26 May 2008

Continued as:

collected orange

Please redirect.

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07 May 2008

we are three.

If you are not visibly pregnant or holding a small infant by your child's second birthday, it seems that the completion of the second year is considered the appropriate time for onlookers to needle you regarding future reproductive plans. In our case, add to the second birthday an impending move to France and you will solicit the following reactions:

"So are you going to create a little French citizen?"
"What will you do while C's working? It'd be a great time to ..."
"So-and-so's kid is having their second...I'm sharing not suggesting."

Am I guilty of some of the same thoughts? Yes, of course. I have considered giving the gift of EU citizenship and I have considered whether or not to pack maternity clothes, but I have also considered what it would be like to equate pregnancy with Paris. I am not prepared to avoid wine and runny cheeses, to be more tired than I already am, to negotiate the whole baby-creating experience in another language while I am limited to questions like where is the Rue St. Jacques?

Were you wondering too? Possibly, but I write this more as a reminder for myself because when we're finally settled over there and T. still refuses to wear a diaper or use the potty confining us to our minuscule multi-story walk-up and I think why the fuck not, I want to remember why not.

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In other news from the what will I do in Paris department, I'm working on a new enterprise. Hopefully things will be in place by the time we leave. More on that soon.

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05 May 2008

2

T., I think everyone present would agree that your party rocked.

You weren't so sure at first as you watched the bouncy elephant rise to its full glory. You were clearly questioning all of your lobbying efforts.

But, you came around quickly, and the rest of the day was grand. I don't know how to describe it except to say you went into the bouncy castle a baby and emerged hours later a little girl. It was truly incredible. You were thrilled to have everyone sing to you and you blew out the candles like a pro. You smiled the whole time, played with your friends and cousins, and even took a nap after eating chocolate cake. I've seen some of the challenges that 2 will bring already, but on your big day, my girl, you rose above it all.

Still, there's one aspect of the day that's really hard for me to understand: I barely saw you. I'm sure you know this already, but we've spent just one night apart since the 3rd of May 2006. We hang out a lot. Sure, we do our own thing 4 out of 7 days, but we see a lot of each other. And more than that, when we are together, you could measure our distance in inches. What looms largest in my mind about your party is that it was your party. I can only piece together your experience of it based on photos that other folks took.

I can see you bouncing in a way that has revolutionized your sleep habits.*

And, I can see that you ate your cake, and that someone thought to stuff a napkin in your dress to keep you clean.
I know you had a good time because you still look out the back window and say "bouncy elephant," you name the people who were at your party, and every fifth word out of your mouth is "birthday," but I also know this because you didn't scream "MAMMMAAA" every 3 minutes. You were this gracious little independent being, raising the roof on the bouncer and spreading the love to all your guests.

T., you're a wonder. I'm can't wait to take on Paris with you.

*I highly recommend renting a bouncy castle as the antidote to all toddler sleep problems.

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01 May 2008

birthday acorns



It turns out that there's a developmental skill called threading. This seems like the kind of thing an eight year old would do, but apparently not. I spotted this, and its variants, while "researching" potential birthday presents the other day. Then I remembered that I had ordered a pack of wooden acorns back in the winter when I really want to make my own little people. I've been undecided about T's birthday present for a while--I churned out a bunch of doll clothes in April, but lately I've felt like she's not quite ready for that. And so, what to do with only two days to go?

We broke out the drill last night and got to work. C. drilled holes in all 25 acorns and I painted them. I got some cord from a bead store today so she'll be ready to go when she opens them. I'm not sure if T's really dexterous enough to thread the acorns herself, but I'm sure she'll be glad to wear the finished product even if some help is required. So, hopefully she'll be as excited about them as I am. I think they'll be a nice union of T's many interests: acorn collecting, necklaces, colors, counting.

I made extra orange ones just so she has many opportunities to use her favorite expression of late, "another orange ______!"

Two more days to two.

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03 April 2008

23 months

My girl,

Twenty-three months already. It seems so long, yet we still have food in the refrigerator older than you.

The past month has presented an epic fork in the road for your parents, but you are still oblivious to that decision. You have been focused on other things. Mostly I am talking about the singing. Your little voice is remarkable--you do not inherit this from me. I am not a singer, but you know this already. You, on the hand, have the sweetest little voice I've ever heard. After you sang yourself to sleep last night, your dad and I spent a while trying to imitate you. Neither of us could hit the pitch, but we realized that our approximations failed on a deeper level. Your singing voice is like pure innocence in audio and we are too tainted to replicate such sweet murmurs.

You are just a little girl and no one has burdened you with the weight of feminism or marxism or vegetarianism, those ideologies that seem like a given when you're fresh out of college. No one has told that leaving your job and following your husband to France won't be a career killer because employers still expect women to behave that way. No one warned you that you might experience a complete meltdown when you realize that you are indeed fulfilling the prophecy of the professor on your hiring committee who asked you if your husband would "whisk you off somewhere " when he finished his degree.

T., I'm trying to let the promise of Paris shake off my fears of unemployment, and today when the latter feels very real, it's your little voice singing noo-night to rabbit and tiger and frog and penguin and the eight blankets you must have layered precisely upon you that makes it all seem okay.

Almost-doo, indeed.

Love,
Mama

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01 April 2008

the season

Friends, welcome to my birthday month. It's really a wonderful time of year, don't you think? It is off to a very unproductive start here in the geobibliosphere, but plans are afoot.

We've begun to chip away at our warehouse-of-obsolete-possessions and for once the local hipster consignment shop deigned to pay us for some of our clothes. I always find such transactions to be really demoralizing, but it wasn't so bad this time. Will do the same with some of T's belongings next.

So the reality of our departure is slowly sinking in--the fact that we will move--but the manner in which we will move is still very foggy. It's hard for me to imagine anything less than an transatlantic ship's passage involving steamer trunks, or maybe something tweedy? It's more likely that we'll be leaving with too many oversized, overweight duffel bags, but the whole idea of evocative travel gear is enough to make me consider revisiting my long-abandoned PhD thesis while we're over there. Hm.

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26 March 2008

rage against the librarian


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