Oral Hygiene Queen

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Location: Midwest, United States

I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

You Remind Me of Someone, part I

Two days before Christmas my Old Man and I load our two precious offspring onto a 737bound for Newark, New Jersey, traveling to my dear's ancestral home for the holidays. It is, for various reasons, an exceptionally and unexpectedly long day of travel, at the end of which we are all fairly disoriented. Maybe that's why, as we are attempting to deboard the plane once it finally lands in Newark, I can't figure out what exactly the friendly flight attendant is saying when she begins admiring our baby.

Friendly flight attendant (through a big grin and a half an inch of make-up): Oh, she's so beautiful! She looks just like a tahmincaty baby!

Me: Huh?

FFF: She looks just like Tom and Katie's baby!

Me: (Thinking Is she working under the delusion that we have friends in common?) Who?

FFF: Tom and Katie's baby, Suri!

Me: Uh... (Thinking Holy Christ, she's talking about Tom Cruise.) Oh yeah, I see. Um, thanks?

I finally understand what she's saying, but I'm still a bit befuddled. My baby daughter has dark hair, blue eyes, and a round face, and in those ways she resembles the baby daughter of a famous maniacal scientologist and his cute young wife. I am not offended, and neither am I flattered. My thoughts quickly turn to more pressing matters: Let's get off this fucking plane and get some pizza.

But later I think: Really, how similar does my baby look to that baby? (Back, I guess, when she was a baby, since Suri Cruise is now more of a little kid.) And then, with the hubris that is a mother's right, I think: Really, isn't my baby much cuter?

I don't know. You decide.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Poop Explosion!

Ah, poop. I've been away from this blog for over two weeks. Despite the fact that many posts have come to my mind, crying I'm a classic! I'm timely and/or hilarious and/or poignant!, I have not written them. Despite the fact that an Angel of God has visted me in a vision and called to me in a sweet, Irish-accented voice, saying "Oral Queen, ye need te post te yer blog. God wants ye te post te yer blog," still I have not posted. So what brings me here, finally, to post? Poop.

My baby is beautiful. My baby is cute. My baby smiles heartwarmingly. My baby coos and gurgles. My baby shits all over herself and her clothes at least once a day. We can send a man to the moon and a robot to Mars, but apparently we cannot make a disposable diaper that actually contains baby shit, preventing it from leaking all the hell over the place.

When O. was an infant, we used cloth diapers, and they were a pain in the ass. But we felt that we were doing good, keeping some diapers out of the landfill and supporting a local diaper service. But of course we were also, via that diaper service, using lots and lots of water, power to heat that water, and harsh chemicals to keep those diapers sterile and pure white. This time around, we opted for disposables, and we felt pretty damned wise in our choice.

Disposables are easier than cloth diapers in many ways. It's much quicker just to slap on a Huggie than to fold a cloth diaper just so and then wrangle the cover. And whenever O. pooped, we usually ended up having to wash the cover by hand, so we were always touching his runny mustard-yellow poop, and always had a rack of diaper covers drying in the sunroom. But at least the cloth diapers contained that runny poop, more or less, and when they didn't totally absorb it, the covers picked up the slack. With Roo's Huggies (and we've tried the other brands, as well, believe me), it's her clothes that pick up the slack. Disposables absorb almost unlimited amounts of newborn pee, but newborn poop is too thick for them to absorb and too runny to just stay put. So now instead of wet diaper covers, we have shit stained baby clothes hanging wet all over the place. I've gone through a whole bottle of gentle, eco-friendly stain remover already since Ruby was born. And that stuff only works so well.

So why can't they make a disposable diaper that keeps the poop inside? Or why don't they make baby clothes that are, say, quilted and mustard yellow? That would be perfect. An absorbant, mustard yellow wardrobe might be the answer.

If anyone has any other answers, talk to me. Otherwise, I'm just waiting 'til my baby's poop starts getting a little firmer, hoping the diapers will keep it in its place then.

Poop, poop, poop.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The chicken is dead. Long live the chicken.

It’s a sad day in the Oral Hygiene household. The chicken is dead.


The chicken is an alarm clock. I’m sorry… was an alarm clock. As you can see, he’s lost the arms on the face of his clock, making him just a jolly, rock-n-rolling shell of his former time-keeping self.

I have to admit, I haven’t always loved the chicken as he deserved to be loved. I did not choose him. He was a gift, and a gift I didn’t appreciate much at first. Initially, I thought he was kind of horrifying-looking, and when I heard him sing, I quickly decided I hated him. The chicken’s alarm, you see, is a song. A maniacally cheerful, disturbingly mechanized song. Imagine a simple rock riff as interpreted by a hurdy-gurdy, and floating above it a prominent vocal track sounding something like Robin Williams as Mork from Ork if Mr. Williams had recently sucked a large hit of helium. The song goes like this:

Wow!!! Yeeeeaah!!! Hey baby wake up!!! Come and dance with meeeeeeeee!!!

The song goes like that. Over and over and over and over, into infinity, until the battery wears out or someone slams their hand into the chicken’s coxcomb, thus shutting off the alarm.

So I hated the chicken. His song was so annoying. And the creepy combination of rosy cheeks and “cool” sunglasses made his face look like Jimmy Buffet in clown make-up. He seemed to me to have a smugly expectant look on his face, a look that said “Hey baby, I know I’m 20 years older than you, I have a beer belly, and all I can play on this teal guitar is cheesy bar blues, but you know you can’t resist my shades and red goatee/wattle. C’mon over here and sit on daddy’s lap.” I just didn’t like him.

But I found him useful. I hate getting up early, and back before I had kids, I had a dangerous addiction to the snooze bar. The chicken had no snooze bar, and his song was so annoying, and so very very loud (he had two volumes: merely obnoxious and downright deafening) that on some mornings, it was the only thing that would get my ass out of a warm bed and into the cold morning air. I would place my regular, snooze-bar-equipped, laziness-enabling alarm clock next to my bed, and the chicken across the room. It wasn’t a pleasant system, but it worked.

Once O. was born, I no longer needed such a grating back-up alarm clock. I had a little alarm clock with a very loud alarm and no snooze bar right there in my bed. At some point the chicken migrated to the bathroom, serving as a simple timepiece rather than an alarm clock. And somewhere along the line my feelings for him softened. Maybe because he was no longer ripping me out of bed with his horrible song, maybe because I was mellowing with age. For whatever reason, I began seeing him as a bit of cheery kitsch innocence rather than an icon of cheesy middle-aged masculinity.

And then, a couple days ago, in one of those domestic mishaps that arise from tired parents trying to do two things at once while simultaneously holding a squirming baby, I knocked the chicken from his high shelf in the bathroom onto the unforgiving tiles. His inner workings spilled out, and when I picked him up to try to piece him back together, the hands fell off his clock. I knew his days as a clock were over. Now he’s just a chotchke sitting on the basement shelf overlooking the rock set-up. Maybe he’s happier there, where the music happens. But without his clock workings and without his song, he just doesn’t seem himself.

chicken face

But thanks to the sturdiness of his plastic visage, he remains undaunted. And still, now that I look at him, pretty creepy. In a lovable way.