Archive for March, 2007


Saturday, March 24th, 2007

This is one trip to the chinese buffet, and one trip back to the house. These all feature grammas and Danas.





New Toy for Barno

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

More real posts coming up. I think I’m warming back up to being able to post a little more often, just as Jordana and I have realized that Barnaby is never gonna sleep through the night.




The Nightmare

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

I am going to try to go to sleep in a little bit. I’m having some trouble because Barnaby is screaming downstairs with my in-laws and even though they know how to take care of him, I keep thinking I should go downstairs and help.

I have to sleep because I essentially didn’t sleep last night. In a way, I guess Barnaby kept me up.

What actually happened was this… Barnaby went to sleep at 9:00 after being an enormous pain in the butt. We bathed him and tried to do his night-time ritual, but after the bath he went into a full fledged shit fit, back arching, screaming to high heaven.

I should say, for the record, that the very worst of Barno’s screaming is nothing compared to some kids. He isn’t all that loud, he never really gets to the point where your ears are crackling the way I’ve heard some kids scream. It never really distorts, and we can almost always still talk to each other over his hollering without having to holler ourselves.

But, with all relative things, his very worst cry is still as horrible as it can be for us, and especially when his cries become despondent and the little goat gasps start accompanying the whole thing.

He wouldn’t nurse after the bath, so I offered to wrap him up in a blanket and try to get him to go to sleep. He slept like shit the night before, and had barely napped all day, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when he went down. One little blip a half our later, one more five minute swinging technique, and he was out by 9.

It was kinda lovely. I made a berry and yogurt smoothie for dessert for myself and Dana (which was had because there were no cookies in the house) and we watched a little TV until about eleven. Then we went upstairs and uploaded some pictures to Barno’s Flickr Page and Jordana corrected my spelling over my shoulder.

It got to be about 12:15 and we thought maybe Barnaby should eat. Jordana got him out of the bassinet, fed him, burped him and put him back in the bassinet, and he didn’t really wake up the whole time. I turned on the TV and rubbed her feet, and “Supersize Me” was on. I watched about twenty minutes of it and then tried to go to sleep.

My good friend Dan told me about the first few months of his daughter’s life, where he would think to himself “she’s probably dead, I should go check on her in her crib” and then his next thought was “this is the last happy moment of my life…” then, he’d check on her and she was fine.

First thing, last night, I thought, “Kids want to eat this food because of television…” and then my mind started spinning. Spinning and spinning.

Asthma and weight gain.

Torturous friends at school. Horrible genetically thin people, cruel people, mocking him.

Pills, powder, everything that was available to me to keep my weight down, and I have no idea why I didn’t touch it. It isn’t just the fast food, it’s the whole of the world that we’re fighting, and there’s no way to win, there’s too much, there’s too many of them.

Check in the bassinet. He’s still alive. He’s still breathing.

School lunches provided by the lowest bidder. He’s brown-bagging it with food I made, and the other kids are mocking him, ruthlessly. He’s so distracted by the cruel kids that he doesn’t pay attention in school.

Walking past McDonald’s with his friends, running in and eating four cheeseburgers. His kidneys are failing, he’s borderline diabetic. He can’t do sports because he’s too big, he’s too big. He’s too big to run, he’s too big to get smaller, and he’s too big because that’s how we made him, we made him big.

Check in the bassinet. He’s still alive. He’s still breathing.

Hours of television, cartoons blasting in the house, drinking coke and eating potato chips. How can I tell him it’s bad, I drink soda, I eat potato chips, all I do is watch TV, watch TV, watch TV.

Taco Bell meant freedom to me. Home cooked food was the meal between the meal I could get at school or at fast food places. The home cooked food I liked the best tasted like the food I wanted from Wendy’s. We need to sell our TVs, we need to get all the sugar out of our house. We need to sell our TVs, it’s the only answer, if there’s no buyer for the TVs we’ll leave them out on the street. NPR and PBS and the Aubrey/Maturin series on tape, and Dr. Who, once in a while, but no, we won’t have the TVs, not in my house, not with Barnaby here, waiting to be poisoned.

Check in the bassinet. As I go to it, I hear him sigh, like even in his sleep, he’s getting bored of me putting my hand on his chest to feel it rise and fall. I stop, decide that the sigh might have been his last breath, and put my hand on his chest anyway. He’s still alive. He’s still breathing.

He’s perfect now. He’s never eaten a single thing that was bad for him, only breast milk his entire life. And he’s off the charts. He turns three months old today, and using his height and weight from three weeks ago, he’s still completely off the charts for a baby his age.

I check the bassinet. I remember that his height/weight ratio is at exactly 50%. He’s perfectly average for America. Then I remember that everyone in America is obese…

We have to cook every meal, and we have to get a regular exercise routine. He’s too big… my God, my whole family is fat and now Barnaby’s gonna be huffing and puffing, lugging his tubby ass all over the place. Pink cheeked and sweaty, he’s gonna be funny and fat, just like me, just like me, just like me. Aching and sweating, acne and fat covering him from head to toe, horrible greasy hair and crooked teeth and bad skin and lumbering, lumbering, lumbering.

He’s got his mom’s eyes, but my arms, my legs, my stomach. I remember being in 6th grade and staring at myself in the mirror with my shirt off, crying, the crying contorting my face, the sobbing shaking my little 12 year old boytitts, hating myself, LOATHING myself, and turning that hatred into a burning anger at the rest of the world.

I remember the abandon with which I treated people, the hostility and the *energy* I had when it came to tearing other people down. I wouldn’t respond to any good situation, but the bad situations would get my full aggression, my full *weight* as it were, leaning into every destructive impulse as if I were rolling a bolder up a hill, savoring the moment when the bolder would roll back down, praying it would roll over me.

I checked the bassinet.

He’s still perfect.

There is no damage to him, he’s still perfect. He sighs in his sleep. His mouth is a perfect “O” and his hands are open where he had been gripping the blanket.

He’s got his mother’s eyes, his mother’s face. He’s got so much of her in him, you can see it.

In the morning, he wakes up and screams and his mom tries to keep him quiet, but I get up anyway. I fell asleep, fitfully, around 5, and it’s 8:45 now. She says, “You had a bad night, huh?” and I say, “Man, I just want to put it behind me.”

And Barnaby sits on my lap as I sit up in bed. Barnaby sits there for a minute, his head barely stopping on anything before his eyes have moved to the next thing. He bobbles around and then he stops on my face.

He smiles and makes the noise in the back of his throat that sounds like fake radio static. Then he burst into a laugh so hard that he’s still laughing when he breaths in. He straightens his legs underneath him so that he’s standing up in my lap and he stares at my face, smiling like an old man, toothless and bald. He can’t stop smiling, even as he spits up on my shirt. He sits back down and stares off over my shoulder as I clean him off.

He leans forward until his head is under my chin and he stares at his mom and smiles.

Barnaby is three months old today.

He’s fine. I checked.

Why It Matters, Revisit

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Ahhhh. So, here we are. Yesterday, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was announced.

Guess who’s in and guess who isn’t?

About five weeks ago, I spent an hour constructing a blog entry instead of taking care of my eight week old baby. Now, I’m going to ignore my 13 week old baby and do it again.

I pointed out at the time that, because Duke University is playing with a different set of rules when it comes to time-off-the-clock and player-fouls, they managed to beat Clemson. The game was stolen, I argued, and had Scheyer, McRoberts or Nelson, three of Duke’s starters, been called for a single foul in 105 minutes of basketball, or had the clock run out when it was supposed to, Clemson would have won the game.

I had to point out why it even matters, it’s one game, it’s not that important. I said that now Duke had beaten a ranked team in Clemson and Clemson was looking at 4-4 in the ACC and a long haul to an invitation to the NCAA tournament.

The cut-off to be considered for the tournament, it turns out, is a 500 record in the ACC. (I have to ignore the fact that Duke beat Boston College the next game, because my point there is that BC dismissed the best player from their team because of drug use and Duke’s best player for years didn’t get in trouble for his own drug use until he was finally out from under the umbrella of Duke University). Clemson ended the season at 7-9, and Duke ended the season at 8-8.

There are a lot of games in a season, and a lot of moments in a lot of games. Had Clemson simply scored a *bunch* more points than Duke, the way Carolina did, there wouldn’t be any kind of argument. Had Clemson won its first game in the ACC tournament, then there would be one more win, had they taken care of business against any other school, Carolina included, then they would have gone to the tournament, no question. But they didn’t.

The problem is, neither did Duke. They didn’t win their first game in the ACC tournament. They didn’t take care of business against other schools, Carolina included. And the one more win they needed to get an at-large bid… well, it could be argued that the Clemson gift was that one more win.

All of this is fine. I’m not the kind of person who says that President Bush doesn’t deserve the presidency because he’s the son of a president, with all that I have received from my parents and my fortunate marriage, I would be the worst kind of hypocrite to claim some kind of moral high ground on nepotism or favoritism. But I don’t walk around saying “I’ve *worked* for everything I have, I am the model of that which is the very best at what I’m trying to do…”

Duke is considered to be the bastion of college basketball, the paragon of how the game should be played. Even when Duke player Gerald Henderson threw his elbow into an opposing player’s face and Duke’s coach said that the opposing player probably shouldn’t have been in the game anyway, pundits and sports writers went crazy, but have been careful to describe it as “un-Duke-like” and there have even been articles that have called this year’s team “Duke in name only…” as if the cheating and ref-berating and cover-ups and cheap shots have all started *this year*, the year that happens to coincide with them losing slightly more games than they are used to.

Clemson, a program that basically has always sucked, is stuck on the outside looking in. The coach who has slowly and methodically crafted this team from a total doormat to a dangerous group of kids is gonna have to go one season longer than he thought in order to get into the NCAA. His team that got no favorable treatment, no latitude, doesn’t have any players accused of rape or drug possession, doesn’t have any players who elbowed a guy in the face, and shouldn’t probably forfeit all of their wins from 1999 (such as they were) is looking from the outside in.

And Duke? They’re a 6 seed, even after some sportswriters guessed they would be as low as 10. Now they meet VCU in the tournament, one year after ex-Duke player Jeff Capel left them as head coach, and, not surprisingly considering the number of ex-Duke players who completely suck as head coach, VCU turned completely around and went 27-6 under their new coach and got their first bid to the dance.

It would be a beautiful kind of poetry if they beat Duke on the opening day on a neutral court with unbiased officials. Too bad Clemson won’t get the chance

More Barno Vids

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

We spent forever trying to capture Barnaby laughing, but the second we turn any camera towards him, he just gawks, completely dopey. He will be giving a huge smile and then the little red light turns on and he turns into Droopy Dog. So we left the video camera on his favorite spot, the changing table, and we took some vid of him being a goof. It’s still not great, not as great as seeing him, but here are three movies…