1) Today, I got to see one of my oldest and dearest friends and her brood of three beautiful boys. She is as warm and luminous and brilliant and gorgeous as ever, and seeing her nurture her flock is just a delight.
2) Das Big Boy ate three pieces of pizza for dinner tonight, and two bites of a fourth. Remember when he couldn’t eat and had a g-tube? Rejoice, parents of tubies. It (often) gets better. (Or not. And that’s ok, too. Whatever your kid needs, s/he needs…) But seriously. That’s more pizza than I ate (by two bites, but still).
3) We went to Tanglewood over the weekend, stayed at a wonderful house via Airbnb, and had a fantastic time at the concert. Highly recommend for localish folk. Kids are free (literally–no charge for the under-17 set) to frolic, scenery is beyond idyllic, and the music is of course top-notch. DBB and LL enjoyed the music and the picnic, and we enjoyed those things and the rosé.
4) Father of the year. Laughs of the year. Chimp of the year.
You guys, Herr Husband cleaned our pantry tonight (with an assist from me–seriously. I was the one who found the copy of Are You My Mother? that I’d had to buy from the library because it was lost.). Anyway, he found–no lie–thirty-two boxes of pasta (opened and unopened). Apologies to Nanny Sunshine who once cleaned our pantry. Please know that every time Gigi comes over she says, “Poor Nanny Sunshine, after all the hard work she put into this pantry…”
I tried to argue that it made me a good mother because I was prepared for a disaster in which we needed food stores. But really, I know this is insane. Das Big Boy won’t even eat pasta unless it’s macaroni and cheese (NB, Dr. G: I only feed him the organic kind…). We also have six boxes of that (not included in previous pasta totals, which also omitted Asian noodles in what Herr Husband referred to as, “an effort to be generous.”)
Now you could go all #FailedFeminist on me, and point out that I shouldn’t be blamed for this excess, because it’s not my duty to stock our kitchen or clean our pantry. But to that I respond, a) obviously I don’t clean our pantry and b) Herr Husband does a lot of chores. Like all of the laundry. And anything involving cat poop, because like many a smart lady, I’ve ridden that Toxoplasmosis fear straight out of pregnancy and right into the rest of my life. This is particularly unfair as we have a cat with IBS who either can’t or won’t control his bowels. I digress. The truth is, grocery shopping is a chore that I actually love (as evidenced by my apparent uncontrollable glee every time I see organic whole wheat fusilli (6 boxes)), and therefore I do pretty much all of it. So yes, I am to blame here.
And now, because I believe it’s my duty to share my kids’ cuteness once per post, here is a picture of DBB at a recent bowling birthday party.
I think the pic is adorable, but befouled by HH’s Birkenstocks. Now look, I “rocked” (can you rock Birks?) purple Birkenstocks with wool socks in 1994 as well as the next fake hippie adolescent, but that doesn’t make them ok, right? And then ‘Burban Bestie informed me that I was wrong. That Birkenstocks are indeed in style. Oh my. What a lot of learning I have to do. Still, don’t expect me to bust out a pair anytime soon (Full disclosure: I also had them in blue, and in black clogs, and I only finally got rid of them in 2009 when we moved to Brooklyn). But all of my footwear convos with ‘Burban Bestie have made me yearn for the other shoe of my tortured teen years: the Doc Marten. So perhaps you’ll see me stomping around in those instead. And then I’ll really be ready for the apocalypse, what with my hoarded food and steel toes.
Watch out, zombies/angels of judgement. I’m ready for you.
Deine Hipster Hausfrau
No, I didn’t finish my book. Or books. Not the one about my grandmother the Nazi resisting teenage artist. Nor the one about the elementary school girl who has a big secret. Nor the collection of hilarious and poignant parenting essays. Nor the novel about friends navigating their thirties as their shit gets real.
But I did make it into Publisher’s Weekly (from whence this photo–their photo of the day–was taken)! A hundred years ago, if Courtney had been my boss’s writer, it would have been my job to cull this clip (Actually, my stint as a book publicist was so long ago that there was no PW daily newsletter and I actually clipped the clips and got yelled at if I taped them down in a crooked fashion before photocopying them). Look how far I’ve come. Sort of. Today I uttered the sentence “I’m mad because Grandpa’s clothes won’t come off” to empathize with LL so she wouldn’t pitch a wingding at the library because she couldn’t undress a Melissa and Doug old man dollhouse doll. Which means either I’ve come a long way and my life is awesome or I’ve entered some creepy, sad bizarro dimension. Your pick.
Anyway, I did get into PW and I am famous and that shirt is the only thing I kept from my most recent Stitch Fix and most importantly you should read I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, not just because I clearly enjoy basking in Courtney’s reflected glow, but because it is a witty, honest, sad, steamy, and heartwarming novel that deeply questions art and love. And if you don’t believe me, listen to The Today Show. But don’t look for me there. At least not yet.
The origin of this post is actually last night’s post, when I was crafting Rainbow Fish’s birth announcement. I had originally planned to inform you of his length and weight (I’m guessing 1.5 inches and 1 ounce). But I took it out because I don’t love birth announcements with weight and height info. Maybe this is because my two children combined barely topped eight pounds. But I also feel like we fixate way too much on children’s size in general, and it sets us up for a life of judging other people’s sizes. Except we all at least know it’s not polite to do that with adults. There’s a weird value judgement attached to baby size, but it’s the inverse of grown-up: everyone wants their kids fat and their adults skinny. And it’s crap. We can fix this in two ways:
1) I can say, “Oh my god, guys, can you believe that I’m 95%ile for height and 25%ile for weight? Isn’t that crazy?!” [Note: I actually looked this up]. And you can all want to pelt me with rotten fruit, which is rotten because I’d rather eat candy but I’m genetically lucky to be someone who loses weight by breastfeeding.
2) We can stop talking about kids’ size all the time, and stop idealizing fat babes and skinny adults. Neither are an accomplishment. Everyone is different. Stop calling my kids peanuts and I won’t call yours Mack trucks. And let’s stop talking about (or secretly judging) each other’s bodies, too.
But, now that I’ve ranted about this, I have to tell you that I also hate these sensitivity memes. Like 10 things to never say to an anxious person, or 10 things you should never say to a sober person, or 10 things never to say to your Uzbek neighbor. It’s not that I don’t like sensitivity. In fact, I’m politically correct and proud. It never hurts to be nice or to be sensitive to others’ needs. But you can’t assume that all sober people, anxious people, or Uzbeks are the same or have the same needs, and assuming you shouldn’t say certain things to them takes away their ability to speak up for themselves and make their own personal needs known. There might be a list of ten things never to say to a preemie parent (I’ve heard lots of horrid things, including, “Nice for you because you didn’t gain lots of weight, right?”). Obviously not a great thing to say. But I had the opportunity to educate that guy. And to tell him that I weighed more when I gave birth to my preemie than when I gave birth to my almost term baby, and that no, it was not nice, because my kid almost died and spent four months in the hospital. In general, I like to share about my experience and I don’t want some HuffPo writer telling people what they can’t say to me.
Even thought I spent the first half of this post telling you not to talk about kidsize or adultsize. But I’m not telling you what you can’t say to certain people. I’m telling you to get over your obsession with size and focus on something interesting, like books or cheese or why I can’t stop wearing mildly skanky outfits on public play dates with my dear gal pal Rocky (a supermom and ass-kicking boxer who totally rocks.)
What self-respecting thirty-six year old mom wears tall boots and short shorts to the park, or a strapless dress to an indoor playground?
That’s right: Deine Hipster Hausfrau
Meet Rainbow Fish Husband Hausfrau. He came into our family because someone in this family has been diaper free for a month! (Jokes about me or Herr Husband, commence now.) Rainbow Fish is actually more charming than I thought he would be. He likes to come look at me and make kissy faces and I’m rather smitten. And the level of care he requires is probably in line with my abilities. Das Big Boy was terribly excited to get a fish and now seems marginally interested, which seems about right.
Also, I’m kind of obsessed with:
Yes, I am one of the many people you know who has gotten hooked on Stitch Fix. It’s basically like getting presents except you pay for them. You tell them about styles you love and hate and they send you clothes and then you can return them if you don’t like them. I kept everything from my first “fix” and wear the clothes constantly. I only kept one shirt from my second “fix,” but I’ve worn it two days in a row so that says something. It’s a great service for people like me who enjoy clothes but whose wardrobes have fallen behind the times either because they have kids or work or accidentally always buy the same types of clothes (tank tops and deconstructed cardigans with statement necklaces over here). Full disclosure: if you sign up and use my link above I get a $25 credit, but I promise I’m not trying to scam you. My evangelism is pure.
Other than dressing myself, or, more accurately, letting others dress me, the fam and I have ventured to Provincetown with Mo, Martha’s Vineyard with the Huxtables, and Cape Cod to see my luminously talented Auntie in I am a Camera. And I’ve solo attended book events for hardcore gifted storytellers Julia Fierro (Cutting Teeth) and Courtney Maum (I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You). All awesome. Such events and the new clothes might make my life sound glamorous, but let’s remember I have two small children and was recently compelled to utter the sentence, “That’s right, DBB, you can’t juggle Marmalady’s pukies.” And ten times a day I sing a hand washing song to the tune of the ABCs about how good someone is at using the potty.
Das Big Boy is summering at camp, which he has figured out is really school with a different order of events, some new teachers, and a sprinkler. Little Liebchen has a gazillion words understandable only to her parents, and a tendency to lay her head upon the floor and sob when she does not get her way. Wherever does she get it?
Here is what we look like as of last weekend:
We went as a family to the Brockton Fair, where we went on lots of rides and I fed my baby fried dough. Yes, I exist in an odd dichotomous universe in which my children and I either eat only organic hippie food or total crap. Also at the fair, I won the game where you shoot water into the clown’s mouth, thereby procuring a stuffed dragon for my family. It felt good to be a provider again. There may have been a post victory fist pump involved.
I’m trying to write beyond the blog again, so wish me luck with that endeavor. How do we feel about getting childcare to do work for which you will likely never be paid? Or paid enough? It fills me with guilt, but I’m not sure how else writing gets done. Thoughts?
Faithfully yours, even in long bouts of unexplained absentia,
Deine Hipster Hausfrau