Monday, February 28, 2011

What's In A (Middle) Name?

My friend just had a baby last week. I knew what she was having, and what she was going to name her, but the surprise was the middle name. She ended up giving her the middle name of Virginia. I loved it because it sounded perfect with her first and last name, and it happens to be where she is from. My friend kept her maiden name and she wanted to find somewhere to use it in her daughters names, but it didn't fit. This was a nice way to add in a little of her lineage.

It got me thinking about middle names though. I did some research on when in history they became referred to as "middle" names. It was't until 1835. There are so many different reasons why people use middle names too. Either to recognize someone else in the family, or a person of importance, or sometimes the name was just the runner up to the first. The middle name is hardly ever used, except for legal documents or when a parent is mad.

We decided to give our daughter as many names as we wanted. Her first name is after two grandmothers, her second is after another grandmother, her third is my maiden name and then the last name. It's a lot and no US legal document leaves room for more than one name. In non-English speaking countries multiple middle names are common. Middle intitials are interesting too. Amish people often just use a middle initial that was the first letter of their mother's maiden name. Then there are people with a given first name that never gets used. Paul McCartney's first name is really James. Personally, I don't get that. If it isn't going to get used, why is first? Unless he hated James, and just felt like a Paul.

So many of my friends have given up their middle names when they got married and put the former last name in it's place. I didn't because I liked my whole name when I got married and didn't feel like I should have to lose anything, so I just added a new ending to it. Culturally and religiously, there are many reasons for the signifigance of middle names and I always like to hear about the history of a name. I find it fascinating when people are the fifth generation with the same name, and how they were able to keep everybody straight.

I don't know why I find middle names so interesting, but I always have. When I get to know someone for the first time, I right away notice eye color. I can tell you the eye color of everyone I have ever talked to. If I get talk to someone long enough I always ask their middle names. It just like an added extra fact that usually has a story behind it. When people have a really common first name and then an extreamly unusual middle name, I like to hear how that came to pass. My all-time favorite is that my friends daughter's middle name is Wednesday. Not because that was the day she was born or when her parents went on their first date. The reason was because my friend's husband is very seriously in love with comic books and Wednsday is the day new comic books come out. So I guess you can really go crazy on a middle name. Why not? I'm the only one who seems that interested in them anyway.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Right This Second

Let me paint you a picture of where I am right now.

I am sitting at my desk at home, the trees outside are gently blowing, and there is slow, soft, classical music playing. It feels like the soundtrack behind the saddest scene in a heavy movie. It's also really cold. Late February. It all sets the tone for the way I am feeling right now.

For the second day in a row, I have had to deal with hysterics while trying to put the Twig (that if we weren't talking about my daughter and rather a real twig, I would snap in two right now). She requires a short list of demands to be met before drifting into golden slumber. The door open just like that, two lights on (really one), tuck me in but not my feet, and the best: she wants me to sleep on the bean bag in my room (yeah right). I have come to accept these as part of the routine, a ritual of bedtime. When she started calling out just after I said sweet dreams, I had to make some rules known.

I am flexible about somethings, but when it comes down to sleep, I have to be strong. She is an amazing sleeper, once she commits to it. She naps two and half hours everyday, and I have to wake her up most days, so she doesn't sleep too long. This new protest she is pitching isn't flying. She asks for all of requirements, and now that I so easily meet them, she doesn't have anything left to fight for. She holds her hand up before I even put her in her bed, and begins breath quicker and louder as if she is hyperventilating. She says she wants the door "just like that" as she is holding a defiant stop hand in my face. I say okay and she still can't calm herself down.

The last two days have me baffled. She is getting all she is asking for, so now she has decided she wants to not sleep. She works herself up to the point that there is nothing I can say or do to calm her down. After forty minutes of walking out and then walking back in to try to chill her out, she decides, okay I am ready now, I will lie down now. She even said "I love you" What was that? ARGGG! I'm not sure how to deal with this mess.

That's where I am right this second.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

London Is Calling

It's not always easy to find people that are going through similar life experiences, share similar ideas on how to handle those experiences, and if you do, it's not a given that you will like them too. I know it's rare, as a married couple, to have other couple friends that all like each other. I know my husband doesn't love all of my friends, and I don't love his. The same goes for parent friends. My little twig may love a kid and want to become BFF's with her, and I might have to accept that her mom might not be my BFF.

Friends mean everything to me. They were my lifeline when I became a "grown up" and they are again, now that I have become a mother. My core of close girl friends has not changed much in the last twelve years. It shifted a bit here and there, but these women are sisters to me. When I had a baby before some of them, it was difficult to connect on what was happening for me and my new job as a mom. I didn't feel they could really understand. I looked to mommy clans that left me feeling slighted by the friendship part. Eventually, my friends joined me in motherhood, or in some cases I reconnected with the me that was before mom, and reinstated my relationships.

Then something happened about a year ago. I went through some hormonal changes that left me in a dark place. I had never experienced anything like it before, and it was the worst thing I could have ever imagined. It pulled me away from everyone, and left me feeling unsucessful in finding comfort anywhere. Until a miracle day came (with the help of an amazing doctor), I felt better. During that period, I had pockets of days at a time that I felt fine, and others that couldn't end fast enough. Somewhere in there I met Amiee. I was out to dinner with my husband and daughter, and she was out with hers.

We connected instantly on some obvious things. We had girls a few months apart, we had seen each other at the park, and we lived around the corner from each other. Our husbands chatted as we ran down the street, in and out of stores behind our girls. She was fun, sweet, and not an ounce of judgment. Our daughters hit it off that day as well, and despite normal two year old tantrums, they have been pretty inseparable ever since. At a time when I wondered where my village was, Amiee landed in from another country ready to settle down and set up shop. Two weeks before I met her she had left everyone she knew in London to come to L.A.

Within days of meeting her, we were giving our girls dinner together at either of our houses. We slowly filled each other in on our lives, and as I revealed some of what was happening to me, she shared a very similar story. There was no one else I knew who could understand what was happening, except Amiee. My friends were amazingly supportive and truly showed up for me during that time, but they were still watching from the outside. The inside was familiar to Amiee because she had been there herself. It's been over six months since feeling myself again. In the last few months, my friendship with Amiee has grown a lot. I survived something and now I can connect to her on the past when I need to, but mostly we just enjoy happier times.

I feel so lucky to have her. Our girls love each other, and our husbands have a really great friendship as well. I have slowly introduced her to my friends and little by little my village seems to be growing stronger. She is getting more and more adjusted to living here too. Every few months she takes a trip back to London for some time. This month, she and her family left for over a month. We had a routine trip for frozen yogurt as a goodbye. My twig asks for her daughter a lot, and I have explained, as best I could, that she will be home soon. In the meantime, we miss them very much.

Please London, be spitting rain right now so they miss the sunshine and come running back for some Vitamin D.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away

I know today is only the first day of rain in a while. We have been very lucky with weather lately, and even had several winter beach visits. I should count my blessings, because typicaly I don't have to think about weather-appropriate activities here in Los Angeles. The most I ever really need for Miss Pinball is a sweatshirt and sunscreen. The few times a year we have rain, it makes the top story of the news. I make tea, cuddle up and pretend we can't go outside. We don't get snow days here so when else can I get an excuse to stay cozy? I could never live in Seattle.

Staying inside only works for one day with a toddler though. Everyday when she takes a nap, she asks, "What we doing after my nap?", even when she goes to sleep at night. She wants a plan, so I usually can find an easy solution. Today, I needed to be a bit more creative. I could bake with her, but that is only fun for her for twenty minutes or less. She is a little young for a craft project. We could have a freeze dance party, which she loves, but after a week of illness we both have cabin fever now.

The forecast says rain for the next few days, so I have decided I need to be prepared. I am making a little list of rainy day activities so I can reference it when I need. Feel free to add to the list, as I am always looking for more.

The Boone Gallery at LACMA has a kids art room and it's open from noon to five, everyday except Wedsday. While you are there sign up for the NEXGEN pass for your child. They will have free admission to the museum until they turn eighteen, and can bring you as a guest for free. Sweet!

I'm pretty sure that most Los Angeles museums are free one Thursday a month. I know that the Skirball is on that list. We recently went to the natural history museum downtown and that was really cool. Kidspace in Pasadena, and the Zimmer are also fun, but can be a bit pricey if you go a few times. They both offer memberships though.

Indoor playspaces are fun, but I have to ask myself if it is worth the possibility of my child catching a cold. Usually, my answer is no. My answer is always no if it is Under the Sea, but I make exceptions for the Playroom in Sherman Oaks, because it is cleaned right there as kids are playing. I also like The Coop in Studio City. There is a crazy neon dance floor and kids can "swim" in the ball pit it's so big. The woman who works there is always so nice and friendly.

The free option to playing inside is a few malls have soft floored play areas with some little, colorful play structures. I have been to Westside Pavilion and Fashion Square, too. They just get a little crowded sometimes though. When the mall doesn't sound exciting to you, which is mostly the case for me, I go to Ikea. She loves the area with all the toys out. She can play with the kitchen set, and slide for a long time and then we top the outing off with a one dollar cone of frozen yogurt.

A favorite of ours for any kind of day has been the Beverly Hills Library. It's free, of course, but it also has the best kids area ever. It has awesome wooden toys, great toddler size tables set up a play kitchen with all the fixens, and a little puppet theater too. I have spent so much time at this library since Pinball was a baby. They offer free classes for kids for all ages. They call it storytime but it is really so much more. They sing, do felt poster boards, wear cute little name necklaces, and not only do they read stories, they also show a short movie of classic children's stories to end every class. We love it.

An easy activity is a playdate with friends. It's always more fun to hang inside when you do it with friends. It's also cool to have new toys to check out when you are at someone else's house, and on the flip side it's always interesting to see how your kid will share their own toys when friends come to you. Either way, it's a good time.

Lastly, is puddle hopping. No further information needed on that one. Duh!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Soup's Up

At the beginning of last week, out of nowhere, my daughter asked me to take her to Souplantation. I had been a few times before I had a child and I didn't think much of it. Since she came along though, I now think it is the best dining experience ever. Let me clarify, the best dining experience with a child.

I have come to become very fond of the food though. It all started with my pregnancy. It was the first place my friend and I went to when I gained an appetite after a rough first trimester. Maybe thats why my daughter likes it so much.

I am a member of the Veg Club -- it's a special few that get invited in (if you go to the Souplantation website, you can be a special member too). I receive coupons for lunch and dinner. I have a few partners in crime, and for a while, we all attended regularly. A bit of time had passed though since our last visit, and apparently the establishment had made a good impression on my little one. For three mornings in a row she asked to go to "Soupantaton" and on Wednsday of last week, I finally agreed.

My husband was going to meet us after work, which made her even more excited. That morning, she asked if we were going right then. I explained that we had to wait for dinner so that daddy could come too. She began to plan her menu. She wanted, pizza, macaroni and cheese, soup and ice cream from a machine. That whole day she told anyone who would listen that she was going to Souplantaion, and what she was going to get. We printed our coupons and headed to the cafeteria-style temple that had the food of her dreams. She is so easy to please sometimes -- it is really sweet.

We met my husband, and the three of us headed down the salad bar. She is clear she doesn't want salad, just sunflower seeds, raisins and peas. She is saving room for her favorites. We sit down, and she gets started on her salad bar snacks as I make her a plate of macaroni, pizza, and a little bowl of soup. We are all pretty happy and she is blissfully chomping down not one, but two servings of macaroni. She has a very good appetite to begin with so I am not surprised to see her enjoying her food so much. We all begin to slow down a bit, when she says she her belly hurts. That usually means she needs to use the toilet and when you are dealing with only a few months of potty training (pardon the pun) under her belt, you move quickly to the nearest bathroom. Three weeks ago she had the stomach flu for the first time. Since then she thinks it's funny to say, she needs to throw up.

When she said it in the bathroom I had a hunch she wasn't joking, but when she bent over the toilet, she quickly stood up, looked at me and said, "I just made a joke." She used the toilet and we headed back to the table. We sat down, and one minute later she said she had to go again. Reluctantly, I took her and she didn't have to go. In the stall I got her pants up and turned around for a second and heard her cough. When I looked at her she was projectile vomiting while scooting back as if she could get away from it. It felt like it went on for so long, and there was so much. At one point I decided to see if we could get at least some of it in the toilet so I picked her up midway and made a pretty trail on the floor and into the toilet. It was everywhere. Having thrown up for most of my pregnancy, and having just gone through a bug with her, I thought of myself as a pro when it came to this stuff.

I calmed her down, and cleaned her up. When I turned around and looked at the floor I knew what needed to be done. I had made a choice when I became a parent to not leave a mess anywhere. Not at a friends house and not on the floor of a restaurant. I had to clean at least most of it up. I couldn't see sending a stranger in to clean this up. I grabbed toilet seat covers in two hands and went to work. At first I was proud of myself, I am mentally capable of recognizing that this kind of thing happens, and it is from my own child so I can handle it. Shortly after that thought, I gagged, but I still trucked on. I did the best I could and then washed both of us and left to tell someone. When my husband saw us and I told him what happened, he couldn't believe I tried to clean it up. He reminded me that it was Souplantation, a buffet, and that this probably happens every day. In anycase, if I gagged, for sure an innocent employee would too. I stand by my decision.

Turns out, she didn't over-eat, and that she has the stomach flu again. Never a dull moment. We thought it was over yesterday and went for an outing. We took her to Crate and Barrel and we were testing out a nice new couch when she threw up again. Luckily, all over me. Oh, the glory.
If any of you faithful readers want to be a Veg Member now, let me know.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

LA LA Land

I took my mail out of the mailbox today and sorted the non-junk mail from the junk mail. The junk pile was the largest of course, and I realized that I had put a magazine in the junk pile, because I wasn't sure it was a real magazine or just a dinky fake one. I took a closer look it was called "Los Angeles Living". Trash, was my first thought. My second thought was that I actually live in Los Angeles, so perhaps there is something useful in there. My third thought was "OMG, I live in Los Angeles! WTF am I still doing here?!"

I grew up in one of the fabulous five boroughs of New York. Queens to be exact. When I say I grew up in New York City people assume that would mean Manhattan. Not unlike LA, Manhattan consists of a lot of transplants from other parts of the country. Queens, however is made up of natives and then transplants, but transplants from around the world. You could walk a few blocks in Queens and see restaurants that represent the whole globe. I grew up with so much diversity, economically and racially. The subway line closest to my house is known to be the most international in the whole city.

I am proud of where I am from, but I say that with some complaints too. My public school education was okay, not great. I had a few amazing teachers, but also a few horrible ones. My fifth grade teacher Mrs. Leddy came to school drunk and you could smell it on her breath when she lost her temper and yelled in your face. Mrs. Lee though was my favorite. She was an older black woman who taught us to say "yes" instead of "yeah." She shared stories of her two sons all the time, and was loving and gentle. She had just what I needed as a second grader. At twenty, my childhood best friend and I looked her up and invited her to meet us at Lincoln Center. Much to our surprise, she did and I am grateful that we got to tell her what she meant to us.

I always assumed I would be raising my children in a similar enviornment. My parents still live in New York and when I left over twelve years ago, I had no intention of staying away this long. I visit a lot, and make sure my daughter sees the city the way I saw it, but I know it isn't the same as growing up there. Instead, we live in sunny Beverly Hills. Racial diversity: not too much. Economic diversity: not unless you count rich to very rich. The school she is zoned for here, I am sure is better than the one I went to. Actually, I know it is because I looked it up. So as far as her test scores are concerned, she will come out ahead. As far, as the real world though, I have serious doubts.

I will stop trying to compare Beverly Hills to Flushing Queens now. I know if I wanted to find more of what I had growing up, there are better places in L.A. to find it. I also know there are things that I would have a hard time giving up if I left here. Trader Joes is in NYC now but I heard it's a mob scene. I have also grown to be intolerant to cold weather and crowded subway cars. I just want to raise a girl who values books and not bags. Who wants to play at her friends house because she likes her and not because she has a Malibu Barbie ( I know 80's reference, but I couldn't think of anything else). I don't want all of her friends to be white, and I don't want her to feel she is small if she doesn't have a lot of money.

I know that a lot of what I want for her is my responsibility to show her. I don't buy into the idea that the "best" preschool is the only way to ensure her college education. I don't believe in being waitlisted for Mommy and Me classes, and I also don't like the emphasis on materialism starting in the sandbox. I know there are people who live here and also don't buy into those ideas. I am friends with a bunch of them, and have watched some of them raise amazing, sensitive, self confident children. So, my work is cut out for me. I'll write again in eighteen to twenty years and let you know how I did.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Occupied Territory

Heavy title, I know. It's crazy what is going on in that part of the world, but relax I'm not going to talk about politics on a blog about my kid. The only part of the Middle East I can relate to is having to duck from rocks from my daughter's pockets when I pull her clothes out of the dryer.

There is an explosion happening here though. Her vocabulary. I feel like I have either been writing about complaints I have, or venting about how hard my job is, so today I want to stop and acknowledge how impressed I am with my girl. There has been a very positive shift since the big power struggle a few weeks back. It been refreshingly easier to be with her and she is clearly aware that she has a choice in how she can react when things don't go her way. She is rolling with the punches better.

A few weeks ago, I would say her vocabulary was somewhat limited to the word "no." Not to say that word has stopped -- it hasn't, and when she uses it, it is very loud and clear. Since her behavior has mellowed out, she is suddenly extremely polite. She says please and thank you. She says, "May I please see that?" She even (sometimes up to three times a day) says, "Mommy, I love you." It's pretty freakin' sweet. She is able to express her emotions (even if not everyone can understand her) in a sensitive and giving way. Over the last few days with her I have had so many moments of awe when she says things. I feel a wave of happiness physicaly go through my body and leave me with a proud glow of love for her. I am really enjoying who she is, and who she is becoming right now.

She concerns herself with what is around her. She wants to know what has happened when she sees another child crying. She will ask why they are sad. When she is eating something and enjoying it, she will practicaly sing the word "yummy" and then generously asks if we want to try some too. When I come in to her room at night to tuck her in the second or third time, she can see my frustration. She will say, "Mommy, you happy?" I respond by saying I will be when she goes to sleep, I then tuck her in and I am leaving she says, "Mommy, you happy now?" When my husband was jumping around to entertain her this evening, she said, "Don't hurt yourself, daddy."

I know it sounds cliche to say how time seems to be flying by when I think about how she was a baby a minute ago. This little chatter box a year ago barely spoke three words. Her doctor said that if at eighteen months she didn't speak more, we should take her for speech therapy. I know there is the technical reality of how kids develop, but it blows my mind to see an individual emerge before my eyes. How I can use a word once and the next day it's part of her communication forever is baffling. A couple of days ago, I was holding her an she asked for something. I explained I couldn't get it in that moment because my hands were full. She looked up at me and asked, "Your hands are occupied, mommy?"

She has that right, but that's not the only part of me thats being taken over -- so is my heart.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Princess Diary

A new book is out that has gotten a lot of attention. It has my attention too.

It's called, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" by Peggy Orenstein. It speaks to the phenomenon of girlie girl culture among little ones today. She explains how young children have nothing to define their sexuality by, except what they wear, and what they play with, so that results in them wanting to be very extreme. In an effort to express their masculinity, boys will often wear a super hero costume, or carry their Thomas the Tank engine everywhere they go. Girls will insist on wearing a dress, or all pink, or a tiara. This is my nightmare!

I can admit this now that I have her, but I wanted a girl so badly. So did my husband, maybe even more than I did. We didn't find out the gender of the baby when I was pregnant, and sometimes made myself refer to my growing baby by the boys name my husband and I had chosen, just to prepare myself for any possible disappointment. Right after giving birth, it didn't even occur to me that the warm new baby on my chest had a gender. I was thrilled to be seeing it had an ear, and to be able to touch it. When the nurse asked my husband to tell us what we had, she asked with a Russian accent "Is Boy?" We both looked at each other and didn't say a thing. We were proccesing. We weren't unhappy just surprised. Then my husband took a look, and said (or I should say exclaimed), "It's a girl!" We both cried and shared a moment of gleeful relief. I can't say for certain why we both wanted a girl, or that we wouldn't be over the moon if we had a boy, we just maybe wanted our girl and thats what we got.

Soon after we got home packages of pink started arriving. It felt odd, since neither my husband or I were really into the color, we naturally assumed our daughter didn't need to have it either. That was the beginning of the realization that just because you make a decision, it doesn't mean society is going to make it easy for you to honor your ideas. Now at two and a half, I see that it's only going to get harder and harder to fight the inevitable. I wasn't a big fan of Barbie, the color pink, or even dresses for that matter, but I owned some, nonetheless. It was a combination of conforming and peer pressure. What would the other girls play with at my house if I didn't have my own Cabbage Patch Kid? My daughter loves to play outside, cook with me, and sing and dance to music. She didn't even notice a princess until she saw them at almost all of her friends houses. Now she asks their names. This is exactly what those folks at Disney were hoping for. In fact that is why there are so many more princess products on the market than ever before.

I'm not going to tell my girl what she can or can't like. I will even take her to see Disney movies, despite the fact that there are a lot of dead, missing or just plain evil women in a lot of them. I even bought her a little Rapunzal doll at Target because I knew she would love it. I won't spoil her fun. I do wish it didn't come at her so heavy-handed, though. What happened to "Free to Be You and Me?" I am not the worlds biggest feminist, but I do think there is something that reeks of spoiled rotten when I think of what a princess really is: a special, lucky rich girl. I loved Annie growing up, but she was appreciative of her riches. She was humbled by her rough start and seemed to just get lucky. I'm just afraid that all of these stories send the wrong message. What if we don't make enough money to get her a pony if she wants one? If she harbors resentment, then my theory is proven. If she works so hard as an adult that she is driven enough to own her own ranch, well then I am wrong. In which case bring on the gowns!

As I write this I will put my own disclaimer on this. My first movie was Cinderella. It was a big deal to have a movie date with my mom, and I remember it clearly. I was five, and I remember laughing, and I remember being really scared. I don't remember wanting to be her when I left though. Perhaps, I am over thinking the whole thing. Then again, like the author mentions in her book, girls are starting in this craze much younger than in my generation. Most of the three year olds I know have already seen their first movie. I've already been criticized for sheltering my daughter because she hasn't seen a movie yet. There is so much time. For now, I will embrace the days my daughter doesn't carry her purse and asks for pants instead of a dress. I will be more appreciative of the fact that her favorite color is brown, and that she likes freeze dance more than Tinkerbell. I'm not holding my breath that it will be like that next week though.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pinball Wizard

From the time my daughter (AKA spitfire) flew out onto this earth, she had a mission. She was rearing and ready to go. Her eyes were wide and alert and she was taking everything in. Like a shark, her plan required that she keep moving at all times. She was no quiet peaceful bundle of joy. I never ate sitting down. I needed to bounce and bop up and down. She had requirements and requests that had my husband jumping through hoops and bouncing on balls. If we tired, our baby drill sergeant would make herself heard.

I looked at others with newborns and watched as they blissfully ate at a cafe with friends. Or watched a "Mommy and Me" movie, and could tell you what they saw afterwards. I longed to rest in a golden slumber with my new baby on my chest, but she didn't want to miss anything.
Her high energy and super active tricks were entertaining for all those who witnessed. She rolled over before she was three months old, and it wasn't just a chance occurrence. She couldn't stop. I would put her down on her back, and she would flip onto her belly. She would stick her head up and look around with her big brown eyes. She actually had this proud look of accomplishment, until she tired herself and couldn't flip back around. I would put her back on her back and a second later she was flipped again. Repeat, repeat, repeat, for two whole weeks, day and night.

She wasn't a big napper and hated sitting in the car seat or a stroller. My husband and I were getting very tired by month four. It was hard enough not sleeping, but not sitting down, or eating slowly, or getting to finish a thought, was getting to us. At one check up at our pediatrician's office, my husband asked if she could have ADD. A family member suggested she was hyperactive and would need to be medicated when she was older. I was pleased to see the Dr. laugh it off. She said it was too early for any of that to be a possibility, and that we just had a spirited little one. Phew!!

I made peace with the fact that I too would have to be super active. I embraced the fact that I had a better figure as a new mom than I ever did before. I even began teaching a fitness class for new moms that let me run my girl around for an hour and make it seem normal. At ten months she was walking and I was running. I had to anticipate her every move, and at the end of each day we were both sleeping better. I just learned how she operated. She was like a puppy who needed to be run everyday. She was happy if she got outside to play. Thank goodness I am not raising her in cold weather -- that I wouldn't have been able to adapt as well.

Every night before she goes to bed, she looks up at me from her crib and says, "where we going after my nap?" I don't have the heart to tell her that the day is done and that breakfast is where she is going. I tell her where we might be going the next day. She never falls asleep without the next activity lined up. My husband is one of the most chill people I know. He can relax like a pro, so I don't think she got this non stop thing from him. I didn't even think to point the finger at myself (come on now, who does that?). Two of my closest friends did though. I told them about her question before bed and both of them separately asked if that sounded familiar. I'm not going to try to defend myself. They are spot on. I like to know what is next, and I like to go, go, go (to a fault sometimes). There goes to nature vs. nurture, at least in this case.

As I get closer to the idea of attempting to accept the possibility that MAYBE we want another child, my friend shed some light. She said I might actually get an easier baby next time. She coined my daughter's nick name, "the pinball." She pointed out that running all day long is not exactly the kind of beginning she had with her daughter. She said I looked shocked, and the idea that the next one might be a bit more chill, fell across my face like a huge revelation. We shall see. For now, I am humming to the music of Tommy, and honing my pinball skills.