Saturday, April 01, 2006

child's play

Something has happened to Cal since we got back from Florida. Namely, he has become Chucky.

We're blaming it on the fact that his top teeth are coming in, but seriously, he's acting weird at night. Restless sleeping, OK, I don't love it, but at least it's in the realm of normal child behavior. But last night he started sleep-walking (or whatever, sleep crawling) all over the place. He was still asleep--at least his eyes were closed the whole time--but suddenly in the middle of the night, he just started crawling all over the place in bed, flipping over, turning around, finally sitting straight up in the middle of the mattress for a good three seconds before suddenly falling backwards, spread-eagled. The night before that, he woke up at 1:00am (and he never does this either, actually fully wake up at night, I mean), eyes as big as hubcaps in the dark, looked out the window at the red neon sign at the top of One Penn Plaza, and started laughing.

What child sees a red neon sign and starts laughing in the middle of the night? Clearly only a child possessed by SATAN. The power of Christ compels you!

He must also finally be at that separation anxiety phase that's all the rage these days, because he won't let me put him down for a second. Well, maybe one second, but after that, oh, the tears! Why did you walk away from me? Why must you leave me alone? I am at the mercy of a cold, heartless universe! It would actually be kind of cute, except that it intercuts nicely with my whole working-mom guilt, especially given that I have to go back to work on Monday and will be on call five times in the next two weeks.

It is hard not to spoil your kid when you spend a lot of time away from them, I think. At least in my limited experience. On one hand, I don't want to drop everything and run to him when he cries, because, you know, crying ain't poison or anything. And on the other hand, I have this stupid fear that maybe he'll grow up thinking that I don't love him. Where were you, MOM? Taking care of your patients? What about taking care of ME? All I have is this picture and a lock of hair that I RIPPED OUT OF YOUR SCALP to remember you by.

(He likes to pull out my hair, you know. Maybe he is collecting all the loose hair to make a voodoo doll. Which, incidentally, is also very Chucky-like.)

* * *

So we didn't end up going to Baltimore after all. Well, Joe went--he just left an hour ago, as a matter of fact--but Cal and I stayed home, because both Joe's sister and niece are both sick with some sort of nasty viral contagion, and a committee of elders mandated that the baby should stay away from the hot zone. It was a business-only trip anyway as family visits go (Joe's dad is helping his sister renovate the bathroom in their basement, Joe was going along to help screw in the toilet bowl or man the caulking gun, whatever it is that you do when you have to renovate a bathroom) so it's not such a huge deal. Though it would have been nice to see Joe's parents and all. I had even been planning to bring along my sewing machine, because apparently Joe's mom knows how to use such things, and I was going to ask her to show me. It would have been a beautiful intergenerational moment. But we didn't go, and now the sewing machine is still sitting in the corner taunting me with its fancy functions.

So it's just me, Cal and Cooper for the day. Maybe we'll go to the park later, if it doesn't rain. This nice weather isn't fooling me one bit, by the way. This always happens--the weather gets all nice and warm, and all the flowers start blooming, and everyone starts prancing around half-nekkid because IT'S SPRING! And then a week or two later it snows. Always happens. April is the cruelest month. Which is why I don't put away my winter coat until we're well into May.

Currently reading: "The Last Don." I read "The Godfather" recently and found it pretty good (though one of the few instances I can think of where the movie based on the book is superior), so I thought I'd try another from the Mario Puzo opus. Eh, bad choice.