so that she would be all sweetly clean and smelling of lotion for the doctor, who would then be doubtless impressed with my mothering skills.

After her bath, I decided it would be a great idea to give her downy, clean smelling hair its first comb with a tiny baby comb, so that she would be especially adorable. As soon as I did this, all of her cradle cap decided to come loose at once. This was horrifying.

"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, you're beautiful, this is mommy's fault! What was mommy thinking? Don't worry this is fine, this is going to be okay," I was wailing, while attempting to get her hair free of the stuff, but there was no end of it. Baby herself was unaware that tragedy was occurring right then and there, on top of her head and continued contentedly chewing on her fingers.

(I called my mom later, and my mother said the exact thing had happened to her, with me.

"All the baby books said to leave it be, that it was fine, and not mess with it, so I did, until now!" I wailed. "I just wanted to comb her hair! Surely I must comb her hair sometime!"

"No, that is right," my mom assured me. "It's perfectly natural. It'll go away on it's own."

But I digress.)

I did the best I could with it, but I didn't want to annoy the innocent child, so I had to leave it be. By two thirty, I suddenly found myself with a baby with a head full of dandruff to wake and change and insert into car seat, car seat to insert into car, diaper bag to sling in with, purse to be located and directions to be found, just in case.

In order not to lose my phone, I had jammed it into the back pocket of my jeans. Before beginning preparations for baby, I had decided I had better use the bathroom myself, because heaven forbid this need should arrive at the doctor's office, where all and sundry must enter the restroom with me and how on earth? Best not even to allow for this.

However- the best laid plans and all that. Somehow, the phone fell with a terrible plunk into the toilet. This was a shocking on many levels.

Fortunately, the water was still as clean as toilet water can ever be said to be, and so, after a horrified moment of wrestling all my best instincts down, I reached right in and grabbed the phone and then held it, dripping in my hand, and wondered what the next step might be in this unfortunate and unforeseen event.

I tossed it into the sink, realized I needed to wash my hand, realized I couldn't with the phone in the sink and realized I needed to get the phone dry if I were ever to use it again. So I used toilet paper and then remembered the small bit of brown rice still in the pantry, and how that is useful when a phone is wet.

So into the bag of rice the phone was tossed, I was able to wash my hands and then I realized I had yet to even wake the baby up. Somehow I remained calm while waking and dressing a sleepy but mild mannered baby and got her all set in the car seat.

Now I was really running late, so I fished the phone out of the rice and jammed it again into my back pocket- a habit is a habit- and rushed out the door, though rushing is not exactly the right word to use when I was laden down with baby gear, looking a camel about to cross the Serengeti.

I got everything situated in the car and then sat in the driver's seat, only to realize that my butt was cold and, worst still, wet. The phone had leaked its excess water out into my jeans in the short time that it had rested there.

I looked up at the now locked house with a kind of patient despair. I was out of time. There was nothing to be done. I looked in the storage compartment for the GPS. It was not there. I raised my eyes to heaven, ie, the roof of the car.

"Dear sweet Lord," I prayed, fervently. "Please don't let me get lost, ending up somewhere in the bowels of the city amid a confusing tangle of menacing highways and byways, now that my phone might not be working."

And so that is how I arrived at the doctor's office with two minutes to spare, sporting a butt wet with toilet water, a rice gummed phone and carrying a baby with a head full of dandruff. This is also why I will never, ever have an iphone.

At least I found the place. Maybe I should have been praying for the phone as well.