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Stole this from Sweetney: Now That's What I Call Blogging! Awesome.


Look, wood rot in that ancient tree that we chopped down! In a few years, it could have fallen on a judgmental garage-h8ter, and wouldn't that have been a shame?






Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Once upon a time I colored my hair with a myriad of products including Koolaid, Manic Panic, and Rit fabric dye (this last one I strongly advise you to avoid). I remember going through this stage of decorating myself in a manner that clearly begged for stranger's stares - I mean, pink-and-black hair, leather dog collar, seventy layers of black Wet n' Wild eyeliner? I reject society's standards, as I am a unique soul who finds beauty in despair. Also, am fourteen years old. The best part was getting righteously pissed when people actually looked at me. "What? What are you looking at? Am I too much for you, Mr. Square Peg in your, um, square peg life, since I am a round peg, or, like, a triangular - fuck it, I'm no peg, you're a peg, I can't be pigeonholed into some category, no way, I'm no pigeon or peg, and furthermore -"

Yeah. I had issues. The Cure is going to be banned in this household when Riley goes through puberty, I can tell you that much.

These days I blend seamlessly into my surroundings, in this denim-wearing, Columbia-fleece-clad, tastefully-highlighted demographic. Like a leopard in the jungle! Or a pigeon. Whatever. Anyway, I no longer sport Hot Topic-esque flair - being a walking conversation piece ("Say, Halloween was last month. Har!") holds exactly zero appeal.

Which reminds me, someone left me a comment the other day lambasting my hairstyle as "pedestrian", which was obviously meant as a scathing insult in their book, but when I read it I was like, Oh? Pedestrian, jeez, that's okay. "Makes you look like the ass-end of a Vietnamese potbellied pig", not so much, but pedestrian? Hey, that's me all over.

(The same person went on to refer to Bellevue, the city/Seattle suburb where I live, as "gag". Gag! Not "has too robust of a park and trail system!" or, "does not provide enough nightclubs outside of which you can be shot!" or, "frankly, has a Starbucks-to-Seattle's Best Coffee ratio which displeases me!". Just: gag. I pictured a news item running in the local section of the Times:

City of Bellevue Described As 'Gag' By Anonymous Commentor
Local Authorities Perplexed

I mean, it's not like we don't have a Dress Barn, for god's sake.)

I have lost any desire to stand out in a crowd, really. I've matured into a not unfriendly but immensely shy and socially retarded adult, and I can make the most well-meaning interaction awkward with my blushing/stammering/spraying the room with fear-triggered jets of urine.

I've had to get over that, a little, since toting a baby around is sort of like walking a kangaroo - people are interested. Well, women, mostly, and sometimes they want to stop and chat and ask how old he is and so on, and I have to act like a functional human and say things like "Three months," and "Oh, thank you," - not "Hey, what's that over your shoulder?" followed by a nimble sprint in the opposite direction.

I am, however, super paranoid of Riley crying in public. JB shares this fear, and so at the slightest whimper we are out the door and peeling rubber in the parking lot. I realize that some day it will be unavoidable, and my son will be bleating in the ear of someone whose distaste for children will be known far and wide, and on that day all my social anxiety worst-case scenarios will come true in one horrific greasefire of shame and embarrassment.

So a couple days ago we had to take Cat and Dog to the vet for their vaccinations, and for some ill-advised reason we both went, with Riley in tow of course. JB was informed that each pet would take half an hour, so while he accompanied them to the dreaded Back Office I sat in the waiting room, Riley sleeping in his carseat beside me. I had time to read Dog Fancy, cover to cover, even those pages of ads in the back where people are selling "teacup" sized versions of various breeds (why?), and then Riley woke up. He burbled to himself for a bit, then started broadcasting his boredom. And now the room had other people in it: a grouchy-looking man with an ancient Corgi, a girl filling out a job application, a woman waiting for her cats. It was stupidly quiet, the only noise was Riley's increasingly irritated "eh...EH!" sounds.

Worried, of course, that he was going to start crying, I reached down, unstrapped him, and picked him up. And that's when it happened - the most resonant volley of farts a baby has ever produced in the history of mankind erupted from his rear end. It was vigorous and staccato and went on and on; it sounded like the entire horn section of the Philharmonic was playing "Flight of the Bumblebee" in his diaper.

The Corgi? Barked in surprise.

I didn't even make eye contact; I put him back in the seat, gathered my coat, and took him out to the car (where we played a rousing game of Did You Poop Your Pants, You Did?).

I guess being a parent is sort of like having pink hair, you can't help but stick out in a crowd sometimes. Kids are kids, they sometimes cry, and they sometimes issue forth a series of ass explosions loud enough to startle a dog.

It's got kind of a nice circle-of-life aspect to it, really. Someday, when Riley is older and I am his greatest embarrassment, I'll hold him close to me over his protests and tell a story to his skateboard-wielding friends. "Listen," I'll say, "there was this little boy, and this quiet waiting room..."


How do babies learn to pout? Riley does this hilarious expression where his bottom lip curls completely upside down in his great sorrow, which he is just about to do in the below photo. Where did he learn to do that?


The smiling, well, he got that from me. I smile every time I look at him.

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