Monday, February 21, 2011

Sleep Talking

Was just reading one of my favorite blogs, about Sleep Talking Man, and it reminded me that people have asked me to post some of Ben's sleep talking.  This started about six years ago, after we'd moved in together.  The thing is, Ben sleep talks, but it can be hard to tell if he's awake or asleep until something really odd comes out.


Ok.  So one of the main ways I can tell if Ben is sleep talking is that he brings up his balls, but it didn't start out that way.  One of the first times I can remember was when we were engaged, and getting tons of gifts packed in lots of styrofoam.  One night I wake up to Ben  mumbling, and this conversation follows.

Me:  What?
Ben:  I said I'm going to go BUCK WILD and SET THINGS OFF.
Me: What?
Him:  You heard me!  Now eat this styrofoam!
Me  What the hell is wrong with you?
He makes a Homer Simpson-esque fist and says:  Eat it.

Other notables.

One night I woke up and he was snoring.  I asked him to roll over because he was snoring.
He replied. "How about I just shit on your FACE?" and then proceeded to go THHHHBBBBBPPPPPPTTT for a good minute.

I said "Man, what a lucky girl I am."
He sat up, pointed at me, and said "Believe it, lady."

The last one, one of the latest ones, came about when he fell asleep on our chair in the living room, in what looked like a very uncomfortable position.  The following happened.

Me:  Why don't you go to bed?
Him:  *Muttering*
Me:  Honey, you're falling asleep.  Go to bed.
Him:  Why don't you lick my balls?
Me: thanks.  Go to bed, you're asleep.
Him:  You know SOMETHING about EVERYTHING, but you don't know NOTHING about BALL WASHING.

He then appeared to go back to sleep, but five minutes later sat straight up, pointed at me and said.  "This is bullshit.  ALL OF IT."  Then collapsed back into sleep.

It's an adventure, what can I say?  I'll post more as they happen/I remember them.

And we're mobile. To cough on more things.

Sitting at the computer, listening to a sick little guy cough and fuss himself to sleep.  Yes, big Hank is sick AGAIN.  He literally just finished a round of antibiotics Saturday, and by Saturday night was starting to cough.  Got up this morning, got ready for work, and went to wake him up only to find him burning up and runny-nosed.  Ben and I split the day-he went to work in the morning, and headed home at eleven so we could swap.  The kid had been so crabby that I was happy to trade him, I'm sad to say.  Not his fault, he's just feeling miserable, but man, when you're reduced to dancing and singing along to Fraggle Rock to amuse your child...well, those are desperate times.  Any longer and I probably would have let him play with all the things he tries so desperately to get to-namely all the remotes, the phone, and anything I happen to be holding.

But we did have a breakthough in the milestone department, our little guy is now mobile.  I hesitate to say he's crawling, he's more....lurching.  In a crablike sideways inchworm way.  It's pretty amazing to see.  It's funny how all these firsts are so amazing to us, but seeing your kid smile, or laugh, or taste something good for the first time just reminds you of how many simple joys there are in life.  Today we spent a good hour watching him figure out that he could work his way over to his toys, and saw him sit and contemplate how to get the toys that were on top of the ottoman, just out of his reach.  Wish I had some of his drive.

I also took him to see my family on Saturday.  Sunday was my mom's birthday, so Casey, my youngest brother, and I decided to drive down and surprise her.  I doubt we did surprise her, because nothing ever does, but she was happy to see us.  Henry got fed his first Thin Mint and was otherwise spoiled rotten by everyone-I was glad I was there because my sister threatened to give him coffee.  She said I'd done the same for her kids, but I had to point out that I never gave them coffee-just criminal amounts of sugar.  But I won't say too much about her, because she says I'm mean on here about her and mom, and told my mom I talk about her online.  Mom threatened to get a facebook page to see all the things we say about her, but she never will, she doesn't have the patience.

Shan says I should start a "Shit My Mom Says" blog.  She has had some winners.  We were laughing this weekend about her taking me to college with my dad.  My mom is not the most emotional of people, but you see that a lot with Irish Catholic families.  Yeah, they love you, and you love them, but no need to talk about it.  As my friend Skate, who comes from a similar background, once told me, "Emotions are for Italians."

So my mom is taking me to college, and as she and Dad turn to go, she faces me, and takes my hands, and takes a deep breath.  I think "Wow, this is it.  She's going to tell me she's proud of me.  MAYBE SHE'LL EVEN CRY."

She squeezed my hands and says, "Megan.  Remember.  If you get drunk, pass out on your stomach.  Because otherwise you might choke on your own vomit.  And that's a horrible way to go."  And then she just left.

But that advice has stuck with me, so maybe she knew what she was doing.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day

I'm not so into Valentine's Day. And I don't say that in the "oh, I'm trying to be blase about it, but GOD HELP YOU IF YOU DON'T COME THROUGH WITH A PRESENT" way.  I just don't really dig it.  Ben and I, while very in love and very happy together, are not terribly romantic people.  The one time we did try to have a romantic Valentine's Day, it went badly.  He grabbed me and kissed me when I wasn't expecting it, and I accidentally jabbed him in the eye really hard.  Later on, I was giving him a massage, and he farted on me.  (Whenever I bring this up, he insists that "you shifted your weight.  I couldn't help it.")

So yeah, we generally give each other a small gift or two and he makes me chili.  And let me tell you, nothing gets you geared up for a night of romantic love like a stomach full of chili.  Hot.

This year I did manage to surprise him by finding a brand of hot sauce he had once in a restaurant and really liked.  Found it on amazon, the most wonderful place in the world for people who hate shopping.  He brought me roses today.  Tomorrow's my day off, and I get to take Henry to the wang doctor (ok, so the technical term is urologist.  Whatever.  Wang doctor.)  One of his guys hasn't dropped yet.  I'm sure he'll be in a stellar mood after being prodded in the junk.

I did start thinking about relationships on my run today.  I took my Ipod, which I generally don't do, I like the quiet and random thoughts that pop into my head when I'm out on the road.  But today I had to do 30 straight minutes and that hasn't happened since before I got pregnant, so I figured I needed a distraction.  There's always a band you associate with certain people, and my ipod went to Death Cab for Cutie.  Not a band I'm crazy about anymore, but it reminded me of the guy I dated before I met Ben.  It was a fairly overdramatic relationship, but he's a good guy, and he got me out of a very deep rut that I'd dug for myself.  Even though things didn't work out, he got me to think about what I wanted out of my life.  I think up to that point I'd been bending over backwards to fit into other people's lives.  Yeah, it ended badly, but we're sort of friends now.  Again, still not a big Death Cab fan.

But before I get angry emails, I'm not saying they're terrible.  I'm just saying that if you're sitting in the dark, listening to Transatlanticism over and over again because you feel like it's applicable to you, then it's time to evaluate your life and look at other options.  Same goes for Tori Amos or Morrissey.

After that Drive-by Truckers came on, and it made me smile because that's a band that is forever linked to Ben for me.  And I thought about how lucky I was that my life, and the people in it, had led me here.  I once read a short story where the main character says something to the effect  of "You could spend your life in abject terror, thinking of all the things that might not have happened."  So when I think of that particular ex (who I'd rather call my friend than my ex at this point) I'm glad for the experience, because it helped me see what was important to me.  And I know he's doing what he wants, where he wants to be, and I hope he's happy.  It's an amazing thing, gaining some perspective.

Now all my other exes, including the one who passed out in the middle of a Subway robbery and the one who inserted himself into movie plots and then pretended those things really happened to HIM....yeah, I don't really care where the hell they ended up.

I will say that I thank whatever's out there, deity-wise, that my life went the way it did, because it got me to Ben, and eventually, to my beautiful son.  I love you guys more than anything.  Happy Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Eating out

Ok, so I only used that title to see how many people find this blog searching for porn.  I'm guessing  my numbers are going to go way up and I may get some pissed off comments.  Hey, I take my fun where I can.

But it is an appropriate title, as we just got back from Henry's second outing to a restaurant. I'm pretty sure it's going to be his last for a good long while.  We've been wanting barbeque, so we decided to introduce Henry to the glory of pulled pork.  He's been sick, so maybe this weekend wasn't the best time for it, but I wanted to get out of the house, dammit.

When we got there, he proceeded to try to eat the menu, then yelled at it.  Thus began the fastest, most apprehensive meal I've eaten since that bad first date with the guy who ID'd me to make sure I was over eighteen because he'd "been tricked before" and then asked me if I liked DANGER.   (Like I've said, I used to pick some winners).

We basically spent the whole meal on the edge of our seats, waiting to appease our son if he let out the slightest noise, in order to spare other people their meals.  Ben looked at me about five minutes in and said "You know, I'm not really enjoying this."  Luckily, lunch arrived, my plate had a pickle on it, and Henry was content to gnaw that into bits for the entire ten minutes it took us to shovel in our food.  We then picked pickle bits off the floor and made our exit.  Not really a relaxing meal, and I'm pretty sure it will be a while til we go out with him again. It's not like it's his fault, but what's the point of getting out if you're on pins and needles the whole time?

Also spent some of this week talking to my friend Melissa, who has reached the point of sleep deprivation where letting the kid cry it out is suddenly a very, very viable option.  As I told her,  everyone I know with a kid, including me, gets there at some point.  Some people do it early, some people read about other options and try those first, and some of them (I hate to admit it, but like me) think their kid is just going to magically start sleeping on their own at some point.

But we all get there.  And we know if we have another kid, we're going to get there a whole lot sooner with that kid.  Like the night they come home from the hospital.

It's a different kind of exhaustion, when you have a kid that doesn't sleep.  Because even when they DO sleep, you can't really, because you're tensed for the moment they wake up.  It's kind of like waking up one day, and knowing that you're going to be punched in the face at some point, but you don't know when or how hard.  It's a bit difficult to focus on anything else.  The first time Henry slept eight hours in a row, I went to work the next day and felt GREAT.  I couldn't figure it out-I hadn't run that morning, or had coffee yet.  Then I realized-I'd just forgotten what not being tired felt like.  You learn to live with a certain level of tired all the time when you have a baby.

But now my own kid is asleep, and Ben is tinkering with the furnace, even though I got him to admit last night (after a mysterious loud boom came from the basement) that we may need to get a professional to look at it before it kills us all.  Sleep sounds like an ok idea to me, too.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Abbreviated Attention Span and Poultry

I was complaining recently about how I can't get into books like I used to.  Ben would marvel at how I could sit down with a book, not look up or move for an hour, then stand up and be done with it.  Cover to cover.  Maybe he didn't marvel at it so much, I think maybe it aggravated him.  But reading was my escape.  I grew up in a big loud family and spent a lot of time not fitting in outside the house, so I just turned to books.  And I can tune out damn near anything when I get into one.

But since I got pregnant, part of my brain seems to have just fizzled out.  I first noticed it when I was trying to describe Ben's remodeling job on our bathroom to some friends.  I was about five months pregnant.  I said "And he replaced those....those...." and couldn't come up with the word.  I looked at Ben, made a turning motion with both hands, and said "you know, these things."

He looked at me like I had lost my mind, and said "Do you mean faucets?"

And I said "Yeah, that's it!"

Since Henry was born, I've been trying to pick up books again, but I tend to get distracted or fall asleep.  It seems minor but reading is such a major part of my life, it was really bothering me.  Other moms basically told me to suck it up and start reading short stories, and one suggested Bailey White, who writes some great short stories about growing up in the South.  Some of them are really striking a chord, particularly the one about swans, in which she describes swans so mean that the alligators in the ponds refuse to fuck with them.

I believe it.

When I was in first grade, we moved from Boston to Augusta, Georgia.  Who the hell knows why.  But here my mom and my older sister's soft spot for abandoned animals of all kinds took a sinister turn.  I think it started when my sister found a baby chicken stuck in a manure pile at the feed store.  (Yes, there was a feed store.)  She pulled it out, yelled at the store owner, informed him that she was TAKING THIS CHICKEN, and then did just that.  That started our poultry collection.

From then on, she and mom would go to the feed store, head to that little bin with the light bulb overhead that was filled with baby chicks, and find the most beat-up looking ones and bring them home.  Once, they even found a turkey.  It's kind of odd how they both gravitate towards abandoned animals, given that neither of them seem to like people all that much.

I think my mom was also partially driven by the fact that our neighbor was consumed with having the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood, and was constantly complaining about the state of our house and yard.  Rather than achieving her expected outcome, which was shaming my mother into becoming a proper repressed Georgia housewife with a manicured lawn, this woman pissed my mom off to no end.  To get back at her, Mom planted pink plastic flamingos in the front lawn, built a chicken coop in the back, and started hanging Christmas lights so gaudy you could see them from space.

They never really became friends.

But here's the thing about having a flock of motley poultry in your backyard.  If you don't know livestock, you don't know how many roosters or hens, geese or ganders....whatever the hell you call male and female ducks you have.  As it turned out, we ended up with a lot of males.  Which turned into a renegade poultry gang that terrorized the neighborhood.  Even after we moved to Virginia, they kept this up.  The only nice one was the turkey.  The others would attack anyone and anything that came into the yard, and EVERYONE, including teenage boys, were afraid to go back there.  The geese eventually took over the front yard and once chased away an insurance agent (his secretary grabbed one by the neck and shook it, he left her alone.  We were impressed.)

So when I read this story about the alligators leaving the swans alone....yeah, I can buy that.  And I will never feel bad eating a chicken, I can tell you that.  I couldn't go into my backyard for ten years without a steel pipe to ward off attacks.  Thank God my mom gave up on feathered creatures and now just rescues really, really ugly dogs.

Although most of them bite, too.