Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How I Amuse Myself At My Child's Expense

I've been having to pull the Arabitty's hair back with barrettes for quite a while. If I don't it hangs in her face and she resembles Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

Mischevious Morning Hair

She's short. I have big furniture. Big antique furniture. Furniture that is older than all of our ages combined (I'm including the two 13 year old cats in there too). It is tall furniture. Especially my dining room table, which used to belong to my great-grandmother. I *still* need a phone book to sit on when I eat at it.

I have cleared space around the dining room table and that now serves as a little race track for the Evil Dwarf. The only problem is that I can't always see her when she's on the other side. And there are many places for a Girl of Small Proportion to get lost in this space. I panic.

"Arabis? Arabis? Where are you?" is a plaintive cry heard often around here. Nine times out of ten, she is on the dark side of the dining room table (I'm not mentioning where she ends up the tenth time for fear of CPS).

The solution?

Top Knot

Now I just look for the top knot. I need to get her a little plastic samurai sword and teach her old John Belushi routines.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I just sent an email to a local Taiko Dojo. They have their new student orientation in October. Just...a feeling I had today...don't know if I'm going to follow through...don't know if I can...don't know if I can't...

So much has been mulling about my tired and foggy excuse for a brain and between Mojo's feeling unwell and the normal baby wrangling, I've not had time to sit and write. There is much I need to write about Robin, memories that pop up at unexpected times. At Robbie's memorial last Sunday, the Taiko drumming gave me something and I need to transcribe the cathartic scribbles of that experience.

The drums filled my chest. It was an amazing experience. If I sit quietly they rise again through my body like the beating of my heart. They took me to a place that I had forgotten about and never wrote of and the words came pouring out like a flood. But I'm not sure I'm ready to reread and transcribe that yet. It's really very raw. And I am starting to feel somewhat human again.

I got an email from his mother that is sweet and searching and I've wanted to write her for days but have been unable to. There is something in the way and I don't know what it is. The lack of time to grieve, to rememeber, to laugh.

Being a mother now, I can't imagine what she must be going through. I can only hope to raise my daughter to be as present, as gentle and as aware as Robbie was.

Shit. That was hard to write. That was. The tense is just wrong. So now I'm crying and my daredevil daughter is trying to climb atop the refrigerator.

Perhaps tonight I will have the solitude and space to really write.

Oh So Serious

Photo sent by Robin to Eelia Goldsmith-Henderscheid. Photographer unknown.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blue Day Book

Just for Boogiemum, and her fabulous idea for a pick me up, the "Blue Day Book" I give you: The Waffle Head.

Waffle Head

I swear I'm going to post some actual content here soon, but lack of typing time without my 16 month old weasel climbing all over me is scarce.

I also have so much to write about Robbie and the memorial that is skittering around my brain.

How do all you "Mommy Bloggers" do it? Where do you actually find the time to compose those witty morsels of everyday life complete with profound insights? And does the sleep deprivation ever really end or am I going to feel this cloudy for the rest of my days?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Good Morning

This is what I discovered on opening my refrigerator this morning.

I left her in there. She looks so "perky" (as my friend Anne exclaimed). And she's obviously there for a reason.

Life with my child is *never* boring!

My Refrigerator

In other news, there is much to write about and update. I've been neglectful of this forum the last few weeks, but I hope I can be forgiven due to the circumstances. There has been so much death this summer that I pray the Reaper gives us all a break.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Query

Do Tootsie Rolls go bad?

Arabis just unearthed a white plastic skull full of little mini Tootsie Rolls. I don't know how old they are (last Halloween?), I don't know where they were hiding and I'm not sure how she found them, but they're here and they're singing to me with their little tempting Tootsie voices.

And I waaaaant them!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

On a Lighter Note

In an attempt at levity, I will try to relay briefly last Saturday's adventure of meeting my first out-of-town "semi-famous" blogger, Wannabe Hippie. Arabis and I met the fabulous Miss Elaine and her friend Allyn (who, coincidentally, lives in a warehouse not far from mine) at the Bittersweet Cafe in Oakland.

Click the link. Go on. Do it. It's a chocolate cafe. A chocolate cafe. Everything has chocolate: classic chocolate, spicy chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate chai. I was in heaven, yes heaven with a hint of hell, because what kind of impression do you make on someone you're meeting for the first time when you stride proudly up to the counter and state "I'll take one of everything, please" and you're not kidding.

I was good. I got a mocha. I did not get one of everything. But I may have to make a weekly foray to try a different menu item each visit. Then go on a long walk with Arabis afterward.

The cafe is very small and table sharing is a must. There was much chatting with strangers, cooing over the baby and comparing baby stories (Arabis and Elaine's youngest daughter are six days apart). I imagine this is what happens when old war buddies meet years after the fact. They reminisce about the shared horrors experienced with a humor brought on by time and distance. Thus it is with mommy bloggers. We know each other's lives vicariously through our writing and can joke easily about teething trauma and sleepless nights.

We strolled through the neighborhood, peeking in thrift stores for an elusive 50's housewife blouse to no avail. We even ran into Mojo briefly, on his stroll back from the bike shop, clad in black and striding down the street under the Bart terminal. "I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to admit I knew you or not," he confessed later.

The boy is a dork. Pure and simple.

I was in a daze for most of the visit (due to just having received news of Robin) but it was really fun and I hope we can play again next time she comes for a visit. If only we could get the kids together!

Next time.

And now, the obligatory photo:

With Wannabe Hippie

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The River is Wide, The River is Deep

I spent a long time sitting on the floor with Arabis just watching her. The pants which were last week too long and required rolling up a few times now fall just where they should at her ankle. Her hair seems to have had another growth spurt as well and is beginning to wave slightly away from her head and behind her ears, like a strangely winged bird. She looks like a little miniature human now (not that she didn't before).

She is her own person, my daredevil daughter; climbing up the dining room chairs to stomp on the table. Other milestones include:

  • Opening the bottom storage compartment on the oven to play with the pots and lids.
  • Getting into the bread crumbs and spilling them on the concrete floor where she proceeded to make snow angels.
  • Climbed out of the restraint system of her high chair, then climbed the rest of the way down while I was doing the dishes. I admit, I stopped to watch her do it, only intervening at the last minute to prevent her plummeting to the concrete floor.
  • Has completely rearranged my tupperware drawers. I found a rubber penguin bathtub toy in amongst the lids this morning.
  • Once again got into the croutons and fed them to the cat.
  • Walked to the refrigerator, opened the door, took a sip from her bottle, put it back, closed the door and walked away.

The weasel's getting clever. We're doomed.

Today has been a strange, quiet day. I am tired and feeling anti-social. Not that I don't want company, but walking out amongst the people is a feat too daunting for me.

Mojo also woke on the wrong side of the world this morning. He was visited by strange dreams. He said I tried to push him in front of a car. I'm not even going to hazard an analysis.

My forehead aches. I have a piece of brain stuck there. And it hurts.

Ari came over for dinner last night and we looked through her photo albums. Memories of a shared past, people we both knew, others who I didn't but were central to her life, we all had such a wonderful upbringing at the Faire. And then, in amongst the myriad of faces, Robin's would appear; here as a teenager, there as a man. And we would be quiet for a moment in grief.

My daughter kept turning back to one page in Ari's book, with a particularly striking photo of him. Over and over she would turn back and there he would be.

Sigh. No point to this post, other than grief. Also joy. A strange dichotomy.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Trees, They Grow High

Got to meet with a fellow out of town blogger yesterday for hot chocolate but the day was clouded with the news of the morning: that an old friend whom I'd known for 26 years died. I will write about the enjoyable parts of the day in greater detail later. For right now I just want to share a photo sent to me by Eelia Goldsmith of Robin.

Meanwhile, I spent last night lying in bed, hearing Robbie's voice singing to me, songs he sang when we were young. Other people have had this same experience, of hearing his voice singing in the night.

Photo sent to Eelia by Robin. Photographer unknown. Companion unknown.

Robin Wadsworth (drummer, taiko drummer, morris dancer, singer, musician, truly Renaissance man) died in a swimming accident while on vacation out of the country.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'm Feeling A Little Verklempt

I know I've not done a proper update in quite a while, but things have been proceeding at a whirlwind pace and to be perfectly honest, I know of no way to comfortably share with the world the poo-flinging currently going on in my personal monkey hut.

We've been on the see-saw: up and down, up and down.

But I want to give a huge thank you to Daring Young Mom for her shout out to the Interschnitzel and to all the folks who stopped by throughout the weekend with little bits of cheer. You made me laugh, weep and even (dare I admit it?) guffaw. Thank you. It was the simplest kindness, but the one that I needed the most.

Right now, here is what gives me the greatest joy:

Who's the Rockstar?