Hey, y’all. I’m loving all your thoughts about food — and the other posts I’m seeing on this topic around the quarters of the b’osphere (too much? blo’sphere?) I frequent. Between this and the enormous amount of fun I had researching vitamins for a talk last month, I’m thinking it’s time to return to my old food-writing ways more seriously…. You know, in my copious free time.
The Bean is taking a nap, from which I imagine he will awake shortly. A few blogs I read* have recently featured quick posts, written in the five quiet minutes the author has at hand, without apology for brevity or roughness. I like that idea, and while I will always be more of the slow, contemplative sort when it comes to any kind of writing, I thought I’d give that method a try a times. Like now, if the Bean will indulge me.
[I fail at “brief.” Oops.]
So here’s what’s happening around here, for those of you playing the home game:
- The Bean climbs stairs now. Two weeks ago, we set him in front of a set at the playground, and up he went. He wasn’t too fast, but there were no false moves: he clearly already knew how. Primates, my father says. They climb. It was so fun to watch him just DO that, no trial and error, no real surprise at his ability. Just up, up, up.
- He celebrated with some sliding.
- The stair experience has me thinking about this idea of “teaching” babies to do things. Like, say, sleep. I do hear a fair amount of banter about how important it is to “teach” a baby to do something that seems like part of the standard human package (things like chewing, sleeping, standing, crawling — not customizable add-ons like card-shuffling or tap dancing or sign language or manners), and I wonder how possible, let alone necessary, that is. I don’t mean sleep training, which is more a matter of retraining the body than teaching a skill; I mean those people who carry on about how if you don’t “teach” a baby to sleep, your 35 year-old won’t sleep well. Me thinks the causality goes the other way in that case: babies who sleep well become adults who sleep well because that was in the cards all along. Just like climbing stairs was in the Bean’s cards. We’re just here to watch him go. And, you know, make sure he doesn’t plummet off the side.
- Manners, though. Yes. I do want the Bean to have manners, and I mean capital-M Manners, like good North Carolina boys (as he is by extraction) have. I’m not sure how best to accomplish this, but it’s high on my list of parenting goals.
- The Bean and I were coming home from the city on the subway the other day, boarding at a station and time of day when I often don’t get a seat — not the end of the world, but not the greatest, either, as it’s much easier to bribe the Bean with cheerios if I’m sitting down at stroller level. [Yes, I know it would be nice to always use carriers on public transport, but…no. He’s too heavy to carry in front for long now, and he freaks out on my back in the subway, necessitating getting him out and having a stranger hold him while I turn the carrier around. Not awesome.] So here it is, rush hour, and sure enough, there are no seats when the train arrives, though at least there’s some room in the car. But no sooner have my front wheels touched the platform edge than a 10-ish year-old boy leaps up from his seat, smiling and happy, and gestures for us to take it. It was such a thoughtful (and appreciated) gesture, but it was also clear how happy it made him to be able to do it, like he finally had an opportunity to do this great thing he’d been taught to do. He was just beaming at me and the Bean, and his mother was beaming at him. I want the Bean to be like that, and I want that happy sense of importance for the Bean.
- Part of our city trip (motivated by my computer’s need for a visit to the vet) was a little fancy food shopping at Chelsea Market, because sometimes I need to remember why we live in such a difficult, expensive place. The funniest food in the known world, the Bean would like you to know, is pea shoots. Peals of helpless, hysterical laughter.
- Sugar and I both have “Fuzzy and Blue” stuck in our heads nearly constantly these days. But it makes the boy laugh.
- “Dance Myself to Sleep” is another favorite. If you’ve ever wondered what our relationship is like, just watch the video. I am Ernie.
- Sugar and I have a DATE tonight. With a paid babysitter and everything. First time. Starhillgirl has vouched for the sitter, which is appropriate, since she is my official parenting coach. We’re not sure what we’re doing yet. Probably we will find a nice restaurant and go to sleep on the table.
- I also don’t know what I’m going to wear, because nothing fits. Still. This is extremely depressing. Maternity clothes were kind of fun, but this part just plain blows.
- I mentioned, I think, how much the Bean loves eggplant. He devours pasta norma; he crunches up the raw chunks that fall off the cutting board; he sits on the floor doing the baby bird routine, neck stretching up, mouth open, waiting for me to
regurgitateset another chunk in his mouth. I don’t actually like eggplant very much, except as babaganouj. Pasta norma is okay, but that’s very much an exception. It has a revolting texture and a questionable taste, at best. There’s only been one time in my life that I’ve felt differently — and you know where this is going, right? Pregnancy. In pregnancy, I suddenly wanted eggplant. Or maybe it wasn’t me wanting it at all. Even as a fetus, apparently the Bean had a more sophisticated palate than I do.
- You know what gift is really forever? Clothing moths. Dammit, this is like year four. Sugar is presently mending more sweaters. Maybe we should start marketing them as break-up gifts. Like vengeful sea monkeys.
- Speaking of household fauna, the cats are gradually becoming more tolerant of the Bean. I guess it’s hard even for a cat to hold out forever in the face of undaunted adoration. Maybe especially for a cat. He knows their weak spot.
- They — or at least Orson, the black cat, who is more frightened of babies (Michaela is less fond of toddlers but mysterious loves babies. In a kind of aloof way.) — found his Halloween costume genuinely terrifying. As in, full body puff, arched back, retreating into corners. The Bean, of course, merrily crawled after him, oblivious. (We separated them quickly, as poor Orson was so frightened we thought he might lash out if cornered.)
- We meant to make a costume, but…yeah. Life. I picked up a bat cape at a consignment shop as a back-up plan, which soon became the only plan. Really, as long as the baby has ears on, I’m happy. Sugar made him a bat shirt to go with it, and that was that.
- I just really, really like this kid. I love him, too, of course, but it’s such a pleasure to also like him. He is so happy. (Thanks, donor genes.) He finds the world so funny (that might be from me; we’ll have to see how cynical he turns out to know for sure), and he loves people so much. What a lucky Mama I am.
*(and I do read a number of them — probably yours, too, if you’ve delurked around here — but commenting has really gone to hell now that so much of my reading is done while nursing; sorry about that, but know I am still here!)