Monday, August 31, 2009

And I really liked that place too.

The roofers are here pounding away on our house today so I took the boys out for a nice lunch at the coffeeshop to get away from the noise. Charlie and Wesley chatted happily over croissants (Wes) and a blueberry bagel (Charlie) while I sipped my coffee and tried to maintain a semblance of order at our table.

I had forgotten a sippy cup so Wesley was drinking water out of a paper coffee cup with a lid. He probably got one of the sixteen ounces into his mouth. The rest ran down his chest and, once his shirt was completely soaked, pooled on the seat of the highchair before dripping down onto the floor and turning the lost croissant crumbs into concrete.

Slightly horrified that the two wonderful women who run the coffeeshop, and who I chat with every time I go there, were going to find the mess, I tried to mop it up the best I could with my napkin. Every time I leaned over to scrape more crumbs onto my plate Wesley dropped another gooey croissant chunk onto the floor. It continued until I hid his drink behind the menu and fed him tiny pieces of croissant one at a time. I longed for the safe anonymity of the Big Green Coffeeshop on the other side of the highway.

When I'd had enough mortification I announced to Charlie that it was time to go. Wesley's dripping onesie soaked the entire left side of the white shirt I was wearing, but I was not aware of the resulting peep show I was putting on until after I had already told Charlie he could play for a few minutes in the toy corner. Needless to say, I had to reneg that offer when I realized that potentially all of the other diners could tell I had breastfed two babies.

Charlie needed to go potty because it had been a while, and I didn't want him to have an accident in the restaraunt, so when I was paying for our lunch I told him he could go to the potty by himself. The counter faced the bathroom and with the door open I could see Charlie's foot as he sat on the potty. I watched as he skipped off to the bathroom, so proud of his big boy independence then watched like a hawk to make sure he didn't come out and go somewhere I couldn't see him. All seemed to be well.

Wesley and I stood there for several minutes, both soaked, watching while the waitress refilled my coffee and got water for another table.

The waitress was almost ready to ring up my order when over the music, over the conversation, over the clinking of glasses and forks on plates I heard a small voice yelling.


With absolute dread that he was about to come hopping out of the bathroom half naked with both legs through the same leg hole in his undies (which is what would be indicated by a similar outburst at home), I quickly excused myself and ran to the bathroom as fast as I could holding Wesley.

He was still sitting on the potty with the door open when I arrived. He beamed from ear to ear.

"I go potty!"

"Fantastic, Buddy!"

I smiled as I got him dressed with one hand then led him past the owner of the coffee shop, who was using both a broom and a mop to clean up our table, out of the restaraunt to the car, using Wesley to cover my soaking wet shirt.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Charlie's Weekend of Firsts

Yesterday was Charlie's first soccer class. His class, which is for three and four year olds (I snuck him in because he is dying to play sports like his cousins), meets every Saturday for four weeks. They "run drills" like Red Light Green Light and a game called "OUCH!" that Charlie was quite good at where they have to kick the ball directly at the coach and if it hits her she yells "OUCH!", and then at the end the have a little "scrimmage" when the older kids do something that looks like soccer and the younger ones (Charlie included) slide headlong into overstimulated meltdown territory.

Charlie chose his outfit and dressed himself. He wore two shirts, one a pajama top with cars on it, the other a striped shirt, green undies, and one sandal. Luckily we convinced him to wear these "special soccer shorts" and sneakers.

First Day of Soccer
This guy was so excited about soccer he couldn't STAND IT.

When we reached the gym at the community center (soccer is inside because Texas doesn't know it's fall yet. LAME) and he saw the soccer goals set up he FREAKED OUT with excitement. He ran all over the gym yelling "NETS! NETS! NETS!"

Soccer Class

Except for some apprehension during the scrimmage at the end, where Charlie wanted Ryan to come play with him because "no one would give him the ball," it was a huge success. On the way home we got him a well deserved apple juice slush.

Then today, he had his first day of big kid Sunday School. It was a lot like the nursery in that I have no idea what they did in there and he came home with a coloring sheet and Goldfish breath. I was really proud of the way he walked right into the room and took a place at the coloring table. When we came to pick him up he couldn't wait to show us what he had colored.

First Day of Sunday School

This morning before church the weather was so nice (finally in the low seventies when we woke up instead of almost eighty) that the boys and I ate breakfast on the porch (bananas for them, coffee for me) and then played for almost an hour. Outside! For an hour! And no one succombed to heat stroke! MAN do I love the fall.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

His life of crime began at 11 months

The three of us were in the pharmacy section of the grocery store today after yet another visit with Pediatrician Man, who confirmed my suspicions that Charlie was suffering from another sinus infection (primary symptoms: mood swings, sociopathic behavior, absolutely disgusting volume of nasal discharge). I opened Charlie's Zithromax and drew some out with the dropper.

Wesley face lit up when he spotted the dropper. He started bobbing hopefully in his car seat. The junkie anticipates his next fix.

"Neh neh neh neh neh!"

(this lady on Oprah who can talk to babies told me that "neh" means an infant is hungry. For Wesley it means he is jonesing for some sugary, syrupy, penicilliny goodness)

I laughed. "Wesley, this is Charlie's medicine! You will get your medicine tonight after dinner!"

So, COOL! I'm running a crack house for small children.

Trying to juggle the open bottle of medicine and the prescription bag and and instructions I stuck the dropper in Charlie's mouth.

"Neh neh neh neh NAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!" Not so happy now.

I recapped the bottle as Wesley screamed in protest from his infant carrier.

Maybe they make it taste a little too good?

Trying not to laugh I stuck the bottle in the cart and began to walk.

Charlie yelled "Hey Mama! They have DENTAL FLOSS!"

We made quite a trio. Wesley screaming indignantly after being denied Charlie's antibiotics, Charlie excitedly and loudly pointing out the oral hygiene items, and me, laughing so hard I was crying.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Feeling calmer

The last two posts have been short and picture laden and you know why? Because I am trying to start up a paper based on my dissertation work. Yes, my old friend work-guilt is back and better than ever. This morning I wrote the entire introduction in my wide ruled composition book with the sounds of Curious George in the background.

I momentarily stopped to consider whether the male professor who once told me that "he gets it" when it comes to writing a dissertation and gestating, birthing, and raising two children had ever had to sneak work in during one kid's nap while the other one watched TV. At the risk of sounding whiney and unoriginal, my guess would be that no, he hasn't, because his wife probably shoos his children to another room to play quietly before offering to bring him a sandwich and a cup of coffee.

Dammit where is Ryan with my coffee?


(but he did just bring me a brownie and some milk)

So the last few nights I have not been blogging, I have staring at my blank notebook trying to figure out how in the world I was going to condense everything neatly into a paper. And then I would get distracted by something like the bottle of Robitussin and my extremely cozy bed and the book I'm reading that just started getting exciting. And then after I said good night to Ryan, who was sitting at the kitchen table working away because he enjoys it, I felt guilty.

And I don't even know why because it's all me now. There is no advisor to disappoint, no deadlines to miss, no extra semester of tuition to pay. Dr. Advisor recommends I try to publish something soon and attend the next conference (which is in Europe, so not likely), but he has offered very little other guidance. I am in charge now. If I want to be an academic, then I need to find a way to keep moving forward even with no job prospects. That is just how it is.

So not making any progress the last few nights was frustrating and wanting to go to bed at a reasonable time such that I was still within the bounds of what caffeine can make up for made me feel guilty.

(Frustration? Guilt? Sounds like grad school to me!)

But then last night after more false starts on my paper I got an encouraging email from one of the people I've contacted about teaching jobs. It was not a job offer, just an encouraging email. Enough to give me simultaneous hope for a job sometime in the future and also a nausea-inducing feeling of inadequacy (and also some regret about missing future preshus moments with my baybees but after today's festival of whining and throwing things I'm ready to send at least one of them to a Swiss boarding school).

I have begun to enjoy this quiet time at home with my little men. Most of the time they are cute, funny, and cooperative. Our mornings are lazy and relaxed and we can do whatever we want (except go outside after about nine. this weather is ridiculous and makes me angry). We spend a lot of time at the library and the coffee shop (wait that sounds like grad school too). It was stressful, but not a big hassle, when Wesley, then Charlie came down with the Virus of Doom and that experience really made me question whether I should work (since Wes likely picked up the VOD during his three-day stay at daycare while I was out of town) since missing ten days of work for sick kids is generally not possible (and they weren't "daycare sick," the perpetual runny nose they all have. They were both completely miserable).

I'm not sure how to end this except to say that I think I can now be content with whatever is in store for me. I have about a million different Plan Bs that can be enacted once they are both in school and I could get excited about any of them, if I need to.

I can still make their friends refer to me as Dr. Academomia.

Monday, August 24, 2009

This will undoubtedly come up in therapy when he's thirty

Tonight at dinner I had a dragon puppet and was pretending it was going to drink Charlie's apple juice.

Me as puppet (singsongy voice): "Hello Charlie!"

Charlie: smile

Me: "Can I have some of your juice?"

Charlie: "Nooooo!" (laughs)

Me: "I'm gonna get your juice! I'm gonna get your juice!"

Charlie: shrieking with laughter

Me: "I WANT JUUUUUIIIICCCE!!!" (making lunging motions towards the cup)


Saturday, August 22, 2009

They're both sleeping now


This place is GENIUS. Two dollars for a breakfast taco, a cup of coffee, and admission to the toddler Garden of Eden.

Rule number one: eat your taco before you get totally disgusting on the playground.



(Also, he does not have a pierced tongue)

Rule number two: Wear yourself out so we can all take a nap together afterwards. And don't throw sand at anyone who's not your brother. I'd hate to have to put down my coffee and come over to parent you.

Charlie in the Fountain
Charlie is timid with the water at first.

Water Wesley
Wes charges right in.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Two is not going down without a fight

I flipped the hall light on tonight so I could peek in on the boys one last time before I went to bed. I opened Charlie's door ever so quietly and smiled when I saw him asleep on the floor curled around Phent, his dog Joe by his head.

Then I stepped over the baby gate, intending to go put him back in bed, and I saw paper. Little bits of paper all over his floor. It looked like a thirty-five pound gerbil had used an entire stack of Sunday papers to make a nest in Charlie's room.

So much paper.

Also, irony. Today I stained an Ikea bookshelf for Charlie's room since he likes to read in the morning and I thought we could keep more of his books in there. I even told Ryan I was going to buy a little light to put on the bookshelf/nightstand because "I think he can handle having something a little delicate in there." We haven't had a Book Incident in at least a month--probably, I now realize, because we only leave board books in there at night. Because he has the impulse control of a, well, a two year old.

Panic-stricken I quickly accounted for all of the library books and then all the books that were gifts from Ryan's mother. Everything was safe.

I found a diaper on the floor and inspected it, no rips.

Wait a minute, where did the diaper come from? I carefully felt Charlie's pajama-clad bottom, relieved to feel that familiar papery crinkle beneath my fingertips.

It was only when I turned around to lift my sleeping boy back into the bed I lovingly made for him this morning that all became clear. Humidifier Carnage. Not two feet from where the little culprit lay sleeping on the floor.

The tank was upside down, the cap for the tank was off, it was unplugged(!!!), and the little tray that holds the water (not very well under the best of circumstances, I might add) was out. All of the pieces were artfully lined up like they were wet plastic building blocks. My deviant little civil engineer.

The filter had been reduced to confetti by my thirty-five pound gerbil.

And there was water everywhere.

Thankfully we didn't top it off tonight.

Also thankfully he was asleep and didn't hear me breathe "Oh Hell!" Then start giggling uncontrollably.

I picked up the diaper and all the shredded pieces of humidifier filter and soaked up the water with a towel then snuggled Charlie and Phent back into bed. Where they better stay. With no more rodent activity. For a good long time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I was fast asleep today when the phone rang. It took me a minute to stop slapping at the coffee table, trying to find the snooze button. When I realized it was the phone I stumbled to the kitchen to answer it.

Still half asleep I answered as coherently as I could.


"Hello, is this Becca?"

"Yes, it is." don't recognize the voice who the heck is this and what do you want

"This is Dr. Smarty, Department Chair of Physics at Nearby Methodist University."

"Yes, hello!" very very awake now. very awake indeed.

This is the second important conversation this week that has begun with the phone waking me up in the middle of the day. These kids and their damn viruses with the not sleeping!! The first was with Pediatrician Man on Sunday. Can I tell you how weird it was to talk to Pediatrician man IN MY BED? VERY WEIRD. Thankfully I was downstairs this time. Simulnaps two days in a row! I win.

He was following up about me giving a research seminar to their physics club. I'd been emailing with another professor about the opportunity two months ago and just sent another follow-up email last night. He asked me to describe my research and background. Which was HAHAHA SO FUNNY and really freaking hard to do succinctly having just woken up and having spent the last three months NOT TALKING ABOUT MY RESEARCH. Or even thinking about it for that matter. I made it through with a lot of stuttering and "um's" and then he told me that I'd have to bring it down to a non-technical level for the freshman. Hell I can do that! How about I just slap a bunch of pictures of damaged buildings on a PowerPoint and talk about the time I rode out Hurricane Claudette in an airplane hangar with the roof partway torn off? (Just kidding. I will work very hard because I am very, VERY excited about this opportunity. Never know who's reading, you know?)

He's going to call again in a week to arrange a time. He told me they would be buying me lunch. It was only then that I realized that this was going to be during the day and not in the evening, which will make things a leeetle bit complicated on the childcare front (Complicated? Or FREAKING AWESOME!).

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it. I wonder if it's a good excuse to buy office supplies, because I really miss the smell of paper in the fall.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We now officially have athletic equipment in our home.

Today we asked Charlie what he would do if he could do anything he wanted. He wanted to play basketball. Because when your big cousins play basketball, you should too, even if you are thirty-three inches tall.

Our only playground ball wouldn't inflate, so we all trouped off to Walmart to buy Charlie his first basketball. He wanted "the orange one" and when we handed it to him in the cart he felt it's bumpy, rubbery cover and said "It's so soft" which reminded me of the time Hank Hill took Bobby to the race track to get him interested in a masculine activity and he touched the velvet rope around a race car on display and said "The rope is soft and pretty!"

(Neither of us has any athletic ability, so our expectations are low in that department, but Charlie has been displaying remarkable grace while dancing to Tejano music in the living room, which is what he does while I cook dinner, and I suggested to Ryan that I sign him up for a dance class. Ryan countered "Or, you know, TENNIS, or BASKETBALL?!")

We picked out a soccer ball too, since Charlie's soccer class starts in two weeks. He wanted to hold "the orange ball" and gave Wesley "the silver ball" to hold in the store.

Then we looked at some bikes. How cute is this?

Bicycle lessons in Walmart
The moment every little Texan boy dreams of. The day he teaches his son how to ride a bike in the Walmart.

By the way, who is this GIANT BOY?

Bike Boy

Basketball turned out to be a little disappointing because we weren't able to hold Charlie up high enough so he could make a basket (like his pregnant pre-school teacher does. That poor woman must be trying to induce labor or something.).


Charlie dribbled and threw the ball around a little and then they watched as Ryan and I "showed them how it's done."

Watching the action
Babylegs: Also good for preventing your crawler from melting his knees off in the Texas summer sun.

This, apparently, is my game face:

My game face, apparently
Don't you find me intimidating?

Ryan, on the other hand, was all business:

Ryan about to make a basket

Which is why he made so many baskets while I ran around pretending I can jump high enough to do a lay-up. Charlie yelled "BUMMER!" every time I missed. I explained to him that a generation or two ago this kind of hands-on parenting was considered strange, you know.

Notice the relative positions of the ball and basket in this one. Hoo boy Charlie and Wesley are in t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

Way, way off

Then we noticed a crazy rash on Wesley's neck and took him home to dose him up with Benadryl. We were so distracted with worry Charlie filled one of his Crocs with applesauce and then licked it out. Ah, two.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

In which I scratch my head and wonder what on Earth happened to the last ten months

Wesley woke up from his morning nap fever free (sort of, I'd call it "warm to the touch" if I hadn't spent the last two days wondering if I could fry an egg on one of his chubby little thighs). And then he went on to have a really nice day. He even took it well when Charlie capsized the stroller with him inside while I browsed at the Hobby Lobby.

He also took FOUR naps! He was resting up for his big feat of strength:

No global pandemic here!

Despite any optimistic tweets/Facebook status updates you might have seen from me, Wesley is NOT better. A more pitiful baby has never been seen. He has had a fever since Tuesday afternoon and nothing has touched it including Tylenol, Motrin, baths, and rubbing his head with a wet washcloth.

The good news is that he does not have H1N1, according the the result of a test that entailed sticking a Q-tip up his nose farther than you ever would have imagined possible. So now I can stop yelling "UNCLEAN" when I pass our neighbors on the way to the mailbox, which is nice.

In other news, Charlie is adjusting to being back in Central Time as well as can be expected. Which is to say he appears in our room at five every morning wondering aloud why it's dark in his room when it is so clearly time to get up and eat breakfast.

Needless to say, I've had more caffeine in the last three days than is deemed safe by the World Health Organization.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Horses, Zebras, and Pigs, Oh MY!

The boys and I spent the afternoon lolling in the little coffee shop downtown today. I sat at the table drinking my tea while Charlie played with the train table and Wesley sat in his stroller playing with whatever piece of the train set I was able to shame Charlie into letting him touch. I had just exhaled for the first time since returning from our trip. Finally feeling on top of the housework again, finally feeling rested again. Enjoying the nice afternoon and the break between all the little emergencies that punctuate our day.

Then I ran my fingers through Wesley's hair. And he felt warm. I felt him again, felt his feet and legs and tummy. Wow. Really warm.

Hmmm, cheeks pink? Eyes glassy?


I gave Charlie the five minute warning and told him that Wesley was sick and we needed to take him home because it feels much better to be at home when you don't feel well. He put away the trains and climbed up into his stroller. Love that kid.

Pediatrician Man asked "How long has he had the runny nose?"

Wild estimating. Let's see, his birthday is in September, so that's one-two-three-four-five...... "Two weeks?"


"Well, we definitely need to see him if he's had a runny nose for that long."

Three false alarm appointments in as many months and NOW I decide to tough it out. If I brought them in each time they had a runny nose we might as well have Pediatrician Man move in with us (not that I would be opposed to that. Ryan might.), but apparently, this time, I had missed some important opportunity and now Wesley was very sick.

I made the appointment for the next morning. Wes looked more and more miserable while we stopped briefly at the grocery store, which was probably very theraputic what with the copious amounts of air conditioning they blast into that place, unlike my house, where due to one enormous electric bill we now keep the thermostat at a balmy eighty-one degrees during the day. Maybe I should have just left him in the dairy case so he didn't spontaneously combust upon entering our home.

I took his temperature at home. When the thermometer blasted past one-hundred one degrees with no sign of stopping I asked Charlie fourteen times to get my purse so I could call and reschedule Wesley's appointment for that afternoon. Unfortunately he had suddenly lost his listening comprehension skills. Or maybe the hint of panic in my voice made him nervous. He later refused to go potty which led to an interesting background conversation for the nurse I was trying to talk to on the phone.

We made an appointment for 6:10 and it was only when I was sitting in the waiting room with my feverish, coughing, miserable baby that the thought of H1N1 entered my mind. My mind started racing. Are his lungs OK after the bronchiolitis? Should I make him wear a mask? Who has he played with recently (Labmama's kids, that's who. My only friend who reads about viruses for FUN. That's ironical)

It took them forty minutes to get to us and I don't think I relaxed my core muscles once.

Pediatrician Woman took one look in his left ear and said "Ouch, that ear looks awful." And I exhaled.

"Wonderful!" I shrieked "He doesn't have Swine Flu!!" The words came spraying out of my mouth before I could stop them. Then, of course, big smile.

She smiled vaguely at me for a few moments.

"I am not opposed to testing him" she began slowly "but if he hasn't had the fever for a full twenty-four hours then the test will be inaccurate." Look of doctorly concern. Look of doctorly concern was for me and my mental health re: step away from the cable news.

So we're all sure this is the same cold Charlie had early last week. And also the ear infection. Because if I've learned anything from Law and Order Criminal Intent, it's that if you hear hoofbeats, you don't look for a zebra. Or something.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Just another family wedding...

My cousin's wedding was heartfelt and beautiful. They got married on a hill overlooking the bay in front of my grandmother's rock garden. The ceremony was officiated by the brother of the bride and many family members participated, giving blessings and singing songs.

I loved the Gerbera Daisies and coordinated paper lanterns in the tent:

Wedding Flowers

Paper Lanterns

My uncle made these pretty bowls and the whole family pulled Salt Water Taffy for all of the guests:


After dark, there were sparklers:


And it wouldn't be a family wedding, at least not in my family, without a giant party. What do you get when there is a mix-up over who is supposed to buy the beer for the wedding? Everyone buys the beer for the wedding!

Beer Boat

We were all out on the dance floor well into the night when the groom in his swimsuit and bride, who was clad only in a bikini bottom and an orange life jacket, came running through the tent and across the lawn. The entire party let out a "WHOOOO!" as they joined the bride and groom on the dock, where many stripped down to their underwear (or less) and jumped into the ocean (not me, that water was COLD).

My family, we know how to party.

Booze Cruise
Me and my aunt and cousin on the party boat the night before the wedding.

The huge crowd caused the dock to sink just below the surface. Enough water sloshed over the top of it to wash everyone's clothes and shoes off the dock and into the water. A cousin of my dad's dove in to retrieve the flotilla of bras and panties before they could be washed out to sea (where they would undoubtedly make the day of some lonely lobsterman).

We were back on the dance floor when the sheriff arrived in response to "numerous noise complaints." Still wearing her swimsuit, my aunt explained that they were having a wedding and that some people had gone swimming. "Some people were naked" she added. "I'd like to see more of that!" said the cop.

Then he posed for a picture with my cousin, who was still dressed in her swimsuit and life jacket.

The next morning Charlie and I were leaving to go for a walk when a cousin pulled up in her car and asked if anyone had found her underpants and shoes.

This might just top last summer's trip-to-the-emergency-room-for-head-stitches wedding.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Big City, thoughts from the Suburbs

When Ryan and I decided to live in South instead of Boston two years ago, we vowed to spend time there every summer to make up for our lost city adventure. We realized that this would be a dangerous tradition; summer is a beautiful time in Boston, as opposed to the winter, which my dad attests was long and cold and rainy. Yes, we should probably visit in the winter so we don't spend the entire visit wishing we lived there. Fortunately, hauling an additional sixty pounds of kid around with you makes the whole car-free urban fantasy slightly less appealing.

Some highs and lows:

*Playgrounds surrounded by a fence with a gate? GENIUS. Having walked approximately thirty-seven miles to get to this playground in Boston Common, it was really nice to be able to sit down when I arrived. Wesley also enjoyed his newfound freedom.


*Before getting on a subway, you should get your children iPods and make them wear them. Better they hear your vaguely appropriate collection of 70s pot smoking music than a rowdy group of teenagers screaming the "F" word at each other for five stops.

*Yes, your two year old DOES need a stroller, you freaking moron. Enough said.

*Walking everywhere loses its appeal when you are walking there carrying an angry thirty-five pound child (see above).

*On the other hand, Charlie's miserable sobs elicited sympathy from a passerby who paused and pulled Band Aids out of her smart leather briefcase, thinking he had skinned his knee. City people are friendly and helpful!

*Hey look! A whole university with a wall around it!

Wesley at Hah-vahd

*Ooh pretty! And kids sail for a dollar! Let's move let's move let's move let's move.


*And finally, Our hotel room was roughly the same size as the largest apartment we could afford in the city, or roughly four-hundred square feet. Given the little hissy fit I had after tripping over our piles of crap for the millionth time, I think that would be a problem.

The very thought of not being able to close everyone into their own room made me want to run straight back to my mass produced, car-centric, sustainability-be-damned slice of heaven.

I love my house. There's no place like home.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yes, we are ridiculous

As Ryan and I walked around MIT yesterday with the kids, we played a little game with ourselves where whenever we passed other people, one of us would say something to the other that would make the other people think we were faculty at MIT.

For example, we would spot a couple walking our way on the sidewalk. As they got closer, Ryan would say to me (often, a little too loudly) "How long do you think your faculty meeting will be? Should I get dinner for the kids?"

We played this game for many many blocks as I carried Wesley in my arms and an exhausted Charlie rode on Ryan's back in the Ergo.

me: "Did you get that memo from the Provost?"

Ryan: "I can't believe they only gave you TWO TA's this year!"

me: "Have you heard anything back on your career grant yet?"

Ryan: "Oh, I forgot to tell you, I'll be late on Wednesday because GE wants a tour of my lab."

Then we started getting a little punchy.

Ryan: "My Summer II undergrads are the biggest bunch of entitled brats I've ever seen! NO late homework! It's on the syllabus! Why don't you go back to Westchester and work at the Gap!"

Me: "So I said 'What do you mean I can't breastfeed during meetings. I saw more of Dr. Andrews' breasts at the last holiday party than anyone would see if I was breastfeeding!'"

And then we were giggling too much to make it convincing, so that was the end of my brief career as an academic.*

*MIT if you are reading this, this never happened. I am way way WAY more serious than that! I have field experience! And I am willing to move to Boston.