I am happy, grateful, GIDDY to report that the blasted 4:30 am wake ups appear to be over. After grilling some of the other parents in Owen's class I found out that the ridonkulous early-birding was pretty typical. Almost every kid had gone through it, right around their 2nd birthday. It usually lasted a few weeks and then everything went back to normal, which is exactly what happened here. The general consensus was that it has something to do with the dreaded 2-year-old molars combined with growth spurts/daylight savings/new babies/potty training... Basically, something wonky happens to kids around age 2 that effs up their sleep. And yes, it all goes away. Funny how when you're in the wilderness of parental weirdness (sleeplessness, potty training, the tween years) it seems impossible that it will end. When Owen was spending all those pre-dawn hours tossing and kicking and "Mama, play?"-ing at me, I felt certain that it was permanent. There's something about sleep deprivation that makes all sense of reason and logic go away. Which explains why I'm wary of doctors and pilots.
The boy turns 2 next month. I already see a few changes happening. My independent, never-met-a-stranger-he-didn't-love baby has suddenly started clinging to my knees whenever things get a touch "new car" for him. Even familiar places like our playground cause nervousness. I suspect this is normal but it's definitely a change. His language has totally caught up so that's a big phew!, but what's with the not eating? These days Owen lives on air and milk. My instinct is to go all short order cook ("Do you want this? How's about this? Maybe some of this?") but since I'd like to refrain from spending my entire adult life in the kitchen, I force myself to offer two choices - either the meal we're eating or something neutral like crackers and yogurt - and then call it a day. I keep reminding myself that he'll eat if he's hungry but we all know that's easier said than believed, especially when it's 6:00 and all he's consumed that day is a sniff of toast. (Truth be told, my anxiety comes less from the fear that he'll starve and more from the impending early morning wake up call...)
In other news:
- I'm still spending an inordinate amount of time searching for real estate we cannot possibly afford. It's strangely relaxing and yet, not.
- I just discovered Jack's 99 cent store. Where has this place been all my life?! The Dollar Generals I'm used to were good for two things - crappy party supplies and off-brand sponges. But this place has my favorite overpriced conditioner ($2.99), Fisher Price Little People school busses ($9.99) and - can you believe it? - organic food. (Amy's pizza - $2.99!) As someone who can spend hours investigating a drugstore sale rack, this place is my new home.
- I'm happy to report that Powerless is still going strong! Great reviews and spectacular support from the folks at Random House. A couple of movie people are making yummy noises which is totally exciting but I have to keep reminding myself that it's all a crap shoot. Matt's leading a Q&A and doing a book signing today at Symphony Space with the amazing Scott Westerfeld (Peeps, Uglies, Leviathan) so if you're in the neighborhood...
- I'm still doing the magazine thing. I should have a piece out in next month's Self and stuff for Dramatics and TONY Kids in January and April. It feels great, it really does. I just wish I could figure out how to make more money doing it. I'm still really new to the game but even at the top it seems hard to make more than $2,000 a month freelancing. (I don't make clooooooooooose to that.) If you have a regular column or something, maybe, but even high-paying features take time. Plunking out more than one a month seems unlikely. Maybe I'm totally wrong but making a living in NYC solely as a writer seems about as likely as making a living solely as an actor. Possible, but rare. So I'm trying to figure out what to do next with my life. I know that I have to go back to school for something but that's about as far as I get. I've thought about going into copywriting - along with every other writer on the planet. (I know I can bang out some punchy copy but I'm not delusional enough to think I can wade into those shark infested waters. Those writers would eat me for lunch.) I've also thought about teaching but then I realized that A) I generally dislike children that aren't my own, and B) teaching requires lots of hard work and patience. If you could go back to school for anything, what would it be? And what would you do with your new degree? (Psst! Got a job for a snarky, glamour-seeking redhead with no computer skills? I'm your gal!)