Pregnant and Lactating Bitches

Feeding Instructions for Pregnant Bitches: Feed more often, and at least 50% more per feeding. 

Feeding Instructions for Lactating Bitches: Offer drinking water often and early; feed frequently.

Apparently, my nutritional needs closely match those of a female dog, according to directions on the back of the Natural Choice bag of food I bought yesterday for Timber.

My family will probably say my current temperament matches that of a pregnant bitch as well.  Too bad they can't just put me in the crate with some chew toys until I'm done gestating.


What happens when we bring home the 3D glasses from the movies

Yes Please, No Thank You

Yes, as a matter of fact, my son and I are wearing pajamas.  What, there's a dress code for shopping at Target now?

No, I will not let you into my lane after waiting in traffic for my turn to the offramp for 20 minutes, while you pull stealthily up to the beginning of the line, acting all, like, What's the problem?  The problem is, douchebag, that you've been talking on the phone instead of paying attention to the road, and I, for one, will not condone that kind of irresponsibility.  But thanks for asking.

Yes, I would like my receipt with that.  As a lovely (read: irritating) reminder of just how much freakin' money you're making off my underemployed ass.

No, you may not have chocolate for breakfast.  Because it's not appropriate for a morning meal.  I know I'm eating some right now.  When you're a pregnant single mother of two, you can have chocolate first thing in the morning, too.  No, you may not get pregnant.  Because I said so.

Yes, I would like to cancel my subscription to your paper.  Because I get enough cranky sanctimony from my kids at home, thank you very little.

No, I don't want to participate in a survey today.  Or tomorrow.  I appreciate that my opinion is very important to you.  Just for the record, my opinion is that you should stop fucking calling me.

Yes, I am going to use the Priority Boarding lane.  I pushed two babies out my hoohaw, that's why.  What have you done lately?

No, I will not help you write your paper.  Because I pay the utilities so you can have light by which to write your paper.  Isn't that enough?

Yes, they're real.  All it takes is some sperm, a good uterine blend, and you can have knockers like this, too!

No, you can't have my number.  I don't like your shoes, that's why. 

Yes, they're mine.  At least that's what they tell me every morning when I ask where they came from. 

No, you can't get inside my head.  Too many people in there already.


Notes made to self around Berkeley

Berkeley, Solano Avenue, 10:19am, Wednesday: A man pushing a cart-load of children up the street, Safeway grocery bags hanging off the sides.  Five or six kids in all, every last one of them smiling with glee.  Oh, did I say cart-load?  I meant CRIB-load.  You read right.  CRIB.  LOAD.  As in, this:

With five or six kids standing on the mattress and hanging on while the man, dreadlocked and smiling, pushed them along to some destination.  After, of course, having done the grocery shopping necessary to feed five or six children.  Who must be very hungry after a long ride.

You know you've become Berkeley-fied when, as Gabi put it, your first reaction is not, oh, say, "What the hell is that guy doing?" but instead, "Wow, that's genius."

Berkeley, the only place on earth where two people can go to the dog park - dogless - sit down at the edge of the spot where it's doggiest...spread out two very dog-attracting sub sandwiches on their dogless laps...AND YELL AT ME WHEN MY DOGS WANT TO PARTAKE OF THEIR MEAL.

Berkeley, where people keep LL Bean and Keen Shoes in business.  Almost singlehandedly. 

Berkeley, populated by a peace-loving, pacifist, tolerant people.  Until you tell them that no, they can't park in your driveway.  Or halfway in it, either.  Not even for five minutes.  Or that you're very sorry, your kid didn't mean to call them a douchebag; it's just that when he waits in line, patiently, and with much anticipation, to ask for the last morning bun, and you cut in because you're in a hurry and ask for said last morning bun, well, it's kind of irritating is all.  So no, I'm not going to make him apologize.  Douchebag.

Berkeley, the city we call home.  And where, despite some, umm, adjustments, we are happy to have put down roots.  

Now, could you walk a little faster?  I'd like to be home before the next decade.


Bagel Tigers

Luca, who turns eight tomorrow, thinks he's the authority on all things grammar, spelling, and, well, just about anything.  Like everything else, this is probably my fault.  I'm the one who encouraged books and reading, starting at 6 months.  No shocker that he was reading on his own at the age of four, deciphering words through their context, learning pronunciation in a highly precocious way (what four-year-old knows how to pronounce "consequential?").  I can't accept all the blame, of course (although I was a California Spelling Bee champ growing up and went on to win the National Memory Championship three years in a row in my 20s); but I digress.  My point is that Luca comes from a long line, on both sides of his parental lineage, of irritating smarty-pants.

So it's hardly unexpected that he feels compelled, in a way that can only be described as School Marm Sardonic, to correct his little brother's pronunciations and pronouncements.  This itch, this need, to correct, can be grating.  I, of course, do all my correcting in a super charming, and totally appropriate way.  This skill, one honed by years of rolled eyes and death stares, is not easy to teach, as the filter necessary is one acquired with much heartache and the realization that there is, in fact, a wrong time to mention that it's actually "oriented" and not "orient-ated."

Anyhoo - Dash is still at the age where his understanding of things differs, often, from the reality of things.  And I encourage this lack of understanding because, well, I think it's pretty fucking cute when he says, "Bagel Tigers" when we've been watching a program about Bengal Tigers.  And frankly, I don't ever want him to stop saying, "Will you snuzzle wiff me?" 

So I ignore the look of incredulity and outrage on Luca's face, and tell Dash that yes, in fact, the Bagel Tigers are very big, and loud, and we should be careful if we ever see one.

And just in case we do, I carry a vat of cream cheese with me everywhere now.


Fertile Sweaters

I called the boys in to tell them the news.  I knew Luca would understand more than Dash, with nearly four extra years under his belt, and having been through this whole process once before.  Given that the result had been a seemingly-bipolar tyrant whose high-pitched screams had damaged eardrums and left emotional scars, I wasn't sure Luca would be as thrilled as I was about the impending addition to our family.

From Dash, I was just hoping for the smallest indication that he might be able to imagine sharing his Mamãe with yet another kid.

Me: Guess what, boys?  Mamãe is going to have another baby!

Luca: Yay!!  But wait, who's the father?  (I should have seen that one coming.)

Dash: No you aren't!!

Me: It's Paul, and yes I am!  I'm growing a baby in my tummy, just like I baked you and Luca in my tummy before you were ready to come out.

Dash: You're just kiddin', Mamãe!  Right?  There isn't a baby in there!

Luca: When will the baby be here?  That was fast!  (Okay, ugh...)

Me: Yes, well, umm...you know...things happen...and Mamãe wasn't trying to have a baby or anything, but umm, sometimes, in life, well, in my life anyway, umm, things happen that I wasn't really planning, and Mamãe is really happy, and so I really hope you guys are, too?

Dash: THERE'S NO BABY IN YOUR TUMMY!  (By this point, he's on his feet in a fit of uncomprehending indignation, given the lack of ANY proof remotely plausible in the head of a four-year-old that there is, in fact, an actual, honest-to-god BABY in my tummy.)

Me: Yes there is!  Where do you think you came from?

Dash: Your sweater.

Now, by the time he came out that day in October of 2006, I had been single and not caring about personal landscaping for almost a year, so things had gotten pretty, umm, wild...down there...in the general region of his egress from my tummy.

Still.  He could have pulled his punch a little bit.


Mommy Magic

Dash:  Mamae!!  (Wail, cry...)  I hit my finger on the desk!!  (Sniff, snort...)  It really hurts!!!  (Whimper, snurfle, snerf...)

Me:  Come here, sweetie...sit down.  Tell Mamae where it hurts...  How did you run into the desk?  You guys were playing Superheroes Speedracers?  Okay, just tell me which finger...

It's fairly hard to keep a straight face when he's wearing a cock-eyed, homemade cape, a Spiderman mask, too-big pajamas, and holding up his middle finger to me.

Dash:  This one, this is the one I hit on the desk!!  (Shnarf, snort, wipe...)

Me:  Okay, lovey, do you want me to kiss it?

Dash:  Yes, please.  (Pout, shnarfle...)  Right here (still holding up his middle finger).

Me:  (Smoochie smooch...)  Does that feel better? 

Dash:  Yes, Mamae, thank you! 

Dash pops up off the kitchen floor, where the triage occurred, holds up his finger to make sure it's functioning properly, and takes off in the direction of his older brother.

Me:  You're welcome, sweetie.

Yet another adventure-filled afternoon of Superheroes Speedracers saved.

Thanks to Mommy Magic.