The Bears are Back

February 11, 2010

As soon as we found out we were having a girl, I dragged Eric to my folks’ house to retrieve all of the little girl things that have been living in their basement since I moved out:

  • A stuffed hedgehog (named “Marcia” during the late ’70s, at the height of my personal Bradymania).
  • My battle-scarred childhood blanket – called “Gampy” for reasons unknown. Gampy sports a 4″ hole in the middle, courtesy of an ill-tempered golden retriever named Brandy whose short tenure with the Carsen family ended mere moments after the attack on Gampy.
  • A truly impressive collection of various Babar the Elephant paraphernalia (Babarphernalia?)
  • A tiny rocking chair that we will repaint for the Olive
  • My collection of North American Bear Co. bears

The North American Bear Co.’s “Very Important Bears” were popular in the late ’80s and early ’90s – they are made of cloth rather than fur, come in a variety of colors, and feature cutesy plays on celebrity names and costumes to match.

My collection includes, among others, Lauren Bearcall (faux fur coat), Humphrey Beargart (satin smoking jacket), and Scarlett O’Beara (famous green “curtains” gown from Tara).

Eric and I have known each other since elementary school, so he remembers the bear collection from years ago. I think he was hoping it had disappeared somewhere along the line. He says as long as they stay in the nursery and don’t start to wend their way into our bedroom – I don’t think he wants to wake up eye-to-eye with Napoleon Bearnaparte or any of his ilk – he’s fine with having the bears in residence.

(If we ever have a little boy, I’ve already been warned that we will need an entire room devoted solely to Legos. Fair’s fair.)


Ever since we started dating – even before we were living together – Eric has been pushing me for a TV in the bedroom. His reasons:

1. There are times it’s nice to snuggle up and watch a movie in bed.

2. It would enable Eric to watch TV with the door closed, so as not to disturb my work (my office is in an open loft directly above the living room TV).

3. We’re not Amish.

Now that the Olive is on the way, the arguments have stepped up further:

4. Our sleep is going to be disrupted by the baby; multiple TVs would give Eric more options as to where to watch if I’m trying to work, nurse, or rest.

5. The baby and Eric don’t want to disturb me when they watch Yo Gabba Gabba together (I must say, I’d never heard of Yo Gabba Gabba and thought he was making it up. Apparently it’s a real show. So much to learn).

6. We’re building a new addition to accommodate said baby; she will get our current bedroom and Eric and I will be in the new bedroom. In the building plans, of his own volition (unless Eric slipped him a few bucks I’m unaware of), our contractor included a built-in TV cabinet opposite the bed. “It’s clearly meant to be,” quoth Eric.

7. We’re still not Amish.

I have to admit he’s right on many of these counts. Additionally, he is unmoved by my claimed inability to fall asleep with a TV blaring at me, as I do this on a near-nightly basis on our living room couch.

I am getting ready to wave the white flag. It’s still better than a concurrent baby/puppy combo, I guess – TVs don’t drool, chew on shoes, or require walkies.

This Is Just To Say

December 23, 2009

(To Eric, with apologies to William Carlos Williams):

I have eaten

the chocolate-chocolate-chip cookies

that were on

the counter

and which

you were probably


for dessert

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so chocolatey

P.S. Unlike plum-pilferer W.C.W., I am pregnant. Please cut me some slack.

Dish Nazi Jr.

November 12, 2009

My new husband does not allow me to do the dishes. It’s not because he loves me (which he does) or wants me to relax (which he does), but because I do a piss-poor job of it.

I never thought too much about dishes before I got married, and Eric tells me that that’s the problem. We live in an old house with a big sink and no dishwasher other than whoever’s manning the sink. My standard procedure before acquiring a husband was to scrape any remaining food chunks into the trash and rinse off whatever was left before it hardened and became a permanent part of the ceramic. Dish soap was decidedly optional. My thinking is that it’s all food, right? How bad can it be?

Measuring spoons have become a particular bone of contention–I use them every morning to scoop the coffee grounds and a few diehards invariably cling to the tablespoon measure (this may be because my washing consists of a quick wave of the fanned-out spoon set under hot running water). Eric is unmoved by my cavalier assertion that a few stray grounds are no big deal because coffee goes with everything.

I believe I inherited this laissez-faire attitude from my mom, who feels that time spent washing dishes is time lost doing something more fun. I should have known that our methods were somewhat subpar when I heard her comment how sparkling clean the dishes were at her friend Pam’s house. “Clean,” like “pregnant,” is not really a matter of degree.

Eric, on the other hand, inherited his dishwashing skills from his father, aka “The Dish Nazi.” His particular focus is not merely cleanliness, but efficiency as well. Over the years he’s been known to grill both his sons and his wife on the necessity of using a particular utensil. “Cin? How did you manage to use three spoons before lunch?” Eric has done the same thing to me, leading me to reenact my most recent meals and snacks in a sort of Kitchen CSI.

Let’s see…I used one spoon with my cereal, one to stir my coffee…the knife was to open the mail, I think – wait; is there peanut butter on it?

Growing up, the brothers Foster were allocated a limit of one glass per day, which greatly cut down on the household consumption of milk. “You’d be thinking about having a glass of milk with breakfast,” Eric recalls, “but then you’d think, ‘Do I really want to be using this milk glass the rest of the day? What if I want juice with lunch?’ And then you’d just go with water.”

Cin eventually learned to toe the line, etching permanent circles an inch down from the top of the family juice glasses with her engagement ring as she scrubbed, clockwise, with hot soapy water. I am still waiting for one of those little circles to fall off and shatter the next time we’re over there, leaving a lethal (yet spotless) rim on the newly shortened glass.