Sunday, June 28, 2009

Or, why the child obesity problem is so rampant

So a few weeks ago we were eating in one of those '50s-style diner-type places with the jukebox and the milkshakes and the white linoleum and the Chubby Checker in the air, which is all very cute to me even though I wasn't alive anywhere near the '50s. (When will we have '90s nostalgia diners? The waitresses could wear flannel dresses, the sound system could play nothing but Green Day, Live and Nirvana, the drink menu could feature Zima ...) I was more or less resigned to kiddo eating a burger of some sort since burgers are basically all they serve at places like this, but I figured I could pull the same trick I do at Houlihan's, Chili's and other fine eating establishments that are accepting of children, which is to say swapping out the fries for broccoli. (Yeah, I'm one of those moms. Kid likes broccoli. Sue me.)

So I ask the waitress about that, and she says: "We don't serve broccoli." I wanted to do a Jon Stewart spit-take and I wasn't even drinking anything at the time. You don't serve broccoli? What if I brought some in from home, would you steam it for me? Or would that wreck your culinary theme? Because after all, no one ate broccoli in the '50s!

(For the record: There were a couple of salads on the menu. Almost entirely Caesar. Big help for the preggie lady.)

So kiddo had a burger for dinner (didn't actually come with fries, either) along with a couple of pieces of lettuce from my crabcake sandwich and we all pretended we'd met the USDA requirements.

Man. Occasionally finding healthy kiddie food on a restaurant menu is like jumping through the world's biggest hoop.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

If hell is other people ...

... heck is other people's children.

So we're at this community event and inside because it is raining like the Second Flood is coming, again. Kiddo runs over to the glass doors to watch the beeps (kiddoese for "cars") go by. There are two little girls already there, a blonde and a brunette, in a nook they've created behind the couch. "You have to be in the club to sit here," they inform us sternly.

"Oh. Well, we formed our own club," I say. Which mystifies them, and I figure that ends it. They all more or less coexist for a little bit until kiddo runs back toward the table where our food is. He keeps running back and forth, door to table, beeps to Daddy, and the girls have evidently decided to adopt him, like a stray puppy, so they keep asking questions about him, like "how old is he?" "can he count to 6? can he count to 7? can he count to 100?" which at least is cute. The girls pop by our table periodically, to demonstrate their talent at balancing water bottles on their heads.

So DH and I end up sitting on the couch for a bit (since kiddo, aside from two slices of watermelon, wasn't showing much interest in food) and the girls come back, still intent on protecting their "club" space. The brunette (clearly the Princess Bee to the blonde's Wannabe) announces she's getting food, comes back with a half-eaten hamburger roll (hamburger mysteriously missing) and tries to feed it to kiddo. I politely say no thanks, he's eaten. She tries again. And again. And again. Now both girls are chattering "Just give it to him!" even though I've already said I don't want him getting other people's germs, and have physically taken the roll and handed it back to her. Kiddo, of course, sees bread shoved in his face and then denied, and starts crying. "Just give it to him, he's going to cry anyway if you don't!" says the brunette.

From entirely across the room, the girl's mom calls out, "Are you making that boy cry?" but since she doesn't actually get up to investigate, nothing happens except that the girls try feeding the roll to DH instead. I briefly think black thoughts.

Kiddo, already overtired, never fully recovers from this incident and we leave shortly thereafter. As we're walking downstairs toward the exit, the brunette runs after us to say, "Next time put him in a cage or a stroller!" I decide four-letter words would be inappropriate, say, "Okay" and leave.

Seriously: a cage?

When I was a kid, if I had pulled one-tenth of the rudeness these two exhibited I would've been made to regret it. Nobody taught them to never never sass a grownup? I heard the girl's mom ask her as we left, "What did you say to them?" and somehow I know when she told them, they said, "Oh, isn't that funny!" instead of "That was very rude, we're leaving right now, enjoy your time in the time-out chair."

It's still pretty hard to gauge how hard-line I should be in these circumstances, and I tend to be hands-0ff with kids not my own. I guess I keep assuming -- wrongly -- that kids will show you respect, even if they don't to your kid. Maybe I should've just taken the roll and tossed it into the trash. Maybe I should've stalked back up those stairs and said to the girl's mom, "That was incredibly rude of your daughter and I'd like an apology."

And maybe I'm getting worked up over nothing. Worse things will happen in preschool, I'm sure.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's kind of fascinating, watching people's reactions when I answer the question "So do you know what you're having?"

A lot of women immediately coo happily, "Oh, a girl, girls are wonderful." Other people seem pleased that we're ending up with one of each. The nice man at the convenience store the other day couldn't believe it, because I'm carrying mainly in front and when his wife was pregnant, the sons were all in front and the daughters were all over. (And then he proudly pointed out his 12-year-old boy, working at the gas station outside. It was too cute.)

And then everyone wants to know am I happy about it. Did I have a preference? Kind of. Maybe. Not really.

Sure, a girl will be nice. I'll have someone to pass on makeup tips to, for one thing, now that I have half a clue about makeup. Also I guess there's jewelry to pass on and such. Girl Scouts. Prom dress shopping.

But this boy's world of Thomas the Tank Engine and dirt under fingernails has actually been kinda fun. (Although I'm hoping he never goes out for football.) And there are so many same-gender siblings in our families, I was prepared for two boys.

Ultimately I'm happy it's a baby. And whatever that baby is like is fine by me.

Although it would be cool if she were the first woman to play major league baseball. Unlikely. But cool.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

2 pairs of super-special compression maternity hose: $20.

Time elapsed before runs in hose: 2 weeks and 4 weeks.

1 pair of super-special compression footless maternity hose to enable sandal wear: $28.

Time elapsed before run in hose: 2 weeks.

2 more pairs of super-special compression maternity hose: $20.

Time elapsed before run in hose: 1 day and counting.

Realization that these flimsy tissue-paper ripoff contraptions will do absolutely nothing to stop varicose veins: Oh, just priceless.