Filtering by Tag: Finn
Finn first. I loved him so much already, but now I'm loving him with such a piercing keenness. He's brighter and sharper and more poignant in all my senses. His skin is so soft and real when I kiss him, which is constantly.
Things I love:
-His giggles and wild sounds when I'm holding him out horizontally to eat him and make funny noises at him. Apeshit, he goes. I am providing him with the best time humanly possible.
-His pointy fangs that somehow appear the most clearly when he's laughing. The fangs are unreal. He's like a Swiss army knife. I had no idea the Rowleys were actual wolves.
-His cuckoo hair that's 75% straight except for a swath across the back of his head where it curls up and tangles as though that part of his head belonged to some old lady with a curler'd hairdo who was left out on a desert island.
-His long, kicking legs like a tiny male Rockette.
-How he's taken to saying with extreme enunciation, apropos of nothing, "I. Don't. Know."
-How he's suddenly averse to wearing pants. No pants. NO PANTS!
-How, when we looked out in the garden this morning and saw a big fat orange cat in our yard sitting still and staring at the front gate, Finn said, "She's going to go get the mail." This was a good guess! Nobody who lives in our house ever uses the front gate unless they're getting the mail. We leave via the carport. Finn put two and two together. That cat didn't go get the mail, though, because a.) it didn't have the mail key and b.) it's Sunday.
I have a child! He made it! He lived! He's mine! Miraculous.
We're really in love, Finn and I. He throws his arms around my neck and smashes his face against mine until our bones are crunching painfully together, and he has these crazy love eyes and this wild fangy grin. Nothing is ailing me ever in that moment. I could be dying in an earthquake and if Finn were smashed into my face grinning like that I'd be having a wonderful time in my impenetrable bubble of joy.
If an upside to the miscarriage is that I'm seeing Finn more clearly and loving him better, then it gave us a gift and I would go through it again. But I don't want to go through it again.
It feels weird to call the miniscule babylet who visited us for a split-second "Oona", but my head is tingling in a supernatural way that tells me someone is saying BUT I AM OONA. So, good, good enough for me. Oona is sitting on my shoulder while I type. Good. Hello, sweetness. This is wonderful.
If I only ever have a hypothetical daughter, I can't exactly say that it will be enough for me, but it will definitely be something. I'll take it.
On the night that I miscarried, when I was sitting with Dave and my brother and talking, I became aware of something beautiful happening underneath the pain and sorrow. No, not underneath them - right inside them. It was related to womanhood. I was being given a fuller understanding of womanhood. I could feel it happen, like, vooom. Something dropped in. I don't even know if I can verbalize it. I go back to the Jim Jarmusch movie Down By Law, where Roberto Benigni's character says, "It's a sad and beautiful world." Men know this, but women know it differently, I think. Not better. Differently. Motherhood escorts you to a room where you're given a perspective unavailable elsewhere. And then loss connected with motherhood, even a gentle loss like mine, takes you to a room within a room. There's a room within that room where I haven't been, and hope I never, ever go. I don't want that much understanding.
There are women of my acquaintance, and friends of mine, who have had losses many degrees more severe than mine. I have a drop in my cup now that tastes like what their cup was overflowing with. It makes me love all women more, makes them all newly precious to me in some strange way. Oona gave that to me, which makes me long to meet her.
I have this invisible person in my head who's criticizing this as she reads, like a non-ideal reader who's saying to me, "Oona didn't give that to you. She's not real. She wasn't here. She isn't here. You had a few cells gather together for a minute. You're romanticizing this and it's irritating. Get off it." I don't know what to say about that, what to say to that person, except that I'm the one providing the meaning around here.
Lots of free-floating defiance connected with this miscarriage, looking for a home.
Back to what I was saying before I so rudely interrupted me. That drop of the experience I had around womanhood makes me feel like I really should have a daughter - even I only get a hypothetical one - so I can plumb the depths and explore all the corners of this female experience. But I'll say it. I want a daughter. I want a living, breathing daughter. What a festival of teaching and learning that would be! I may never have more of a daughter than my imagination and faith have given me here in this small form, but I hope hope hope. I listened this morning to the mix of songs I made for the baby, and I felt this longing in my chest to meet this person who was coming. It tugged my heart so directly that it felt like there had to be someone on the other end of the string, pulling.
You know what's weird, also? With that mix of songs...many of them sound sweet and tender on top, but on closer listening they could have almost foretold what happened. I put the song "Fallen from the Sky", from the Once soundtrack, in the mix. I hadn't gotten to know the song well but I found the music sweet and joyful. I had just dazed out, lyric-wise, after the opening phrase. You must have fallen from the sky. Sounded good to me! Sweet baby coming down. But then it goes on.
You must have fallen from the sky
You must have shattered on the runway
You've brought so many to the light
And now you're by yourself
There comes a point in every fight
When giving up seems like the only way
When everyone one has said goodbye
And now you're on your own
Etcetera. Oh. Could have given that one a closer listen. And, of course, the Alicia Keys song, which transposes neatly to a miscarriage situation. Mmm.
Long ago, Dave and I picked out the names Finn and Oona for our hypothetical children. They took on a life of their own, our children, and they seemed real to us long before we took steps to make them. We imagined that Finn and Oona were floating in the birch trees watching us get married in my mom's front yard. (And then! A dear friend gave us a wedding present - completely unknowingly - that she had commissioned: a fabric hanging of a scene of birch trees with two fairies hovering among them.) Later we found out that Finn and Oona were already a famous pair in Irish mythology. Finn McCool was a giant and Oona was his clever wife who always bailed him out of trouble.
Yesterday morning when Finn woke up, he looked at the shadows in the curtain and said, "That's a cat right there." And then he said, "I want to see Oona."
My heart stopped. We didn't tell him about the pregnancy, didn't ever tell him Someday you might have a baby sister named Oona. At Christmas, we did have a group of porcelain figurines that were like a caroling family: a mother and a father and a son and a daughter. We named the son Finn and the daughter Oona. So he didn't pull the name out of his ass or anything. But he hasn't talked about those figurines at any point since Christmas, and it wasn't like he was particularly attached to the little girl figurine. It was truly bizarre.
I just said, "Yeah, I want to see her, too."
Later I was telling my brother about this, when Finn was in the room, and he asked Finn, "Who's Oona?" Finn said, "She's a little girl." I asked, "A little girl?" He continued, "Whose mommy is Tina." WHAT? I still can't even quite believe he said that. David asked him, "Where is Oona?" But he just got quiet and went back to his Legos.
First, here's Finn in the a.m. opening presents with the family.
That box has a Mister Potatohead therein. His identity would later be conflated with Buzz Lightyear's, as Finn yelled when he was going to bed, "BUZZ LIGHTHEAD!"
It was a full-on rescue operation to release Buzz Lighthead from his packaging. But he's a wicked hit! Thanks, Grandma! We tried to call you, but there was no answer! We assumed you were on a space ranger mission.
Diny-saurs. Rrahr! Rrrahr. What does a dinysaur say when he wants a cookie? Rrahr!
Kicking it. What? That's how you do it. It's not kicking it if you're not kicking it.
The Mr. Funny convention convenes by the couch at noon. Mr. Funny Gehrman has clearly brought his A game.
Here's where the party suddenly turned into a freaking Gatorade commercial, apple-juice-style.
They were like, UNH UNH OH MY GOD I'M DRINKIN' UNH UNH
UNH UNH Why the hell didn't anyone give me anything to drink before this point in my life? I'm seriously so fucking thirsty UNH UNH
UNH UNH Me, too, what gives..I just have to...I'm going to go over here to - UNH UNH
We had never witnessed a thirst like their thirst. It went on and on, this slaking of this legendary thirst. Sweet lord, finally the succulent apple juice for our shrivelling souls.
Mix and match farm animal puzzle. Both sets of Mr. Funny's parents are like, "Hey, you know what's good? Sharing! Sharing is something you might...hey! Say! All right! Sharing is good and also positive reinforcement is good! Good! Good things are good! All right!"
Mr. Funny Gehrman tutors Mr. Funny Rowley in the ways of Thomas the Tank Engine track-making. Auntie Jenn and Auntie Jos hooked Finn up with some sweet sweet goods from the Island of Sodor. Beautiful generous aunties! Plus Auntie Jenn totally saved the day for us hapless party makers who ran out of time to get balloons and apple juice. She stopped in the rain and brought a fat armload of shiny balloons and, apparently, the best goddamned apple juice ever crushed out of an apple.
The Ingehrmans. Listen. For Finn's first friend to end up being Miles Gehrman, son of longtime friend David Gehrman and the lovely Ingrid Ingerson, is just more delightful than we could have conceived. We've been waiting all Finn's life to give a hero's welcome to his first real pal. Well, we give it to his parents, too. They've got it going ON.
Auntie Jenn and Finn cracking open the Thomas track and airfield, while Miles...you know what, you can't caption what he's doing. You can't bottle that. Just behold.
I will always love this cake, even though it's the color of chewed gum, because it's the first one I ever baked for Finn. It's a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting, filled with strawberries. Finn is heavily pro-strawberry. I tried to use the natural beet food coloring but it was turning shit blue! So I went with the artificial stuff because strawberries are RED. Or, you know, chewed-gum color. This cake was delicious, if I say so myself.
Here's Finn turning to his mom for comfort while everyone sings in his honor. The birthday song is not up everyone's alley, wouldn't you know? I allow this grotesque picture of me in the name of telling the story. I am less foul and pointy in real life, and also I have eyes.
The day was fantastic. Finn and I napped together like fiends after the party, and then Finn and Dave and I gathered on the couch to watch Toy Story TWO. Oh, that's right. We're mixing it up.
Are we ready to have another baby? Do you mind if I think aloud here about this? Oops. It's too late for you to mind. I've already started.
So, Finn is 23 months old today. We are such good friends, Finn and I, I can't even tell you. When he wakes up, the jokes begin. They're not jokes. They're just...we just start being funny at each other. For each other.
Like, this if Finn's favorite joke right here:
That's it. You just say "fuh" and you do it as stupidly as you can. Make your face go all limp and passive while you do it. He started this joke. It was his first foray into joking, I think. Now we do it all the time. He'll do it, and then I'll do it, and he'll giggle like hell and then he'll say "Finn do 'fuh'" and I keep quiet and he does it and we laugh, and then he's like, "Mommy do 'fuh'!" and I'll do it and it goes back and forth and just gets funnier and funnier.
You'd think he's like five months old with this, or I am. I swear that this is all more sophisticated than it sounds. Because it's not what we're doing. It's how we're doing it. With...funnyness. Mutual funnyness. You have to believe me.
Whatever, no, you don't. You don't have to believe me. Finn believes me. Finn knows what I'm talking about. We make each other laugh until we're just laughing about the fact that we're laughing. And then Finn starts doing his fake laughs, which are bizarre - sort of a cross between a laugh and a choking cough. I don't know what's with the fake laughing but he's really into it. AH-HA HA HA HACK HACK ARRGH RRRAHHG.
I remember when he was just a few weeks old and I was sort of dipping into post-partum depression, and I was worried that we weren't bonding. I wish I could travel back and show me the two of us now. That would have taken a load off.
He's my boy, my little wonder man. I love that I have all this time and attention to give just to him. That would, naturally, change. Oof! I worry about being pregnant and not being in the kind of condition where the little elf can jump all over me. He sleeps in our bed and, damn it, I still like it - even when I get kicked in the stomach. And that would have to change. I'd have to set up a total Secret Service perimeter of protection around the whole belly area. I don't want to block my little man! I love getting dive-bombed and battering-rammed with Finn love. He's getting big but, c'mon, he's still a baby. He's still completely my baby. And it's cuddle city with us. I hate the idea of having to regulate all of that.
But I'm 38, I'll be 39 in July. And we want, have always wanted, feel like it's our magic Rowley number to have another child. The house we're building is built with another little person in mind. And I'd love to see who else we can come up with, the one we have is so good.
The thing is, I don't know this new, hypothetical baby yet. I don't love this person yet. How could I? We have not met! But I feel bad bringing in a new person to the scene when the decks seem all stacked in Finn's favor. We know him. We have hung out for almost two years and we are tight.
And then I feel bad for Finn, how we'd have to be all, move over, bacon. It's time for Sizzlean. I mean, you know, don't move all the way over, bacon. It's time for Sizzlean AND bacon. We still love bacon. Smart Bacon. We're vegetarian. Whatever. You know what I'm saying, bacon. We still love you, always will. But you're not the only guy on the plate anymore. Wouldn't be. He wouldn't be. I don't know, I don't know if I'm ready for him to not be the baby.
Almost 39 = almost 40 = not a lot of time to dilly-dally, dilly-dallyer.
But I think...a little new fatty! A little new fatty in a terrycloth suit. A new little wackjobber. The newest Rowley. New personality. New spin. Hello, sailor!
I'm over the reluctance to go through pregnancy again. Pregnancy was a fucking bitch, no two ways about it. The drooling, the queasiness, the sensivity to smell, the throwing up at the grocery store, the throwing up of entire dinners that didn't appear to have been eaten at all. The giant fucked-up prenatal vitamins that smelled like the toes of the ass of death. Never mind the long back labor and c-section and rough recovery. All of that - it's all right, I can do it again.
I can do it because I know what the reward is, now. I know that I'd be cooking up another most beloved companion for life, another player to roam in the deepest circle of me. I don't let too many people that far in - you can't, really. You're lucky to get anyone at all down in the deepest parts, when you think about it. But there'd be no denying it, for better and for worse, I'd have another person hitting me where I live. That has to be good, even when it isn't.
When I wake Finn up from his nap, I lie on the bed with him for a while and we gaze at each other and I think about how we're tied to each other for life and I feel so privileged and grateful.
And Finn would have a wee compadre. Possible best friend. Possible enemy. Possible frenemy. However that turned out, all of the blessings and the tricky navigation of a sibling is something I want for Finn.
This is good, talking about this. When I started this post I had a big lump of fear right in my gut. Now it's shifted. I'm seriously getting sold on this new baby. I'm about ready to go buy some prenatal vitamins.
I have the feeling that the minute we make a move on this, someone's ready to jump in. I could be wrong but I doubt it.
I'll keep you posted. Thank you for listening.
P.S. Yes, those are the names we would be using. Not subject to change. You love them.
P.P.S. I'm moving my comment up here. Thanks, you guys. My "Cycle-beads" suggest that Monday is a good day to begin. However, I'm actually having unprotected sex right now as I type.
John, yes! I meant to talk about that, the part about it being mind-bogglingly exponentially harder. I have that thought also well in mind. Which, you know - I'm not psyched about it, but I have some acceptance of the fact that for many years I will be like OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK HAS HAPPENED TO MY LIFE in addition to the good feelings.
I moved the comment up here because I thought it was important that the world know that I'm making this decision with that fact very clear in my head. Would that two babies simply meant another person to carry the incredibly-densely-laden silver Mother's Day breakfast tray up the stairs to me. Two babies, yes, do not = two fairy voices now giggling in harmony + no extra trouble. Two children = are you kidding me + you must be fucking kidding me + apparently you are not kidding me.
I've also thought about it from an environmental standpoint, and while that is an important consideration, it hasn't tipped us into the adoption choice. That's definitely an option, but it's not our first choice. I remain totally open to it, though. It's a beautiful thing to do.
So, I don't mean screw up like in the small ways we have already screwed up nine million times and will screw up thirty trillion more before we're dead. I don't mean that. I mean that I was just thinking the other day that the possibility exists that we can hurt him. We can do something, knowingly or unknowingly, that makes him feel smaller inside.
It hit me - boof - in the gut, this possibility. We could bestow on this tiny man that we love more than anything some creepy, slow burning gift of self-doubt or self-loathing or shame or something else that we don't even know to watch out for. We, by not knowing ourselves properly, can slice off little pieces of his well-being day by day.
Don't get me wrong. So far I think we're doing pretty well. Nobody can accuse us of not loving Finn. We shower him with love and we laugh all the time and we keep the small things small and the big things big and we're fairly sure we know which is which. I'm not crippled with self-doubt about our parenting. We're all right. We're good.
But chances are good that we're missing something because most parents do their best and feel this way and love their children and try not to skip the big beats. And most people have some kind of goddamn wound courtesy of Mom and Dad. So, the math, do it and weep.
Wish us luck. We really want to crack this thing. It's our Apollo mission. Let it not be the one that ended up with the Tom Hanks movie.
Obama. Hi, Obama. Hi. Be the president. I read the phrase - or word, really - "obamaton" recently, and I cop to being one. But I don't care! I've never gotten this attached to a candidate before. I'm trying now to read up on his actual plans, but I'll tell you now:* while I'm basically with the idea that you want to look at policies above all, I think there's some other truly legitimate territory to consider that falls under the category of the "vague" stuff. Likeability is one word for it, but in this case for me it's not quite the right one. Obama seems to me to have something that runs deeper than that, a potent sort of wisdom and elegance that I haven't ever seen in a politician in my lifetime. Power, it's some kind of essential power that doesn't need to bludgeon everyone with its presence. He seems to be the living embodiment of that whole "walk softly but carry a big stick" axiom**. His magnetism runs deeper than Bill Clinton's, in my estimation. I look at Barack Obama and I see not just extreme charm and brainpower but honest-to-God soul.
I remember watching An Inconvenient Truth and seeing that black and white shot of Al Gore looking down from a plane, and it struck me in the gut that Al Gore is a great soul. He's a great soul who's come down to this planet to try and help us out of this magnificent jam we're in. I just saw it, right there, in that image. Bang. Who knows if that's the case? Can of worms, right there. Don't feel like cracking it open. Worms and all. It's just an idea that struck me with force. And when Obama made his big speech in Iowa, and when I've watched him since, I had a similar feeling. It was like...how can I say it....like it's time for humanity to call out the big guns to help us out of this calamity, and he just seems like one of them. One of the big guns.
Uh-oh. Baby who had no nap is freaking out. I'm his big gun. Must go.
*Colon? Probably not. I don't know. Didn't seem like time for a semicolon. Didn't seem like time for a dash. I'm a freewheeling punctuator. Punctuater. Punctuatrix.
**Axiom? I doubt it. But whatever! I'm freewheelin'! Whoooooo.
In poetry news! Dave has done it again, man! He just got published in a journal that he's very excited about, and you know I'm going to link you to it.
It's this journal, Stirring, and it's this poem, Poem Addressed to a Door. I love this poem.
This morning, Finn was wandering around in one rubber frog boot and one bare foot. I was trying to convince him to let me put on his other rubber boot, and I was showing him my boots. Look, mama's got two boots on. One, two. Finn looked at my boots and said kindly, "They're wonderful." And he wandered away, tossing back over his shoulder, "Wonderful boots."
He was humoring me, and I totally liked it. What a nice guy.
You think Finn is just sticking out his tongue. Oh....oh, no. No. This, what you are seeing, is a rare and precious sighting of The Awesome Thing Finn Does Which Never Happens When a Camera Is Around.
He's not sticking his tongue out. He's winking.
This is how he winks!!
You wink at him and you're like, now you wink at me. And most of the time he just looks at you blankly for a second and then wanders off to read the Talbots catalog. But sometimes! Some lucky rare times, he will bust out this weird wink of his! This weird tongue-sticking-out but eyes-doing-nothing!! wink. And that is rare and ultra-bitchen, but this was the one time we've ever been able to catch The Wink on camera.
It's like Halley's coment. It's like Nessie. (Nessie is real, ok? For my purposes here? Real and just really rare.)
*I understand that my enthusiasm level for this move of his is higher than yours can ever be. I don't need for you to freak out like I'm doing. But you can if you want because it's AWESOME, MOFOS!!! OMG.
It's good to have a word that you can pour all of your bitterness into. And Finn, my friends, has found his. His bitter word is "later".
See, because "later" is so much friendlier to say than an outright "no", right? I mean, if he's asking to do or have something that he could conceivably do or have later, if he's not asking for PCP or to go gather up raccoons to sleep in our bed with us, then we're going to say "Oh, you bet. We'll do that later." We like to save "no" for stuff that must not happen.
So he'll ask for milk (direct from the source) and if it's not a good time I'm going to tell him "later" and then he'll cry out, "Milk LATER!!!" But that "later" is dense with feeling. That later holds all the emotion of "You killed my family" or "You have a robbed a man of his last best hopes".
And it's sort of poignantly funny that he'll be tearfully calling out "Pumpkins LATER!!" or "Play LATER!!!" because it makes it sound like he really, really would prefer to do it later and we're trying to make him do it now.
Have you ever read the book "A Prayer for Owen Meany"? (If not, go read it right now and then come finish this paragraph.) You know how they capitalize all of Owen's dialogue, to convey that there's something unconveyable going on with his speech? It's like that metaphorical finger pointing to the moon, where all you can see is the finger and not the moon unless you have the direct experience of the thing in question, yes? Well, Finn's "later" is the moon and nothing I do here in print, no italics or boldfacedness or capital letters can point to what he has going on in that word. But I tried. I had to try.
I love this reading of Fox in Socks, or Fock in Socks, as Finn says, which comes out sounding like "fuckin' socks", or "fuckin' sucks", which I'm sure he doesn't mean, otherwise he wouldn't make us read it to him all the time.
The rhythm they have going is so loose and tight at the same time. It's so of its era, so hep. I fock in love it.
*Latecomers, refer here and here.
Here he is in The Ladykiller, otherwise known as his Blue Colander Hat. Say goodnight, Gracie. You little ladies are toast if he makes it very far out of our living room.
He likes to look at the Pottery Barn catalog at the fireplace page. "Cozy fireplace!" he enthuses. And then he flips around the catalog and grows pensive. Something is missing. "More ladies," he decides. The Pottery Barn catalog needs more ladies. The Noisy Little Playboy realizes there's no point to a cozy fire without a pretty mademoiselle or three to pitch his wee woo at.
Specifically, he's looking for Pottery Barn to carry ladies' nipples. He was flipping through a veritable chopped-down rainforest of catalogs this afternoon on the hunt for ladies and their nipples. "Ladies' nipples!" he demanded repeatedly, "Get it!"
He covers his tracks. "Milk," he explains. "Milky."
Oh, ladies. Nice fire, huh? Mmm. Yes. My hat. You like? I'm glad you like it. Hmm, mmm. Ahem. My throat. It's a little parched, excuse me. Ahem, hmm. Could go for some, I don't know what we've got lying around here. Some...milk might...might hit the spot. Do either of you...say, that's a nice shirt, Francine. What's...do you mind if I just look under here a minute? Oh, well. Well! Well, say. I think... There might be a little bit of milk in here if I were to just-
Dream away, my son. That's what catalogs are for.
P.S. Yesterday's new Finn word? "Educational." Ka-doing! It's from one of those Mo Willems Pigeon books. Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late. The pigeon is, naturally, trying to stay up late and he's working an angle about a show that'll be on tv later that night, about birds. "Should be very educational, " he tries. Finn sponged up the word and is now wandering around calling things "educational".
This, friends, is a nearly literal transcript of this evening's attempt to lure Finn to sleep via breastfeeding. Finn is a talking maniac. And it holds up well as sample text for what we experience each and every night. Each and every. All of 'em.
Milk. Milky. Good milk. Yummy. Nipples! Ladies' nipples. Pizza. Fock in Socks. Ugg boots. Daddy! Come back! Mommy. Blacelets. Meditating. Candle. Curious George!
E....e-i....e-i e-i...E E....E-I-E-I...e. Old Mc. E. E. Cookies. Cooky. Ai yi yi.... Googengoogengoogen.
Milk! More milk. Mommy hug. Hug. Nuzzle. Daddy's pillow. Daddy pillow. Aaah! Mommy pillow. Aaa.
Aaaah. Aaa. Eeee. Buh-buh-buh. Sleep. Sleepy. Play! Buhbuhbuh. Ai yi yi. Leg. Leg.
Mommy. Mommy. Milk. Hug. Pillow! Pillow...! Aaaaah bah bah.
Brrrrdrrr. Boom. Boom band big band boom boom bang. Bang. Boong. Bim Ben. Bim Bim band boom. Fock in Socks. Knox. Luke. Loke. Loke lake. Aaah. Buh buh buh.
Aah. Vvvvv. Vv. Vwwww.
(Repeat with small or extremely weird variations a thousand times.)
This doesn't mean anything. That we're here and it's dark. Milk's all right. Milk's cool. I like milk. This doesn't have to mean anything. I can drink the milk. I can drink the milk without giving anybody the wrong idea. I can help this by waving my arm around wildly while I drink the milk. See, lady? See? Whoah! Yeah. No sleep precursoriness about this milk session. You can dream on. But...I do, I do kick it a little with the milk here. I don't deny, I don't deny its relaxing qualities. Relaxation, a little bit, is not per se a bad thing. I can let a small amount of this happen. Yes. My eyes, they can heavy up a minute and I can bounce them back when the time is right. Like now! The time is right! Quit staring at my eyes to see if they're closed! I can see you doing that! Yeah, feast your eyes. Those are my eyeballs. The whites of them. That's right, woman. That's enough. That's enough milk.
Up! I have to sit up! Now! It's almost too late! I'm up! And now I'll throw myself over HERE. And over HERE. But here, here is my Mommy. Mommy. Mommy, my beloved. Let me hold your face. Look into my eyes. Look at me. Peach yogurt. Peach yogurt is yummy. Yes, listen to me. It's true. What...where am I? What was I saying? Oh, yes! I'm alive! We're ALIIIIIIVE, Mommy. ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE! Oh, take my hands, Mommy. Run through this field with me. Spin with me. What - wha - let go of me, woman. What is this? Who said you could touch me?! Oh, Mommy. Oh, Ceiling. Oh, bed. Oh, pillow. Oh, feet. These, these are my friends. This is my posse. This is my life. I'm living it. Breathe this air! Huh? Isn't it? Man. MAN OH MAN.
Man, oh, man.
This is the life. This is...
Don't think I'm...
(And meanwhile. My entire internal monologue goes thusly.)
You're killing me.
(Repeat a thousand times with two different meanings.)
Me, I don't like to be kicked in the head. But proverbially, it's pretty good! And a kick in the head is, my friends the League of Concerned Citizens about Literature had a thing where they wanted submissions for this public health project. Poems about toothbrushing or safe sex or handwashing and stuff like that.
So a long time ago I sent them a thing I wrote about handwashing. And I just now heard that it will be published on some kind of placards somewhere and put somewhere for people to see while they wash their hands!
Maybe everybody who sent something in gets to be on something somewhere. OR MAYBE MY POEM IS AWESOME. Or maybe the pickings were skinny.
This is my poem:
I Sing of Soaps and the Hand
This isn't a poem, it's a fact. I sing of soaps and the hand. I will tell you about the greatest handwashing of my life. It was at Mrs. Newoman's office, in her house which she shared with her small grandson.
The soap: Jason's Lavender. The handtowel: old, small and violet. On the sink: a little blank mother goddess and child doll. By the sink: a little red stepstool for the boy I never saw. In the tub: boats. On the window: hanging necklaces. Through the window: leaves. What it was like: who says I cannot wash my hands twice? What it was like: does it matter that I am too tall for this stepstool? What it was like: I will stand on the stepstool, stoop and soap. I bought a little mother goddess, I bought Jason's Lavender soap. I installed them in my bathroom.
But you know and I know that it was not the same.
But far more awesome is this scrap of a John Berryman poem. Never read him until tonight. This bit is from The Dream Songs. It's my new something. My new anthem or something! It also would be my new email signature if it fit. But it's too long. But I might tack it on to some emails anyway. I would like to be associated with it. Dave showed these poems to me, and then had me listen to a recording of John Berryman reading one of his poems. I would link you to it but I don't know where we were and Dave is asleep now. But I bet you can make that happen if you really want it to. AND YOU REALLY WANT IT TO.
I don't operate often. When I do,
persons take note.
Nurses look amazed. They pale.
The patient is brought back to life, or so.
And now, because I imagine that you enjoy good things as much as I do,
LOOK AT FINN, who is apparently a poem about toothbrushing:
1. Oscar dresses and what I think of them.
2. A cake I made for my belated father's birthday.
3. There have been requests for Finn photos.
It's going to be long.
I can only talk about the dresses, really, and not the actual awards. Having a baby pretty much knocks out that year in movies for you. I should have piped up about the Emmys. Those I was qualified to discuss. Lots of time logged in front of the television this last year.
All right. Onwards.
1. OSCAR COVERAGE.
Helen Mirren is so foxotronic. I'm going to throw in her Golden Globes dress for confirmation, here, because I loved that color.
Kirsten Dunst is a sartorial train wreck in her everyday life - AS AM I - but I like what she does on the red carpet. And I like this weird little groovy demure Chanel business.
I thought Rachel Weisz looked ravishing in the extreeeeeeeeme.
Nicole Kidman. At first I was like....."?" And then I loved it. It's like Alice in Wonderland ate the Queen of Hearts. I also like Naomi Watts in this creamy yellow thing.
Anika Noni Rose - I love things like this. I love the cut and the simplicity and the lack of jewelry.
Cate Blanchett, it's like it's not even worth mentioning it anymore. How great it always goes. I actually would like to see her fuck up now. Next time, please fuck up. I seriously think she can't do it. I am throwing down the gauntlet. Try to dress badly. I'll give you five dollars, Cate Blanchett.
On the other hand, here's a small parade of people who dressed in unfortunate Southwestern colors that don't suit them.
Kate Winslet is usually so stellar. Here the sour cream drowned the guacamole and then the Grand Canyon spat up a little lipstick and made out with her.
This putty color is a bummer, Penelope. Adobe floor. Boo.
Gwyneth Paltrow would look great, I think, if she weren't wearing this terra cotta shade that doesn't have anything to do with anything good for her.
Moving on, we have the puzzling Eva Green.
When she came out to present her award, I loved her dress. But then her gothic hair and makeup troubled me. Now I'm just troubled. But I feel like I could see a different picture and then love it again. I don't know what's going on.
2. THE CAKE
My dad died two years ago and I made this cake for his birthday which was last Thursday. (Long story behind it. Tell you later, maybe.) In any case, I'm a baking wizard these days.
We're building a house right by my mom's place, right? So this cake is our two houses on some chocolate cake soil with green coffee frosting grass. The houses are white cake. My mom's house is the one with white frosting. It's got lemon filling because she is a freak for lemon. Her sitcom would be Everybody Loves Lemon. She says that all the time, that's a quote. She says it very definitively. The gavel has come down when she says it. She is a motherfucking out-of-control lemon advocate.
Our house-to-be is the purplish one. It's got plum filling, as some great plum trees are getting uprooted in the cause. Note the hazelnut path and the hazelnut shingles. What possessed me?! And I baked these bastards from scratch. I've never baked a cake from scratch before. Suddenly I baked three and piled them on each other. And they're delicious, if sort of retarded and abstract. Lookatem:
Yeah, it's bigger than you thought.
Oh, this boy. This BOY. After I breastfed him the other day and he was lying on my lap smiling up at me, he suddenly said, "Hello." I was like, DOING!!! (doing = my eyes popping out of my head) And on that same day, he allowed sweet potatoes to enter his mouth, repeatedly. His previous stance was fuck vegetables and fuck you for offering them to me. Every now and then he likes to blow my mind. You like that mama? Yeah. Mixing it up. Coming at you from the left, and then coming at you from the right. You don't know how I feel about vegetables. Maybe I like them now. Maybe I don't. Maybe I speak. Maybe I walk. Maybe I don't.
Finnaroo. I brought him into our bed the other morning, and when he saw Dave, he said DADA?!?!?!?! so incredulously I don't know if I can get it across. Dave said it was as though Finn spotted him out of the blue in a marketplace in Cairo.
1. Dave is taking a poetry class, and one of his textbooks is Jane Hirshfield's book Nine Gates. One of my favorite poems is in there - a Japanese poem by Izumi Shikibu that Jane Hirshfield translated. It's not her translation that I love, but the raw translation from the Japanese that she includes. First here's her translation:
Why did you vanish
into empty sky?
Even the fragile snow,
when it falls,
falls in this world.
And here's the raw translation:
why you empty sky in disappear did (?)
Frail snow even ! when falling falling world in
The poem is about Izumi Shikibu's daughter, and the snow that fell around the time of her death and melted away. The raw translation feels so much more accurate and helpless.
2. I baked this bread here, from a recipe I got from the New York Times. Make it. You can't screw it up. It is invincible. And it is un-be-fu-lie-cking-vably delicious.
3. And this guy. I made this guy. I can give you no recipe. He is unrepeatable. Also, if you see him around, please don't give him yogurt. The results are heartwrenching. We attempted this yesterday for the first time, and later that night he screamed and screamed in my arms. I said to Dave about it today, "My heart was in my chest." Wait............