Archive for February, 2010

Picture Perfect

I tend to get cranky if my plans get changed. Considering that I have a fairly active life and am frequently making trips all around San Diego and up to LA to visit with friends and family, I hold surprisingly fast to what I have made up in my mind will be happening. Just because I’m aware of it doesn’t mean that I’m any less petulant about it when the case arises that something doesn’t go as imagined.

I’m not talking about awesome plans, either. It’s not like I was originally scheduled to get hot oil massages from Victoria’s Secret models all hopped up on ecstasy and someone told me I needed to go and clean rain gutters out instead. I’m talking about things like learning I’m not going to get to go home and watch The Clone Wars.

You can imagine then that matters concerning things like that human being that I created would be a bit more worrying.

After a recent blood sugar test, Janelle’s results came back high. Type 2 diabetes actually runs in her family, so her levels tend to be elevated, but not in the danger zones. Gestational diabetes is a reasonably common affliction for pregnant woman, where the hormones released during pregnancy essentially induce a temporary form of diabetes. So, considering her predisposition, we were concerned about developing gestational diabetes. But, the pregnancy to date has been better than textbook. Janelle’s avoided morning sickness, major body discomforts (that are chronic and lasting), vicious heartburn and the rest. By all accounts, we’ve got ourselves a fully healthy baby on the way. Like all parents, we hope for perfection for the baby’s arrival and things had been going so well, I think we both forgot that perfect just isn’t going to happen.

In our particular case, this bit of news is more than just a concern in terms of diet and habit for Janelle through the course of the pregnancy. We’re aiming for natural childbirth. We’re reading books about it. We’re taking classes about it. We are fully committing ourselves to it. Aaaaaaand now the choice may very well be taken away from us. Yes, yes: I am jumping the gun in assuming things will go poorly, but it makes for a better post.

Part of the fallout from gestational diabetes, alongside concerns that the baby won’t develop as well as it would normally, is that babies tend to get very large and large babies are hard to deliver in the usual fashion. That means that it’s far more likely that the hospital will decide to induce or go the C-section route, which means drugs for mom and drugs for baby.

Janelle was about as upset as Janelle gets about this. While I was distressed to see her so affected, I found myself uncharacteristically ready to roll with the punches. Forgive the application of this phrase, but no plan survives contact with the enemy and infants are most certainly the enemy of expectation. They may demand a degree of routine as far as scheduling is concerned, but they are little balls of chaos. They don’t understand expectations. They don’t know how not to do dangerous things. They don’t know what it is to upset someone.

So what can I do but just take it as it comes, plans be damned? Seems like me and the baby might be growing up together.

Bonus Note!

I played with the baby for the first time today. Janelle was sitting next to me on the couch, looking at her belly. The baby is strong enough to make its various punches and movements visible on this flipside of the tummy. As we watched, her left side rippled a bit with little exploratory foot pokes. So, of course, I respond with some fairly strong rapid finger pokes, like I’m playing the piano on Janelle’s tummy. Wait a second and, sure enough, right in that spot, two big kicks.

I tried a couple more to see if it was a fluke, and no response. Oh bummer.

But wait! Baby starts to flutter things again a bit near the center of Janelle’s tummy. I repeat my poking, wait a second and, lo, two more big kicks!

I figured there’s not a lot to do in the womb. I like to spice it up a bit.

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The Immersion Method

Tuesday night was what I would call the first birthing class Janelle and I took really aimed at birthing (unlike the yoga class we took, which is really just a sort of corollary to birthing). We decided to look into following the Bradley Method for the birth. The Bradley Method’s “selling point”, beyond all the standard tenets about nutrition and exercise and breathing, is that it follows the notion of father-coached childbirth.

What does that mean exactly? As of right now I’d have to tell you that that is a very good question. It’s a once a week class over the next nine weeks (typical class-lengths are 12 weeks, but Janelle would be 38 weeks by that point and may not be in shape enough to finish out the class—or really do much of anything—depending on how the pregnancy progresses), lasting 2 and 1/4 hours. We covered the very broad strokes of the plan (which I have synopsized pretty efficiently above) and did some very basic pregnancy exercises and relaxation techniques.

Relaxation is the other big factor in the Bradley Method. Dr. Bradley, back in the day, lived on a farm and grew up noticing how animals don’t really seem to get too stressed by giving birth. They just sort of give a groan and then drop a baby a couple feet onto the ground. (REENACTMENT: HUUUUURGH. *florp-thud*) When Bradley saw how hospitals were handling birth for human mothers (this was in the days of full sedation delivery and, yes, strapping women to tables), he was fairly well horrified and began to ask why it was that we couldn’t be better at it, like cows. A flattering conclusion.

As I understand it now, my job is essentially to nag in a helpful way. If I notice Janelle carrying tension in a particular way, I touch the area, point out the tension as something to be avoided during childbirth, and then massage the tension away while pointing out that this relaxed state is what we should be aiming for. She can do that on her own, really, but I’m there to make sure she doesn’t forget. Same with basic exercises and nutrition. Another class, by the way, that seems to focus heavily on massages for mom. Another good deal there.

That’s something that I’m beginning to understand more and more. Being pregnant is about the mom and dad. It’s about learning and bonding and preparing. Part of that preparing, though, needs to be realizing that the birth itself is going to be 99.99% about the mom, and you get to be in the room. This is not to be cruel or because we live in some Vago-Centric Hegemony (yes, you just read that). It is because of the two people about to have a child in the room, only one person is about to have horrific (read: “magical”) things happen to their bits. It’s harder than you would think to realize that you need to be ready to really focus in and indulge mom for a bit. There’s a lot of ego involved in being a dude, and there’s a lot of desire to be focused upon and taken seriously as a soon-to-be-dad, but neither can really factor in when it comes to the birth.

What else will I be learning at the Bradley class? I’m going to hazard a guess that I won’t learn much that isn’t common sense. And I certainly won’t learn much that I couldn’t just get very easily from a book for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time. But while I might not get a wealth of knowledge, I am getting valuable training. Not so much training on how to relax Janelle—I’ve learned those cues pretty well over the past nine years—but immersion training.

Janelle is pregnant 24 hours a day. It is present in everything she does. For me, much as I think about it, it’s possible to simply not have it factor into my day for broad swaths. I don’t, for example, have anything kicking me in the bladder to remind me that “Hey, I’m in here, chief.” But we’re in the period of the pregnancy where the momentum really starts to get building. More and more our lives will be all about the pregnancy. First come the classes and exercises, then the increasing physical strains that start to affect normal routine, then we start to restrict our activities to ensure a smooth home stretch, then the big day.

We’re not in the deep end yet… but we are learning how to tread water.

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Your Inner Hippy

Yesterday Janelle and I attended what is, technically, our first birthing class. It was actually a pre-natal yoga class, but it ended up covering, in its own way, birthing methods. The class typically has something around 6-8 couples, but today it was just us and one other couple, 36 weeks along with their second child and veterans of the class. Things got off to a quick start with the second couple, Zack and Rina, announcing that they had decided on a home birth, something that the instructor was very pleased to hear. They had done, apparently, much research and decided that they didn’t want to deal with the hassle of having to work around the hospital’s methods and personnel.

Immediately after this announcement, all eyes turned to Janelle and I. How were we going to handle the birth? There was a moment with crestfallen faces as we announced we’d be giving birth, in all likelihood at Kaiser-Permanente associated hospital. We salvaged things by correctly answering that we would be opting for natural childbirth and were not even considering the idea of the epidural. Part of me hopes that Janelle had announced she was ready for as many drugs as they could squeeze into her veins so I could have seen the class grind completely to a halt as gears switched to proselytization.

The instructor shared as well that she was pleased to see that we had both shown up. The couples yoga class is once a month on Sunday, but every week there are several yoga classes aimed just at mothers. Those classes tend to have a solid turnout. Turns out it’s difficult to convince fathers to come along—hence one class a month and this session with only two couples.

I’d like to say it’s surprising that more fathers don’t show up for something like this if the mom is interested, but I’m not. Let me put it to you this way, I have recently said the phrase, in a very un-ironic manner, “I am a birth warrior.”

Getting into yoga already requires a fairly open mind and a willingness to embrace the lifestyle. Getting into a pre-natal yoga class 100% involves embracing your inner hippy. You need to be willing to say silly things (see above), listen to an instructor talk to the group about how when you’re doing a particular stretch you should envision your cervix opening and not giggle, and you need to be willing to explore what can turn into reasonably emotional and personal interactions in front of an audience. There’s a lot of gazing into your partner’s eyes and finding your center and moving in unison. Hidden bonus for moms-to-be: you get a lot of massages.

It is good prep work for what is to come. A not insignificant part of parenting is going to be learning to deal with embarrassment. If your little girl wants to play tea party can you talk to a teddy bear like it’s a hairdresser? How is your Chewbacca if you have a little Han Solo roaming around? How are you doing that in front of friends or strangers? If the answer is “Not going to happen” you might need to get used to seeing a disappointed little face. Being a hippy isn’t wearing a flower wreath and tripping out on LSD. It’s doing things in a different way and not being concerned about anyone else or standard conventions. And since it’ll be some time before your kid learns what normal conventions are…


Home, Part 1

So, this is what has been taking up so much of my time and stealing virtually all energy I might normally reserve for thinking about things for the blog. You’d think I would have a picture of the front of the place, but I don’t. So, here are a smattering of of items that were worked on and completed in the last week or so.

Also, some protips for you:

– During tile demo, of course wear goggles, but also wear long sleeves. Flying tile tends to take on the same properties as flying razors. The 1.5 inch cut (I want to call it a gash, but that’s a bit dramatic) on the inside of my right arm is proof.

– Remember to clean baseboards and doorjambs before applying painter’s tape.

– When painting your edges in your rooms, use strokes that aim upwards from baseboards, this will keep paint from dripping down and either getting under the tape or from essentially gluing the tape to the wall.

– When tiling, try to plan your job in segments. Handling small, maybe 4-foot square areas one after the other will help to ensure you get things perfect as you go – provided you laid things out properly.


Rejected baby names

Naming the baby might be something I find more stressful than actually having one in the first place. I am going to be picking the means of identification for a child for its entire life. Sure, maybe we’ll crank out a super ugly kid, and that’s quite a stigma to carry around, but I can always claim I had nothing to do with that. But a super bad name (not super-bad, like Shaft) is all me. I can’t dodge that one.

There aren’t any names that are jumping out at me and striking me in the face with their quality. It’s funny that it would be that way, because I know many people with names (you know how it is) and I think their names all suit them very well. I don’t find myself saying “I’m going to talk to Bill today. Man, what a raw deal he has with that name.” But just the same, I’m at best finding names that I am lukewarm about. Part of the issue is that they need to sound good with my last name. “Scarpelli” needs a special name to fit well with it. There’s the rhythm and cadence to worry about. And the number of “L”s. Gotta keep that in check over the span of the whole name.

What I do have, though, are names I won’t be going with. They are hereby presented for your reference:

Reginald VelJohnson Scarpelli

Supreme Chancellor Scarpelli (actually… hmmm…)

Carrot Top Scarpelli

Pants Ontheground Scarpelli (am I too late with that joke now? I swear it was current and topical when I started this draft)

Slobodan Scarpelli

Tyffani Sparkles Scarpelli

Tito Jermajesty Scarpelli

George W. Scarpelli

Greta von Scarpelli

Feel free to suggest your own names that I should not be giving to my child.



I want to be excited about having a house. I really do. It’s difficult, though.

There’s a lot to do. Thankfully, Janelle’s parents are in town and are experienced house tinkerers. So, with their help we’ve placed new fans in three bedrooms, redone hanging lighting throughout the house, wired new lighting in the kitchen, planted trees and various other flora in the backyard, repaired and upgraded sprinkler systems in the backyard, begun to strip and revarnish our dining room table, begun to strip tile from our entryway in advance of new tile placement, added venting to our upstairs bathrooms and soon we’ll paint a couple of bedrooms. All “small-ish” projects, but a lot of them. And we have a home that started out in remarkably good shape.

Even with their presence, working hard all day long each day while Janelle and I are at work, and our assisting in evening and on weekends it’s going to be a 2-3 week process to get the place fixed up. I shudder to think how long it would be without them. A couple months, I wager. It would be tricky, too, as Janelle can’t be around when we’re doing any sort of painting with conventional paints.

On top of having all that to do, there’s my previous bitching about all the decisions we have to make. There’s a constant pressure to make choices quickly to keep the work moving — but because we’ve never considered these options before, there’s a lot of time browsing and considering and pondering and shopping.

And to really drive the nails into the coffin, we haven’t even moved in yet. We won’t be in entirely until the 21st. Perhaps then I can enjoy the house. It seems a tragedy to not enjoy the single most expensive thing I have ever purchased, but right now all the house functions as is a chore generation center, and it turns out for a guy who is always keeping himself busy, I’m pretty lazy (blog post on this soon).

Now that we’ve got our nails in the coffin, let’s throw some dirt over it. The real killer for the house is that it has almost entirely stolen both our attentions away from the baby. Janelle never really has the option to be fully distracted, as every day she gets punched harder and harder from the inside. Plus, she’s started to reach the point where her belly makes things awkward for her. I would say it’s amusing, but I’m sure it will be frustrating to acclimate to for her.

I’ve found that I’m not talking to the baby and that Janelle’s not sitting around with headphones on her belly so the baby can listen to some tunes. I haven’t been recording my Oz chapters to play back and we haven’t even begun to think about preparation outside of “Do we want to paint the nursery?” We’re either too busy or too grumpy or tired to really focus on the baby.

This, though, has a silver lining to it. Through all the little stresses and busywork we have piling up and all the distractions, I’ve found that what I’m looking forward to the most is time to think about the baby more. In an unexpected manner, I’ve had it affirmed for me that I’m not as nervous for the upcoming arrival as I thought.

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I know, I know…

…I am weak and I lack discipline.

Housing concerns and various variousnesses have conspired to keep me from finishing my blog posts of late. So, today you are left with another pseudo-post.

And now, Zelda music, because you love Zelda.

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The Veterans, Pt. 1

Today, we hear from my parents!

Q: Once both, the kids headed out for college, was there any sense at all of “Whee! The house is open!” or was it mostly “Awww… the babies are gone.”

Dad: Recently unemployed, I breathed a sigh of relief and hoped neither one of you had to come back home to live.

Mom: There was for me a sense of pride that both of you were in college and doing so well. To this day, I still miss the household of our past, but have lots of memories and can even “hear” much of what passed over the years. Short answer is that I would lean toward the feeling of an “empty nest”.

Q: How early did you start saving for school/college for us?

Dad: A long time before you needed it but your Mom’s parents kicked in a big chunk and we added some of the earthquake insurance payout to the college fund too. Of course we also had a somewhat reversed situation where your high school tuition was more expensive than college.

Mom: We had some good advice and started saving when each of you was born. It was an account for your education only, which was a priority for us. Both of you have shown talent and capabilities since you were small, so we wanted to make sure you had the opportunity to learn in the correct environment.

Q: Do you recall how you felt before having us kids? Was it the sort of balance of nerves and excitement that I’ve been writing about or more one or the other?

Dad: For me it was nerves because I have the worry chromosome and must obsess about all worrisome things. Oh geeze, did I say that right?

Mom: We experienced many changes in a short time when I found out that we were expecting a baby. Dad got a new job here in California, we left family and friends behind to take the position. Dad had flown out for the job interview and called to tell me to get on a plane so we could buy a house. We did so in one weekend.

Then we packed up, said our goodbyes and drove across country to a whole new life. (Grocery stores did not stock the same brands we had grown up with so we even had to learn what foods and staples to buy!)

Anyway, I had wanted to be a mommy and a teacher since I was a little girl. So I don’t recall being nervous, but remember wanting to be sure that you were safe and healthy.

Q: What was the hardest period raising me? How about my sister?

Dad: All things considered, you guys were a walk in the park.

Mom: Interesting question. I will tell you this – once when you were about 20 we were discussing SOMEthing, I have no recollection of what so it was most likely inconsequential, and you snapped at me. I was shocked as it had never happened before.

I do wonder if having your sister two years after you might have been hard for you since it placed you in the big brother role as a toddler, but maybe that is maternal angst rather than a real emotional issue her birth created.

I cannot latch onto a hardest period. Watching and guiding your children is a continuum. Some of it goes along more smoothly than other parts is all . . .

Q: Do you have any advice for new parents? Any method or tactic that you swore by?

Dad: Unless you were raised by wolves (or a Republican) just do what logic and your own good sense dictates. Then there’s the advice my dad gave me for everything, which upon reflection is more philosophical than I gave him credit for: ‘Tom, you do what you gotta do.’

Mom: I have a few tried and true methods and tactics. They are so simple that I think they sometimes fall under the parental radar.

One is to use a whisper voice. Infants and children alike need to stop their crying or fussing in order to hear you.

Another is to allow a child to play or explore without interrupting them. If that toy is suddenly fascinating, it makes no sense to introduce another at that moment.

(Personally, I believe that would be the beginning of a problem with ability to maintain attention and focus, but that’s probably the teacher in me talking.)

I also was a fan of listing choices of activities so that you learned to keep yourself occupied. “Mommy needs to do some laundry right now. What would you like to do – color or play with the Legos?” for example.

Next, and this is so important, is to allow the child to function as a part of the family. You and your sister were asked to take things to the kitchen or go get a blanket or fold the washcloths. You did this since you could walk and understand. Work together. You felt like big kids doing your little jobs, and you were happy to be helpful.

Let me move to into the future some years for this next bit. I would tell you to listen without reacting. Children will stop talking to you and stop telling you things if you react without hearing their side or seeing their point. It is not hard to do but takes a prior determination to stand back, so to speak, and realize that what happened or is being discussed is a part of the child’s life and they need you to bounce ideas off or to help guide them or just to say that you know it can be difficult or sad or whatever. As a parent it sometimes makes us want to fix things or point out the folly of something when that is not what is needed at the time.

Q: Any particular things that you wish you had done as a parent that you want to remind the new wave to do?

Dad: When changing a boy’s diaper, always point him away from you.

Mom: What ifs are pretty tricky. None come to mind at present, but I’ll mull that one over.

Q: When raising my sister and I, did you have to really strive to try an install a sort of moral and ethical compass for us? Or was it something that just came about as a result of the general process of parenting?

Mom: I think that as parents you have a standard by which you live, and that is passed to your children simply through example and discussions. Rules and expectations set the guidelines for children. We are fortunate that you and your sister were not rebellious or problematic, so this response applies to parenting an “easy” child.

Q: As a sort of corollary to that last one, any disciplinary techniques you can swear by without needing to fear child services?

Dad: Guilting always works best.

Mom: Let me repeat the whispering for this question. It can help when a child is getting too rambunctious.

I do recall telling you both that people could see that you were not behaving well. I would ask if that was what you wanted them to see about you. In retrospect, that may have caused you to think that those people should mind their own business or could have made you public shy, but seeing you both socially tells me that thought is a mom angst.

I think that singing can turn a situation around sometimes. Really.

Reading aloud works wonders. Even in the classroom, when things are threatening to go out of control, a good story brings everyone in focus and quiets even the rowdiest child.

(So, what? Carry a library and learn some good show tunes . . .)

Q: Did you get any particularly good or particularly bad advice from anyone about raising a child?

Dad: My Mom would repeatedly tell her kids, friends, neighbors and anyone who would listen that the best advice she had was to “bury ’em at 12 and dig ’em up at 20.” Good or bad advice? You decide.

Mom: Another mother talked to me about the listening advice I listed above. She was right, but it’s surprising how many people don’t realize how effective it is as a communication skill.

Q: I was almost named “Vittorio”, but the family talked you out of it. Any particular reason you were thinking of such a “cultural” name? And what made you change your mind? Just the sheer pressure from everyone?

Dad: I don’t recall pressure from la familia, but this was not long after The Godfather films so the name Vito carried some added baggage. I think we came to our senses on our own and instead opted for naming you after Vito’s son.

Mom: We had a list of names picked out for a boy or a girl. I like Vittorio. The most likely reason for having it on the list is that my early childhood was spent in a very Italian neighborhood. Angelo, Vito, Alberto, Aldo . . . It sounded familiar and nostalgic for me.

The family was pretty adamant that we would be assigning our child an ethnic albatross. That was not our intent, and Michael was the name of Dad’s grandfather, so we chose that with Dad’s name as a middle name.

Different option, not settling.

Q: Knowing how I am now as a person, and how I was growing up, have I changed a lot? Or are there a lot of core parts of my personality that remain? How about for my sister?

Mom: I am a firm believer that we are born with certain character traits that are innate. A prime example is the fascination you had for books since you were tiny. You always loved games. You’ve been a high achiever all of your life. You were always a thinker and a diplomat. You also spoke well – in the high chair you would say that your food was “delicious”. (In the interest of full disclosure, there may have been a /th/ in the middle in place of the /c/.)

Your sister has been active since she learned to walk (early, like you). She was hopping and skipping and dancing when other babies of that age were barely mobile. She still likes to be busy. While she was a non-reader as a child, she now reads and plays games like her big brother.

She talked young and could tell stories in detail. She still has great communication skills. She is artistic plus has a green thumb.

You will find that as you get older, it’s the outer shell that is changing. Inside, while you learn and adapt and wise up a bit, you still feel like the person you were when you were young.

So – have you changed a lot? Yes. And no.

Q: Was it difficult to watch me and my sister grow up and become more independent? Or do all the big milestones that make up that process sort of balance things out?

Dad: No, you always envision your kids as being small children needing you, which is why I so enjoy doing your laundry when you come visit.

Mom: Happily, it has been a source of pride and pleasure to watch you both grow up. Seeing that you are so capable and self sufficient is testament to how you were raised and the opportunities that we tried to provide for you. We each face certain hardships or difficulties from time to time, but I remain impressed with your abilities to handle situations and cope. Living closer to each other so we could visit more easily would be enjoyable for me, but knowing that you are both successful and productive and within a network of friends brings me a sense of satisfaction that all is well and probably as it should be.

Q: Were the teenage years as difficult as everyone makes them out to be?

Dad: Like I said, pretty much a walk in the park. Well, except for the car accidents.

Mom: I had always heard that if you have an easy child, the teenage years would be difficult and vice versa. Let me begin by saying that over time the mind fogs over a bit, but having heard that adage I kept expecting things to go dark and that I would need to try to use the force to retain some sense of order and good. Teenagers begin to stretch their wings and express themselves and mark their territories etcetera, and in doing so there are new discussions and lines drawn and adjustments made.

It’s all good . . .

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The Deep End

Adulthood has come upon me very suddenly. I’ve been wading through the kiddie pool for some time now, but am now in the deep end. Sink or swim. Renting was the last bit of fun, pool-floaty technology I had. Renting was my water wings. Now that I’m no longer renting, I can’t pretend I’m not a grown-up anymore. Even knowing I have a baby on the way didn’t do it entirely. But buying a house certainly did.

Before you get all huffy and contend that renting a place doesn’t mean you’re not an adult, all I’m saying is that renting gives you a choice to stave off that last step in the transformation. I’ve never had to worry about repairs or costs or water bills or interior design or a yard. Suddenly, I find myself not just having more things to think about, but I need to develop an entirely new set of preferences.

Floor tiles. Refrigerator brands. Under cabinet lighting. Paint colors. Ceiling fans. Light fixtures. There is a whole world of accoutrement for a house that is just waiting to be narrowed down to that one perfect choice and I realize that I have never spent an iota of effort on having an opinion about any of it. Now not only is it important for me to be aware of my opinion, but I must be informed on it as well, because it will cost me money and blood, sweat and tears to install.

Renting also has the feel of not being in charge, however subtle it may be. I have someone that I report to and must, to a certain extent, fear retribution from. Now, outside of my boss at work, who can do that in a reasonable scenario? I’ve really only got myself and my family to answer to at this point.

It has been a surreal experience for me to drive up to a residential structure and park in the driveway with impunity, because it is mine. To pull out a hammer and chisel and pound away at floor tiles in an act of wanton destruction just because I don’t like them and want something else in their place. To just buy trees to plant—the kind of fixture that heretofore I had just sort of overlooked the placement of, figuring nature had that one under control—and then dig holes in the earth for them.

There’s a level of control and mastery there that is a foreign to me. The house is mine in a way that few things you can purchase are. When you buy a car, you don’t purchase it with the intent to strip it for parts, typically. You don’t buy a bed and then decide you want some new springs in it and then embark on a two week project to replace them all. A house, though, is like putty. You mould it as you see fit.

This will prove, I think, to be an interesting preview. If you were wondering if I was going to connect this back to the baby theme, here it comes. There’s a level of control and mastery involved with having a baby as well. I will define that child’s world. The rules it follows will be my rules. The food it eats will be food I provide. The shelter it has will be shelter I have provided it. It will even look like me. Made, as it were, in my image.

In both cases, the experience will be strange and new and have all manner of unexpected pains. And again, in both cases, over time what was once strange and daunting and really quite a lot of work will begin to become something that feels an awful lot like home.


And now, a word from our sponsors…

Last night was a busy night. I collected keys on my new house (!) and spent my first fairly long trip at Home Depot buying supplies. It was a long night. So… in the stead of a full post, here’s a video of a gibbon teasing tigers.

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