September 16th, 2006

Parenting gear and move update

The Kinderzeat is working pretty well. We brought it to and from the friend's house (didn't forget it, altho it was a close thing). He doesn't stay in it every time he eats, but he stays in it for a while for evening meals and some breakfasts, so this is a great thing.

The Learning Tower is similar. It doesn't solve all of the I-want-to-participate problems, but it helps a lot. The trick is taking him out of the tower before giving him tongs, a spatula or other item that extends his reach. Otherwise he wreaks havoc on everything we moved back on the island to be out of his reach.

We have the car (it was delivered yesterday), but have not yet returned the rental, in part because we haven't figured out a good time to get us all up to Manchester and back. I'm thinking about hanging onto it until the end of the planned rental period, so I can get the subaru in for its 90K service, which it is already slightly late for. Our stuff is due to show up on Tuesday, so right now we are focused on rearranging the house to make room for the furniture that will be arriving. We've got space for the two bookcases. Next is to make room for the bar. After that, we have to take the bed apart, and get it and the futon frame out of the house. The last bit will be emptying the dressers and figuring out what to do with them. They may become storage in the breezeway or barn; they may go to the town dump or the consignment shop if we rent a truck. Hard to say. R. is planning on using Teddy's nap tomorrow to go for a bicycle ride with M.

The Korean restaurant (Doong Choun?) that replaced Rice and Roll in Nashua at exit 6 is _unbelievably good_. Hard to believe it's in Nashua, or in New Hampshire at all. Go before they have to make compromises. They are nice. The portions are substantial. The prices are reasonable. The food is authentic. They even give you all the side dishes. Amazing. Really good teas, also -- I don't have any idea how to spell the first one. The one at the end was a sweet ginger tea with pine nuts. Very, very good. All the advertising for Charm-something-or-other (an alcoholic beverage, as near as I can tell, but what kind I'm a little hazy on) is a little weird, but no worse than Bud ads at a pub.

R. assembled the Radio Flyer (metal, none of this modern plastic stuff, altho that one was tempting) wagon and took Teddy for a ride in it today. Apparently it fell out a couple of times before he got the idea he should hang on. This was, fortunately, on the grass, altho I'm a bit puzzled why R. had him out on the grass. I figured they'd just play on the driveway. Teddy came back with a skinned knee (what's new).

We went grocery shopping, and Teddy rode about half the time in the cab of the grocery cart; the rest in one of our arms or in the regular seat up top. We found Ezekiel bread this time. The 12 grain Baranowsky (while tasty) only has 1 g of fiber per slice and that was just not working for me.

We went to lapsit yesterday. Getting Teddy to stay put was the usual challenge. He was easily the most active kid there, but fortunately several others were at least as loud. I nursed him a couple of times (mostly to get him to settle down), and one woman did a double take that turned into a disbelieving stare. She had a grim look on her face (but she had that all the time, so I don't know if it means anything other than that's just the way her face is in neutral, or perhaps she's depressed), but was actually pretty nice to Teddy and me.

When we stopped at the library a day or so earlier, I picked up _Night Gardening_, which is the book group pick this month. Weird book -- written by a children's author, but very much not a children's book. Heroine recovering from a stroke, widowed by an alcoholic, both kids alcoholic. Set in Boston, she's Southie Irish married a Brahmin. A landscape gardener who's doing the million dollar garden next door falls for her and helps her in her recovery (so that's what they're calling it these days!). Interesting side details: she thinks her biological father may have been the Monsignor that hung out with her and her mother while she was growing up; descriptions of Boston Brahmin haunts (the Tavern Club, Brattle Street, etc.); white gardens in many different climates (presented scathingly) and lots of Japanese gardening stuff (presented as if it were wise and wonderful) and in general a lot of plant stuff.

I did not find the heroine or the love interest particularly sympathetic people. I thought they thought an awful lot of themselves, and had only limited insight into how they contributed to their own unhappinesses. Further, I was not convinced the author had much more insight than they did (altho there were some indications that she did). Also, they were sort of mean and vain. I also found the ending offensive. I didn't mind so much that the author knocked off our heroine (she was recovering, but stroke victims often have repeat strokes, so hardly a surprise), or even that their was a funeral/wake/memorial at the end. But the way it was set up was see? You shouldn't have treated her so badly, it's all your fault now that she's dead. Oh gosh, I feel so remorseful, I'd better quit drinking, rescue the family house and enshrine the garden that she designed and in fact extend it to include everything in her files. Creepy. I'd rather have seen the kids grow up and live their own lives, instead. It seemed not as bad as the white gardening women, but somehow related -- not living one's own story, but instead trapped in someone else's.

It'll be interesting to talk to the group about it. I'll have to decide whether I'll bitch about lack of depiction of technical difficulties of sex post-menopause (vaginal dryness -- where's the lube, people?) or the inherent ridiculousness of a grandfather and a grandmother (the latter of whom is not fully recovered from a stroke) having intercourse three times in the course of a single night. Sure, it's possible. Lots of things are possible, but still cause my disbelief to hit the floor hard enough to leave a small crater.