Friday, September 18


By a show of hands, who thinks I am damaging Scribble for life by calling him "Chubs?"

Maybe it's because Doodle was a string bean as a baby, and still is. He never had any delicious baby thighs to pinch. His were always pretty thin. Lucky kid, he inherited his father's genes! Scribble, on the other hand, has pinchable thighs, a nice buddha belly, and irresistable baby arms. I find it hard to leave him alone when I'm holding him on my lap. If I see a spot that needs a little pinch, I just have to go for it.

So the nickname of "Chubs" to me isn't deroggatory; it's a term of affection for everything I love about him. It just seems to fit. It's come to define who he is. It has derivations such as "Chubbington" or "Chubby McChubberson." The noises he makes? They're known as "chubbing."

I am hoping it's a nickname he grows out of, because ultimately, I understand the implications it may have on his self-image. I don't think he will have a weight problem - in fact, I'm sure when he starts walking, he'll probably be skinny like his dad and brother. But until a better nickname comes along, it's going to stick.

Thursday, September 17

Home away from home

I’ve been in my current job for ten years, in my current office for about 8 ½. We moved in early 2001 to a brand-new facility, custom-made for us. I remember in the early days, we were not supposed to eat at our desks for fear of soiling the new carpet. There are tales of people being busted by executive assistants for having such banal snack foods as apples and bananas at their desks. If we ate lunch at our desks, we did so hunched over, quickly, in case the Food Patrol came by. God forbid we have to heat something up. That was a covert op that had to be done with the precision of Jack Bauer. You had to go through a certain door to minimize being seen by anyone. Then you had to do something about the smell. We covered for each other, creating diversions.

As the years went on, the rules became more lax, we ate freely at our desks. Even smelly stuff.

Tomorrow, we are moving again. The moving boxes are piling up, and ghosts of past employees are stirring. In the process of moving, old files, personal belongings and long forgotten objects are assessed to see if they are move-worthy, or dumpster material. Some things are no-brainers. Those boxes of old brochures with outdated company logos? Those can go. IBL’s golf club paper weight that he left behind when he retired? (Yes, he’s gone. I don’t want to talk about it.) I can’t bring myself to part with it.

I consider this office to be my home away from home. I spend most of my waking hours here. It’s a place I’ve kept my stuff in for longer than my current house. The people here, for as much as they drive me nuts, are a pseudo family. I still refer to abandoned cubicles as “So-and-so’s desk”, even if that person has been gone for years. I’ve become used to the constant chatter of those around me, and of Bad Lady’s radio (that plays that damn Black Eyed Peas song at least six times a day – which is six times too many). Hell, I’ve even spent my share of Saturdays here, in my grubby clothes. One Saturday, while waiting for a response from management, IBL and I pitched pennies at a spot on the floor – closest to the spot won that round. I was pregnant with both my children while I worked here (and hence twice got to park in the exclusive, close to the building “Expectant Mother” parking spot – the envy of my co-workers). I got married while I worked here. I turned 30. I saw the Twin Towers fall while huddled around the television in my boss’office. I watched our current president’s inauguration with the company CEO, who stopped his day to watch the revelry, on a co-worker’s computer screen. I said goodbye to friends who moved on, were downsized, retired.

So it’s no surprise that I am a bit emotional over this move. It’s a piece of my history. I’ll never see this space again. Others will sit where I now sit, they will fill the shelves with their own photos, hang their own silly cartoons or child’s drawings on the walls framing the cubicle. They will go through their own milestones in life and at work. Maybe they’ll wonder who it was who sat in the seat before them.

As for the new office, my feelings about it are ambivalent. After so long in one spot, it’s hard to accept a new one, that for me in particular, brings with it a longer commute each day. On the plus side, my new cubicle is secluded, so I might not get to hear the Black Eyed Peas song at all. It’s just off the kitchen, so I can discretely heat up my lunch and bring it back to my desk without the Food Patrol breathing down my neck (although I doubt they’ve been retained in our new building). I can re-hang my photos and silly cartoon clippings on my new walls.

And maybe, eventually, it will start to feel like home.

Thursday, September 3

Information Gathering

At the tender age of 4, there's stuff that Doodle just doesn't want to talk about with me and my husband. Such as, "What did you do at school today?" So we had to find out about the fire drill they had a school from my in-laws, with whom Doodle shared the whole incident, including how Scribble was carried out by a teacher, since he can't walk yet. Can you imagine a fire drill at a day care? I cannot. Only that it must be complete chaos, and even though the cost of day care is causing me to forego such things as my haircut and going out to dinner on Saturday nights, I have to say that daycare workers are just not paid enough for what they do.

He also confided in my mother-in-law about his crush on teacher Miss Katie.

His answer to most questions we ask him is "I dunno" or "I can't how to do that."

So any little bits of info I can gather about my son and his emerging personality and likes/dislikes are little nuggets of treasure that I like to put away in my pocket. Today I saw one that made me smile, and I'd like to record it here so I can remind him when he's older. On the wall outside his classroom door is a sign that says "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up." I think we have asked him this before and gotten his standard "I dunno" response.

However, the answer that is recorded on the wall for all to see is "astronaut."

I guess decorating his nursery in a son and moon motif wormed its way into his subconscious. Or maybe it's his obsession with all things Star Wars, Transformer and robot.

Anyway ... nugget: pocketed.
To infinity ... and beyond!

Wednesday, September 2

Someone, please light a fire under my hubby's patootie

Some people, maybe all, I haven't asked everyone so I will only assume "some", feel that their lives are out of order when their house is out of order. I am one of the some, fo' sho'.

So you may have noticed by my last post that the first few weeks of Scribble's life were a little chaotic and that I may not have been the Mother of the Year. I assure you that things are settling down now and I am actually feeling much more balanced now that I'm back at work. (Which is so scary, you have no idea. My lack of postings about the job is not for lack of drama - I assure you there has been plenty. I am saving it for the book I am going to write about it someday.)

But when I get home, the disorder and clutter pings off some piece of crazy in my brain, perhaps in the amigdala (or is she the princess in Star Wars?). A major part of that is because we still have not figured out the sleeping arrangements for the new baby. Right now, temporarily, Scribble is still in his bassinet in my bedroom. Since I am the world's lightest sleeper, this means that I wake up at every grunt and baby noise that Scribble makes (read: about 13,763 a night). And then when he's QUIET, sometimes I wake up and check to make sure he's still breathing. The lack of baby noises lulls me from precious sleep. So, even when Scribble sleeps through the night (which he's done, about three times so far. Who IS this wonderbaby?), I still wake up a bunch of times to check on him.

We need to get him into his crib and out of our room, pronto.

The bottom line is: I need a bigger house. But, given the real estate market and the fact that we have some major repairs to make to the house before we can sell it and NO money for said repairs, we are making do.

So there are only so many options for where the crib can go. On the first floor, we currently have our bedroom and Doodle's bedroom. Ours is slightly larger. On the second floor, we currently have a computer and a bunch of junk. Some junk is important, but other junk is just occupying space and needs to be tossed. The second floor could easily accommodate a crib.

Problems with the second floor scenario:
  • It is HELLA hot up there in the summer and HELLA cold up there in the winter. May be difficult for a baby to deal with these conditions. Solutions, such as a window-unit air conditioner and a space heater, will increase our bills drastically, and the space heater is unsafe.
  • I will be climbing the stairs several times at night (well, hopefully not) to retrieve Scribble.
  • We'll have to use the baby monitor, and I'll therefore still be able to hear every grunt and baby noise, resulting in me waking up multiple times during the night.

Option #2 would be to move Doodle upstairs, and move the baby into Doodle's room. In addition to the heat/cold problem, I think I'd need a baby monitor for him just in case he needed something during the night. Also, I don't want him trying to come downstairs in the middle of the night. Finally, every time we mention this possibility, Doodle gets really upset, and I just don't want to rattle his cage more than I already have these past few months.

Option #3 is that the hubby and I move upstairs and Scribble moves into our room. We can endure the heat/cold. However, I still have the stair issue and the baby monitor issue - and I'd now need to have a monitor in both boys' rooms.

I'm not thrilled about any of these options, so I am hoping that Option #4 will work: everyone stays on the first floor, but we flip-flop rooms. I've been thinking about it, and I mean, at 3 a.m. when I'm listening to baby noises, I'm thinking about it, and I think that we could fit a crib, Doodle's bed, and the changing table in our room (and not much else) and then we could move our bed and one of our dressers into Doodle's room. But that means one of our dressers, and Doodle's dresser as well, would have to move upstairs. I'd much rather be going upstairs to retrieve clothes during the day than going upstairs in the dark of night to tend to a child. So this may be the winner.

So now, the only problem is time. I hope over this long weekend that we are able to get this done ...