Friday, December 23, 2011

Tradition: Year 4

Tonight I forced Zoey to put her hair in ponytails.
Even though she hated it, said it itched and made her look like a baby, I parted her hair in the middle and pulled the two divided sections into elastic bands.
Two minutes! I said, and then we can take it out.
2008 (not pictured: 2009)
It's tradition, I told her, and then explained what that meant.
So when I'm a teenager you'll do this? she asked, when I am a grown up? When you are dead and a skeleton, you'll make me wear my hair in ponytails for a picture in front of the Christmas tree?

Yes, I said. Yes, yes and yes.
(Although I'm still undecided if Ozzy's hair will also be in ponytails for this pic once he gets hair.)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Poo that Broke the Camel's Back (The Lesser Known Dromedary Tale)

If you haven't noticed the www is chock full o' sparkle right now. Sequins, sprinkles, mistletoe and merry, fa la la la la la fuck me. Yesterday I woke up in a literal pile of shit. I'm not talking Rachel Zoe every-other-word literal which is not even literal but laughable, no--actual real literal human excrement. Stay with me here. Because Ozzy still sleeps with us, and around 4am Zoey shifted in her sleep--wait--did I also mention Zoey crawls into bed with us every night around 2am? Yes. For the most part Ozzy, Zoey, Bryan and I sleep (or rather just kind of line up in a row overnight) in one bed. So Zoey shifts in her sleep and up wafts this stench of gah, but I was trying super hard to stay asleep so I just incorporated the smell into my dream in denial of the diarrhea. For the next two hours every time someone so much as moved a toe it smelled like ass death but I was so goddamn tired I pretended it wasn't happening. When the alarm finally went off I looked down at Ozzy who looked back at me with an--again with the literal--literal shit-eating grin on his face and I finally saw that he was caked in poo. It was so bad that I had to cut off his pajamas like a paramedic so I wouldn't fling yet more shit everywhere. I'm running out of words for shit here.

Which leads me to this: HELP.

This is the first and last time Ozzy ever slept in his crib. Circa September? It lasted maybe an hour.

People of the internet, this is what I want for Christmas: tell me how to get Ozzy out of my bed. Zoey is easier. I can handle Zoey. But Ozzy?

Ozzy must sleep with a nipple in his mouth. And it must be my nipple. He won't take a pacifier so night after night I torque my body to poke a boob into his mouth even though my milk dried up months ago. Needless to say my back is killing me and I have actual porn-y thoughts of sleeping alone with my knees drawn up to my chest. Oh yeah baby, I'm sleeping hard. I haven't reached REM sleep in almost 7 months.

I'm willing to slather his crib sheet with banana-flavored YoBaby if that'll keep him in there. What I'm not willing to do is hardcore Cry It Out.

So please. Pretty please flocked with fake snow and frosting to make this (literal!) shitty post fit in with the rest of the seasonal bloglandia cheer--please tell me how I can get Ozzy to sleep in his crib without any tears.

Fitfully, Shitfully, Titfully Yours,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wake Up and Smell the Routine

This is how my day was: wake up at 4am because Ozzy won't sleep. My bus is late. On Market Street a homeless man yells UGLY, and although there are maybe 12 other people standing by and the sidewalk itself is covered in loogies, I feel certain he is calling me ugly. Forget my lunch. Eat handfuls of butter cookies and peppermint bark from gift baskets sitting in the office. Feel sick. Go to the bathroom and get my period, breaking a year and a half pregnancy-induced proverbial dry spell. Zoey's school calls--she has a fever. Bryan picks her up. Feel like a bad mom. Have one of those moments in a group conversation when you start to talk but realize nobody is listening so you awkwardly look around and then trail off your sentence? Start again, but still no one is listening. Stop. Start again. Stop. On the way home the bus driver yells at me when my phone rings.
My day sucked. This is also how my day was: wake up at 4am because Ozzy wants to chat. We stare at each other and smile for 10 minutes straight, and I realize it is maybe the most intimate thing I have ever done. Zoey wakes up and we cuddle on the couch to watch Babar. The bus is warm. The barista at Starbucks remembers my name and is genuine. At work I catch a typo. Free peppermint bark. On a whim I type "Last Christmas" by Wham! into Pandora and spend the afternoon listening to wonderfully terrible holiday music. At home Zoey's eyes are two glazed donuts, her temperature 101 degrees. I kiss the hot palms of each hand and she goes to sleep at 6. Because he left work early to pick up Zoey, Bryan has to go back to his office, so I eat a dinner of five Pfeffernüsse alone in the kitchen with Ozzy. Five Pfeffernüsse, five Pfeffernüsse. I say it out loud a few times and the powdered sugar puffs a bit like a dragon. Ozzy thinks this is hysterical. He eats sweet potato and peas.
My day was awesome.

Both of these are true, the cognitive dissonance of my day. Of every day, really. What happened and what I choose to tell. Neither of them the wrong answer but both of them right. How was my day? What will I say? I believe in the value of both.
How was your day?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Xox, The Lastnameheres

One boxed set of 50 with a glaring typo, a corrupted spreadsheet of addresses and later a painfully burnt palm right before having to address the final set, and I freaking did it. I sent out our 2011 holiday cards:
That's it people: my year in a snapshot. You better believe this one's getting framed.
From mine to yours,

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Madeline

I was thinking today of jelly beans, of a certain creek a few streets from where I grew up. I was thinking of Reagan and how he liked jelly beans, how I thought it mandatory for a president to endorse a food group. Carter with his peanuts and Reagan with jelly beans, each of those an actual food group to me at 10, how I knew then that I could never be president because I did not have a signature food much less a group or a political party. I'm guessing I was 10, because it was a year of rainbows and alligator shoelaces, the year of jelly beans. For my birthday my mom had bought necklaces as party favors, gold chains with a row of plastic jelly beans that hung down, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, in a rainbow like that. I don't remember anything about the party or what I got, just those cheap plastic jelly bean necklaces and how much I loved mine, how the jelly beans felt in my mouth when I pulled the necklace into my lips, the dull tink of plastic and teeth. How one day walking home from somewhere I stopped at the chainlink fence over the creek to see how far the water had risen and when I got home it was gone.Later, or maybe it was before, a neighbor said that her brother had found a dead teenage girl in that creek. She had slit her wrists, and though I did not see the girl's body I saw slick leaves stuck to white skin. The romance of something horrible that was far enough away that I only thought of my necklace whenever I passed the creek, how for years I peered over the railing to see if I could spot the rainbow I had lost.

Incidentally, in high school I kissed a boy who ate Very Cherry Jelly Bellies and then blew them out his nose on demand. He had pretty green eyes despite his soft palate being too closely connected, so once after he gave me a ride home we kissed not because we liked each other because we didn't, but because we were two teenagers in a car and I was getting out.

I wish I still had that rainbow jelly bean necklace, and somewhere somebody wishes that dead teenage girl were still alive.