Saturday, December 16, 2006

17 months

Dear Z,
You flew with us across the country to visit your grandparents and aunts and cousins. On the flight, you played with Dora toys and bricks and you drew with your pen and crayons and whatever else we’d let you draw with. No pen, any crayon, any pencil is safe around you. You’re pretty good at drawing on only paper though the couch and chair cushions have suffered a bit at your artistic strokes. On the second, shorter flight, you fell asleep in your dad’s lap right at 8 o’clock our time, your normal bedtime.

Yesterday, I put you down for a nap. You lay down with your bottle and blanket. You like your blanket on the side of your face, gripped in one hand, your other hand tossing your bottle back like a proper cowboy slogger. On my way to the bathroom, I stopped in to check on you. You weren’t asleep. You were sitting up poking your toe with the nipple of your bottle saying bob, bob, bob. On my way back from the bathroom, you had collapsed forward-face on top of your foot, on top of your bottle.

You have been sick on and off for a month. This has messed up your usual perfect sleeping record as well as your champion-of-the-strange-food-eating habits. But when you’re well, you still eat onions and pickles and you still hate mashed potatoes and guacamole. The last two items make us wonder how very adopted you must be. You like steak and fish and sausage and bacon. Your grandma laments you’re not a vegetarian like she is but if you keep not liking guacamole she’s not sure how you’d survive if you go that way anyway. Perhaps on black beans.

Right now, you have convinced your aunt Joy to feed you Honey Nut Cheerios one by one. Sometimes you take it and put it in your mouth. Sometimes, you just open your mouth until she inserts a Cheerio vending machine style. Sometimes you take one and chuck it across the room. This game could last until lunch. Joy’s dog Sadie loves to lick your ears and wishes you would slide a Cheerio her way—but unlike Cleo this dog isn’t allowed to eat every and anything you give her.

You wear a lot of hemp pants. Your grandma hemmed them for you and now you don’t look like an unbalanced yogi. At least not so much. You resemble most one of the Teletubbies—you particularly like to reveal your tummy as if there’s a TV in there. And we watch. Who knows what that belly button may do?

You’re working out spatial relationships. You just sat down to sit on Joy’s lap. Sadly, you were about two feet away from the lap Just like with steps, you turn around to sit down and then crawl backwards to get over the danger parts.

Speaking of characters, you drag your blanky around like Linus. You always know where it is and point your way down the hall, up the stairs, or toward your crib until we follow and get it for you.

Since you’ve been back in Salt Lake you’ve played Little People with Lil and Maestra, the Great States game with Cam, Nick Jr. on the computer with Grandma and Grandpa. Shopping for you for Christmas, your Maestra, grandma and grandpa and aunts have raised the holiday retail numbers to come in above expectation.

You say Box and Dog and Hi and Mom and Dad, or rather (da da da da) and a whole lot of almost words that I refuse to credit to your knowledge account. Your dad, however, is convinced you also say bottle, blanket, chocolate, shovel (Thanks Michigan!), kitty and diaper. You know the words but your tongue hasn’t quite caught up. When you’re happy and playing by yourself and discovering how to open and close doors, playing with lids, and sorting change, you say “Ahhhhhhhh-uh, ahhh-uh.” Ahhh (low pitched and long), uh (highly pitched and short).

Re: the capping. We think you have a promising career as a Laverne and Shirley type: you put caps on bottles, quality control, and your dad likes beer—a natural career choice we think. You also do a mean Schlamiel, Schlamazel Hassencratz Incorporated while kicking her Teletubby legs.

You’re a very busy baby. Even when you’re sick. Happy Seventeen Month birthday. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May the next year bring you even more love, if that’s possible, and a lot more health. We love you, mom & dad.

Friday, December 08, 2006


I'm halfway packed. Still need to collect Z's nebulizer, her clothes, and her blanket, but even most of the ski-ware is packed. Egg's bringing his skis but if I ski, I'll rent because I hate my boots anyway and my skis are just plain old skis. Not orange Screams like Egg's.
Today, poetizing with poets.
Tomorrow, we fly.
Workplan for home visit: write review, develop course description for Studies in.... Course, write novel, new book of essays, old book of essays and new book of poems about plastic. Oh, and prepare syllabi for three classes--adv. NF, adv Poetry, and intro to CRWR. Sound like a break? It does to me. I figure if I work from 10-2 3 days a week, I can get most of that done. And, compared to teaching, it's not real work.
I can't wait to see my mom and sisters and my niece and nephew. And spend time with Zo. Ah, 4 weeks of break. May I luck into as much again.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Thought I was going to make it

but I'm not going to make it this final week. Last week, it was 40 degrees warmer than it is right now. Last week, my students were congenial and present. This week, the emails promising absences are mounting. Last week, I was ready to throw all my clothes in a bag and get on an airplane. This week, we're realizing that Z won't sit on our laps for 5 minutes, let alone the many-lay-overed plane ride ahead. Last week, I had visions of writing and reading and sleeping in. This week, I realize that there are only so many days til Christmas and shopping hasn't even begun. Last week, I was all hepped up on pure, natural adrenaline. This week, I'm pretty sure someone has been putting quaaludes in my coffee, making me simultaneously, artificially wired and tired.
Oh, it has snowed over 3 inches just since I've been on campus for a final last week:
Last week, I slept in my own bed. This week, the floor of my office beckons. They pretend to have snowplows in this very snowy region but Salt Lake would never let the roads be so slick and dangerous. They are plow monsters in that city. If I survive the flight home, I promise to complain less next week.