I love Garbage

I’m talking about the band. Do y’all remember them? Man, they were awesome. They’re the only band I ever liked where I also liked all their albums.

There’s just something sexy and dangerous about their music, so I don’t listen to it around Max. When I run errands by myself, though, I totally rock out. I don’t care if people see me singing in the car or dancing. I’m a good car-dancer.

They’re one of those bands that take me back the minute I hear certain songs. I hear “Stupid Girl” and I remember the family vacation at Gulf Shores the summer between junior and senior year of high school. (I think that was the last of our family beach vacations.) MTV was banned in my hometown, despite the fact that VH-1 was available and showing the same videos that had gotten MTV banned in the first place. So, the first thing my brother, sister, and I did upon arrival at the beach was flip on the TV and find MTV. The ocean could wait.

I hear “Push It” and it takes me back to sophomore year at A&M. That song was such a great stress-reliever. I would leave class and drive in the car listening to it, yelling and pounding the steering wheel.

Their third album didn’t really have a standout song for me. I just liked the whole thing.

Their fourth album came out the year I moved to Austin. I found out the band had broken up and got back together to finish that album. And it was amazing. I can’t listen to it without remembering that first year in Austin, finally out of school, finally living in a real city, finally breaking free of the person I had tried to be because I was afraid of the real world.

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Soothing toy or baby voodoo?

My husband and I recently purchased a Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Soothing Seascape for our son. My sister had one for her son and she let me try it out at her house one week. Max seemed to like it, but he didn’t seem completely enamored of it. I guess it is hard to be soothed when your almost-two-year-old cousin is running around and you are in imminent danger of having your head stomped on.

Tiffany said the toy definitely helped them, so I finally overcame my mommy-brain a couple of weeks later and found one on Amazon and purchased it. When it arrived, my husband found some batteries and we set it up next to the bouncy seat in the kitchen while we ate dinner. Max seemed even less soothed than before.

We have been trying to train Max to take naps in his crib for about a month now, in preparation for moving him back to his room at night. We had had very little success. I would get him to sleep, only to run back in to his room three or four times within a forty-minute time frame to replace the pacifier and soothe him back to sleep. I set the turtle up on the side of his crib the day after its arrival with a little hope still left.

Lo and behold. Max began to stare at the turtle with the most curious look on his face. He looked like he was being soothed against his will. It’s the only way to describe it. He was calm, but looked puzzled by it, with his little brow all furrowed. However, he was asleep within minutes. This miracle has been repeated several times a day for the past week.

After the delight and surprise wore off, I began to wonder. Was I really soothing my baby or does the toy have some kind of baby voodoo that compels them to sleep against their will? And if it does, is that really such a bad thing??

Despite the guilt over my caving in to “mechanical parenting” (Lord, how I wish I had never heard of that phrase.), I have come to know that naptime in the crib during the day is a beautiful, beautiful thing. For a few brief, forty-minute to one hour periods a day, my house is mine again. Plus, it takes surprisingly little time for me to miss that smiling face. Which smiles a lot more when he gets proper naps.

I think I agree with my mom. “Mechanical parenting” be damned. Or, at least, not eschewed completely. As Mom wisely said, “If it makes him sleep, just enjoy it.” Or something to that effect. (Sorry, Mom, anything said to me more than a day ago is usually long gone these days.)

Strange phenomenon

That I went around the house singing “Rawr” for a good thirty seconds this morning for no particular reason. It wasn’t entertaining the baby or the cats. I just felt like it.

Maybe Uncle Ben was stubborn, too

He is still refusing to come out. Maybe today will be lucky. It is the anniversary of my Uncle Ben’s birthday. He was a musician who lived in Austin. He loved cats and Garfield and could play almost every instrument. It seemed like it anyway. He died almost twenty years ago of a brain aneurysm, so I didn’t get to know him very well, but I thought he was cool. He taught me how to blow bubbles with bubble gum and gave us McDonald’s gift certificates for Christmas. I feel connected to him whenever I play the piano, although I can’t play rock ‘n’ roll on it like he could. I’m better at classical. Thanks to him, my brother and I discovered Nermal (the cutest cat in the world) and garnered hours of entertainment from that and marveling how cute his cat was all hunched up behind the curtain on the windowsill. It’s actually amazing how alike we are. I wish I’d gotten to know him better, but I’m glad for the time we got. Thanks, Uncle Ben. Hope you’re still rocking out up in heaven.

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