“I can’t believe I’m FIVE!”

Elroy turned 5 this week!  A couple weeks ago we agreed that i should probably get him dolphins from outer space for his birthday, but it was just a lot easier to get him My Neighbor Totoro, which is more or less Our Favorite Movie.

Afterschool Understatements:

“When I first met you, I thought you were STUPID.”

“Yeah, we didn’t get along very well at first, Elroy.  It took us a while to get to know each other.”

“Yeah, but now we like each other”

“Yup!”

It’s all true.  And never has it taken this long for me and a kid to really Get each other.  I like his parents and they’re good employers; otherwise I wouldn’t’ve lasted through this much talking about hot rods and why you shouldn’t punch kids at preschool or stomp on the tail of the cute cat at the playground.  I think that Adventure Time (cartoon network) and Kitty City (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX3iLfcMDCw) played big roles in giving us inside jokes to crack each other up about.  But also Elroy totally missed me when I went away for the month of October, and that was good for everybody to realize.  Aaand not to mention that I’ve been spending about 30 hours a week with him for the past year.  A lot of emotional labor, dudes, and the moments when I see him becoming more of a human–congratulating his friend when he’s jealous of the friend!–make me feel psyched about humans and like I’m doing a good job.

Like yesterday.  After a long discussion/explanation from me about why it can’t be morning ALL the time, but that because of Outer Space it’s always morning somewhere, and especially when it’s summertime near the North Pole, etc, Elroy explained to me how Peter Pan believes in aliens, but Captain Hook doesn’t.  And that “I’m not picking my nose, I’m touching my brain.”  Coool!  Four year old Elroy was some badass stuff (getting kicked out of Ikea’s playland!  taking a dump on the science museum’s front lawn!); here’s to being FIVE.

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“you have defeated a baby”

it’s a new year and i’ve got another baby to sit on!  her name is The Cadet and she’s 4 months old and her parents are dear friends and housemates with my partner.  there’s really nothing like being friends with people while they’re pregnant, hangin out with them while they’re in labor, spending at least half your nights in their house, etc, to already LOVE somebody’s baby.

so it’s pretty great.  i got a bangin early-to-bed-early-to-rise thing [newly] goin on, and a full 40 hours/ week with OPB.  somehow i’ve come out the end of my 20s as a nanny musician herbalist type.  fuck yeah, i haven’t loved my dayjob/lifework balance this much since before my nonprofit meltdown in the south philly heydays of my barely-supervised youth organizer job.  blogreaders, i am happy to say i’m pretty happy.  hope y’alls new years are getting off to a good start too.

so.  one of the main things about hanging out with The Cadet, if you’re not one of her parents, is the screaming.  she’s a well-attached baby who’s used to nursing when she wants, so if her mom or dad aren’t around, she’s, y’know, understandably upset.  we used to hang out sometimes and sing songs and look at the world together and other non-screaming awake activities, but she and her brain just recently got smart enough to tell the difference between adults a little bit better.  so i’m patiently earning my way back to more non-screaming awake time with The Cadet, earplugs in place.

that’s right, i am Learning About Babies.  they are different than toddlers and preschoolers.  and it might that i’m wearing my [new] glasses, which are worn by all the other adults The Cadet trusts, but truth be told, we are having more and more non-screaming awake time (NSAT?) daily.  screaming’s cool, though!  these days i like all kinds of screaming in my music, for instance.  i’ve had to keep reminding myself that babies don’t cry for the same reasons older humans cry– most of the time The Cadet’s not sad or pissed off, she’s just got gas bubbles that she could use somebody’s help to thump out.  i can totally help her with that!  blogreaders, soon you will recognize me by the size of my giant upper-back and arm muscles.  all the same, it has taken some effort to not take The Cadet’s crying personally.  In that vein though, it’s fun to think of all the cuss words she’s using (WHY DONT YOU ASSHOLES EVER FUCKING FEED ME?  NO ONE HAS EVER FED ME, NOT EVEN ONCE!  FUUCK!).  but whatever.  babies cry.  i get it.  they sleep too!  that’s why i’m blogging right now!  when The Cadet falls asleep, it’s better than winning.

lastly, blogreaders, i’m really tempted to brag about the clever ways i slacked off during last week’s afternoons with Elroy to compensate for adjusting to a new work schedule, but those kind of secrets get told in person, not on a blog.  …i did FINALLY break 24,000 points at Chuck E Cheese’s skeeball, i’ll tell you that much.