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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

now 100% childcare free!

greetings from square one, which is where we're back to. we officially have no childcare. none.

the temporary nanny has gone off to her permanent gig. i called our main nanny yesterday and put it this way to her: we really want you to come back to work. i understand you have complications on your wounds, but we kinda need someone to take care of the baby. we're willing to work with you. tell us when you can come back and we'll manage until then. if you can't tell us when you'll be back, we have to hire someone else.

her response? "do what you gotta do."

peachy. abso-fucking-lutely peach-fruity fucking keen! doing what we "gotta do" now entails me being at home today and not working. it also entails mrs nice guy being home for the rest of the week. it entails finding a nanny who is free on tuesday, wednesday and friday (totally conventional schedule, right?) and hiring her so she can start TUESDAY. it entails posting a desperate plea on listservs and hectoring friends. it entails not sleeping. it entails stressing the fuck out. it entails, potentially, murder. i am ready to commit murder. foul heinous disgusting bloodsoaked jeffrey dahmer-style cannibalistic slow-torture disemboweling nannymurder.

ahem. sorry. that last bit was exaggeration. i won't actually eat her. just kill her. ok, maybe i will feed her to the cats.

of course all this is happening on a day where the kid has decided to bail on her morning nap. i have spent the past six hours trying to keep her awake so she could make as smooth a one-nap transition as possible. i am doing this on five hours of sleep myself. i am doing this on fumes. and also it's raining outside. i am going so stir crazy i feel like richard pryor and gene wilder all wrapped into one person, only funny. blissfully, she just went down. i breathed a sigh of sweet release. and then? then the neighbor's new shitty little daschund, who has apparently been left alone at home, is yip-yip-yipping NONSTOP and it sounds like it is trapped in the air vent directly above the baby's crib.

have you ever tried to dig your own eyeballs out with one of those rubber baby spoons?

Monday, August 28, 2006

more nanny diaries!!!

first a quick note to my brooklyn peeps -- come on out to perch on tuesday night at 8:30 in the pm. someone whose blog you're reading might be there in some quasi-prominent capacity or another.

and on to other affairs. the big news? our nanny's hemorrhoids are still ailing her! she can't come back to work! oh no!

tuesday was supposed to be the return to normalcy (such as it is around here) with Main Caribbean Nanny coming back and Russian Mafia Nanny going away forever and never to ever return ever never again never. but things do not always work out so smoothly, do they? well? do they??? no THEY FUCKING DO NOT and stop asking me.

i called Main Nanny on saturday and as nonchalantly as you please i said "so, you are scheduled to come back on tuesday and i HOPE TO MOTHER FUCKING MARY that this is still the case. please please please do not inform me otherwise."
she replied, anguishedly, "i regret to inform you that it is otherwise."
"oh, Main Nanny. we miss you. more importantly, the baby misses you. did you know that your substitute gave our traumatized child THREE BATHS on friday? please come back."
"i cannot come back because there is some terrible complication with my wounds."
"i am sorry. but my wounds ..."
"will you be able to come back in one week? two weeks? TEN weeks?"
"i cannot say."
"is there anything we can do? PLEASE COME BACK. is there anything you need?"
"i need money."

and so there you have it. our main nanny and her wounds need our money. our russian mafia substitute nanny is willing to hang on for a little while longer, but sadly she is completely insane. is this some sort of transcontinental shakedown? are we being had? i hate to fire a nanny with unfortunate complications on her wounds, but i will do it if i have to. but what then?

oh, lord, how come no one ever told me that outsourcing parenting is much harder than the actual parenting itself?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

for those of you keeping score at home

(props to kottke)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

lazy sunday

this site has been light on photos lately and if you're looking for the guy to blame, frankly, it's yours truly. i am sorry. i have no excuse. an embarrassing cornucopia of walker evans moments flop into my lap daily. and what happens? i reach for my camera and ... i've left it at home. remember the recent weekend morning that was graced with full-frontal handjob action? i do, fondly. no camera. i had no means to forever preserve the moment in internet amber. oh, how mr. nice guy kicked himself over that one.

there have been more: the tot and i were recently gambolling in the lot. she climbed stairs! she slid slides! she romped right over ... to a humongous disemboweled rat! mr nice guy has seen some pretty heinous stuff in his day, but when he saw this dead thing, its belly torn open and entrails a-trailing, his gag reflex kicked into fifth gear. thankfully, i had enough presence of mind to grab the kid ... and reach for my camera -- because, of course, i had to share with you, dear readers, this image that had instantly seared itself into my cortex where it will remain until i die even if i slowly wither at the whim of some terrible degenerative alzheimer's style dementia. never will i forget the poor rat, torn open and scattered around the playground at dawn! never will i forgive myself for having forgotten my camera at home.

photographic gold was to be had at the double d pool! no camera. there was also once a lone stranger standing in the middle of the playground, staring off into space and not moving or blinking, for more than an hour. too creepy for words. he needed his picture taken. alas, no camera.

so i vowed, dear readers, to never let you down again. NEVER AGAIN shall i leave the house without a camera! today, by all accounts an average lazy sunday morning, mrs nice guy and i took the child for a stroll. we left the house fairly late ... 8 AM it was. still, the neighborhood was a veritable ghost-town. it was gorgeous out and not a soul was to be seen. but, oh, readers, you should be glad i brought my camera with me on this of all days, for i was instantly rewarded! we walked to our local coffeeshop. we walked by a trashcan on our way there. something pink and lurid caught my eye. i looked down. i saw this:

sorry, can't make out what that is? need a little help? here, i brought my camera, so i can zoom on in for you:

oh yes. oh yes indeed. someone had purchased themselves a "realistic cock" in the wee-est hours of sunday morning. they purchased this realistic cock, presumably, at the (actually pretty tame) sex shop down the street -- strategically located facing a middle school -- and this eager consumer couldn't get it out of the box fast enough. it was ripped open with a quickness! must ... access ... realistic cock! NOW! ... wait a second. do my eyes fail me or is that a discarded bottle of some sort of lotion underneath the cockbox? ah, who cares!? the important point is that i had remembered my camera! suddenly understanding how this guy felt, i took the photo!

i really want to know: on what planet is that 14-inch schlongwurst considered "realistic." i mean that giant rubber nutsack alone is as big as my baby's head -- complete with suction cup, in case, i guess, its operator needs to keep his/her hands free. (no wonder, indeed, it's "the most popular cock around" ... if the box is to be believed, anyway.) mrs nice guy looked at me, accusingly, with tear-streaked cheeks, and said: "all this time and now, NOW you mean to tell me that's what it's supposed to look like? ... you're fired."

so, fine. whatever. but how awesome is this? we get to the playground and what's the first thing we see? presto:

ha! ok enough with the juvenile silliness. i have very important business to move onto. a dear friend of mrs nice guy's wanted to go to the bronx zoo with our respective daughters today, so ... today we reserved ourselves a zipcar! just $100 for the whole day! this morning we got a call from this friend (who is having very real personal travails, so she is fully within her rights here) and she said, basically, "let's skip the zoo and just hang out in your hood." fine. fine. had a car reserved and now it's too late to cancel, but ... fine. no worries. just $100 to hang out in the playground like we do every day. cool. fine. great. happy.

mrs nice guy and her friend and the daughters hung out at the playground and did mom things and talked girlfriend talk while i diligently picked up the $100 zipcar that we were suddenly not going to drive anywhere anyway. the ladies hung out until about 2, when mrs nice guy's friend took her leave. when she left i looked at mrs nice guy and said: we have a car for 4 more hours. the baby will need to sleep for at least one of those hours. when she wakes up, we are going to difara's pizzeria.

what's that? you don't know what difara's is? oh. poor impoverished people. difara's is a one-man institution, deep in the deepest deep bowels of brooklyn, that happens to serve the Best Pizza in New York ... which means it's the Best Pizza in the World. the problem, of course, is that it's deep in the deepest deep bowels of brooklyn. so the carless mortals that comprise most of the five boroughs who occasionally make it out to grimaldi's tell themselves that they've had the greatest pizza in new york (because it's "#1 in Zagat's" for like "98 years running," wah wah wah!). but they're lying to themselves and they know it. close, but no calzone.

so when the baby woke from her nap, we scooped her up, plopped her into the carseat, which we own for some reason that is unclear to me, and we drove to difara's pizzeria. and because i brought the camera, i can show you, here, the man himself, dominick demarca. this guy, whose name apparently isn't difara, has single-handedly crafted each and every pie to come out of his oven every day for the past 637 years. this is him in painfully-slow action -- in fact it's practically a real-time video of him making the pie:

and here's the pie. if you just ate your monitor while this picture was on it, it would STILL be the best pizza you've ever eaten:

look at that! the buffalo mozz! the fresh store-grown basil! the pooling of the grease! i truly feel bad for my daughter -- the first two pizzas she's ever tasted have been from grimaldi's and now difara's. such high standards she must have! she'll never be able to stomach the sludge-covered cardboard most of the masses happily suck down. poor thing, pizza-spoiled already.

anyway, ultimately that's her problem. the pie was $20. with the zipcar it came to about $127. a small price to pay for the best pizza in the world.

Friday, August 18, 2006

the feline menace

so the russian mafia nanny is still in full effect. just one more week to go. by all appearances the baby will survive. OR WILL SHE???

here's an excellent exchange we had this morning:

RMN: "you know, with cats, you must vacuum."
MNG: "oh yeah, we vacuum all the time. once a month, easy."
"no! all the time. i brush your cat yesterday. she has fur so much!"
"yes, well. she's a cat. thanks for brushing her. i guess i am a bad catdad."

"it's very bad for baby. you must vacuum. i vacuum now."

"ok, suit yourself. thanks."
"very bad. i see it around in air. the fur. if baby breathes it, she gets sick."
"she's fine. the cats are fine. let it go. vacuum if you want."
"all the time you must vacuum! so much fur. baby gets sick."
"millions of homes across the world have cats. the baby will be fine."
"no! coughing! ack, ack! she get asthma. she get allergy."
"i think you're reaching."
"she will get cancer!"

Thursday, August 17, 2006

is our favorite new york magazine columnist moonlighting anonymously at gawker?

at least annoying passive-aggressive dewy first-time moms aren't narcissistic enough to spew annoying self-loathing vitriol on an annoying noxious aggressive-aggressive "gossip" site. woof, that was a mouthful.

that said, this paragraph is pretty spot-on. especially about those fugly crocs:
There's a mom in purple Crocs (a unfortunate trend this summer), and when she says to the mom in the brand-new Brooklyn Industries t-shirt, She is such a good walker -- how old is she? I know she means "Shit, why isn't my kid walking?" and when she continues, And she's so verbal, too, she really means, "Shit, my kid's just past grunting" and when she says, Oops, she's got some dirt in her mouth, Croc Mommy manages to hide her glee, but what she's really thinking is "Ha! At least my kid doesn't eat dirt!"
someone please explain why gawker is running this recurring feature? has it entirely forgotten its target hipster clickerati demo of wannabe mcsweeney-ites? or maybe nick denton is just totally confident that his readers will hate parents too!

[also, maybe my irony-dar is off, but was that a gratuitous dig at (or simple nod to) brooklyn industries? if the t-shirt was a season or two less new, would that have made the mom cooler? or even more pathetically unhip? should she shop at some williamsburg boutique? or maybe something from vincent gallo's store would achieve the perfect cheeky-self-referential-ironic-hipster pitch? or maybe moms should just all wear prison-issue one-pieces with their number stitched on the breast. please help.]

can't we all just get along? i mean, why do these freelance-for-a-reason writers care so much about what other essentially minding-their-own-business moms are doing? leave the kid with your tibetan nanny, go treat yourself to a day at bliss and shut the fuck up already.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

we probably need a vacation

the first thought i had today, at 5:45 am, when the baby started crying, was "quiet! you're going to wake the baby."

AN URGENT UPDATE. you know what else happened, just one day later? this is true and not a lie or an exaggeration: our cat emma jumped onto our bed at FOUR IN THE A.M. with such emphatics that she woke us both up. i swear to god, this is what mrs. nice guy said: "how did you get out of your crib?"

and then she fell back asleep. because no answer would be awesome enough for that question.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

substitute my coke for gin ...

so apparently i am down to one post a week these days. sorry about the outage -- been swamped like a gator at work. hopefully i'll find time to slack on my employer's dime. like ... right now!

the kid, she was sick all weekend -- a stretch of 72 hours, of which she (and, through the transitive property of parent-child rest, we) spent 3 asleep. so come monday she was in a particular state. in fact she was so sour and so quick to erupt into tears of rage and indignation that we decided to rechristen her. for the duration of this post she shall be known as Shorty Shortfuse McSourcrabs.

Shorty's timing could not have been worse. our nanny is gone for three weeks (she had hemorrhoid surgery! on her hemorrhoids! which she has had since her first born was born. which was TWENTY SIX YEARS AGO. oh, sweet jesus preparation H christ, can you imagine!?). on monday, when Ms. McSourcrabs was at her most crabbily sour, our substitute nanny came for a little acclimation action.

people, let me tell you, there is nothing in this world to make you love your nanny to death more than hiring a substitute nanny. long since our rocky first days i have come around to the nanny -- she's great, we have gotten reports from spies that she's good with the kid, she clearly likes the kid and the kid clearly likes her. (quick thought -- what if all her nanny powers are centered, samson-like, in her hemorrhoids? will the surgery render her non compos nanny? oh no!) so i love our nanny. finding a substitute, however temporarily, was never going to be a walk in the park given how great our nanny is. but the gig is for just three weeks so we figured we could tap into the russian nanny mafia on our block and find someone who needed a quick, temporary baby fix. we found someone with good references and figured we were good to go.

and then, on monday, she arrived. monday being my day home with the kid, it fell to me to show substitute nanny the ropes from about 10 am to 2 pm. Shorty Shortfuse being in her particular state was in no mood to show anybody any kind of rope except maybe for one tied in a noose. the russian substitute did little to quell my concerns.

Shorty Shortfuse woke up from her morning nap not long before the substitute nanny arrived. she had had her bottle and i was grabbing clothes for her to wear. it was hot, so i picked out short shorts and a t-shirt.

russian mafia substitute nanny: "no. she wears dress today."
mr nice guy: "um, i think shorts and a t-shirt is probably fine."
"no. too hot! she wears dress."
"fine. whatever. fine. here's a dress."
"wash her face!"
"what? she had a bath before she went to bed."
"wash her face! make her fresh. now!"

suddenly i found myself in the bizarre situation of absolutely refusing to wash my own child's face. this lunatic russkie barges into my home and tells me how to care for my daughter? oh no you di'n't, girl!

mr nice guy: "really, i think washing her face is just going to upset her. she's sick."
russian mafia substitute nanny: "sick? sick?! so you wash her face!"
(grabbing washcloth) "fuck! fine! jesus!"
"not with washcloth! with hands. do it nice! how come she is sick?"
"how come? i think she had a playdate with some friends of ours and their baby had a cold."
"tsk, tsk, tsk."
"never let her play with babies when they are sick. you can see your friends other time. it's not nice for her to get sick just so you can see friends."
"wow it's amazing how quickly you've figured me out. i didn't even have to mention that my 'friends' are all transvestite hookers and our 'playdate' was at a roach-infested chinatown opium den at 3 am. mrs nice guy hadn't come home for like eight days in a row, so she wasn't an option. i just needed my fix so bad that i had to drag the kid along with me. we need to work harder at not being so selfish. thank you, substitute nanny for helping me be a better parent."

Shorty Shortfuse then proceeded to snuffle and sneeze, reminding me that she needed a little dose of medicine. i administered her drugs with a dropper, a process that the baby appeared to enjoy as much as one would a barbed-wire enema. i picked her up afterwords and tried to soothe her.

"shhh, babygirl. you're ok. no more medicine. you're all done. shhh."
russian mafia substitute nanny chose this precise moment to get all up in Shorty's grill: "LOOK AT THE KITTY! DON'T CRY! LOOK, BABY! KITTY. DO YOU SEE MY EARRINGS?! LOOK!"
"whoa. she's ok. you know, it might help -- and this is just an untested theory -- but it could possibly help her calm down if you would just chill the fuck out."

and then, with the baby still crying, the russian mafia substitute nanny rushes right up and starts wiping her snotty teary-eyed face with a kleenex! she just gets right up in there while the baby is still in the throes of meltdown. finally, i snapped.


and she did. then, i kid you not, she said this: "you wash her toys every day yes? soap and water?"
"what the fuck are you talking about?"
"the cats. the fur. you must wash her toys."
"yes. of course. we wash her toys. sometimes 5 times a day. now. if you issue me, your employer, one more order i am going to have to give you a time out. a permanent time out. forever. a time out that will last forever because you'll be dead. because i'm going to kill you. i'm going to kill you very, very much."

good lord. i did let the nanny have some time alone with the kid so they could start getting used to each other. russian mafia substitute nanny seemed incapable of putting the baby down or letting her do her own thing. she's the quintessential hovercraft nanny. it was stressing me out, i can only imagine what the baby thought of this sudden change in caretaker style. finally, i decided: not my problem, really. it's only 3 weeks. the baby needs to learn how to roll with life's curveballs anyway, or something.

at 2 pm the russian mafia substitute nanny left. i was just about to prepare the baby's lunch. as the nanny was leaving, i had pulled an egg out of the refrigerator. she couldn't resist just one more comment before heading out:

"you are going to cook it first, yes?"

and, to be honest, i couldn't resist either: "hey, that's a great idea. thanks!"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

what, you mean it's not the weekend anymore?

hi. howzit? you know, despite it being august and despite the fact the earth is melting and i can feel the ozone-fire in my lungs with every intake of breath, i'm surprisingly busy at the orifice. not interesting, i know, but it might excuse the fact that i am working slowly on the blogizing.

a minor update, though! on monday, i took the little shit to the public pool. the nearest pool here in park slope is at
nevins and douglas. it is called the D&D pool, which i was surprised to learn had more to do with it being located between douglas and degraw than it had to do with fictitious characters who embark upon imaginary adventures in which they battle many grotesque monsters, gather treasure, interact with each other, and earn experience points.

minus that, it was still an awesome adventure. we got there, checked our stroller at the gate, stripped to our swimsuits, rinsed off in the fungus-shower and jumped feet-first into the one-foot-deep wading pool. when i emerged from the mens' locker room i blinded half the borough with the light-reflecting whiteness of my pale-nasty deadskin. the tanned multi-ethnic masses cringed at my arrival as if i were Gringolito, the pigmentless devourer of souls. i was shunned. a couple of times they attempted to steal my daughter away, convinced that i had kidnapped the dark-skinned child with the intention of eating her.

be that as it may. i have this to say to my fellow brooklyn parents not yet in the know: the double-d pool is fucking awesome. i will grant you that even though the water is only one-foot deep, it is still possible for your child to drown. my own daughter attempted to prove this many times over. but there is no denying that there's a little thrill in seeing all of your fellow familiar tot lot parents (moms and dads alike) in their skivvies! my conclusion? it is a marvel anyone gets laid anymore. hello former hedge-fund manager, that must be jelly because jam don't shake like that.

so the kid had fun. apart from the one-foot-deep wading pool, there is also a three-foot-deep pool where more adventurous parents take their more adventurous tots. my tot was not so keen on the near-death-drowning that she was experiencing every time her father launched her into the air and almost-sort-of-caught-her-in-the-water. still, she trooped on. she liked the water. she wanted more water.

the sun? he liked my shoulders. he wanted to give them lots of presents, like freckles and cancer. so, after not-too-long it was time for albino daddy to retreat to the shade. the kid was tired anyway. she had splished and she had splashed. she had giggled and she had squiggled. she had witnessed her father shamelessly ogling the 17-year-old camp counselors escorting their wee camp charges. she too was ready to go. tired and wet, we returned to the air-conditioned homestead (ps: thank you, ConEd, for liking your brooklyn customers more than those in queens).

some parting thoughts about the double-d pool:

  • maybe it's a typo and it should have been called the double-p pool because pee-squared is surely the most common thing that happens in it.
  • maybe it takes the "double-d" from the average bra size of the men who beach themselves on her shores?
  • maybe, perhaps sometime next week, the chlorine will have flushed from my system and i will be able to see in color again.
  • maybe i will quit my job next summer and become a lifeguard because public pools rock the casbah.

URGENT UPDATE: speaking of bathing suits ...