It’s All in Me.

I meant to write a whole other post for today, but have been having far too much fun reading the comments on my last one. So far I am either a filthy ANIMAL from whose custody all children should be speedily removed, or Everywoman. Sadly, I fear my own mother would place me in the former camp, as when I called her today to whine becomingly about my missing charm bracelet (since found behind the cushions of the couch) she icily remarked that it was probably hidden under a pile of debris.
“So you’ve seen the post then,” I said. I was pleased to be able to tell her that in fact, with the exception of the laundry (which we have collected in baskets subsequently stacked atop one another to form a towering obelisk) our house is quite neat at the moment, as the nanny was here today and I cleaned in anticipation of her visit.

This was the auxiliary nanny, the one I have hired for just three days in the next two weeks while Dr. Nanny is out of town. She came at nine-thirty, and I left to write until one, ate at the Indian restaurant across from the coffee shop, then retired to the gym for a spot of rope jumping. I returned home at two-thirty to a smiling baby (who had allegedly taken a nap), feeling happier than I have in weeks, and wondering when my child became so attractive and delightful. Absence makes the temper longer.

I am off to bed, now, but before I forget I must tell you that last week Simone said her first word, clear as day:

I was as surprised as you are. She hasn’t said it since, but then I haven’t been talking much about Lebanese politics myself, lately. This is the sort of thing that would make a lovely entry in her baby book, if I had ever gotten around to keeping one.


  1. Beth in SF says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry that people are being so hateful. Your place looks better than mine! And, I’m guessing better than the houses of most mothers to youngsters. Anyone who can say otherwise either has no children of their own or has a maid.

  2. Lynn says:

    Well, I don’t have baby books for my kids either — the makings of them are sitting in a box in the basement. Of course. But at least you have a lovely blog Simone can read when she’s older; what a wonderful gift that will be for her, and how special she’ll feel.

  3. Lorraine says:

    As long as there are no bad smells it’s all fine – or at least that’s what I always told myself.

    My daughter’s first word was AL GORE, so maybe babies just like politics? Or NPR is broadcasting on one of those frequencies that adults can’t hear…

  4. Stephanie says:

    Of course you have a baby book! This blog is definitely the 21st century version. But if you really want an old-fashioned BOOK, try one of those new nifty sites that build a book for you from your digital photos and cut and paste your baby blog entries. Would make a most excellent present for your Mom!

  5. Mert says:

    ‘Absence makes the temper longer’….love that! And so true. I look forward to seeing my little one after a day of work. Just like I look forward to daycare opening after a three day weekend! Just saying…

  6. Flicka says:

    This is when I’m grateful that my readership is so small. People really need to get hobbies!

    Hezbollah, huh? I think Simone is smarter than me. My child is right now trying to eat the zipper off his coat so go us for furthering his education!


  7. tree town gal says:

    Yes, Simone is so lucky to have a brilliant, amusing momma who can actually figure out how to blog. That is a lovely gift. I succumb to tracking witticisms and musings on our family calendar… day by day, it’s an easy tracking tool for those of us less web-savvy.

  8. Mel says:

    I was trying to think of something funny to say about Hezbollah and hanging out in Chicago at BlogHer and watching my back and arguing politics. But I have a cold. So I cannot be witty because all of my energy is going towards blowing my nose.

  9. I love Laura’s comment that babies are terrorists. That really made me smile.

    As for the photographs, they aren’t that bad. You’ve got a kid, I think the mess just naturally follows.

    At least that’s what I plan on using as my clenching argument when this baby is born.

  10. Mrs. Moose says:

    I see from the Baby of the Week caption you’ve been watching Center Stage.
    And I love the word kerfluffle. Yes, I do.

    I so know what you mean about absence making the baby seem more appealing. I feel that way every time I get more than an hour away! :)

  11. Glynda the Good says:

    ooh just you wait for the anti-Lebanese terrorism backlash… My darling baby’s first word is “ya-ya”. Rolling Stones fan, I guess.

  12. Linz says:

    I have been so reassured by your pictures. I have to go back to school for a miserable last quarter before I get to stay home full-time with my kidlette, so the house looks like a teacher’s lounge/cloth-diapering emporium/newborn-needs-store exploded.

    And glad to see that I won’t be the only member of the “My child was raised by Nina Totenberg, Scott Simon and Carl Castle” club.

  13. Maritsa says:

    What was wrong with those trolls? They weren’t even funny, just bitter and hateful. Pathetic.

    Glynda, “ya-ya” is the Greek word for grandmother, so clearly your child is a philhellene genius.

  14. Jaywalker says:

    One of my younger sister’s very first sentences was “More Keynes daddy”.

    What is this ‘baby book’ of which you speak?

    (Dog crapped on eldest son’s carpet yesterday. Come and bait someone who REALLY lives in criminal squalor, trolls!)

  15. Julia says:

    I have been lurking for ages (from the time of Simones premature birth) and never comment. I thought that the previous post was incredibly brave. I know that I would never ever do a post like that cos I’d be too ashamed to admit that my house is so filthy sometimes. Don’t worry about the nasty comments.
    You Rock and your babe is gorgeous…

  16. cindy says:

    I guess I am a nut job..I have 3 kids and 2 humongous hairy dogs, but insist on keeping my house clean. I would be a nervous wreck with all that laundry. I guess I might be slightly OCD!

    My mood is related to the cleanliness of my house. I wish I could let some of it go, but then my mood is horrible.

    It is a challenge though….I am the only who cares.

  17. Jenny says:

    Yeah, I looked with pleased satisfaction at the last post and thought, “If we had someone knock on our door to take photos of every room, we’d have more laundry done, but piles of filth-encrusted dishes on every surface in the kitchen, so it all evens out. Also, what is this “dusting” of which you speak?” It just looked bog-standard normal to me.

    So pleased you found good child care. Transformative, to my mind.

  18. Natalie says:

    I have to say that you really need to be published. I laugh aloud when I read your posts, and it is with a combination of tenderness, understanding and naughtiness that I guffaw audibly. Love you Alexa, you are hilarious.

    I am currently nearly losing my mind having just lost my mother and am feeling a bit like a nutter who can’t achieve even the simplest tasks. It has been somewhat liberating letting go out of necessity and realising that if I let Margot just pick stuff she finds on the floor and pop it in her mouth (shoking hazards excluded) or that if I hand back to her the odd piece of something that she repeatedly drops purposefully to the floor while she eats, and ends up consuming it, that that is ok.
    I get more help than you do around the house (paid) and achieve far less, so bravo! xx

  19. Nancy says:

    Alright, you little twerp! Confess! HOW, HOW I ask, did you get into my house? How DARE you take pictures…oh…wait. Um…okay, my bad. Furniture’s different. And geez, your floors are pretty darn clean. But, hey…My kitchen floor is worse than yours. So…sorry for yelling at you…it’s just that we have the same bathmat, and gosh, I jumped to conclusions. But then I remembered that the clawfoot tub was in our LAST house…oh, how I miss it!!!! Anyhow…poor ARK…I, too, went to her website. She is just a bundle of hate. Do you suppose her parents were with the Nazi’s? Or the KKK? Poor sad clueless person. Maybe we can blame it on her Aspergers? Not sure. But she sure is sad!

    Hugs for Simone!

    Nancy (who has to admit, that at the moment, also has a clean house…comparitively speaking. But there have been times…oh, there have been times!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  20. Al says:

    I have wanted to say everything both positive and negative in response to the last blog. I think I have been on all ends of that spectrum. Whatever works for you. And Mo calls me intolerant…

  21. pehicicila says:

    And Alexa just to clear up a comment you made–your dear mother would NOT be in the camp of venomous, humorless, holier than thou readers who have felt compelled to say such mean things. OK so your house is a little messy (maybe a lot messy right when the pictures were taken) but you’ve got cleaners for God’s sake (as your regular readers well know)–it is messy but not dirty. Do we really have to be so judgmental? Your mother would be in the camp that is grateful for your sense of humor and your wonderful writing ability–and who admires the bravery you have shown over the last year and a half. Simone is obviously clean and happy and just delightful. No doubt she will have a wonderful sense of humor when she grows up and will not feel compelled to take things too seriously….(And Honey I only happen to be compulsively tidy and somewhat intolerant of clutter because I slept under a pile of clothes on my bed in my younger days and dreamt that the belts were snakes….too scary.)

  22. dora says:

    O my god, you have cleaners! Wow, that last comment is interesting. This poor woman was so traumatized by a nasty house she is now compulsive. Gotta make you think.

  23. Al says:

    Simone isn’t listed as one of the Tribune’s 10 cutest babies. I think you should demand a recount and prepare to take it to federal court.

  24. Corinne says:

    How funny! Ava’s first word was “Ngala” (referring, I assume, to the South African nature preserve). I guess eating all those pages of National Geographic really paid off!

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