Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Ultimate Retail Sacrifice

The families back home are getting all excited about the approaching arrival of Queen Nutmeg, known around here lately simply as Hazilla. In fact, my parents were so hot to buy a certain present for the little Nut that they made what my dad called "the ultimate sacrifice." When they didn't find this thing -- whatever it was -- anywhere else, they entered the dreaded Wal-Mart. Now, my mom and dad are Mr. and Mrs. Union Yes, so setting foot in Wal-Mart was the values equivalent of sacrificing a fatted calf to the prodigal granddaughter.
"We kept looking over our shoulders," my dad told me. "What if we had run into someone?"
The people they were worried about running into are the many relatives to whom they have preached the gospel of Wal-Mart boycott, to no avail. They were keenly aware of how richly the recipients of these lectures would have savored catching the preachers in the whorehouse, as it were.
Fortunately for all of us, Wal-Mart didn't actually have the magical bauble they had in mind, so they skulked out emptyhanded.
And may I remind any grandparents reading that it is not actually Nutmeg's birthday, nor any gift-giving holiday? Tribute is really not necessary.
In other news, the Sharebear's mom and I are having our talk tomorrow about the increasing flakiness of The Nanny. I drew up a little list of expectations we have for her, and things she can expect from us. Maybe if I'm lucky the Sharebear's mom will agree that this is the right approach and we can both meet with the Nanny Friday to lay it all out. I hope the other mom doesn't want to fire the Nanny, because I just can't look for a new childcare situation right now. I'll explain our current work/possible relocation situation to her, which I haven't mentioned before.
Finally, I have a confession to make: According to the author of "The Epidemic," I am the kind of mom responsible for the Columbine massacre, rude kids running around in restaurants (well, you got me there), Jayson Blair, and, in some metaphorical sense, 9/11. Yes, we all know that everything rotten in society is due to BAD MOTHERS, especially the kind that overdo the whole job. I am actually still with the author (I'm in Chapter 2 now) in his main premise that it's a shame that people let children run their families. I'm all for discipline and letting kids know who's in charge. But the guy insists that co-sleeping is spoiling, as is consenting to a night nursing with any child over six months old. I just don't understand. Is he saying that most societies in history and geography, from frontier Americans to modern day Asians and Africans to the kings of Renaissance Europe, are and were all spoiling the hell out of their kids? Or is it just we modern-day Americans who think the recent insistence on separate sleeping arrangements wasn't such a great innovation who are spoiling our kids? Once again, I gotta draw the Ingalls card. Baby Carrie, sleepin' with Ma and Pa. Spoiled? Uh-uh. I would love to have kids as well behaved as those Ingalls girls.
And on a completely opposite note, Nutmeg may be doing less time in the family bed from now on. Last night, as another predawn screaming match ramped up, I picked her up and lay her down in her crib. She screamed as I held her, and then fell silent the moment she hit the mattress. I actually lay awake for about 15 minutes, listening, and we never heard another peep out of her until nearly 6 a.m. So, hmm. Tonight I'm going to try leaving her in the crib, and when she wakes up, just laying her back down and replacing her pacifier, like we do when she's fussing at naptime. It sounds crazy, but it just might work.

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