Thursday, January 27, 2011


It's been a good run, but Bobo got a cold.  He had a case of the sniffles back in the fall, but this is more.

Obviously, children get sick.  And you know how much I hate sick-blogging because ... gross.

However, I am going to say that when you have a Bobo (a kid with ear tubes, an unusually long list of previously contracted ailments, a history of developmental delay, once suspected immune deficiency, and a lifetime ban from child care), a cold can make the twitchin' set in. 

Mrs. Marie is home with Bobo today.  I held him in my arms while he slept pathetically last night.  His face is raw from the wiping (we've abandoned tissues and have moved on to the supersoft cloth diapers for nose wiping).  He's still teething, so his chin has actually been chapped from drool for over a week already.  He asks for Vaseline by brand name and wipes it onto his own face (just a week ago getting cream on him was like trying to get a cat into a carrier, but apparently he's seen the error of his ways).

But, I think he's going to be fine.  We instituted quarantine at the first sign of the sniffles Monday morning.  No library, no play group, no stores, etc.  His body seems to fight off infections just fine so long as he doesn't contract a second thing at the same time.

We're watching to see whether he develops ear drainage.  If he does, we'll be on the lookout for another yeast infection of the ear (or who knows what other plague may befall us this time). 

I suspect this cold will blow over, and it will not even be a footnote to our lives.  At least, that's what I hope.


If you follow me on twitter, you would have seen a tweet Monday that went something like:  "Got a call from the teacher today.  Chuckles's behavior was 'suboptimal'."

The teacher gave me the whole thing.  It’s long and not all that interesting, but let’s say, he had to write his name on the board for being noisy in the hallway and the hallway is a known Quiet Zone.  He wouldn’t do it, so she did it for him, and then he went up there and erased it.  You might be saying to yourself, "Oh no, he didn't!"  But, oh, yes, he did.

Then he was given a time out in the coat closet ("I'm not going to drag you there, you have to bring yourself"), and he kept himself there for 15 minutes because he wasn’t ready to come out.  He eventually came out and had a good day otherwise. 

When he got home at lunch time, he freaked out, started crying, went to his room, put himself down for a nap, got up, freaked out, and then colored his behavior chart all green (where there had been some yellow warnings…he colored over them because he’s never bad, according to him).  He also kept wailing that he was no good, bad, and was worthless.  He's a challenge.

By the time I got home from work he was defiant and lying like a sociopath right to my face, so I got all matter-of-fact.  I made him apologize to me and his father for every separate thing he did wrong, then we brainstormed ways he could have handled things differently/better.  Reassurances of our undying love were given.  Then, I made him write his teacher a letter apologizing for his naughty behavior.  He hates to write and practice handwriting, so this was quite a punishment.  He did a really nice job.  (Although he didn't believe me that the word listen has a T in it, so he wrote lissen instead.  <-- Stubborn, that one is.)

By Tuesday, he was excited to give his teacher the note.  She was happy to receive it.  And she emailed me to tell me what a good job I'm doing with him.  Parenting FTW! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I’ve been spending more time on twitter lately, and less time on the blog. Which is fine, but the blog is good for long form, whereas twitter is where I can express frustration at traffic and fake my own enthusiasm for life. Joie de vivre and all that jazz.

(double line break to indicate an entirely new train of thought)

I doubt you want to hear what I think about the Tucson shooter. Instead I want to talk about what my mom thinks about the Tucson shooter. My mother watches TV all day long. My stepfather flips among HLN, CNN, MSNBC, and FoxNews. In the immediate aftermath of the assassination attempt, the talking heads on TV were insinuating that political discourse had something to do with it. I tend to believe that legitimately crazy people sometimes do very bad things.

My mom said, “Isn’t it just awful the way politics is so confrontational now?” I replied, “No.”

And she carried on with, “I can’t remember it ever being so hostile before with the rhetoric.” I stammered, “Mom, you were alive in the 60s and 70s. JFK, RFK, MLK, Kent State. Things in recent times have been pretty calm.” I am not the first person to have this realization.

She continued since apparently the bubble heads on TV were onto a meme, “Aren’t you just worried about the future of our country where something like this can happen?” And I stammered some more, “Mom, there have been streetside assassinations in Sweden. A political figure is murdered in Mexico every week, and it hardly makes news any more. Benazir Bhutto. I really think our country is just fine, and doing alright. Maybe needs some tweaking around the edges, but basically, we’re a free and open society. We tolerate a lot of hate speech because we value free speech. It’s often difficult to pick out the serious threats from all the wingnuts.” Then I told her I was glad she was recovering from her bronchitis and to get some rest. Well, I guess I did tell you what I think after all. I think that the person responsible for the act of violence is the person who pulled the trigger.

Moving on, Victoria and David Beckham are expecting their 4th baby. I wonder what weird thing they’ll name this one.

When I was 20 years old and engaged to 343, we used to talk about the future and the kind of life we would lead. Where he’d live, where I would live, where I would go to grad school, whether we would have two kids or three, what their names would be if they were boys or girls or boys and girls. We had one name picked for a boy and another for a girl. Back in the post about 343, I mentioned that his wife was expecting a baby. Well, Monday, the baby arrived (healthy). It’s a boy. The new baby’s middle name is the old boy name. Now, that kind of makes me laugh, but not because I think there’s anything wrong with using that name. Because you know what? That boy name? It’s Bobo. I did it too.

((The train left the station and a whole new thought train came chugging in))

I have overnight houseguests coming Thursday afternoon. The panic cleaning has commenced. Since it’s been quite a while since we’ve had overnight guests, I’m doing the best of my panic cleaning including swiffering under the beds and cleaning the shower walls (not just the tub).   However, I just realized I neglected something.  Clean sheets on the guest bed - check.  Towels folded neatly in the linen closet - check.  Porn removed from the night stands and bedside tables - check.  Undies removed from the shower bar - check.  White noise machine to block out Bobo's "tension releasing"?  Hosting Fail!  What am I going to do?  I will be running a fan and a humidifier,  but the guests have two kids of their own.  This could be awful.  Maybe tomorrow will be different. 

I’m turning 35 in about a month, so I have been having more panic than just cleaning panic. I’ve been having “I feel old” panic. From the “If you don’t want to feel old, stop dressing like a Blind Mom” camp: Monday, I wore (bottom to top): black ballet flats, red socks, dark blue jeans (now featuring muffin top), a red shirt with a light denim button down over it. That’s right. I wore jeans and a denim top. I do not, however, have a mullet.

Speaking of my hair, though, it’s almost time for me to cut it off and donate it to charity again. Then, I am going to go platinum with little skinny hot pink streaks. I mentioned this to my dad (what you don’t talk to your dad about your hair?) and he suggested that I get some of that spray in hair stuff just to see whether I like it. He’s so wise. He also said he thought I would look better with pale purple streaks than hot pink so who knows?

I woke up Saturday to the sounds of Chuckles reading Pirates Who Go Potty to Bobo. He was rapt. Ahoy Potty, prepare to be mounted. And when he flushes, Anchors Away. Squaw. (There is also a Princesses Who Go Potty book for those of you with girls.)

I put Bobo down for nap Saturday and 20 minutes later, he comes walking down the stairs saying “Hi mom, Good nap.” Uhhh, hellllooooo, you were in your crib and now you’re not?!?! So, yes, I then rearranged his whole room and cleaned the floors and vacuumed, he pooped, and then went to sleep for 2 hours in his rearranged room. Scary stuff.

I moved the crib away from the bed. The crib had just been tossed into the guest room and I’d pushed it right up against the bed two years ago. I figure he put his foot on the mattress of the bed and launched himself over that side and onto the bed, though I have no proof. The crib is now against the wall. It’s nice. Room looks huge now. And it’s so clean and shiny now. Just right for guests. Which I have coming.

My friend Jamington then told me that I am probably wrong about how he got out of the crib, but I retorted: I am probably wrong about how he got out, but he seems totally captivated by the fact that he can now touch the mini-blinds on the window. Open. Close. Open. Close. Open. Close. I don’t think he’ll be looking to escape for at least a week. (And the blinds are cordless and lead-free so they do not pose a strangulation or poisoning hazard). Blinds go up, blinds go down. Open. Close. Open. Close. Up. Down. Up. Down.

A guy friend of mine with interesting hobbies and a full life just announced that he met a new girl. This is not unusual. He always has a new girl. They never seem to last. However, there are two things about this that are unusual. #1 It is winter in Chicago. Usually, if you don’t have someone by Labor Day, you aren’t going to meet anyone until Spring. All the cute boys and girls just stay inside for the winter hibernating. #2 He actually thinks she might be a keeper. She has a full life with interesting hobbies as well. She plays the washboard in an Old Tyme Jug Band. Because she has a full life of her own and her own interesting hobbies, he finds her extra attractive. Plus with her own outside commitments, she won’t be available whenever he calls. A little hard to get goes a long way. Let this be a lesson to the single ladies. Live the life you want and the rest will follow.

Blinds go up, blinds go down.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


In this post just a couple down from here, I mentioned that Gerry Rafferty was the soundtrack of my life for the early 2000s.  He passed away yesterday.

His 1978 song "Right Down the Line" was the first dance at our wedding reception.  There is a line in the song that goes "...when I wanted you to share my life, I had no doubt in my mind.  It was you, woman, right down the line."  And so it was.