In an MMMBop you’re gone.


This week’s #tbt childhood crush will hopefully make up for the one I missed last week because it is one of the crushiest crushes of all-time: none other than the babest of lead singers, Taylor Hanson (of, of course, Hanson).

Jordan Taylor Hanson was the Hanson everyone found lovable. Sure, there were some girls in the second grade who thought shooting for the younger Hanson, Zac, was more realistic, or some more edgy barritone-loving chicks who realized the idiosyncrasies of Isaac, but mostly people liked their porridge just right in those days. And just right was Taylor Hanson. He was cool in an earthy, sepia-toned, choker-wearing way, and his voice was the kind that you heard and thought, “Well, that must be a girl singing.” All of these qualities were extremely popular in 1997, when “Middle of Nowhere” came out and everyone peed their pants. It was the coolest and best album to ever come out if you were a girl at that time. And the single, “MMMBop” isn’t even the best song on the album by a long-shot, but don’t get me started on that. It was the first CD I ever had (purchased from Harmony House, obvi) and I still have my copy and love the heck out of it.  

I hold that Hanson was the best band of the nineties for SEVERAL reasons, but most notable is the fact that they had the bodacious elements of boy-bandom, but actually knew how to play instruments and sing harmonies. They were incredibly talented musicians in an age where that was starting to be very difficult to find. And it was adorable that they learned how to play music from their parents in their smalltown Oaklahoma home-a. 

So anyway, Taylor was the “shy one,” so, I mean, need I say more? If you’re not convinced that he deserves a spot on the list, just go listen to “Thinking of You.”

Also, if I remember correctly from the Hanson calendar that I used for a solid six years of my childhood (because it’s not like I actually used a calendar in elementary school), it was Taylor’s birthday recently. Happy Birthday, darling.


Scott Wormer, Head Wormer



In the always timeless (heh) film, “Now and Then,” there was a crew of teenage boys called The Wormers. It wasn’t really a clever title based on the way they acted or anything, but just that their last name was Wormer and they were all brothers. Anyway, Scott Wormer was the dreamy oldest brother, which meant that he rode his sixties-looking bike in front of all the others and had literally every single line spoken in the group. He is this week’s tbt childhood crush.

One of the coolest things about Scott Wormer was that, while he came off as kind of a prick, he actually ended up being really sweet and having something of a relationship with my favorite girl character in the movie, Roberta (played by Christina Ricci, my teen idol). 

Oh, and later played by Rosie O’Donnell, my adult idol. Roberta rules.

Anyway, I had a crush on Scott Wormer when I was in kindergarten, which means that I had no idea that I had a crush on him. Instead, I had myself convinced that I wanted to be him, so I started doing Wormer-like things, such as wearing horizontal stripes and playing baseball. I took it even farther (that is to say “too far”), when I asked my sister to cut my hair super short and give it a bowl-like cut so I could look like him. And of course, being the sweet older sister that she is, she did just that. So then I spent the first half of kindergarten having girls question my gender in the bathroom at school. One time a girl made me leave the bathroom altogether because she was convinced that I was actually a boy. Ah, childhood.


“Normal Stuff”

Many months ago, before I had my son, I recall asking a friend who had a newborn how she was ever able to do “normal stuff.” She sort of laughed it off and said something to the tune of, “you just kind of figure it out.” She must have thought I was kidding.

But this was a very real fear of mine at the time (and still is a lot of times now): that I won’t be able to carry out normal day-to-day tasks (such as eating breakfast, taking showers, putting socks on, etc.) when I have a baby around to take care of. In fact, I think I just recently figured out how to do most of those normal things on my own (by on my own, I mean, without just handing the baby off to someone else, because that’s for novices!). 

For example, the other day I took a shower for the first time ever while home alone with the baby (if you’re the kind of person who chooses to assume that fact to mean that I haven’t showered in three months, do your thing). It was really quite difficult, because I had to put him into some sort of contraption which would place him close by, but would also keep him strapped in so that there wouldn’t be any mishaps. So he just sat there in his little swing, happy as can be. He is a good boy. 

But even while he sat there peacefully, I couldn’t help but be totally frantic the whole time. So it wasn’t exactly a relaxing experience. But progress is progress.

I think we are 92% in the game as far as normal stuff goes. I am able to prepare food whilst holding him and I no longer need to sit in the back seat with him while my husband chauffeurs us around. But I still want to.

Of the 8% left is one of the more laughable things we do, which involves him falling asleep or playing in his swing for a few minutes and me frantically eating all of the food in the kitchen in starvation mode because I’m not sure when my next free eating moment will be. That’s something that has definitely carried over from the newborn stage. Or perhaps it’s just an excuse I make to eat all of the food. Either way, the past lingers. 

Anyway, at almost four months, we are growing together, doing most of the normal stuff together and apart like it’s our job, and we are very happy. And it really is something “you just kind of figure out” along the way.


“Cruisin’ for a Bruisin'”


I see all of your throwback blog posts, and I raise you a completely irrelevant throwback blog SERIES. Whoa. 

This series is called “tbt Childhood Celebrity Crushes.” While it has nothing to do with books or babies, I hope you will view it as an important weekly interlude. So, here goes:

My first entry is of course my very first celebrity crush ever, Kenickie from the film adaptation of Grease. I know everyone else on the planet swoons over the film’s main character Danny Zucco (played by John Travolta), but I just don’t think he gets the celeb crush job done quite like his troubled sidekick. Kenickie is the ultimate dude, doing things like driving fast cars, giving horrible relationship advice, sitting on bleachers for long periods, and just generally “hanging around” with a popped collar on his leather jacket. He is the essence of cool.

Sure, he sort of had someone at the time, in that he was in some sort of open relationship situation with a girl named Rizzo. But she was troubled too, so the match was not by any means ideal. I think I ultimately considered myself a better fit for Kenickie in many ways, because while I was maybe 5 years old at the time, I had social graces that Rizzo was really lacking. Plus I would cure him of his unsightly cigarette addiction and put him on the path to a brighter future that didn’t involve beating other people at car races. It would certainly have been a dream come true for us both. 


The Myth of Scheduling

One of the things that I think is most laughable about being a parent is the fact that we keep thinking we can schedule things that happen. When I first became a parent, people told me that eventually I would be on a schedule and everything would sort of come together. But I know now that that basically means that eventually things will be potentially 10% predictable and that will make you feel invincible.

So that’s pretty much how parenting works.

And I must say that I think trying to make a schedule is the silliest thing you can do as a parent. The only thing that really happens when you tell a baby that he can’t eat when he wants to or he has to go to sleep when he doesn’t want to is that you are both feeling sad and upset (but one of you knows why and the other one doesn’t). I mean, I get that people have jobs and need to get sleep, etc. But I think the real advice you can give a new parent is to give yourself enough time so that you don’t actually need a schedule.

So currently we are doing this what I would call “loose schedule” and it’s going really well. My son eats whenever he wants during the day (which is every two hours usually, if not more often) and he sleeps however long he wants to at night (which we hope will be three or four hours at a time, but the second we get used to that it is less again). Both of these things make me really happy, because it feels like we are constantly in communication about things. For example, on those nights when he sleeps only two hours at a time, I know that he is having trouble sleeping for some reason and we need to watch things and be there for him. And when he sleeps for five hours at a time, which very rarely happens, we similarly know that something is different and we should watch and see how things are going more closely. Babies are constantly in flux, and I think putting them on a rigid schedule early on takes away the communication about this flux. It puts expectations before realities and disappointment comes to both parties more often as a result. 

So I think in the future I will tell new parents that scheduling things is a bunch of horseshit and they should enjoy the new freedom they have to be there for someone else no matter what time it is. Because that’s way more awesome than scheduling things anyway.