We had our semi-annual termite inspection today, and I had forgotten that the termite guy inspects the whole house. Including the upstairs bedrooms. Including our bedroom, which I did not think to straighten until it was too late. So there I sat, amusing Nico in the living room and trying desperately to remember just how bad things were. Did I dare to hope that the pile of clothes on the dresser wasn't as sloppy as I remembered? Or that the termite guy doesn't make his bed either and wouldn't judge us? Oh, God, did I leave that empty tampon box lying on the bathroom sink?! Then I decided that surely the termite guy has seen worse than whatever our room has to offer and tried to stop worrying about it. After all, a friend of mine once left a vibrator and a dirty magazine out on her bed and someone's parents stopped by unexpectedly to see the house. Another friend left her positive pregnancy test out on the coffee table and the next day her realtor brought someone by for a showing while she was at work. Nothing like that was on display today, of that I was certain.
But of course, of course when I went upstairs after he was gone, there were my two horribly unflattering worn out white nursing bras, flung willy-nilly on the dresser in plain sight. Just like the time we had electricians in the basement and I forgot until I had to go down there to show them something that my vast and unattractive bras were hanging out on the clothing rack to dry. Or the time that I didn't know the superintendent of the building where I work was going to be bringing construction guys around to measure the office and left my pumping bra draped across the back of the chair in the storage room, where they immediately went and turned on the lights so they could measure stuff. While I was sitting RIGHT THERE, seeing them seeing it, while we all pretended nobody saw anything.
Seriously, though, do you think people in professions that require them to see other people's homes tell stories back at work about all the weird or embarrassing shit they see? Does the termite guy have a notebook where he puts little hash marks down for all the bras and underpants and condom wrappers and sex toys he accidentally sees? And really, now I'm curious...I wonder what the weirdest thing is that he ever saw in someone's house. Hopefully it's not "vast scrungy white nursing bra."
We all got some nasty fever-cold-snot thing, one after the other. I'm finally recovered, I think. Nico is still a bit crusty. And then in the midst of the sickness, MB had to go out of town for work. And then there was a city-wide boil order that lasted two days. And now I have to go do all the laundry and dishes I've been putting off while the city tried to figure out if our water was full of bacteria or not. It's a constant party up in this piece, for real.
This guy, man...this guy. I told you about his cup from the bank already, which was cute. That same day, we stopped by the jewelry store so I could get my engagement ring inspected for the warranty. They had a little cheapie calculator sitting on the counter and he seized it. I thought he just wanted to push the buttons, but it turns out he thought it was a phone. He said the word that means phone (which sounds like the word for shoe, inexplicably) and held it up to the back of his head like he does with toy phones. So weird, but so funny.
I shouldn't say this because it's guaranteed to blow up in my face, but he's eating like a champ right now. He eats big bowls of cereal and fruit, hoovers up entire bananas, loves oranges, goes through baby crunchies like crazy, wants more pasta, please. He loves his board books and will bring them to us one after the other, insisting that we read to him. Once we get to the end of a book, he shuts it, flips it over, and presents it again. If I'm distracted when he brings me a book, he'll take my hand, open it, and place the book in my fingers.
He dances to music, in a funny uncoordinated slightly off-the-beat way. He finally waves bye at the right time, instead of after the target of his goodbye wave has already left and the door has closed. He will give high fives. He likes blocks and the dishes and toy food from his play kitchen. If there is an open door within twenty yards, he beelines for it. He looks like a toddler most of the time, and when I look at pictures of him as a round-faced baby I almost don't recognize them. When was he ever that little? That bald? He still doesn't walk, but he has so many words we've lost count. He is the greatest gift, seriously. Mom cliche and all that, but it's true.
(He'll also name the banana, the cat, and the dog, but he got distracted by the expensive camera next to his head. This post is not sponsored by Target and their adorable layered toddler tees, though it might as well be.)
"Don't put the contact lens solution bottle into the poop! OH, MY GOD!"
P.S. And then, much later, Nico peed on my arm while I was carrying him into the Y for his swimming lesson. Did you know that baby swim diapers aren't designed to catch pee at all? I never did before I had someone in my life wearing them. Anyway, it was totally my fault because on the way there I idly mused how it was nice that he'd never done that in all our weeks of swimming lessons. I tried to unthink it as soon as I thought it, but it was far too late.
Yesterday morning I was getting breakfast together for Nico and myself. I had a half-gallon of organic milk for Nico's cereal in one hand and a gallon of regular for mine in the other, and when I turned to set both on the counter, I felt a weird and sudden pop in my back. At first I thought I just tweaked a muscle, but then it started to feel more like something had locked up on me. Doing a few tentative twists to try to stretch out the offended spot resulted in a very distinct WHOOP WHOOP WARNING! kind of feeling. The part of me that doesn't like to make a fuss was thinking I'd just let it ride and try to stretch it out again later. Luckily the more sensible part decided screw it, I'm calling the chiropractor just in case.
Turns out it's a good thing I listened to that part, because even though I hauled my 25-pound kid around all morning without too much trouble (other than this one time when I wasn't careful enough getting into the car and the whole side of my back seized up so suddenly that I found myself hissing goddamn and being grateful Nico doesn't yet repeat what he hears), well...it turns out that I had dislocated a rib. Apparently this can be very painful if you don't get it taken care of promptly.
The chiropractor was able to pop it back in with minimal suffering on my part, and Nico didn't notice when the chiropractor's dog stole the squashed plastic party cup he'd scored out of the bank's prize basket. (We set aside some of our tax return to put into Nico's savings account, and the bank lets kids pick out a toy when they make a deposit. Most of the toys were for older kids, but Nico saw a stack of cheap plastic St. Patricks Day cups and flipped out. He pointed and said, "Puh! Puh! Puh!" which is how he says "cup," and how could I deny him? He happily squashed the cup and chewed on it for the next hour and a half until he chucked it on the floor at the chiro's and her terrier swooped in and snatched it.)
After a few more errands, we went home and took a nap while I put a hot pack on my embarrassingly lame injury. I guess this post kind of went nowhere fast but, you guys...I dislocated my rib getting milk out of the fridge. I couldn't let something that stupid go by without comment.
When I started posting weekly photos back in 2007, I hoped that making the effort public would motivate me to take more photos, to explore my abilities and the capabilities of my camera, and to consciously look for beauty in unexpected places. The project succeeded beyond my greatest hopes, and I carried my little point-and-shoot to Seattle, North Carolina, San Francisco, and out into my own city. I captured images that I'm immensely proud of to this day, including two that were featured in a juried gallery show (here and here).
After Nico was born, I fell out of the habit of taking pictures. I managed to keep the Photo Friday feature afloat due to the hundreds of photos I'd taken in years past, but eventually I found myself running out of old favorites with no new shots to take their place. I'd fallen victim to a rut of sorts, only feeling that my typical artsy-fartsy macro nature photos were good enough to post. Once I ran out of those, I didn't feel like the other things I had were worth sharing. So I let it slide, each month telling myself I'd pick it up the next month. Now it's been five months and I miss it. I miss taking photos; I miss the way things used to catch my eye; the way the world used to seem open before me, waiting to be captured.
And so I'm bringing it back. It's time. I'm pushing myself to not only take more photos but to expand my opinion of what counts as a good photo. If something is beautiful or makes me smile, maybe it doesn't matter if it's not the most amazing gorgeous thing in the world.