Monday, July 31, 2006

The Devil Wears Old Navy Baby

I’ve just finished reading The Devil Wears Prada, and so I thought I’d do a side-by-side comparison, since the similarities between the boss from hell and “working” for a baby are so evident. That’s how I came to the conclusion that the devil wears Old Navy Baby (and sometimes Gymboree, when there’s a sale).
Note: Of course babies are way cuter, nicer, lovable, and in no way devils.

You probably know the story, but here’s the quick blah, blah, blah plot summary: Andy is the junior assistant to Miranda, the editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine, and so has to do more of the hands on grunt work than the senior assistant.

We mommies are the junior assistants, and daddies the senior assistants (because we do more of the work in the trenches—but go daddies!).

Andy is on call 24/7.
Mommies are on call 24/7.

Andy gets very little sleep, due to the demands of her job.
Mommies get very little sleep due to the demands of their job.

Andy is not allowed to skip work due to any kind of illness.
Mommies are not allowed to skip work because they are sick.

Andy is not allowed to eat in front of Miranda (“What is that disgusting thing?”
she asks as Andy stands there with a cup of soup. “Throw it out!”)
Mommies are similarly and otherwise prevented from eating.

Andy survives on Starbucks.
I survive on Starbucks (can’t generalize this one, cause I don’t know about other mommies’ drinking habits).

Andy sneaks in calls when she is ostensibly on the job.
Mommies sneak in phone calls only when babies nap, ostensibly on the job.

Miranda’s mood is unpredictable.
Babies’ moods are unpredictable.

Miranda never gives praise for a job well done, but screams when Andy has done something wrong.
Babies don’t give praise for a job well done, but use the cry/scream as the main channel of communication.

Miranda expects Andy to read her mind, and anticipate needs, and frequently changes her mind at the last minute.

The pay is a mere pittance.

And finally: Andy is promised that the reward for putting in just a year of servitude will be a leg up on the competition for her dream job.
Mommies are motivated to survive the year by thoughts of an equally tremendous reward—a child who sleeps through the night and eats solids (ah, freedom!).

P.S. It occurs to me that making a comparison of the most taxing job imaginable with motherhood is so easy, I might as well have launched into a tirade examining the ways in which the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in WDW is imperialistic and misogynistic . . .

Monday, July 03, 2006

My Piggies Went to the Carwash

This blog is primarily aimed at family members who like to hear cute toddler stories and, politely, never get tired of them.

I love two year olds for a couple of reasons:
1) What they say is unpredictable.
2) They are very patient when, on occasion, you don’t understand the unpredictable thing they have said.

The other night when I was putting my son to bed (“Mommy, it’s very late! It’s story time!” he had called to me, as is the routine), he noticed my bare feet. He has an aversion to his own bare feet—he’s not the least interested in wearing the sandals I bought him, only the hard-soled Spiderman shoes or soft fire truck Robeez.
We were sitting on the bedroom floor reading stories. We don’t sit in the rocking chair anymore. Maybe it’s because of the makeshift “blackout” curtain my husband put up in the window, which is right by the rocking chair. The curtain is a plastic tablecloth duct-taped to the window frame. It’s frightful.
Anyway, my son noticed my toes. With the delight only possible for a two year old who has just noticed something ordinary, he cried: “Mommy’s toes! Mommy have toes!”
Then he wiggle-waggled across the floor to reach my feet and grabbed the big toe on my right foot.
“This piggy go to the car wash,” he mumbled with imperfect memory, but perfect imagination.
He was more confident with the next toe: “This pig. . .went groceries!”
Next toe: “This pig at home.”
Next: “This pig, car wash!”
And the last: “This piggy went for car ride!”
The game produced many giggles (he laughed, too).

At supper recently, he displayed his patience, comme ca:
“Yellow flame!” he demanded.
“Yellow fame!”
I asked, “You want a yellow something?”
“No. Gellow fam.” He was very calm about it, but insistent.
I still didn’t’ understand, so I tried another tactic—the one where I admit I have no idea what he’s talking about.
“Sweetheart, can you use more words to tell Mommy what you want?”
He was very agreeable: “Mommy, I want you to sing the song Grandma’s Farm.” As clear and complete as that!
Grandma’s Farm is a song that I learned as “Grandpa’s Farm” but since I have a grandma with a farm, we’ve changed the words slightly in our house. It’s a song that’s used to welcome a bunch of children to a group and their names are inserted at the beginning of each verse. This is a treat for my son. He gets to veto anyone he doesn’t want me singing about. Suffice it to say, some people make it to grandma’s farm, and some don’t.

And now for the bonus family moment: After staring at me with great interest, my son stated, perfect sentence and all, “Mommy, you have boogers in your teeth.”
Boogers?? Where’d he hear that word? Daycare?
Perhaps it goes without saying, but I really didn’t.