Wednesday, May 2, 2012

That's a cute outfit - FOR ME TO POOP ON!

I just made a Triumph the Insult Comic Dog reference. Does that date me? I don't care.

Anyway: excrement. The Blowout Diaper is a thrice-weekly occurrence. When he gives me this particular massive toothless grin, I know he's just consigned me to five minutes elbow-deep in poo and another load of laundry. But as long as he's happy, I'm good.

I've found out why new parents talk so much about poop. First of all, when you are surrounded by it all day, you can go one of two ways - you can cringe and gag and be disgusted, or you can embrace the hilarity, because as any 12-year-old or Hollywood comedy producer can tell you, poop is funny. Second: the quality and amount of your child's poop is one indicator of their health. Little babies are basically giant heads with digestive systems, and if the system's not working right you're going to get something like the first six weeks of Seamus' gassy, slightly constipated existence. His nickname is now "Screamy McShriek."

But at six weeks, it's like someone flipped the "human being on" switch. First he started focusing his eyes on things, then it was eye contact, then I could occasionally jolly him out of a crying jag by waving a brightly-colored jingling dangly toy in front of his face. (In the vein of "Dog Toy or Sex Toy," I have a new game called "Baby Toy or Cat Toy.") Now he smiles and squeals and bats at toys and seems to enjoy it when I read him Harry Potter, complete with attempted English and Scottish accents. When I do a raspberry at him he gasps in surprise, then gives me this huge silly grin, in the vein of the best video on the Internet but not quite as awesome (yet). He still cries more than most babies, I think, but now that he has facial expressions he's getting easier to decipher. My son has facial expressions! Holy crap, I have a son!

This is still sinking in.


The first 3 weeks of maternity leave, I spent alternately freaking the fuck out and playing Mass Effect while Seamus slept - and he slept a lot, as newborns do. I finished it (and need to post about it, although my thoughts on the much-maligned ending don't really vary from most people's, i.e., what is this I don't even.) Then Seamus decided to quit napping for more than a half hour at a time because he's perverse like that, and from then on gaming was out - I always needed at least one hand free to hold/feed/amuse the baby, and often I have to pace around holding the kid to calm him down, so I switched to TV. Yeah, the vast majority of it is age-inappropriate, but a) he does not yet speak English or recognize objects and all he cares about right now is sound and color and motion, and b) the first thing he ever saw was me blowing holes in people's chests with a shotgun in Mass Effect, so the damage has already been done.

Things I have watched over the last month and change:

- Downton Abbey, series 1. Verdict: Soapy period-drama goodness, Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess is the snarkiest thing ever and I love her, but Lady Mary annoys me. She needs to get her ship together and get Matthew back.

- Firefly again. I must have rewatched that entire show 5 times at this point. It's my comfort show, like Princess Bride and Beauty and the Beast are my comfort movies.

- The first few episodes of North and South, strongly recommended by my BBC-addict friend Anna (who also recommended Downton Abbey before it was cool). Maybe it was just me coming off the juicy drama of Downton, but North and South was just too serious for me, what with its grim color scheme and Industrial Revolution social commentary. However, Anna's obsession with Richard Armitage is well founded.

- The first maybe 8 episodes of Angel, and then I gave up. It just didn't seem as sharp as Buffy, and I hate Cordelia. I've heard she gets better but I wasn't really that interested in sticking it out when there's all of Netflix at my fingertips.

- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Okay. This is a cute show. I got about 6 episodes in and yeah, it hits all the nostalgia buttons from my OMG!! ponies!! '80s childhood, and the characters are fun, and it's well written... but whatever is making the 20-something guys obsess over it, I can't see it. It's a straight-up kids' show! It's completely unironic! ...okay, maybe that IS what the bronies see in it? Me, I like my kids' shows with layers. See: Adventure Time.

- Deep Space Nine, currently halfway through season 2. I left for college during season 3, I believe, and never watched the rest because I was too busy going to ska shows and drinking screwdrivers while watching Space Ghost. But I love DS9, even though Babylon 5 is the superior show featuring a volatile interplanetary political situation on a space station. I'm surprised at how much more I like Major Kira this time through. I used to think she was irritating, but now I get a kick out of her revolutionary-turned-reluctant-bureaucrat attitude problem. She would be my snarky BFF and we'd go out with Dax for Klingon food and get drunk and trade station gossip.

What should be next? Whatever it is, I'd better cram as much entertainment into this leave as possible before Seamus starts gaining linguistic ability, because at that point it's gonna be nothing but Yo Gabba Gabba for a couple years. I just hope toddler Seamus doesn't figure out how to open the baby gate and sneak into the living room after his bedtime while we're watching Game of Thrones.

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