Thursday, September 29, 2016

We Are All Assholes Before Coffee, But Especially My Boyfriend

My boyfriend drives me crazy. (I was about to say "bat-shit crazy" but then I thought, Is bat shit really that crazy? And if so, just how crazy is it?! Turns out, not so crazy. So naturally I had to Google pictures of animal poop to find one that is crazier because that is how research works. Though I can't say I did an exhaustive job, I'm going to declare the wombat to be the winner, which technically makes the phrase half-correct. They poop out CUBES, people. Google it. It's the craziest. And I should have guessed, because wombats are totally my spirit animal.)

Anyway, my boyfriend drives me wombat-shit crazy. Usually Theo and I go on an outing in the morning but today Bryan wanted to try Never Coffee on Belmont, which we peeked in while walking by one day but didn't try because it was passed coffee-drinking time (although with a child who sometimes stays up until midnight for no reason, I'm not sure there's a cut-off time anymore.)

And so we go. As usual, we end up in an entirely different area than our specified destination, and I inquire as to where he has decided to stop not-at-all along the way this time. Bake shop. Because as soon as he hears about a place he might like to go, he has to go there immediately. It's quite shocking actually that he hadn't insisted on going to Never Coffee sooner, since poor impulse control and the need for instant gratification make up half his body weight. Gluten and sugar make up the other half.

Our child is a ticking time bomb when confined, especially in a car seat where the car is not moving. All it takes is a quick pastry stop and we get to hear ear-shattering screams all the way to the coffee shop, hitting every red light possible with Bryan swearing behind the driver's wheel.

(Where is it? Which way do I go?
Caesar Chavez or 47th. Coffee is 43rd.
But which way goes over the freeway way?
They both do.
Which one should I take?
OH MY GODDESS. It doesn't matter!! They both go over the freeway and the coffee shop is in the middle of them!
Why are you going this way? It's on 43rd!
You could have told me that before I started going the wrong way!
I told you it was at 43rd like three times!
Stop yelling at me!)

Theo stops screaming when we get to the coffee shop, which has a colorful, cactus-y, Palm Springs vibe, a refreshing change of pace from the stark, industrial feel that plagues the majority of Portland's coffee shops. As soon as we walk in, there is a pastry case front and center with a fabulous array of baked goods. From Bake Shop. 

Like I said. Asshole.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


As if I wasn't already sad enough about not being the milf I thought I'd be - with my psoriasis, balding patches, digestive disorders, ill-fitting clothes, and lack of energy - Theo likes to tell me frequently that I smell. He buries his entire head right into my armpit for three seconds and pulls back with his face all scrunched up. Then he waves his hand in front of his nose as if fanning away the stench and says "Hink! Hink! (His word for stinky.) To really drive the nail in the coffin, he puts his hand on my face, aggressively pushes it toward my armpit and makes me smell myself. On both sides.

"Yes, hink, hink," I agree. And then I cry and eat an ice cream sandwich.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Potty Training

When Theo says certain words, he sounds like he has a little French accent. His "no" is more like "non" and he draws out vowels at the end. Other times he just sounds like he's deaf.

He's a pretty chatty kid and therefore he likes to announce when he has to poo by yelling "uh POOOOOO! uh POOOOOO!" in a his French/high-pitched, Mariah Carey kind of way, and then he screams, waddling around the house and grabbing onto furniture periodically like he's having contractions. This happens throughout the day or for a half hour leading up to the birth of his actual poo, which involves a final cry, grunt and push, and it's so intense that I never know if I'm going to find a turd or a screaming baby in his diaper. I mean, I get it. It's an emotional process. Especially when it happens in public, it can make you feel very vulnerable. It's also awkward to explain when bystanders give you questioning looks.

We've been working on potty training, with mild to moderate success. He still thinks it's funny to pee on the floor and then play in it (though I try not to divulge this information too carelessly because it really limits the amount of playdates people want to have at your house.) Hopefully he'll get the hang of it soon. In the meantime when his announcement publicly arrives, I just shrug and let people wonder why it looks like a deaf French baby is going into labour. What can you do.

Friday, September 23, 2016


I've completely forgotten how to have adult interactions anymore. I took canine and child to the park yesterday, stopping first at the dog park on the way to the playground. There was a huge Mastiff (I guess that's kind of redundant - Mastiffs are usually huge) that ran over to sniff Milo, a modestly-sized Lab/Border Collie mix who likes to hump big dogs' faces. The owner of the Mastiff came over and said something to me I couldn't understand because I was distracted by his cuteness. And thus began my one and only conversation with an adult for the day:

Me: What?

Guy: Sorry for the barking.

Me: What?

Guy: I thought he ran over and was barking at your kid.

Me: Oh, no. He wasn't even close and he wasn't barking at all.

Guy: [smiling] Oh good. Then I retract any and all of my aforementioned apologies...

Me: [Is he flirting with me?! I felt that twinge of excitement you get when being possibly hit on, but was also suddenly self-conscious like when you realize you haven't showered in many days and are wearing overalls. I tried to think of something to say] That's a...

Guy: Yeah. His name is Whale.

Me: Wales?

Guy: Whale.

Me: ...Wale?

Guy: [looking at me like he just realized I'm not "all there"] Whale. Like...the animal.

Me: [expressionless and speechless]

Guy: [promptly turns with his dog and walks away]

It's good to know if I ever need to start dating again, I can add "scintillating conversationalist" to my resume. It's also good to know that Milo has a single brain cell that told him not to hump the Mastiff's face. Overall, a pretty successful encounter.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I Hate it When...

...I manage to wrangle up the dog and child to go on a walk, and remember to grab the keys and the backpack with extra diapers, wipes (mostly in case Theo picks up dog poop or a condom at the park again), water bottle, snack, and a change of clothes because I'm wildly over prepared, and I put Theo in the stroller and Milo on his leash before he can bark at the neighbor, and we're mobile but then I feel it: the classic not-so-subtle tug of my tampon string caught between my leg and my underwear.

If only I hadn't worn my pregnancy thong this wouldn't be happening, but alas, it's too late for regrets. The whole way to the park I try to find a spot that would be ideal to adjust my goods, but there is always someone walking by with a smile that makes me feel like they know I'm having tampon string issues and I smile back in shame. At the park I scout out a bushy area where I can hide, but knowing my luck I'll turn around and some kid will be standing there yelling, Mom! There's a lady over here with her hands down her pants! So I decide to just suffer because I don't want my child to become THAT kid with the mother who puts her hands down her pants in the bushes at the park. I think that wins me the best mom award today.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sex Spiders

I am insanely arachnophobic. I also have a sixth sense about spiders so I'm always the first one to see them, and then I have to scream for whoever is in the house to come squash it. Or free it outside. Depends on my mood. Anyway, Bryan grew tired of my demands - especially after a spider laid eggs underneath the banister and every day those baby fuckers creeped out onto the stairwell - so we agreed that for every ten spiders he killed I would have sex with him, because that's how compromises work. So far he had four sex spiders.

Then yesterday he was at work and I had to clean our basement apartment at the last minute before our AirBnB guests arrived, and in the shower tub was, of course, a huge spider. After a half an hour panic attack and a useless text conversation that went something like this -

Me: There's a huge spider in the shower. WHAT DO I DO??

Bryan: Just get a paper towel or a shoe and squash it. You can do it!

Me: You clearly don't know me.

Bryan: Pour some water on it and wash it down the drain.

Me: Can I just leave it? It's close enough to Halloween (pumpkin emoji)

Bryan: Just get rid of it already!!

- I worked up the nerve to turn the shower on hot full blast and spray the spider, who freaked the fuck out and after being pelted with water forever, did that gross curly up thing that spiders do, I guess to look dead so you'll stop trying to kill it. Then it drifted stubbornly toward the drain but was too big to fit. (I know, this is getting tense, but it has a happy ending that involves ice cream, I promise.) I had to aim at it with the shower head toward a bigger hole on the side of the drain and after some careful maneuvering and another forever, it finally went down the drain. Then I ran upstairs to eat an ice cream sandwich because I was shaking and needed to calm my nerves after such a terrifying ordeal. Now the spider count looks like this:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Kindie Music is My Jam

Theo is extremely active so when he's not napping (which does happen daily but no one knows when or how short) we have to be out of the house. Unfortunately there are not many activities that he can tolerate. And by "he" I mean me.

I took him to library story time when he was a few months old and developed severe claustrophobia when I found myself huddled in a circle with zombie parents competing to see who could sing "Criss Cross Applesauce" most excitedly to their immobile blobs. They should clarify that this is sing-along time, not story time. We've been to the community center for open play and I lost him in a sea of plastic and older kids hyped up on sugar. And then wherever we go, there's inevitably that shitty kid who harasses him. He's pretty shy and takes a while to get comfortable enough to venture out and play and then when does, he gets hit or pinched or yelled at by some three year old princess who has claimed the blocks as her fortress where no boys are allowed! It's like they know how to pick the worst victims. Or best victims I should say, as these malicious children feed off nothing but the tears of others. So far, music shows are my favourite. "Kindie" music is big around these parts and is usually a guy and a guitar singing a mix of classic and modern jams. Here's some lyrics from a recent Red Yarn show we went too:

"Eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast! Eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast!"

The barista at the coffee shop next door where all the parents swarm before and after asked me how the show was. I said, "That Red Yarn! Best show I've been to since my child was born!"

The look on his face told me he'd be layering condoms when he went home to bang his girlfriend later.

Note: You can find Red Yarn on iTunes but he's better live, as all great musicians are.

Subnote: It really was a fun show for kids and tolerable for parents. Four stars. (I had to minus one for the puppets. Sorry Mr. Yarn.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I Must Mention My Unmentionables

Buying new underwear is on my to do list somewhere in between napping and shaving my legs. (If you're confused about the scale I'm working with here, it goes from highest to lowest priority. Sorry Bryan.) I currently have many sizes ranging from pre-pregnancy to extremely pregnant. (My postpartum granny panties are long gone. Your welcome Bryan.) I can't really keep track of which ones are which size so I either end up wearing tiny crotch ones or super big waisted ones. It's one of those things that comes to my attention every time I get dressed or have an uncomfortable moment and think, I need new underwear YESTERDAY, but then forget about as soon as my child screams my name and demands my attention or attempts to do something dangerous, which is all the time.

So the other day I had on some biggies and when I pulled my pants up, my thong ended up above my pants line but with my shirt tucked in to it. I didn't notice until I walked into the kitchen and Bryan said, "Wow, you've reached a new low," but in a way where you could tell he was impressed and somewhat admired my feats of lowness. He must not have been present earlier when I started the coffee maker without any coffee in it, or the other day when I put all the dirty dishes from the dishwasher back in the cabinets, or ate cold, hard leftover rice because I was too tired to heat it up. If only he knew my 80's high-rise thong is clearly the least of my problems. Then he'd be really impressed.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I Never Know How to Start These Things

My 17-month-old loves to sit in my lap while I eat. He also loves to pick up fistfuls of food off my plate and shove them in my face, yelling "EAT! EAT!" I feel like that guy in the movie Seven who is force fed to death, except no food actually makes it in my mouth. It falls on my lap or the floor, and then I have to fight the dog for scraps, which is usually when my boyfriend walks in and gives that judging look - the one that says, "Why are you eating food off the floor again? No standards, Hannah. NO standards." And it's true. My standards greatly lowered when I accepted that taking showers, sleeping, and having hobbies just weren't in my stars.

It's the worst of all worlds really.

(OK, so the guy in Seven actually had it way worse. Because he died. But then again, he also got to sit down to a lovely meal and didn't have to eat off the floor, so maybe it cancels out?)