Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mama Scheherazade

Seconda loathes going to school. I’m not positive how she feels about school itself – though it doesn’t seem promising – but how she feels about going to school and the saying goodbye to her dear old Mama, we’re quite clear on. Every morning, I’m charged with the task of getting The Most Uncooperative Preschooler on the Planet and her significantly more helpful older but still not terribly jazzed about school either older brother over to their classrooms by 8:40. There are several obstacles. First is the fact that since the little one doesn’t go to bed til 10pm most nights despite the fact that she’s in bed by 8, and consequently doesn’t wake til I force her to at 8am. When she does wake, she is grumpy grumpy grumpy and refuses to get dressed or eat. When I beg and cajole and bribe and threaten enough that I manage to put some clothes on her (I give up on the food), she refuses to leave the house. When we leave the house and she realizes she must use her legs to tackle the 15 walk, she pitches a fit. When I carry her on my back as long as I am physically able, and then set her down to complete the rest of the walk on her own, perfectly capable legs, she pitches another fit.

The only way we move forward at this point – with no time to spare, incidentally – is by me becoming Mama Scheherazade.

“Ooooooh!” I’ll gasp to get her attention, “Did I ever tell you the story about the witch who was allergic to peanut butter Girl Scout Cookies?”

“Tell it to me!” she’ll demand.

“Ok, I will but you have to walk.”

She takes one angry step as I launch into creating original context, customized for her taste preferences (the witch gets a bloody boo boo, the witch has a baby, the witch gives the baby away because it cries too much). If I stop the story for a second, to catch my breath – or if the story gets too boring or goes off in the wrong direction – she stops walking and starts screaming.

“Ok ok ok, and then the witch gets a terrible rash on her nose!” I hasten to add.

My life in on the line here. There is no room for plot missteps.

Adding to the complexity of my storytelling prison is that Seconda is not my only audience member. Primo is there too and has narrative preferences and needs of his own.
Usually his tastes incline in a radically different direction – battling, spooky twists, surprise endings – and he wants his voice heard, too.

But if he so much as adds a sentence in, or lends an idea, Seconda is all over him like a feral monkey. That or worse, she stops walking again.

“Fine, then I’m not going to school.”

And I have to remind Primo that at this juncture, he can not have any needs of his own but after school it can be all about him and I’ll tell him ANOTHER story one where people use black magic and disapparate and shit that like. Because I am an unending font of original context.

So if you’re wondering why my blog’s been lacking luster or looking a little anemic remember that before 9am, I am forced to give away my BEST SHIT to the gremlins. It’s the price of getting them to school.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Beat the Clock

I’ve noticed something about kids, or at least my kids. Though wildly, insatiably curious, they are also wildly, incurably impatient. Which means that while Primo and Seconda are constantly firing questions at me, they give me approximately 30 seconds to reply. I have one half of a minute to form my answers to questions like “Why is Ben Franklin so famous?” and “Do some people eat rats?” or else their attention span expires and its on to the next thing.

Primo: “What does ‘conjuring’ mean?”

Me: “Oh, that’s a great word. Well, OK, to conjure means to bring forth, to create, usually in a magical sense but not always. It depends on the context. So a person could conjure emotions, feelings – “

Primo: “When are we eating dinner?”

The funny thing is, I feel genuinely injured when they get so bored by what I think is an intriguing and well-though out response to a good question but I distinctly remember feeling bored to TEARS when I’d ask my dad something similar and he would do the same thing.

Me: “What’s the difference between a vein and an artery?”

My dad: “To understand that, you need to understand the human heart – “

And I was zoned out. Totally not listening. Regressed asking.

It seemed to me like my dad would go on and on and on, 10 minutes or more=, in response to a simple question, but looking back, I think he probably talked for approximately thirty seconds. It only felt like an eternity.

I wanted only the main idea, the distilled-down-for-maximum-potency formula. One sentence or less. And I see that’s exactly what my kids want. But now that I’m a parent, I understand that my objective is to pass on all this shit I know -- half the time shit I only half-know or made-up, no matter – to make them think I’m really smart and all-knowing. But, a smarter mind than mine said brevity is the soul of wit, and so I think from now on, I will try to form my replies to the kids’ questions in the form of Twitter posts, under 140 characters.

“Why do some days feel so long and other days feel so short?”

“Time flies when you’re having fun. Next!”

“I want to make a human clone. What d I need?”

“DNA otherwise known as deoxyribonucleic acid. And luck. Next!”

“What does ‘singular’ mean?”

“One of a kind. Unique. Next!”

“Why does Daddy like beef jerky and you don’t?”

“Mommy has tastebuds and Daddy’s from the South. Next!”

I could make this into a freaking game show.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The cheapest haircut on earth

My grandmother had a lot to get used to when she moved from Bensonhurst to Park Slope. First was the dearth of elderly people of any kind, but in particular Italians. Second was the exorbitant price of everything but in particular, groceries. The thing about Park Slope is, one never gets used to just how insanely expensive everything is, especially if one is 80 years old and used to prices which haven't changed since the 1960s.

Case in point: my grandmother's beauty shop.

Last week, my grandmother had to go to a wedding, for the granddaughter of one of her best friends. She needed a haircut. Now I can never really tell the difference when Nonnie gets her hair cut -- it goes from boy short to slightly boy shorter -- but you better believe she can tell the difference.

"I can't go to dis weddin' witoutta haircut," she said early in the week, "Where do you get you hair cut?"

"There's a place around the corner," I told her, "Its pretty cheap."

"Oh yeah," she said, "How much?"

"About $60, I think," I said.

"No, Nicole," she said, clucking her teeth, "You wrong."

"You get you hair color, and so dat's why you pay $60," she went on.

"Well I do get highlights," I said, "But those cost more than $60. Those are probably $75/ 80 on top of the haircut."

She looked at me in horror, speechless.

"Whaddayou, crazy?" she asked, "You wanna know how much I pay to get my hair cut in Brooklyn?"

I have stopped reminding her that Park Slope is Brooklyn. Its futile.

"How much?"

"Guess," she coaxed me.

"I don't know, $35? $30?"

Nonnie got that terrifically satisfied look she gets on her face when she has found an amazing bargain, outwitted people from robbing her blind.

:$15," she said, "including tip."

"FIFTEEN DOLLARS?" I asked her.

"Yes," she confirmed, "$13, and then I give her $2 for tip."

"And you know how much Maria pays to get the color?"

"I can't even imagine."

"$26," she replied, proudly, "For that, you get you head washed, hair cut, hair color, and she blow dry you hair."

"You don't have to include the head washing part," I told her, "That comes with the price, everybody gets their hair washed when its cut."

"Oh no, I'm sorry, you wrong," she corrected me, "To wash you head, that's extra. But I pay $15 and I get my head washed."

"Well, I don't think you'll do better than that. I don't think you can buy a pair of scissors to cut your own hair for that price. I think you should go get it done in Bensonhurst."

And today, $15 lighter in the pocket, she is the proud owner of a slightly shorter boy haircut. The hairspray involved in the 'do alone probably cost more than $10. You can't beat Bensonhurst for a bargain.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Start of School Blues

I am always over joyed when its Back To School Time: if you've been reading this blog, you'll have heard of little else but how I've been counting down the minutes til the first day. But I also realize that all of September and much of October, probably, will be a big old bust as my transition-averse children get acclimated to their new class teacher, and routine. I have heard tell of children who actually enjoy starting the new school year, are actually chomping at the bit to get started, relish the prospect of making new friends, discovering how the new system works, all that jazz. I'm sure these children do exist. In fact, it is a distinct possibility that I was one of these students.

Now that I think about it, I remember the summer before freshman year of college started and I got a letter giving me the name and phone number of the girl I'd soon be roommates with. I called her that night, so cheery and full of perky pep, I'm not sure she could make out my high-frequency squeaks. In the first minute or two of our phone convo, I listed all my main interests, my background, my aspirations. She said little to nothing, being the dark, brooding poetry-writing type. We would go on to become best friends, an unlikely pair. She told me later, though, that she was at first mortified by my cheery friendliness and after she met me, on the first day of school, she wrote a poem about the horrifying experience. She sat on her extra-long twin bed with a sulky experience on her face, since she'd had to part with her long-term boyfriend who went to NYU, while her mom helped her unpack a few small suitcases. Meanwhile, my mother had put on surgical gloves and was scrubbing Clorox over every surface of my side of the room, my father was drilling screws into the wall to affix power strips for my mammoth IBM desktop computer (remember how massive they used to be?) and using insane amounts of electrical tape to tie all the cords together. My 7 year-old sister played hide and go seek in the closets. And I set about covering every inch of the room with posters and photographs, all the while chatting with her -- ok, AT her -- about what we wanted to major in, what kind of clubs we might join, if she had gone on any orientation trips. I was nervous, sure, but the main thing I felt was excitement.

I am fairly certain I would not feel the same way today. Somehow, over the years, I've become gradually more neurotic, acerbic and skeptical. Not sure when it occurred exactly, but now I am more Woody Allen than Pollyanna. Unsurprisingly, my kids are the same way. They are always assuming they'll get the worst teacher, end up in class with the worst bullies, have the hardest homework, get the fuzziest end of the lollipop. And it takes until Halloween for them to either confirm that this did, in fact, happen or to discern that they've dodged the bullet -- this time at least.

Poor Seconda began preK in the big public school where her brother's been for the past two years, and while this is fantastic for me and my checking account, it does take a bit of getting used to on her part. There is nap time which is nothing short of a nightmare for Sec, who hasn't napped literally since she was 2 years old, and who is constitutionally incapable of quiet contemplation. There are lots of organized activities which comes as a jarring surprise after her Montessori, self-directed days of free time. And there's lots of new kids, which she assumes are rivals until they are proven otherwise. I'm guessing she'll be acclimating until Christmastime.

But, regardless of how cranky and non-compliant they may be after a long day of adjusting to school, I still get SIX HOURS of kid-free time to work. Which is sublime. So I'll happily accept the start-of-school blues as the price tag. No argument.

Monday, September 19, 2011

High Life at the High Line? Not so much.

Last weekend, for David’s birthday, we decided to go to the High Line. We’d never been, and had heard so many great things, and the weather was sublime just the kind of day you want to spend on a charming erstwhile elevated train tracks which now serve as a public garden/meeting ground. The website informed me that I could find People Pops there, as well as all kinds of other super fancy food vendors. Plus, I figured, it was mid-August, and the city would be empty. And finding parking near the West Side Highway would be a cinch. Perfect. Would’ve been perfect had it been true.

Because two lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge were closed for constructions, it took for-freaking-ever to get to 14th Street and 10th Avenue and we’d worn out the kids’ patience and good will, which was scant to begin with. After searching for parking for five minutes, David realized he was in for the long haul and dropped us off at the High Line so he didn’t have a bloody migraine from the sibling rivalry happening in the backseat.

Just before we hit the stairs leading to the High Line, I saw an entrance to some kind of building where hordes of people were flocking in and out, and I thought, “Huh. Wonder what that popular destination is. Better check it out/” That was folly. In fact, I should have learned by now to go in the opposite direction of the throngs of people.

The place we had found was called “Chelsea Market” and it was, indeed, a wondrous destination with booth upon booth of artisanal cheese makers, basket weavers, knife sharpeners, fair trade organic coffee sellers, and gelaterias. Sprinkled here and there were art installations, including a waterfall-type thing with lights that changed color overhead that everyone was throwing coins into. It was idyllic. I didn’t even mind waiting 15 minutes for the bathroom. And by the time we’d peed, David called me to tell me he’d found a parking spot and was on his way.

“Great,” I said, “We’ll get a bite to eat here before we go to the High Line. We’re starving.”

But then things took a turn for the worse. Despite me giving what I thought were pretty explicit instructions to David about our whereabouts, he passed right by Chelsea Market and went to the High Line.

“Hey, where are you,” I asked when he called, “We’re waiting and there’s no place to sit over here.”

“I’m at the High Line,” he said, exasperated already.

“WHY would you go THERE when I told you we were at Chelsea Market?” I asked.

From there, our exchange rapidly deteriorated. Every time we spoke, we raised each other in fury.

“NO, you did NOT, you said meet me at the High Line!” he replied.

“OF COURSE I didn’t say that because we are NOT THERE.” I tried not to shriek, “Just HURRY UP and come here.”

But David had already done the unthinkable (which frankly, he thinks of with alarming frequency) and HUNG UP ON ME.

He went on to do the even more unthinkable and IGNORE my incessant calling for the next 20 minutes,

The novelty of Chelsea Market had long worn off and the kids were now annoyed and miserable again, whining and grousing. I was in the throes of a major rage fit, but trying to cover it, for the sake of the children. I tried to take them to a fancy food booth to get some grub but they refused to move a step without their father.

“NO! NO! WE HAVE TO FIND DADDY FIRST!” Primo bellowed, panicking that he’d never see his father again.

“But I don’t know WHERE DADDY IS!” I fumed, silently adding, “Because he’s a freaking ASSHOLE who I would like to murder in cold blood.”

“Let’s just LOOK FOR HIM! For GOD’S SAKE!” Primo begged.

“But the High Line is 30 blocks long and I have NO IDEA WHERE HE IS!”

Because the market was so mobbed, there was no place to sit, which forced us to stand in a corner and melt into a big, hot mess.

At long last, David popped up next to us, and the jubilant cries of the children were so intense you’d have thought he’d been missing at sea for the past three years.

Once we were reunited, the afternoon perked up, and we scarfed down some pastrami and soup and ham-and-cheese crepes, which improved morale. The High Line was perfectly nice, and I thought the sundeck was cool with its wooden lounge chairs, although scoring one of these sweet spots was a bit of a battle, like angling for a subway seat at rush hour. We sat for a while in a lovely shaded breezeway and ate People Pops, flavored apricot cilantro and raspberry ginger. You know, a totally OK time, But the amount of effort it took to squeeze out that small amount of pleasure seemed disproportionate. All in all, I was left wondering what all the hubbub is about. It’s a nice promenade but not worth leaving Brooklyn for.

Primo likes to call it, “The High Line: a supposedly fun thing I’ll never do again.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Musical Beds

When I go to bed, there are two people in my bed: David and me.

When I wake up, it’s anyone’s guess who I’ll find there: definitely one child, potentially both. It’s sort of like the wild nights from many years ago, when you go out and drink too much and wake to a surprise in the morning. Except there’s nothing surprisingly

about my kids sneaking into my bed because it happens every night. I sleep right through the whole thing: they are stealthy and silent. And if they didn’t take over the whole freaking bed, I wouldn’t even mind particularly. To be fair, Seconda figured out early on that she should lie horizontally at the bottom of the bed at our feet, “that’s where I fit perfectly!” By which she means, it takes us all night to realize that she’s there. Primo, however, is HUGE and wildly energetic in his sleep, so we get treated to elbow jabs and swift kick to the ribs and head all night long. I wish I could figure out how to burn so many calories when I sleep: I could make my fortune selling that formula.

So, what ends up happening is, if Prino sneaks into our bed, we notice at some point during the night, when we wake to a throbbing pain in our side and find his massive foot there, and because it is way easier to move ourselves than to pick him up and move him without waking him, David or I will relocate to Primo’s bunk bed. Yes, it is ridiculous but we are tired and its just the easiest thing to do. Besides, I hate to confess it but I love having a whole bed to myself and the kids’ room, with the noise machine and room-darkening shades, is like a sleep spa. I love it.

The other night, however, something truly ridiculous happened.

The sort of thing that makes you say, Whoa, hold on a minute here, we need t oget our HOUSE IN ORDER.

David and I went to sleep in our martial bed, just the two of us, the way it should be.

In the middle of the night, I woke to a searing pain in my ass and found Primo’s arm flailing around wildly. David had beaten me to the punch, and already snuck into Primo’s bed, but since Primo was particularly feisty, I didn’t think I could manage even with just the two of us in the bed, so I relocated onto the couch.

As I lay there, trying to convince myself that there was nothing so very strange about sleeping on my couch while my son enjoyed the bed, I heard the door to the kids’ room open and heard the unmistakable pitter patter of tiny feet. Tiny four-year old feet.

I watched as Seconda snuck out of her bedroom into my bed, where Primo was already camped out. Being mostly asleep, she didn’t notice and happily laid herself at the foot of the bed, thinking her mother and father were happily sleeping beside her.

My thought at that moment was very clear: “Score! Now I get to sleep in the bunk beds!”

I silently stole into the kids’ bedroom and slipped into the top bunk, above my husband, on the bottom.

And that is how it happened that in the morning, my children woke up, sleeping in a queen bed and David and I woke, as bunkmates in the outer-space-themed bedroom.

Something’s gotta give. I have even considered just giving the kids our bed and taking their, enjoying the luxury of that isolation chamber every night, all long night. But I think what I’ll probably have to do is just build a palette on the floor next to our bed for the kids and tell them the early bird gets the worm and if the palette’s taken, then there’s no more room at the inn. But you know how it goes – I’ll probably build the palette and then end up sleeping there myself.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The children do chemistry

The kids are back to school now, thankfully, but last week, in the days before school started up, we hit the end of summer slump. You know it’s the last week of break when your six and four-year-old are doing chemistry experiments unsupervised in the kitchen.

The snippets of conversation coming form the kitchen are pretty troubling and were it any other time of year, and not the last of a marathon stretch of weeks with no child care, I’d gotten off the couch to inquire. But, as it was, I just stayed alert for burning smells and the cries of panic which accompany a chemical explosion.

“And THAT,” explains Primo triumphantly, “is how you make carbon dioxide!”

“Ooooh,” murmurs Seconda, “Its really bubbly.”

In fact, I can hear the vigorous bubbling and see cloudy mists rising from a Tupperware, when I lean forward to peer into the kitchen doorway.

“Ah, carbon dioxide is harmless,” I figure, “Isn’t it? It’s the carbon MONOXIDE I have to worry about. I hope they’re not making that. But if they d, we have an alarm, the kind where the batteries never run out. That was good thinking.”

Back to my laptop.

Later, I hear, “WOW! These polyacrimide crystals are great!”

THAT’S how long the kids have been doing chemistry in the kitchen – long enough to get familiar with the term “polyacrimide” -- just rolls of his tongue like it ain’t no big thing – he doesn’t even stumble over it.

I don’t know what in the hell polyacrimide crystals are but

Its just a beginner’s chemistry set and everything looked non-toxic so I’m assuming its probably OK, as long as its not ingested. Which, upon further thought, might need clarifying.

“SECOOOOOONDA!” I yell. She runs in, a white powder all over her nude torso.

“Listen to Mommy. Do not eat any of the chemistry ingredients. You understand?”

She nods but I am not convinced. This bears repeating.

“DO NOT EAT ANY of the ingredients. Not the polyacrimide crystals or the carbon dioxide potionor ANYTHING. Got it?”

She nods and runs back into the kitchen, far too eager to resume the experiment for my comfort level. But then again, it’s the last week before school starts and I. Just. Can’t. This week, I take a vacation from helicopter mothering and go all free-range.

A few minutes later, my ears perk up because I hear whispers.

“Oooooh Priiiimo!” murmurs Sec, “You made a biiiiiiig mess! Mommy’s gonna be –“

“Just be QUIET! I’m PICKING it UP!”


“Just get the vacuum cleaner!”

Clearly, my children’s science experiment, as well as my own free-range experiment had come to an end. I sighed loudly, extremely annoyed at having to get off the couch and interrupt an already non-productive work session to care for my young children.

As I entered the kitchen, my sigh broke off into a choked gasp.

“You have got to be fucking kidding me,” went my brain, and possibly my mouth.

I don’t know what image I had in my mind of my six and four-year olds chemistry set-up. I don’t know if I imagined lab coats and an eye wash station and surgical gloves with an antiseptic countertop or what, but I definitely did not expect the Greatest Mess on Earth.

The y hadn’t bothered to move any of the crap which live son our kitchen tale out of the way before beginning the experiments so piles of mail and boxes of tissues of stickers, Sharpies and CD cases, fruits snacks and miscellaneous hardware items were now stuck t the tablecloth which was covered in a purple sea of stickiness. I The various bags of chemistry ingredients were strewn amidst the purple sea, most of them open and half-spilt onto the table. But this wasn’t even the “mess” Primo and Seconda were referring t. That was just ordinary working conditions. The “mess” was a pile of coarse white powder that had spilled off the table onto the floor. Primo clearly didn’t notice for a while because he’d been tracking it all over the kitchen so that the whole floor was coated in a thin white sticky paste. You could lie on your belly, rub your face it in and get a great exfoliation scrub.

“What the hell is that?” I asked, in my super-calm-totally-about-to-lose-it voice.

“Don’t panic Mommy,” said Primo. Its never a good sign when he says that.

“Its just citric acid,” he went on.

No I know citric acid is harmless because as you may recall, the maniac kid had me making DIY bath bombs a few years back so I got up close an personal with citric acid. But still, harmless or not, I don’t want it ALL OVER MY KITCHEN.

“I’m cleaning it up!” he pointed out. And he was, pinching little pinches of it in his fingers BACK into the bag. So he could use it ANOTHER day. To RECREATE this mess.

“This is too much,” I said, clearly revving up my lecture engine,” This is too much even for us. I mean, look at this kitchen! It’s not even a mess it’s a disaster area. There are chemicals ALL OVER THE PLACE!”

I shooed Seconda away and delegated some small cleaning tasks to Primo while I tackled the floor . Thankfully, my grandmother had insisted on buying me one of those vinyl tablecloths from the 99 cent store (not the $40 drop cloths sold in my neighborhood, but their older, more affordable relatives) so the purple mess hadn’t leaked through onto the table, which may have cost $150 from Ikea but is still beloved by us. I was able to toss almost all of the chemistry ingredients though the polyacrimide crystals will live to see another round of experiments. Then I took the whole Ziploc bag of chemistry stuff and the waterlogged, stained set of instructions which looks like a pirates treasure map at this point and I stowed it on a high shelf where it would be out of sight, out of mind.

At the end of the day, I’m just not the free-range type.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


On the tenth anniversary of September 11th, I still feel like words fail me. And while it hurts to remember, it feels right too, and to do it together.

Here, almost 150 New York City schoolkids visit four firehouses to offer thanks.

Empire State of Mind

That's New York, my home, then, now, and hopefully, for always.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Saucy Mosquito

This morning I woke to an itchy ass. Thankfully, this is not something I usually suffer from - I've got some dignity left - so I realized some foul play was involved. Indeed, a quick feel of my left butt check revealed that a mosquito had gone to TOWN there, just glutted himself, the sick bastard. Not one or two, but five different bites, and not in the hip or upper thigh region, but squarely on the ass part. And this is what I thought:

A. I'm going to look like a real asshole today trying not to scratch my ass like Homer Simpson.
B. Is it insane to take this mosquito repeatedly biting my butt as a compliment? Like, is my ass to hot to resist?
C. How did the saucy maverick infiltrate my underwear barrier? I'd like to say I wear French-cut fancy panties that basically let my whole ass hang out but its just not true.
D. It is not insane to feel flattered by the attention of a mosquito. I'll take it where I can get it. Yes, this proves I'm still hot and I've got a great ass.
E. A great ass which is now covered with large red protuberances. Which look not unlike ass acne.
F. Screw you, saucy mosquito for robbing me of dignity and my ass of one of its last remining virtues -- smoothness.

If I was single, I would've cancelled any amorous engagements until the bites went away. But because I'm married, I called David over right away, yelling, "Honey, you've got to see my ass! A mosquito's trying to cuckold you!" God, I love marriage.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

Every Labor Day, because I am a self--obsessed person who can't think beyond her own experience to honor other people, I always think the same thing:

Great, Another day off of NO SCHOOL to celebrate labor by doing the hard labor of taking care of these crazy kids. Now hw about starting freaking school already before I have a labor-indced heart attack?

As usual, not sorry at all to see the summer recede. Its been a blast, blah blah blah, now I have work to do, work which does not involve assisting Primo in the creation of The Inside of A Dragon interactive exhibit in his bedroom. And these kids need to learn how to read and subtract and stuff. I mean, Primo does. Sec has even more to tackle.

I have three days to teach Sec the entire alphabet, make her go to sleep before 11pm and basically socialize her before PreK starts. If that's not labor, I don't know what is. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sexy Nursing Bras

I saw this interesting article in the NY Times Fashion and Style section, about The Rise of Sexy Nursing Bras. My personal experience has included ZERO sexy nursing bras - I just headed to Boing Boing and bought the most run-of-the-mill Bravado bras they had, and I thought THOSE were so pricey I only bought two - one in black and one in beige. Mighty unattractive, those were. Not that it deterred David in the slightest - after six weeks of post-partum abstinence, I could've worn a spit-up stained potato sack as lingerie and he would've thought it was Agent Provacateur.

I've blogged about HOTMilk here before and I think the whole trend is pretty fantastic. Its time we got over the Madonna/ whore complex and I think purple demi cups that can unsnap for lactation purposes are a step in the right direction. The bounty of a mother - in the emotional and physical sense - is, I think, the hottest thing around. Dude, we're giving life, from gestating it in our wombs to expressing it out our breasts to every bowl of Cheerios we pour, every bedtime song we sing, every night we spend taking temperatures and administering Tylenol. OK, cleaning up kid vomit isn't hot exactly, but you get the idea. Go with it.

I thought this was an interesting point, from the article:

Elisabeth Dale, the founder of the Web site The Breast Life, which has bra reviews and health information, says she thinks this was because functionality and sex appeal can seem incompatible.

When your breasts “are in work mode, they don’t get to wear nice fabrics,” she said wryly, adding that you’re “sterilizing” your breasts “by putting them in a boring white milk curtain.”

Its true, I think, and also exactly what I wanted when I was a nursing mother -- at least for the first 6-9 months or so. My breasts were workhorses, on-duty all the time, and I didn't want them to be available for anything else. I liked covering them with an industrial-looking milk curtain, to (try and) send the message to David, "Bugger off. These need a damn break." But there were many months that I kept breastfeeding after the baby started eating real food and I wasn't nursing so much -- when my boobs were only working part-time -- and for those months, I would've loved a lacey, sexy getup. So, bring it on, I say, and if you want the nursing bra which you could mistake for your grandmother's brasserie, that'll always be available to you. But, as with everything, its nice to have a choice.

Happy nursing!