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Riley hearts New York. I mean, that's the sentiment we're forcing on him right now, anyway. Kids - they're like cars for your bumper stickers.

Check out the Sharpei wrinkles in his leg, MY GOD I WANT TO EAT THEM.







Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Riley had to get some blood drawn yesterday, and so a butterfly needle was stuck in his chubby baby arm and prodded around in search of a vein. Nothing to worry about, he's fine, and the needle-wielders were gentle and kind, but oh jesus, his cries were so frantic and shocked and painful. I knew it was going to be hard when I was asked beforehand if I wanted to stay in the room or wait elsewhere, but having to sit still and listen to my baby scream, actually scream, was a terrible, horrible experience. By the time it was all done and he was handed to me, we were both red-faced and wet with tears.

Man. Awful. Oh, and later? I had to pull the band-aid off him. Then, since I was on a roll, I went out and clubbed a few moist-eyed Harbor seal pups, drowned a sack of kittens, and kicked a midget in the nads.

My reaction to hearing him cry like that was so strong, it seemed to drive home the fact that I was responsible for his well-being, it seemed to permanently brand me with the word mother for the first time. I saw with perfect clarity the weight of responsibility I carry, and when he was placed in my arms and I was able to soothe him, the fact that he trusted me and took comfort from me felt - indescribable, really. Amazing and terrifying and beautiful. I understood in some gut-level way just how much I love this baby. Forever and ever.

Although that doesn't mean I am going to forgive him for pumping out a fresh load of poop in the midst of a diaper change this morning like his butt was a Dairy Queen soft-serve machine and he had double chocolate on tap.


I had hoped JB would postpone any business travel until Riley was at least, say, fifteen years old, but his office sent him to Taiwan this week. "I only get first class on the way there," JB told me sadly. "Business class on the way home. Plus, I have a three-hour layover in Tokyo."

"You are like Ernest Shackleton," I said. "Please, for me - be brave. While you are enduring caviar being spoon-fed into your slackened maw, while you are being subjected to the unspeakable horror of a fully reclining seat and first-run movies, while the interminable hours tick by and you are forced to be in complete comfort and overpriced decadence, please....be brave. It will only make your ordeal worse if you think of me and the pleasure-filled days I will enjoy in your absence - the never-ending feedings, the diaper changes, the lunches consisting of a handful of saltines while the baby demands that the pacifier be put back in his mouth for the MILLIONTH GODDAMN TIME. Oh no, think not of your family, JB - you must let go, now. Let go and let god."

I guess you could say I wasn't exactly overflowing with sympathy for his plight.

Usually when JB gets home in the evening I hand Riley over under the pretense of "saying hi to Dad". "He missed you," I lie, and rush off to engage in a hedonistic activity such as brushing my teeth. After a full day of vigorous parenting, consisting mainly of interpreting various squawks and tending to one end of Riley's body or the other, the knowledge that someone else is around for Ass-n-Bottle Patrol is a major relief. I was worried that in JB's absence I'd feel completely overloaded, but it hasn't been too bad. Sure, there's the eye twitch, that's new, but that will probably go away. Eventually.

As usual, having the house to myself - well, myself, Dog, Cat, and Child - means that I party...like it's on sale for $19.99. As long as we can loosely describe an evening of buffing my toenails and watching The Princess Bride as a "party". These days, there's always the all-consuming task of whapping Riley on the back in pursuit of a belch, but tonight - in addition to all the partying - I felt like I needed an extracurricular activity, and so I hit the grocery store where in a dizzying act of rebellion I purchased multigrain bread instead of the white variety JB prefers. And they say having children puts a damper on your social life! Ha ha! Please, I am practically Paris Hilton over here. Although I do charge less for event appearances. (Here is where I do that amusing "call me" pantomime.)

In other news:

• Two weeks after birth I had lost all the pregnancy weight and then some. Don't bother hating on me, because my postpartum exercise routine of trundling to and from the kitchen has piled back on some pounds and now? I cannot fit into my Fat Pants and so had to buy Fatter Pants at Old Navy the other day. I specifically avoided the "extra low rise" jeans fit because, um, uh, when you have some extra, um, cushion for the pushin' on your belly? And it sits right above your lovely C-section scar, like a deflated life preserver of some kind? Take it from me, you don't want it spilling out of the top of your jeans, because: TETSUUUUO!

(Nerds will get that reference, I swear.)


• Except....October = candy corn.

• Mmmmm.


Sigh. Riley, this would be a really, really great week to hold me, thrill me, kiss me with that first smile. I'm just saying, my boy. While you work on that, your mom will just be sort of hanging out by these here mini Snickers.

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