Archive for March, 2006

Dissed, Licked, and Morocco

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

It was a long week. Paul had taken care of Emma all day on Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, she was with Grandma K. I had a Board Meeting after work, Paul had night class, and I didn’t pick her up until 9:00p.m. She spent the day with Paul again on Friday, which is when I caught a little bug that was going around. I left work early Friday with a fever. I went to bed Friday afternoon and stayed there until sometime late-ish on Saturday. Since we didn’t want Emma to catch whatever it was, Paul stayed on full-time parent duty until I was feeling better on Sunday. And It so happens that our little girl is also starting to enter the Separation Anxiety phase. So guess what you get when you add together:

3.5 days of Daddy Daycare + Baby Anxiety + Busy, Sick Mom??
You get a girl that only wants her Dad, that’s what!¬†
Mom is just not as interesting right now. I can hold her, but she’s looking around for him. Or, if I’m changing her diaper, and all’s going well, and he stops in for a peek and leaves, she starts crying – his leaving being the operative factor there. She even cried last night when I was feeding her in the highchair in the kitchen and he asked me a question from the other room – crying because she was suddenly aware of Daddy, and aware that he wasn’t nearby. Holy yikes. At least she’s distractible with certain toys. If I pull out her baby-chick puppet, or if a cat enters the room, she laughs contentedly. And I’m on an intensive baby-holding and -playing schedule to try to convince her that I’m still great fun to be around, too. But it’s enough to make a mom consider whether he feelings should be hurt just a tad. And Paul’s loving it. He’s LOVING it. He’s King-‘Fun Guy’-Daddy, and Emma just wants him around. Sigh. I’m sure this is only the beginning of a never-ending series of changes in her choice of favorite parent de jour. Interesting to see it starting up.¬†
I’ll post some photos soon of the Daughter-Daddy pair. They’ve been having great fun, lately, while I try explaining (pathetically) to Emma that I’m nice, too. But I guess I haven’t been totally shut out. She has taken, lately, to coming at me with an open mouth when I hold her. My cheeks, jaw, and neck have been getting a lot of nibbling and licking. So at least I’m as good to try to put into her mouth as anything else. It is quite a sensation to be nibbled by a little baby mouth!¬†
Anyway, that’s the last couple of days at our house, in a nutshell.¬†
Also check out some pictures from our 1997 Morocco trip. I had them scanned, and posted them recently to our Flickr site:

A MOTHER Of A Week – A Poem

Friday, March 10th, 2006

A MOTHER of a Week

It started last Friday, when baby stayed away
from her usual daycare; a child was sick there that day.
To protect her from germs, Daddy took her to work
She happily played while Dad’s customers smirked.
Not one to miss out, I asked for a stop-by.
They came to my firm, and I showed off the cute-pie.

Then came Friday night. It was high time for Poker.
Paul asked several rowdy boy-men to come over.
They watched her eat carrots, then headed upstairs
to drink beer and try to become millionaires.
I smelled all the smoke from their stinky cigars;
peeked in once or twice and sent food to the Czars.

I also dined out that night with a woman,
who visited while her hubby kept the beers comin.’
While we ate, Emma banged a big spoon with brio.
Back home we discussed ghosts and Padre Pio.
She’s drawn, like me, to the silly ghost shows’es,
and says she’s seen a real one, and smelled Pio’s roses.

Don’t remember much about weekend last.
It’s amazing how fast the time can fly past.
But when Monday rolled ‘round, Emma went to nurse Grandma’s,
who examined her well and gave an A-plus
on her bill of health. So imagine our surprise,
when on Tuesday, at daycare, there was fever in her eyes.

My mom left her work, and picked up our girl,
who felt worse and worse as the day unfurled.
‘Oh no, sick again!’ I thought with dismay,
until Paul discovered a tooth on its way.
She’s teething, you see, and our sweet little tot
has a tooth now where formerly there was but naught.

Still feverish on Wednesday, Daddy took her to work,
While he worked on school stuff and acted the clerk.
We made plans for Emma to visit Grandma on Thursday,
just to make sure she was healthy and okay.
But wouldn’t you know, when Emma arrived,
it was Grandma who was all sick and blearly-eyed.

So Grandpa took care of our wandering miss,
while, Daddy, meanwhile, developed a case
of a fever and other bad symptoms true.
So it figured that Friday, the daycare closed, too.
Now the daycare lady’s sick, so Daddy stayed home,
to get some sleep and watch Emma roam.

She’s not crawling yet, but it won’t be long.
She rolls over both ways now, and her legs are getting strong.
In the meantime, Mommy’s talk on health law was cancelled,
so there was no need to stand up in front and get hassled.
I won’t have that fun again until May, and June, but that’s fine,
my outline and jokes improve every time.

Our girl’s been out of day care for over a week,
and must miss her friends, who treat her so sweet’.
There are three little kids there who love “baby Emma.”
And replace her pacifier if it falls out – a dilemma.
They kiss her and sing to her and put on a cowboy hat.
We’re lucky that she has pseudo siblings to do that.

Lucky, because Mom and Dad are so busy –
with school, work, and meetings, I often feel dizzy.
The teething has altered our sleep schedule, too.
This little girl cries and wants a bottle all night through.
With Paul sick, as well, I slept on Emma’s floor.
The cats cuddled up there, and kept me awake some more.
We five Milwaukee mammals boast interspecies rapport.
But poor Mom isn’t getting much sleep at this score.

Real Replicas, My Love

Monday, March 6th, 2006

Ever trying to better inform myself on various parenting topics, I was browsing the Internet, looking for information on Gerber Bananas (Emma ate some of the stuff today at her Grandma K’s and had a little tummy trouble).

And in the course of that, I stumbed across a site so strange and beautiful that I had to share…

So bizarre, but so mesmerizing. Hundreds of real-looking inedible “food replicas” dance before your eyes while a little gentleman and a Mafia slogan grace the top of the page. And turn on your speaker, because while all this is going on, a schmalzy tune from what sounds like a Russian melodrama (wait, is it the theme from The Godfather?) plays in the background.

My favorite is the fake “cup of decaffeinated coffee.” I wonder what about it makes it look decaffeinated?

Aw, who cares? Feeling groggy. Must . . . visit . . . the sandwich page. . .

Very “In”-terestng

Sunday, March 5th, 2006

Last year, sometime, my mother took part in a week-long seminar/retreat in which all participants took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator “test” (MBTI) after first arriving. Those of you familiar with the MBTI, which is used frequently in corporate America, know that the result is a four-letter “score.” (As an aside, I have it on good authority that accounting and consulting firm Ernst and Young will only promote employees to managers if they have a certain MBTI result [the ESTJ], as that personality type is the best predictor of success in the position).

The four letters in a result correspond to the individual’s location along four separate continua (that’s the plural of continuum, yo. I double checked just to be sure):

Introvert vs. Extrovert;
Sensing vs. Feeling;
Thinking vs. INntuition; and
Perceiving vs. Judging

At my mother’s retreat, the entire week was devoted to learning more about each individuals own MBTI result, and about how that result/personality interacts with other results/personalities. There were lots of group activities, for example, in which people with personality “types” that don’t automatically mesh too well, were put together and given a decision-making task to complete in a limited amount of time.

My mother, who is nothing if not a detailed story-teller, filled me in on the experience and on some of the things she learned about herself and about the MBTI test, in general.

What stuck with me most of all was the insight that whether a person scores as an “I” or an “E” (an introvert or an Extrovert) has nothing to do with whether they are outgoing or shy types. Instead, the I and E result are a pure function of how one processes thoughts and information. “I” people do their serious thinking “inside their heads,” as it were. While “E” people only process information if they’re doing it outloud. That was news to me. I had fallen for the common stereotype that an “introvert” is a shy, retiring gal. But I learned that an introvert can be quite social, but just needs quiet time to do the best mental processing.

That part stuck with me because I’ve never doubted that I’m in the “I” category. This girl needs to do her thinking alone. When my boss comes into my office and wants an answer to a question that he’s posing to me for the first time, I can stumble through an analysis on an easy matter, but if it’s complicated, I invariably try to buy time – alone time – so that I can come up with something more insightful.

Anyway, with my mother’s tale percolating around somewhere in my introverted brain, I fell prey to an impulse purchase, a few weeks back, while in a bookstore.

Like lots of impulsively purchased books (note to self: stop doing that and just go to the dang library), this one set in my room unread.

But then, a couple of weeks back, I heard an interesting interview on the radio with Jonathan Rauch, a writer for the Atlantic Monthly. The story was on the overwhelming response he had received after writing a short piece called Caring for your Introvert. Apparently, since it’s publication, hundreds of self-diagnosed introverts have been writing to thank him for the piece, and speaking of the liberating effect of realizing that introverts are not flawed creatures, only different ones, with different needs.

There was the excuse I needed to revisit that lonely book in my room. And I’m enjoying it immensely. It is liberating to find something like a grand, unifying theory for many of the quirks that I recognize in myself. The notion that the world is run by extroverts, and that we introverts can learn some simple steps on the best adapting techniques, is holding my interest at the moment.

Another idea in the book is that Introverts and Extroverts generate and use energy quite differently. I’m only 30 pages into it, you understand, but I give the book a thumbs up in this, my mini-book review for the week.

If you are, or have in your life, an introvert (and remember, they might be a very social person), then you should check out the article, linked above, and, if you’re a type with lots of free time (or if you, like me, find yourself tempted to blow off other stuff you should be doing in order to have time to read), then maybe check out the book, too.

Our little cutie…

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

I’m running low on time for blogging these days, so will share an e-mail that Paul sent to a couple of friends (also mothers of tiny tots) today. And I’ll attach (some of) the adorable pictures that he did, which are the result of Emma’s first ever trip to the portrait studio, just a few days after she turned six months old:

Hi, You Two!
I hope all is well with [your daughters.]:o) I’m sending you two images of Emma’s 6 month portraits. Of course, as a dad, I find everyone of these pictures simply adorable, except maybe #6. Anyway, Emma is doing great! We had the dermoid cyst removed from above her eye in January – She’s now finally getting over an upper respitory bronchitis – and she’s singing at the top of her lungs! This kid takes a huge breath and then screams like I’ve never heard (quite operatic actually), followed by huge laughs. I love it.
I’ll write more about me and K. at another time.
Love to you both!

Photos taken by Jeanne Pepinski; the Copyright holder is Target Portrait Studios