Friday, July 20, 2007

Ask Julia: 7/20/07

Looks like my parents aren’t the only ones that I can manipulate with abandon. My guilt trip from the last posting paid off big time, because my mailbox was packed with questions for this week’s Ask Julia. Without further ado, let’s begin.

My first questions come from one of my blog’s most frequent visitors, Aunt Paula:

After a busy weekend in Cherry Hill, I’m sure that you are happy that you got to spend a few extra days with both your mom and dad on Monday and Tuesday. Did you get to do anything special?
I sure did have a fun couple of days with my parents. On Monday they took me to my first restaurant: we had lunch at Char-Broil Grill, the local diner in Upper Montclair.

I was fussing a bit during the meal, so my Dad had to keep my pacifier in place with one hand while eating his lunch with the other hand. Then on Tuesday, we went for my first trip to a mall: the Garden State Plaza in Paramus. I was a perfect angel, sleeping pretty much the entire time.

My goal was to lull Mom into a false sense of security, then when she takes me to the mall on her own, I’ll throw a fit and really have some fun. So now I’ve had two of the three quintessential Jersey experiences: the diner and the mall. If we had also gone down the shore, I would have hit the trifecta.

What will you be wearing for your Baptism? I'm sure you will look beautiful. I look forward to being there and finally getting to hold you.
I’m looking forward to wearing Mom’s Baptism gown (I just hope they’ve washed it at some point during the past three decades). However, I’ve been growing so much, we’re all a little concerned that I’ll actually be able to fit in it!

The next question comes from my concerned Mom:

Hi pretty lady,
One of my fears is that you will become a "Jersey Girl" (I escaped this fate since I was raised in Connecticut). Please reassure me that this will not happen.
Kisses and hugs,
Hmmm. You must have seen this admittedly alarming photo from my trip to the mall.

Don’t worry, I wasn’t jealously admiring the merchandise; I was simply studying it, much like one would an exhibit at a museum. So no, I don’t plan on embracing any of the Jersey stereotypes (meanwhile, I’ve seen pictures of your poufy prom hair, so you’re one to talk!). Allow me one exception: living up to the lyrics in Bruce Springsteen’s “Jersey Girl” (actually written by Tom Waits): “’Cause nothing matters in the whole wide world/When you’re in love with a Jersey girl.” Mom, I think even you would agree – that sums me up perfectly.

The aftermath of that scary raccoon run-in prompted my Dad’s first-ever question:

As you know, the day after I discovered that raccoon in our trash can on Sunday, it turned up dead at the end of our block. I couldn’t help thinking of The Omen and all those other movies about evil kids. In every one of those films, the first hint about the child’s true nature occurs when the kid “takes care of” an animal that has been giving him trouble. So I guess my question is… should we be worried about you?…I don’t know what you’re talking about (cue scary music).

But if I was responsible, I’ve got my work cut out for me: on Wednesday, Dido found another raccoon in the trash. That one was much bigger and managed to get inside even though Dad had put heavy bricks on the lids (bricks that were still in position, by the way). So now Mom and Dad will have to start putting the trash cans in the garage, to hopefully keep the critters at bay. Dad thinks that the sweet smell of formula from my discarded bottle liners might be attracting him. Now that he knows what I’m capable of (um, I mean, what he thinks I’m capable of), he really shouldn’t be blaming me for things.

As if the raccoon redux wasn’t bad enough, Mom and Dad found out that last month’s moth problem had been misdiagnosed. We actually have Indian meal moths, which were still laying eggs in our dining room molding. So the exterminators needed to treat the dining room again on Wednesday, which means that Mom had to whisk me to Babcia and Dido’s for the afternoon.

Speaking of Babcia and Dido, let’s end with a note from my dear grandparents, who sadly will be leaving me for a week and a half on Saturday:

Would you like to come with us to Ukraine? We haven't visited since your great-grandparents left because of Communists (you don't know who they were but we will tell you the history once you get a little bigger) and wanted their children to have a better life. Your mother was in Ukraine once it got its independence and she found 72 cousins there. Of course, she didn't meet all of them but did stay at some of their homes. We would love for you to meet this extended family also. We would have so much fun. Why don't you ask your parents if this would be OK.
We love you very, very much -
My tebe liubymo.
Ciom, ciom

Well, I’m touched that you asked, and as you can see, I’m brushing up on my Ukrainian history, but I’m going to have to decline. First, I don’t have a passport. And as much as I hate to admit it, I think I might need some more vaccinations before I start traveling. Also, I was just reading about that horrible train derailment/toxic gas release in Lviv. I think I’ll stay here and try my luck with the raccoons, Indian meal moths and exploding steam pipes in Manhattan, thanks. Finally, and most importantly, my Mom would be so sad if I left her alone for all that time. So I’ll stay home, but make sure you bring me back something pretty!

That’s it until next week. Have a good weekend, and remember, it’s never too early to start sending in questions for next week’s Ask Julia column.