Friday, May 26, 2006

Day 2 With J.Q.

I don't know why I agreed to spend two days with little J.Q. in the first place. I know how my body feels after spending one day with the lil' devil: wide band of gnawing pain across lower back; hot poker twinge in left, right or both knees; weakened, worn-down muscles from lugging a dense, highly-compressed hominid around for 10 or so hours; T5, my constant vertebra companion (pictured above), sending an intense, two-inch wide tingling sensation from himself to my right underarm and then on around to my right breast nipple; a defeated, demoralized mental state caused by flecks of dried feces on exposed skin, chewed shoelaces, several small bite marks on my face and chest, Gerber Stage 2 Sweet Potatoes & Apples smeared on my eyeglasses and a long, jiggling strand of booger hanging from the hair at the nape of my neck... .

I could go on, but in truth it's all worth it. It's wonderful to see that crooked little grin when J.Q. first sees his Grandma Priscilla and to see those little arms shoot out for me to pick him up. Those cool, solid little legs. His rose-petal-soft skin. The smell of his silky, soft hair as he nestles under my chin. His muttering, "NaNa," in this case meaning Grandma, but also meaning hungry ("na-na-NA-NA-NA-NA!") or banana ("NA-NA! NA-NA!"). His recognition and delight in our special baby games - rolling the ball, patty-cake, little piggies, so-big, peek-a-boo. His craftiness, his silliness, his determination. His doll-like physical appearance. He's just the sweetest little thing, and it's so, so easy to forget my own physical limitations when asked to put in a some extra time with the little guy.

So, when #1 Daughter, Mrs., asked me for an extra day this past Wednesday, I agreed. After all, it was just a one-time thing as she switched over to a 5-day work schedule; next week J.Q.'s usual daycare could take him for the extra day. I was with J.Q. every Thursday anyway, and #1 Daughter's new schedule would put her at home sixty to ninety minutes earlier than usual, so WHAT THE SMOKIN' HELL? More time with baby, RIGHT?

Wrong. While J.Q. was the most adorable, pleasant little guy on Wednesday, he had a different agenda in mind for Thursday. I didn't sleep well on Wednesday night and was grateful on Thursday morning for the little coffeemaker #1 Daughter had installed up in my room at her house. Even the Brown Marmorated Surprise East-Coast Visitors clinging to my bedroom windows seemed to be moving a little sluggishly Thursday morning. I had two cups of coffee down before the first of them lumbered over to ask for a sip.

I thudded down the steps slowly on swollen legs and took the handoff from Mr. on his way out the door. J.Q. seemed a little sluggish, too. His "Hi, Grandma!" grin was a little shorter and less enthusiastic than on Wednesday, and he objected strongly to being put down on the floor while I made his bot-bot. Matter of fact, he objected strongly to my doing anything but holding him for most of the morning. I kept J.Q. up until after lunch before attempting to put him down for his nap. We played upstairs for a long time before we went outside in the stroller to be rolled back and forth and back and forth, staring at the big tree until he conked out.

J.Q. went out just in time. T5 had been at me for some time, bitching steadily through the morning hours and then ramping up to bullying nastiness by 1:00pm. "Look, Priscilla, you idiot! I can just hunker down and squeeze that disc all the way out to your f***ing liver if you want!" (Priscilla has stopped using the F word - T5 has not.) "Now, I want some morphine, an ice cream sandwich and to sit down and watch Court TV, so put that brat in the crib and let's get some TUBE TIME IN!"

Baby was in a better mood after his nap, and he decided to stage some races with his stuffed dachshund and get Grandma hoppin' as well! I'll let J.Q. explain his favorite Activities for a Thursday Afternoon (When You A Baby!)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Hi, babies! Me J.Q. Me CUTE! Gwamma say so!
Dis how me keep Gwamma busy so she not get bored and take nap.
You twy dis wiff YOUR Gwamma, too!
But not twy wiff MaMa/DaDa - dey get MEAN!

  • Chase Cat. It hard not go HEE-HEE-HEE when we get Kitty in corner, but if we waff too much, Gwamma will hear and get Kitty tail out of our mouf before we can BITE IT. Ha-ha-HAHAHAHAHA!

  • Take Diapey Away from Gwamma. Dis work well wiff a pee-pee diapey, too, but Gwamma not get scared wike wiff poo-poo diapey. Just when Gwamma is open second tab on diapey, stick wittle hand under our butt, gwab first tab, yank diapey stwait up and pwetend we COWBOY and diapey is LASSO! If we fast cowboy, Gwamma get face full of pee or poo, and she skweam and skweam and skweam! HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA-HAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Dis one never get old!

  • Pee in Gwamma Face. Always good for waff! Gotta give old bat kwedit, dough, she getting faster wiff cover up Mr. Winkles before she get compweetwee soak. HEE! Pee-pee FUN! Poo-poo FUNNER!

  • Stuff Peas Up Nose. Why dey get so mad? It not dere nose... It OUR nose! Maybe we need get a few peas out for snack in case we get hungwy beefore supper! WOTTEN GWOWN-UPS!

  • Spit Cottage Cheese All Over Gwamma. P'tui, p'tui, p'tui! Me spit food on you-ee! HA-HAAA-HAH! Wait...Gwamma! NO! NO! No washkwoff! Me not done! REAWY! ME HUNGWY!!!

  • GWAB! Gwab EVWYFING! Gwab weemote contwols, magazeems, Gwamma gwasses, toity papoo, icky buggies, folded waundwy, cords, dirt on fwoor, dvd's, table-kwoff, cups, pwates, ovver people food, cabinet handoos, baby powdoo, shoewaces, kitty food, toity bwush, newspapoo, banana, gwandfovver kwokk, Gwampop muff-tash, pen, kitty, doggie, bwanches on twees, wight switches, noses, EVWYFING! Gwamma go, "NO, J.Q.!!! NO! J.Q., NO! FTOP, J.Q.! FTOP!" Ha-ha-ha-HAA-HAAAA-HA-HA-HAAAA-HA! Oh, and stuff EVWYFING in mouf! Or up nose!

  • Me Add More Soon. Me haffa put Gwamma down for nap now. She fussy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Not AGAIN! I just knocked over a bottle of Diet Coke, and it's run all over my desk, meaning 4-7" of paperwork that should have been taken care of long since but never was. This is two days after I dropped two separate bottles of Diet Coke on the kitchen table, which was also gaily festooned with Stuff That Any Normal Person Would Have Put Away Three Days Ago. I must hang my head in wretched misery.

No...wait...I can't hang my head, either. There's been various slimes dripping out of my nose for a few weeks now, and I don't want any of it glueing up my keyboard. I've sprayed lots of stuff up my nostrils and then flung my head back proudly to acquaint my sinister sinuses with the deliverer of their retribution ("Take THIS, you plugged-up little bastard chambers!): NeoSynephrine (didn't work), 4-Way (didn't work), Sinex (didn't work), Saline Spray (didn't work), Flonase (didn't work), SinuKick (didn't work), Muco-Rooter (didn't work), SneezeRite (didn't work), Flapper-Zapper (didn't work), Catarrgh-Not (not worked), Son-of-a-Sinus (didn't work), Kill-Goo (didn't work), and Booger-B-Gone (didn't work).

The only thing that gives me even sporadic relief is crying. So I pop in a real sad movie a couple of times a day. Suggested titles for nasal disgorgement (temporary):

Jersey Girl (hokey, yes, but effective at times)
Million Dollar Baby (Mr. Pseudonym almost had to take me to the ER over this one)
Mystic River (it is beyond my comprehension how as fine an actor as Sean Penn could have at one time married that shallow, self-possessed, pointy-titted, bleached-out, first-generation trailer trash removed, licentious, vulgar, rattle-voiced, fabricated, hyped-up, ugly, rotten piece of fly-blown dead cow meat.) (but that's just my opinion.)
Dead Man Walking (shall I repeat myself? or do you get my drift?)
The Deer Hunter (it ain't about Bambi's momma!)
Bambi (they shot Bambi's MOMMA, for God's sake!)
Philadelphia (watch this while folding laundry; you're gonna need more material to blow your nose on than a lil ol' box of Kleenex!)

I could go on, but I don't even watch these movies in reality! Cause I don't like to cry unless I absolutely have to, and life hands us too many absolutely-have-to occasions for tears, if you ask me. Laughing hysterically will also temporarily clean out the nasal passages (and put a scare into the more tenacious rubber cement sinusial encampment), and for this there is only one penultimate movie scene: Apopka the Snake Man from Ernest Saves Christmas. Do the research; you'll thank me next time your nose is ambushed.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

It Was The Best of Mother's Days, It Was The Worst of Mother's Days...

Holidays have never been my favorite days--too many sad memories going back too many years. But any Sunday when all the kids are here--and now J.Q. too--turns out well in the end. Sunday dinner was way too much work for my special day, so we ordered out from a new bbq place we recently found. Their ribs are almost as good as Mr. Pseudonym's, and the New Jersey Pulled Turkey Buzzard, I predict, will revolutionize smokehouse cuisine in the United States.

It was wonderful watching J.Q. gnawing his first rib bone. He didn't know it was something to eat at first, but he was sitting on Aunt Sar's lap and observed her voracious rib attack, so he figured things out and couldn't be separated from his own greasy wand for quite some time after that.

Daisy the Terrier was circling the table with moist, longing eyes during dinner, as usual. She was given handouts, also as usual, and was happily running back and forth between the yard (prime rib bone burying ground) and the dining table for half an hour or so.

J.Q. was finally washed up and crawling around on the kitchen floor. Dinner was finished, and leftovers were being put away. No one was eating, and Daisy wasn't begging, but she took exception, for some reason, to the baby crawling near the table and knocked him over with a sudden burst of growling and snapping.
J.Q. was frightened and crying; we were all upset, even though Daisy is a small dog. There wasn't a mark on J.Q., and I don't think the dog actually attempted biting, but it was still awful. Daisy was banished to the back yard for a while and seemed suitably ashamed when she came in, but we will be doubly vigilant over the baby-dog interaction around here from now on.

On a happier note, Priscilla made out like a BANDIT this year! Lots of flowers (roses and impatiens) from the younger daughters, a Tea For One pot and Belgian chocolates from the oldest and a Flip-It floor cleaner from Mr. Pseudonym. PLUS, my birthday is just three days away, so I may rake in more plunder later in the week. I get one week of greed per year and enjoy it thoroughly!

I asked Himself to get me the floor cleaner because I'm convinced that the proper array of housecleaning gizmos will eventually yield me a clean house. I have a traditional vacuum, a Clorox Ready-Mop, a Shark cordless 9.6v hand vac, a RoboMaid Robotic Sweeping Machine from Europe, every possible cleaning powder/solution available and now my dry/wet hard floor cleaning machine. Just one problem, though--my kitchen floor always looks as if a lunch wagon has crashed into a cage full of cats.

I've never gotten the hang of keeping a clean house (or even a reasonably neat house) (or even a slightly cluttered house) (or even a house that will look better when the Mrs. thereof is released from the institution for the criminally insane). I feel terrible about this, but about the best cleaning method I've thus far come up with, after 35 years of marriage, is to keep the vacuum cleaner, a bottle of Windex, a can of furniture polish and some cleaning rags prominently displayed about my living room so that, if anyone comes over, it will look like I've just started to clean. I might actually get away with this if it weren't for that heavy layer of greasy dust covering the vacuum cleaner.

At least I used to have the kids to blame for the condition of my house. But now they're all off on their own. Maybe it's all the pets (Daisy The Disreputable Terrier, cats: Onyx, Jean, Peanut & Buju, rats: Pokey & Sprinkles, fish: Flippy, Floppy & Flapjack), maybe it's my ADD, maybe it's a time warp of some sort - I just don't know. But I am sorely ashamed of this hovel. *sigh*

Gotta run and read my Flip-It manual. Happy Mother's Day to all, and to all a Good Night!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I'm IN! I'm IN!!

I'm IN!! I'm Bleedin' IN!

Months have gone by, as they usually do when one approaches old age faster than a fart, without my posting anything. I tend to get wrapped up in troubles--mostly my childrens' troubles--and I forget promises I've made to myself. Promises to do something just for Priscilla: promises to accept reality, promises to simplify my environment, promises to clarify my mental process, promises to BE HERE NOW, as we used to say when we were hippies and read all that eastern philosophy written by fat, bearded westerners with the stench of quarter-pounders wafting out from their beards.

I continued to read my three daughters' posts with delight. Despite their interminable thrashings through young adulthood, no one can say that these little women are not bright, and funny beyond belief, and beautiful as Arabian thoroughbreds. Well, realistically, gentle readers of these musings would have no way of knowing my girls are beautiful; I mean, they could be as ugly as
viperfish. So we will have to take my word for it: they have trails of drooling, tumescent males following behind them on most excursions. Mr. Pseudonym and I, just to witness the amusing spectacle of the male reaction to something of beauty, stay quite a few steps behind them when we are out as a family. And then we whimper a lot and wring our hands and sigh pitifully.

My girls have repeatedly urged me to balance out their blogflections with those of the previous generation. I would be able to offer buckets of sage wisdom on varying subjects of interest to those of the vaginaed persuasion who regularly visit the girls' blogs, having personally (myself) experienced dysfunction in my family of origin, depression, the Seven Year Itch, addiction, the Therapeutic Process of Continuous Co-Pay, infertility, becoming an older parent, multiple female offspring parenting, turning 40, multiple teenaged female offspring parenting (and accompanying gentleman callers) (!!!SCREAM!!!), caregiving parents who have slipped on the banana peel (metaphorically speaking), loss and grief, turning 50, young adult parenting, the wedding of the first child, the birth of the first grandchild (there is no adequate description for how this feels), the acquisition of pet rats and the inevitable onset of sliding on one's ass* toward the senior years.

I didn't blog, however. I sat with my children, argued, hugged, listened, fed, cried, yelled, gave money, comforted, annoyed, made tea, lectured, cried a lot more, reinforced, changed direction, celebrated, meddled, backed off, let go and grabbed back for more hugs. It just didn't occur to me to write about the events of the past few months or the past five+ decades. There was just too much to do, too much to worry about and too many conversations to have with Mr. Pseudonym and the kids.

Then, yesterday, I went to the doctor. I was feeling decidedly snotty and out of sorts, but just going in for a routine check of my meds and sausage ankles. My doctor, a kind man who likes to help his patients, was delighted to see mucous and a red throat in a patient whose spine has been turning to poorly-glued broken china for the past ten or so years. "Yep, Priscilla," he intoned while emerging from the samples closet, "you've got a BAD, BAD infection! You have to take this medicine right away and go to bed!" So I limped out of his office with a brown paper sack full of antibiotics, the name "Mucinex" written on a prescription form and feeling much sicker than when I had bounced in thirty minutes earlier.

Too ill to stop at the drugstore to find out what "Mucinex" was, I sent SarLiveSound (AndSweetie) out to the store, muttering "it had better not be guaifenesin" under my breath while sliding into my bed of gasping anguish. It did indeed turn out to be guaifenesin, but in a pretty, bi-colored tablet form, one color for instant release and one color for extended release! I could have bought a gallon jug of guaifenesin on my way home and taken a big slug every four hours, but the $12.00 charge for Mucinex somehow lent creedence to the severity of my illness. The antibiotic tablet actually did make me quite ill, as would ingesting any tablet that would choke Seabiscuit. Wait...maybe I was supposed to poke it up my... . (no...that's just not logical!)

Upshot? I'm sick and not doing laundry, gardening, cooking, visiting or any sort of errand today. After much username/password anguish, necessitating a frantic bout of whining to my oldest, Mrs. a.k.a. The 24/7 CompuHelpDesk & Mother's Milk Machine, I'm signed in and blathering prodigiously about nothing! Mr. Pseudonym's workshirts remain wrinkled, the terrier's unexercised, J.Q. will not be pulling Grandma's hair with one hand and yanking her glasses off with the other tomorrow, the mail's unopened (bills getting colder and colder), Junket has gone over to the neighbor friend to help with the Alzheimer's grandmom by herself, the stove is cold, the garden bleak and dusty, with one lonely dried clump of manure sticking up from last year, and I'm sitting here going on and on and on! About SQUAT! Ha-HAA-HAA-HAAAAAAAA! *cough*

Y'know what? It feels good to write. It's something to do for myself...just for myself.
*this misused word being the only vulgarism to be employed in this blog, my daughters having used up all the the f-words and variations available.