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February 2006

Feb. 28
Busy

Eliza has just spent the last half hour, and counting, futzing with the top on an empty saline solution bottle. We have finally found the thing that is even more exciting than keys.

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Feb. 27
In Which We Are Accident-Prone

This was not a weekend in which the members of the household distinguished themselves with their suavity.

I will cut to the chase and say that we are all still alive and that no one has suffered anything life-threatening, but frankly, this is a miracle.

I kicked things off on Saturday when I did not see a knee-height flower barrel as I was walking around Northampton with a babe-in-arms. I did not drop Eliza, but I was pretty sure, for a couple of minutes, that I was going to have to amputate. This, however, was but an appetizer, an amuse bouchee, if you will, for things to come.

Yesterday, Jim went skiing with a friend and his son.

All was well for a while, and then Jim managed to fall in such a way that his ski pole jammed up hard against his left ribs. When he came home, he did not look like a happy ski bum. It was bad last night but this morning it was worse — he had a very hard time getting up from a prone position, and though he tried very gallantly to gut his way through it, when he picked Eliza up, he looked a bit greenish.

Long story, I took Eliza to work, and Jim took a field trip to the hospital — where he proceeded to spend 5 hours, as they CAT-scanned and prodded and poked him to make sure he hadn't ruptured his spleen. He called me with periodic updates, inappropriate jokes about how it's a good thing he has life insurance, and musings about his will.

When he got the all-clear from the CAT scan, he commented that he might have to go to church this Sunday since he had made some deals with god if there were no internal injuries.

He does probably have a cracked rib (oddly, they didn't X-ray to confirm), and the doctor sent him home with bigtime narcotics, but I'm very disappointed because there has been no crazed opiod-induced rambling as yet.

Oh well.

Finally, today, Eliza went on some sort of maniacal quest to accrue as many injuries as possible.

She kicked it off this morning. Cruising around the bathroom from tub to cabinet to toilet (a fairly seamless route for her as there are handholds the whole way) she managed to lose her footing or her grip or something, and split her eyebrow, like so:

(Behold also weird missing middle tooth. Finally coming in, but WTH? That is just SO STRANGE!)

Barely had she recovered from that when, flailing about on the guest bed, she managed to ram her head at the wall.

When I took her to work, she decided to open my file drawers, and as I was still forming the thought of resigning myself to the mess she was about to make, opened and shut the thing repeatedly and managed to pinch her fingers not once, not twice, but three times in the space of about 5 seconds.

Finally, playing with a nifty stand-and-cruise bead maze, she squatted, lost her balance, tipped over backward, and pulled the bead maze down on top of her.

I think we are all going to go to bed and try to forget that this day happened.

***

Some things do not go well together; note italics.

While our menfolk were mangling themselves on the slopes, I got together with my friend and her toddler son for lunch at a local Chinese restaurant. He spied the lucky bamboo and had to be persuaded to leave it alone so that it did not become unlucky. Then he had to poop and/or pee but only wanted to do so at home, and not in the restaurant bathroom.

Sitting in the dining room, I ordered rice for Eliza. From her vantage point in her high chair, she sprinkled the rice on the carpet.

After we'd had enough of this, we headed to my friend's house. Eliza wanted to play with the toddler's stuff, and he wasn't really that thrilled about sharing.

Eliza likes writing implements, so we gave her a non-toxic, water-based marker. She was very excited and promptly graffiti'd herself.

I gave her a bath when she got home.

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Dear Diary

Finally, veering left-ward into completely unrelated territory, the other day, I was looking for an essay I wrote in college and dug up out of the same box my diary from 1983-1988 (what can I say, not the most diligent journaler).

It is, in a word, appalling. The main subjects are the following: 1. How much I love Miami Vice. 2. How much I love A-ha. 3. How much I love Duran Duran. 4. Incredibly detailed descriptions of minor exchanges with real-life persons I was crushing on which are along the lines of "Omigod, he LOOKED at me! And then he BLINKED!! He has never LOOKED AT ME and then BLINKED before!!! I wonder what it MEANS?!"

Along with said inanity comes copious misuse of terms I obviously have NO idea about. At one point I refer to someone as a masochist because he walked down a hall with me.

Actually, judging by these entries, that could be true.

Anyway, I think my favorite entry might be this excerpt from Valentine's Day, 1985, which, coincidentally, reveals that this whole "Unclear on the Concept" business that I have taken to documenting with the cats and Eliza is a hallowed tradition. Unclear to me in this one, clearly, is the whole prayer/god thing. Behold:

"... On different tracks, please take a message to god that I want a thin-ribbed corduroy skirt like this:

(drawing included that illustrates how the waist must be fitted and the skirt loose and billowy)

get it please! thank you!"

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More Movies

Here is a movie about Eliza's Recent Adventures.

And here is a movie about Bouncing.

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Feb. 23
Home Movies

Go here for a movie about Cruising.

And here for a movie about Eating.

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Feb. 21
Officially, I Was, Of Course, Neutral,
But Secretly, I Kind of Wanted a Girl

So I could do THIS:

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Feb. 20
Sleep Deprived

Eliza got up at 2 a.m. ready to party last night. Sadly for her, it was a one-woman party.

At 4 a.m., Jim and I convinced ourselves that she was probably in desperate pain from something and we gave her Baby Tylenol. She finally fell asleep in my arms, and because she'd been crying so hard for 2 hours, as she slept, she continued to draw in great big shuddering, sobbing breaths.

She slept restlessly. She fell asleep on her left side, with her right leg flung across my body. 20 minutes in, she suddenly flung herself onto her back, spreadeagled.

When I finally fell asleep, I dreamt that Jim was eating alphabet-shaped Valiums. I distinctly remember him crunching down on an A. I told him about my dream in the morning, and he thought that was interesting, but he would've preferred alphabet-shaped speed, so that he could keep up with our little partier better. I promised to dream better next time.

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Feb.17
My Kid Works!

All those other times that I said Eliza just did the cutest thing ever? I was wrong. No, this, THIS, is the cutest thing ever.

For many months now, Eliza has patiently tolerated, one might even say indulged, Jim and my obsession with peekaboo. At first, before she got it, she just sort of smiled, more amused by how entertained we were than truly entertained herself, I would say.

Then, after she figured out object permanence, she would sit there as I did the whole, "Huh, where did Eliza go?" hiding behind my hands, towel, whatever, and would pull the towel/move the hands, whatever, with an attitude of "Yeah, here I am, what's the big deal?"

When I shower, I bring Eliza into the bathroom with me and surround her with toys. Occasionally, just to make sure she's not sucking down toilet bowl cleaner*, I pop out from behind the curtain and smile at her in yet another variant of the game. She smiles back, then resumes her toilet-bowl-cleaner drinking.

Today, however, she was standing at the tub's edge, much as one day she will belly up to a bar (Oh god, I just really horrified myself with that image), chatting to herself in Eliza-ese.

And THEN! She pulled the shower curtain aside and peered around the corner at me. I said hello. She pulled the curtain closed again. And then pulled it open again with a big grin. And again, and again. By the time I finished my shower, her little head was damp and her curls were frizzing every which way in the humidity.

There's not a word out there that can accurately sum up the cuteness.

The thing is, I am a terrible hypochondriac. I am a hypochondriac for others. Jim pees a lot for a guy, and I went through a phase where I was convinced he had diabetes. Eliza's doctor gets a call from me at least twice a month because I'm convinced that this runny poop that she made just now, it is cholera.

On some level, though, I don't worry nearly as much about her physical health as her mental health. I find the stories of autism, of kids who seem normal and then start to slip away emotionally, absolutely haunting. On the scale of horrible things, I can deal with the thought of something going wrong with my girl physically better than I can stomach the thought of losing her emotionally.

I have no reason to fear that she is autistic; I don't know why I fear it so much. But every time she does something like this, something that suggests her increasingly intentional emotional engagement with the world, whether it's reaching up with her hands when she wants to be picked up, or waving at me when I leave for work, or playing peekaboo, I can't help but heave a little sigh of relief. My kid works!

 

*Don't have a conniption, I'm just exaggerating for effect. We lock the toilet bowl cleaner in the cabinet. We never let her play with anything stronger than Softscrub.

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Feb. 16
Hi Mom, This One's Got Swearing In It

Whenever I take Eliza out into the big bad world, I can count on two things: Someone will tell us she's cute, and several people will say, "Oh, she looks tired."

This annoys the (avert your eyes, Ma) motherfucking FUCK (OK, done now) out of me for two reasons:

1. I don't know where people come up with this impression — they say it regardless of whether she's had a nap or a good night's sleep, or what her mood might be that day (although it does seem to happen more often when she's in quiet-pensive-staring mode). So it's possible her eyes are deformed in some way I'm not aware of, but I know when my kid is sleepy, and it is NEVER when they think she is.

2. That statement almost always carries a whiff of judgment with it. Like, what a shitty mother you are, taking your kid out in public when what she really needs is a nap. To which I say a. See above, and b. You know what, if I had a STAFF, then perhaps I could leave my kid home when I need to go shopping, or to the copier, or whatever, but unfortunately, I have neither a staff, nor 36 hours in the day to get things done, and so I must occasionally take my kid with me when to do so is not optimal.

I've been getting increasingly hostile about this issue, and yesterday, when someone at Starbucks said it to me as I wheeled my freshly rested baby in, I think I reached my breaking point, because first of all, she was, as stated, freshly rested, and second of all, I am not some over-entitled upper-middle-class mom who just fritters away her time at the local coffee shop in reckless disregard for her child because, thirdly, Eliza LOVES Starbucks; it's her favorite place next to Big Y—taking her there is a treat for her.

I didn't say anything to the Starbucks people, but I've now spent the last 24 hours thinking of the right, horribly devastating answer to give the next person who says that so that they will be terribly, terribly traumatized and even though the damage will have been done where we are concerned, they will never say that again to another parent.

Both of my pinkies are kind of bent, and in high school, when I got tired of people asking me about this, I started to tell people it was a birth defect, which embarrassed the crap out of them and they stopped asking. I floated the "It's a birth defect" possibility to my co-worker Joanne this morning, but she said that was too mean. She said that it would be better to tell them that "No, my kid's not tired, and you'll know when she is." Which is good but entirely too nice, frankly. I was thinking I'd try, "Why would you say that?" but frankly, that's still a little too mild for my tastes.

Any suggestions?

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Feb. 15
Für Die Deutscher

Hier haben wir Eliza in Deutsche-mode. Die hoschen die zu dem pulli (und die andere pullis) gehören sind ihr noch viel zu lang, aber die T-shirts und so passen schon. Steht ihr gut, findet ihr nicht?

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Ack, It's Going Too Fast!

Now that Eliza has discovered mobility, there's no stopping her — I think we got the baby gates up just in time, because over the past few days, she's gotten both daring and pro-active. This afternoon, she couldn't see me because I was down the hall while she played in her room, and she got anxious (we're in a bit of a separation anxiety phase). But rather than sitting and wailing until I reappeared, she started crawling in the direction of my voice. Still complaining loudly as she went, mind you, but very clearly proceeding with a goal. I was so proud of my little problem solver.

The other thing she does is, if it will support her weight, she will try to pull herself up on it. This whole getting-to-standing thing just rocks her world. The tub, the rocking chair, cabinets, whatever it is, she is SO THERE with the pulling up. Her current favorite thing to do is to stand in the hallway, holding on to the spokes in the stairway banister, peering at whomever, or whatever, is walking up the stairs. If you sit on the other side, i.e. on the stairs, and smile at her, this is the best entertainment a girl ever had. Keeps her happy for hours, and then when Moesie walks by and sticks her head out between the banisters from the other side? Oh, are we happy then!

Brilliantly, along with this new Must Pull Up On Everything imperative, she has also figured out the sitting down business. I need to take a picture of it, because it's almost alarmingly cute. She sticks her butt way out, like it's a sensory organ testing the air for potential sitting obstacles, and squats as low as she can, and then, thud, falls the rest of the way, which is about two inches.

Here's where the Ack-too-fast thing comes in, though — this afternoon, I saw her doing this hydraulic yoga butt business in the photo above, a whole bunch of times. She raises and lowers her butt over and over, getting her feet under her as well as she can but still looking like drunk Elvis. I had just about dismissed it as another of her quirks when I realized that what she was doing was working out how to get to standing without having to pull up. She's figured out the basic engineering on the legs and how to position her arms, but she can't quite get her feet under her enough and her butt still overbalances, but omigod, it's like the speed of the stuff she learns increases geometrically.

At this rate, she's going to be discovering cold fusion by May.

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Feb. 14
A Comment on Ice Skating

Matt Savoie, men's figure skater: He should get an award for Only Skater So Far This Olympics Not to Use Totally Lame Music.

Gorecki's Symphony No. 3: What an excellent idea! Hey, something that a. we haven't heard 469,856,234 times before ( Carl Orff: Please go away. And stay away!) b. wasn't irritatingly spliced together from three movements of totally different tempos and/or c. DIDN'T SUCK!

Figure skaters are all relatvely young people, and I would venture that a significant portion of the men are gay. How is it that they cannot muster anything that is not appalling where music is concerned? Seriously, I can't deal with figure skating anymore, at least the amateurs, because even when the skater is good, I hear the opening strains of yet another Bach pastiche or folk song montage or muzak version of Barbra Streisand's greatest hits and I want to hurl. Whereas (to return to the praiseful portion of this post) I actually left the computer to watch Savoie skate because I heard this delightful, innovative musical choice. The last time I remember being excited about the music was in 1994 when that crazy Russian chick and her partner ice-danced to Michael Nyman's Memorial.

And then the outfits. What is WITH the outfits? Again, gay men and girly women dominate the sport — that just doesn't even compute.

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Blog Entry Wherein Eliza's Parents Both Do Silly Things

Awwwww. Tiny Man just brought me his hot pink mousie again. He's been dropping it at my feet throughout the evening. So cute.

This morning, I decided I just didn't feel like enduring the clothing-related screaming. Especially as I had already had to endure an hour of I-don't-care-if-it's-4:30-I-want-to-get-up screaming, and two sets of Oh-God-you're-changing-my-diaper-and-it-feels-like-you-are-flaying-my-flesh screaming. Verily, it was a scream-filled morning. Someone, I'm not saying who, but someone seems to have been born in the wrong month because clearly she is fulfilling all the stereotypes about Tauruses being ri-goddamn-diculously stubborn and hot tempered.

Anyway, I handed over the clothing duties to Jim this morning and returned home at 2:30 to be met by the sartorial marvel above. The good news: This outfit MATCHED. The socks, the pants, the fleece— everything had the same sea-green in it. It was actually quite stunningly cute.

Sadly, however, there were two fatal flaws: 1.The fleece was on backwards. 2. The pants (and shirt underneath the fleece) were pajamas.

I wasn't going to say anything because God bless my honey for even braving the screaming, and the matching? SO TOTALLY ADORABLE!! But then I got the giggles, and then it morphed into full-scale hysteria and then I figured he was probably standing around downstairs wondering why I was treating the neighborhood to my best impression of a whooping crane, so I should just say something. To Jim's credit, he admitted that he thought the pants might've been a misstep, but he couldn't find any others. Because he didn't look in the closet (I just moved the pants from the drawer to the closet the other day - her clothes take up more room, not so much in terms of number of oufits, but because they require more material).

Lest you think I gloat, this evening I learned that you should not let your kid carry your stash of meds.

Eliza's thrush persists/has returned/not really sure. Anyway, I called the doctor, who said that thrush is notoriously difficult to get rid of (think yeast infection, girls) and gave us another prescription. For which I made a special trip to Stop and Shop, thus cancelling my workout for the day.

After we paid the pharmacy, I put the bag in the cart as we got the rest of our stuff rung up, whence Eliza grabbed it and was waving it around merrily. Only, when I got home, there was no medicine to be found anywhere, either in my car nor among Eliza's things.

The whole thing was an utter mysery, until the pharmacist called. Someone, he said, found our bag of medicine in the parking lot and had turned it in. Missy, clearly wise to the fact that this was more the vile yellow stuff that she prefers to spit out, had chucked it when I wasn't looking.

So, to sum up: Eliza's parents? Not so much with the smartiness today.

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Feb. 13
Napping, Ouch

There is a huge downside to this nap business. Theoretically, of course, naps are meant for Baby to recharge after 3 or 4 hours of frenetic activity, and for Mama to get some work done/nap herself (hahahahahaha).

In actuality, napping just presents that many more opportunities for Baby to get up ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED. How can this be, you ask — her bed is against the wall; there is only one side for her to get up on. Ah yes, but apparently there are some tears in the time-space continuum, because sometimes, that same old side is suddenly SO the wrong side that I go into her room and I think I will spontaneously combust from the wrath.

I'm developing a thesis, which I mean to test in the next few days, that the harder she fights the nap, the pissed-er she is when she wakes up. I will have ample opportunity to test this theory because lately, the afternoon nap situation is very wrath-filled indeed. (I have another theory, that perhaps she is preparing to jetisson the afternoon nap, but, oh, how I hope I am wrong.)

She used to go down more or less willingly around 3/3:30 and nap for 45 minutes, at least. But now, she is in rebellion. Napping is for little babies, not big girls like Eliza. So she fights it, and fights it, and she sits/stands/lies there so tired she literally cannot keep her eyes open, but she is so stubborn and she WILL NOT GO TO SLEEP, DAMMIT!

And then I lie down on the bed with her, because even though she is a BIG GIRL, the snuggling with Mama is still almost foolproof in inducing the afternoon nap and she lies there in my arms shoutingandshoutingsandshoutingandshou.........

......and then suddenly she is SO GONE that I can pick her up and put her in her crib, or we could go on Dancing with the Stars and she wouldn't notice.

But, oh, do I pay for my treachery, because then she wakes up an hour later she picks up right where she left off, only louder .......TINGANDSHOUTINGANDSHOUTINGANDSHOUTING.

And then, even when she wins the argument about bringing the toothbrush and Mama's hairgel downstairs, she is just mad, and pretty much stays that way for the rest of the day.

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Feb. 10
Crazy Von Beethoven In Her Exercise Pants

Eliza loves music. This is not surprising, given her parents. I hope that she will inherent Jim's ear, and not mine, but I have my doubts. This morning, as she was poking at her keyboard, she hit the O from the alphabet section — it sings the letters from the ABC song as you strike the key—and said, "Oooooooooo," in a mournful, lowing-cow sort of way that did not bode well for her sense of pitch. I comfort myself that it's entirely possible that she was not mimicking the keyboard.

***

Eliza got, like, 6 (six) pairs of pants for Christmas. And 6 weeks later, they are ALL too small. I put them on her and she looks like the poor little match girl with her little exposed shins, except the shins in question are too fat to complete the hallucinating waif imagery.

This Wednesday, we took a trip to the mall, mostly because Mama needed the exercise of pushing baby around. We took a detour into Children's Place, where we found the exciting Wall of $4 Sale Items Including Pants In Eliza's Size. I purchased many, including the pair pictured here, which are an illustration of everything that is right about baby clothes. I mean, look at them: they have little zips up the bottom of the leg for when you want to take off your pants without unlacing your sneakers when you are about to play a killer game of streetball.

I love these pants. I want to put them in the re-big-ulator and make some for me. Especially in that radioactive, "Kiss me, I'm Irish" hue. I hope they still fit at St. Patrick's Day.

***

We had the Verizon repair guy over AGAIN to try and fix our temperamental DSL line. Jim called to report that he remarked on how big Eliza's gotten. Dude, you're not supposed to spent so much time at your customer's homes that you can track their kids' growth.

***

My baby is making me crazy. I have such an enormous mental inventory of funny things Eliza has done, that at random points throughout any given day, something will pop into my head and I start to laugh. There I am, walking across the campus and Bam! mental picture of Small Creature getting extremely frustrated because while crawling around in the bathroom, she has managed to get herself straddling the bathroom scale and cannot figure out how to get her back half over it and is now doing all sorts of yoga positions to surmount the obstacle.

And all the frat boys go, "Hey, it's that clog-wearing geezer who tries to turn a grin into a pensive squint and looks instead like she has Bell's Palsy. Again."
Not that I wanted to socialize with frat boys.

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Feb. 8
Magic Toes and Angry Standing

When Eliza was on the way, many of my more yarn-talented friends blessed us with home-made blankets. They're all beautiful, soft, wonderful treasures. But I have to give the edge to this one, by Jen from book club:

When Eliza is put to bed awake, she hooks her fingers, and, sometimes, gloriously, her toes into the holes created by the loose knit.

None of that happened tonight, however. Apparently, yesterday's standing incident heralded a new sleeping phase, and I am having a VERY difficult time keeping a straight face about it all.

The new thing is, unless Eliza is put to bed when she is truly knackered and conks out immediately, the following will occur: She flips onto her stomach, crawls over to the nearest patch of crib rails, pulls herself to standing, and gets very angry. Sometimes, she cruises around her crib holding onto the railing the whole time. Sometimes she just stands. Either way, she is very, very shouty.

I usually listen to her for a while to see if she'll calm herself down, but she hasn't so far. So I go into her room, and there she is, standing up, stomping her little feet, red-faced, her hair a wild crown of fuzz, peering over the railing which is about nose height on her, and screaming epithets at the world. The cuteness of it makes me absolutely hysterical every time; the image comes back to haunt me at inopportune moments, like when I'm trying to calm her down and get her back to sleep. "Shhhh, lovey, just go to slee— hahahahahahahahahaha!"

But then, as I hold her in my arms and rub her back and finally get her calmed down, she does the best thing of all. She sighs and drops her little head against my shoulder, and the heavy, sweet, relaxed weight of her in my arms is perfect.

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The Peanut Gallery and the Show

Last night during Eliza's bath, both cats sat on the radiator watching. Both seemed a bit nonplussed at the proceedings:

And really, who can blame them: The two-legged small creature's bath habits are just plain weird. First, there was the obsession with sucking on the washcloth all the time. Then there was the phase where she had to push all the soap bottles off the ledge into the water before she would get in herself, followed by the phase where she had to hod the shampoo bottle for the entire proceedings. Now, we are in the acrobat phase. Small creature may NEVER sit in the baby tub in the approved fashion but must instead perch weirdly at all times. This has made hair washing a considerable challenge, because when I so much as hint at orienting her correctly for the rinsing, we get the hot-pokers-are-singeing-my-flesh scream.

Last night's cat-consternating hi-jinks took it to the next level: She kneeled athwart the tub, and spent a very long time patting the wall and making clacking sounds with her tongue, a skill she had just discovered:

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Feb. 7
She Stands in Protest

Eliza generally goes down for a nap at 3/3:30-ish every day. Come about 3:15 today, I implemented the usual pre-nap procedure - binky, rocking chair, saying "Hey, you look tired, why don't you sleep?"

I put her in bed and there was brief whining, followed by 15 minutes of happy-drunk-sounding chatter. Then there was effortful grunting and more chattering. Then, wailing. Angry wailing.

I went in to check, and the napster had pulled herself up to standing on the bars of her cage crib, pitched her binky over the side, and was now loudly demanding justice.

The whole scene —tiny anti-nap resistance leader effecting property damage — made me laugh pretty hard, to the point when she started smiling sort of uncertainly like somene who's not in on the joke but doesn't want to be the idiot who didn't get it.

I scooped her up, and you know, it's entirely possible that I didn't imagine the relief that crossed her face when she saw me, because she knows how to stand up, but she hasn't figured out the un-standing procedure yet.

All I can say is, two minutes later, after some strictly pro-forma writhing, she fell asleep in my lap.

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Feb. 6
Eliza, Facilitator of Uncomfortable Moments

Today, I came home to a sleeping baby and the cleaning lady.

The baby was sleeping because Jim had taken her to the Moms and Babies movie. I will not dwell, for the moment, on the fact they he took her to see a Woody Allen movie, because, oh, the ick-factor. The good part was that when she came home, she took an atypically early nap (the horror of Woody Allen tired her out, I believe). which was good because I had to bring her to work this afternoon for a meeting.

As for the cleaning lady, she should really be called "The Priestess of Clean," because we have been living in our own filth these four weeks whilst she cruised merrily in the Caribbean. God bless her for taking a vacation, but omigod I did NOT know what to do with myself, house-wise. I've completely lost my OCD compulsion to sweep, and mop, and dust. It was all I could do to wave one of those glorious Clorox Disinfecting Wipes in the direction of the toilet three weeks in.

Our Priestess must be appeased at all costs. She got a very nice Christmas gift from us and we make her uncomfortable with the odes we perform to her every time she comes over because omigod what if we had to go back to DOING OUR OWN CLEANING?! Today, when she asked about the random computer desk standing in the hall, Jim gave it to her without a second thought. I helped her load it in her truck. Because if the Priestess wants an old computer desk for her little boy, we will schlep it to Williamsburg on our backs if need be, JUST SO LONG AS WE DON'T HAVE TO EVER CLEAN AGAIN.

Anyway, the tiny maniac was sleeping while the Priestess cleaned and I hung out downstairs. Both monitors, the one upstairs and the one downstairs, were on, which I thought nothing of, until suddenly, out of nowhere, I heard this incredibly loud Ppppppplllllrrrrtt!

I headed upstairs to Eliza's room but then I thought, woah, what if that was the Priestess, that would be embarrassing. So I stayed downstairs until I heard a distinctively Eliza-esque cackle over the monitor to confirm that the previous emission was indeed one of her trademark, uncannily life-like fart impressions.

What made it that much better was that upstairs, I was met by a visibly relieved Priestess, to whom the whole "Omigod did she just fart really loudly?" scenario had clearly occurred.

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Diaper Rash, Final Update

I would just like to say HA! And, I TOLD YOU SO! And, NEENER NEENER NEENER!

My suspicions were right all along. I will grant that adding vitamin E-based ointment to the nether regions probably did not help, but mainly, I am just psyched that I am vindicated.

Did I mention, I'M SMARTER THAN YOOOOUUUUUUU!

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Crawling

For months— well, actually, pretty much since birth— we have been treated to Miss Eliza's whinging and whining about being on her stomach. The smart money, frankly, has been on her to skip crawling and go straight to walking since she was about 3 1/2 months old, she hated any and all stomach-related activity so much.

Then, a little while ago, she figured out how to get from stomach to sitting, which apparently started the reconcilation between Eliza and her belly.

Then came the backwards pushing, in some ways a more-than-literal step backwards since it made her so angry that after all that work, she was actually FARTHER away from her target.

Then came the day she hitched her knees up under her torso. And overbalanced hideously and fell on her face. That was a screamy 10 minutes or so. Especially because it was pure slapstick and we laughed. Our maniac does not take well to being laughed at.

She seemed to stall out at this unhappy plateau, but somehow, while we weren't looking, she figured it out.

A few days ago, Jim and I went, Huh, did she just move? And there she goes, now, our little creeper. Every day, she goes a little farther, a little faster. On Friday, she crawled the width of our friends' house. On Saturday, she cornered. Now, we have to figure out, and fast, how to get that safety gate up before she decides to make a run for the stairs.

Yikes. Our kid can crawl!

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A Phrase I Never Thought I'd Say

You have no testicles— leave your sister alone! (To Barney)

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Feb. 2
Something That Is Not a Good Idea

Eating a beef and bean burrito for lunch on a day that you have karate.

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Feb. 1
I Thought It Was Cute, But Apparently It Means I Suck As a Parent

For about a month now, Eliza has been doing middle-aged-beret-wearing-white-man jazz-head, that side-to-side head waggle most often seen on white guys trying to show how down they are with that hideous avant garde jazz crap, not that I'm judging them for their musical tastes or anything.

Anyway, as annoying as it is on the aforementioned niche, that's how funny it is on a baby. She mostly does it when she listens to music, but also when she's singing a cappella (at least that's what I think she's doing when she makes that sustained aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa noise), and occasionally, just randomly as she's going about her business.

It seemed harmless to me, and often very funny because she's very earnest about it when she does it.

Then, I read What to Freak Out About the First Year, and now I am, appropriately, completely freaked out and not a little depressed, not to mention wallowing in parental insecurity. Says here in the chapter on the 10th month (I skipped ahead) that this is "not ordinarily hazardous to your baby's health." However, then it goes on to tell you how to get your kid to stop headbanging, rocking and headrolling (oh, and don't I LOVE that this is lumped in with the really disturbing behaviors), and let me sum up: I need to show my baby more affection, I need to play more musical games, I need to do more activities and I need to revamp our bedtime routine. And in case you didn't get that, the implication is, you DON'T LOVE YOUR KID ENOUGH, YOU COLD-HEARTED BITCH.

Or teething is painful. Either one.

It's probably not the teething thing, though. Tonight at the Y, the child watch people came and got me 15 minutes into my workout because Eliza had freaked out and was trying to crawl over to the dad in the room reading stories to his kids, because she's thinking, oh god, please adopt me, the guy they call dad's OK, but that mom-woman, jesus, she's a NUTJOB! Take me home with you now, before she COMES BACK! OH SHIT, TOO LATE!

On the upside, I was right all along about the butt-rash being thrush — the antifungal meds have just about cleared it up. Which means the Burt's Bees stuff, while probably indeed a factor in the severity of the rash, did not actually cause the rash.

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