Monday, February 07, 2005

Ollie likes the doctor

Friday was the day when Buttercup, who calls herself Ollie, uttered her first real sentence. We were driving Xerxes to the doctor, and he was all surly about having to go. He is my son, after all. And I am my mother's and grandmother's progeny. Several years ago, my grandmother broke her arm, and she would not agree to go to the hospital for several days. Of course, we didn't *know* it was broken. We thought she had just bruised it. When she fashioned a sling from her housecoat belt, we got suspicious, but she insisted that if we made her go to the doctor, she would commit ritual suicide in the back seat of the Honda on the way. She only agreed to go on the third day, after her arm turned COMPLETELY BLACK AND PURPLE below her bicep where the fracture was. So, Xerxes comes naturally by his irrational distaste for the doctor. While we were driving there, I pointed out that it was a shame that Xerxes was going to the doctor instead of Buttercup, because he doesn't like to go to the doctor, but she does. "Ollie ike a doctor!" she chirped. Ollie likes the doctor. Since then it has been nonstop. Mama has a purse. OLLIE'S purse. Mama and Ollie go byebye. Mama and Chi Chi (Xerxes). Ollie and Panda go night-night. Papa walk the dogs. But if you run into Buttercup, don't act like this sentence thing is NEW. I suspect she's of the opinion that she has ALWAYS been speaking in sentences, and that speaking one word at a time is sooooo last week. THEY FOUND HER FROTHING AT THE MOUTH, SURROUNDED BY RUBBER STAMPS One of my best friends, Lolita, is great with child, so we are planning a shower. Anastasia Faye and I spent Saturday in the craft store. Half the time was spent picking out shower supplies; the other half was spent pointing to the most hideous items we could find and suggesting the other person BUY IT, RIGHT NOW! Look - this yarn looks like it's woven with HUMAN HAIR. You have to buy it. Ooooh, we need a GIANT METAL ROOSTER! Babies love tin folk art, almost as much as they love broken Christmas ornaments and swimming pools. Oh my God -- look at that awful lamp with the beaded fringe on the shade and the monkey riding an elephant on the base! Hey, I like that. Oh. Anyway, I figured we'd save a few dollars by creating our own, simple invitations. So far, I have spent some $70 to assemble them, which still hasn't been done. I've bought blank cards, printed digital photos, bought ribbon and stamping ink, and a rubber stamp with a curly baby buggy illustration, pastel paper and a custom hole punch. Sure, I could have spent more. Then again, I could have spent less by having the invitations professionally engraved, but then they wouldn't have had that charming, pasted-together-by-a-kindergartener look that these will inevitably have. I've become a pro at throwing baby showers. Lolita's will be the fifth baby for whom I've thrown a shower in the past three years. I've gotten it down to a science: an arch of tulle between the living and dining rooms, a big glass punch bowl with a heart-shaped block of sherbet floating in it, Ella Fitzgerald on the stereo. We're not big on games, because most shower games involve humiliating either the expectant mother or her guests. "Guess her weight! C'mon, she's huge, I'll bet you can't guess how much she has gained!" Instead, we have snacks, watch the mommy-to-be open her presents and generally stare at her. We marvel at the loveliness that comes from creating and nurturing a new life inside your body. And we marvel at the exhaustion it causes, as well. Honestly, looking at Lolita and the tiny feet and elbows that occasionally journey across her stomach, I can't help but think that pregnancy is a remarkably ridiculous way to bring a human being into the world. I mean, maybe if babies were smaller. But this -- this is just cruelty. Showers, on the other hand, make perfect sense. They are a gathering of the village who eagerly awaits a child's arrival, and will surround her with love, prayers and good wishes from the moment she draws her first breath. I want this shower to be perfect (which, naturally, means that it will be a comedy of small disasters). Lolita threw us a perfect shower/bon voyage party before we left for China to meet Buttercup. And she and her family were right there at the airport when we got home. She and her husband are two of Buttercup's godparents. I can't wait for this little girl, this roaming elbow of a girl, to be born, so we can smell her baby head, gasp at the her miniscule fingernails and weep at the beauty of her yawns.


Blogger PPB said...

Aw dang, girl, I'm responding to posts from a month ago. I feel like I finally found the cool kids' party.

7:58 AM  

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