Destructibaby is 17 months old. When he cries, his sweet mouth widens to a warbling rectangle and tears leak down his cheeks, and he stands with his arms at his sides, chin up, crying out, “Hon-eeeee! Hon-eeeee!”
After hearing it a few times, I said to SJ, “It sounds like he’s saying ‘honey.'” Then I went to pick him up and said what I apparently always say: “Oh, honey! Honey!”
OMG HE’S SAYING IT BECAUSE I SAY IT. HE THINKS HONEY IS WHAT YOU SAY WHEN YOU CRY. THAT’S SO FUCKING CUTE.
He can say almost 50 words. He is very concerned that everyone has shoes. He helps me grocery shop by pointing to every item in every aisle and demanding, “Dat? Dat?” Once when I asked too many questions in a row he put his finger on my lips and said, “Ssssssss” WHERE DID HE LEARN THAT HE DID NOT LEARN THAT FROM ME. When he hears anyone sneeze, he says quietly, “Ah-choo.” The other day he stomped his foot when he wanted to show me how mad he really was and then watched with a mix of anger and curiosity to see what I would do; I asked him to do it again, which he obliged, happily, and now we stomp together. He screams, “No, no, no!” at the dog when she’s in his way. He takes Kleenex from me to “wipe” his nose, then “wipes” the noses of his stuffed animals. He wraps his arms around his stuffed meerkat from his sister and snuggles his cheek on top of it. He goes from tantrum to innocent, sweet-faced, “Boot?” (baby talk for “boob”) in seconds, then back to tantrum when I say NO BOOT NOW MOMMY NEEDS A FUCKING BREAK. He has stretched out the neck of every shirt I own by shoving his hands into them, awake or asleep, to find my boob and pinch my nipple in a rhythm that is comforting to him and excruciating for everyone else involved.
When we are out in public, people stop me to tell me how cute my baby is. When we fly on airplanes, he toddles from the bathroom back up the aisle, laying his tiny hand on thigh after thigh so that heads turn, and if heads don’t turn he stops to stare at faces with curiosity and concern until heads turn, and when heads turn he smiles his eight-tooth smile, and people laugh with surprise and hug him and smile back, and the airplane becomes a place of delight all because my baby is SO FUCKING CUTE DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M SAYING HE IS THE CUTEST BABY IN THE WORLD.
He SNUGGLES WHEN WE SLEEP. SNUGGLES. In the morning, he wakes me up by hovering so close to my face I can feel his breath, and he cries out “HI” and kisses me on the lips over and over so I will wake up and play with him OH MY GOD ARE YOU SERIOUS HERE ARE MY BANK PASSWORDS AND THE KEYS TO MY CAR. After his bath, when he’s been toweled off and his 8 1/2 teeth have been brushed and flossed, we open the door to the bathroom and whoever’s given him a bath yells, “Naked baby on the loose!” and he shoots out into the kitchen and screeches into the living room with his slicked-back hair and jiggly thighs and he smacks his belly and scream-laughs at whoever’s in the living room because it is the happiest thing in the world to be a naked baby on the loose.
What I’m trying to say is that my son (and my sweet, sweet husband and my sweet, sweet stepdaughter) is the reason I can’t completely write off 2018, because the rest of the year FUCKING SUCKED. Let’s review:
- SJ and I spent FIVE MONTHS IN COURT including ELEVEN HEARINGS for some depraved bullshit.
- I found out I have a cyst the size of an apple in my ovary, which thank the lord is not cancer, but my very first surgery is scheduled for February 2019.
- I was involved in a car accident that I can’t talk about for insurance purposes.
- I broke my toe, I got the flu, I got a stomach virus, and I’m just recovering from a cold/sinus infection that lasted six weeks.
- The day after I started this entry, a dear, sweet family member died, No. 1 on the list for a lung transplant, two days before we were supposed to see him for the holidays.
2018, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.
But here’s the thing about trouble: It puts into sharp focus the things you have to be grateful for. So instead of a rant to lead me into 2019, here is a list of things I’m grateful for:
- My son. He is the cutest baby who ever lived. I’ve seen your kid. Your kid is OK. I can see why you like your kid. But my kid is the cutest baby who ever lived.
- My health. I may have a tumor, a hemorrhoid, and uncontrolled rage, but I recently got a letter from Kaiser that said “Your cholesterol levels are good. Happy holidays.”
- I can now FOLD MY BREAST. All those jokes about post-baby boobs you can roll up and pin? NOT JOKES. NOT JOKES AT ALL. I’ve been hoping and praying this day would come, and finally, after 17 long months of breastfeeding–sometimes 12 times a day!–I can lift the bottom of my left breast and FOLD IT OVER THE TOP SO THE NIPPLE IS INVISIBLE. HOORAY. When I told SJ I was going to post a picture of my breast on my blog, he nodded, listening sympathetically, and then recommended strongly that I not post pictures of my breasts on the internet.
Speaking of SJ, we got to go on a date the other night. On the way to dinner, I recalled how, during the previous two days, he’d carried our son, who resembles a bag of concrete, on two hikes in the backpack.
Jenny: You are a fucking champ.
Jenny: Did you think that’s how that sentence was going to end?
SJ: I was keeping an open mind.
Then we got the chance to watch a movie at home. I talk through movies, which means I have many friends who love me very much:
Jenny (after character looks at himself in the mirror): For as many times as characters in movies look at themselves like that in mirrors, I’ve never done it. Have you?
SJ: No. Well, once.
Jenny: See? Once in a whole lifetime.
SJ: It was a notable time. I’ll tell you about it once.
Jenny: Were you high?
Jenny: See? I knew it. That’s what they always tell you not to do.
SJ (desperately trying to watch the movie): They do?
Jenny: Yeah. “Don’t look at your hands, don’t look at yourself in the mirror.” (Pause) Why do I think this guy’s car is going to explode?
SJ: You don’t have much of an internal dialogue, do you?
Here’s wishing for a happy and healthy 2019, in which nobody dies, nobody goes to court, nobody gets sick, nobody gets into a car accident, and my baby continues on his upward trajectory to CUTEST BABY IN THE GALAXY.
For these delicious cornmeal pancakes, you need:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
You need to:
- Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately.
- Whisk the wet into the dry. Some lumps should remain. DO NOT OVERMIX GOD DO NOT OVERMIX.
- Melt butter in pan and scoop small amounts of batter into pan.
- Flip when edges are bubbly.
- Serve with yogurt, maple syrup, and berries or fruit of any kind.
- Look for picture of your son eating cornmeal pancakes while stressing about turning into this mom and promising yourself you will tell your son as soon as he can understand that you write about him on the internet and that you will stop the second he asks you to.