My daughter’s first literary joke

In the bath tonight, nursing, baby was in a bit of a playful mood. She took one finger and pointed right up at the roof, holding it there.
“Are you pointing like the baby in the book?” I asked. She has a baby colour book and the baby in the white overalls points randomly up at the sky. She’s started pointing whenever we get to that page.

She didn’t really answer, but she kind of mumbled and kind of smiled, and I knew what she meant: “I’m just playing around, hanging out, remembering that funny baby that points to the sky! Look at me, randomly pointing at the sky!”

You are funny, baby.

Classic marital miscommunication

A forgotten note from our ill-fated vacation.
Just past Nelson, along a beautiful road, I spotted a classic American castle set back on the left-hand side of the road. It was stunning, and something I haven’t seen a lot of.

“Do you see that?” husband asked? “Yes!” “Should I pull over?” “Definitely!”

He pulled into the little side road and stopped and said, “I’ll get out the camera.”

“Great!” I said, looking eagerly at the castle, trying to soak it all in. I got out and looked around to point out some angles and pictures for him. He seemed to be testing out the camera taking some random pictures in the other direction, facing back to the road. Pointing right at an older van that was also sitting on the side road with us.

Wait a minute … “Hang on – did you want to see the van?”

“Of course! It’s just what we’re looking for as a vacation vehicle.”

Looking in the same direction, seeing two entirely different things. It’s almost a fairy tale …

Redeemed by Cuteness

Today at work, walking between buildings, I came across something low and moving and soft off to my right. It was the most awesome quail family I’ve ever seen. Mama, dada, and maybe 15 babies.You might have seen baby quail before. These were BABY quail. Utterly tiny and perfect, stepping back and forth and into and off of each other as their parents attempted to herd the unruly mass. Each small perfection could have been a comic strip it was so ideal.
Apparently the parents were trying to herd them up a flight of steps into a garden bed. Well, each step was over twice as tall as those babies. I saw one jump. Jump! Legs stretched, wings extended, as it bounced up halfway up the step.
On my return trip they were still there, still trying. Others were gathered to watch or photograph. I realized how stressful this must be for the parents, who were probably concerned about these big predators, so I tried to find some cardboard to make a ramp for them. When that didn’t work I realized that there was a ramp already there – the quails just hadn’t found it yet. I laughed at this, then left them to their family business.
That moment of connection with reality was a highlight of my day.

Latest fashion trend: Layers

I’ve been into layers for quite a long time. I get cold, so layers make sense. I also enjoy the feeling of bundling up in a couple of different tops. For work, I’ll often layer a tank top with a cardigan, and maybe a jacket over that.
Baby is doing me one better. After months of resisting getting dressed in the morning, she’s started layering. Her pants.

Yesterday she brought me the first pair, and instead of just laying them out on the bed as usual, she asked me to put them on her. Then returned with a second pair. I asked if she wanted to swap them out for the first pair, but no: “ovuh” the other pair, please! We managed to get 4 pairs onto her now very chubby legs before we stopped.

Today I pleaded and explained how we were reaching the outer limits of pants-layering, but she was not satisfied until we had 6 pairs of pants, including two oversized, bulky fleece pairs (of course, the two bottom layers!). She was then waddling awkwardly around. On the plus side, if she fell she’d have padding. Also: no problem with leaky diapers! She did find, though, that she couldn’t seem to get back up once she was down, so I had go give her a bit of a hand.

As always, my fashion forward daughter is showing me new horizons. Thanks baby!

How to talk science to a non-scientist

On Friday I went in for a laser hair removal “consultation.” Before “approving” me for the process, the clinic needs to meet me, ask some health questions, and assess whether “laser is right for me.”
I sat in the fancy waiting area on the curved red sofa and filled in an information form. A few minutes later the effusive nurse came to greet me and show me into one of the rooms. We started with basic information (birthdate, health problems) and moved to current medications.

Me: None.

Nurse: Any multivitamins?

Me: I take a multivitamin and fenugreek – for milk production, though it doesn’t seem to help me. Oh, and D and omega 3s.

Nurse: Oh, I’ve never heard of the fenu … what is that?

Me: Fenugreek. It’s for increasing milk production. Because I’m breastfeeding.

Nurse. Oh, I see. [Puts down pen.] So you are breastfeeding right now?

Me: Yes. [Note: at this point, are you noticing one of the reasons why I don’t excel at writing fiction?]

Nurse: Now, with our treatments, our doctors have a very strict policy. We don’t perform these on women who are breastfeeding or pregnant.

Me: Oh! I didn’t know that.

Nurse: Yes. We just like to be as safe as possible, so as our policy, we don’t work on women who are breastfeeding.

Me: I can appreciate that. Can you tell me, I’m curious, what exactly is the risk from laser treatments?

Nurse: Well, let me see. How can I put this? We just want to be very, very careful. We don’t want to put anyone at risk, so we don’t work on breastfeeding women.

Me: Yes, I appreciate that you want to be cautious. I’m just wondering, how exactly could laser hair removal cause a risk? What is it about the procedure that could create problems?

Nurse: Yes, you see, let me see how to explain this. You see, just in case there might be a problem that was transmitted to your baby, it hasn’t happened yet but what if this was the first time it happened? We don’t want to run the risk that your baby would be harmed, and of course, you wouldn’t want that. We want to be as cautious as possible, just in case something happens.

Me: I understand you’re saying that the doctors want to be as careful as possible. That’s great. What I’m wondering is, what is the biology behind the concern? What are the biological mechanism by which the laser might create problems for someone who is breastfeeding?

Nurse (with unflagging patience, since this client is particularly slow in grasping the essential point): You see, how can I explain this … for women who are breastfeeding, or pregnant, or even just trying to get pregnant, we just have a policy that we don’t work on them just in case something from the treatment harms them. We don’t know that it would, but we want to be extra sure that we aren’t causing damage to the woman or the baby. Can you understand that?

Me: Okay. I see. You are very concerned that the laser might cause damage, so you don’t work on women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Nurse: Yes! That’s right.


Nurse: You see, the lasers penetrate the skin quite deeply, so because they go that far into the body, we don’t know if they might cause some damage. (At last!!! Some reference to a possible physical specificity of the laser that might have biological effects!)

Me: Aaah, I understand. The concern is that the laser penetrates the body, so it might cause some effects.

Nurse (relieved that at last the client is tuning into the same wavelength): Yes, that’s right! And we just don’t want to take that risk.

We ended our meeting with smiles on both sides, and her assurance that they would be there when I’m finished breastfeeding.

Still not sure what exactly I’ll do. Believe it or not, I’m not quite clear on how exactly lasers might be a risk while I’m breastfeeding. However, it did put some questions in my mind, and I don’t know if I have the motivation to figure out what the risks are and if I want to go ahead regardless.

Looking Insane

Yesterday at work was busy as usual. I was working on files and printing in the room across the hallway. The printer room, with the temperamental printer, is shared with another busy unit.
I went in to pick up my print job and saw a man standing in front of the shredder holding a few papers. I’ve seen him around (multiple times each day) and he’s always smiling and dapper. At this moment he was looking concerned as he handled the papers drooping towards the shredder.

I went to check for my print job – not there. He smiled and handed me a few of the papers he had in his hand. I looked at them and since they seemed to be headed for the shredder, popped them in and listened to them go. Then noticed that I was shredding blank sheets.

I stood there in silence, looking at them in dismay. Wasted trees! He commented, sounding puzzled and slightly upset, “Those were blank sheets!” I was silent for another moment, tiredly dwelling on the ridiculousness of shredding blank paper.

“Yes, I know,” I eventually answered. “I thought they were for shredding.”

He looked at me, then looked away. And left the room. Wondering, I have no doubt, who this strange woman was who shredding blank paper and didn’t respond to direct conversation.

Yet I am left wondering: Why on earth did he think I needed two sheets of legal-sized blank paper???

Woke up laughing about it this morning. Laughter = peace. I’ve met my blogging goal for the day :).