Monday, March 24, 2008

The Sweetest Thing

We’d been prepping Peapod all week for her first ever Easter egg hunt.

Our drills included egg finding, basket holding and candy grabbing. But these did not prepare her for the emotional roller coaster that is the Great American Toddler Easter Egg Hunt.

Resplendent in her yellow Easter dress and white (for now) leather sandals, Peapod weathered the actual Easter service with the poise of someone, oh, twice her age… The highlight occurred during communion, when she caused an outburst of church giggles 5-people deep as she urgently pointed and grunted at the minister holding the wine chalice to please bring it back so she could double-dip her holy wafer.

After mass, we headed to the toddler play area where the under-four set would compete for the plastic egg bounty. But nobody else was there. We peered into the windows of several adjacent classrooms only to find a few families milling around with their youngsters, seemingly unaware that the big event was about to start. Clever girl that she is, Peapod used the opportunity to case the joint, which she did mostly by picking up rocks.

Then suddenly out of nowhere, the masses were unleashed and the play yard was teeming with tiny people wearing seersucker suits and frilly pink dresses and grabbing every unnaturally colored plastic orb they could get their sticky hands on.

Peapod froze, the sudden rush of kids causing her to momentarily panic. Moments later, she gathered her composure and wandered slowly to an orange egg about three feet away. She put it lazily in her basket. The Esposo and I jumped up and down, flailing and yelling “Eggs! Eggs! Get the Eggs! Hurry!” She regarded us as though we’d never met, and unhurriedly sauntered off toward the next egg, which was quickly snatched away by some little poacher in a fairy dress.

Our flailing and her sauntering continued for some time until she arrived at a little green egg at precisely the same moment as a young boy – maybe a year older – in a little khaki jacket. The boy picked up the egg, but upon making eye contact with Peapod became wracked with indecision. He looked at the egg, looked at his basket, looked at Peapod and then repeated the whole pattern once more.

With a mixture of pride and resignation, he plopped the egg in Peapod’s basket and scampered off. And off all the Easter treats we collected that day, that one was The Sweetest Thing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Choosing a site key for a new bank account I just opened turned out to be quite taxing.

In case you’re not familiar with it, a site key is a picture of something – anything – that must appear on the screen before you type in your final numeric code to gain access to your account online. It’s just another layer of security, but choosing from the hundreds of pictures they offer begs multiple questions that I was not prepared to answer in the short time span before my online session automatically timed out.

Questions like, “If I choose a cat, will people think I’m lonely and pathetic?” or “If I choose that Italian villa, will people assume I’m some self-important, jet-setting wind bag?”

And who are these “people” anyway? It’s not like I’m logging into my bank account amidst throngs of observers just waiting to cast judgment my taste in site key images. But I still can’t shake the notion that somehow by selecting this stupid little picture I am solidifying The Image by Which I Wish to be Represented For All Time.

So I chose the box of Froot Loops.

The Froot Loops were in one of those white Chinese food boxes, but they were unmistakably Froot Loops. And somehow they are also unmistakably, frootfully me. The only trouble is now that I've posted it on my blog, I should probably go choose another image. But which one...?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Big Question

There must be some weird mist released into the air when your child turns 17 months old. Something that seeps from the pores of the toddler and into the brains of friends, family, casual acquaintances and fellow bus passengers that prompts them all to ask
“The Big Question.”

“So, are you guys going to try for another one?”

Before I go any further, let me just answer it right now because this powerful pheromone, or whatever it is, has probably seeped right through your DSL and is prompting you to ask it now. And the answer is….

Dum ta da duuummmm…


Since the medical community has so delicately categorized me as “AMA,” which is short and rude for “Advanced Maternal Age,” our window of opportunity may be closed for all I know. But that’s ok. We’ve already got one baby that works fine and matches our color scheme, so we don’t feel obligated to collect the whole set. In short, if we can hatch another one, great, if not, that’s ok too.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a closer look at what’s going on here. When you ask someone if they’re planning on trying for another baby, aren’t you asking the most personal of personal questions? I mean, why don’t you just ask the woman ahead of you in line at Safeway if she plans to continue having well-timed sex with her husband? Or ask your next-door neighbor if she feels confident that she’s got enough cash to diaper, feed, educate and eventually put braces on a whole extra baby human?

It’s even worse if you’re dealing with someone who's AMA, like me, since you could potentially substitute in something along the lines of “Hey, so have you starting getting hot flashes yet or do you still actually think you can slip one past the goalie?”

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m always taken aback with the frequency and boldness with which this question comes up. And I chafe a little each time. It’s weird, too, because I was one of those pregnant women who did not mind people – even complete strangers – putting their hands on my expanding belly. Nor did I mind other women asking me intimate details about every physical aspect of my pregnancy.

I suppose I shouldn’t let it bother me. At least they’re not eying me up and asking it a different way. Like, “Umm, you’re not planning on having another one… are you?!”