Fergus Facts

Here’s another entry in the “Fergus Makes Sense of the World” category:

FERGUS: Mommy. What if someone had only one leg?

MOMMY: Well that would be interesting, wouldn’t it? How would they walk?

Fergus thinks about it.

FERGUS: Dey wouldn’t walk. Dem would just… bounce.

The True Insider’s Guide to the Upper West Side

We are back in the States! Oh, readers, there is much to tell, and all shall be revealed in due time.

Until then, I wanted to direct interested eyes to mommypoppins.com, where I have contributed a “True Insider’s Guide to the Upper West Side.” Sure, we live seven blocks from the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, but what you may not know is that Commerce Bank on 94th and Broadway will give your children the thrill of a lifetime.

mommypoppins.com is an excellent website, so definitely check it out. More soon!

she will KILL you

London has been an edifying experience for our two boys, without a doubt. Their favorite part of the trip was the Tower of London, where many “bad guys” did some time before their beheading. We spent four hours there, and any time the boys’ enthusiasm flagged I only had to mention the “bad guys” again and they’d perk right up. However, Fergus was a little unclear on the details. Upon hearing a Beefeater assert that there were many skeletons buried beneath the chapel in which we were standing, Fergus whispered to me, “The bad guys take-ded the bones out of people, right Mommy? and made skewetons under the fwoor?” “Yes, honey,” I answered, trying to hear what the Beefeater was saying about Anne Boleyn. “But how did the bad guys get the bones out of people? Froo their MOUFS?” Fergus asked, his mind spinning. “I’ll explain later, honey,” I said. (Every mother’s best answer.)

That evening, the boys were playing. I was in the same room but they didn’t notice. Cooper decided to test Fergus on what they had learned.

COOPER: Do you know who Henry the Eighth was?

Pause.

FERGUS: (less than decisively) Yes.

COOPER: Henry the Eighth was a king. AND a bad guy. AND he was fat. Really fat.

FERGUS: (trying to picture this) He was a fat bad guy?

COOPER: Like, do you remember when Mommy had Maddie in her tummy? And she got really big and fat?

FERGUS: Yes, I wember.

COOPER: Well that’s how fat he was.

Pause.

COOPER: But Ferg.

FERGUS: Yes?

COOPER: Don’t tell Mommy that she was fat.

FERGUS: Why?

COOPER: Because she would KILL you.

Pause.

FERGUS: Mommy would KILL me?

COOPER: Well. She would not kill you. But she would really really not like it if you said she was fat.

At this point, I looked up from my book and said, “Who’s fat?” and they both jumped a mile.

I love how even English History somehow returns to the ineluctable fact of my considerable girth A YEAR AGO. Seriously, though. Don’t tell me I was fat or I’ll pull your skeleton out through your mouth.

not for the unadventurous

Pip pip and cheerio from London! I use the term “cheerio” advisedly. Although Brits love to say it, they apparently don’t like to eat them, because Cheerios are nowhere to be found in this city of six-plus-million.

When in Rome, one should do as the Romans do, and have a full English breakfast, as seen here:

That’s eggs, ham, toast, baked beans, mushrooms, hot slices of tomato, and the somewhat formidable “black pudding.”

Or not. I’ve actually just opted for the strong coffee and a baked good. I’m not really branching out, dietetically speaking. I am less than intrepid in this arena.

The problem is that Maddie, helpless infant that she is, is being forced to undergo even more radical changes in her nascent repertoire of solid food. I only brought a few jars of baby food with me, having been told by an English friend (who lived in NYC for a few years) that the baby food here was “exactly the same.”

So Maddie and I went to the market the day after we arrived, and here were the baby food flavors available:

PARSNIP AND PEA
BABY CAULIFLOWER CHEESE
GRANDPA’S SUNDAY LUNCH
NOODLES IN CHEESE AND LEEK SAUCE
VEGETABLE AND LAMB HOTPOT
FRUITY CHICKEN CASSEROLE
FISHERMAN’S BAKE

As you can see by the look on Maddie’s face, she was REALLY not looking forward to that one.

“Fisherman’s Bake” contained onions, rice, cheese, and most improbably, “dolphin-safe tuna.” According to American pediatricians, I’M not supposed to be eating tuna, let alone Maddie, lest some trace amounts of mercury make their way into my breast milk. But over here, they’re skipping that indirect method of mercury delivery and just loading up the baby food itself.

But wait, it got still better:

MUM’S OWN RECIPE: BUBBLE AND SQUEAK

I didn’t know what Bubble and Squeak was, but I knew it would be gross. And I was not mistaken.

So Maddie has had a bit of a learning curve, here. I must say that she now thoroughly enjoys the Parsnip Pea and Fruity Chicken Casserole options, and I may have to smuggle a few jars back through Customs.

And the boys? Fergus has been eating the ham part of the ham and butter sandwiches they seem to serve everywhere (I’m getting nauseous just writing it). Cooper has been living on the “Continental Breakfast” diet: yogurt, fruit, and blueberry muffins. In fact, in preparation for our trip to France tomorrow, he asked me how to say “muffin” in French. “Moo-FEH(N),” I replied, bluffing. “Maybe we should check Google,” he said, his BS meter tingling. According to Google, I was right, and “blueberry muffin” is “moo-FEHN aux bleuets.” He practiced pronouncing that a few times, then said, “Mommy, maybe you can remember that for me.” I’ll try.

even a mom will only go so far

There are times in any mother’s life when she is called upon to go Above and Beyond. And folks, I’m not talking about the aforementioned delousing process. Today, I’m talking about Maddie’s stuffed-up nose, and this:

Meet the Nosefrida, “the recommended alternative to recalled medicines.” Now that you can’t give your baby cold medicine anymore, since it was dangerous all these years and no one ever told us, all you need is this Swedish import! For just $17.95 on amazon.com, you too can stick one end of a hose in your baby’s snotty nose and the other IN. YOUR. MOUTH.

According to Nosefrida’s website, the renowned Dr. Sears likes the Nosefrida “because it doesn’t require you to put anything inside the nose.” This quote is directly to the right of the same picture shown above, which– and tell me if I’m wrong here– shows a mother, presumably Swedish, with one end of some breast pump tubing in her mouth, and the other IN THE BABY’S NOSE.

(If anyone needed another reason to hate Dr. Sears, you’re welcome.)

Nosefrida.com also suggests that Nosefrida is “the perfect baby gift idea.” Really? I just went to my friend Ann’s shower this week, and I guess I could have brought her a Nosefrida instead of an adorable baby outfit. And sat through the uncomfortable silence that would certainly have followed when it was unwrapped. But maybe not.

Now, there is apparently some barrier that prevents the snot from actually getting into your mouth, to which I say, well duh, I would hope so, but that does not stop it from being utterly and completely nasty.

But Maddie’s nose is really running. And according to the amazon user reviews and Motherhood Uncensored , “Nosefrida rocks. Seriously, if it were a man, I’d marry it.”

And can we not assume that someone declaring herself uncensored would not pull her punches on this disgusting product?

OK. If Maddie still has the runny nose in 3 more days, I’m ordering it. Double dare me.