IMR: 1998: March: 30 -- Monday, 3:04 p.m.
Univ. of Hawai`i Press, Manoa, Hawai`i
Take cover... here it comes. Katie is teething.

Yes, already. Yes, it's incredibly early. A good 80 percent of babies don't have to worry about it until the fifth month or so. But I guess Katie's in a hurry. She wants her smile, and she wants it now.

She had been grumpier than usual for the last few days, though we didn't think too much of it. But Sunday at mom's, she was nearly impossible to console. She cried or sucked and chewed on her hands incessantly, and often refused to eat. As the day progressed, she got more and more upset.

By the time we had to leave to pick up William at the airport, she was very, very unhappy.

So there we were. The interisland terminal pickup area was backed up halfway to the freeway and the parking Nazis were being particularly stupid. We're circling, dodging cars, trying to see William through triple-parked vans. Meanwhile, Katie was screaming so hard she started turning purple. Jen was terrified. I thought my brain was going to explode.

Teetering on the verge of insanity, I gave up on the round-and-round rat race and parked in the post office lot. While Jen rocked and tried to calm a stiff, bunched up Katie, I charged back to the terminal on foot.

I was so tense, I didn't immediately realize I'd carried his computer monitor -- a box I usually try to avoid having to lift at all costs -- all the way to the car.

Fortunately, Jen had gotten Katie to relax, and she soon passed out. I could still hear her cries in my head.

We dropped William's stuff off at the dorm, then -- against all reason -- headed to Zippy's at Young Street for a bite to eat. Miraculously, Katie remained fairly calm, even taking in a full meal while William's burger was grilling.

When we got back to the apartment, we looked up teething in our books. Katie was definitely symptomatic. Even more telling was a sharp bump in her top front gums, one I hadn't noticed before.

Eventually, she started fussing again, but this time, we knew what was wrong and didn't get worked up. We gave her a teething toy -- a semi-hard rubber trinket -- and sure enough she started chewing on it.

It seemed to bring relief. In fact, she smiled and cooed as she massaged her gums.

Although she was still aching, Katie did much better with her parents remaining calm. She ate and smiled and talked, the only thing different being the constant chewing. The family went to sleep in peace, with visions of waking up to a one-toothed infant.

Of course, there was no tooth this morning. It's coming out, to be sure, but it isn't instantaneous. Could take weeks, in fact.

Meanwhile, Jen got the go ahead for infant Tylenol and infant Oragel from Dr. Boyens, if it gets bad again.

Growing pains indeed. Not a day goes by without Jen and I lamenting how swiftly Katie's baby-hood seems to be passing us by.

[ Bug ]On a whim (and how often do new parents get to do anything on a whim?), Jen and I stopped by the local Volkswagen dealer yesterday morning to see the new Bug.

To be honest, we were lured primarily by the promise of 25-cent hot dogs and 10-cent sodas, but alas we got there a couple of hours too early. The band wasn't even going to show up until mid-afternoon.

It's even cuter than it is in the commercials. I liked the shape, the curves, the lines, the seams, everything.

Even Jen, who was flatly offended that they'd even thought to revive the classic, quickly fell in love.

"Ooh, I want one," she said, quickly attracting an eager salesman -- Derek -- who hovered near us for the rest of our visit.

It's not the same Bug, to be sure. Prices start at $15,200 for one. And it comes with an optional automatic transmission.

It's got a 2-liter fuel-injected engine, front and side impact air bags and fold-down rear seats (expanding the teensy-weensy trunk into a merely teensy one). You can get a CD player, cruise control, a sports package with fog lights and special 15" rims...

[ Bug Interior ]My favorite feature, by and large, has to be the flower vase. "The vase is standard," as Derek proudly chirped, mounted in the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel. Sure the interior was sharp and well-designed, but I just couldn't get over the vase.

Apparently, the new Bugs are moving really well... especially since there are still only a handful in the state. The one we looked at was the only one the dealer had. And they'd taken fifty orders already, even though no more than 150 or so were allocated to them for the 1998 model year.

They didn't even know what colors or option packages would be on the cars when they arrived. Too bad. I'm crazy about the shade of green they're using.

Eventually, we thanked Derek for his time and enthusiasm and got back into our trusty Escort.

Few epiphanies of fatherhood are more poignant than checking out a car so cool, but so absolutely, positively impractical for a family. It's scary. Now I'd take a minivan over a Miata any day of the week.

Spring Break Task List progress report:

What's ahead? Tomorrow I'm going up to help good ol' Captain Dawson with the Campus Security website. On Friday, a project I haven't even looked at yet is due in Borg's class.

And Saturday, of course, is the All-Purpose Shindig. Dad somehow managed to get his entire guest list to come, and there isn't a single regret from mom's side either.

I can't wait to see all our friends and family together, a celebration of Jen and I and Katie. It overwhelms me to think about how many amazing changes there have been in our lives this past year, and how fortunate we are to have so many special people with whom to share them.

In other news, Todd did in fact land that full-time job at Jelly's. In fact, he's a buyer for the card department. Quite a score, I think, and I'm happy for him.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 30 March 1998 · Last Modified: 2 April 1998