Friday, March 28, 2008

Sky Rockets in Flight

Me: Great, I have Puff the Magic Dragon stuck in my head.

Melissa: You know that song is actually about getting high.

Me: No, it's not! It's a movie, with a cartoon dragon and a boy named Jackie Paper.

Melissa: The song came before the movie. It's one of those songs that sound all innocent, but are really about something...else, like Afternoon Delight.

Me: *gagging* God, that song fills my head with visions of dirty hippies getting busy.

Melissa: Smelling like patchouli...

Me: Yeah, dirty hippies knocking patchoulis.


The boys and I were outside enjoying one of the year’s first warm days. Paolo had the awesome idea of chalking targets on the driveway to bomb with water balloons. We were sketching bad guys from Paper Mario, naturally, when Paolo’s chalk jumped out of his hand mid-stroke and started rolling away. He swiveled on his knee to grab for it, which was a bad idea considering he was wearing shorts. He began to cry and carry on about his scraped knee and the tiny drops of BLOOD, dear Jesus, the BLOOD. Suddenly Gianluca, who had been perfectly content in my arms, started to cry. “Paolo, you have to stop crying. You’re making your baby brother cry,” I told him. In an instant, Paolo stopped crying, and a moment later, the baby stopped.

The two brothers stared at each other with identical solemn expressions.

“See? Gianluca was crying because he knew you were sad. He already loves you.” As ridiculous as that should have sounded to a four-year-old, Paolo nodded in wonder, never taking his eyes off his brother. The strangest feeling washed over me, part excitement and part foreboding. I saw my children’s hearts open up to one another; but with love comes vulnerability. When you love someone else, his or her happiness becomes necessary in part for your own happiness. Sam, Paolo, Gianluca, and me: we are all linked to each other now. Whatever happens to one of us happens to us all. It’s scary and beautiful, this family business.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Six-Month Checkup

Last Friday Gianluca had his six-month checkup. I didn't have any concerns to discuss with the doctor, so Sam took him to the appointment, while I planned to stay home with him in the afternoon. Our baby is happy, relatively healthy, chubby, vocal, energetic: everything a six-month-old baby should be...or is he? When Sam pulled up at my office after the appointment, he looked like he'd been hit by a truck driven by his dead grandmother.

APPARENTLY, Gianluca's ears are infected, and the infection is so bad, his right eardrum ruptured. The doctor scooped out an ungodly amount of wax and crud from the ear canal while Sam watched in horror, and then prescribed an elephant-powerful antibiotic to kill the infection. During the excavation, the doctor was incredulous that we had not noticed the amount of pain our baby has been in.
ALSO, Luca fell off his growth curve, way off. He has gained only one pound in the last three months. That's a problem. Sam explained that we'd been trying to start Luca on solids, but he acts like he's not ready. He cries when he sees the spoon coming and spits out the food. "Keep trying," was the doctor's advice. We'll be mixing his organic rice cereal with lard from now on.
AND THEN, just to lay down the buttercream frosting on the Screw-Your-Parental-Confidence Cake, the doctor pointed out that Gianluca's teeth are coming in wrong. He's supposed to have two up-two down, but he has four on the bottom. Thanks, doc, that was necessary.

In conclusion, our seemingly sweet and content baby is actually suffering from a bubbling cesspool inside his head, starving to death, and possibly a mutant. Good to know.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This is not a love song.

I’m at the end of my music collection now, so I’m spinning the Various Artists and compilation discs. On my way back from lunch I was listening to a CD that I got with an issue of CMJ (College Music Journal) back in 1996. It took me a minute to figure out why I was rocking out, yet felt like I’d swallowed a bowling ball. Those familiar songs, like they always do, took me back to where I was when the music was new. I could see myself so clearly, stereo at top volume, letting the angry, yearning songs speak for me. I wish I could go back in time and tell that girl not to hurt so bad. Because that boy who is breaking her heart is going to marry her someday and give her two magnificent sons and will love her just as much as she wanted him to.

What would you tell your twenty-year-old self?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Northwest Arkansas Crime Report Feb-Mar 2008

Feb 26 - 8:35 a.m. A man at Helping Hands, 320 Airport Road, reported they denied a man help on Monday, and he kicked the building, denting it.
Helping Hands is pretty selective for having an office in an aluminum lean-to.

3:22 p.m. A woman at 1877 Wheatland Ave. reported her husband’s 84-year-old mother trying to fight with them.
Never too old to BRING IT.

Feb 27 - 1: 06 p.m. A woman at 15789 Cow Face Road, Lowell, reported a front door left unlocked and an all-terrain vehicle, 18-foot trailer, computer, TV, and 10 bottles of perfume stolen.
Feb 28 - 7: 55 p.m. A man at 545 E. Whitefish Bay Place reported a burglary and 14 rolls of toilet paper and collector videotapes stolen.
These inventories are awesome in their total randomness. When did Girls Gone Wild become a collectors’ item?

8: 39 p.m. A manager at Burger King, 5660 W. Sunset Ave., reported receiving death threats via text message from a former employee.

March 4 - 3:10 p.m. A woman at 5409 Yellow Brick Road, Fayetteville, reported several youths with guns.
They represent the Lollipop Guild these days. They rule the streets in Munchkin Land.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Did your father put you up to this?

So Paolo has a new twin bed, thanks to Uncle Sam's returning all the tax dollars he tried to bleed from us last year. Paolo thought it was pretty sweet until I hopped in it with him to read books at bedtime. Then he realized his new bed rocks his face off. The morning after his first night in his new bed, he raced into my room shouting of my betrayal. When he fell asleep, I was in his room, and when he woke, I was not. And WTF is that all about?

"Paolo, there's not enough room for both of us to sleep there all night. I told you I was just going to read you books and later I'd go to my room. I told you that. Remember?"

"But there's enough room. We fit very good when we were reading books."

"Yes, but I need to come back to my room to take care of baby brother at night."

"We can put him in the middle. I'll be real careful and I won't even smush him."

"Paolo, then we'd definitely have too many people in your bed. We wouldn't all fit."

"Actually, you could get really skinny and then we could all fit."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I would not, could not, with a hippie.

Yesterday, Sam took the boys to the library for a celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday. And then today he suggested we join a commune. I think he got the idea off the side of a jar of organic peanut butter. While I will eat the nut butter products of the sun children, I will not live amongst them. Below is a list of random reasons I would make a terrible hippie.
  1. I do not want to milk anything. Ever. (Myself excluded, of course.)
  2. I do not want to make or wear rope sandals.
  3. I have a 401(k).
  4. I do not want someone else, of either gender, sleeping with my husband.
  5. I do not want to fertilize a garden with my own waste.
  6. My hair is not the right texture for dreadlocks.
  7. I want my children to learn more than hammock-weaving and animal husbandry.
  8. I do not like Kool-Aid.
  9. I am a terrible drummer.
  10. I do not want anyone besides myself to breastfeed my children.
  11. I do not look good in curtain.
  12. Jesus does not want me for a sunbeam. Trust me on this.