Tuesday, September 11, 2007


while i've never been one for moderation per se, i am a creature craving balance.

otto has been suffering his emerging molars for the past week or so. he wakes up crying between 11 and midnight each night. sometimes, all it takes is a few minutes of snuggling to get him back down, but last night required quite a vigil. he cried in pain which would occasionally afford him some mercy, only to jolt his entire body back into a squealing, bowlike arc.

each time i'd carry otto down to the dark first floor, gumby, the big black cat, came thundering through the catdoor connecting the stairs to the kitchen and launch himself onto the back of the couch in the family room. he gets very agitated when anyone is crying, ill, in active labor, or doing anything at an illogical hour, so he goes into this hypermode like he's some fat, furry superhero only he has no special powers. by the third dramatic entrance, i was over it... so i stuck my bare, flexed foot out and, clutching otto in my arms, tripped the motherfucker. i dutifully soothed the toothed as the minutes ticked by and collapsed into my bed two-plus hours later.

otto woke up crabby and exhausted, so exhausted he fought his nap awhile, but i knew i had to put my game face on: it's well-baby check up day! i spit and hissed at dawdling cars all along clybourn, leaching out the last few drops of concentrated venom before embodying the alert, friendly, smiling mom archetype that garners the best results in this hustle-and-bustle lincoln park pediatric office. i chose words carefully, answered questions thoughfully [but not verbosely], and remembered the questions i needed to ask as otto was measured, prodded, and shot full of holes. ah, the twelve month appointment ain't a pretty one, but my little man blasted through it with flying colors. no time to cry; must. remove. bandaids! he's a budding phaneromaniac if there ever was one.

we return home, i pack a little lunch [soy nut butter and seedless organic blackberry jam on whole grain wheat bread, water, and dried fruit], and the nanny and otto are off to swim at the y. i get to crank out some emails and... time for my conference call! oy.

my friend/colleague and i talk pre-call about how we pine for the annual fall meeting. how invigorating those meets used to be. how these series of calls in replacement are nothing but groupthink sessions, not forums for lively discussion. so not motivating like the old memphis pilgrimage of yore.

after a long night and day of relentless responsibility, what do i do? crack open not one but two blue moons and settle in for a long listen on speakerphone. when answers no one wants to hear are solicited to questions no one wants to answer, i quietly play a few chirps of a cricket .wav file from my laptop and snicker into a pillow like i'm twelve again.

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