All These Tapes In My Head Swirl Around
Stealthpunch Junior is two, and he's never had a babysitter. That is to say, we've never hired him a babysitter, or had someone watch him who wasn't related to him or that we haven't known for fifteen years. And Gray and I are notoriously bad at going out on dates -- like those books that say "Couples should go out on dates once a week after having children for their own separate alone time" would frown at us so hard their faces would stick that way. I think we've been out alone once together in the year we've lived here, and once when we were all staying with Gray's parents and once when we were all staying with my parents. So three times in a year. And we're still married. Take that, couples counselors.
But this is not what I want to write about. What I want to write about is sixteen year olds. We marched down the street to our neighbor's house, a neighbor who recently said, "My daughter would love to babysit for you," so we walked over to take her up on it. She wasn't home, so we talked to her parents, some nice people who look like they're about a decade older than us, say forty-five give or take a few years. Twenty minutes later the sixteen year old knocks on our door and we hang out and introduce her to the baby and we're all talking and about her babysitting him in the future, and she'll make our fifty dollar dinner and a movie turn into more like ninety, but whatever, the experts made us do it. So she leaves, and Gray turns to me and goes, "That's what sixteen is. Didn't you feel OLD?" and I said yeah I felt like a fricking grandma, and then he goes, "She could be your daughter if you had her when you were a senior in high school," and I go, No, I would have an almost twenty year old if I had her in high school. And then we kind of got depressed. And then I said, But didn't you feel like you have way more in common with her than you do with her parents who are way closer to us in age? And he said, "Yeah, totally." Does this mean that we're stunted somehow? That we have a Peter Pan thing going on? Or that we're of that Gen-X segment that just doesn't feel adulty no matter how old we get?
Also, Gray got laid off on Friday. So I don't know how we're affording this babysitter.
I Run the Streets and I Break Up Houses
This is going to be a complainy couple of minutes. Mostly because I'm in this terrible in between place of my clothes not fitting, where I'm not huge enough yet to fully fit maternity clothes, but my normal clothes don't fit either, and my bras are pinching me like a motherfucker. I haven't consulted last pregnancy's photos yet, but I'm pretty sure at 21 weeks I look like I did at about 31 weeks belly-wise. People who I haven't seen in awhile are starting to greet me by staring at my stomach, and I can see their wheels turning, and I kind of wait an extra beat to see if they'll say anything, but then I kill the awkwardness and just tell them I'm pregnant. "Oh, yeah!" They say. "I didn't want to say anything, but I thought so." My god, and I'm only halfway through, feeling like this. What will 19 more weeks be like?
Gray might lose his job tomorrow. He's not sure, but from what he describes it sure sounds like it to me. I'm trying to convince him to convince them to hold onto him for another 90 days, because we just refinanced and got this deal from Bank of America where if you get laid off after 90 days of signing they'll pay your mortgage for a year. That plus COBRA paying 65% of health coverage under the new federal socialism act when you get fired might actually be an inexpensive way to live our lives.
I thought I had a baby name picked out, but now I'm not sure. It's complex, the naming issue. It can't just look good on paper, it has to sound good, and it has to be suitable for baby, teenager, adult. The name I want to give will provoke some quizzical eyebrows and a lot of "Where'd you get that name?"s, so it's risky. Plus it's the name of a semi-celebrity's kid, and this kid is about 12 now, and I imagine that in five years this kid will be dancing on tabletops in Hollywood nightclubs, and what if their name becomes laden with negative meaning like, say, Paris? It's risky. Maybe dumb to be worried about it, but I still have to weigh it. Like my son was almost named Dashiell, but I was convinced there'd be a whole slew of Dashes after The Incredibles came out, and I've heard a couple. That stuff matters to me.
Also, I'm trying to make up my mind between giving birth at a birth center and a hospital. I asked the doctor at my current OB's office if they and the hospital would ever let me do natural labor for 28 hours like my first time around, and she looked at me and said, "Um, no." So it's looking like I might avoid the hospital yet again.
I think it is stupid that the toy brooms at Toys R Us are located in the girls' section next to the dolls. What kind of sexist crazy crap is that? While it's true that my life is exclusively about child-rearing, cooking and cleaning, it doesn't mean that future generations have to feel that way. Oh god i'm depressed.
Also, finally, I wish I had an advanced missile system on my car expressly for people who clean their windshields in heavy moving traffic, ie. when I'm right behind them. Because they might get a clean windshield, but then mine gets sprayed with their mist and gets totally dirty. Why don't more people realize this is what happens? Or do they not care?
I wish it were possible to drink whiskey and be pregnant, because I would totally sign up for that.
There's No Victory As Big As The Lesson
Ugh, taxes. Still not finished. Our accountant wants us to tally all the money we spent fixing up the Burbank house, and I don't know if you remember the stories I told here way back when about what a pit of despair that place was in the beginning, but it took a lot of cash to spruce it up. Gray is sitting next to me going through old checkbook registers tallying the damage, and I think we're up to about $75k, and that's just for the stuff we wrote checks for but not including the many thousands of trips to Home Depot that fell to the credit card. Truthfully I don't want to think about it anymore. We turned it from a hovel with four families living in it to the place where our first baby was born, and I don't want to relive the stressful expensive parts. I still wonder what those church services in the backyard must have been like before we moved in, though.
I went back to Burbank this past week for the first time in almost a year. I had a great time, but it was like the twilight zone seeing our house with somebody else living in it. I got to go inside for a tour, and they'd changed it pretty dramatically. On the one hand it's great because they've made it completely their own and will probably stay there and be renters for a long time, but on the other hand it messed with my head kind of a lot. Because nothing else in the neighborhood had changed -- all the other neighbors are the same and they all came over to say hi, including one who filled me in on all the crazy gossip within literally two minutes of getting out of my car, and our house is the same on the outside -- but we aren't living in it. I had to go drown my sorrows immediately in a Porto's Cubano sandwich.
And driving six hours each way within a three-day period is not recommended with a two-year old. Luckily he had his Sesame Street saxophone with him which got stuck under the backseat and so played what sounded like the Benny Hill theme over and over for two hours until we stopped and I got out and got it.
The new DM album is good for those interested. Not all tracks are great, but some are really good. They're playing the Hollywood Bowl and I have to miss it, and also Shoreline Amphitheater up here. I'll be two weeks away for giving birth, so it's not a good idea. Also, the fetus decibels. The injustice of it all.
Here is a funny picture from a website I like. They have really cool wall stickers for kids rooms, but I was looking at this going "I don't think this designer a) has kids or b) lives in earthquake country." Imagine that spiky clock falling off the wall. Ouch.