Thursday, August 16, 2001

Raising Chloe, Raising Arizona, Washing Machines and West Shore Road Memories

Pictured is of course the lovely new addition to my extended circle of friends, apologies to Bonnie and Duncan but she's so stinkin freakin cute that I could not resist lifting the picture from the hospital nursery page and posting it.

Meet our friend Chloe.

Man is she gorgeous or what? I love that hair, and I love how babies just always have their hands up by their mouths or cheeks... I went through most of the pictures on the hospital site and all the babies were there with hands up, ready to raise the roof. Only a couple were so deep in sleep that their hands were nowhere to be seen.

My friend Lori went through the site. She saw Chloe and swore she was the cutest baby on the page, then proceeded to rag on all the other babies! We had a good laugh making fun of names and making fun of kids that were born without the benefit of being cute like our woman up here. I feel sorry for babies when they're butt ugly. I mean, they just came down the narrowest passage of their lives, got battered, bumped and bruised, and they look like who did it and ran, and here we are picking on them. Poor things. hee hee hee. But this is one good looking kid and the respective Bonnie and Duncan clans should be right proud.

Now, I'm gushing praise and schmoopy-doos over here for this kid and one of my co-workers asked me if i wanted to have another.

Let's get one thing straight here, dear reader, unless God Himself wills it, I'm not putting myself through another labor and delivery again. The pregnancy part, okay. Those were fun. I loved feeling the babies move, each had a personality before they came to the light. Geoff always had the hiccups... on a daily basis I could count on at least a round of 20 minutes or so of him jerking like a freak. Towards the end when things got cramped in there for her, Jessica would stretch her legs, and I have a distinct memory of playing with her feet up right below my left bottom rib, and I'd push back at her, and we'd play. We'd play. I played with my kids and knew them well before I ever even laid eyes on them. Those are very special moments.

But I don't want to repeat the thing, the unspeakably painful thing, one must endure to get to the point of laying eyes on them. Shudder. Quake. Ugh. No. So for me, I'll enjoy playing with my kids now that they're on the outside and I will live vicariously through friends like Bonnie who have new ones for me to cuddle. Speaking of which, here's the segue to the next topic...

One of my favorite movies ever is 'Raising Arizona.' I love when Glen is telling H.I. that Dot wants another baby because "Thesuns is gettin' too big to cuddle." That kills me. All like 9 kids are running around wrecking stuff ("Now you take that diaper off your head and you put it back on your sister!") and writing on the walls, breaking things, and these parents are just standing around all stupid and proud of the brood and shit. And there's poor H.I., overwhelmed at what his sudden vision of parenting is. These kids can eat you alive... and Ed is suddenly overwhelmed by Dot "Hi, We got the dip.tet for him yet? We got a pediatrician???" at the responsibilities.

Having two is enough for me. But H.I. stands there with this look on his face that kills me. With his eyes huge and wide, mouth gaping open. Oh My God, what HAVE I just gotten myself into.

All parents should feel that way. Shocked. Stymied. Overwhelmed. Then you shake it off, blink a couple times, shut your gaping mouth so you don't catch any flies and get in there and do the job. Once in a while you'll feel like H.I. again, but standing around gapemawed isn't going to do any good.

We went out last night and bought a new washing machine so that gets delivered a week from today. I'm relieved. This weekend we're going to Maine, to see Wayne and Marcia. They have a great house, and hopefully Chris and Laurel will be there too. It's been a while since we've seen them. I feel like I need a weekend of kid related fun. Where the kids entertain themselves and have fun, and I lean back and watch. I'm sure there will be some good stories out of that.

And I wanted to make a short list of stuff I remember from the House on West Shore Road. When I was little we lived in a house in NY on West Shore Road, and I think most of my clearest memories are from there. Here are a couple:

  • I had an easy bake oven. It worked.
  • I had white furniture, and my room was up on the third floor, there were 2 rooms up there, the back room was mine, the front room was Linda's
  • I remember a tree broke one of my windows in a storm. I think there were four windows in the room, and the one that broke was on the left side of the room as you stood in the doorway.
  • A cat of ours, I think it was Smokey, my mom's FAVORITE cat, had kittens in my bedroom closet and I touched them all and she killed them (not a good memory... someone correct me if that one is fictional).
  • Once my cousins came down to visit from Cape Cod and Billy and I got to sleep in the same bed. My parents pushed my bed, which had a princess canopy on it, so the foot of the bed was against the closet door and Billy slept at the foot of the bed. We got yelled at a TON of times for not going to sleep and being silly.
  • I used to melt crayons on the light bulb in my bedroom. I think it was a clown lamp, and I loved the smell of the crayola crayons melting on the light. Then I'd let the light bulb cool off and I'd peel the wax off. My mom caught me and I got in trouble.
  • You could see the hospital from the balcony on my parents' room, and at Christmas they put this crazy "tree" of lights up there, and I remember standing looking at it for hours.

Okay, that's enough for today. I've got more, but I need to go home to my family. I also have to schlep some clothing to the laundromat because I have NOTHING to wear and I think Geoff has no more underpants... So I'll do a quickie load and then finish everything up on Saturday morning before we trek to Maine.

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