Wednesday, July 29, 2009


So I had my college (yes, COLLEGE) reunion last weekend. It was surprisingly jerk-free, which is no mean feat seeing as how we're all performers. (I graduated from a theater conservatory, which is why I'm thoroughly unqualified for anything.) As someone who spent much of their twenties being a dumbass, freaking out because I wasn't reaching the heights to which I was so clearly intended, a reunion is anxiety-producing stuff. That said, I think I managed to avoid the insecurity puff. Maybe it's having a child or finding a way to express myself that doesn't require daily rejection but I spent the entire weekend being my true, slightly unimpressive, Spanx-wearing self. It wasn't as much fun as pretending that I was up for a series lead* but a hell of a lot easier to maintain after a glass of wine.

The boy is still slow with the verbiage. (Thanks for all the support and encouragement, those with slow talkers.) I've decided to put the kibosh on talking about it in front of Owen - he toooootally understands what were saying these days. I don't want him to think something's wrong and besides, they're coming to evaluate him so talking about what MIGHT be wrong isn't helpful. He'll either work with a speech pathologist or he won't. My gut tells me that he'll talk when he's ready. When he has something to say that can't be communicated with a grunt or by pointing, he'll change. Right now, grunting and pointing (or going and getting what he wants) works fine for him. I'm curious to see what the speech therapist suggests - assuming he needs one. Right now we're doing so much mirroring/Old MacDonald singing/reading/ABC-ing/talking back to Steve on Blue's Clues, there's no room for anything else!

*Speaking of trying to be cooler than you really are, does anybody else spend an inordinate amount of time pretending that Jim from The Office is in love with them? Really? No?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Because I'm a paranoid parent, I've always refrained from using my kid's name in print. I know a lot of writers do it. I understand that the Bogeyman isn't going to come and grab my son the minute it learns his name, but something about it makes me squirrelly. But after a year and a half of plunking down pet names (Baby, Baby Boy, The Boy, The Toddler, The Kid) I'm running out of steam. So I've decided to give the kid a pseudonym - "Owen". I thought about going all Celebrity Baby and calling him "Siddhartha" or "Cerulean" (two names I've actually heard on the playground) but I've always liked Owen, so we'll go with that.

Owen has recently started climbing on my lap when I'm trying to pee. Needless to say, not a fan. FOR THE RECORD, we do not leave bathroom doors open willy-nilly around here but when it's just me and the kid there aren't many other choices. At first I hoped he was expressing interest in potty training but I think it's more an expression of READ TO ME NOW. Owen is mellow about most things but when he gets ahold of an I Spy book, that's it. No sleep 'till Brooklyn - or 'till we've found every last mask that's dark blue. No matter what else might be going on at that moment.

Anybody else deal with this? Anyone?

In other news, sold a story to yesterday which I'm pretty psyched about. It's for their Bad Parent column (which you should totally check out. Good reads) and it'll be running in September, along with the first of my Self pieces. (Ahem.) Bust and Time Out New York Kids have also expressed interest in some pitches so I've been busily crossing stuff. (Fingers, toes... Feel free to join me.) I know it's bad form to crow but it's just so ridiculously exciting and validating. Eventually I hope to reach a point where assignments are the norm and I can just celebrate publishing dates (or not say anything at all, for ultimate coolness). I suspect it'll be awhile.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The boy had his latest check up yesterday. How'd it go? Funny you ask. My son seems to have developed an allergy to his doctor. The symptoms: massive full-scale FREAKING OUT.

Words really can't describe. To say that he screams and sobs and climbs whomever is holding him like a cat in a tree, or that it takes three adult humans to hold him down so that the doctor can measure his head, doesn't do justice to the panic (and volume) produced in that room. Our doctor highly coveted in NYC and so nice; unfortunately one time she had to look in his ears when he had an ear infection and it hurt. That's all it took to turn my sweet, happy-go-lucky baby into a... again, words can't describe.

I'm not sure how to help him out. We've bought some "going to the doctor" books (which he couldn't care less about). Do toy doctor kits help? (It's not the instruments he's afraid of, it's the doctor herself.) It's so bad we've considered switching to a different practice but it doesn't really make sense. Eventually the new doctor would do something that hurts and then we'll be back to square one. Plus our current doctor has something that no other office does - a shot genie. Yes, they have a man on staff whose SOLE JOB is to administer injections. I'm phobic of needles (you'd think the epidural would have gotten me over that...) but I'll allow Isaac near me. Since the boy is so terrified, I figure pain-free shots are the least we can offer. If anybody has tips on easing doctor panic, let me know.

In other news, my kid is a monster. At 18 months he's a staggering 36" tall. That's 3 friggin' feet! (For my international readers, 3 feet equals 0.9144 m, according to the internet.) It's no wonder I keep throwing my back out - at almost the hundredth percentile, he's literally off the charts. (Did I mention that I'm only 5'3"? ) In one month he's grown 4 inches. I'm starting to wonder what's in our water.

Oops, he's awake. What to do with a toddler on a rainy Tuesday? The possibilities...

Saturday, July 18, 2009


He will wear this hat for hours. HOURS.

I was going to start with a comment about that Spanish woman who gave birth when she was 66 and then died leaving behind 2-year-old twins, but I guess the story speaks for itself...

In other news, the boy is awesome. Still a little hush-hush with the talking but he has added the word "eye" to his repertoire, upping the count to 5. (Although I swear on a cross he said "dinosaur" today. He couldn't have, right? Even though we were reading a dinosaur book?) He's also into some serious boundry pushing, which is probably normal for his age. Not that that makes it less irritating. Today we went 10 rounds over crayons and where they are best used. (Paper: Yes! Walls/legs/floor/office chair: No.) I'm sure you've been there. He knows he's pushing - he gets an excited little grin and starts giggling when I come after him - so I try to stay very stern and "Okay! No more (insert bad behavior here)" when he acts up so he doesn't think it's a cool variation of Chase Me, but I'm not sure how else to inforce rules.

I should probably state that I'm not a very talky mom. I see a lot of parents having long, whispery discussions with their toddlers about why you shouldn't hit or take stuff or have a fit. I find that a very stern "NO" combined with my patented I-Mean-Business face gets pretty solid results. It's not very PC, especially when used on other people's children (whoops!) but when a 3-year-old shoves my 18 monther I feel like I should be able to stop him. Firmly. When my critter is older I'll pull back and let him navigate the choppy waters of childhood his ownself but for now I feel like I have every right to tell my son - or any kid - no if they're behaving poorly. Is that wrong? I get such shitty looks from the playground crowd I can't help but think that some clause in the parenting rulebook has changed. How do you all discipline other people's kids?

Aw shit, I hear someone stirring in the crib. Naps have dwindled sharply which is cause for much weeping and gnashing of teeth. I expected it around age 3 but at 18 months? Gah! (I just got a sudden wave of panic: what will I do when he doesn't nap anymore? How will I get any work done?!) GAH!


I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it's taking awhile to get my abs back...

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love this woman. (The question the reader asks is also genius.)

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Because the tot is zeroing in on 18 1/2 months without much in the way of verbiage, we've decided to ditch the old (naming whatever it was he was "dat!"-ing, talking to him like a slightly hard of hearing adult) and try a new technique: "mirroring". It goes a little something like this -

Boy: "Dat?"

Me: "That's a hat! You want to wear the hat? You looooove to wear Daddy's hat! Should I put Daddy's hat on your head? You look GREAT with that hat on your head! Look at you in that hat! Do you want to put the hat on my head? Look at mama, wearing a hat! Oh, you want to wear the hat again? Here's the hat! Oh, you want to wear the hat while drinking some juice? Here's some juice! I love juice! Mmmm, juice is good! Juice, juice, juice while wearing a hat, hat, hat! How fun is that?!"

I guarantee Ma Ingalls didn't do this bullshit all day.

I know it's an important technique and I'll do my best to keep it up but damn it's exhausting. I always assumed that language was something children just picked up, like the immersion French classes we took in high school. If you talked to your kid on a regular basis, answered his questions, read to him, eventually he'd get the drift. I've encountered some really shitty parents over the years and their kids seem to talk okay. Our kid: lots of attention, mountains of books, a decent balance of encouragement and let-him-be... still no talk. What the what, man?

Other than that, things are awesome with a side of swell. The boy is hella cute and happy as a lark. Matt's kicking ass with Book 2 (and a supergeeky side gig that I don't fully understand) and getting geared for Book 1's big rollout in November. I just sold two more pieces to SELF - they'll be out in December. Nothing to get too excited about, unless you're me. I'm still at the stage in my writing where every validation, no matter how small (which these pieces most definitely are), is worth celebrating. I'm like the actor newbie who gets cast as an extra and tells everyone he knows that he's in a movie. But eff it, I'm still psyched! My dream magazine (BUST) also requested a writing sample for a pitch I sent in which is awesome, awesome. Now I just have to work up the courage to do bigger assignments (with bigger pay) 'cause Mama needs a new pair of everything.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I will never be interviewed by Vanity Fair. Which is a shame because I live for their MY STUFF column. (The one where they ask the insanely wealthy to jot down a list of their possessions, which always seem to include Gap T-shirts.) Since I never met a list I didn't like...

A 750-sq-foot Big City apartment with gorgeous views and an ugly kitchen.

Calder. Eggleston. Anyone who shoots anything with a Polaroid. Paint-by-numbers from the 1940's if I can find them.

Target. On sale.

Random bits I accumulated while interning at a local shop. Knowing my love of all things ephemeral, they once sent me to a paper goods trade show at the Javits Center. I posed as a buyer and collected years worth of gorgeous samples. I combine them with bits and pieces to make homemade cards.

No gadgets for me, thanks. I tend to blank out when faced with an operating manual. (If pressed, I'll say my iPod, if only for the Savage Love podcast.)

The subway.

Yum Yum Bankok. Basil noodles with tofu, please.

If I'm feeling fancy, a sidecar. For hanging with my peeps, a margarita. For daily knockback, a half a glass of pinot gris.

2 obnoxious cats.

Whole Foods' 365 store brand. No parabens.

Demeter Tomato.

Colgate Total.

Aveda Brilliant.

Gap 1969 organic cotton.

In my head, Converse. In reality, Merrill.

Still looking for my ideal one. Something big and old and menswear-y.

My husband's.

Anyone who sells at Anthropologie.


What's that?

A sitter.

We stayed in a castle in Ireland on our honeymoon that was pretty friggin' sweet.

Edinburgh. Ireland. Any bakery.

Orange, pumpkin, squash. In other words, nothing I can actually wear.

FAME (for the early 80's grit), PAN'S LABYRINTH (for the awesomeness), RAISING ARIZONA (because son, you've got a panty on your head)

*This is my favorite category in the magazine. The people always list some obscure French brand with lavender or sea kelp...

Monday, July 6, 2009


The boy has discovered that he can reach my head with his foot when I'm rocking him to sleep.

This is not going to end well.