March 31, 2007

This morning I tossed a couch pillow directly onto my screaming son’s face (before anyone fires up their righteous-indignation engines all vroom vroom vroom CAPS LOCK, please focus on the word tossed, which I am using—accurately!—instead of words like threw with all of the strength god gave me or fired from the smoking muzzle of a powerful pillow-shooting bazooka), and oh, it was a beautiful sight, let me tell you: the pillow arching gracefully through the air before descending towards Riley, who was tantruming his way in a slithering backward ooze out of his chair and towards the floor, screeching all the while; the immensely satisfying moment of collision as the pillow landed smack dab in the middle of his open mouth, the comical ploomp! sound it made, the way it briefly muffled his howling before he angrily whipped it aside and redoubled his efforts to vocally melt off our faces like that guy in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

As I learned in Riley’s pediatrician appointment yesterday, the boy is teething in a spectacular fashion—he’s got a bunch of teeth all coming in at the same time. I’m not sure how many, but based on a quick glimpse into his protesting mouth and his general attitude, I’d say it’s probably about, oh, eleventy thousand. Give or take a few hundred. In double rows, like a shark.

Based on my own tragic experiences with teeth (braces! headgear! extractions! medieval torture-esque palatal expansion device! Pavlovian pointy metal tongue-redirection barb!) and now seeing the screaming, drooling damage they do to small children, I can’t imagine why we as a species haven’t evolved to the point where our gums seal over completely and synthetic teeth are simply inserted and removed as necessary.

Is there a place where you can cast your Darwinian vote? If so I would also like to request a giant pair of leathery wings and perhaps a twitchy, temperament-broadcasting tail. And long porn-girl hair and big old Angelina Jolie lips. Evolutionary result:

33107_ptero.jpg

My name would be PTEROHOTCHYX and I would fly all over the city lashing criminals with my tail and breaking the hearts of men.

(Note genetically perfect hooters; slightly misrepresented by my inability to draw non-whomperjawed nipples.)

Um, I seem to have gotten sidetracked. What were we—oh yeah, teeth. So teething sucks, but at least there’s somewhat of an explanation for Riley’s cantankerous behavior. Not that my sympathy and understanding for the matter precludes any pillow-tossings on my part, mind you.

Despite the incoming Missiles of Calcified Doom and the eternally gray and mossy weather (spring? any time now, baby) we’ve managed to have a fairly productive weekend so far. I rooted through my entire wardrobe and in a ruthless hour or so filled several bags of clothing for Goodwill. If it was marginally-to-completely ugly, it went in the bag. If it was ill-fitting but not in a way that left me hope for dieting or offered a potential short stint as pre-maternity-wear, it went in the bag. If it needed to be ironed before every single wearing, it went in the bag. If it clung to my thighs like an oily, desperate lover, it went in the bag. And if I hadn’t worn it in years, no matter what special, gooey place it held in my heart, it went in the goddamn bag.

My closet is a much happier place now, having shed its most sorrowful occupants. I should really do this more often.

JB tackled our vegetable garden, ripping out the box he’d built just a couple years ago. It was made from pressure-treated wood, which apparently is sort of creepily toxic; not only that but the soil was absolutely riddled with rat holes. He pulled out everything and put in metal containers, despite my agitated mutterings about how I liked the poison wood because it was so woody and wahhhh, metal. I turned my back for a few minutes and when next I looked he had created this:

33107_garden4.jpg

33107_garden2.jpg
So apparently I need to shut up and let the man do his thing, because this is awesome. Look at the little path he made, how cute is that? (Trivia: the rock slabs are from a couple years ago when we salvaged some detritus from the side of the road in Oregon after a truck carrying a load of granite had plummeted off to one side, thankfully not injuring anyone. Uh, we think.) This afternoon I planted cauliflower, lettuce, and strawberries, and even if everything is eventually eaten by birds/rats/wandering Sasquatch it sure makes me happy to look out there and see it.

33107_gardenfrominside.jpg

Lastly, a few more random images from the weekend thus far:

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Desperate times call for desperate measures. If the Playboy can’t de-tantrum the boy, maybe some head-pants will?

33107_dog2.jpg
Dog would like to touch you with her cold, wet nose. COME CLOSER.

33107_gardenboy2.jpg
The boy fits nicely in this galvanized metal container. Say, I wonder if we put it on top of him, minimizing his shrill cries and corralling him to a five-foot radius . . . nah. (Maybe?)

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Alex
15 years ago

I’m always bugged by people who comment first, JUST to say “first commenter! whoo!”

robin
robin
15 years ago

Man, I have been coveting your little garden box forever and have been prodding the man to build me one too. I want to grow some edible stuff, even if we hardly eat it, like you said, it’s nice to look at. I just want to grow something.

This looks good, though. JB is a good man, those stepping stones are perfect.

hello insomnia
15 years ago

Riley’s face reads, “This metal contraption cannot contain me!”

Becky
Becky
15 years ago

I think your dog and my dog are related…with the pink spotted noses an all!

Danell
Danell
15 years ago

Pavlovian pointy metal tongue-redirection device??? Seriously??

Frank
15 years ago

Dog is so cute!

Katia
15 years ago

*laugh* The expresion on Riley’s face…

I love your garden area there! So pretty… Mine is much… less… so.

Bethiclaus
15 years ago

I am actively coveting your garden…

Mrs. Breedorf
15 years ago

I am so impressed with the garden. I have been inspired! To work on ours! Or maybe just to think about working on ours.

Trena
15 years ago

Ooh–pretty garden box. Not that JB would cop to it being difficult, but was it pretty easy to put the garden perimeter up? We have an open backyard (no fences between about 4 houses) and wild rabbits and if they don’t stay out of my little backyard garden, we may be looking at something similar to your garden box. At least until the rabbits figure out how to dig underneath and all.

Love Riley’s face in the last picture. It’s all suspicion all the time.

Elissa
Elissa
15 years ago

I love those metal containers!!!! How big are they? Also, could you please tell me where you bought them????? Tks!!! Riley’s expressions crack me up. He is so expressive!

Stacey
Stacey
15 years ago

In all seriousness, it is like the fates have smiled upon me and my pathetic garden and brought me to this blog of inspiration. Please please PLEASE tell me what materials were used for your bee-yu-tee-full garden fencing. My husband promised to build me one if I could find out what that metal part of the fence is and where we might get some. You are my one hope for a halfway decent, doggie-free, untrampled garden!! We’ve been looking for an attractive, relatively inexpensive solution to keeping the critters out. Your fence is the first one I’ve seen that hasn’t made me shudder. PLEASE SPILL the details! Much thanks. (Truthful buttering up to follow:) I’ve been reading and loving and laughing over your blog for a while now. Thanks.

Erin
15 years ago

A couple of things!

– The metal tub might just serve to AMPLIFY his cries, which would defeat the purpose.

– Riley is the cutest thing in the world but seriously I think he will have worry lines when he is FIVE.

– I had a moment of pity for every teething child in the world this week, because I had a toothache like you would not BELIEVE (turns out I have to have a root canal on Monday). If it helps, tell Reilly there’s a grad student in Illinois who totally GETS IT.

Erin
15 years ago

Okay, I accidentally misspelled his name in the last sentence because my cat is named Reilly please don’t hate me!

Also, that is the best dog/Dog picture I have ever seen, seriously. She’s beautiful!

deanna
15 years ago

[1] as a nyc apartment dweller, i have some serious garden lust.

[2] all of your pics of riley and jb reading [playboy, head-pants…hilarious!] always bring back such wonderful memories of my dad reading to me when i was younger. my familly, too, has many similar pictures [albeit sans head-pants…] and i hope that these bring back as many fond memories for riley in the future as mine do for me. (god that was fumbling, but you get my drift…im tired.)

Liz in Australia
Liz in Australia
15 years ago

I agree with everyone who has commented so far to say how wonderful the garden bed looks. We had intended to start a vegie patch a year ago, but somehow we ended up with an extra sandpit and play equipment in the spot where it was going to go. Putting one in somewhere else is on the list of things to do this winter, before the new baby arrives. It’s not going to look as awesome as that one does, though!

Janssen
15 years ago

Wow! LOVE! We weeded our yard today (suddenly we had literally three foot weeds ALL over our freakin’ yard) and now I’m antsy to do some planting! Hooray!

Melissa
15 years ago

Dude? Head-pants? Totally the new black.
Also, I’m lusting after your little steppy-stoned garden.

Jennifer
15 years ago

Your description of teething makes me howl with laughter! Just think, if he gets all eleventy thousand teeth in their double rows, you won’t have to deal with teething over and over.

Great garden!

Nancy
Nancy
15 years ago

Hurray for the pillow! I wish I’d thought of that one.

Rubbing a SMALL amount of whisky on a teething child’s gums does help.

And don’t put the galvanized container over the child. He will just echo.

Karen
15 years ago

Love the garden, especially how you can gaze at it lovingly out your window!

I spit out my coffee several times reading this, as usual. Thanks, Linda. (Will send dry cleaning bill.)

coffee stained
15 years ago

I want to marry your new vegetable garden.

I’ve always felt like teeth are the Achilles heel of mankind. Why must they hurt in such a debilitating fashion? Why must they be so decay prone and crookedy? My empathy to the Suctopus, and sympathy to you and JB.

coffee stained
15 years ago

Oh, and ps. My husband used to work with someone who had double row shark teeth. No joke.

warcrygirl
15 years ago

I think the metal would only amplify his screams. Try a giant styrofoam cooler. Naw, never mind; he’d just go Godzirra on it and bust out.

paige
paige
15 years ago

Keep a small toy watergun handy. It’s useful for keeping wandering Sasquatch out of your garden. Or so I’ve heard.

Alyson
15 years ago

Ya know, sometimes kids need to see that Mom can throw a fit, too. Ah, my 9 year-old sees it all the time! That kid really knows how to push my buttons!

Melissa
Melissa
15 years ago

Beautiful garden! Dog is just asking for a kiss on the nose and right between her eyes. Oh man, I’ve love to have such a sweet pooch and a backyard for that matter. City living is getting pretty old. :)

Jennifer
Jennifer
15 years ago

I see the truck with the boy in the container. Did he bring it with him, or did you put it in there to show him that it’s fun to play trucks in such a big, flat-bottomed, truck-friendly arena? (If so, his expression appears to say, “no. it’s not fun.” Darn!)

nstig8r
15 years ago

thanks for the link to the garden info. i’m considering a garden this year & this would be a great approach to take. i really love the way it turned out!!
also, just wanted to throw in that i followed the link to “the back nine” & i loved it so much i went back thru & read every single post. thanks for that link as well……. and for having cool & interesting relatives! : )

Stacey
Stacey
15 years ago

THANK YOU! I’ve got my next weekend planned out now. Sorry doggies, no more garden tromping for you! I’m gettin me a brand new fence to keep your noses OUT!

Melanie
15 years ago

That garden is awesome and gorgeous and I am SO JEALOUS!! My damn husband had better build me one similar when we buy a house, or I will have to kill him. And if you could box up Dog and mail him to me, I would let him shove that nose in my face all day, the cuteness!! I love that you threw a pillow at your son, I do shit like that and feel like I’m a bad, but highly satisfied parent, so at least I’m not alone in that. Bad but fulfilled parents, unite! WITH CAPS LOCK.

Josie
15 years ago

when my brother was little my mom threw a glass of water in his face because he threw a fit about the order his cereal was prepared. (Milk first! then cereal!) It shocked him so much he stopped crying. My grandma still cracks up whenever she remembers this scene.

Josh
Josh
15 years ago

Right on! Babies desrve to be pillow smacked from time to time. And I like your Pterohotchyx. I too think women should have more obvious temperment broadcasting appendages. Also, if you could evolve some sort of warning sirens, or flashing lights or something. Just a thought.

If I were to evolve new body parts, I would go all out. First off I’d have about ten pairs of horns protruding from every side of my head, just to let nature know how bad ass I am at a glance. I would have cloven hooves for feet, also to signal my bad-assity. I would shoot fire from my nostrils, and possibly spit some sort of paralizing/blinding poison, like that dino-critter from Jurassic Park. I would not have wings, but I would have a trained team of Pterohotchyzxs who would fly me around wherever I wanted to go. (which would mostly be the tops of skyscrapers and mountains) Lastly I would have twelve inch razor sharp teeth to pick the flesh from my unfortunate enemies. Oh yes, and some osrt of manly pelt impervious to harm.

Give JB a high five for the awesome garden. Way to represent dude, woot woot! Also if there’s any way you could never post another picture where dog has that freaky ass expression on her face. Seriously, I’m gonna lose sleep on that one.

Cavu
15 years ago

Your husband is adorable for both the awesome garden and the pants-head.

I realize screaming his head off is part of Riley’s toddler job-description, and not that anyone in their right mind would want to stick a finger in your kid’s mouth right now… but can your doctor give you something to slather all over his gums numb them or something? Ease his misery (and yours, and anyone within a 10 block radius)?

MRW
MRW
15 years ago

I too had the most horrible braces et al for four years and I am just hoping to god or the powers that be or whomever is in charge of teeth than my son got my husband’s teeth instead. Here it is over 20 years since I got my braces off and between crowns and root canals there are times when I just want to tell the dentist “to hell with it, let’s just pull them all out and start fresh with fake teeth.” Really could it be any more of a painful hassle? ANYHOO, your garden looks so great. Now I really have to get off my butt and get started turning ours over and figuring out what to plant.

janet
janet
15 years ago

awww poor kid! i think you can buy plastic teething rings in a baby goods store and put them in the freezer to get icy cold. riley could chomp on those and it would help him get through his teething faster and numb the pain too. and another plus, if his mouth is full and chomping away at a teething ring, he can’t scream! :)

Colleen
15 years ago

I just LOVE your little garden area. Will JB come to my house and make one for me too? You could even let him bring Riley. He and Zoe could spend a little time screaming at each other about their teeth.

breckgirl
15 years ago

CUTE garden, and husband and kid (oh, and Dog, sorry). I’m all for the pillow “tossing.” My child was driving me insane yesterday. All of this whining and carrying on – you are are so right on about the backward sliding ooze thing – hate it. We are in tantrum land – and it is not going to end any time soon, sister. Break out the valium!

And although I have great love and admiration for all who comment on your blog, I am now heavily infatuated with Josh (especially since his comments on your post about that skanky coworker discussing your Red Bull), who needs to have his own blog I can read because I find myself scanning your comments to find his hysterical commentary. Where can I sign up to be one of his Pterohotchyx?

Oh and last comment – love the pants-head. Will have to try that with Wyatt next time he is screeching at me and trying to whack me in the face or pull my earrings off.

velocibadgergirl
15 years ago

My name would be PTEROHOTCHYX and I would fly all over the city lashing criminals with my tail and breaking the hearts of men.

Dude. So not safe for work. ROFLMAO.

I love you, pterohotchyx. Truly, madly, deeply.

bad penguin
15 years ago

I have always thought it would be fun to have a tail. I’d like to request one of those, please.

I spent a bunch of time working in my garden this weekend, and it is in no way as cute as yours. Partially because I haven’t actually planted anything yet, but partially because I have no little fence.

HollowSquirrel
15 years ago

Pants on my head always placates Jojo.

LOVE the garden. It’s Martha-esque in quaintness. Seriously. JB rocks.

Gena
Gena
15 years ago

I LOVE your garden. So much. Also, I read your “fairly productive weekend” sentence as “fairly REPRODUCTIVE weekend”. Just so you know.

Jennifer
15 years ago

That roof-expander was FUCKING TORTURE. Both my brother and I had one AT THE SAME TIME and I remember my poor mother crying as she had to pin us down to turn that little key of doom. Ugh. Hopefully when the child is ready for braces orthodontic technology will have advanced far beyond that horrible device!

I love your garden! We don’t have a whole lot of yard so maybe i’ll try the whole galvanized-tub-as-environment-for-growing thing.

There is never enough Dog. Love her!

leelee
15 years ago

oh the pillow throwing…i think i might have done that too! your writing is just the best!

Kerri
Kerri
15 years ago

Hey, remember all the trouble you had last year with that inflatable pool thanks to Dog? Maybe a galvanized container would work better… Just a thought. Not as squishy, but fun, and probably would make for some warm water and stand up nicely to Dog’s dragon nails.

Lea Go
15 years ago

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