Sunday, March 1, 2015

baby FAQ, month 10

Q: Any big milestones?

A: The other night she took four shuffling unassisted steps. But the important thing is that she took them to get to her bookshelf, after we had tried bribing her with food, toys, and the long-suffering dog. "She walked for books!" I shrieked. "SHE WALKED FOR BOOKS!" Never mind that her primary goal in reaching said bookshelf is to take all the books off the shelf and throw them on the floor. SHE WALKED FOR BOOKS.

Q: How many of her books are you ready to take outside and throw on the grill because you have already had to read them 6,000 times?

A: There are three primary contenders. I can only imagine how much worse this is going to get.

Q: How's the mommy guilt?

A: Berowne starts a new job tomorrow, about which we're very excited and happy. But it does mean Perdita will now be in day care five (long) days a week instead of three. And my guilt and anxiety are so extreme that you'd think she's starting day care for the first time, instead of thriving there for over seven months. I should probably keep reminding myself that if I were home with her all day, within a week I might be deliberately feeding certain books to the dog. (Not to mention the minor point that we would no longer be able to pay the mortgage or have health insurance. We need both incomes, which means my guilt is less about the fact that I genuinely enjoy and derive self-worth from my job and more about a conviction that I should have accepted I had no right to be a mother as long as I had to keep working full-time. In other words, my guilt is stupid.)

Q: Are you feeling guilt about having so few FAQ about her in this post?

A: Absolutely, although I am trying to blog with her sleeping on me and that is challenging, hence the brevity.

Q: Does she still sense a great disturbance in the Force when you want to eat?

A: Yup. The quickest way to make her either wake up or throw a tantrum where she was previously happy as a clam is for me to think about eating something. 

Q: What have you read lately?

A: London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets, by Peter Ackroyd. Mildly interesting, though I think you need to know London to appreciate it.

A Lady by Midnight, by Tessa Dare. Very cute romance novel, although it does ask us to believe that a malnourished street urchin grows up to be your standard Stud McHugeLarge. But that was my only quibble, and an adorable dog features prominently. I am a woman of simple tastes, really.

The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, by A. J. Jacobs. Jacobs decides to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. It's an entertaining and rather cute book.

Company of Liars, by Karen Maitland. A really really good novel set during the plague in England, although the Evil Child character is way too over-the-top for only one other character to realize that she's evil. Everyone else is all, "Awww, sweet little thing, we must protect her!" while she's casting runes and killing small animals and intoning, "You're all going to die," (seriously), and even if you're running from the plague and really starved for cuteness in your life, I think there is a limit.

John Saturnall's Feast, by Lawrence Norfolk. Novel set during the English Civil War and about a cook. Our hero is the only character with more than two dimensions - his love interest is never anything but sort of snobbishly crabby for the entire book - but I really liked Norfolk's writing style and the descriptions of food and the manor house's kitchen were great.

Stone's Fall, by Iain Pears. Huge novel in three parts with three different narrators. The parts diminish in interest and sympathy as they go on, unfortunately; I liked the first section, the second was okay, and the third was a slog. 

The Mummy Case, by Elizabeth Peters. This series of period mysteries continues to be adorable, though the precocious child character is wearying.

Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell. A brief history of New England missionaries in Hawaii. I enjoyed it, even if it's a subject I'm not passionate about. 

Q: How's the snow? 

A: Still here, in plenty. We've had several days of bright sun when it's too cold for anything to melt, which is kind of grim. However, we can see the clothesline again, so that has to be a good sign, right?


  1. Coolidge's new favorite activity is to request that he be read the same book over and over again. I read "I Love You More. a Flip-Sided Book. Like Love, It Never Ends" 14 times in the course of a day. Eventually i told him I would only read it again if he picked a different book to read in between.

    There is hope, however, the Wuthering Heights weather primer is one of his favorites.

    1. Perdita likes the Wuthering Heights weather primer very much as well, though Pride and Prejudice (counting) is her favorite. Both of these, not unrelatedly, have pictures of dogs.

    2. Perdita likes the Wuthering Heights weather primer very much as well, though Pride and Prejudice (counting) is her favorite. Both of these, not unrelatedly, have pictures of dogs.