Thursday, August 02, 2007


I need to finish packing for our weekend excursion to a place called "Crap Creek." It's a campsite on a canal. A canal where gargantuan barges barge through with their toxic wares from China, the heavy cargo destined only to be recalled, or in my case, stuffed into my underwear drawer (James the Tank Engine and his tender) because I can't be bothered with a trip to the post office. I am wary of this weekend, with its inevitable filth and tented sleeping arrangements. I have been there once before and I did have a great time, there's clay in the creek and I sculpted a devil head (self portrait?). But this time I have children and this time I am older and require a certain level of comfort and air conditioning for my very sanity. I fear being beroygus the whole time. That's Yiddish for being a moody asshole. Bryan keeps telling me that it'll be fun, whee! Because our children will be entertained and tended to by people other than ourselves. This'll give us time to perfect our trailer trash poses down by the water's edge in our dirty bathing suits. I guess it could be worse. It could be a week. At the very least, I'm putting the Miller Family Philosophy into action: "Expect the worst and always be pleasantly surprised."

I took Hamish to the South Street Seaport the other day. I was jonesing for some one on one time with my angel boy and I finally got it and I tell you, it really did wonders for our relationship. It was so good not to have to play referee between him and his little sister, like when he pushes her down or she pounds his head repeatedly with a toy cell phone. So good not to have to tell him to wait a thousand times throughout the day, to wait for my attention because I'm nursing the baby or changing the baby or feeding the baby or chasing the baby so that she doesn't fall down the stairs or run into the street or eat someone's littered cigarette butt.

At the Seaport, Hamish and I ate ice cream slowly. Went on two museum ships. Ate crappy quesadillas at the food court. Watched helicopters do their thing. Stopped at a playground. Went to the Bodies Exhibition where we touched a brain, a bone, a liver and gallbladder. At one point as in many others, he asked me of a display case's contents, "What's that?" It was a brain, eyeballs and nerves--strings of nerves like regurgitated yarn trailing limply across a white platform. I told him, "You know when I say, 'you're getting on my nerves?' Those are nerves." A young woman overheard me tell this to my three and a half year-old son and smiled at me with her big white choppers until she caught my eye, told me how funny it was and then proceeded to repeat what I'd said to her friends. It was my favorite part of the day. Meanwhile, Hamish couldn't wait to get out of there, not because he was traumatized by all the cross-sectioned cadavers, but because he was desperate to ride the escalator again. This was his favorite part of the day. And here I was, feeling like I'd killed 'em at the Comedy Store. I recommend the exhibit.

4 comments: said...

come on now baby! what's wrong with dirt, muck and grime? mixed with uncomfortable sleeping conditions, it sounds like the perfect weekend to me! You'll see, you're gonna love it.

if you don't, next year you can go to the spa and i'll take the kids to turtle turd.

hubby said...

oh, i entered the link into the name spot by accident

Amelia Plum said...

Very compelling description of the barges of toxic wares from china - btw now fisher-price has a huge recall of products from china with too much lead paint. Oh, I think you have to take advantage of the offer for the spa weekend next year from your hubby. I'd love to join you it could be like the mud baths at Calistoga so many years ago. Hope the weekend winds up like Miller family philosophy. If not just pass those kids off on someone and drown your sorrows in some cheap canned beer - then you'll look right at home

Rima said...

Hi, I arrived at your blog via Lusty Lady, via Wendy McCure. I really identified with the title, having been just recently interrupted from the creative writing process to clean some poop up off the couch (I have a three-year-old and a 15-month old.)

Anyway, I like your stuff. Not to scare you or anything, but I felt like I was reading about myself in a parallel Brooklyn universe. Keep it up!