Today we are very excited! And we are using short sentences! That’s because I am spending lots of time with a 4-year-old! He has an ear infection! Owie!!! We are lying on the couch! We are watching Bob the Builder! Can he fix it? Yes, he can!!!

Blogging and Narcissism

Today’s NY Times Sunday Styles section features mom and dad bloggers, who evidently are quite the self-absorbed lot and mourn the the me-me-me-ness of our pre-baby adult lives. We are obscene narcissists struggling to rise above invisibility and to remind the world that we still exist. Oh, and our blogs are just a primal scream that expose the “dark underbelly” of parenting. To which I say … DUH. And your point would be?

Of course I am just jealous because the author didn’t profile MomBrain. So perhaps I am just exposing my own dark underbelly. But sheesh, since when is it bad to want to exist in the world, to be seen and known and loved? There is so much anti-parent bias in this article it makes me want to scream. Primally.

Or perhaps I just need a little less caffeine and a few more reminders of the joy of being isolated, invisible, and devalued. Oops – there’s that underbelly again. MomBrain really must be more careful.

Wish List

I wish I could …

play the flute
play the guitar
live closer to family
become a famous essayist
write a column
have more time to read
meet Caitlin Flanagan
live in New York or Boston again
sleep better
eat without thinking about calories
make genealogy trips more often
organize a huge family reunion
run again
swim more often
find time to get new workout shoes
figure out my digital camera
go to a flea market
wiggle my Bewitched nose to clean my house
ski like crazy
drink coffee and tea 24/7
stunt the Little Guy’s growth
be an artist
turn my garage into my very own creative studio
get more massages
get by on 6 hours of sleep or less
speak Spanish
go to Mexico without getting sick
find more time to play with Photoshop
wear a short skirt
read without reading glasses
look for sea glass on a warm beach

What’s on your wish list?

Tourist Information Booth

Greetings from the Land of PMS. I see that you are a traveler. Normally I don’t talk to tourists. I mean – they’re tourists. But you seem like a kind soul, and so I will go out of my way to warn you: Do not speak to the natives. It is not safe.

Citizens in the Land of PMS are often compared to the pod people in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” These were the people who walked around looking all normal, carrying briefcases and walking their dogs and unloading delivery trucks. But one little smile from you and BAM, the screaming starts and before you know it you’re a pod person, too.

So please. Unless you like high-decibel screams, finger pointing and possession by alien forces, just mind your own business and do not talk to me. Thank you.

Carnivores R Us

Yesterday the Little Guy learned the word predator. These are animals who hunt, kill, and eat other animals. Birds are the predators of worms. Frogs are the predators of flies. But nobody eats humans, so we are safe! Uh, most of us anyway.

This was our lunchtime conversation, over chicken nuggets and french fries.

LG: Mommy, are humans predators?
MB: Um, er, well, um, yes, some people would say we are.
LG: Why?
MB: Some animals are nutritious food for humans. Like the chickens in your chicken nuggets.
LG: Yeah, but are we the french fries’ predators?
MB: No, honey. French fries aren’t alive!
LG: (looking morose) But if they’re dead, do they still have feelings?
MB: Honey, the french fries don’t have feelings. They were never alive – only animals and humans have feelings.
LG: But they’re French people.
MB: Sweetie, french fries are made of potatoes.
LG: Oh.

Winning the Lottery

MomBrain’s ship has finally come in. I have just received email from the auditor of a bank in South Africa. One of his customers died with $18 million dollars in a bank account, and since no next of kin has come forward to claim it, he wants ME to have it!!! All I have to do is respond to the email with my bank account number and they will wire the funds. Yippee!!! Nordy’s here I come!!!

Coffee Capers

If you’ve ever woken up with MomBrain you know my early morning fog is not unlike a drunken stupor. This is especially true on mornings like this, when I rise an hour early because it is the only hope I have of taking a shower, and if I do not shower today the Haz Mat team will surely knock on my door.

Ah, yes. MomBrain in the morning is not a pretty sight. But MomBrain an hour early in the morning is frightening. Of course, the remedy for any stupor (drunken, morning, or otherwise) is caffeine. So that is how MomBrain came to be fumbling with coffee and cursing her other personality, which some people have uncharitably called ANAL. This is because I am very organized, and keep my coffee in tupperware bowls with big fat labels for “Regular” and “Decaf.” (Okay, my tea is also labeled. As are the Little Guy’s toy shelves. Um, and my office shelves. BUT I AM NOT ANAL.)

I know my other personality is NOT ANAL because if she was she would have labeled the bowls instead of the lids. She would have remembered MomBrain’s morning issues and predicted this morning’s disaster, which began when I flipped both lids off and promptly forgot which bowl went with which lid.

Crap. Crapcrapcrap. They smell the same. They look the same. But they are not the same. I NEED CAFFEINE, DAMMIT. And I most decidedly do not need caffeine tonight after dinner. Okay … Plan B. I’ll mix them together, drink twice as many cups, and buy decaf later today. I AM A GENIUS!!!

This is how MomBrain came to be jumping up and down in the kitchen with a large Ziploc baggie full of ground coffee. It is also how she forgot to seal the baggie, which is how coffee grounds ended up all over the counter, all over the floor, all over a freshly showered MomBrain, and all over Miss Kitty. And you know what kitties do when they get dirty – they lick themselves. Our caffeinated kitty is now chasing ghost mice and banging into walls while I debate whether I can brush coffee grounds out of my wet hair before it turns into liquid coffee. Eau de Folgers, anyone?

Don’t Finish That Book!

Long ago and far away, MomBrain left a comment in BookAngst 101 that is still rumbling around in the belly of the blogosphere like a bean burrito threatening to blow. (Jeez I love alliteration.)

The short version is this: My financial adviser has informed me that I must die when I am 87, because that is when I will run out of money. If I do indeed live to 87, at my current rate of reading only one book per month, I will read only 516 more books in my lifetime. 516. That is a sobering number. But it is also liberating. Any book that doesn’t grab me by page 50 is tossed, guilt-free, into the Goodwill bag. Why waste my time and energy on a book that gives me nothing in return? Why give a lazy or bad writer one of my precious slots? Oh, I used to feel guilty. Once I started a book I had to finish it. I was committed. It was a matter of honor. Well, hah – I spit on your honor.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a snob. I looooove Stephen King. I cannot abide James Joyce. On the other hand, I owe Joyce Carol Oates my soul. And most genre fiction leaves me cold. I like what I like, and I don’t what I don’t. There’s no accounting for taste.

Anyway, the latest victim buried alive in the Goodwill bag is “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” Yeah, it’s a NY Times bestseller, blah blah blah – whatever. It should have been an essay, but somehow it got blown up into a book. The premise is interesting enough (real women in Iran reading Western novels, contrast lifestyle HERE), but the characters weren’t engaging enough to make me care about what happened next – the heart of any good story. That the characters were a bunch of women in long black robes with foreign names only made it harder. I lost my patience by page 30, and it made a lovely crunching sound as it landed in the G bag.

Next up: The Time Traveler’s Wife, which I am reading under protest because my book club is making me. But I’m liking it more than I thought I would, so perhaps it will avoid a donation bin demise.