Steve's recent (misguided) foray into low-fat, high-fiber eating caused him to abruptly lose ten pounds last month. Maybe fifteen. His jeans would creep off his backside as he walked; revealing his underwear and forcing him to hoik his pants up a million times a day to keep from tripping. It made me feel like I was living at the Mall with one of those white suburbanites who think maybe they'd be gangstas if it they didn't have the hook up at PretzelTyme. Which is not how I want to spend the late late summer of my years.
I have been force-feeding him butter, but while I wait for it to take effect I decided to buy him some smaller pants. Jeans, actually, Levis, specifically, 560s, numerically - same thing he has worn for at least a decade. Medium blue. At least that was my intention but apparently styles change (!) and the popular sits-at-waist loose-fit tapered leg of 1998 has given way to all sorts of innovations that can only be expressed by new numbers like 559 and 514. The nice child in the menswear department told me that Steve's beloved 560s are now an internet-only item. Tsk. So I just grabbed a couple of pairs that looked about right and threw in some cargo pants and returned home.
Note: "loose fit, tapered" and "regular fit, tapered" sound like they should be similar, right? And yet Steve had to pull these things on with a shoe horn and when he was done he looked like an ice dancer. I laughed so hard I fell off the couch. He would have been more modestly attired if I had simply drawn on him with a blue marker. The jeans had to be returned so he tried on the cargo pants. They were more successful. Steve put them on with ease, gave a manly little shake, and then walked across the room. Stride, stride, pivot, hand in pocket and... huh.
Steve pulled a tube of used Chapstick out of the pocket of his brand-new pants. Then he reached into the other pocket and extracted a ballpoint pen. Further investigation revealed that all of the tags on his pants had actually been reattached using either white thread or loops of Scotch tape. He was repulsed (the Chapstick was rather... unpleasantly mauled) and said that obviously someone with poor oral control had bought these pants, worn them at least once, and then went to rather elaborate measures to return them again.
My theory, however - and I am sure you will agree with me - is that these are actually magic pants. Somewhere out there is the matching pair and some poor guy keeps reaching into his pocket for his Chapstick only to pull out Steve's handkerchief or car keys or the rock that Patrick asked him to keep forever. You always assume that magic would be vast and purposeful like flying or going back in time or shooting blue flames from your fingers but why? Why not something as prosaic as cargo pant pockets that act as a direct and mysterious conduit to... other pockets.
I kill me.
Steve, by the way, returned the jeans but kept the pants. He said they were comfortable and he was not obligated to use either the Chapstick or the pen simply because they were free.
Edward had some great appointments recently. I wrote about this at REDBOOK already but the pediatric opthamalogist said his eyes look much better and we do not have to come back for another two years. I'm not entirely sure how it worked since I am under the impression that iris cysts neither grow nor shrink nor disappear but she said they were much less oppressive and he appears to have full vision in both eyes. Maybe his eyes grew? Observationally I would say that his irises are just bigger than they were but I'm not sure if that could be true either. In any event Edward is no longer blind (he most likely couldn't see at all for the first couple of months - it caused concern) and we are pleased.
I took him back for another swallow study last week. This time they did not have to pin him down to check for reflux; they just had him sit in front of a fancy real-time xray while I gave him a bottle of barium. The fact that I was wearing a chin to shin lead apron to protect myself from radiation while Edward was just sitting there in a pair of cotton rompers gave me pause but what do I know? The good news is that he passed the swallow study and is back to normal liquids. He still seems to aspirate when he refluxes but the current prevacid dose is helping with that and I was so excited to get him off the rice cereal that I didn't want to push my luck by getting too nosy with the pathologist. As it is she said we do not need to come back unless we have concerns.
I have issues so forgive me if I relapse into euphemism here but I wanted to pass along something we have found useful. Edward was getting an enormous quantity of rice cereal daily and the effect was... binding. In the extreme. I found that a single serving of first stage baby prunes every day helped to manage the situation, mostly. Meanwhile, Patrick has had similar problems for years and years; to the extent that he has been on a small dose of Miralax for, well, years and years. However! We discovered a new Sunsweet product called PlumSmart that combines the efficacy of prunes with, I don't know, fairy dust, and extra fiber. It tastes a bit like cranberry juice and it has gotten and kept Patrick off both the prescriptive and over-the-counter drugs. It is amazing and I offer this for what it is worth; in case you are in need of digestive aid recommendations.
Caroline is looking a little grubby in this picture but it is the only one I took of her (today) and I wanted to say look! see! Can you tell how much better her cheeks are? Well maybe you cannot tell from this picture but they are. All hail the miraculous Maalox-Aquaphor combination! She's still really bumpy etc but the inflammation is significantly reduced.
I am very grateful for all of your skin suggestions, you know. Oh, and speaking of suggestions, what am I supposed to do about her hair? Patrick's hair is like Steve's and always just grew perfectly; so much so that we have never even brushed it. Caroline's is thick and yet wispy and it is growing straight into her eyes. I took a pair of scissors to the bangs a few weeks ago and it was... REALLY unbecoming. Hedge trimmers meet flowbee. I cannot bring my ten month old baby into a salon to have it dealt with by a professional; largely because I want a clear conscience as I stand before the guillotine and the crowd roars to hear of my excesses. Which leaves me throwing myself on your wisdom again. Is there some special trick to cutting baby hair that would enable even a styling half-wit like myself to keep the child from looking silly? Again. Silly-er.
Two nights ago Patrick said he was worried about his Halloween costume. What if people do not know what I am, he fretted. I stared at him: "Did you actually think that ANYONE ANYWHERE EVER will be able to guess that you are supposed to be your imaginary cat friend Sassy dressed as the letter C?"
No, he said.
And do you care enough that we need to go shopping so you can be an easily identifiable pirate or something?
No, he said.
Because we live in Minnesota no one thought he was supposed to be a Clemson Tiger, which frankly would have been my guess. Patrick told one guy who asked that the C stood for "Concept". The guy said, "Ohhh well Happy Halloween there then."
You betcha. Man, I love Minnesota and everybody who lives here.
My friend and I drank wine and waited for trick-or-treaters while Steve and her husband took Patrick and their girls around town. We were shocked by the scarcity of visitors. Despite being a warm(ish) night and a Friday we saw about a third as many trick-or-treaters as years past. I have gotten similar reports from New England and DC. True? Did it seem light where you were?
Oh and Patrick's carpool buddies burst into my house on Friday afternoon and asked, "Is it true that Caroline and Edward are going as garden gnomes?"
I'm not sure if Patrick made this up or they did but I could just kick myself for not thinking of it myself. Next year. Totally. I can just see them in pointy little hats and beards. Delicious.