Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday Weirdnesses

It's been one of those weeks where the little details seem significant or funny or weird, and so I offer you a grab bag of them. These little moments that stuck with me, I offer you in homage to Crazymumma, who is the queen of the vivid moment.


Yesterday, I finally unpacked a box of books that's been sitting unopened in my office since we moved here in 2004. Unsurprisingly, nothing in it was essential, and I decided about three-quarters of what was in there could, actually, go. So I put out some 45 books--romantic poetry, restoration drama, 1990s postcolonial fiction, some novels from a queer studies course, some theoretical takes on human sexuality, duplicates of classics of twentieth-century literature--out on a table in a common area, and asked the graduate secretary to send out an email. "Free books!" the email exclaimed.

This morning, the neat rows I'd laid out were completely undone. There were only about 15 books left, strewn about on the table like so many fallen soldiers on the field of a fiercely contested battle. Grad student buzz is all about the free books.

I feel good: I let go of a part of my past I don't need, made a lot of poor grad students happy, and feel a little more like a mentor and a little less like a student myself.


Munchkin, last night, got up at: 10:45, 12:15, 3:00, 3:40, and then at 4:00 she decided we had to come downstairs to play. For an hour. She went back to bed at 5, and we all got up at 6:45.

There's better be a whole mouthful of teeth in there the next time I manage to pry her jaw open.

"Meh-meh-meh," she says, grogglily, crankily, with a little bit of hopefulness in her voice as she rubs her eyes violently against the hallway light. Meh-meh-meh translates to me-di-cine, as in, give-it-to-me-now!


f the non-perverse Google paths to this blog, the very top of the head in terms of frequency and my page ranking are: the every-popular 'baby ate philodendron,' and all the variations of questions you can ask about misspelled foot-first fetal presentations--that is, 'breach' babies.

I think I'm going to put a link to the philodendron posts on my sidebar: I get about one hit a week from this search. What do you think?


Crazed from tiredness this morning, our little family lurched around sluggishly. While I tried to find pants to wear to work, Munchkin pinned Pynchon on the floor and sat on his chest to make her domination clear.

"She looks so much like you," he remarked.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because she's frowning."



Two coffee shop stories:

A. I went to the resto-café closest to campus to work yesterday, and the woman at the table next to me asked if I could watch her stuff for a minute. No problem! You know what she did? She went to the grocery store, and came back twenty minutes later with two full bags of food. I thought she was going to the bathroom. I must look very trustworthy.

B. In my haze this morning, I drove to coffee shop I used to frequent daily when we lived in an apartment near to the university. The owner, despite my new hairdo and despite not seeing me for at least two years, immediately recognized me, and commenced to chat. "You moved to a house," she remembered, "you teach at the university" and "you were just married then."

Wow. And all I could think was: "Geez, I wished I washed my hair or was wearing nicer pants or something."


Did I mention the teething? And the no-sleeping? It's been going full-tilt (and lurch, and slump) since Sunday night, and Monday we ran out of 'meh-meh-meh'. At 10pm.

Even if you lose the coin toss, and even if you are on your way to bed and even if it's really dark outside and even if you're really cold and even if you've been lulled into a stupor by two hours of watching Amélie in front of a roaring fire with the man who's now making you go to Shoppers Drug Mart? You still should not wear this to go out:

In my defense, I did in fact swap the Crocs for running shoes. But I don't really think it made much difference to the resounding don't-ness of this outfit, which consists of flannel pj pants with glittery stars on them, a massively oversized grey jersey from my undergrad days, and a grotty pink fleece that actually belongs to my sister. The mascara rings under my eyes from rubbing them all night are not evident in the photo, but they are there.

You may, though, admire my kitchen: I will disabuse you of your misplaced fondness for this room later.


alejna said...

I loved these little glimpses into your day-to-day life.

I'm sorry to hear about the teething-related sleep deprivation. I've been there. Possibly as recently as this week. Though this week's wake-ups could have been due to a cold.

(And I'm sorry not to have gotten the glimpse of your photo. It's not showing up right now. I'm terribly curious.)

Jenifer said...

I loved these little bullets of Mimi's life...they are making you look less professorish. ;)

Ha. You always sound brilliant.

Kyla said...

This was fun. I can't believe she went grocery shopping while you watched her things! LOL!

And I've rocked an outfit or two (or twelve) like that when making midnight medication runs. I always wonder how many poorly dressed, exhausted parents come through the pharmacy check out in the wee hours of the night purchasing things like Pedialyte or Tylenol suppositories. It is one of those universal parenting experiences.

I hope Munchkin feels much better soon. It is exhausting when the wee ones aren't sleeping well.

Bon said...

that is one sexy outfit, Mimi! and so cheery you look...i can see how Munchkin frowning might, erm, make Pynchon harken fondly to thoughts of you. :)

i do well to even muster uprightness in the morning, so if O frowns before breakfast, Dave too will say "see? he does look like you after all!"

and he's taken to sitting not only on our chests, but whenever we're lying down, on our heads. which means not only do we get a big morning squishy old diaper in the face (blech...but he loathes being changed when he's first out of the crib) and i'm gradually getting all my hair torn out. good times. fun age, huh?

Beck said...

Don't be mocking my uniform!
(although today, I am wearing some ill-advised low slung jeans because I have company visiting later and hence must wear actual loathesome clothes.)
My kids have slept like CRAP this week - I think they're all in on it somehow.

Alpha DogMa said...

How to hang pictures and artwork correctly is a dying skill. Even more difficult: arranging groups of wall hangings in a pleasing manner. You, however, have these talents in spades. Your art really makes that red wall pop, especially with that great floor.

How was that for a bit of an ego boost? You deserve it. Fashionista.

Oh, The Joys said...

I am wishing you sleep. (And new pajamas!)


slouching mom said...

I'm still stuck on "breach babies."


Omaha Mama said...

I'm wearing fleece plaid pants as I type. I do not judge.

Sleep will come again soon, along with the teeth. Hang in there.

Your kitchen is cute. I love it. Your hair is cute too.

Well done.

Lisa said...

I can't believe that woman went to the grocery store. That is so wierd!

But in her defense, you DO look very trustworthy. heehee.

At BlogHer, I remember sitting next to you and between thinking "ouch, ouch, ouch, someone please shoot me!" (from a migraine) that you had amazing skin and seemed like a very kind, warm person.

And like the other commentors, love the snippets into your life.

kittenpie said...

I have a bunch of books that would be great for students, too, but am nowhere near the university, nor am I prepared to lug boxes of them on the subway, so they are sitting in my hall, waiting for me to get my act together and put them up on craigslist or something. sigh.

Meanwhile, hey, those crappy nights crop up once in a while even after teething is done. It feels so much harder when it's not the norm any more, doesn't it? It always makes me wonder how I managed back when she was tiny.

And the lady who left her bags with you and went shopping? People do that at the library all the time - with their KIDS. Small ones, too. Makes me crazy. And totally boggles my mind, too.

nomotherearth said...

Yeah, the no sleep nights are so much harder when you get used to sleeping.

I would have loved the restoration drama books.

And I personally think that the Crocs add a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. I wouldn't change a thing.

crazymumma said...

see? It is those little moments that shine the brightest.

(but not the goddamn numerous wake up calls from your little one), sheesh how I remember that. Nothing was vivid the day after one of those nights.

ewe are here said...

I'm sorry -- she went grocery shopping??? Wow. What nerve!

I would have grabbed some romantic poetry off the table I think.

Denguy said...

I think my daughter has those pj's in pink.

I REALLY like your kitchen floor. I'm renovating a my kitchen sometime before I die, so I neeeed ideas.

Christine said...

i SO need to get rid of some of those old grad school books.

and i've seen pictures of your kitchen before and i LOVE IT!

BOSSY said...

Oy, the sleeping thing. Or lack-of-sleeping thing. Whatever you call it, it exhausts Bossy to read about it.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I haven't read all the comments so I might be duplicating here, but I did want to say -- regarding coffee moment A -- how did she know you'd still BE there 20 minutes later?

I have a red wall in my kitchen, too.

Good luck with the sleeping! It's the worst part of parenting, for me anyway -- the loss of sleep.

the new girl said...

You're singing my song.

Only I-I-I need the meh-meh-meh.

LOL at the splendiferous outfit.

Looks like me in college.

Lisa b said...

That is the perfect outfit for playing 'survivor mom'. Love the coin toss idea. My husband used to willingly go until I realised the one left behind has to deal with the crying and snatched the job from him.

Debarati Sen said...

Hey Mimi,
I just chanced upon your blog. Loved it. Your write so well, people can really relate to what your are saying.
Am a mother too (six-yr-old daughter) and your blog brought back a lot of memories.
Keep writing,

Nele said...

ma ei saanud midagi aru