Friday, August 29, 2008

August 29th, 2008

It wasn't necessarily directed to me, but it was said while he was facing me.


In 11 months Garrett hasn't ever (that I know of) made the "M" sound at all. I was beginning to think it wouldn't happen; that one day we'd go to Agic Ountain and ride the Erry Go Round. I thought his favorite food would be Acaroni and Cheese and he'd start drinking Whole Ilk when he turned one next Onth.

He says his "D"s and his "B"s with the utmost clarity. "DaDa has been used to describe everything from Russ to Bogie to, well, everything. And BaBa has become increasingly popular.

But last night Russ and I stood in front of Garrett saying to each other, "Hello Mama" and, "Hello DaDa"... Trying to get the little guy to know our names. And then, with a burst of energy and in a very clear voice he said it: "MAMA"! It was all I could do not to jump up and down. So I jumped up and down and ran into the kitchen and cried a little and ran back in the room and picked him up and hugged him a little too hard and put him back down where I asked him to say it again... Whew... And he did!

Then this morning when I went to get him, he said it again and again and again.

Just when I thought things were perfect. They got more perfecter. I said it.

Euphoria, Thy Name is Mama. At least when Garrett says it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

August 17, 2008

I believe in Nature vs. Nurture for the most part. I'd say I'm 85% in favor of nature. I believe you can't really help who you love, and I think who we love might be imprinted in our genes.

Case in point: Mary, my grandma on my mother's side, was a gentle woman. I've written about her before. (See: "My Big Rebuttal, about half way down). One of her favorite television shows was "Family Matters", and there was only one reason for it: Steve Urkel. She LOVED Urkel. Could not get enough of him. The way he snapped his suspenders, the way he snorted. Urkel made my grandma laugh the second he came on the screen. Grandma loved herself some Urkel.

Yesterday, Garrett and I were watching "Spongebob Squarepants" when a promo came on about "Family Matters" airing on Nickelodeon. The promo highlighted a certain skinny, bespectacled youth named Steve Urkel. When that kid came on screen my son lit up like a Christmas Tree! He threw his head back and guffawed! HE GUFFAWED! I think he might have even slapped his knee.

And there it was. Proof that we are pre-programmed to love who we love. And further proof that life exists after death. There's a little Grandma Mary in Garrett, and you can't convince me otherwise.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August 10th, 2008

Well, it happened. The ultimate sacrifice. The moment every mother dreads the second her baby is born.

I had to put on a bathing suit in public so I could swim with my son.

And here's the thing: It wasn't so bad. Know why?

Because I was looking at my beautiful blond boy, and I know he loves the pool and I was putting sunblock over his entire body, careful not to miss one little spot. And I put on his swim diaper and his swim trunks and his swim shirt with SPF. And I got his big floaty thing and I took him outside where his cousins and other new friends were already in the pool. And he squirmed in my arms, wanting to jump in. And my niece was hanging on me, and my nephew was splashing me, and I was a little bit of a nervous wreck trying to watch Garrett and have fun with the kids (and admonish them a bit.)

And in all that brouhaha I plum forgot to think about what I looked like in my bikini.

Okay, I didn't COMPLETELY forget. But I cared a hell of a lot less than I used to. And I'm not saying I'm not still vain and BELIEVE ME, I get a work out in whenever I can: I do sit-ups and push-ups and lunges and squats while Garrett plays. I walk or jog several times a week. I carry a 23 pound KID around all day for goodness' sake!

But, if you ask me if I'd rather hide behind my jeans and t-shirts in the shade, or get in a damn bikini and swim with my son... I choose the latter. No matter who happens to be around. I want Garrett to know that I'm game for anything. I want him to think his mommy is fun and youthful and goofy and weird and willing to swim with him in 90 degree weather with 12 people sitting around seeing her in a bathing suit for probably the first time in 10 years.

We had a good time, Garrett and I. And you know what? I don't even think I looked half bad. And, if I did, Garrett didn't think so. And neither did Russ. And if my men are happy... I'm happy.

One last thing. It's WAY more fun making sure your kid has a good time than it is worrying how your ass looks in a bathing suit.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

August 3rd, 2008

Leaps and bounds.
Leaps and bounds.

This kid is changing so much every day, it's hard to keep up with him!
He's clapping and waving and blowing kisses. He's putting his hands up to ask, "Where?" and "Why"? He's playing peek-a-boo and going a thousand miles a minute across the wood floor, holding a maraca in each hand and using them as skis. And he's eating solid food! Boy oh BOY does this kid like to eat! Holy crap!!

I've been back to work and I enjoy the hell out of it. It's a joy exploring that side of me again; Who I am in front of the camera... How I am outside of the house, with a whole crew of new people. It's fun and exhilarating.

But I miss Garrett so much when I'm gone, it's painful sometimes. Don't get me wrong. It's not all day. It just pops up several, no MANY times and it feels like someone punched me in the chest. And then it's all I can do not to cry off my fake eyelashes and run off set, into the street where I high-jack a car and make them drive me home. Why I wouldn't just get into my own car is beyond me. Why does it have to be violent?

And during those painful moments I either:
A. Call Russ and find out how he and Garrett are. I try to get every little juicy detail out of him. Poops? Pees? How much has he eaten? How was his nap? Did he have a bottle? Is he playing? Then I ask the same things about Garrett. See what I did there?

B. Remind myself why I'm working. I can't be a great mom if that's all I am. I need to have other outlets. (Right?) I'm also our only way to get family health insurance right now. Russ freelances, so that part is on me. Plus, we're going to need all the extra money we can get. Because this kid's food budget is going to be in the thousands! Oh yeah.. And college.

C. I talk to the person standing closest to me about what a great kid I have.


D. I stare at pictures of Garrett and Russ on my iphone.

The good news is, my work is not consistent. I'm off for the ENTIRE month of August. And that makes me so happy, I can't even tell you. The other good news is Garrett is so happy with the people who surround him when I'm not there. He's not missing out on anything. I am. But he's not. The other good news is, if I ever feel I'm working too much, I can stop. I have my priorities straight, and I will not let work tip the scales when I much prefer being Garrett's mom. It's amazing how clear choices have become for me. If anything is to the detriment of my son, it stops. THAT is quite a revelation.

I worked the last couple of weeks and my mother-in-law was here with him. It means the world that she gets to spend so much concentrated time with him. They love each other so much, and she teaches him A LOT while she's here.

So, there's what's been happening. Oh, I guess I could tell you what I've been working on. "Clean House", on the Style Network. My shows start airing in late August. I've shot five so far. I don't know how many more I'll be doing, but I'm lucky to have done any.

Garrett's up from his nap and I'm going to try to convince Russ to take us to brunch!