I was going to write an entry about how I've
reached that phase of parenting where I have perma-slobber just above
my knee on all my pants from the baby who has surgically attached herself
to my right leg.
But then, while I was giving myself a mullet
(not intentional, I just couldn't take the bangs anymore and hacking
them off transformed my David Cassidy-meets Nick Rhodes 'do into a late-period
Carol Brady pouf-mullet) Eliza futzed around on her own and proved that
her biggest role model in this house is Barney.
See, ever since we had the crib, the cats
have been prying open the drawers and crawling into them, and behind
them, for nefarious cat-purposes known only to them, although we suspect
Behold Barney in action:
And now, behold Eliza in action this morning,
and, looking, I might add, mighty pleased with herself:
I figured that if it took me nine months
to gain the weight, it'd take nine months to lose. I wasn't quite on
target, but just shy of 11 months, I can say that, finally, I am fitting
into some of my (more relaxed fit) old pants and skirts again. Many
of my old tops have fit for a while now, 2-bra-sizes-larger boobal area
But the @ss, it doth remaineth large —
I stalled out 10-12 pounds above my ideal weight for 2 months. Now,
technically, if I had embraced the muffintop
— and why didn't I, since all the female students on the campus
where I work seem to? — I have fit, i.e. been able to button or
zip, my size 8 pants for some time now. However, because I am a geezer
and not with it and not understanding the allure of the muffintop (and
pretty sure that my fellow geezer husband shares my non-comprehension
of the fashions these kids today are wearing), I have resisted doing
Anyway. While I have in most matters more
than reconciled, and embraced the changes in my life and seen the tradeoffs
in my favor, I didn't want to be the lady in the mom
pants for whom being in shape was something she used to do, like
sleep, before she had kidsFrankly, there's too much riding on it. How
can I protect Eliza from the couch potato culture and its devastating
effects if I can't even take care of myself.
So it is with some relief that I note being
within 8 pounds of my ideal weight (by which I mean a weight at which
I feel and look good but that is realistic and maintainable). Not quite
there yet, but after being an alarming 65 pounds up, thank god.
And yeah, 65 pounds, but do you have any
idea how hard it is to stay at a decent weight when a. you develop pregnancy
hypertension which causes you to balloon up with water weight b. you
are eventually physically unable to perform all the exercise you used
to do 6 days a week and c. your appetite nonetheless remains the same?
Anyway. I will not rant about the OB's weight
thing, but Jeeez.
So, Jim and I aren't sure, but we think it's
possible Eliza is trying to talk.
The following sounds seem to correspond to
particular concepts, although they do so neither consistently nor completely
And, yes, everything is spoken in an exclamatory
Ahtsa! = outside, which Jim and I both say
as we are preparing to take Eliza outside. We have noticed her saying
it herself as we stand in the entry hall, and pointing, you know, outside.
I'm not clear if she knows that she is going outside, or if she is simply
picking up on the ritual aspect of us saying "outside" before
we go thence, much in the way she has started blowing raspberries during
toothbrushing as a rough equivalent of my spitting into the sink.
Dih! = probably kitty (as in ki-DIH!), generally
uttered when espying Barney or Moe, or their facsimile in a book. But
then, sometimes, she says Kah!, so I'm not so sure it's not a coincidence.
Cheeee! = shredded cheddar cheese, although
occasionally also spoken when regarding a yogurt or a macaroni. She
seems to have associated this sound with food consistently, but again,
I'm not 100 per cent sure that it's not coincidence.
DAH! or Dah? = That! There! or What's that?
We're pretty sure on this one, since it's always accompanied by the
pointy finger, but it's more of a grunt than a clear word, albeit one
applied with some consistency.
Eliza knows a bunch of words she doesn't
say, notably the following: throw, gentle (as in, be gentle and don't
smoosh the flower/pinch the kitty), and give, as well as feet, bunny,
and kitty, and will (generally) obey the three commands and point at
the objects in question.
She has a favorite author: Sandra
Boynton, whose books she can pick out of a line-up based on the
art. I kid you not. She likes Moo Baa Lalala, and The Belly
Button Book, and lately Wake Up! So the other day, I went
to the bookstore to see what others they had by the same author. They
had a whole shelf full, and as soon as she spotted them , in among the
other kid's books, Eliza snapped to attention and went into full pointy
mode—and then whimpered heartbreakingly as I took them all off
the shelf because she didn't understand that I meant to buy them for
her. I've since hidden them because I am giving them to her for her
birthday. (Oh, bummer. I just poked around on the site and found this
very cute necklace
which I totally wanted to give Eliza as her first piece of jewelry since
it's a kitty and it's from her favorite book, but then, HELLO! I saw
the price which is maybe a bit much even for an heirloom-ish sort of
giftie to give to a necklace-yanking baby.)
Aside from this author, Eliza LOVES Dr. Seuss's
Hop On Pop the most, especially when she is flipping out, and
frequently requests it, if pointing, wriggling, and sobbing "Ehehehehehe,
ehhehehehehehe, ehehehehehehe" can be officially termed as such.
In fact, when she is tired or upset, she
frequently heads for her books and wants me to read. We always read
the same bunch, which I have by now memorized: one or two by Boynton,
Miss Spider's ABC, Hop on Pop, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
(which she always rushes to get to the butterfly at the end), and one
or more of her flap books. She snuggles into my lap, sucks madly on
her binky, and reads along with a very serious expression on her little
The worst thing about losing my voice 2 weeks ago was that I couldn't
read to her. I missed it so much.
Here, you will find a video in which Eliza
1. pokes Barney with a stick, annoying him and making him run away,
2. Crawls after him but quickly becomes distracted by the camera, 3.
sees herself in the viewfinder, 4. gives Jim five.
In this video, Eliza
attempts to throw a mousie so Barney will chase it, but Barney thinks
she throws like a girl.
Angry Pants Removal
Naptime objections continue. Usually, Eliza
hits the wall and conks out of her own accord, but other times, she
is so tired that she is literally running into walls and still refuses
to admit that a nap might be a good idea.
If we put her in her crib then, there is
generally angry standing and possibly angry binky tossing.
Today, however, she took her anti-nap revolution
stance to the next level. I came into her room after 10 minutes of shouting
(this is usually the only thing that works in this situation—
we let her shout for a while and exhaust herself to the point that when
we come back into the room and lay her back down or hold her and rock
her, she bleats angrily for a second or two and then falls asleep).
And there, lo, was the tiny anti-nap revolutionary,
staging her latest protest — pants removal! I have NO IDEA how
she got them off, but she was definitely not wearing pants anymore.
She was also missing a sock.
Mama's extremely supportive reaction to the
tiny anti-nap revolutionary? Hooting and cackling, and "hey, look
at this, she took her pants off!"
This morning, I was annoyed to find that
someone had decapitated the tulips and gerberas in the back yard and
gnawed on the incipient lillies. The dianthus also looked a bit the
worse for wear.
I asked for non-poisonous suggestions at
the gardening store near the Y, and they said many animals seem to be
repelled by chili powder.
Thus it was that 8 p.m. found me and Eliza
in the backyard, dumping chili powder, cayenne pepper, and pepper flakes
on everything that was coming up in the yard.
At the very least, it will be a sneezy experience
for whomever this is, be it rabbit, deer, or raccoon.
Either I'm becoming a Republican, or I've been here too long
Today was a lovely spring day, and as the
students are wont to do on lovely spring days, they decided to hold
It was the usual education-should-be-more-affordable
shtick, which I can get behind, but I can't help, after 6 years as an
employee here, and 6 years covering protests as a reporter, and 4 years
before that as a student, getting a little cynical about the consistently
I think I'm turning into that anthropology
professor who pissed me off when I was a senior and there was a big
protest by saying, oh, it's all been done before. Which, of course,
in retrospect, was true, but at the time I found it to be an insufferably
self-congratulatory hippie statement. It didn't help that she taught
a gender class that was all 1970s feminist slogans, all the time, and
that she assigned grades based on how well you regurgitated said slogans,
and that I had found this out and couldn't stop myself from subverting
her, which meant that, needless to say, the relationship had curdled
long before the protest comment.
Uh, but anyway. I guess the only thing separating
me from her is that I'm not quite enough of a &itch to actually
say it to one of the protestors.
Still, I had to roll my eyes a bit when the
crowd started chanting "Si se puede," because what in the
world were these white kids doing chanting a Spanish-language slogan
adopted by the immigrant-rights movement? Yes, we can WHAT? Yes we can
NOT afford to go here? It just doesn't make sense.
And I thought my eyes were going to roll
out of my head entirely when they switched back to English to started
chanting "No money, no peace." Oh. My. God. Get over yourselves.
What are you going to do, trash the copier? Throw course packets at
I am shocked they didn't come up with a variant
of "We're here, we're queer, get used to it" next. "We're
here, we're poor, get used to it"?
Eh. If you're going to protest, you should
probably vet your slogans for appropriateness, is my take-away message
Chicken? Pulled Chicken? Are you SURE?
Operation Golf Ball Poops continued today
as Eliza attempted singlehandedly to launch a new food movement: bananatarianism.
Her efforts were abandoned dramatically this
evening, when she discovered anew favorite food: Pulled, smoked, barbecue-sauce-covered
chicken. I'm as shocked as you are.
This afternoon, we visited the newspaper
to talk with my editor for the fashion section about the upcoming make-over
piece that was running.
Then we headed to J. and O.'s for some
playtime. Eliza is taller than O. in spite of the fact that O.
is nearly 3 months older. However, it's still easy to tell who's the
closest to toddler-hood — O. is speaking already, and though
she still clutches a finger as she walks, it's more of a security-blanket
thing than anything else. She clearly doesn't need it, whereas Eliza
would fall on her face if she tried to go anywhere near the breakneck
pace O. has adopted, let alone do so one-handed.
After the girls proceeded to make their moms
uncomfortable by observing no boundaries at all and stealing each other's
stuff repeatedly, Eliza and I headed to town, where, on the spur of
the moment, I decided to have dinner at Smokin' Lil's.
Actually I was walking in that direction
and then remembered coming upon an entry in this blog: http://chowflap.blogspot.com/
that the restaurant was closing. We used to eat there all the time when
it was in Easthampton and we were childfree, and I figured if the rumor
was true, I should get a last taste in. (And by the way, I stumbled
on this blog totally by accident, but I am pretty sure that this is
a co-worker of J.'s and someone I've met - who was linked on a blog
by someone in California.)
Anyway, we settled in, and I ordered some
mac and cheese for Ms. Bananarama, and a pulled chicken sandwich for
When our food arrived, Missy surveyed my
sandwich with such interest that I couldn't resist stuffing a piece
in her mouth. Rather than the effect I anticipated (shuddering, face-making,
tongue hanging out of mouth so that piece of food can roll off onto
ground) she chewed appreciatively, and then looked at me for more.
In short order she had commandeered half
my sandwich filling and was happily feeding herself chicken bits and
macaronis. I called Jim, then documented the unlikely proceedings with
this extremely unflattering photograph:
Huarache sandals are back. If there was any
doubt that the 1980s have been revived, this should put it to rest.
Oh, god, are huaraches ugly. Ugly ugly uglyuglyugly!
I need to say that again: Oh, god, are huaraches
ugly. Ugly ugly uglyuglyugly!
And Gladiator sandals. Russell Crowe should
wear them, and no one else.
And the skinny jeans. And the bubble skirts.
Dude, I refused to wear the bubble skirt the first time around back
when I was still skinny, what the HELL makes you think I'm going to
wear one now? EsPECially with leggings, as people keep suggesting to
Because capri-length leggings are SO hot.
You know how when you buy chicken at the grocery store, the top part
of the leg has meat with skin over it, and then the bottom part is just
That's all I can think of when I see people
in tight capris and/or leggings: dead chicken parts.
And gauchos? NOT a viable alternative. Mostly
because people who say "gaucho" annoy me.
I looked up pictures of actual gaucho cowboys
online and they were not wearing gauchos as they've been imagined in
the fashion world. From the description on the website, the authentic
"gaucho" is a. worn over other pants and b. more or less just
a fancy loincloth.
I will say, though, that when I was enormously
fat post partum, the yoga stretchy fabric gaucho from Target was very
forgiving of my bloated whale corpse shape.
Eh. I think I am glad to be too fat for fashion
Also, I am fully aware that my haircut currently
occupies a no-man's-land between David Cassidy-style shag and mullet.
Today, I was perusing the online edition
of our local paper, for which I moonlight as a writer, and I saw an
ad, with photo, for a beauty salon welcoming two new staff members.
One of them had the mid-80s hyper-styled
perm claw-bang combo that looked like it had been hair-sprayed within
an inch of its life, and the other had lank, middle-parted 1970s hair.
To each her own, but, um, you work at a BEAUTY
In case you thought I was maybe kidding about
the banana thing down below that I posted this morning, here's the latest
I was cutting up some bananas for Eliza to
eat for dinner tonight, and I wasn't going fast enough. When she couldn't
reach the edible chunks, she grabbed a piece of peel and started gnawing
The banana thing has gotten out of hand.
If forced to explain it through the metaphor of song, I would say that
we've gone from an enthusiastic rendition of "Up With Bananas"
to "Bananas Uber Alles." We have set a limit, for Eliza, of
one banana a day on account of their system-up-stopping ways, but Eliza
was not consulted in this decision (much as one does not consult a heroin
addict about his preferred dose of morphine) and she is not in agreement.
It is now to the point where there is sad pointing and wailing at the
bananas in the fruit basket when we cut her off. I think our next step,
frankly, is going to be to HIDE the fruit basket.
Hey, Check me out with the new site design
That picture up there, it was begging to
become a site headline. Also, a couple months into this venture and
more familiar with this blogging business, I realized that I needed
to change some things around to make the site easier to use. Also, the
old colors were very wintry. I've kept the archival pages of past months
in the design they originated, however, in case you get nostalgic. Meanwhile,
Pllllrrrrrttt! and Happy Raspberries to you!
Gobsmacked by the Bunny
So, this weekend was Easter, and Patriot's
Day, and the Boston Marathon, and the Night of the Horrible Barfing
Clearly, I have much to remark upon, so let's
just get started, shall we...
Saturday, Eliza and I headed for Boston for
quality time with Grandma Texas, who was in town to run the Boston Marathon
(Woohoo Grandma!) on Monday. We originally planned to come for the marathon,
but standing on the course for 4+ hours with stubborn baby=NIGHTMARE,
so instead, we were the advance team, there to get Grandma revved up
and excited about her
We brought an Easter bag with pretzels and
candy, which were apparently devoured in one sitting post-race. (Ah.
As someone who HATES to run, there's a reason I could get behind - you
HAVE to eat that much after a race, plus from what I understand, carbs
are actually considered a good thing among runners. Maybe I'll start
Right, back to the story at hand.
Eliza showed off her very cool new skill
that Daddy taught her: Giving Five. She is still somewhat persnickety
and stingy with her Fives. Some people, like Daddy, receive 20 at a
time, while others get nothing.
We hung out on the Boston Common for much
of the day because it was beautiful out, and Eliza used the time to
organize our purses.
Here, she is sharing some sort of valuable
information about Bostonian nightlife with Grandma Texas.
At Legal Seafood, Eliza drew her first picture,
when the nice waitress gave her crayons and a kid's menu. She caught
on to the drawing business fairly quickly and only took a little bite
out of the orange crayon.
Fever pitch excitement continued for Missy
the next day, when we had Easter.
Holyoke does a thing they call the Easter
Drag. All the boys and girls (and a large number of dogs) get dressed
up in their Easter finery and walk up and down one of the main Streets,
where there are balloons, free popcorn, vendors selling inflatable toys,
antique cars, and more. It's a nice event. We chatted with the owners
of an imperious little chihuahua sporting a big purple bow, met a little
girl whose pretty shoes we had admired at the playground, and ran into
people from Jim's work. Most of them thought Eliza was cute, and the
others are dead to us.
Here is Eliza with a grammatically incorrect
balloon from the new deli that is opening soon near our house. I don't
know why this perplexes her so; she loves balloons, so maybe she is
sad to see one besmirched with a word missing a possessive. Who knows.
And then, there was the bunny.
I wasn't sure how Eliza would feel about
meeting the Easter Bunny - kids and enormously sized mythical figures
are generally a poor combination to the point that you wonder why people
Eliza is why they bother. She is competely
blown away. She didn't say a thing (not that she can speak; I mean in
her alien tongue), just pointed. And pointed. And pointed. The Easter
Bunny came over to say Hello, and got the giggles. And still Eliza pointed.
Her attenion was diverted ONLY when, onto
the scene came a large but evidently quite mellow German shepherd sporting
a bunny ears-headband. I have never seen a dog so chill. And he and
Eliza had a thing. The woman with him had him on a short leash, and
I was ready to yank Eliza away at the slightest sign of untoward behavior,
but it was a happy meeting, which ended with Eliza getting a big sloppy
facewash from the dog. I wish I had a picture, because she looked like
she was thinking, "Oh wow, the pointy bunny, he KISSED me!
Anyway, here she is pointing, and pointing.
Then we went home and Jim got sick and vomited
loudly and spent the rest of the long weekend dragging himself from
bed to couch to bed to couch. Yippee!
And Grandma ran the marathon (!) in 4 hours
ands 18 minutes. (Wooooooooo, grandma.)
Grandma Texas is the person of the week on
account of I don't know anyone else who is that tough and ambitious
and dedicated and in shape.
Seriously, Ma, all kidding aside, you rock
muchly; we are very impressed.
The Newest Superhero
It's Separation Anxiety Baby!
Clings like magic, powered by farts! Special
powers: High-decible shrieking, uncanny ability to develop the screaming
mimis when Parent is about to use the toilet or shower! Habitat: Prefers
to burrow into Parental shirtfront for comfort, preferably with dirty/wet
Get your action figure today — supplies
limited! (Binkies sold separately.)
The diminutive organizer has struck. I can't find the
blue canvas fold-u[ bag that I need for tomorrow's daytrip to Boston.
I know Eliza is the last person who had it, but with her current penchant
for moving stuff from place to place, who KNOWS where it has ended up?
Not me, that's for sure. I have looked everywhere I think a blue foldable
canvas bag could be, but clearly, I am not in touch with my 10-month-old
mind, because I can't find it anywhere. Seriously. I've been looking
for hours, now. It's 10-fricking-18 and I haven't had DINNER yet.
And I haven't even had a chance to write about the cool
thing Jim taught her yet.
Some Things That Are Stinky
A cat who has licked bean juice.
A baby who fell asleep wearing a poopy diaper.
Guess which one shouts louder...
What I didn't get around to yesterday was describing the
human ball tube I found for Eliza. It was gorgeous out, so I took her
for a walk around Northampton on Monday, and then we went to the playground
at the Y. The swings were appreciated as usual, but the true excitement
was the human ball tube, or the hamster tunnel that is really large,
whatever helps you visualize the thing better. Anyway, I put Eliza in
there, and she was so happy. She sat, poking at the dirt and pebbles
in the tunnel (which she LOVES, but weirdly enough has not tried to
eat - weird, since she eats everything else including sticks and mulch
- why not pebbles? does she know they would hurt?) and making her "Nnnnnungungunungunungunungunung"
Then, yesterday, we went to the playground near our house,
where we went down the slide, only instead of me holding on the whole
way, I let go and then caught her at the bottom (don't freak out, it's
only 5 feet long to begin with), which she celebrated with much cackling
She has been sleeping really well the past few days —
good long day-time naps and a full 10 hours at night. I think I will
attribute this to all the running around we're doing with her, because
from what he tells me, Jim has her on a similarly exciting schedule.
I Have the Plague
I do. I really do. I'm pretty sure my throat is rotting
away as we speak. It feels pretty horrible. At the very least I am going
to lose my voice.
Eliza gave this to me, and the bonus of sharing a disease
with a baby is that since they don't blow their noses, you get a vivid
illustration of exactly how your insides are rotting, since the evidence
is pretty much all on her face. Remember that kid in kindergarten who
always had a full snot-trough and all the other kids avoided him? This
week, Eliza is that baby, because needless to say, my stubborn little
pink monkey is SO not okay with having her nose wiped or booger-sucked.
Yesterday morning, I took her into bed with me for a little
bit because I was still adjusting to the whole awake business, and she
quickly fell asleep, flipped onto her belly, and started making all
sorts of horrible snotty noises. On a baby, adorable. On an adult, quickly
losing its charm, especially when paired with a gravelly voice like
Patty and Selma from the Simpsons.
So anyway, between the plague, our friend David visiting,
and a plethora of free-lance stuff I was racing to finish, I have not
been much in the blogging department this week. I will now attempt to
catch you up on everything.
1. Plague (already covered that)
2. Ball tube
4. 4:45 wake-up call conundrum resolved
5. Binky sharing
7. Pity for the cuteness-appreciation impaired
8. Flush with life
9. The reason I was a bad parent today
OK, in order:
2. Ball tube
The ball tube is my favorite toy. I think it might be
Eliza's, too. She discovered it a while ago and now that discovery has
blossomed into a passion, and it is offering me no end of amusement.
The reason for this transformation has been the discovery
that not only balls fit into the ball tube. No, other things fit, too.
Like, for example, empty cans of cat treats, which unfortunately
get stuck halfway down at the curve in the tube (see illustration below)
but must nonetheless be inserted at every opportunity (read, as soon
as Mama frees the damn thing again):
Lately, Ms. Ball Tube-O-Rama has been getting ever more
ambitious with the stuffing of the tube. This afternoon, she had crammed
into the tube one cat treat can, one shoeshine mitt, one digital video
cassette case (how does she manage to collect these random things?),
and one red ball:
The top of a poster tube, a shaker, some keys, and the
occasional stuffed animal have also found themselves making the perilous
Attendant to this is the fascination wit the bed frame.
Because David was staying with us, we took the mattress off the bed
frame, leaving it exposed. It's basically a slatted platform, which
Missy promptly requisitioned as her own personal enormous shapesorter.
Binkies, clothes, shoes, and more were stuffed between the slats by
baby, who then leaned over, tippytoed, to look where the item had fallen.
I bought her a shapesorting toy last weekend because I
had seen the writing on the wall about this, but do you think she has
paid it one second of attention?
Probably thought process during Eliza's increasingly common
stretches of standing independently:
Oooh. This sponge is really great! Look at this thing,
it has so many sides, you can just turn it over and over in your hands—
Uh. Wait a minute, here. If I'm holding this sponge in
both hands, WHAT am I holding on to this table with? Oh God, abort,
(Thud/squish of baby butt hitting floor)
4. 4:45 wake-up call conundrum resolved
I had hoped that when we switched to Daylight Savings
Time, Eliza's waking time would adjust and she'd let me sleep until
5:30 or 6. It turns out the child is acutely sensitive to light molecules.
(Is that how you measure light? Decibels? Watts?) As soon as one teeny
tiny little angstrom or whatever the hell it is of sunshine peeked its
way over the horizon, BING! like a zombie smelling fresh brains, Eliza
popped upright in her crib and began to demand entertainment.
After a couple of Saturdays of staggering downstairs at
the butt-crack of dawn and plopping her down in front of the TV to be
brainwashed by those vaguely penile-looking Boohbah things, I decided
that we couldn't continue on like this.
I was afraid we'd have to go the Dooce
route and put tinfoil on the windows, which, while effective, does have
sort of an aliens-are-trying-to-frizzle-my-brains aspect to it.
So, instead of tinfoil, I settled on an even less attractive
solution - Eliza's room now looks like a cave/crackhouse with sheets,
blankets, and whatever else I can find to create a nice impenetrable
barrier against the light.
Pretty, it ain't, and I still have to find a more permanent
fix for the problem, perhaps involving actual curtains, if I can find
any that block light —when did curtains become purely ornamental?
But in the meantime, I am going on almost an entire week
of gettng to sleep in until 6.
5. Binky sharing
Eliza shares! Her binky.
Lately, she has taken to pulling her binky out of her
mouth, and stuffing it in mine. She thinks this is Hi.La.Ri.Ous!
Also being stuffed in mama's mouth: Freshly gnawed toothpaste
tubes, slightly damp Cheerios, baby socks.
Opening and closing doors: I see it as squished fingers
waiting to happen, Eliza sees it as THE MOST FUN GAME EVER (NEXT TO
THE BALL TUBE, OF COURSE)!
Crawlcrawlcrawl, slam! Muttering of weird baby sounds.
Mama turns knob. Baby pulls door open, cackles delightedly. Slam! Mama
sticks fingers under door, more cackling. Open. Mama joins baby on same
side of door in attempt to prevent finger-smashing. Slam! Barney sticks
paws under door, swiping with claws extended. Baby, in tragically funny
misinterpretation, thinks kitty is waving hello and waves at the Claws
Lather, rinse, repeat.
7. Pity for the cuteness-appreciation impaired
Sometimes, when I am walking with Eliza, I encounter someone
who sees us and does not smile in a manner that communicates "This
is the most rapturously beautiful infant I have ever beheld, thank you
for crossing my path today."
For these people, I feel pity, because obviously, they
suffer from cuteness-appreciation impairment.
Perhaps I will start a charity.
Meanwhile, for any cuteness-appreciation impaired people
reading this site, here are some pictures for you to work on your cuteness-appreciation
8. Flush with life
Today, I had to go to the printshop.
There's a woman who works there whom I've always found
really striking — red hair, stylishly dressed, and though she
has always been friendly, I found her a bit intimidating.
A couple of months ago, I went there for something and
the moment I walked in, something felt different about her. At the time,
I figured it was just that I'd brought Eliza, who was deploying all
When I went recently, though, I noticed a bump. Today,
two weeks later, she has BLOSSOMED into her pregnancy, to the point
where I felt safe asking her about it.
I've always been skeptical of women who say they can pick
up another woman's impending motherhood, but this experience has changed
my mind. If I calculate back from when she told me she was due, that
first time I noticed something different about her, she would've been
newly pregnant, not telling anyone yet but starting to grow into the
idea that by mid-summer, she'd be someone's mom.
What a gift, to have this awareness and connection, with
someone I barely know and yet with whom I share something so amazing.
9. The reason I was a bad parent today
book? It is beautiful, and moving, and funny, and sad, and shocking,
and inevitable, and transporting. All day, I was trying to find independent
activities for Eliza to do so I could grab a couple more minutes to
By the way: That doesn't really work...
The above is as near as I can come to transliterating
Eliza's favorite sound of the moment. It's a d, followed by a cat-hairball
sound, like someone really over-enunciating the ch in challa.
Listening to this the other day, J. pointed out that
she had read that when they start making noises like they're speaking
an alien language, babies are getting really close to speaking. That
makes sense to me, because Eliza is definitely putting things together,
word-and-object-wise. If you say "kitty," she will crane her
neck looking for Moe or Barney. And often, when she sees something that
intrigues her, she says "Dah!" like she's saying, "That!
Did you see that?" Today, she also spent a long time saying "Nananananana,"
until she sounded like a reject from a 60s girl group.
The other two things she spends a lot of time on lately
are pointing and waving. As I push her around in her stroller, she waves
at the passersby like a tiny, wuffly-headed Miss America (only probably
smarter, and without the eating disorder). And then there's the little
E. T. pointy finger. Lights! Her reflection! Balloons! Kitties! Doggies!
Birdies! Squirrels! Other babies! Everything! Must! Be! Pointed! At!
We're pretty much in a state of falling-over-from-the-cuteness over
This is such an amazing time for her and for us. Because
the pointing, it's not just charming, it's also giving me more and more
of a fix on who she is, as I learn that balloons, they fill her with
delight, and doggies, they amaze her, and oh, that there, that is the
toy that she must have right now. It's incredibly poignant to see her
little heart opening itself up to likes and dislikes as her personality
comes to the fore.
Which leads me to this: Jo, I'm not sure this kid is actually
related to you. I bought these littlebitty baby bananas at Stop and
Shop the other day, and she just loves them. We have to limit her to
one or two a day or her little system gets all gunked up and she makes
little brown golf balls for us, but she hoovers these things. The first
time I gave her one then turned away to get something else, and it was
gone so quickly I looked on the floor because I was convinced she'd
thrown it somewhere. The banana breath was proof of her love, though.
Her other big obsession is balloons. Tonight, we went
for a walk in the mall, (A dangerous pastime, since of course I ended
up buying about 4 things for her, but it was raining outside) and she
flipped out in an excited way as we passed the jeweler. It took me a
moment to realize that it was the balloons they'd hung up that were
revving her up.
Combine that with a stop at the pet store to look at the
bunnies and birdies in the window, and Eliza had a GREAT time at the
Anyway. Time I headed off to sleep, but here is a totally
random array of cute pictures that I am too lazy to format for the photo
Twirling her hair coquettishly.