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The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Of course The Lorax is great, it is by Dr. Seuss.  It is a wonderful story that reminds us that the world we live in is beautiful, that every living thing is connected, and that we need to conserve our natural resources. But what's more is that it rhymes and offers us awesome words and phrases like "where the Grickle-grass grows," "his Snuvv, his secret strange hole in his gruvvulous glove," the "Whisper-ma-Phone," and "Brown Bar-ba-loots" in their "Bar-ba-loot suits."  Reading this book to Baby is a verbal joy.  


Head Over Heels

I had the luxury of staying home for five months of falling head over heels for Baby, but I am back to my day job now.

My typical day involves
rushing (to work),
trudging (through work),
wondering (if I have enough work to earn my keep),
realizing (that it is time to pump),
listening (to dipwads),
repeating (instructions to dipwads),
wishing (I could go to the gym and instead realizing that is time to pump - yet again),
searching (for that thing that I swear I just set down),
pumping (oh yes, one more time),
plowing (through whatever work I can finish before the end of the day),
packing (bottles and their various accessories, work ID, blackberry, cell phone, keys), and
racing (home to see Baby).

Yesterday I added tripping to the list. At some point between searching and pumping, I opened my office door. I turned to my left so that I could walk to the ladies room. The next thing I knew, I crashed into the wall as I tripped forward and sideways simultaneously. Somehow, I did not fall over - but I did succeed in making a racket. (My kind of poise and grace is noisy.) The Southeast corner of the 19th Floor stopped and looked up at me with a couple of gasps and "are you okays," but then it was back to business as usual for everyone. Nonetheless, I still had to walk from my crash site to the ladies room, past all of the people who had just seen (and heard) me spaz out of my office door and into a wall. I was bright red, hot in the face, and praying (seriously, praying) that I would make it past everyone without falling over again.

As soon as I returned to my office, I put my heels back in their drawer and returned to the flats I had commuted in.


BOOK REVIEW - Knuffle Bunny

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

Adorable. I fell in love with this book the first time I read it to Baby. It takes place in (Park Slope) Brooklyn, which is nice. Willems perfectly captures the way parents and babies try to communicate with one another before they share a common language. Trixie tries to tell her daddy something important but has to make do with only her baby babble sounds, her cries, and her physical expression of distress. After several blocks of miscommunication, Trixie and her daddy end up back at their door a little worse for wear. Who immediately knows what's on Trixie's mind?



Set a book in brownstone Brooklyn, mix in some adorable illustrations and pictures, add a pinch of cuteness between a little girl and her daddy, bake until the dialogue between parents (who have words) and babies (who don't) is golden, let cool, and frost with the brilliance of a mommy -- and Voila! a perfect Knuffle Bunny.

What does Baby think of Knuffle Bunny? He tried to eat several pages this morning, which is one of his highest forms of praise.

BOOK REVIEW - Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert

An excellent book. It rhymes. The illustrations and graphics are simple and bright. All of the lower case letters try to climb up one coconut tree. Can they all fit?


No. They do not all fit on one coconut tree. There are twenty-six letters in the alphabet, and although they are little, lower case letters, there are simply too many to fit onto one coconut tree. Obv.

The tree bends down with their weight, drops them all to the ground, and the upper case mamas and papas and uncles and aunts have to help them up.

Baby loves, loves, loves this book. This morning, I was reading a different (but equally awesome) book to Baby. He spotted Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom on the cushion next to me, and he promptly rolled right off of my lap, arms reaching out for his dear, brightly colored (and delicious?) book. If that is not a ringing endorsement, then I don't know what's what.


Coming and Going

When I leave in the mornings now, Baby usually looks up at me from his nanny's arms and smiles. Then the smile fades, and he looks confused. The nanny says (for him), "See you later, Mommy." I look back as I walk away, and he knits his eyebrows and watches me go. I tell myself not to look back again. I tell myself not to run back to Baby. I remind myself that this is the Great Recession, and that I need my job. I put my headphones in and try to pretend I am someone else. My solace is that I will get to see Baby smile when I come home. That smile makes my heart beat.

But there are days when circumstances conspire to keep me from getting home until after Baby is zonked. On those days, when I walk in the door, he looks at me with about as much recognition as he might give to the UPS delivery person. I try to fight it. I smile really big and exaggerate my excitement to try to get him to smile back. But he won't. I know that he is just tired, but I feel like crumpling when my day ends that way.

Yesterday was one of those days. I was in my office at 5:45 p.m. listening to some young paralegal question my instructions. He was skeptical of whatever I was telling him to do. Perhaps because my return to Work is so recent, I distrusted myself (and even my notes) and instead believed his skepticism. He wanted to check in with another attorney on the matter, and I told him to let me know if I had indeed made a mistake. When I did not hear from him, I sent him an email. He wrote back, and I am paraphrasing here, but his email roughly translates as follows:

"Dear LadyLawyer,

I think that I know more than you [even though I was learning long division when you were at Kenyon smoking P*Funks]. I am busy [doing what you told me to do because you were right]. I will get to that other thing later [because you were right that that other thing is for later]. I am not going to admit that you were right because I am really busy knowing more than you [and now you are going to get home to see a zonked out baby who does not even recognize you].

Little Dipwad."

I used to think that people moved fast on New York's sidewalks because this is the concrete jungle where dreams are made of and all the rest of it. But now I believe that people move fast, and I mean really fast, to get home before their babies are zonked out little zombies. At least that's why I do.


The More Things Change

I returned to my office on March 1, and I promise to write more about that transition when I am emotionally able. In the meantime, here are some of the oddities from the last week and a half:

1. A man playing a baby grand in the lobby of 1 WFC. Neither the baby grand nor the piano player were there the last time I checked.

2. The ID I use to swipe through the turnstiles to get to the elevators did not work on my first day. The Universe sending me back home? Nope. According to security, I had simply swiped too many times and worn the damn thing out. Thank goodness I do not believe in existential crises because otherwise I think I would have had one.

3. Yesterday, while I was standing in line to get my salad for lunch, a couple of chach-faces roll in. One turns behind to his friends and says, "That's not even Finance 101... That's, like, Algebra 101!" Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle. Apparently, I found the only place in America where it is okay [i.e., awesome] to admit [i.e., brag] that you are a Finance Guy.

4. On my third day back, a partner stopped by my office and opened with, "Now, uh, please don't report me to the, uh, you know, politically correct police or anything . . . but . . .." After his "non-reportable" remark, he explained that he had learned at his age that even when you are trying to be nice, some one is going to get upset.

5. When I went to hide in various retail stores after a terribly uncomfortable exchange with the partner in #4, I walked by at least two more pianos and piano players where there had once been only hallway. The entire World Financial Center had been taken over by pianos!