Thursday, March 26, 2009

Baby Backlash

For my newest piece, may I ask you to direct your browser to the following blogazine? http://hipslopemama.blogspot.com/2009/03/baby-backlash.html

I hope you enjoy it!

Tacky Momma

I can't believe this was almost a year ago!




I am in disbelief that in a couple of weeks my daughter will be one year old. It honestly feels like yesterday that I was walking around, 3 times my normal size, convinced that I'd be one of the few women who delivers her baby early (Stella was 11 days late).

Ah me...

Well, seeing as Stella has so many admirers who've inundated me with requests to know what such a gal might like on such a special day, I've decided to be the tackiest person alive and post a wish-list on my blog. I considered doing a registry, but that takes about 15 days on our dinosaur of a computer, and to be honest, I hate buying from registries. I know they're practical, but I like to decide on a gift myself. I figure you might be the same way.

And besides, I've always thought etiquette was useless. There. I said it. Take away my membership from the Southern Belle Association if you must, but thank-you notes are the bain of my existence, and often sound like soulless carbon copies of one another. I prefer to make phone calls so I can use my voice to gush about how wonderful a gift is. Dave and I only use evite for our parties because it's better for the environment and a LOT easier and cheaper than traditional invitations. We would have done it for our wedding had I not been possessed by the spirit of Brides Magazine and convinced that our marriage would be annulled 2 weeks later without standard embossed invitations in eggshell.

And I HATE that you can't tell people what you (or your offspring) would like for a birthday because it's considered a faux pas! Why is that worse than having to use the freaking gift receipt? (Or making a gift registry that you allude to, come to think of it?)

So, rant over. Nobody should feel pressured to buy Miss Priss a gift, because she has plenty, but for those who insist on showing their affection with goods, here's a list of things she could use:

Clothing size 18 months and up. That's what she's in now, so if you're buying for down the road, you'll need to get 24 months. She needs some more footed PJ's, to be specific, and some of those shoes that don't mess up your podiatric health as you learn to walk. And boy, her wardrobe could use more pink. Just kidding...

Books are a safe bet with our darling. Her favorite author is Eric Carle, but she already has the following: The Very Busy Spider, The Very Quiet Cricket, Where is My Cat, Throw the Ball, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She still tries to eat her books, so board books are best. She's also recently obsessed with books about colors. (She even tries to say the word color. Sorry -- braggy mom moment.)

We actually need more toys. I've seen awesome playhouses and mazes and such that I think my recently mobile girl would love. FYI: we're planning on getting her a push-toy, i.e. the new, politically correct version of a walker. So back off on that one. I've also seen toddler art sets, so if you can find one that she won't eat, that would be cool. Oh, and we could use a toy chest to house all these toys!

She loves music, and we currently have no kids' CD's. She loves Jack's Music Show and they have CD's, so there's an idea. She also likes the Laurie Berkner band, heavily featured on JMS. A kid's CD player would probably also be cool for her room, come to think of it.

Well, I guess that concludes my tacky moment of the week. Again, I can't stress enough that I'm not requesting gifts or hinting at anything. Stella loves to see her friends' beautiful faces more than anything, so that's what matters most to us. This is just for those who find themselves at a loss and want some help.

Now, if you're shopping for me, I could use a good full-body massage, a facial, some products from Lush.com, a trip to Tahiti and a new wardrobe for my new body. Look -- it doesn't hurt to put it out there!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Things I Fantasize about Doing to Upstairs Neighbor

Here is a list of things I fantasize about doing to Upstairs Neighbor, also known as Douchebag Upstairs Neighbor, Bigfoot, or Stompee McGee.
1. Sending him a card through the mail that says, "You really need to take a load off and relax." Maybe the card will have adorable kittens on the front.
2. Baking him muffins laced with rohypnal and leaving them at his door with a note saying, "A birdy told me you're going through a rough time. Try to get some sleep tonight, buddy."
3. Slipping a note under his door that says, "We often hope you'll get a venereal disease. FYI." This one could also have kittens on the front.
4. Planting drugs in his apartment and then calling the cops.
5. Rubbing one of Stella's poopy diapers all over his doorknob.
6. Waiting until 4 or 5am, when he finally goes to sleep, and then banging on the ceiling under his bedroom for 2 - 3 hours.
7. Getting our mafia connections to shake him down.
8. Gathering up the feral cats from our building's courtyard and stuffing them all in his apartment during one of the rare times he actually leaves it.
9. Punching him in his fat, ugly, bearded face.
10. Leaving him a care package with thick rugs, chair felts, a copy of the city's sound code, Sleepytime Tea, and Tylenol PM to help him sleep.
11. Suing him for ruining the quality of our lives.
12. Things far more sinister, believe me, but not appropriate for sharing.

What have we done about our buddy, you ask?
1. Talked to him personally 4 times and leaving him a nice note 1 time. He either denies that it's him or tells us that if we don't like noise, we should move to the country.
2. Talked to our sweet super. He told me the guy's wife left him and he's losing it a bit. I said that made me feel bad. The super said, "Oh, don't feel bad for that guy."
3. Called the building 4 times. Dave will call them a 5th time on Monday. They claim their lawyers have spoken with him. They also only work from 10 - 10:30am each day and are the folks who gave us a hard time about the lead paint in our apartment.
4. Called 311 twice and filed complaints with the police department. We will do this each and every time he makes inappropriate noise at inappropriate hours. Such as seemingly dragging an anvil across the apartment over and over again while wearing steel-toed boots. At 2am. Maybe he is a modern-day Sisyphus. One that looks like Rob Reiner's heavier and uglier cousin.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Whole New World

Oh, the irony!!!


Recently, the Brooklyn Baby Daddy, the Brooklyn Baby and I went to visit dear friends and their adorable new addition. We hadn't been to their new apartment yet, so I was interested to see the neighborhood, the layout, the flooring, the finishes, and all the other things about which I never used to give a damn. (I have no clue when I became a real estate voyeur, but visiting others' apartments and imagining myself living there is a minor obsession with me now.)

We were oohing and ahhing over the views, the cool layout, the newly refinished kitchen. Then we saw the baby's room. While most normal moms might spend their time kvelling over the gorgeous crib or admiring the precious changing table, my jaw dropped for a different reason. Let me give you the monologue as it happened in my brain:

"Oh my God. French doors? With no curtains on them? That means light filters in for every nap and when he goes to bed, if he goes to bed before sunset. Does this mean he wakes up at the crack of dawn? And where's the white noise machine? I don't see a white noise machine! His bedroom is right next to the living room and kitchen. Do they watch TV while he sleeps? How do they ever make dinner or wash dishes? HOW CAN THEY LIVE LIKE THIS?"

And then it dawned on me. Their baby sleeps, despite the light, despite the noise, despite everything.

Life is very different when you have a sleep challenged little one. You see the world from a whole new perspective, noticing little things that might have slipped by in a former life.

You notice every sound every neighbor makes at every hour of the day. Pacing, TV, stereo, barking dogs, mewing cats, the tapping of a hammer. Most of these noises infuriate you, even if they're completely legitimate. If they're not kosher according to city ordinances, you're on the horn with the cops faster than you can say "entitled yuppy neighbor."

You notice your cats in a whole new way. The nighttime wresting that you used to label "Brokecat Mountain" is now cause for rolled eyes and fruitless shushing. The loud mewing that you used to answer as if you were deep in a meaningful conversation is now moved into a room far from the baby's and then ignored. Your original babies are now your nemeses, pushing your buttons and testing your patience.

You notice the door to your baby's room. You notice the click of the doorknob, the creaking of the wood as it opens and closes. You fantasize what it's like to live in a new house or apartment, one where the paint doesn't rub against itself and the hinges are fresh and noiseless.

You notice the floor in your baby's room. There are sections of the pre-war wood floor that creak, and you avoid those like the plague when settling baby into her crib. You walk barefoot or in socks, usually on the tips of your toes. You always remember to stack the toys in the middle of the room and turn the battery-operated ones off so you don't trip on any and set off their obnoxious songs.

You notice sound effects on TV shows and movies like never before. In fact, maybe the Academy should use you to judge sound effects as played through older crappy TV's. You watch movies with the remote constantly in hand, turning the volume way up for whispered conversations and way down for car chase scenes. You HATE movies from the '40's - '60's with crazy loud soundtracks that erupt out of nowhere, often involving blaring horns of some sort.

Although the kitchen is on the opposite end of the apartment, you notice every clank and bang of pots and pans as you cook or do dishes. If you're going to make a smoky dish, you open the window and unplug the smoke detector first.

You double check the white noise machine in your baby's room daily. You consider buying a backup, just in case somethings happens to this one. In fact, maybe you'll do that the minute you finish this blog. That may be the best idea you've ever had.

So, maybe that gives you a window into our world. The irony of all this is that when Stella drifts off in her car seat, her stroller, or the Ergo, no sound in the world can wake her. We've strolled past live bands and honking horns, only to find our little one sound asleep amidst all the hubub. But if douchebag upstairs neighbor trips over his big feet on his way to the bathroom, we're up for the next three hours.