December 01, 2008
November 10, 2008
Well. We're all still alive. So that's something.
I'll spare you most of the slightly horrific, nose-blow-by-blow details of my weekend, except for:
1) Chest cold, i.e. coughing up my fucking toe bones.
2) Sinus infection, i.e. OH MY GOD EVERYBODY PLEASE STOP HAMMERING ON MY FACE.
3) Double ear infection, i.e. Noah no longer getting any sympathy for his SINGLE ear infection, like WHATEVER.
4) Pinkeye, i.e. or possibly "just" the double ear infection leaking out of both of my eyes.
5) Hives from an allergic reaction to the doses of antibiotic I swiped from Noah, i.e. HIVES? YOU THINK I GIVE A SHIT ABOUT SOME PUSSY ASS HIVES AT THIS POINT? Show me anaphylatic shock and then we'll talk.
My spirit was officially broken around 5 am on Sunday morning, when I woke up with both eyes sealed shut, realizing just how sick I still was, and trying to cry because I just wanted to feel better, but being unable to cry because my eyes were fucking sealed shut.
Luckily, darkest before dawn and all that. I am feeling better, save for the sensation that the left side of my face -- from my eardrums down to my back teeth -- is being used to banish contestants from The Gong Show.
Jason and I had our dinner out on Friday, even though I wasn't feeling very well, but I was worried that we only had a short window before my in-laws' stomach bug came and wiped us all out. I was also possibly a little feverish, and thus convinced that my house had turned into the hotel room from Ocean's Thirteen, become sentient and hellbent on my ultimate destruction.
But! Feeling better. I'm pretty sure. Noah is much better (including the rash/burn/horror of the Clorox Wipes Incident, for which my father-in-law is still apologizing and I'm still struggling to achieve balance between "honest mistake" and "OMFGWTFBBQBZZZT"), Ezra is the healthiest person in the house, and Jason is messing it all up by JUST NOW coming down with the chest cold that started all of this. I've offered to squirt breastmilk in his eyes in case he gets the pinkeye part, but I think he's leaning towards using Noah's leftover eye drops. (I used both, oh yes I did.) I did not extend the same offer to my in-laws, who just officially left us to parent our children, OUR PLURAL CHILDREN, alone.
And I'm pretty sure that no one else is going to come help us out. Not now or not ever. Because we lure you here with the promise of cuddly newborns and hilarious toddlers and homemade eggplant parmesan, and then we just sit around and sneeze on you for eight straight days.
That, or we force you to ooh and ahh over barely perceptible differences in the baby's facial expressions.
Flashback! Noah at pretty much the exact same age. That outfit still swallows Ezra whole.
November 07, 2008
So I think I've officially lost my sense of humor about this whole House of Doom and Germs and Fluids Leaking From Everybody's Headholes thing. Perhaps I left it at the pediatrician's office this morning. Perhaps I'll call and see if anyone has noticed the smell of death coming from their Lost & Found.
Today's photo, if I chose to illustrate our plight, which I won't, because it's fucking disgusting, would feature the red oozing eyes of both Noah AND HIS MOTHER, who are sporting matching cases of pinkeye. Noah is also covered in a horrible itchy rash, which I initially brushed off as a run-of-the-mill viral rash, but now appears to be an allergic reaction to -- get this -- the Method Baby detergent I bought for Ezra's clothes.
We typically use the Seventh Generation Free & Clear detergent for Noah's clothes, and YES I KNOW, I don't need special baby detergent, but that Method stuff smells so damn good I was helpless to resist it. (Seriously. That shit will make you LACTATE, it's so baby-fresh-delicious.) But my mother-in-law took control of the laundry this week and actually did laundry so often that she was able to COMBINE Noah's and Ezra's clothing TOGETHER, in one load.
(I am baffled by this concept, since I generally wait until the hampers reach Everest levels before doing anything about it.)
(Another result of this extremely proactive approach to laundry is that we are out of hangers and drawer space EVERYWHERE, since we no longer have half of our wardrobes languishing around unwashed as a space buffer. Huh.)
Who in the world is allergic to baby detergent? WHO? Noah, apparently. And now we have to rewash his entire closet since no one can remember what's been washed when and with what detergent, because surprise! No one can smell worth a damn, thanks to our colds. And by "we" I actually do mean "me" because my in-laws caught some kind of stomach bug and are totally puking.
Let this be a lesson to everyone who might think about offering to come help us out with the baby or Noah or laundry or whatever: COMING TO OUR HOUSE WILL PROBABLY KILL YOU. SORRY ABOUT THAT.
And if this weren't ENOUGH to make you grab your torches and pitchforks and circle our zip code while chanting UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!...after Noah got sent home from preschool because of the pinkeye (don't blame me -- I KNEW that kid had pinkeye yesterday but was completely shouted down by my husband and in-laws who INSISTED that it wasn't pinkeye and made the call this morning to send him to school while I was busy hooked up to the breastpump, pumping milk for a mythical "dinner outside of the house without children" that Jason and I have been trying and failing and canceling reservations all week for), I took him to the pediatrician and was informed that hey! This kid has a raging bitch of an ear infection.
I stared at the doctor dumbly, because...what? Seriously? THAT TOO NOW? He'd JUST BEEN to the doctor two weeks ago and was fine. (Please note that Jason will yell at me for not taking Noah to the doctor over coughs, contact rashes and mysterious fruit stickers on the wang, but thought I was being completely ridiculous today over goddamned PINKEYE.) And he's still sleeping...and not tugging on his ear...and sure, he's had a cold for two weeks but...oh.
"Noah, does your ear hurt?" I asked in surprise after the doctor delivered the news.
"Yeeeessss." he wailed, and covered his ear with his hands.
"Well!" I said. "I sure am awesome at this."
So. We have an ear infection, two cases of conjunctivitis (but only one prescription for eyedrops, because fuck. that. shit. directly.), a really gross-looking rash, four really tenacious colds and two grandparents bravely trying to insist that it's only food poisoning, not a stomach bug, they're fine, really really fine, we should totally go out for dinner tonight, REALLY, they'll stay here in the House of Murderous Microbes with the children, RUN AND SAVE YOURSELLLLLVES.
Oh, and somebody had diarrhea all over the basement steps. Usually I'd just assume it was one of the pets, but at this point, nothing would surprise me, and everybody remains a suspect. Expect a thorough investigation, just as soon as I'm brave enough to emerge from the little fort I've made out of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and bottles of hand sanitizer.
UPDATE: Noah is not allergic to the baby detergent. The rash is because apparently my poor father-in-law got confused and thought the (oh, God) Clorox Disinfecting Wipes we keep in the bathroom were the (oh, God) baby wipes. And he'd been using them on poor Noah (oh, God) all week.
October 29, 2008
My dad is back in the hospital. On Monday night he had a coughing fit while taking his medication (nothing super out of the ordinary -- he chokes very easily since losing his larynx to cancer) and aspirated a pill into his lung. He's now being treated for aspiration pneumonia. The good news is that he appears to be responding very well to the treatment and we're hoping he'll come home today. My parents got to "see" the baby via webcam a few hours before the accident, and I spoke with him on the phone yesterday and as always, he sounds great.
We're all sick too, although in a much less dramatic pneumonia-ish way. Noah came down with a bad, baaaaad cold last week -- he woke up wheezing on Thursday, and because Daddy was home scored himself a trip to the DOCTOR, where Daddy was told that it was indeed just a bad, baaaaaad cold. As we all know, Mama would never have taken him to the doctor, but would have instead smeared some Vaseline on his chest and called it a day.
I did take Ezra to the doctor yesterday, obviously because he's new and shiny and like soooo the favorite, and his weight is officially back up to 7 pounds, 8.5 ounces. I returned the hospital-grade rental pump and plunked down money for my very own Pump In Style, like a real breastfeeding mother with real boobs that work and sustain her child and stuff.
I feel the need to clarify my somewhat slapdashy post from Monday, the point of which was unintentionally hijacked by the idea that I actually sterlize my breastpump parts after every feeding. Which I promise you I do not. Not at all. Once a day, tops, and only because I HAD THRUSH ONCE, and once you have thrush you cannot ever forget having thrush, and I guess one of the lifelong side effects of thrush is a compulsion to sterlize pump parts in the microwave every morning. But that's it! The only time! Usually I just run everything under hot water for a bit and pile them up glamorously on a handtowel in our master bathroom. Anything to keep the romance alive, folks.
Don't even get me started on this one. Photos like this are the only thing keeping me from selling Noah to the gypsies. He's been challenging. Very, very challenging.
SYNONYMS: SEE ALSO: WILLFUL, TANTRUMMY, DEFIANT, BRATTASTIC.
But that's a topic for another day. Another day when I have two hands free to type and more than two hours of sleep to ruminate on my own failings as his mother and finite amount of patience and when I can actually bear to think about Monday, when I spilled an entire cup of soda on the legs of two well-dressed business people at the mall food court because I was trying to balance a tray in one hand and pull Noah up off the floor where he had melted into a puddle of NOOOOO I WANNA SIT OH DER with the other and everybody was staring at me, ME, the terrible mother who couldn't control her terrible kid and I apologized over and over to the man and woman who I'd splashed with soda but they just glared at me and I could tell she was mentally reminding herself to re-up her birth control prescription, and finally I hauled Noah off by the hood of his jacket and prayed that the ground would just swallow me up whole.
Towards the baby, he is nothing but loving and gentle and proud as can be. His teacher hasn't noticed any change in his behavior at school, and says that he loves talking about Baby Brother and has been more social than ever with his classmates. But towards US, he is downright awful. He yells, he tantrums, he laughs at our panicked faces when he slips away from us in a parking lot.
This isn't how Noah behaves, except that now it totally is, and I'm ashamed to admit that I am not coping with it very well.
The other night, after many time-outs and tantrums, Jason ordered Noah to an early bedtime and was trying to get him into pajamas while desperately clinging to his last bit of patience. I didn't hear the conversation, but apparently Noah started signing that he was scared, and said that he was scared of Daddy, because Daddy was always so mad.
The sound of Jason's heart breaking? Yeah, that I heard.
But...yeah. Let's save that topic for later. Let's all just look at this photo for awhile instead.
September 10, 2008
My Patented Formula: Post a Half-Assed Tantrum Then Frantically Backpedal When I Get Called on the Half-Assed Tantrum
Thank you, everybody, for your comments yesterday, and for indulging my moment of triumphant self-pity. I came very close to not even mentioning the situation at all, both because I thought some stiff-upper-lipitude would make it easier for my mom (I think, in fact, she was relieved to see that I actually DID want them down, since I guess I'd been a little TOO quick to assure her that I was fine! Fine with this! Don't you dare worry about me, because I am FINE!) and because I Know How Posts Like That Sound. Get some perspective! Things could be worse! Quit whining!
Which. Of course. A couple of you pointed that out. In SUCH a nice way too.
My intention is not to win gold medals at the Pain Olympics. My intention is to...I don't know. Throw words at the Internet to see what sticks, and yesterday I was very, very sad and things were hitting me in a bizarre delayed-reaction style -- my poor dad! my poor mom! what if this doesn't get better? who is going to take care of them? I'm not ready to take care of them because I still need someone to take care of me! I want everything to be just like it was last time! I need to find a way to fix this! I don't think I can fix this! I'm tired now!
I spent most of my allotted writing time working on a funny post about my dog peeing in Noah's bed. (Seriously. RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. Staring right at me with her beady I-know-what-you're-gestating eyes.) But...it wasn't really funny. It didn't work. It was tinged too heavily with the Stuff I Wasn't Really Writing About. So I deleted it, took a deep breath and just blurted out what was really on my mind for awhile until a nice cleansing cry came and I couldn't see the keyboard anymore.
Thus, my post was rambling, disorganized and unfinished. I knew I would get the "sack UP, ho" comments, because wah wah waaaah. I knew -- know! -- that this is a tiny, minuscule problem in light of what other families have gone through. Perhaps I should apologize for posting something raw and unfinished that dared reveal the 45-minute-long pity party I threw for myself, without spending hours making sure that I fully acknowledged that I was being a bit bratty and was aware of every single possible thing that could be worse.
(I still cringe a little, though, when I remember the shaming rebuke I got during my first pregnancy for bitching about our botched-to-total-hell kitchen remodel in the wake of Katrina, mostly because I could at least TALK about the kitchen remodel without crumpling into a little sobbing ball on the floor.)
(The floor that kept shifting and cracking. No matter how many times it was re-grouted. Because the contractor had cheaped out on the sub-floor and refused to acknowledge that he'd made a mistake and oh my God, I just wanted my canned goods out of my fucking living room.)
(ANYWAY, it stings, actually, the assumption that the simple act of devoting a few hundred words to a silly personal weblog means you truly think those hundred words are clearly the Most Terribly Important & Pressing Matter Of All Time, when really they are only a half step above inane stream-of-consciousness babble and barely scratch the surface of everything else going on in your life.)
My mom, as some of you may remember, was diagnosed with breast cancer during my first pregnancy, and for several months it certainly looked like she wasn't going to be there for Noah's birth either. But of course, I was mostly preoccupied with her being HERE, LIKE ON EARTH. My dad has had more serious health scares than I can even count at this point (cancer, aortic aneurysm, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, multiple falls and head injuries and he actually doesn't have a voice box anymore, thanks to the cancer). And yet, they are HERE.
They were en route to the hospital with Jason's parents when Noah was born. I called my mom's cellphone from my room and didn't even recognize the trembly little-girl voice I used to ask how soon they would be there, and when they were farther away than I thought, I hung up the phone and cried. (My in-laws had decided that a not-very-quick trip to Whole Foods in PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY was absolutely essential before heading down to DC, where...you know, WE HAVE A LOT OF WHOLE FOODS.) There was absolutely no one else I wanted on earth more than my mom.
But then they were there. I remember my mom came and hugged me first before directing her attention to the baby, which took me by surprise. My dad and I watched part of a Phillies game together. I accidentally recorded over the video we shot of them holding Noah for the first time. I was happy we'd get a do-over.
After Jason went back to work, my mom came and stayed with us for a week. She was still recovering from her mastectomy -- she was worried that she wouldn't really be much of a help, which was ridiculous. We sat on the couch together, we drank coffee and ate junk food and talked about babies and watched movies. It took both of us, in our post-surgical-weakened states, to carry the stroller down the stairs and making it to the post office down the street was a huge victory. She knew exactly what I was going through with breastfeeding and offered no judgment or unsolicited advice or anything other than support. She insisted I take naps. She insisted Jason and I go out for dinner. She told me, over and over again, what a natural I was, what a good mother I was already, and how proud she was. When she left, I was strengthened and confident that I Could Do This.
So yes, I very selfishly want that again.
It's painful to watch your parents age, to get sick, to suffer.
It's painful when it's a slow, natural process, when it just sort of hits you that oh, did he always walk that slow? was her memory always that bad?
It's painful when it's a dramatic roller coaster of health scares, when you can't help but wonder if the next middle-of-the-night phone call will be the last of its kind.
It's more painful than I ever really thought it would be. I have friends who lost parents suddenly, in car accidents usually, but most of them have younger parents who are still healthy and fit. Traveling the world, inflicting the dreaded pop-in and being a giant nagging pain in their ass, year after year.
I was 25 when my dad had a massive aneurysm and almost died. Multiple times, actually, in the span of a few weeks. Jason and I had talked about MAYBE having a baby MAYBE when I was 30. WE SHALL MAYBE SEE. But then I sat next to my dad's hospital bed and had the most terrible, horrible realization -- my maybe hypothetical child might not ever know him. I thought of the few stories I knew about my grandfathers -- both of whom passed away before I was ever born -- and how little I knew about them, those men in old faded photographs who meant nothing to me, and I could barely even breathe. The thought of MY FATHER being a mostly irrelevant figure to MY CHILDREN, just another man in a faded photograph...oh my God. I went home and told Jason we needed to have a baby RIGHT THAT SECOND.
It took him a little while to get on board, and then it took my body even longer to cooperate, but let me tell you: my love and respect for my father -- and my absolute non-readiness to lose him -- are why we have Noah in the first place. And I know I should be well past the point where I let one or two trolls get under my skin and drown out the hundred other kind voices, but the accusation that my post yesterday treated him like an afterthought, that I was truly only thinking about myself and not my parents, well...that's got to be one of the most ignorant things anyone has ever said to me, and frankly, how fucking dare you. (And thanks for reading! Kisses!)
I DO take comfort in the fact that my parents are still here. It's not been an easy road to HERE, let me tell you. I know I can talk to them over the phone, over email, over a webcam, and that while a postpartum trip up to Pennsylvania is not what any of us would prefer, it's doable and by God we'll do it.
But sometimes I still want to climb on top of something and shout that THIS IS HARD, I DON'T LIKE IT, MAKE IT STOP.
September 09, 2008
I talked to my mom yesterday. My dad is not doing well. He's unsteady, dizzy, forgetful. A heart monitor found an arrhythmia. Everything keeps getting worse instead of better. The doctors think his symptoms are the results of his fall this past June and not the reason for his fall. They don't actually have any real clue why he fell but the fact remains that he might very well fall again. My mom stands helplessly by, knowing that she can't leave him, even though she can't catch him, either.
My head spun off in a million directions -- a million questions for the doctors, potential solutions to their living situation that would grant them the luxury of being able to leave the house, lamenting the lack of family near them, rehashing the conversation Jason and I had over the weekend wondering whether we should confront the inevitable and move back to Pennsylvania because clearly no one else will -- even though I could really only stammer my sympathies and a suggestion that Peapod might be have cheaper delivery fees for groceries than Acme. Mostly I just tried to dismissively wave off the real reason my mom had called.
Of course he can't travel.
Of course you can't leave him.
I'm fine! I'll be fine. We'll figure something out. Totally fiiiiine.
And then today it really hit me. Like the snooze button kicked in, 12 hours later.
I'm having a baby and my mom won't be there. My dad won't be there. They won't be there at the hospital. They won't be there at my house, making the coffee or folding the laundry or picking Noah up from school or reminding me to shower.
I'm suddenly very scared. Very alone. Very heartbroken for all of us, and this loss of time and firsts that you never get back. I know they're heartbroken too -- I heard it in my mother's voice, how much this hurts her, and I'm still debating whether to publish this when I'm done because I'm afraid it will upset her -- and yet I just want to slam doors and stomp my feet and dramatically throw myself down on the furniture because I'm having a baby and my mom won't be there and I need her and it's not fair.
June 13, 2008
Oh, Internet Peoples. Thank you for everything this week, the comments and emails and positive granola mother earth vibes or whatever it was y'all sent out. You guys are the wind beneath my wonderwall, or something.
My dad is FINE. Once again he pulled through something that could have very well killed him in record time and was eating hamburgers within 24 hours and bemoaning the lack of extra ketchup. He was discharged late yesterday because of a never-ending string of last-minute MRIs and EKGs and heart-monitory things in futile attempts to figure out why he fell (we still don't know, which is very frustrating, but I'm hoping one of the bazillion follow-up visits and consultations we've had to schedule will eventually reveal something). But for now, he is home and healing and complaining of nothing but a headache (you know, from all the SKULL FRACTURES AND WHATNOT) and that TiVo cut off the ends of all his Phillies games while he was gone.
My mother originally ordered me NOT to visit, on account of my delicate with-child condition, and I immediately pish-poshed her and tossed myself and my kid in the car and drove up there, where I proceeded to live on pure adrenaline for two days before crashing in the aisles at Target, clutching my parents' grocery list and nearly coming to tears over the stress of choosing Band-Aids for other people when you don't know what kind of Band-Aids they like, and when did fucking Band-Aids become so complicated? Flexible Fabric? Sheer? Antibacterial? Activ Flex? Do they prefer the 40-pack with the oversized wound patches? Or the 80 pack with those tiny little square ones that are probably only useful to people who routinely stab themselves in the thigh with freshly-sharpened pencils? Spongebob?
By the time I got to the cough drops and discovered that Halls now come in no less than 17 different varieties and then audibly yelped after Baby Tivo kicked me square in the cervix for the hundredth time that day, I realized that I was, maybe, just a tad useless and a little more delicate than I cared to admit.
Let's see, what else...oh, so while I've always figured that Noah would prefer if there was not a public blow-by-blow record of his potty training, I would like him to commend him for thoroughly proving my mother-in-law (and her Many Theories of Potty Training and How Easy It Is) wrong. I mean, sure, I would have LOVED to have gotten him back from her care on Tuesday completely trained, but I did get a tiny bit of perverse pleasure from the shell-shocked look on her face over the Crazy Delicious Stubbornness she witnessed that day. And then I innocently shrugged and said I was surprised, because he'd been doing SO WELL with me and it was just happening pretty NATURALLY, much like she sat on my couch once and shrugged and said she didn't understand why I was having such problems with breastfeeding, it always went SO WELL and happened so NATURALLY for her.
Wow. I sure do hold on to things sometimes, don't I?
(For the record, we went the cold turkey to cloth pants route, with disposable training pants for naps and bedtime only, a complicated give-and-take reward system involving a plastic baggie of spare buttons and chocolate, and an epic battle of wills. So basically, Potty Training in Less Than a Day, rewritten to be the slightly more accurate and yet no less optimistic Potty Training in Less Than the Rest of Your Life.)
I am now going to sleep. For awhile or so. In my own bed, free from the fear of my bedmate wetting it (my mother-in-law DID do a pretty good job with Jason, I'll give her that).
June 10, 2008
Thank you all so much for the prayers and kind thoughts. Noah and I got here yesterday afternoon and he promptly peed through every blessed pair of pants I packed. I've done laundry twice already, although one of those times may have been more because I forgot to add detergent. Maybe. I cop to nothing.
I got to visit with my dad last night -- he's conscious but not feeling super great (NEWSFLASH! NO WAY! WOW!), and looks like he and the pavement got into quite the barfight.
He's still in the ICU and undergoing a zillion tests to determine the cause of his fall (he didn't trip, it was more of blackout and a dead drop to the ground), but a CAT scan revealed that the bleeding in his brain is NOT getting worse. So. There is that, and y'all feel free to cue up the ER theme music in your heads right now. Doo doo doop doop, or however it goes.
I made some fabulous ratatouille for dinner last night, and then we ate the hell out of some ice cream. Noah climbed on my head at 6 am this morning and Baby Tivo is present and accounted for. We're heading back to the hospital now for what is sure to be a full wonderful day of cafeteria cuisine, weak coffee and inappropriate gallows humor from me.
My mother-in-law, meanwhile, who has been talking trash about how her boys were potty-trained by 12 months old since Noah's first birthday, will be handling that side of things today. It's like I had some master evil plan that is all coming to fruition, or something. I mean, it's a little more head-injury-ry than I would have liked, but still. HERE'S MY KID AND A COMPLETELY INADEQUATE SUPPLY OF DRY PANTS, HAVE FUN GOTTA RUN HA HA HA.
June 09, 2008
I just got a call from my mom and it wasn't a detailed description of the 27 little blue outfits she bought over the weekend, oh no, it was about my dad, who fell outside their house last night and is now in the ICU with a brain bleed and broken occipital bones and they think it's his heart but they don't know yet and anyway, I'm putting Noah in the car and driving up to PA just as soon as I can find my keys and maybe some clean underwear. PA is fancy like that, you know.
In other news, Noah is willing to keep his pants dry in exchange for spare buttons from my sewing kit. If that doesn't cheer you up a tiny bit even after the words "ICU" and "brain bleed" then I suggest you just start hitting the hooch right now.
June 03, 2008
Whoa. The harsh glare of the laptop screen. The pulsing bars of stray wifi signals. Yep. I'm back.
We spent the weekend up with my brother- and sister-in-law and our new delicious niece -- oh, my, lands, what a nummy little bundle of smiles and chub and coos -- out in the wilds of the Boston suburbs where I weirdly did not get cell service and the wifi was a solid brick wall of encryption and passkeys and possibly elvish riddles and while my brother-in-law offered to find me a network cable I opted to slip my laptop back into my luggage and go back to gnawing on his daughter's face instead.
I was VERY busy, clearly.
Completely entranced by the shiny, newer model of child, Amy completely ignores her knick-knack-destroying toddler in the background.
I am, ahem, just more than a little excited now about having a small squishy person of our own again this fall, although Noah's opinion of his cousin mostly leaned towards total indifference with just a touch of outright disdain. And then this happened...
...and then I died. The end.
I think some more stuff happened , although I fear I've probably already maxed out today's Cute Things My Perfect Child Did Including Behave Absolutely Impeccably On Not One But Two Seven-Hour Train Rides And Informed My Sister-in-Law That She Is Also Not Paid Enough And Had Long Conversations With Mickey Mouse Over The Baby Monitor quotient. So I'll save those for another day. But probably not tomorrow, because...
Ultrasound day! Will I be getting my grubby paws on my niece's adorable wardrobe or will I be that obnoxious person who demands all her hand-me-downs back from other people, or will this baby take an early stand against my exploiting his or her every move on the Internet and keep his or her legs crossed? Oh, the suspense!