Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Waiting on the Wind That Should Come Bearing Mary Poppins

I am learning how to live on a lot less sleep, and have even managed to cook a meal once or twice. Life is returning to normal…ish. Plus, you know, a baby. My return to work date is looming, and I am both excited for it and dreading it. I miss my co-workers and using that part of my brain. I also do not want to relinquish the care of my precious baby to anyone whose name does not rhyme with Yumasaurus. But it must be done, and thus we have begun the fascinating and grueling process of finding a nanny.

We have posted a couple of ads, and the response has been varied. Some are easy to weed out. One of my first questions is, “Are you allergic to cats?” because, hi, those are our other babies. You cannot avoid the cat fur and love in our house. I’ve had one or two people tell me they’d be o.k. as long as they don’t touch the cats. And I must respond with “How about if they touch you?” because Tatum is very jealous of the baby, and demands equal attention and rubs all over you constantly if you deign to hold the baby and not him.

I also am not interested in smokers, which is pretty common among new moms. And while the correct answer to the question, “Do you smoke?” is “No” that no must be honest. I had one lady tell me, “Oh, no.”

“But if I do have a cigarette, it’s only at night. Socially. I would never smoke in front of the kids.”

Needless to say I didn’t invite her over for an in-person interview.

The grandmother who was unable to furnish any references besides her daughter was also rejected, as were all the university students who think they’d be a perfect fit for my 9-5 job, except they are in class during the day so they are only available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, except on the second Tuesday of every month when they have their drum circle that they are absolutely dedicated to and couldn’t possibly give up.

So far the front-runner for me is a Tibetan woman who says she likes to cook traditional Tibetan and Indian food. (Note we are not asking the nanny to cook, she was just talking about what she likes to do in her free time.) I was drooling, while The Funasaurus, who has a real issue with food that is mushy, looked on in horror. He, meanwhile, has a strong preference for the hot, young, yoga instructor who looks like Katie Holmes circa the post-Dawson’s Creek but pre-Tom Cruise era. Except skinnier. And Toned-er. Never mind that she is only available through August, those could be a glorious eight months or so.

We continue to interview.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Update on Some Very Bad Cats

Thank you for all the supportive comments. I am glad to hear from multiple sources that it gets easier. These days I’m just trying not to be too jealous of a swing…currently my daughter seems to prefer being in it than in my arms. This is both frustrating and also very convenient for getting other things done.

I had big plans to tell you all about the Ordeal of Tatum, but I am tired, so the abbreviated version is: the little poophead disappeared about a week after we brought Miss Thang home from the hospital. We were pretty sure he got outside somehow, and for five days I would sob hysterically on the couch at 3:00 in the morning as I listened to the coyotes howl just outside our front door, convincing myself that I was truly unfit to be a mother if I couldn’t even keep a cat safe. Tatum is cute but dumb, and I believe any sort of survival skills have been bred right out of him. It is also getting cold in Colorado, and Tatum does not possess much fur, so I was sure he had turned into a kitty popsicle for added coyote nibbling pleasure.

We all mourned the little stinker, even Sugar, who started crying at the door whenever we left, which was a habit she had back in the day that convinced us to get her a playmate in the first place. She would never admit it, but she missed Tatum a lot. I was…more open about my distress. The Funasaurus was sent out to troll the neighborhood whistling and offering faux mice to the wind many times.

On the fifth night, around 3:00AM, I thought I heard him cry as I was feeding Miss Thang. I made The Funasaurus get up and check outside. The night was apparently cold, but Tatum-less. Around 6:00AM I was SURE I heard him. So I sprang out of bed half-naked, with Miss Thang still attached, and ran all over calling him. (As fast as one can run with a newborn attached to your boob.) He was in the basement, just sitting on the other side of the door, all, “What took you so long?” He then proceeded upstairs where he snarfed some food and promptly demanded a mouse.

I called the 24-hour vet to see if we needed to bring him in for dehydration, and she asked if he was refusing food or acting lethargic. I moved out of Sugar’s way as Tatum chased her up the stairs, and decided we probably didn’t need to go in.

So he is home, safe, loved, and obnoxious as ever. He’s also quite jealous of Miss Thang, and has developed this habit where he demands to be held whenever she is being held. Fortunately, my parents have been down to help me out a lot, and while my mom helps with diapers and burping, my dad carries Tatum around (when he’s not throwing faux mice for him) and everyone feels useful and loved.

Now we just need to convince Sugar that when the baby finally goes to sleep we all need to go to sleep. Currently she sees it as her opportunity to cuddle with her very poke-y claws.