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Monday, January 29, 2007

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:

  1. 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."
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

"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? or banana? which is it?"
"yeah. ELMO!"
"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.


Anonymous Brian Roessler said...

Good lord. My mornings are so much like the one you described. A few days ago, in a moment of sleepy disorientation or something, I willing accepted a big glob of oozing masticated banana from my toddler's mouth into my outstretched hand. I then calmly placed it on my breakfast plate and kept eating.

1/30/2007 12:33 AM  
Blogger cape buffalo said...

Can I borrow your in-laws?

1/30/2007 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the mother of a two year old who still has a bottle every morning.... I sympathize. As for your inlaws -- man, can you send them over to me? You guys are really lucky.

1/30/2007 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We also had a pediatrician who URGED us to get rid of the bottle at 18 mos. I did a lot of reading about this and most of what's bad about it is when a kid goes to bed with a bottle. I really don't think getting one during the day time is a big deal. I would just chill on this one. Our kids got rid of it before they were maybe 3 and they are both above average in every way.

1/30/2007 3:15 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

thanks, anon 3:15. definitely we're on the chill tip for the moment. wait and see. we figure kid #1 is for screwing up. you know, practice for #2, which is the one we'll totally get right.

1/30/2007 4:21 PM  
Blogger Dutch said...

funny shit.

this, in particular, had me rolling: "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."

1/30/2007 5:30 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

awesome, thanks dutch. but, ugh, that repeat use of the word "strong" is driving me nuts. i hadn't noticed it before. let's all pretend the second one is "sinewy."

1/30/2007 6:43 PM  
Anonymous sheameister said...

Lord, your description of toddler mornings had me rolling. I couldn't have described it better, and it was great to read after a PARTICULARLY trying a.m. in the Sheameister house.

Now, when can your in-laws get down to NC? I've got a few projects...

1/31/2007 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I highly recommend the book "the happiest toddler on the block" It's fantastic. Curbs the tantrums and crazing toddler spaz-outs like you wouldn't believe!

1/31/2007 4:12 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Hey! We have the same toddler!


1/31/2007 10:04 PM  
Anonymous mel said...

MNG, just got to read the move account. feeling the pain--we moved last june, which wasn't quite as awful--but mostly I am sharing your murderous thoughts about toddlers. my little guy will be 2 in march and he didn't wait to be official before morphing into a hellion. here's the kicker: he's only a hellion at home, with parents. in public, he's an angel. so no one believes us. plus, he also hates all food; right now, he's existing on LIFE cereal, yoplait yogurt w/o chunks, and pb&j on wheat toast. this has been his sustenance for a year now. I'm not kidding. all this while his chunky cousins eat whatever is thrust before them. so, I'm right there with you, man. AND, you'll be heartened to know that I already took the young lady's advice: this "cracker" is beatin' that child when necessary. hang in there--they tell me it gets better when the kid turns, say, 20. (and at least you'll get a second chance to get the kid right--I'm too friggin' old to have another, so this one'll be my legacy...)

2/02/2007 1:55 PM  

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