a bag of flour

I didn’t mean to take a month off from writing here. It just sort of happened.

First, I finally graduated from college, and upon doing so discovered that my degree is essentially worthless in the job market. So I moped around for a couple of weeks before deciding to try and make a full-time proposition out of the graphic design consulting firm I own with Rahul. Ever since then, I’ve been wandering around wide-eyed, freaking out about how foolish I am to even think about working for myself with a baby on the way.

At least when Sophie is old enough to bug me about wanting me to buy stuff for her, I can just sit her down in front of this entry and let her read about why her dad doesn’t have a pot to piss in.

Actually, allegedly, by then I’ll be a Real Live History Teacher. The credential program starts in September. I should have everything, including my master’s, a little over a year from then. Hopefully we can get out of California before Sophie is old enough to remember how mild the winters are here.

Also eating into my writing time has been the fact that we are now living with The Boy. The Boy is six. The Boy is smart. The Boy has bottomless reserves of energy. You must always be paying attention to The Boy. So, quite often, I’m pooped. Explaining to a six-year-old what it means to work out of the home is something I encourage everyone to try doing. It’s a lot of fun no matter how many times you do it — regardless of the tactic you use to attempt getting your message across, the conversation always ends with him pleading with you to install something called Chicken Attack on your computer.

It’s good training for our own children. I like having him around; also, the situation being what it is, I’m confident that I won’t ever get any kind of credit for whatever positive influence I manage to dribble out on his little psyche. Just as I won’t from my own kids — at least not until I’m too old to remember them giving it to me.

So our little bean continues to get bigger every day. I might be remembering this wrong — I always do — but I think this week she’s a bag of flour:

Leah and The Boy

I don’t understand it. I mean, I’m feeling the first dim stirrings of what all this means, but I can’t take it all in. I don’t think anybody in this position can. I put my hand on Leah’s stomach at night and feel Sophie bouncing around, and I look at the ultrasounds, and we do stuff like going on our hostpital tour, but it’s still sort of pretend. I think, after October 20 or so, I may not write here (or anywhere) for awhile. My brain may shut down.

So I’m trying to take care of everything I can while it’s still functioning. Like restoring my old cradle:

My grandfather built it and gave it to my mother when I was born. I used to sleep in it:

In a stroke of total awesomeness, my mom held onto it, and now it’s here. It’s as old as I am, though, and looked just as dirty, scuffed and beat up as I do:

My mom suggested steel wool and linseed oil. Having never used linseed oil, I imagined this project would be something that would take me weeks or even months. It would be super manly. I might have to build a shop in the garage to do it. I could be like Joel.

But no. It was incredibly easy. This stuff is supposed to be really combustible as it dries, so I didn’t do the whole cradle all at once, but the entire project took me maybe an hour. Linseed oil, as it turns out, is magic.

These pictures don’t look all that dramatic, now that I see them next to the originals, but trust me when I say that there’s a big difference between the way the cradle looked when it got here and the way it looks now. If you’ve got anything that needs restoring — old furniture, antique knicknacks, a car — linseed oil will do you right.

Now I just need to find a mattress that will fit in this thing…

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