She Loves Me, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

31 08 2009

Lately, this is what I see every time I turn around:
Azita Stands
Azita has gotten the crawling thing down and is now trying to walk. Cruising is the name of the game nowadays. Crazy, considering this was not even 8 months ago:
Azita and Zahra
Look at how small she was. That little head. Her tiny little chin and nose. I’m officially depressed.

But then again, she now looks at me like this:
Azita Smiles

That smile makes it all bearable. If she has to grow up, at least I also know more and more each day that she loves me. She really, really loves me.


Waiting for Godot…

28 08 2009

…if Godot is teeth, that is.

For the past 4 months or so, Azita has shown all the signs of teething. She chomps on anything that comes within arm’s reach. She is irritable here and there. She sometimes has swollen gums. Her drooling is out of control. I mean, there hasn’t been a single day I haven’t come to work and not found drool stains somewhere on my person. And, yes, I do start off the day in clean clothes. And, I do know about Tide sticks and use them in mass quantities. She has to be teething, right?

But no teeth.

It was driving me crazy for some reason. I can’t tell you why I’ve been so anxious for her to cut a tooth already. Maybe it’s because I somehow think that the minute a tooth comes out, she will never cry inconsolably until I give her some Motrin and won’t chew on everything and make me the person who arrives at work with weird stains on her shirt. The wannabe-Vulcan* side of me knows that is not the case. I fully understand that teething is a 2-3 year ordeal with many highs and lows, and that there are many other more difficult ordeals in store (puberty, perhaps?). But some small, but pretty vocal side of me, just knows that everything will be easy-peasy and peachy keen once that first tooth makes an appearance.

Now, notice that I said it “was” driving me crazy. I used the past tense, because somewhere in the past 2 or 3 weeks I plumb forget about this whole teething business. In that time span she started crawling and is trying like hell to get up and walk away from me, and she’s babbling more than ever and developing some personality. Whatever it is, something has distracted me from the teething business.

Until yesterday. Azita has been fussy for the past few days. She grabs at her ears. She is refusing to eat — this from the girl who earned the nicknames of “fatty fat fat” and “thunder thighs” (that’s a topic for a future post) at daycare. Well, yesterday I broke down and called her pediatrician’s office. I just didn’t care anymore if I was that mother. You know, the one who calls the doctor every time her baby cries.

As I described Azita’s symptoms to the nurse, I started thinking that she definitely had an ear infection. I started preparing to hop back in the car to head to the pediatrician’s office. Surely they would want her to come in and get that checked out. And then the nurse said the “t” word. Yup, teething. “Sounds like she’s about to cut a tooth to me.”

After months of obsessing about teething and learning about and looking for every little symptom, I forgot it would even happen. But, it all makes sense. Surely she’s getting a tooth. She has all the symptoms. That’s what all of this means. Right? Right?

Yeah right. I’ll believe it when I see it.

* Yes, I am hinting at my Star Trek obsession here. Star Trek and other sci-fi references will slip out regularly, so get use to it.

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

26 08 2009

I’m going to qualify this post with a statement that I do not watch or read Fox news. However, a friend tweeted this, and I just couldn’t resist posting about it. Now, I wonder if I can make Roger stand on the street corner with an “I always misplace my wife’s stuff” sign?

Stupid pants… stupid, stupid pants

25 08 2009

So the daily running thing is working its magic. The baby weight is slowly but surely disappearing and I’m feeling stronger and stronger every day and every run. I’m on top of the world when I return from a run just as the sun dips behind the horizon of trees and buildings. I have more energy after the run than I had before it, and I’m pleased with my slow but steady progress back into the sport. (And I can blame the pregnancy for my inactivity, but the knee injury didn’t help matters at all.)

I sleep better at night after running and I greet each morning just about as happy as Princess Azita, who smiles with her lips a second or two before she opens those big brown eyes and starts to smile with those at her Maman… then Baba. I’m patient, I can wait. I get about 10 minutes with her by myself, then Zahra returns with clothes for the day and I jump up for  a shave and to get us a couple iced coffees. I throw on some clothes (there just isn’t enough time to care as much as I used to care each morning and to be honest, my neckties feel a bit neglected these days.) So I grab a polo and a pair of pants. And that’s when my morning crashes. All because of my stupid, stupid pants.

I’m about 20 pounds over my Fighting Weight now. Oh I’ve been plenty more over my ideal weight in the past but for about the last five years I’ve been in a Happy Place. In fact, the only times I discover I’m  in an Unhappy Place is when I put on pants. Women understand this. Some men do. No men talk about it.

When your weight goes up — because of age, an injury, a lack of ability to get off your ass and work out — for whatever reason the pants are the most unforgiving member of your wardrobe. I’ve worn tight shirts and lived to tell the tale. But a tight pair of pants is just wrong. Looks wrong. Feels wrong. Is wrong. Pants need to fit. They should be comfortable and they should “work” for you — not the other way around. To battle this issue, I buy new pants. I like new pants. New pants make me happy. I buy them, I wear them and I feel better. I am heavier, but I’m well dressed.

But for the last few days, my stylist (and wife) has noticed what I’ve been trying not to notice: my pants are too big. Easy for her to say. Trouble is, I’m what you would call “in-between sizes” right now. It’s either a little baggy or a little snug. Comfort vs. looks. My mind tells me to run an extra mile every night and jump from the bigger size to the next size and do it as quickly as possible to make sure no one pays attention enough to call me on the fact my pants don’t fit. But if Zahra notices the pants thing, others will. Now I’m stuck at work and I don’t want to get up to go get coffee because my pants are too big.

Like I said. Stupid, stupid pants.

Fleeting Firsts

25 08 2009

Today is my nephew’s first day of the first grade. The old cliche holds true. It really does seem like just yesterday that he was taking his first steps, saying his first words, and making his way through the whole list of firsts that mark a person’s first couple years of life. I feel simultaneously sad and wistful and elated and proud. On the one hand, he made it this far, and is excelling along the way. He’s smart and thoughtful and kind and just an all around great person. On the other hand, today is fleeting, just like every other day that marked a first in his life. Soon it will be over, and he will never again have a first day of the first grade.

It makes me ponder Azita’s life. Every day that she does something new I mourn the loss of what she was before. She will never again be a little slip of a thing sleeping contently in my arms, unable to crawl away. I once told my sister that I couldn’t wait for Azita to crawl. She said, “It is so cute and exciting when they start crawling, but then they can crawl away from you.” She’s never been so right. For every time Azita crawls towards me, there are twice as many moments when she crawls away from me. And, every time I think that before I know it I’ll be driving her to college, and my heart breaks a little. I’m not sure how I will be able to stand it. (And, I’m really, really hoping she’s not one of those super genius children who go off to college at 8 years old.)

I wrote before about how Roger and I never really considered becoming parents until recently. When we did decide we needed Azita in our lives, we were very committed to being parents to an only child. Then Azita was born, and Roger was (and is) still very committed. I can’t say my resolve is as firm. Every day that Azita blazes through a milestone, I feel like I’m not ready yet to give up who she was the day before. Maybe I didn’t appreciate enough those moments when she was a newborn or before she moved on to solid foods or began crawling. I want them back. Now I know why people have more than one child. Dare I say it? I can almost understand why people have a large number of children. They are forever trying to make the past stick around for a while.

Sometimes I wish life was simpler, and I could be one of those people.

Dr. Martens don’t cut it

23 08 2009

The Midwestern contestant on Project Runway is gone. ( I just finished watching the first episode for the second time.) While I’m sorry for her and her family and fans, I’m more concerned with what this whole thing does for the rest of us from the Midwest.

We battle on a sometimes daily basis against the forces of the Northeast and West Coast. We are farmers even if we have never spent a night on a farm or baled a bale of hay. We are rednecks even if we are left of most liberals. We are hillbillies even if our moms never made squirrel stew. We are stuck in the 1980s or 1990s or 2000s —  depending on which decade we went to high school. We are the Rodney Dangerfields of fashion. And not just because most men from the Midwest are shaped like the man who could get no respect.

My wife still makes fun of me and my Midwest roots. Whenever I even consider wearing khakis to the office she reminds me how Midwestern I am and how I might want to grab a pair of jeans or flat-front slacks. And I generally agree with her and put on a pair of pants that flatter me and my shoes. ( I love shoes more than most women, it’s my cross to bear.) But every time she looks at me with her I’m From D.C. So Back The Fuck Up Eyes, I have to laugh. I mean, I was going to wear Dr. Martens with my khakis — That’s hip, right?

Things that go bump in the night

23 08 2009

A recent visit to my aunt’s house started me down the long, dark path of addiction. As I sat on my aunt’s couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon chatting about nothing in particular with my cousins, two words were uttered: True Blood. And, my life was changed forever.

I kid. My life was not changed forever. I’m not that bad off. But, the past two weeks have been a little more interesting, as Roger and I have slowly made our way through the first season. I was a fan of Six Feet Under, and I have to say that Alan Ball still has it.

As I was getting a haircut this morning, I couldn’t help blabbing on and on about the show to my stylist, who tends to like a lot of the same tv as me. “That’s the show about vampires and sex, right?”, he said. “Yeah, I guess so.”  The funny thing is I never noticed. A large percentage of every show is sex scene after sex scene, and I can see why people are getting themselves all hot and bothered (That Bill is one hot vampire!). But, it’s the vampire part I’ve been carried away with. Sometimes it seems nice to think of the possibility of vampires, shapeshifters and other things that go bump in the night, and there’s something about the gothic setting of the Deep South that makes it all more romantic and interesting.

What can I say? I probably read too much Faulkner as a teenager.