Tuesday, October 30, 2012

World Series of Assholes

As I promised in my last post about baseball, I managed to catch a couple games of the World Series. Because I'm from Michigan, I felt a bit torn about who to cheer for. I remember feeling this way as a young girl, when I was visiting my dad in Cleveland and we went to a game in which the Indians were playing the Tigers. "Who do you want to win?" I asked him, concerned (much like Jonah seemed when he asked who I'd root for in these games). "Oh, whoever wins is fine," my dad assured me. "It's more about team work and playing a good game. Whoever wins will deserve it."

What a nice way to look at things! That's how I felt on Wednesday night when Paulie and I strolled down to the Toad in the Hole pub to catch the game on the big, huge screen. My plan had been to wear my Tigers shirt and my Giants hat, but I couldn't find my hat. I thought I'd found it in Jonah's room, and grabbed it triumphantly, but when I put it on later I realized that it was actually a Jonah-sized hat (which explains why it was in Jonah's room, I guess). 

I didn't think my dual-team support plan being foiled would be that big of a deal. It's not like I live in the Midwest any more, where people will threaten your life if you dare like the team that they don't like. Personal opinions aren't always respected there. But hey, I live in California now! We're all about acceptance here! 

While at the Toad, we ran into our friend Joey and his son Skye. I'm assuming this was an exciting yet perplexing moment:

(they are not really related)

The sea of black and orange made me a little nervous, but no one seemed bothered by my presence. Still, there was nowhere to sit, so we headed around the corner to the much quieter, calmer Jack and Tony's. I was relieved that there were only a few people sitting at the bar, watching the game in a seemingly relaxed manner.  

Who should I cheer for??
After settling in with some friends, I went to the bar to order our drinks. There I encountered two Giants fans, and unfortunately there was a commercial on, so they weren't distracted enough to not notice me. Fan A saw me standing there and raised his eyebrows. "Tigers!" he said. "Huh." This made Fab B look at me. Fab B was a Very Mean Man. "Oh, shit" he said, (rather aggressively, I'd like to add). "You'd better turn that shirt inside out if you know what's good for you."

I looked at Fan A who seemed slightly nicer and shrugged. "I'm from Michigan," I told him.

Fan B was not letting my offensive choice of clothing go, and added "or just turn around so I don't have to look at you!"

I said to Fan A "yeah, I was going to wear my Giants hat too, so, you know--" but Fan B leaned over Fan A to interrupt with "well coulda shoulda woulda gets you about as far as....." I didn't hear the end of that surely delightful anecdote because my drinks arrived at that moment, so I picked them up, gave an exaggerated raising of the eyebrows to Fan A, and headed back to our table full of non-crazies.

Ah, sportsmanship! I wouldn't be surprised  if that guy was involved in initiating the Detroit-like riots in San Francisco after the Giants won the World Series. Thumbs up, folks! You showed us all what it means to be a die hard fan - with a good old-fashioned bus burning. Well done.

In all seriousness though, congrats to the Giants. Baseball is actually the one sport that holds a special place in my heart (thanks to those Indians games I went to in my youth). Until next season....

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Do NOT Read This Post

I haven't written anything on this blog for a while.  Not because life hasn't been interesting lately.  Au contraire.  It's just been really gross.

There's a stomach bug going around Healdsburg.  It hit Liam and Finn on Thursday.  Liam started things off by painting the walls a nice shade of 'Oatmeal' and Finn filled 8 diapers with an impossible volume of grey diarrhea (I told you not to read this post)

The bug blew through here like a hurricane.  Quick and disastrous, or so I thought.

Last night, Saturday night, it hit Erin.  We went to the annual Healdsburg Community Nursery School "Wild Things" Halloween Fundraiser.  I know what you're thinking.  I was thinking it too never having been to such an event, but you'd be wrong.  We were both wrong.  It was FUCKING AWESOME!  Easily the best party I've been to this year.

Erin and I won the couples costume contest.  I assumed it was because the audience had never seen the original Star Wars poster performed live and with a gender reversal (Erin was Leia I was Han Solo sprawled, grasping her leg submissively while she held the power stance).  But, as I learned over coffee this morning from fellow attendees, it was Erin's splits that pushed the needle on the applause-o-meter.  I skinned my knees for nothing.

We got home that night before midnight and crashed, but around 4am I woke to the sound of Erin heaving up some very decent pre-school fundraiser appetizers.  It could have been the vodka tonics, or the jell-o shots, or the roach coach tacos at 11pm, but most likely it was the bug.  Poor Erin had a rough night and I was zero comfort.  The noise that she was making, while alternating bent over heaving with sitting and erupting (I told you not to read this) wasn't loud enough to wake me up but was loud enough to put me into that lucid level of sleep where you incorporate the sounds you hear into your dreams.  I can't remember exactly what I dreamt but I woke up sweating and certain I was going to be sick too.

But I wasn't sick.  In fact as of writing this I feel perfectly fine.  If it turns out that I dodged this thing it'll be the real life equivalent of when, in cartoons, the side of a house falls over and our protagonist is spared because he was standing where the window was.

Most likely karma will win over and I'll be in bad shape in the next couple of days.  I'm half assuming this is what will happen so I've been restricting myself to a liquid diet.  I figure if I'm gonna puke, I might as well be drunk, right?

Fortunately Erin has come around already.  You know you're feeling better when you're able to tolerate things that are disgusting.  For example Erin is already tolerating my brand of humor.  We just had this exchange:

Erin:  I'm planning your birthday dinner

Me:  Great!

Erin:  It'll be different than usual, but good different

Me:  Like anal?

Erin:  Exactly.

(I told you not to read this)

The boys are doing fine too.  In fact, since Erin is couch-bound and I'm terrified to touch anyone or anything in the house, they've spent this unseasonably hot day on the back deck getting soaking wet.  This is a good thing since, as Erin illustrated, our hygiene these past few days has fallen by the wayside.

Erin:  Ew

Me:  What?

Erin:  I just found a little...something.  You don't want to know.

Me:  Yeah I do.

Erin:  A little dried vomit on my chest.

Me:  That's going in the blog.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Giants, Obama!

Monday night, after a long day of work and kids and writing, I finally logged onto my trusty news source: Facebook. And WHOA!!!!!! That thing had done a fair amount of exploding during my absence. Apparently there had been a baseball game (go Giants!), a football game (sorry Lions!) and a political debate (go Obama!).

I hate it when these things are happening. Don't get me wrong - I'm a big fan of hometown spirit and jovial camaraderie, and will probably even catch a game or two, in a pub, with friends, where we all know what is happening and can comment on it to people who know what our comments mean because they saw whatever we're commenting about. But holy foul ball from hell, Facebook has given free licence to people who love sports to assume that rest of us love them, as well. And that we actually know what they're talking about. And that we give a flying fuck.

I tried to address this once before:

Jesus christ you guys...I'm sorry, but after scrolling through a weekend's worth of status updates, all I wish - AGAIN - is that there was some sort of filter for completely random (to anyone not watching) sports references. Things like "YES!" and "Way to show 'em how it's done!" and "(Random Name)!" and "Swiiiiiiing!!!!!!" Aren't people supposed to gather in living rooms with bowls of chips and cans of beer and say this shit to each other in person? Come ON!

p.s. I love you all. Just not when sports of any kind are happening.

I got lots of supportive feedback (17 likes and 27 comments...only 3 of which were my friend Frank being sarcastic and once again giving me shit about how I write a stupid blog, which made no sense whatsoever in the context in which it was delivered. Still...*tear!*).

But of course the nonsensical gibberish sports shouting hasn't stopped. Take the following posts, for example: 

I get the first means the Lions are playing football. Okay, that's easy. The next two are really confusing to me, though. I know it's deer season, but I have a feeling that second one isn't some sort of slang referring to being quiet in your tree, maybe pensively waiting for your kill...? And the 3rd one...was this supposed to be an inter-office memo that accidentally got recorded on Facebook instead? Woops!

Then there's this one: 

Um. I really have no idea. Nothing about any of these makes sense. The first one made me panic. What?! What happened?? Was there an explosion downtown? Should I gather my sleeping children and run for the hills from an alien invasion? WHAT HAPPENED?!?!

The second one is nice, I like that musical, too. Or wait, does that mean you went outside in the storm and sang some songs? That's pretty endearing, actually. 

I can only assume that the third is a Halloween reference. Something about zombies eating asses...?

I have no idea what the LOLing is about here
The first and second posts here were made by the same person. As you can see, they were made at the exact same time. This person first has a lot of enthusiasm about their baby. Then they ask to be put out of their misery, only seconds later! WHAT HAPPENED? What did your baby do?! I was really concerned!

Finally I got some clarification as to what all the fuss was about:

For the record, I'm rooting for the Tigers.
Because I already have a Tigers shirt. 
Apparently the San Francisco Giants won a baseball game. That is exciting! Also, the Tigers (a baseball team) are now Detroit's only hope, which leads me to believe that the Lions (a football team) lost their game. Both of these events are absolutely worth posting about during every single minute of the game. As is every sporting event that I and my fellow clueless non-fans get to read about at the height of every season. Thanks for sharing! Just a suggestion: Twitter might be more suited for such frequent, up-to-the-minute updates. know. So you know. Here's a link, please go sign up, and post away - as often as you want! It's encouraged over there.

The other exciting thing happening was the election. Apparently more people were watching the game, which frankly makes me a little bit nervous. If I could afford cable or internet, I'd have been watching the debate. As it is, I really enjoyed the highlights offered by my one friend who'd been watching. 

Ha! I do love a POTUS with a sense of humor...

Anyway, I'm just so happy that my old home state team (Go Tigers!!) is playing against my new home state team (Go Giants!), that's always fun...and that baseball season is almost over! And the election is right around the corner! (VOTE!) And for the love of god, don't tell me every detail about it. I. Don't. Care. 

Go team!

Monday, October 22, 2012


There is nothing I wouldn't do for my boys, except become a firefighter.  This fact has plagued me with guilt long before I even had kids.  I knew I would some day, and I knew they'd be disappointed.  After graduating from the academy, earning my EMT, volunteering for ten years, and even getting a flippin' associates degree in Fire Technology, it seemed like a crime against my children that I'd bail on what is, as everyone knows, the absolute coolest job a dad could have, right?


Liam thinks firefighters are HELLA LAME!  Great GOD ALMIGHTY!!!  I AM VINDICATED!!!

Healdsburg fire department had an open house.  I volunteered there for a few years so when I took Liam I was at least hoping to score some "cool daddy" points for knowing everyone there.  What I got was so much better.  

We rolled into the place and everything was wide open for the kids.  All the trucks and engines were crawling with other kids, there were men and women in uniforms and turnouts, and they were even giving away free fire hats.  I stood back and waited for Liam to poop himself with excitement, but I got nothing.  I figured he was too stunned with the incomprehensible miracle of it all so I led him to an engine to have at it.  He climbed in obligingly, pressed a few seat belt buttons, and gave me a look that said "and?..."

Yeah, I'm good.  Let's go make wine.

After ten minutes he was trying to drag me back to the car.  True story.  I effing love the little bugger.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I, Superhero

Yesterday morning the kids and I were walking to school -- well, most of the way to school. We parked about half way between my apartment and school and walked the rest of the way. Wednesdays are Walk & Roll to school days - we live too far to walk, Evie refuses to ride her bike, so this is what we can manage.

As we were walking, Jonah asked me what three superhero powers I'd have, if I were a superhero. He'd been following me around all morning, telling me intricate details of the clothes, personality and weaponry of each Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Lots of swords and nun-chucks and throwing stars and gloves with sharp blades protruding from the sides.

Then he moved on to robots with human characteristics.

Then he moved on to superheroes. I enjoy watching and listening to Jonah make up superhero qualities on the spot. He's pretty into it. He's been honing his skills for quite a while now and it's impressive to see them in action. The only skill that has taken some time away from superhero invention is his new found love for the arts of sarcasm and clever wit.

Anyway, after listening to his never-ending monologue on weapons and violent ways to kill your enemies, I chose my superhero powers carefully.

Mom: I'd like to fly. So, flying.
Jonah: Okay, flying is good...flying is good...what about your second?
Mom: Umm...World Peace Power
Jonah: Huh. Okaaaay.... and your third?
Mom: Laughter Bombs
Jonah: What?! What is a laughter bomb, anyway?
Mom: I drop one on my enemies, and it makes them stop what they're doing and just laugh for a while. Then they don't feel like being jerks any more
Jonah: (shaking head) Okay mom. (sigh) And what would your name be?
Mom: Hm...I don't know. Um, I guess...Super Panda
Jonah: (slaps hand on leg in exasperation) What, you're all big and fluffy like a Panda?!
Mom: No, I'd just wear a black and white suit. And cuddle people.

And, without missing a beat -

Jonah: How about if your superhero name is just Super Hippy?

Mom: (laughter!)
Jonah: Juuuuuuuust kidding, mom.

That kid kills me! Not in a superhero way - in a hilarious way. His ninja-like sneak-attack jokes and ninja-speed with comebacks will one day make him a force to be reckoned with. I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Harvest 2012

The 2012 Bairdsmith Bros. harvest is done!  Check out the action...

Liam cleaning out bins in his jammies.  He actually helped this year (sort of), although teaching him how to operate the hose was a can of worms I probably should have kept closed.

Every time Erin brought in a bucket she would announce which number it was.  By the end she'd gotten up to 113!  This was particularly remarkable since, after doing the math, I figured she'd single-handedly picked 800 pounds more grapes than we ended up with.  Incredible!!

 Erin wasn't the only one picking (though she might as well have with her skills, right?)  Joining us was her sister Kat, Kat's manservant Neil (just kidding Neil), my father-in-law Bruce and our buddy Timothy.

A thing of beauty!!  Though, sadly, Erin's extra 800 pounds must have fallen out on the way home.

It took Liam a few minutes to realize he was sitting on a pile of candy.  We had to pry him off.

Totally not staged

It was a good harvest.  Back in the day I'd have to keep telling myself that the one full day of hard work was worth it because in the end we'd have a year's worth of wine to enjoy.  But with the boys' help I don't have to keep telling myself that.  I can't say I'd go through it without the reward of an ocean of booze, but they sure make it a lot easier.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wuv, Twue Wuv

Last weekend Erin and I left our boys screaming in the arms of my parents as we set off for an all adult weekend.  We headed down to the land of palm trees and Spanish tile: Santa Barbara.  We were there for four days.  Four whole days.  It was awesome.

The people of Santa Barbara are interesting.  Everyone walking the streets appears to be either on their way to yoga, homeless, or both.  Also they seem to go out of their way to try and get run over by cars.  I'd have been fine with that (I'm all for Darwinism) but we'd borrowed my parents' car for the trip and returning it smeared with hippie blood was a poor way to return the favor.

We arrived Friday night.  Erin and I did our best to try not to miss the kids too much.  We figured the safest way to make the transition was to go out for an extravagant night on the town. Until that point we hadn't made any plans aside from simply getting beyond shouting distance from the boys, so the night was wide open.  Fortunately we had our friend Shane, who lives in Santa Barbara, to offer up some guidance.

I don't know if I've mentioned Shane in this blog before?  The short story is:  I'm a little gay for him.  I suspect Erin feels similarly because ten seconds before we met up with him I popped two mints in my mouth and Erin lotioned both of her hands (true story).

Before we called Shane to meet up with him we tried surprising him at his house but he wasn't home.  Instead we found a surprise of our own...

It's kind of hard to see but that's a skunk in his front yard.  I'm only sharing this non sequitur detail of our story because while Erin was taking this picture and remarking on how "cute" her shit-spraying rabid new friend was, I was using her as a human shield.  It wasn't my most chivalrous moment, but I didn't want to perform a wedding smelling like some rodent's ass glands.

Oh, did I mention we were in Santa Barbara to perform a wedding?  That's right, I'm a goddamn man of the cloth!  My good friends Dee and Drew had bestowed upon me the honor of marrying them.  They gave me carte blanche in authoring the entire wedding script too!  Although they did have a few addenda.  They preferred that I didn't do the voice from 'The Princess Bride' and they weren't "entirely comfortable" with me including my five minute ham-bone routine.  Instead that had me include a couple of Mexican wedding traditions such as the 'Lazo' where the bride and groom get tied up together, and the 'Arras' where the groom 'symbolically' gives all his money to the bride.  Mexican traditions are all about subtlety.

Saturday was a full day of rehearsing.  First we rehearsed the ceremony, then we rehearsed eating and drinking all day.  Sunday was the actual wedding day.  I did an okay job...I think.  My brief part had some spontaneous banter, a bit of humor that got a laugh, and even a little Spanish.  I felt like a bit of a spaz though.  Afterward I got some unsolicited compliments so I guess I wasn't too bad.  My biggest worry was that I'd do something stupid and ruin what was easily the most beautiful, fun, and blissfully romantic wedding I'd ever been to.  Erin and I unanimously agreed upon that.  Dee and Drew were amazing and the reception was absolutely perfect.  I kept catching myself walking around with a big goofy grin on my face because I was just so damn happy.

Erin had a great time too despite getting toxic chemicals sprayed directly in her eyes.  I was in the bathroom when someone started frantically banging on the door.  I figured someone had had a little too much  and needed the toilet for something awful, but when I opened the door a small group was escorting Erin with glowing green goo all over her face.  Apparently someone's fun little glow in the dark necklace had exploded right in her eyes.  Her EYES!!  She's blind now.

Just kidding.  She's a badass, and after a bit of rinsing she was back on the dance floor making me proud.  I think it was the magic of the wedding that kept her spirits up, but it may have been the guacamole.  I felt bad for not being there for her when it happened, but it was probably for the best.  If that toxic spray shot my way I likely would have used her as a human shield.

By the next day we had to hurry back home to the boys which was well-timed because, believe it or not, after four days we were actually going through some serious withdrawals.  Evidently Liam was too.  We found him pink-cheeked and in tears when we got back to my parents house in Berkeley that evening.  I guess he'd been inconsolable all day but luckily we'd had the foresight to buy him a few things before we got home.  Nothing cures a three-year-old's heartache quicker than Zachary's pizza and a new fire truck.  Finn, of course, hadn't even noticed we were gone.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The List

The kids and I were cold when we woke up this morning! This means that summer is officially over and, sadly, it's time to erase our Summer List. 

Last May we sat down and made a list of things we wanted to accomplish over the coming months. Everyone contributed (mine were numbers 2, 9, 21 and 48), and any time we were feeling bored or underwhelmed, we'd refer to our list and solve our problem immediately. After only a week or so, our list looked like this: 

Many of the items were easy to check off, as they were things we do on a regular basis anyway. Others, not so much. Then there were things you'd think would be easy, but after several more weeks, they were still there. A friend came over, looked at the list, and said "what the heck?! Why isn't #37 checked off? 'Pretend to be a Pirate' would have been the first thing I'd do!" 

We almost took care of #46 - See a Pro-Wrestling Match - on Lucha libre night at the fair, but the kids were with their dad so that one remains unmarked. Darnit! But today, with summer over, there are only 11 activities unchecked. I think out of 50, that's not too shabby. Here are a few of the things we did:

#5 - Go to Tahoe
#10 - Make Fancy Looks

#24 - Go to the Fair

#29 - Pick Bouquets for Mom
(shout out to Dragonfly Farms for the 'Lazy Sunday' flowers!)

#21 - Beach

#11 - Visit Animal Shelter

#38 - Swim in a Pool

#19 - Bowling

#39 - Swim in the River
We thought about making a Janik Style list for Autumn and Winter, but it would be pretty short. Things like "Learn to Knit", "Watch Mary Poppins", "Cuddle Under Blankets" and "Drink Hot Cider" can only get us so far. 

It was a really great summer. Happy Autumn, everyone!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mind the Elevator

The other day I was grumbling again about the fact that I haven't been able to take my kids to Michigan in ages. Who on earth can afford three plane tickets? Let alone car rentals and food for X amount of days and those awesome Kalamazoo souvenirs...certainly not a single mother who can't even afford internet, or to replace her nine-year-old Converse. Come on!

Whenever I start feeling sad about the fact that my kids don't really know their cousins, or my best friends' kids, or understand the Greatness of the Great Lakes - I make a point to reminisce about the last time I took them to my land.

It wasn't all that bad. We got through the requisite bouncing around visiting friends and family and not really connecting with anyone because we were in a hurry to go see someone else. We squeezed in a bluegrass music festival which, when attended with a one year old who needs naps, was not the most pleasant experience, but we made the best of it. We even visited Ohio, where my dad's beloved side of the family lives. We were all over the place!

Things didn't start to go bad until we were driving to the airport in Chicago, for our trip home.

First of all, it was raining like the Endtimes were coming. Traffic was worse than usual. As in, not moving. Whatever was causing this standstill was so bad that we had to be redirected off of the freeway and onto back country roads where eventually the detour signs just...disappeared. If you didn't want to wait for the assigned detour, apparently it was acceptable to just turn around and drive against traffic in order to get to any number of previous exits. Did I mention that Baby Evie hated to be in the car and so was usually screaming or yelling or crying to make her position known to all those surrounding her? There was that, too.

By the time we made it to O'Hare, I was pretty frazzled. Also we were running late.

To return our rental car, I had to get creative. I stopped by the shuttle kiosk and unloaded Jonah, surrounding him with all of our suitcases so that he felt like he was in a castle and wouldn't get scared. I said "sweetie, I need you to guard our castle for just a couple of minutes, I'll be right back, okay?" "Okay mom!" he said with cheer. I then drove the 80 feet away to drop off the car, after wrestling the stroller, Evie, and Evie's car seat out of it. I managed to wheel everything back over to Jonah, Evie dangling precariously off of first my hip, then quickly my upper thigh, then settling down by my knee as I walked.

Lip a-tremble, Jonah shouted "I thought you were never coming back!" as soon as he saw me. We'd been apart for approximately one and a half minutes. As I arranged all of our clunky traveling instruments, I comforted my son and tried to get my heart rate under control. The other people waiting half-smiled and made space for us on the aluminum bench. Then they all, every last one of them, looked behind me and then just left, en masse. It was like they'd planned it as a prank or something. In a panic, I wiggled Evie off of my lap so that I could stand up and peer over our wall of luggage to see what the heck was going on. I saw all of my fellow passengers hustling across the parking lot under umbrellas and newspapers, heading for a shuttle that was parked way over there.

Why those assholes chose to leave without telling me about the random shuttle stop change or to, heaven forbid, help me and mine get to it, I'll never know. But I immediately put a curse on those jerks and made my way through the pouring rain and puddles toward the now-leaving shuttle. I saw that it had to then pass by the original, marked pick-up point, so I turned us all around and began running like hell to where we'd begun, Jonah splashing behind me with his appointed rolling luggage. None of this mattered - the shuttle didn't stop. My heart rate started going crazy again. I concentrated very hard on not crying. I asked someone in the rental booth where I should wait for the next shuttle, and was directed to where I'd been sitting in the first place. I will spare you the details of that conversation.

Once we'd arrived at the airport, I lunged myself toward the nearest sidewalk check-in counter, where I was informed in no uncertain terms that we'd missed our flight. I stepped back into the rain while the gentleman there looked to see what my options were. I noticed a couple with one child in line behind me, the mother looking sympathetically at me and my kids and our luggage and car seat and stroller. I didn't return her kind smile because kindness makes me cry when I'm overwhelmed with hopeless emotion.

After about eight minutes I was directed inside to another counter and, apparently eliciting pity, was offered a free luggage cart to pile all of our stuff onto. I managed to roll it just inside the automatic doors before everything on it went tumbling off. I stood there staring at our belongings on the shiny floor, trying not to cry but beginning to fail. Within seconds, three men - two in suits - appeared from all different directions, re-stacked my luggage while maintaining the Midwestern manners of not acknowledging that I was in emotional distress and fighting myself to not show it, then disappeared back into the crowd before I could burp up a thank you. I stood blinking for a second, taking deep 'don't cry!' breaths, and then found my counter.

We ended up with a flight that landed us home sooner than our original would have. Sometimes missing a plane is like that, I'll never understand why. I called the man I was married to and left a message that we'd be getting in an hour earlier than planned, but since he was famous for both sleeping in and never answering his phone, he never got the message. I didn't find this out until after we'd landed in San Francisco and he was nowhere to be found.

Frustrated at having to spend over an hour extra in an airport with my over tired and over traveled kids, but relieved to be on home soil, I decided to buy us all a treat and wait in the food court on the third floor, where there was space for the kids to run.

Jonah got into the elevator first. I backed my luggage cart in next, then myself, then Evie in her stroller. "Third floor" I told Jonah, who pushed the button and then scooted to the back. When we arrived, I pushed Evie out in front of me while also pulling the luggage cart behind me, calling "come on, buddy" over my shoulder. I then looked behind me and saw Jonah - through four inches of rapidly closing elevator door.

"Jonaaaah!!!!" I screamed.
"Maaaaaaaaammmaaaaaaaa!!" he cried out, his voice fading as he went down.

"Oh my god! Ohmygod OhmygodOhmygodOhmygod" I said while pushing the elevator button. A woman came over to me, all business, and asked what was the matter. I quickly explained: "My! Elevator! Jonah! Ohmygod!!" She got the point, and said "you wait here, I'll go downstairs and look for him on the other floors." Just as she got to the escalator, the elevator dinged, so she stopped and quickly walked back.

When the doors opened, there was no Jonah.

I wailed "Oh my goooodddddd!!" as I imagined him wandering among the thousands of bustling people arriving and departing. People who probably had been waiting all their lives for a beautiful, sweet, sunny little boy to call their own. I'm not usually a worrier or anything more than a raging under-reactor, but I was convinced that someone was probably luring my child into their limousine with a cool purple balloon right that very second.

The woman saw the empty car, looked me in the eye, and immediately turned on her heel toward the escalator again without saying a word. Evie was starting to whimper, so I summoned all of my Midwestern emotion-stuffing skills and after a deep breath was able to smile and say "Jonah is playing a game with us, that silly boy!" She seemed to buy this. I kept pushing the elevator button helplessly.

Finally it dinged again, and when the doors slid open, there stood Jonah, flanked by two amused-looking, silver-haired women. "Is that your mom?" asked one. Jonah said that it was and ran out into my arms. Not wanting to scare him with the gravity of the situation, I tried not to clutch him too tightly.  I said "wow kiddo, you really scared me, ha ha!" while trying not to cry again. He said "mom! When the doors closed, I was so scared! When they opened, those ladies were there and asked if I needed help, and I knew exactly what to say! I said THIRD FLOOR! And they let me push the button!" I laughed and tears spilled out of my eyes. "You are so smart to remember the third floor!" I told him.

I bought us all extra treats in the food court that day, I can tell you. And despite all that, I'm starting to save my pennies for the next trip. We'll just stick to the escalators.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shotgun Finn Turns One

Just last night at the preschool's monthly 'parent meeting' Teacher Julie taught us all about Birth Order.  She broke us parents up into groups of first borns, last borns, and middlers.  Then she asked us a series of revealing questions.  The first borns fell over themselves trying to impress the teacher with their brilliant personal insights, the last borns wallowed in ambivalence, and us middlers relied on sarcasm and humor to avoid answering anything honestly.  

It was a timely topic because today is the one-year anniversary of the legendary birth of Shotgun Finn, our last born.  If you haven't heard that story you can check it out HERE.  His last born-ness is already taking it's toll.  When Liam turned one I hadn't started the blog yet so I have no record of his birthday party to share, but that's just as well since anyone reading this was probably at the party.  Everyone was there.  His first birthday party was a rager.  There were a dozen kids or so, pinatas, party favors, games, food, drinks, and mayhem.

Finn's birthday party?  Not so much.  My in-laws came over and we had pizza and cupcakes.

I'm trying not to feel too bad about it.  It's not like anyone remembers their first birthday anyway, right?  After that meeting last night though I've decided I need to be more conscientious about the attention we give Finn.  I think with just one baby in the house it was easy to dote on every milestone because we were just sitting around all day, watching Liam grow up.  But now, with a three year old in the house, downtime is a luxury.  I can't say for certain when I noticed Finn crawling.

Sure, there are going to be some inevitable differences in Liam's first-to-do-everything childhood and Finn's hand-me-down childhood, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing, right?  

Sometimes, as a parent to young kids, I feel just as new to this world as they are.  I have no idea what I'm doing 99% of the time...and I think that's being generous.  I just hope that doesn't mess them up too much.

Happy Birthday baby Finn!!  I can't believe I've only known you for one year.  You make it so easy to love you like crazy.  I hope that's enough.  If it isn't, I at least hope you remember the cupcakes.