Tag Archives: vikings

August? What do you mean it’s almost August?

Things I planned to do this summer:

  • Go to the beach as much as possible.
  • Take my toddler to the Tiny Tot summer reading program at the library every Monday.
  • Take a weekend trip to Maine.
  • Sign my kid up for swimming lessons.
  • Go camping.
  • Go to the free sunrise yoga in the park.
  • Wear sundresses and flowers in my hair.
  • Drink a glass of wine on the back porch with my husband as the sun sets.
  • Take the family to Movie Night in the Park and have a picnic while watching a family-friendly film.
  • Get the air conditioner fixed.
  • Go to the weekly farmer’s market for fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Make s’mores.
  • Go to a Red Sox game.
  • Attend at least one music festival.

What I’ve actually done this summer:

  • Found my swimsuit bottoms from 1998 but no luck yet on finding the matching top.
  • Went to the library exactly once only to realize it was Tuesday and Tuesday is the “Wild About Reading!” tweens reading program.
  • Googled “weekend trips to Maine.”
  • Googled “swimming lessons for toddlers.”
  • Googled “camping sites that don’t have bugs or humidity” and survived five hours in my house with no power because of a blackout.
  • Wore my yoga pants all day like I actually dragged my ass out of bed and went to sunrise yoga instead of watching “Sesame Street” in a comatose state while drinking a gallon of black coffee.
  • Ponytail. Tank top. Flip flops. Every. Single. Day.
  • Drank an entire bottle of wine on the back porch with my husband. Woke up hungover. Missed sunrise yoga yet again.
  • Waited until toddler went to bed and then ate KFC on the living room floor while binge watching “Vikings.”
  • Got air conditioner fixed (I’m lazy, not suicidal).
  • Actually did make it to the farmer’s market a couple of times but left sporting not insignificant bruises from little old ladies who feel elbowing you out of the way of the asparagus is acceptable societal behavior. And it is acceptable societal behavior for them because who’s going to stop them? They’re ancient and yet slightly scary.
  • Searched for bag of missing marshmallows for three days. Found approximately 43 half-eaten marshmallows under crib.
  • Googled “Red Sox tickets.” Had heart attack.
  • Listened to Wilco on vinyl while drinking overpriced coconut water mixed with vodka and snapping selfies (which is basically the same thing as actually going to a music festival).

Well, I guess there’s always next year.

Sigh…

On the bright side, pumpkin spice lattes will be available soon. Oh! And I have so many plans for this fall! I want to go hiking and drink in a beer garden while wearing a cozy sweater featuring an ironic bunny and make homemade apple cider and sew my own Halloween costume (a.k.a. tell my mom want I want and make her sew it) and bring the baby to a pumpkin patch and…

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You have to crawl before you can raid and pillage

For only being 9-months-old, my son has a lot of interests. I mean, a LOT of interests. All day long, he’s just interested in everything.

For example, here’s a list of things my son is interested in:

Pulling off his left sock.

Dropping heavy, loud things on the floor.

Shaking his head no. At everything.

Licking the couch.

Licking the dog.

Licking my cellphone.

Obviously eating the left sock he pulled off because I can’t find that damn thing anywhere.

Biting my collarbone.

This mug full of super-hot coffee in my hands.

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And here is a list of things my son is not interested in:

Learning how to crawl.

Yes, my son, while a master at the art of sitting, has absolutely no interest in taking that skill to the next level. And it’s not just that he’s not interested in learning how to crawl. It’s as though he actively loathes even the mere thought of transporting his tiny body in such a crude manner. I’m talking put that kid on his stomach and he either:

  1. Lies face down, arms and legs splayed straight out, while crying pathetically. Or…
  2. Turns round and round on his stomach like a clock (while crying pathetically), just biding his time until I finally give up on the whole charade, pick him up and let him get back to his very important job of licking the couch.

Now, in general, this does not bother me. One, because I know all babies start crawling in their own good time. I mean, sure, I have irrational concerns my baby is not developing normally, just like everyone else in America. But it’s fine. Because just like everyone else in America, I assume I will be rich someday and as such can always hire someone to carry him from class to class when he’s enrolled in Harvard.

Two, his semi-immobility does make my job exceedingly easier. Which, as an inherently lazy mom, I really appreciate. I know I can set that kid down in the middle of the kitchen and leave the room and when I get back he will still be in that exact same spot. Or spinning in a circle crying pathetically, but still relatively in the same spot.

And three, I’m pretty sure he’s just biding his time until he can jump straight to walking. Because just like a dog who doesn’t realize he’s a dog but thinks he’s human (and yes, yes I am comparing my baby to a dog again), my baby doesn’t realize he’s a baby and thinks he’s a 35-year-old Viking. A 35-year-old Viking that must yell his barbaric yawp and savagely pillage the toy basket on a regular basis.

And Vikings don’t crawl, thankyouverymuch.

crawl 3

What does bother me, however, is the constant stream of “Is he crawling yet?” I get from other parents. There is a dark, dark underbelly to the parenting world and it is composed of people who constantly want to play the game “Let’s Compare Babies!” Which is less a game and more just a way for them to tell you all the ways their baby is better than your baby. It usually goes something like this:

Other Parent: “Is he crawling yet?”

Me: “No.”

Other Parent: “Oh. How old is he again?”

Me: “Almost 9-months.”

Other Parent: “Oooh. Nine months and not crawling yet. Hmm. Well, Sabrina was crawling when she was 7-days-old. But the doctor said that’s exceedingly rare. All babies crawl in their own time, you know.”

Me (to the waiter): “I need a cocktail.”

Other Parent: “It’s 9:30 in the morning.”

Me (to the waiter again): “Make it three.”

Yes, no one wins at “Let’s Compare Babies!” Because if you’re a parent like me, you end up feeling like crap and spending the rest of the day Googling “crawling specialists.”

And if you’re the Other Parent, you end up getting hit by a bus, like in my fantasies.

crawl 2

Like a redheaded biological child

“Look at that red hair!”

That sentence, those five words, are my very first memory of my son. Well, that and a giant blue screen pressed up against my face and the sensation that on the other side of the screen a hyena was burrowing through my lower intestines.

A drunk hyena.

Who hated me.

Passionately.

redhead2

Ah, the miracle of birth.

But back to my point. Those words were said by my doctor, the wielder of the C-section knife, the very first person to see my child in the flesh. And he said it for a very good reason. That hair was indeed just screaming to be looked at. Screaming as loudly as the little, angry, bunched-up person it was attached to.

From day one…hell, minute one, my child was a bright, flaming redhead. If a pumpkin spice latte mated with a standard red fire engine, the resulting offspring would be my son’s head.

redhead1

We had a card-carrying member of the ginger team on our hands. And the sheer amount of it! He came out looking like a redheaded Albert Einstein after an all-night rave in a static factory.

Now, at the time, I was still too stunned that I had given birth to an actual human instead of a giant wad of the 200 cheeseburgers I had eaten over the past nine months to fully realize the implications of this. Because no matter how many ultrasound pictures you look at, it’s still hard to wrap your mind around the idea that there’s a baby inside you. Even as you are holding your living, breathing, squirming baby, there is still a lingering feeling of “Well, just where the hell did you come from?” as you look down at their face.

But as the shock and awe of his birth (and the effect of those miraculous pain pills that made me taste yellow and see underwear gnomes) wore off, I started noticing that his hair was a Big Deal. Everyone was commenting on it. All the doctors. All the nurses (even the ones who had been in the maternity ward since before Moses was born). Even the other mothers. And as he transformed from scrunchy old man newborn to full-fledged adorable babyhood, the reactions only got bigger.

Nothing can prepare you for having a natural redhead. Despite the huge market for parenting books, somebody has yet to write “What to Expect When Your Expected is Unexpectedly Redheaded” or “Ginger Preparedness: Dealing With Redheads in a Towheaded World.” It’s like having a celebrity baby, if the baby was also a unicorn-slash-fairy hybrid.

Walking down the street, people not only stop and exclaim “Look at that red hair!” on a regular basis, but will also rub his head for good luck, like he’s some kind of living, breathing Blarney Stone.

One stranger stopped me and gave me a 20-minute history lesson on how my son is descended from Vikings, the original redheads.

redhead3

Another stranger, a grandfather of a ginger grandson, forced me to look at 43 cellphone pictures of said grandson and told me I better be careful with Riker since redheads are going extinct and as such, he is incredibly precious cargo. And then gave me a parting look that seemed to say “I don’t really trust you with this task at all.”

Two, not one, but two, strangers have told me on separate occasions that both the mother and the father have to have the recessive gene for red hair in order to produce a ginger offspring and since my husband and I both do possess these magical redheaded genes, we are obligated to have as many children as possible. To which I replied with hysterical laughter followed by maniacal sobbing.

redhead4

There have also been others who have wanted a detailed genealogy of my family’s roots (both of the hair and historical varieties) and my husband’s family. To which I always joke, “well, my husband’s a quarter ginger on his father’s side,” to which they are not amused. Not to mention the people who look at my natural brunette hair with its fake honey highlights and then look down at my son and then back to me and then internally debate whether they should call the cops because some ginger family somewhere is obviously missing its baby.

And that’s not even counting the countless people who don’t directly address us but still gasp, poke their friend and whisper loudly “Look at that red hair!”

All this has given me a new appreciation for the trials and tribulations natural redheads have to deal with on a daily basis. Because while gingers may be rare and thus their unique hue considered a gift, it can also be a curse.

Which is why when strangers ask me if Riker has a temper to match his hair, I reply with “wouldn’t you if the world treated you as their own personal Blarney Stone?”