Sunday, January 30, 2005

Bernie Mac

As I was watching my Tivo'd episodes of Bernie Mac last night, it occurred to me: The Bernie Mac show is really just a televised blog.
Or was that the Heinekins talking?

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Sleep, sleepy, sleepier

When my son was an infant, he was an angelic baby. And I don't mean in the cute sense, but rather in the easy baby sense. He slept ALL THE TIME. When he was awake, he was either smiling or eating. An incredibly efficient nurser from day one, he only needed to eat every 4 hours from about 2 weeks on. He was sleeping 9 hour stretches at 4 weeks and by 10 weeks was sleeping 12 hours straight at night. Which is why, when he was 5 months old or so, I thought--"Hey! Let's have another!"

So. Fast forward 1-1/2 years. Now I have two babies. My daughter (7 months) has not been a difficult baby, but she doesn't sleep. Especially during the day. And the thing with my son--although he was an easy baby, he is absolutely NOT an easy toddler. The concept of playing quietly by himself is completely foreign to him, even at 23 months old. He requires constant entertainment and vigilance which is difficult in and of itself, but especially when one is also trying to take care of a charming 7 month old who DOESN'T SLEEP.

But now, I have a new problem. My toddler, although he requires inordinate amounts of attention during wake times, has still been a champion sleeper (11 hours at night, 1 3 to 4 hour nap during the day). Only he has suddenly decided that he doesn't need all that sleep after all. For the past few weeks, he has been fighting bedtime like the best of them. Screaming in his crib for 1/2 hour at a time, then just when you think he's asleep, starting up again. So that often it is 2 hours after I put him to bed before he finally really falls asleep.

One might think, "Oh well, he'll sleep late in the morning." Um, no. Or "He'll make it up with an extra long nap". Quite the opposite really. Instead of waking around 6:30 smiling and happily talking to himself for 10 or 15 minutes before calling out to me, he now wakes up screaming every morning around 4:30 am. I can usually get him to calm down fairly quickly; however, he is up screaming again 20-30 minutes later. I repeat the drill, calm him down, get back in my bed, and 30 minutes later he's up again. This goes on until 5:45 or 6 when I can't calm him down any longer and I either get him up, or listen to him scream bloody murder in his crib for the next hour.

THEN, at naptime, my usual guaranteed window of 2.5 hours minimum to myself has been decreased by 1 hour. So this kid--who used to get 15 hours sleep on a daily basis, now gets less than 10. And I get to wake up at 4:30 every morning, which makes me even more cheery and optimistic than usual.

But that's just the one kid. I have another, you know.

Vivian. Vivian is 7 months old. She has never enjoyed sleeping much, especially for naps. Naps are a true waste of her time. So for her morning nap, she sleeps around 45 minutes. Occasionally she will stay in her crib for longer, but whenever I go in there to be sure she is still alive, she's always wide awake, having rolled over onto her back, staring around the room happily. I doubt she ever sleeps longer than 45 minutes, it's just some days she doesn't need to see me once she wakes up. That's the morning "nap". Her afternoon nap, I try really hard to coordinate with her brother's. This, so I can keep my sanity and have a few hours all to myself. But these days she doesn't want to take an afternoon nap. No, she'd rather be up with mom during that time, watching CSI and Without a Trace on TiVo. So by the time I get her to nap it is usually 4pm or later, and Isaac has been up bothering us both for hours.

She generally goes to sleep for the night pretty easily. Oh, but wait, I forgot to mention--I still have to get up and feed her at least once. Usually around 3 or 4. Yes, she is 7 months old. Yes, she still wants to nurse in the night. Please don't anyone else mention how strange that is, why I've never heard of that, all my children slept thru the night by the time they were 10 weeks old. (This is what I used to say to people before I had Vivian, when my only experience was Isaac the wonderful. And yes, I realize, payback's a bitch.)

All this to say: I am tired. And you know what? Isaac is tired too, dammit. And so is Vivian. So just LISTEN TO MOMMY AND GO TO BED.

Where is this is heading and why didnt I stop the train before it flew off the tracks

Actual conversation between my 23 month old son and I:

"Vivi have penis!"
"No, sweetie, Vivi doesn't have a penis."
"Vivi have penis!"
"Actually, Vivi has a vagina."
"Vivi have (unitelligible stutterings) penis eh eh um mangina!"
"Yes, Vivi has a VAGINA (enunciating clearly for him. He's almost two, he should be able to say it correctly)
"Aga have magina!"
"No, bug, Isaac has a penis. Boys have penises. Girls have vaginas" (Wonder, is penises really the plural of penis? Or should it be peni?)
"Daddy have penis! Aga have penis!'
"Yes, yes, you are right. Lets go get some milk, okay?"

So, is this really what I want to be discussing with my son? Shouldnt I have just changed the subject (you know, by redirecting him) when it first came up? The correct answer to those two questions: No, and, yes. And I'll tell you why.

That is the exact same conversation I had with him at EVERY SINGLE DIAPER CHANGE today. In case you dont have a 23 month old--that is approximately 8 times a day--on a good day. It is also the same conversation I had with him every time he saw me changing his 7 month old sister's diaper today. (For the uninitiated, approximately 10 times).

The good news is that this conversation has not migrated from the changing table--yet. I'm sure the next time I'm in the grocery store, or the mall, or some other very public place, he will be loudly insisting that I have a penis for all the world to hear. Ah, anticipation . . .

Friday, January 28, 2005

In honor of Tim Cutler

About a year ago, a very tragic thing happened to an acquaintance of mine. Actually, he was more than an acquaintance, but not quite a friend. He had been my husband's roommate for a year in college, and he happened to live in San Francisco when said husband and I were dating. His name was Tim Cutler. He appeared at all the parties, the drunken bar gatherings, the picnics in the park, and various other goings on while husband-to-be and I flirted. He was a nice guy, notably nicer than many of the other "college buddies" I met. Funny, down-to-earth, prone to slurring his words and stumbling upon too many drinks--for which he was relentless teased by the other, more "sophisticated" members of the posse. He was not a "hot" guy. Which is not to say he was unattractive. Just not someone a chick (like me) would see at a bar and think "wow!" He was happy-go-lucky, appreciated women of all kinds, and would sincerely try to pick up the lovely ladies he met at all the SF bars, whether he was slurring his words or not. More often than not, he went home alone. But he went home smiling. At least, this is my perception of him. I don't know how much of that is colored by the fact that he is now dead. Dead people are always saints, aren't they?

Anyway, to make a long story longer . . Last year, on January 24th, Tim was supposed to get married. On Friday morning before the wedding, he woke early to a big storm. The wind had knocked down a power line near his home, so he called 911 to report it. He was electrocuted as soon as the call connected. They took him off life support the following Monday, January 26th. This is all I know of the accident. As I said, he was not a close friend, and so details are hard to come by. My husband knew him better, and knew his close friends better, but still--details are sketchy. It is not something people want to talk about.

So. There is is. Tim Cutler is dead. The day before his wedding. At 32 years old. Today, like then, I don't know what to say about it. I have been thinking about it for a year, and of course it still makes no sense.

I have been e-mailing with his fiancee over the last year. Again, she is not a friend really, but more of an acquaintance. I met her only once before Tim died, since she and Tim got together long after husband and I moved away from SF. We spent a weekend in Carmel with some other couples, talking about wedding plans, drinking beer, hiking. But it was only a weekend, not enough to make a friend.

Anyway I have been emailing her throughout the year because I am way too afraid to call her and actually have to talk to her in person. (I am not good with face-to-face emotions.) She is amazing. At first she was in shock and denial but I guess she is starting to accept it more now. I don't know how. I have been so impressed with her but I know that the truth is--life does go on. She doesn't have a choice, she is still among the living, so she has to continue. She is doing what all of us would have to do in the same situation, but what we all thank god (or whoever) every day that we don't have to do. She has not responded to my last email, and I don't know what that means. Maybe she is out of the country. Maybe her email address changed. Maybe she is really depressed and the last thing she wants to do is respond to an email from an acquaintance. I don't know.

But I hope she's okay.

And I just can’t wrap my brain around the fact that he is dead, that he was killed in a freak accident the morning before his wedding.

Or that I finally started my own blog.