Monday, August 11, 2008

Nice And Quiet

Pretty mellow night over here, in stately BBD Manor.

As predicted, the sleep issue went back into the red zone right after my celebratory blog entry. By this point Randi had cut dairy, nuts, eggs and, I think, food out of her diet, but the little one kept on a-wailin' and a cryin'. My Mom's advice was useful as always: get ear plugs.

But I ignored that, especially as I already have ear plugs from when I was the lead guitarist in the dork-rock band Connecticut.

Still, Stella's crying got pretty bad, and her stomach was tight and rumbling. Seriously, she growled like a little Mack truck, pretty much all night long, and she'd fuss in discomfort. She loved being held up, but would wake herself up when we put her down, from the pain.

We considered calling the doctors on Saturday, but they would tell us there's nothing they could do unless we brought her in. It's not really an emergency if it's been going on for weeks, now is it? And I am also trying to cut down on the extra doctors visits, as they rape you financially for each one.

So we thought about it. Finally Randi read up on a gastro-intestinal problem that some babies have, where they kind of have acid reflux of some kind. And when they lie down it gets even worse, because their stomach acid travels up their esophagus. Hmm, sounded like this could be it.

Like all new parents we've also been forced into the roles of amateur physicians and pharmacists, so in this new if ill-fitting guise, I recommended we buy some new gripe water, and see if it does anything.

Gripe water is a mixture of fennel, chamomile, ginger and sugar designed to soothe baby's stomachs. We'd bought it when Stella went on her month-long crying rampage when she was born and, like everything, it worked for exactly one night. So we gave up on it.

But we figured it was worth one more shot. So, Saturday morning we bought some more, and took it home and fed it to the little one. Immediately her crying got much worse, and then she started burping like the Laurence Welk bubble machine. By that night her stomach was once again soft and normal feeling. She still had green, frothy poop--which she's had for several days, off and on--but we could tell her stomach was finally getting back in balance. It was a blessed relief. That night she slept, pretty much all night, and woke up pissed off, upset at all the action she'd missed.

Things have been a lot better since then. She still gets upset, of course, but now we know that most of her problems are from her stomach. Why? God only knows. This kid is sensitive, and everything that can upset her does.

Saturday itself was spent in the car, checking out property in Montclaire, NJ. You can get more for your money there than in Park Slope, which is roughly as expensive as Tokyo. And it's nice and quiet. And there's a train, and it's nice and quiet, and it's got a lot of culture for New Jersey, and Stephen Colbert lives there and it's nice and quiet ...

But I don't know. New Jersey is what I couldn't wait to escape when I was in high school. NYC, I dreamed, that was where the action was. We used to drive across the George Washington bridge to buy beer in Washington Heights, and lord did that feel badass.

Yes, NJ was a great place to grow up, until about age 14, when I couldn't wait to leave. And then it was four long years later until I did go. It's hard to live in a suburb when you want to be mobile and all you've got is a bike. Stay out until 10:00 p.m., and it's a long, cold bike ride home through creepy, deserted suburban streets.

Yet, Brooklyn is filled with problems. It's expensive, it's cramped, it's snooty in the nice areas and dangerous in the dangerous areas. I make an average salary for the rest of America but in this borough we might as well be on food stamps, if they accepted food stamps at Trader Joe's. (Do they?)

It's a dilemma. One bedroom living is not a long term plan. Two bedroom living is almost impossible to afford unless you try to pioneer a crap neighborhood, which is like a big no way, especially with a kid. Yet if we move to the 'burbs I'll pretty much be living my own petty version of "Groundhog Day" styled Hell, waking up every morning and repeating the same small circle of routine. Although I'm sure it will always be nice and quiet. But there's a certain element of throwing in the towel there.

Either way, we've got to make a decision, and I don't have a strong indication of what's to come. I don't want to leave Brooklyn, but we're not taking advantage of it now, what with our miraculous, non-sleep baby. And to what would I change the title of this blog?

God, there are so many places I would want to live, at least for a while. Edinburgh (at least in the summer), London, California (North or South, I love 'em both), Arizona again (at least NOT in the summer), maybe even the Boulder/Denver area again. And I still love NYC, although sometimes it feels unrequieted. Notice that New Jersey wasn't on the above list. It's so hard to commit to living in a place you're not excited about, when there are so many places that you are excited about.

There are also so many things I would still love to do with my life. I am young(ish), and still want to write, still want to write comedy even. I've always been curious about what it's like to write for a sketch show. This also plays a role in where I would like to live. And although Colbert lives in Montclaire, I don't feel I can and make it happen. He's made it, I haven't. You can retire to the 'burbs if you've made it.

I have been thinking more and more seriously about my dreams, and trying to make them real. I don't want to talk too much about it, unless I can be more specific than I am being right now, but I just can't see suburban home ownership in Montclaire enabling those dreams. I want to be where the action is, where I feel alive. I think the BBM agrees with me. The baby? She just wants a boob, pretty much 24 hours a day. We can do that for her. But what can we do for ourselves?


Holly said...

Hi David, finally got a chance to read your blog. Nice! Have you considered Jersey City Heights? You can get more square footage and rooms for a lot less money. Michael and I are loving it over here! Good luck on your search.

alexlady said...


that's it my girl, lay on the peer pressure!

Dave, Randi, and Stella,

We Love Jersey City Heights!! come be our neighbors!!!!

David Serchuk said...

Hi Holly and Alex,
Thanks for the recommendations. We are definitely considering our options, as one bedroom living is getting a little tight! Who knows, JCH might be on the list!