we done moved!
the dust has begun to settle on the move and the general wreckage of what was once my life. here is my conclusion: oof. more specifically, here is a list of a few things i have learned over the course of the past few weeks, and a bit of news:
- moving sucks ass. amend that. moving sucks the ass of an unshowered obese grandmother after an olestra binge. especially when one has a twenty-month old who just the WEEK PRIOR to moving started referring to the old apartment as "home." as in: we would return from an outing, she would spy the apartment building and she would then raise her arms and shout with glee "HOME!!! YAY! CATS!" it was heartbreaking. how do you tell a wee babe that "this is not your home anymore. we are uprooting you from the only place you've ever lived and taking you to a 100 year old rotting woodframe house with drafty windows and clanky heat. because we don't love you."
- you know who we do love though? honestly. if you are moving to (or from or within) new york city, you must use Big Apple Moving. we've used them twice -- they've come in under the estimate both times and they didn't even hold our stuff hostage. they are fairly intimidating behemoths at first blush, but they are gentle giants. miracle workers. i am thinking about planning another move soon just so i can hang out with them again.
- ok that last line was a joke. the only way i am leaving this house to take up residence elsewhere is in a body bag, chopped into tiny little pieces and immolated. ain't nobody getting me out of here alive.
- my in-laws fucking rock. they should be world famous. they should walk only on rose petals. they should have long odes to them written in latin and sung by beautiful young eunuchs. they should be enshrined in the guinness book of world records as best in-laws ever. they were here for about 12 days. they painted the ENTIRE INTERIOR OF THE HOUSE in some colors they even strenuously objected to. they did odd jobs -- like refurbishing the original mantle, like dismantling fixtures, like recaulking windows, figuring out if it was possible to install recessed lighting (which they will do themselves when they come back in march for a month and completely GUT and RENOVATE our kitchen. for us. which they helped us design and order while they were here.) they make me feel simultaneously tearful with gratitude and completely useless -- a withered vestigial tail on the beautiful body of my own marriage.
and now the news, part one of which is not really "news" so much as it is the "terrifying absorption of a long-suspected truth":
- it is very hard not to murder your toddler. every single day there are at least 74 murder-worthy moments in this child's life. before breakfast. like when she won't let you clean the poop out of her pants because she wants to keep it. and yet, miraculously, we are so far choosing to let her live. each morning begins at 6. you bring her downstairs and she demands her bottle, from which your pediatrician has told you several times to wean her if you don't want her to grow up toothless, lisping and pumping gas for a living. "bobble!" she says. "hmm, how about a banana?" you say. shockingly, she replies "yeah. ok." you think you have made progress. you are the best parent ever. you grab a banana and she says, like the little monkey she is, "NANA!" she's excited. you peel it for her and hand it to her. she goes cross-eyed with rage and screams "NO! NO NANA!" she throws the banana at you. jesus. you flinch. but you remain calm. "ok sweetie, how about an orange?" panic sets in. "cereal? CEREAL. CEREAL CEREAL!" ok, fine. you get her a bowl of cereal. just as you start pouring the milk she falls on the floor and bursts into flames.
"NO CEREAL! NO!"
"honey. stop. are you sure you don't want cereal? you asked for cereal and i've already poured the milk."
"NO! orange. bobble."
"you want an orange? you already said 'no' to the orange."
"ORANGE! NANA! BOBBLE!"
"orange? or banana? which is it?"
"ok. fine. here's an orange. here's a fucking banana. here's elmo, a bottle and whole box of cookies. sort it out for yourself."
at this point your wife comes downstairs, woken by the sound of a grown man being broken by a little girl, one-third his height. as she wipes the sleep from her eyes, she is at least comforted by memories of the strong matador who, in her still-fresh dreams, was just holding her in his strong, sweat-beaded, hairless arms.
- once we got somewhat settled into the house and the tsunami of office drudgery that coincided with my move began to subside, i was hit with a particularly delightful form of stomach flu. i am still recovering. have you ever had to spend an entire day parenting a 20-month-old alone while experiencing extremely aggressive diarrhea? it's awesome.
- i was honored and touched to be invited to a new york blogger's reception at the 92nd street Y before a talk by the excellent Adam Gopnik and Patricia Marx of The New Yorker. part of me suspected that this was a ploy: the Y was continuing its long-standing tradition of good works by rounding up as many bloggers as possible in one place and gassing them into eternal silence. but no, it was an earnest invitation. so cool! but. i couldn't go. (see: afforementioned office drudgery.)
- on the new commute home from work i learned an interesting fact the other day, spoken at the top of a particularly angry young mother's voice to no one in particular on a very crowded train: "IF THESE CRACKERS WOULD BEAT THEY KIDS FROM TIME TO TIME, THEY WOULDN'T GO ALL COLUMBINE, SHOOTING UP THEIR SCHOOLS AN' SHIT." interesting logic. i wonder if there is a similar strain of thinking behind my new neighbor's apparent abuse of his wife.
finally, the big news!
- vinnie three fingers is a man of his word. yes. it took him a year. but he is nothing if not very thorough. after i went through all my trouble to find the right doctor to cut me open and fix my knee, it seemed his main meniscus source suddenly dried up. well. now they tell me that they have found a matching piece of tissue (read: vinnie finally sent some poor lanky 30-year-old with strong joints to sleep with the fishes. except for his left leg, which will be harvested for my benefit.) and they have put it on ice. i am scheduled to have incredibly nasty knee surgery on march 13. Dr. Hot's assistant told me that since it's a pretty intense surgery, i should plan on spending the night in the hospital. i told him i remembered that detail from when i was originally supposed to have surgery ... a year ago. he said "you're going to be in a lot of pain," which sounded like a threat and a promise.