Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Long Time, No Items


Happy spring, internets! I hope you are enjoying your Cadbury Mini Eggs and KFP Coca-cola. I have not managed either, and am drowning my sorrows in a bag of pastel-colored dark chocolate m&ms.

Things are mostly dandy, chez Bionique, if mostly rather short on sleep and free-hand time. But! The boy slept until after first light (a serious miracle. This happens approximately never, and by first light I mean not the sun’s appearance but the very first bluing of the sky), and is presently down for a nap, and I am trying out the WP for iPad app. Perhaps that will keep us in closer touch.

Without further ado, some scattered notes:

(oh, no bullets on this thing. Use your imagination, I guess.)

Sleep issues aside, the Bean is splendid. He’s back to using a few words from time to time, which charms the heck out of me. From watching alphabet songs (God bless you, Sesame Street and Youtube, for saving my sanity) he’s latched on to “double-you,” and kept saying it at the botanic garden, I think as an expression of joy.

He is not walking yet, and we’ve gotten to the age where that’s the first question out of everyone’s mouths. For the record: no, and we are genuinely unworried and basically happy about that. He did everything else so early that I was afraid we’d have a rampaging 8 month old, and , well, we did, but I’m glad enough that he mostly rampages on four feet. He wreaks more than enough havoc that way. He’s fast as lightning — faster than I am at walking through our warren of a home — and plenty good at climbing. As far as I can see, there’s no advantage he’ll gain by walking on two feet, since he can go everywhere and do everything this way. I’m sure he’ll surprise me when he does walk, by learning even more methods of destruction, but for now I am enjoying having the only toddler on earth who doesn’t want me to bend over and hold his hands, wearing my back out in the process of helping him toddle.

Oh, I said toddler. That slipped out. I suppose he’s not, by some measures, since he doesn’t do much toddling (the odd unsupported step mid-cruise notwithstanding), but he has tantrums, including a recent one that made it so clear that this is about neurology as much as willpower; he started crying because he was thwarted, but then he really could not stop, even when he managed what he’d been trying for, and sobbed rhythmically in my arms for 30 minutes. He’s gotten to the point with his books where he wants the same one read repeatedly, and two days ago, at lunch, he ate something only after I dipped it in ketchup, a trick which has never worked before. Toddler.

But still my baby.

While he’s not walking, he is learning new tricks. The other day, I was dealing with paperwork before leaving him in childcare at the hippie coop, and I guess he was done waiting. He grabbed the bar of his stroller, swung out like a monkey, dropped confidently to his feet, and zoomed off to the toy box. It was magic.

Insert transition (sorry, trying to get something posted, no time for niceties).

We three journeyed down south for a long weekend at the start of my spring break, to visit a blogging friend, eat good food, and drink whiskey. It was divine, and has us thinking — predictably, perhaps — about leaving the city. Neither of us can stand the thought of going to the suburbs, which seem to have everything I dislike about city life with little of what I like, but a nice, warm college town somewhere pretty…. Well, the temptations are real, not least because a yard would come in dang handy about now. The Bean had the time of his life, just standing at a potting bench sorting rocks. I just about lost him up the tree I had the bright idea to lift him up in. (see above, re: primates, climbing.)

Also: the local grocery sold its own canned goods and potato chips cooked in lard. I stood at the display of hams for quite sometime before forcing myself to leave them, and I wouldn’t have if I’d realized that rather than give up half my clothes to fit on in a suitcase, I could have just put the Bean in the stroller at the train station and cradled the ham in the baby carrier. Front carry, of course, so it feels safe. I am an attachment parent when it comes to good ham.

Instead, I brought home a pint of pear preserves and four boxes of pectin, which no store in NYC seems to have heard of. The last box I had, which went into a batch of hot pepper jelly this winter, had to be mailed to me from Virginia by a sympathetic friend. What is it with this place?

I’d better sign off, as the super is supposed to be coming soon to install our window bars. They are required by law here, but I don’t mind too much now that he can get on the bed and sofa alone. After a few days of power struggles over the issue, he now understands that he can stand at the window only if he keeps both feet on the bed, but it’s still a little nerve-wracking.

In any case, we need the bars before the home study for the adoption happens. Our paperwork is in, and our lawyer reported back on the state of the public home study option: it’s an 8 month wait for a visit, followed by 4 more for the report. Ugh. We will be shelling out for a private social worker and hoping the IRS allows the tax credit so that we’re not just permanently out the 800 additional bucks on top of the lawyer’s fee and assorted other costs. Whee. Of course we are grateful to live in a state where yadda, yadda, but it sure does all seem like a racket sometimes.

18 thoughts on “Long Time, No Items

  1. Nice to hear from you, Bionic!

    I am with you on the nice college town somewhere. I don’t know how that is going to happen now that Q. is tenured at big city U., but I guess once I finish up we will take stock of our options. I don’t want to raise E. in this city forever though.

    I am also totally with you on the walking. A couple of E’s baby friends have started and they just look so fragile and tenuous (particularly during playdates when E. zooms into their knees at high speed doing his version of “bowling for babies”). Plus we’ve pretty much babyproofed now, and if he starts walking we’ll just have to rearrange again. I’m very happy to wait.

    Glad the Bean is well. Is he on two naps? E. is showing the occasional sign of thinking about transitioning to one but he is so clearly NOT ready to do this that I’m working quite hard to stave that off.

    • Two naps, yes. There was some playing around on his part with reducing to one or none, but that has faded. One the days when he doesn’t get two, there is no magical thing where he sleeps more at night, so for now, we’re continuing to follow his lead on that one. We’ve been playing around a bit with a later bedtime, but results are too preliminary to report.

      • E. just had two days in a row where he insisted on only taking one nap, and oh my goodness the result today was messy! Glad to know that it is possible that they come to their senses and realize this is a dumb experiment.

        Hope the bedtime change is still producing interesting results!

  2. For a moment I thought you were planning to adopt another child (er, are you?) but then… second-parent adoption? Which is a racket, because Sugar is your child’s parent too, Fucking DOMA, etc.

    Bug did not take a single solitary step by himself until he was 15 months old and he was FINE. Also my six-month-old doesn’t roll over…. anyhow.

    We live in vinyl-sided suburbia in Cold City here and we have a yard. We also have good public transportation, a library we can walk to, and three parks close enough for Bug to walk to. And downtown is 15 minutes away. This place isn’t really a city, it’s… well, the People’s Republic and all.

    And Bean will always be your baby, for sure.

    • 1. Oh, lawsy, no additional adoption, no! No serious thinking about additional children of any origin until I’ve woken up to blue sky at least a few more times.

      2. Fucking DOMA, indeed. If I were married to a man and yet had for whatever reason used donor sperm, we wouldn’t have to be doing any of this, of course. Lest anyone start thinking that this fol-de-rol is about genetic relationship. (It’s about one particular heritable feature only: property. But that is a soapbox for another day.)

      3. I have no firm position on all suburbs everywhere, but I don’t much care for the ones here. I teach their offspring. Also, I know I would not be the kind of person who continues to take advantage of the cultural whatnot of the city; I would be the kind who sits on the couch a lot and sometimes shops.

  3. WELLLLLLLLLLCome back. I sure have missed your humor, the image of cuddling a ham, front-wearing, of course, is just perfect. Welcome to toddlerhood – I have a feeling we are both in for it 🙂

  4. I miss you. That is all.

    No, that’s not all.

    A new pic or two of The Boy would be nice.

  5. We will most likely be leaving the city soon. Possibly to go back south, but Zazie’s not exactly thrilled. I will have to make do with our vacation to see family in June.

    I had no idea that was the wait for the public social worker… I mean, yes, it was probably that long between when we put in the initial paperwork and when we had our home visit, but I figured that was because I procrastinated putting in all our documentation. Did you know there’s only one social worker for all of BK, thus the crazy wait? Good luck with the homestudy, it is nerve-wracking for sure. We are putting our adoption credit in for this year’s taxes, please keep your fingers and toes crossed that we don’t get audited. I am told by people who’ve been audited that it’s mainly just a “send your paperwork in AGAIN’, but it makes me nervous.

    • We have it from our lawyer that the wait varied a great deal, which is why we waited to decide whether to go private until the other paperwork was done. And yes, ONE for Kings County! I am so annoyed by that.

  6. HP was a later walker. Definitely enjoy it! I’m wishing we had a yard too:(

    Fucking homestudy is Monday for us for MJ. With same woman as before. Ugh

  7. We’re in the city but my parents are in the university town that still has 10 miles of cornfield buffer before it becomes a suburb. I watch it and think about it sometimes, but I spent so long trying to get OUT of there that it doesn’t seem reasonable to want to go back. So instead we spend our time thinking about smaller, cuter cities (Milwaukee! Asheville! Tampa!) that all come with way shittier laws than we’ve got here. So until DOMA dies it’s natural death we’re probably stuck here. I’m sure the Bean would understand if you needed to displace him with a good ham, especially if you share it later.

  8. We are in a small college town down south, and miss NYC desperately, for what it’s worth. Apparently we can’t be made happy.

    Love the image of you cradling the ham, despite the fact that I’m a lifelong vegetarian, and that the other members of my family are swine-free also. I just love that you love food so much. Weird about the absence of pectin in New York. I guess jams and jellies just spring fully formed from Zabars?

    My head exploded when I realized that it was the legal validation of Sugar’s actual parenthood of the Bean that you were talking (well, writing) about when you mentioned the adoption. So. Fucking. Wrong. That you have to go through that. They should pay YOU.

  9. So good to hear from you. Loved the story about the ham and the joyful “double-you.”. And yes, I would be in no hurry for the Bean to start walking upright. He’ll get there when he gets there, and in the meantime there are a few kinds of destruction that you are spared.
    In terms of the 2nd parent adoption, I was simultaneously so glad that we could get legal protections for our family and so pissed that we had to pay lots of $$$$ to do it. FWIW, we filed for the tax credit a year or two ago, and the IRS just sent us one form asking us to send them in another copy of one piece of documentation.

  10. HAM! It’s no coincidence that hams and babies are shaped more or less the same, is it? I mean, they may not advertsie those devices as ham carriers, but they clearly are. I didn’t realize I lived in a suburb until someone told me. Yeah, it’s true we fantazied about living in a little college town, but that ain’t happening, what with there being like two jobs in the world. I love my neighborhood, as it turns out. There are a few people I know who commute from a local nice little college town nearby, but that just seems like…I don’t know, a pathetic pretence. Anyways, thanks for the updates! I loved them all.

  11. A) how did I miss this post? And B) why are there no pics of aforementioned trip? Or Trip?

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