I always thought that if I had kids, I’d have to break some of my bad habits. Like eating Apple Jacks and Doritos and other things with colors not found in nature. That should probably go. And watching Law & Order re-runs without remorse for several hours running. Probably not good for small children. Or crossing six lanes of traffic in the middle of the block.
(Let’s skip the conversation about how hypocritical it is for me to deprive my offspring of the very things I was denied and coveted and – probably as a result – attached myself to as a needy, media- and junk-food-backward newly independent, TV-owning, grocery-shopping 20-something.)
I didn’t think one of those habits would be writing. To be more precise, writing on things. One day a few years ago, lacking a notebook, I discovered the efficiency of writing notes on my hand. Such a simple solution when you only have half the pen and paper equation at hand. Your hand is, after all, always at hand. Of course, there is the serious down side of accidentally washing away Nobel Prize-winning thoughts while in the bathroom at Ikea. And there’s the inconvenience to one’s partner of being asked, palm extended in face, “What do you think that says? That letter there – could that be a ‘t’? Which would make that word…toupee? What?”
But other than that, it’s a winner of a habit.
Oh yeah, also except that most adults look at you like you’re a.) mildly deranged, or b.) still in second grade. But they’re looking with their head foolishly angled off to the side because they’re trying to read what you wrote all upside down, so who’s the sucker now, huh?
Anyway, R. made me promise early on in the pregnancy that the one habit I would break before she was born would be my tendency to write, in pen, on skin available somewhere below my eye line. No writing on the baby. Fine. Whatever. So I won’t write on the baby.
And I haven’t. So far. But I’ve just distributed pens around the living room so when I’m pinned down beneath the sleeping infant and thinking meaningful thoughts, there is always at least half that equation at hand. Let’s just hope she doesn’t snooze so long that I run out of space on my palms, that’s all I have to say.