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February 2010
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April 2010

17 Months

I went to war this weekend against our basement playroom, armed with little more than a new EXPEDIT bookcase and a half dozen BRANÄS baskets. Plus some thumbtacks and zero reservations about throwing my children's toys out while they slept. Sorry, kids! All your torn stuffed animals and deflated balls and Crappy Meal toys wandered out into the street and got hit by cars. You probably should have stayed awake to keep an eye on them. Pictures of that (thrilling) finished project to come. For today, this is the best my soupy brain can do: He's 17 months old today. Miraculously, I have not completely chewed his face off yet. Some days, though. SOME DAYS. CHOMP. GRR. NOM. He still loves his stroller, and wanders around the house going "WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA" like that little mechanical lint roller robot from WALL*E. When he's thirsty, he drags his index finger from his mouth to his chin. When he's REALLY thirsty, he does the same sign, only he starts at his forehead. When he does something naughty, he wags his finger at me and says "NO NO NO." Just so I know that he knows. He's not stopping, or anything,... Read more →

Mad Skillz

Social skills are still a struggle for Noah. "Social skills" being probably the most vague and imprecise bucket of Early Intervention nonsense we have come across so far. People hear "social skill problems" and immediately assume that Noah hits or bites or plays roughly or...I don't. Spits and hisses, like he's spent his life locked in a closet. So when those people meet him, all charming and bubbly and eager to please, they wonder what in sam hill we're talking about. "Social skill problems. My ass. That I just farted out of. Loudly. In an elevator. NOW who's got 'SOCIAL SKILL PROBLEMS'?" So...yeah, it's not exactly something that makes a lot of sense the first time you meet Noah. Especially if you're an adult. It's subtle. It's more of an inability to connect with peers. Other children. (Someone once sent me a link to a blog entry they wrote about dyspraxia being a "social planning disorder" in addition to motor planning and it was absolutely perfect and I cannot for the life of me find the link now.) Noah likes the IDEA of other kids, but not much else. Mostly he just wants to go to their houses and play... Read more →

Consumer Reporting

Dear Crayola, Hi! How are you? I'm fine. I mean, I could be drunker, but for now I'm pretty good. Anyway, I would like to bring a possible design flaw to your attention, re: my recent purchase of a set of Crayola Beginnings Washable TaDoodles Crayon Buddies, which holy hell, that's a lot of words about crayons, but I appreciate that you guys probably get pretty excited about crayons. CRAYONS! TADOODLES! I'm imagining a lot of jazz hands happen around your office. Please don't shatter my illusions. What? Oh. Right. My problem. See, I've got a toddler who is a bit of a mimic. The monkey-see, monkey-do variety. Perform an action once in his presence and he will repeat it, over and over again. This is the very trait that led me to purchase the Crayola Beginnings Washable TaDoodles Crayon Buddies for him, since he very much wants to color alongside his older brother. Adorable! I know! You could already die just picturing it. Feel free to contact me about having them appear in a commercial or something. They're kind of uncooperative little shits sometimes, but you guys have a budget for CGI, right? What? Dammit! Right. The point. Which... Read more →

Imitative Play FTW

I believe I have mentioned once or twice or seventeen dozen times that Ezra is not a big fan of "toys," particularly toys that are generally labeled as such or come from the toy store or contain no choking hazards or are anything that he did not retrieve himself from the garbage. So he's more or less content to wander around the house with empty paper towel tubes, Chinese food takeout receipts, and electrical outlet covers from God-knows-what outlet, but I bet it's one near some forks. Last week he carried around a Victoria's Secret coupon mailer that featured a woman's polka-dot-panty-clad ass for three days straight. All that changed this weekend. You know you have to special order blue or gender-neutral doll strollers? And pay twice as much for privilege? Or you can just grab the nearest $9.99 Pepto Bismol version at Target and watch your son lose his damn mind over it? For hours. HOURS. "Bye!" he says cheerfully before heading off into the nearest wall with tremendous purpose. He is not overly concerned with his baby's comfort, body placement, or species. And sometimes whether they stay in the stroller for the entire ride is a meaningless detail.... Read more →

The Frantic "Wait! Don't Go! I Have Thoughts!" Friday Round-Up

I had a photo essay planned for today, but my memory card reader decided to eat all the photos. NOM. POOF. Gone. No photos and no photo essay. So now I'm facing the White Space Of Creative Terror with less than 20 minutes before I have to go pick up Noah from school. What should I talk about? AHMAHGAD. I could talk about our roof, which you may remember started leaking in the wake of Snoverkill 2010: The Reckoning: Inconvenience Unleashed: the insurance guy came by yesterday to assess the damage. Good news! There's only $650 in damage. Bad news! Your deductible is $1,000. So. Good luck with your repairs. Good news! Your roof wasn't damaged by the snow or ice. Bad news! Your roof IS damaged, thanks to a certain snow removal guy who decided to get up there with a GODDAMN HAMMER. So. Good luck with THAT. The insurance guy was really nice, so I felt bad for being a little "goddamn...I'll...hammer...fucking...getonyourroof seehowyoulikeit" at the end of his visit. Then Noah asked him if he was the Cowardly Lion. That was probably a little more awkward. I could talk about Ezra and all the funny stuff he does,... Read more →


Oh, so hey. Remember when we went on that awesome vacation? Way over a month ago? Yes, that. I finally went through our photos and uploaded 100 or so of my favorites to Flickr. We took 700 photos, by the way. Each frolic on the beach or dip in the pool necessitated at least 150 near-identical shots of the children, apparently. It's like we planned to create an Our Vacation Flip Book when we got back, lest we forget a single precious arm movement. Anyway, you can view the set here. Don't everybody rush over at once. Also, if you're thinking about taking a trip to Bluefields, here's the deal: 15% rate reduction with $100 spa credit for new full-week reservations with rental dates between now and November 1, 2010. Code is AMALAH. Go to their reservations page, or call (202) 232-4010 or Yay! Read more →

Two Roads Diverged in a Suburban Parking Lot

Noah's private school is around the corner from my old office. On Mondays I drop him off and then hang out at the shopping center across the street, poaching WiFi from the sandwich place where I used to get lunch. The parking lot is still a pain in the ass, the chicken salad is still too dry, but that's where the nostalgia ends. I've been coming here since last summer, when I brought a very, very different little boy to the school's summer camp, and yet I have never once bumped into anyone I know. I drove by the office every day for months without noticing that the company name was no longer on the building -- they'd moved a couple blocks away, to another building that I drove by every day, but the name on that building is different too. The company was sold awhile back, then renamed and rebranded. I had no idea until I joined LinkedIn and tried searching for coworkers. Most of them are still there, though there were quite a few layoffs in the wake of the stock market crash. I still can't listen to stock market reports without thinking about my job -- if... Read more →