It’s Not the Worst Excuse in the World to Watch Buffy

Adrian is teething. He’s teething in the teethingest way I’ve ever seen or heard of a baby teething. He has four, four (emphasis mine, oh god) teeth coming in on top right now. It’s as though he realized his birthday was coming up and he was going to have to smile a toothy grin for all the pictures and so he just willed himself some dentition.

He’s not very happy about all these teeth. I’m not very happy about all these teeth.

Because when he wakes up at 5 am complaining about his new choppers dad gets to tell him to go the hell back to sleep. I mean, dad gets to soothe him back to gentle slumber, you know, like, with warm milk and a lullaby and definitely without any outbursts like “Jesus fucking Christ, kid, are you serious?”

Oh, get over your outrage. He’s a baby. He doesn’t understand bad words (like “Jesus”).

I brought him into the spare bed with me last night to see if he just wanted some company in his tragedy. Sure enough, he fell fast asleep.

You believe everything I say, don’t you?

No, that little clown decided that being in bed meant it was time for Playing, Yay!! And that it was time to claw daddy’s eyes out and pull his hair. For fun. For about an hour.

I knew I never should have taught him how to pretend to eat brains. He’s obsessed with it now. He looks me in the eye, grabs my hair with two hands, and forces my head down so he can plant his (formerly) toothless maw on the top of my head and then giggle. And then I giggle. But kinda tired-like.

Eventually I gave up and decided he needed distraction, and he could probably do with something in his stomach since he was trying to subsist on a diet of dad’s brains and they were a bit light for a growing boy’s diet. I made him a bottle, stuck him in his crib on a pillow, and stretched out on the now zombie baby-free spare bed.

However, I’m an old hand at giving kids drinks in bed, and if there’s one thing I know it’s that kids cannot be trusted with drinks in bed. They’ll hold it over their heads and slowly drip liquid on their eyes; they’ll flip a bottle upside down in the corner so its contents can slowly pool, and congeal, out of sight; or they’ll drop it in the dark and then forget where they put it until they want it again, and then they’ll let you know it. So, I tend to do a lot of checking when there’s a bottle or cup in bed. I hate doing laundry.

Keeping an eye on the Deadly Bottle of Liquid Deadliness (infant formula. from target. it’s $11 per can. DBLD for short. Although “DBLD” isn’t that much shorter than “formula” so I won’t be saving too many seconds of your life or mine by abbreviating) meant staying awake at least until Adrian was finished, or had dropped it, or had hurled it at me from across the room, whichever came first. So I cracked the laptop open, put the earbuds in, and surfed over to Netflix.


Because Netflix has every Joss Whedon show streaming now. Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible….and it’s not like Hulu where you’ll get teased with thirteen episodes from season 3 and then have to wait while they cycle through the rest. Nope, they’re all there (except for Season 2 of Dollhouse, which isn’t even out on DVD yet).

That’s worth $9 per month. Unless you already own the complete Buffy and Angel DVD sets, like I do. But then, maybe those DVD sets are all the way in the living room and you’d have to open the door to go get them and maybe that would wake the baby up and maybe your laptop’s DVD drive is just loud enough to be annoying. Stop judging my choices.

Anyway, half of a “What’s My Line, Pt. 1″ later (that’s Buffy, Season 2) I snaked the bottle from Adrian’s crib and aw’d at him as he slept on his stomach with his little butt up in the air. Then I put the earbuds back in and let Joss Whedon tell me a bedtime story about vampires and other vampires and a vampire slayer and another vampire slayer….and I fell asleep.

For about forty minutes.

Then Erin burst into the room at ungodly o’clock and climbed into bed with me and then climbed into Adrian’s crib with him, then climbed out, then went to the fridge and got some milk (because I left a cup in there for her the night before just in case this happened so I wouldn’t have to get out of bed. Look, I told you to stop judging my choices. It was better than the day she dragged an entire box of frozen waffles into the bedroom so I could get one for her.) And then we were all awake.

I don’t remember what I was talking about.

Oh, right. Teething.

So, Adrian is teething. I’m not sure I’m handling it well.

Quick Lesson in Nurture

As Erin and Adrian were finishing their lunch I was flipping through channels. I paused on that deep character study of an addict coping with her disease, otherwise known as “Confessions of a Shopaholic”, subtitled “Even Stupid, Vain, Shallow People Can Have All Their Dreams Come True If They Just Don’t Work For It And A Handsome Dude Saves Them. Boogaloo.”

It’s on AFI’s 100 Most Thinkiest Movies of the Week of Presidents’ Day 2009.

Erin finished her lunch and put her plate in the sink, then came over to the living room. “What’s she?” she asked, pointing at Isla Fisher as she was portraying Rebecca Bloomwood, shopaholic extraordinaire, as her chickens came home to roost  with little to no negative effect on her life for the seventh time.

“She’s vapid,” I replied. Then I regretted it. Because I knew Erin would immediately ask “what’s vapids means?” or “Why she is vapid?” and I was going to have to have a whole discussion about high school and MTV and college basketball and people who prefer Star Trek to Star Wars (idiots). So in order to head off the inevitable, scarring discussion with its shattering revelations (“Darth Vader is Luke’s daddy? How come why those guys thinking Captin Kark hugging the green lady is funny?”) I took the shortcut.

“She’s vapid because her parents didn’t love her enough,” I wised.

Then I laughed and I laughed and I hugged Erin and tickled her on the couch (that’s the spot behind her ears) and she kept asking me why I was laughing and I had nothing to say.

Erin and Adrian Get Haircuts

How long did you wait before taking your kids for their first haircut? We waited two years, eleven months, and about ten days to cut Erin’s hair. We waited about ten months and ten days to cut Adrian’s hair.

Erin has very long, gorgeous hair and I’m assured by someone who knows better than I that long hair requires cutting to keep it healthy. It makes no sense to me, but then the longest my hair has ever been was the total mop I had in 1990: it was like a double mullet: party in the front, party in the back, no girls to be seen within a mile of me. But even at my most shagtastic I was never educated about caring for long hair. Apparently there’s a thing called “split ends” that, well, okay, I still don’t understand very well, but it seems like something that, if it happens to you, you are basically going to go bald. You might as well shave your head if you get split ends.

Or so I’m assured.

Anyway, split ends being a problem, routine hair cutting of long hair is a necessity. I’m actually right on board with this, even though it seems very counterintuitive: surely if you want long hair you should just let it grow and grow and grow until you can wrap it around yourself like a blanket. Hermits do that kind of thing all the time.

Adrian, however, barely has hair. Emily, I mean someone, insisted that it was getting shaggy. I don’t know how this is possible. But, again, I admit that I’m not the best judge of these things: before she gave up trying to get me to play along Emily used to wait to see if I noticed how much shorter her hair was after getting it cut. I never did. So maybe I’m just hair blind.


We took the kids to a place in Palo Alto called Snipets, which is not the most expensive place I’ve ever gone to pay for a haircut, but that’s only because I’ve been to The Man Spa. The place is manic, like a cartoon threw up in it, but it seems to work for the kids.


Adrian was the first in the chair. He was a bastion of composure and smooth moves.

But Adrian’s composure was gone the second the scissors came out. I maintain that this look means “I only have four hairs and you want to cut them?”

It was over soon enough, and Adrian regained his cool. Emily gushed over how handsome he now looked.

Erin took to getting her hair cut like it was just a chance to sit around and watch Ratatouille, which it was. (They have TVs at all the cutting stations, see, and so the stylist put Ratatouille on for Erin, so that’s why I say Erin took to it like it was a chance to….I’m over-explaining myself here, aren’t I?)

So, how do you finish the first haircut of a young girl’s life? With a pink bow and some candy.

I think Erin has a very bright future in a career that involves making enough money to get a hair cut. Adrian had better hope we just let him grow his hair out, hermit-style, from now on.

And the split ends be damned.