Archive for the 'the kiddo' Category

notes

late to the party, again. I have a secret: I didn’t listen to or watch the last game played at Yankee stadium. I haven’t listened to many games this season at all, actually. I did buy commemorative newspapers of the passing event, though. For dear Mom, who collects such things. I have mixed feelings about the stadium closing. I truly believe is it is hallowed ground not to be messed with. Couldn’t they at least dig up the dirt and stick it over there? It’s practically across the street. They can afford the expense. And the right field tiered fence: take it, too.  And this bugs me. How can they not have  at least mentioned Joe Torre on this special night? Sheesh.

My first visit to the stadium was sort of a coming down to earth as far as the structure though. Once inside, past the facade that never failed to captivate me on passing trains and buses, I was let down by the somewhat discrepit interiors. Let’s hope that improves.

My favorite visit was en route in a stretch limo with dear Pentyne, alongside two Red Sox fans I’d never met. With the kiddo in utero. It was memorable even before we hit the stadium. Just like dear Roz (my mom) before me, any sight of cars moving in opposite directions brought out the morning sickness in full force. Thank goodness I thought to bring along a ziplock bag. I think the Red Sox fans assumed a hangover, until I confessed. Then they were all cool and got all nostalgic over their own experiences (they were middle aged and not the rowdy sort. At least I don’t think they were. But we didn’t sit with them at the game).

El Duque, the greatest post-season pitcher I’ve ever witnessed,  started that game and he was the only pitcher I’d wanted to see. It went into extra innings. We were late returning to the limo on account of our getting lost and  stuck at the barricaded exit for the players. Saw Jeter, natch. The best part was sharing with Pentyne the game I’ve so loved and studied since I was eleven years old. Oh, and the binoculars were handy for checking out the player’s bods. Seriously, they look sooooooooooo incredible up close. Distracting, but I wasn’t complaining.

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Another secret: I almost accidently killed Clinca the gimpy parakeet. While trying to help him, of course. He has splayed legs that stick straight out, spread eagled. He can’t perch in the normal fashion, instead he kind of lounges on his tummy while clinging to whatever is nearby. So I’ve modified all of his eating/drinking stations flush with a platform for him, since he can’t perch on a normal feeding cup. Well, I came home one day, after insisting to the kiddo that we not stop anywhere. Walked in, and thought to check on Clinca, who was in a new location in the house, where he can be a more active part of our “family”. He was face down in his drinking cup, soaking wet. My blood froze, and something, probably my heart, sank deep in my stomach. But he was ok. He’d thrashed all of the water out of the cup, and was “merely” stuck in the cup, but alive. It still took me the rest of the night to get my bearings though. So, to anyone cruising by  this blog on the search term “parakeet”, “splayed legs”: a regular fountain feeder will wet your birdy’s beak without possibly drowning the little guy.

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kind of not a secret, unless it’s the kiddo’s: Nathan has begun composing poems and gifting the kiddo with original works of art. Like the kiddo, he’s an Aquarius, and a talented artist. Anyway, if she’s anything like her mother, she’ll fall for this.

kidstuff

The kiddo has adopted another pet. It’s a ladybug she found in the doorway a day ago. She made quite the crib for it out of a toy baking tray, a bed made out of a soda cap, and she even gave it a nice little rock to hang out around. Unfortunately, it  hasn’t moved this afternoon, and I fear the worst. I’ve been avoiding the issue. This is because last night, while we were watching a movie, ladybug got out and was lost in the quilted throw we were snuggled under. Havoc and drama ensued…”Ladybug, ladybug, come back! WAAAAAAH!!!! I’ve lost my ladybuggggggg! WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!” And then, nothing short of a miracle….I found the thing, right in the folds of the blanket. Thank heavens. And now, this…this demise. Ugh,  I can’t revisit this drama again, so soon.

I’ve been working with her on reading. Just the three letter words. It’s been more enjoyable than I’d expected; never saw myself doing things like this and liking it. She gets frustrated at times, but she’s making progress and when I suggest a break, she refuses. I’m sure teachers experience this, but I can see she’s just on the brink of a breakthrough. I know she’s going to LOVE reading. I told my mom after I learned to read that I could read anything, and there I went, after that.

She’s discovered…Spiderman. She walks around with me casting spiderwebs from her fingers, anywhere we go. I didn’t see this coming. She also, to my delight, has expressed an interest in karate, which I think would be a good thing for her in the fall.

Our lives are busy with us both being in school (and she loves that Mama goes to school), but it’s settling down at the same time. I feel as though we’ve turned a corner of sorts.

See you tomorrow, peeps!

 

hmmm….

My first car was a blazing orange hatchback with all manner of things wrong with it. But it had one thing that I felt was a reflection of its driver: a little bumper sticker  proclaiming that “when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping”. True. It was very much my life at the time. Wake up in a bad mood? Sale at The Limited, let’s go load up and feel better.   Bad day at work? Well, there’s a perfect blouse in just the right shade of shell pink calling….I must go forth! It was nearly always clothes that provided just the right amount of comfort. I’ve since shed that philosophy in favor of more constructive pursuits, usually involving dirt, paint, paper, etc.

I’m remembering all of this now because my dear kiddo has shocked me recently with her discovery of the joys of retail therapy.

The mind boggles at the things she feels we “need”, though she did warm my heart and impress me with her sensible taste in cars (she feels we really, really need a Vokswagen Rabbit….I’m on board there, if we ever really did need a car.). She’s not so bad in the grocery store, actually, she’s quite good at dropping things I’ve “forgotten”, things like miniature marshmallows for her hot chocolate, bread and butter pickles, and the odd bag of Cheetos here and there. However, she’s discovered K-Mart, a new obsession that happened sometime around Halloween in the costume section. She feels now that we need every toy on the planet, plus a bevy of office supplies (???!!!!!). She’s not very subtle about getting them in the cart either, and the checkout is time for major cajoling and bargaining. It’s painful.

Today, however, at the Salvation Army (we call it The Fun Store), I was able to talk her out of an outrageously expensive Lion King toy until it was discounted to a more reasonable choice. I will digress and say that even some of the thrift shops have been insanely priced and require one to know there retail prices.

We’re looking at preschools. This looks promising. The kiddo inspects them with me and never wants to leave.

We have terribly spoiled squirrels in our yard outside who like to come right up on the porch rail and feast on the open faced peanut butter sandwiches we make them.

The kiddo feels also that we are in urgent need of a pet…..a parrot, in fact.  They scare me!

Once upon a time…

Once upon a time…ok, it was about a decade ago, during a nasty, nasty bout of major depression; I would open my eyes and greet the day with the sssssssszzzzzzt of a soda bottle cap untwisting open, followed by the crinkle of the cellophane unwrapping my stash of Oreo doublestuffs in the desk drawer beside my bed. Gulp, gulp, crunch, crunch,  I would stare straight up at the ceiling, corpse-like, and  announce solemnly to my poor buddy Felix: “I’m dying”. Every day. For an entire semester.

I was convinced then of some terrible, invisible, undiscovered illness plaguing me, rotting the insides of my shrinking 116 lb body. Nothing in my life felt right, and it was the only conclusion from the grab bag of possibilities that made sense, especially since sometimes I’d thought I might not mind…dying.

But um, obviously, I didn’t die. I’m reminded somewhat of that time in my life though because there are faint echoes of that feeling that I could just do that; die (but not by my own hand folks, not to worry). No, it’s just waking up and wondering “what more?”, “what next” “how will I….?”….on those days, I feel already buried. But I dig myself out of whatever hole and move on.

Truth is, in other ways, I’ve never felt more alive….as though I’m being carefully peeled away from something holding me back. That’s the only analogy I can think of. I went shopping for some clothing tonight. Instead of making a beeline for my usual blacks, greys, browns, and other drab colors, I chose……pink. Sweet, fresh, vulnerable and young….pink. It felt right. It felt….good.

So much has changed and so little time to document it. The kiddo remains charming, funny, and quirky. She’s an expert feather spotter and friend to all birds. She gathers pine needles on walks and fashions “nests” out of them; later depositing them on the lawns of strangers along the way….”for the birds, mama!”. Her eating habits continue to be wierd; for example, she’ll take a tomato, holding it in hand like an apple and skin its membrane with her teeth, then suck the juice out of it like a vampire. Once she requested a straw. I can’t just die, not for any reason…I have to stick around for moments like these, y’know?

I will probably be a bit incommunicado for a couple of weeks while I go about making life happen for the two of us. Hang in there, everyone. We’ll be doing the same.

cleaning up

I’m still here. And no, I haven’t taken to my bed after the Yank’s latest debacle at the hands of the Red Sox. Not me. I don’t take this sweep too seriously right now. There’s not much to read into the tea leaves of the sweep when half the starting pitching staff is on the DL and known Red Sox killer Hidecki Matsui is keeping them company. I feel for the poor overworked bullpen with a pitching staff that can barely go past five innings. But Chen Ming Wang, the closest thing we have to a savior, rises again tonight, and I expect good things to start rolling around. Nothing lasts forever. Arod’s superhuman homerun hitting won’t either, but underneath even that is an relentless offense full of contact hitters that keeps coming back. So I expect to be cheering well into October. I always do.

There are some things that do make me want to take to my bed, Victorian style, on my pretend fainting couch (I’ve always coveted one of those). As mentioned, the sight of the kiddo in her little pigtails, which she insists on now because “they make me look like a puppy.” If she could, she’d have us serve all meals and drinks from a feeding bowl too. But we don’t do that. Goddamn, though…what is it that I’m feeding her that makes her so tall and her feet so long; that slims her face out? She looks like…a tweener, zipping around, getting her clothes dirty while playing with “the sisters” next door. She climbs trees now. My baby. It’s not fair.

The thing that most calls me to the bed is my detox. No, it’s not what you’re thinking. After a half a lifetime under the buzzed influence of caffeine which did nothing for my insomnia or anxiety issues, I’ve decided to pull the plug on my Diet Coke drip line, or, “Jane”, as Pentyne slyly calls it. If I do this, I’m reasoning, then I won’t crave the sweets so much and reel throughout the day from the dramatic sugar spikes and lows. But that’s another story. Down the road. Baby steps.

I’ve danced this gig before, later feeling clearer, lighter, better. But I can’t promise I won’t need to do it again. Somewhere I’ll be at some function, probably a family one, where all there is is “Jane”, and one little sip of carmelized, carbonated goodness, and I’ll be in the arms of the red and white bottle again. Because certain pleasures in life are even better mixed with a slurry of guilt and subjugated desire let loose from its tether.

Like many addicts, I blame not myself for my ways. I blame my mother. Of course I do! It was she, she who planted the seeds with her little six packs of Pepsi (another of what would become just one more thing that we don’t agree on…I’m a Coke girl all the way.). A bottle here, a bottle there, discovered strung along the house on a counter, or by her bed, or sometimes by the bathtub. Like all things that belonged to my mother, things over which hung the invisible sign “patties off“, I coveted it. Things like the half a Hershey bar she’d shared with me and then set upon the top of a bookcase before putting me down for my nap when I was four. My first act of larceny. The chocolate covered cherries she kept locked in her closet; the ones that I didn’t even particularly care for, that my brother and I delighted in plundering, once we figured out how to immaculately fix the lock so it cooperated. And the Fashion-Two-Twenty cosmetics in their lilac colored makeup case that looked like Barbie’s, all in stacked, tiered trays in tapered bottles. Leg makeup! Nude Foundation! Cotton candy colored lipstick! Which, my mother, with her perfect skin and unlined face, never wore. I took the Sarah Coventry jewelry, and the Avon too. My mother never really wore those either. The nurse’s uniforms, with their deep, functional pockets, were the best…powdered latex gloves, little scissors, alcohol swabs, bandaids, maybe a coughdrop. Her smells.

I never really did anything with this stuff, beyond hiding it. Well, except the leg makeup. I did try out the leg makeup. My legs looked like orange cheetos with tiny reddish dots the size of pin pricks where my pores were. Freaky.

She always found her stuff, under a bed or a dresser, stuffed in a closet. I knew she would. It didn’t stop me. I certainly didn’t need any of that stuff, or even want it for itself. It was just….hers. Some piece of her that I sort of needed around like a talisman, since she was always seemed busy working or sleeping off her shift. And yet, when confronted, I could never just tell her that. I know it drove her positively crazy, but I couldn’t do anything beyond either lying repeatedly through my teeth even in the face of damning evidence, or giving her a confused shrug.

I couldn’t give her the soda back though. Not really. I’d try to be merciful and refill what I’d siphoned with water; maybe toss in a pinch of sugar when the brew was looking flat. She never did say anything about the soda. I don’t remember a single time. If I could, I’d buy her a Coke now, in a sort of conciliatory gesture rooted in solidarity, but she doesn’t really drink it anymore.

I certainly don’t tolerate people swiping stuff from me in my life now; in fact, one of my mantras to my own kiddo is “stop touching my stuff” at least eleventeen times a day. In vain. But a part of me is convinced that some larceny is more about the need for psychological compensation and less about material gain.

I look around at my stuff and wonder what will become the kiddo’s heart’s desire. What about me and my stuff will leave tea leaves for her to read and then ponder someday, if I’m lucky, in some Proustian way?

I have words for her though: lay off the stupid Diet Coke. It’s baaaaaaaaad.

Grumble moment

Ok, if someone doesn’t snap out of  her newly cultivated pickety-ness, I’m going to start telling tales, true ones, of poor children being forced to live on Banquet frozen mystery chicken and turkey bologna sandwiches. This kid doesn’t know how good she has it.

“My gwavy isn’t bwown enough….wahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.

Pfft.

Not made for walkin’

Shoes by Leslie CollierBut I love these anyway. They’re by Jennifer Collier of the U.K. She also does beautiful smocks and jewelry. All in paper. I taught summer theatre to children for three summers, teaching acting and other theatre arts like set design/construction, costume design, and movement. But my primary responsibility was costume design, which meant constructing anywhere from 60-80 costumes for productions like The Hobbit, The Three Musketeers, and my favorite, The Little Mermaid. Some of my creations were largely created from paper, donated from a local paper mill. This heavy, thick, semi-rubbery stuff was durable but flexible. I dressed my mermaids in fish tail skirts made from individual fish scales painted with splatters a la Jackson Pollack, then glazed with pearlescent acrylic washes and scattered glitter. When the mermaids moved, the scales made flapping sounds, as though they were swimming.


I love paper. Crinkly crepe paper. Slick vellum. Tyvek. My co-workers often joked that if I were to be married, my bridal gown would be made of paper. That’s an idea I’d like to see on someone. Imagine the possibilities….

The Kiddo, alas, will not be sporting one of my creations this year. Which is as well, because it’s looking soggy over here. Babci, her grandma, got her a nice, warm and cuddly Pooh costume, which The Kiddo has become quite taken with. There’s still time, sometime.

Ciao. I’m off on a Tag Sale mission. Enjoy the weekend. Continue reading ‘Not made for walkin’’