You have been doing pretty good with self-feeding. When we have mealtime you are craving more and more independence to feed yourself. You are graduating from fingers to utensils. It is cool to watch you with your little spoon and fork. You hold the very end of the utensil and make the long journey from the plate to your mouth. It is a hit and miss situation. Sometimes the food falls off the spoon long before it gets to the target. The dog circles your high chair like a shark on a feeding frenzy. He has taken on a bit of weight lately and leaves his kibble in the bowl in favor of your food dropped overboard from the high chair. On the occasion that you do get a mouthful, you chew it up heartily. Usually it is just a morsel. We let you try and do as much as possible before we intervene. If you arent ready for us to help, you refuse. We have learned that and eat our own dinner and let you continue to do it for yourself. Sometimes you take the opposite end of the spoon or fork and stab your food with it like a spear. I think you might have better success with a pair of chopsticks.
We love to read to you, and every couple of weeks I have been checking out a bunch of books from the public library. They have a great children's room. The children's books have such vivid illustrations in them. I was amazed at them. It has been a long time since I have read books with pictures, and I found them to be like works of art. The whole page is usually filled from corner to corner with beautiful illustrations: Colorful jungle scenes that look like a tropical paradise, serene cerrulean blue water in books about sea creatures, pictures of farmyard animals done in primary colors, and even eye-catching books about winter. There are textured books, with rough, smooth, soft, shiny, bumpy textured things to touch. There are books that have tongue twisting rymes too. When we read we sometimes act out the story or read in dramatic voices. From my lap you imitate as we do these things. Of course, you like some of the books better than others and we read them over and over and over again. And then again. And then one more time.
I get into trouble sometimes when I drop you off. It all started when I high-fived you at school one morning. All the babies saw me and wanted to high-five me too. Well, guess who didn't want their daddy high-fiving anyone else? You even acted like you were going to hit one of them. I even bumped knuckles with a couple of them. Then I left before things got ugly. Sometimes I could just stay in the room and play with all the kids in your class the rest of the day instead of going to work. I don't think you would mind if I stayed as long as you were the only one I played with.
When your mom made an appointment to get her hair done I suggested it was time for you to get a trim too. Your hair was getting a little unmanageable at times. It always laid pretty after a shampoo but something crazy seemed to happen to it while you slept that made it hard to control in the mornings. She talked to her stylist and made your appointment too. We went to the salon and let you run around and get comfortable. Then you sat in my lap while the stylist did a quick few trims with her scissors. You were such a little angel! She kidded us that this was going to make you "high maintenance." The haircut looks great. Amazing what a little snip here and there can do. It lays so nice now, even in the mornings. And it has thickened up too. Pretty soon you will be wearing those cute hair bows.
With toddlerhood comes a whole new attitude. While you are still amazingly sweet, you seem to have developed a counterpart: the toddler terror. When you are in this terrorizer mode anything can happen. You have a mouth full of teeth now and you are learning how to use them. Your mom thought you were going to give her a hug the other day, and then was surprised to find that you sank those pretty little teeth right into her collarbone! You nipped me once but didn't break the skin. When I picked you up from school one day, your teacher proceeded to tell me that you had bitten her. Mortified, I asked her for details and how we should correct this behavior and she told me that it was just typical toddler behavior. She said that she had something that you wanted and that you didnt know how to express that with your words, so you did the only thing that you knew to do in that situation; you bit her. She said it was just a phase and that all toddlers do it. I think you just have a bad case of toddler angst. I just hope that this is not a precursor to your teenage years.
October blew through our household like a headless horseman. If it could be caught, then you would be the one to do it. But it cant, and no matter how fast you are it has passed like so many falling leaves in a whirlwind of activity that has been a lot of work but a lot of fun too. We went to our college homecoming. It was our twentieth year reunion. You were a good sport for the first quarter of the football game and then it was time to go home and end it on a good note. You graduated to a big carseat. It is a throne compared to the infant one you had for the first year. We went to an Autumn Jubilee where we painted your first pumpkin. It had butterflies and flowers on it. You told me what to paint and I did it. There was also your first carousel ride. I think you were a little apprehensive about the horses, but when we rode it for the second time you liked being in the sleigh. You began walking in a new direction: backwards. Not quite the 'moonwalk', but close enough. And you started saying quite a few words. A mouthful, to be exact. Mom, dog, duck, bowl, hi, hello, dad, ma'am. I'm sure there are a few I forgot. Then for halloween you were the cutest little sock monkey ever! No tricks, just treats. That is what this October has been.
Ok, it was my idea/fault. After you started walking I wanted to paint your toenails. There was some concern on your mom's part. Afterall, you were still putting those toes in your mouth occasionally. Understandably, we waited. Then the night before your birthday we decided to go ahead and paint them. I wanted to paint them turquoise. We needed something bright, bold, and daring. Those toenails were pretty small and we needed a bright color to show them off. Turquoise seemed to be just the shade. At first your mom was a little skeptical, but I convinced her. I was relentless. That evening when you were asleep, we did the deed! When you woke you noticed them and tried to grab your toenails. Something happened while you were sleeping to to turn them to a bright, beautiful color. Suprisingly the polish went with many of your outfits. We didn't realize just how many of your outfits had a splash of turquoise in them. Your mom liked it too. She even painted her toenails to match yours. You looked cool, like a big girl.
About three weeks before your birthday you started walking. Hallelujah! Mobile at last! At first it was baby steps along walls and furniture and then you started venturing out back and forth between me and your mom. I really wanted you to be walking before your birthday and you did. Now a few well placed baby gates are in order to keep you safe. A lot of parents I talked to say that they lost weight when their babies started walking. I hope that is the case. I had also heard that barefoot is the best way to learn to walk and now I am cinvinced that it is true. That is the way you learned. Barefoot running is a trend in adults nowadays. Before long that is what you will be doing. And I will be chasing you. Or running from you, whatever the case may be. Barefoot, as usual.
I will say this much, baby, you have kept me humble. It is not easy to maintain your sense of dignity while parenting a toddler. Would a grown man ever wear a little girls pink fedora style hat perched on the very top of his head by his own choice? The easy answer is no, but I have done so to keep you from throwing it in the yard as I carry you to or from the car. If the neighbors see me, so what. Let them think what they want. I am sacrificing my dignity for a greater cause; your happiness. Another dignity shredder is the times we spend racing around the grocery store talking nonstop to you in a fast moving shopping cart. Look out little old ladies, our girl likes to be on the move. Stopping could be a problem, and slowing down can give you the blues, so sometimes we get the cart moving pretty quick in the name of happiness. It is even better if I get one of the noisy carts. We do pretty good until we are stuck in the check-out line. Then things could get ugly really quick unless we do whatever undignified thing we can think of to keep you entertained. We have an arsenal of tricks up our sleeves to keep you entertained. You are usually not the only one watching, but hey, that's life. The cashiers and baggers have to have something to keep them amused. Even our simple act of worship at church has been transformed by you. I can now say that I can worship unashamed as you pull my hair, pinch my face, or throw your toys across the room. You wave and greet everyone all across the room, play peek-a-boo with the people behind us, and even make me wear your hairbow to keep you from throwing it. I am just waiting for you to distract whomever is leading worship, preaching, or praying. All I want to do is try to worship with you in my arms. If you squeal, then so be it; it just might give me or someone else the courage to do the exact same thing and just let loose in a decidedly un-dignified way.
It seems that lately we have been on a food crawl, feeding you from our plate as we explore some of our favorite culinary venues. You are quite skilled in your social behavior. For your age, though, we will let you get away with a few things. Occasionally you have been known to talk with your mouth full. And chew with your mouth open. And bang your fists on the table. And stare at the diners around us. Your charm, however, makes any of these violations right. At least you don't put your elbows on the table. The servers at most restaurants usually make a big deal over you. You take this as your cue to personally take over all of their attention. At the mexican restaurant you had the entire wait staff at your disposal. They all waved and blew kisses at you from across the restaurant, generally ignoring the other patrons. At Starbucks you usually stop service completely as we let you stand up on the counter and wave at all the baristas. As far as the food itself, you love the refried beans at mexican restaurants. You even ate some of my enchilada and some ground beef. This was probably your favorite entree. At Cracker Barrel you simply loved their biscuits and green beans. Their mashed potatoes were good too. Arby's has some amazing roast beef and jamocha shakes. IHOP has the best pancakes around. Or was it the maple syrup that got you so excited to be there? Who says Starbucks is not for babies? We didn't let you have any latte, but you did try their raspberry pound cake and found it to be delicious; thus making it the quintessential place to grab an in-between meals snack. The bottom line is this, my future food critic, Life can be like a buffet if you have a fearless appetite and good manners. Tip your waiters and waitresses.
Several people have asked us when we are going to get your ears pierced. This question started almost immediately after we brought you home from the hospital. I have this thing about infants wearing earrings, it just looks ridiculous to me; yet I see babies wearing earrings all the time. They reminds me of the big bald-headed earring-wearing genie from Aladin without the baggy pants and the fancy bottle. Now if you were one of those really ugly babies, earrings may serve as a distraction from ugliness. In the case of those androgynous baby girls that always get mistaken for being little boys, earrings may help with gender identification. Those things can always be overcome by fashion. Earrings on an infant just look silly. Usually the people who love earrings on a baby girl balk at lip rings, nose rings, and eyebrow rings. The standard answer I give to everyone who asks "When are you going to get her ears pierced?" is this: "We have decided to wait and get her piercings after her first tattoo." This usually stops any further line of questioning dead in its tracks.
I wouldn't rain on your parade. Well, maybe if it was for your own good then I would have to. Your mom and I marched in a bunch of parades when we were in the marching band in school. Today you got to be in your very first parade. It was a tractor parade. You and your mom rode on a float pulled by your Papaw's antique tractor. You had lots of fun with your cousins. There was no rain in site for this parade. In fact, there was so much sunshine that you wore sunblock and a hat. Your mom said you did good until close to the end. Then you started to get a little fussy because you were hot. It was for the fourth of July. If it wasn't hot it wouldn't seem right.
I have my own theory, but I asked your teachers who the bully was in your class. One of them said that all the babies take turns 'bullying' and 'exerting themselves.' I think she wanted to laugh. My theory is that YOU are the bully. You are always beating me and your mom up. You had to get practice somewhere, and the babies in your class helped you get your moves. A favorite one is hair pulling. Then you like to pinch noses. Then you put your thumbs in our eye sockets. We should just throw up a white flag and surrender.
While we were visiting in Kentucky we looked at some things from your mom's childhood. There was a little doll that she played with. From the looks of it, it was well loved. It had moveable arms and legs and blond hair. There was also a little dress that she wore in a very cute picture taken when she was about your age. We gave your mamaw pick of outfits that you had outgrown. She chose your first pair of blue jeans and a shirt that went with them. They were a gift from one of your cousins. She also kept a pair of white cordoury pants and a sweater that were your 'mall clothes.' Oh, the good times you had in these clothes. You were a fashion icon in these outfits. Your mamaw will keep them with the treasures from your mom's childhood. I also got something to treasure. We visited over Father's day weekend and I got my very first Father's day card from you. I will treasure it always.
We made the journey to Kentucky to visit your Mamaw. When we got there she was ready for you with some old-fashioned toys. These were the type of toys that showed creativity and making do with what you have on hand. The first toy was some clothes pins in an instant coffee jar. We think of "instant coffee" as making a trip to Starbucks, but this was the original convenience coffee. Not quite a latte, but it was fast. All you needed was hot water and you could have coffee in an instant. You could make it as strong or weak as you needed. You played with this homemade toy, shaking it vigorously. You liked the sound the clothes pins made inside the jar. The next toy was a simple plastic milk jug. Milk jugs are great toys because thay have a handle that makes it easy for you to grip and hold on to. You crawled all around the floor carrying it with you wherever you went. You could beat on it and not hurt yourself. One good thing about these toys is that they dont require batteries.
Summer is here and so is hot weather. Nothing better to beat the heat than a pool party! I filled up your pool with water and let the sun warm it all day long. It was just the right temperature. Then we put on your yellow bathing suit, floppy hat, sunglasses, lots and lots of sunblock, and got into the pool. At first you didn't quite know what to think of it and almost cried. The pool was a lot bigger than your bathtub. When we brought out your favorite yellow bathtub ducky you knew everything would be fine and you started to relax and have fun. You noticed the octupus and sea creatures on the bottom of the pool and tried to get them. Splashing me became the cool thing to do. First you splashed with your hands and then with your feet. The kitty was curious about what we were doing and watched from the sidewalk. Mommy directed the fun, scooping grass out of the pool, watching out for mosquitoes, and taking photos for posterity or blackmail when you get older. You even got her a little wet with your splashing. She was also in charge of drying you off when we got out. I was your lifeguard, swim instructor, and I made sure you didn't wrinkle up like a raisin. I also watched out for sharks and was prepared to welcome any dolphins or mermaids just in case any decided to show up. None did, but maybe next time.
In the year 2027 you are going to be graduating from high school. I can't begin to imagine all that the next 18 years will bring us and you. First day of kindergarten, class plays, field trips, driver's ed, the prom, the SAT's, and finally, your own graduation. twelve years worth of experiences. Your mom and I graduated in 1985, during the last century. Her 25 year class reunion was recently held. It was neat seeing how people had changed and grown up, or at least grown old. Not bragging, but we were two of the youngest looking people there. I guess we were just well-preserved. Noone could believe she had you just 9 months ago. Some of her classmates were already grandparents. If we had stayed until the end of the party we would have won a prize for having the youngest child. Instead we lost to someone with a three year old, but we would rather get back home with you.
Your crawling progress has reminded me of the fable of the tortoise and the hare. You went from being a slow moving turtle crawler to a quick moving diaper wearing bunny rabbit moving all over the place! You are really moving fast now but remember slow and steady wins the race, so the fable says. Your mom sings a song as you move: "Ain't no stopping her now." It is a song suriving from the disco era, just like the tortoise made it from prehistoric times to the present. You have a look of determination on your face as you crawl all around the room, getting faster and faster with each passing day. "Ain't no stopping her now, she's on the move."
You officially learned to crawl at the beach while we were on vacation, each one of us being in various stages of particularly nasty upper respiratory infections the whole time. Our entire vacation was spent coughing and feeling bad but at least the three of us were all together. You are such a good baby that you didn't even let being sick keep you down and learned to crawl in spite of feeling bad. Moving backwards and zig-zagging was cute in its time, but you became a full fledged crawler. At first you dragged one leg and foot under you while the other set did all the work. You were slow but steady and straight and true on your course. On the warmest day we let you actually crawl on the beach just like a cute little crab. You liked the sand so much that you even tried to eat it! We just tried to keep it between your active little toes!
We played with some old-fashioned tried and true toys this week. Your mom and I pulled you through the neighborhood in a little red wagon yesterday. This was lots of fun. You really enjoyed it, stretching out and getting comfortable just enjoying the view. It was a gift from your great aunt. I had a wagon almost like it when I was a child. You did good until we were almost home and then you wanted to pull yourself up on the sides of it and stand up. We couldn't let you do that. Kissing the pavement would not be a good thing. A Jack-in-the-box was another classic toy that amused you this week. No matter how many times we played it, you were always taken by surprise when we got to the point where jack pops out. Pop goes the weasel never gets old. You even cranked the handle a few times on your own. The classic toy phone was another fun toy that you loved. This is a rotary phone on wheels with bright blue eyes that blink up and down as the phone is pulled by a string. I'm not sure what it is about this toy that is so appealing, but children love it. The eyes look a little creepy to me, but you seemed fascinated by them. You also liked the rotary dialing function, letting your little fingers do the dialing. I don't think that you will ever use that obsolete technology, but I will describe it to you one day. It will be as by-gone as switchboard operators. Everything will probably be voice automated by the time you get old enough to use a real phone. Maybe one day children will play with toy cell phones from "the good old days." These low tech toys are something from my childhood that I am glad you enjoy. Battery operated toys are nice but its also fun playing with things in which you provide the energy and imagination yourself.
I'm pretty sure I remember from Geometry or some math class that the shortest distance from point A to point B is a straight line. I thought about that as you zig-zagged across the floor learning to crawl. I won't go to the trouble of plotting points on a graph to show the course you made as you moved from point A to point B, but rest assured, it wasn't a straight line. Not even close. You moved in all directions, sometimes even backwards. I will just say that you were taking the scenic route, or as Robert Frost once put in his famous poem, "The road less travelled."
"I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference"
Keep taking the road less travelled, even as you become steadier and more skilled at crawling and then walking. Be a trail blazer but take time to smell the flowers along the way. Who knows what you might find along your journey, and remember that the real journey begins where the path ends. The shortest distance from point A to point B may be a straight line, but it is not always the best path.
Your foot sometimes becomes your own personal teething toy. Those toes of yours sometimes seem to be just the right size to do the trick when your pacifier or anything else just don't seem to satisfy. When you are nurturing an incoming tooth it seems that you need a variety of options to assist in the process. I like to watch your technique for stretching your leg to put your foot in your mouth. It is enviable to a former yoga enthusiast like myself. Keep stretching. Don't forget to breathe as you stretch that foot closer. I would love to be as flexible as you are. It is something you don't want to take for granted. Don't forget the taste of it either. I seem to forget the taste of my own foot. It is usually in my mouth quite a bit, but in another sense. Your foot is literally in your mouth. My foot ends up in my mouth proverbially. More often than I would like. I do believe that this makes for totally different tastes indeed!
A funny thing you do is to pound your fist on the table, high chair, or whatever flat surface you are close to. When you do it I like to yell "Order in the court!" like you are a judge just about to have everyone thrown out of the courtroom for misconduct. Where is that bailiff to do your dirty work?
This time last year your mom and I went on our last big outing, just the two of us. Almost just the two uf us; we took one of the dogs. It was to Charleston, SC, to celebrate our anniversary. This year we are taking our little anniversary trip a little bit later. The big change in our little get-away is that we are also taking you, so get ready to feel some sand between your toes. Get used to that feel of sunblock against your skin. Couldn't let that soft pink skin of yours get burnt. I even have a special pair of baby sunglasses ordered just for you. You have to look cool, just like us.
3, 6, 9 The goose drank wine The monkey chew tobacco on the streetcar line The line broke, the monkey got choked And they all went to heaven in a little rowboat
You learned how to clap today. When I got home from work your mom told me you clapped for her. It wasn't long before you clapped for me too. Looks like this has become your favorite new show-off trick. Now I may be bragging, but isn't this a sign of being a genius at 7 months old? Hold your applause until the end, please. Wait, you just learned to clap so go ahead and do it when and where you want. Where did you learn how to clap? Was it at Church during praise and worship or at school imitating the other babies in class? Anyway, it's a marvelous new thing that you have learned. Keep practicing. We will start clapping to music soon. We can learn to do the Hand Jive. We might even learn The Clapping Song.
Clap, pat, clap your hand Pat it on your partners hand Right hand, clap, pat Clap your hand cross it With your left arm Pat your partners left palm
As you grow you have developed an expanding sense of taste. I knew it was true from the first time I saw you eat those delicious sweet potatoes. That tongue of yours has baby tastebuds! You ate your way through the vegetable world, and soon discovered the joys of fruits; applesauce being an early favorite. From there it was off to baby yogurt, which tastes a lot like adult yogurt. Now we are tasting proteins. It is still a mystery to me why they mix meats with all the side items but you seen to love it. We served you your first tastes of thanksgiving all from one jar last week. Turkey and sweet potatoes go together pretty well, even in a pureed form. The jar didn't mention gravy or dressing or cranberries. Those are my favorite parts of the thanksgiving meal. It is fun to watch your expression when we pop a new flavor into your mouth. It is also fun to watch your mom's face too as she tries a taste of it. In the rare event of leftovers, I may also try a sample myself. Eat well my child, for I have already declared that you are going to have to learn to eat what your mom and I like; and we dont live on hot dogs and chicken nuggets!
Your movements have become so much more coordinated now. You are doing some pretty good waving when you see someone exciting. When you want to be picked up, you have started reaching for your mom or me. We come over, arms go up. It is pretty cool to come over to you and see those arms extend for us to pick you up. There have even been a couple of times that it seemed like you even hugged my neck when I did. That was really cool. Your motor skills are developing quick, but in moments of sheer excitement your arms and legs are still all over the place. I am still waiting for you to give me a black eye or another bloody nose when they flail about wildly. Your face pinching and hair pulling skills could become the next olympic sport though. You are refining your technique.
To pinch or not to pinch? Leprechauns Would be proud of your efforts. What about hair pulling and face grabbing? Or mouthing my arm like a teething toy? It makes no difference to you whether I wear green or not, your always after me; pinching, pulling, grabbing, and mouthing. St. Patrick's day or any day of the week. I guess it is just normal for a baby to do these types of things. Still, in your little green legwarmers and green trimmed outfit, you had a mischievous gleam in your eye just like a little leprechaun. Now please lead us over the next rainbow to a pot of gold. Or at least to a nice patch of four-leafed clovers.
Your Mamaw was with us this weekend for your dedication. It has been 6 months since she has seen you and we were so excited that she was coming to spend the weekend. When your mom picked her up she told her that she was going to send her into your classroom and have her pick you out, and that she had better not bring home the wrong baby! We had a good laugh about that. When the time came, she sure enough picked you out of all the babies in your class. I knew she would remember you.
It's official, we've been downgraded in popularity. Used to be any time we went out we were recognized by people we know. Last night when the three of us went out to have dinner, someone behind us that we didn't know recognized you. We were just the people you happened to be with at the time. It was one of your classmates and his parents. His mom talked to you before talking to us, asking you where that smile was that she was used to seeing every morning. Now we are getting accustomed to you stealing all the attention when we visit family. I even let you make the obligitory phone call to your mamaw when you were having a particularly talkative and outspoken moment. She would rather talk to you than us, even if it is babytalk. At church the same thing happens, and it is fine. Whenever we open the door, people come running to greet you before us. This is to be expected. You are an extension of us to these people, something fresh and exciting. We are probably like yesterday's news to them at this point, old and boring. Even, gasp, predictable! We've become downgraded to just part of your entourage. They all want to see and talk to you. Now you have usurped us in popularity even among strangers. Dont gloat just yet though, miss popularity, the same thing used to happen before you came along whenever I took the dog places!
I'm posting a few days late but your first Valentine's day has come and gone. In a few years we will probably go to a traditional Father/Daughter dance around Valentine's day. Although I'm not much of a dancer, I'm rather looking forward to it but I'm a little bit nervous too. What will we talk about on that big night? Will we still talk so freely when you become older and I teach you how to expect a gentleman to act when he is escorting you? That is what these dances are really all about; fathers demonstrating to their daughters the way that they deserve to be treated by future suitors. I can't imagine you becoming a teenager and dating. 6 months has flown by faster than I ever thought possible. Right now I can pick you up and waltz around the kitchen with you in my arms. You love this. It makes you giggle. You are becoming quite conversational with your sweet little baby talk. Talking and dancing with you like this is nice. When we go on our first Father/Daughter dance we can get all dressed up. It will seem so formal. I hope I can still make you giggle when you are that age. What will we talk about when you are that old? Time will only tell, but you have all the makings of becoming a real sweet talker. For now we just dance around the kitchen in our pajamas, and the conversation flows rather organically without any of the pressure of life's valuable lessons.
Lately I've been noticing more and more just how many dads do the morning "drop-off" routine at your school. Seems like this is the "guy thing" to do, the dropping off. Mom gets to be the hero and rescue you at "pick-up time" at the end of the day. You don't seem to mind being dropped off one bit. You only cried once when I dropped you off, and that was simply a fleeting whimper that ended before I had reached the door. There is too much to see and do when I drop you off for you to become fussy. You are usually noticing the other babies or playing with whatever toys I give you when I put you down. We greet all the other babies in your class each morning. I want you to be well socialized. Then we play for a few minutes but I could stay for hours if I weren't so disciplined. As much as we may play or giggle in the mornings, there is always something else to grab your attention once we are there so you won't get upset when I leave. Your face actually lights up when we walk in the place. Then I call your mom, tell her who was there, give the fashion report, and finally head to work. Even after all these months the dropping off is still tough. Why do you think I am always late for work. All of the other dads probably have the same problem too.
I wish I expressed as much enthusiasm and joy about my diet as you did with that ambrosia that we started serving you this week known as Sweet Potatoes. You just simply loved them and made the most rapturious faces when you tasted them. There wasn't much food on your face either. Sweet potatoes were too good to "feed your face" with. They pretty much all went directly into your mouth. That mouth opened wide just like a baby bird's mouth does. Then in goes the spoonful of sweet potatoes and you look like you have just tasted a culinary masterpiece. I teased you with the spoon a couple of times, getting you to move your head all around, transfixed on the orange colored contents. Then when you had enough of that I gave them too you. Don't get me wrong, your mom and I enjoy sweet potatoes too, but it is pretty obvious we don't enjoy them quite as much as you do. Just wait until you taste them with brown sugar and cinnamon. Or sweet potatoe pie! Or candied yams! I don't usually put marshmallows on top of candied yams but I suppose I will just for you. Well, your mom actually likes them that way too.
Your mom was bursting with the news about her high school reunion. June 5, 2010. 25 years! I did a little digging and found out that mine is in October 2010. 25 years! 1985 seems so far away and high school is a but a faded, distant memory. We went to two of her class reunions but none of mine. Today I actually registered on an alumni site to keep up with mine because I think I finally want to go to one. The website was pretty interesting. It had our senior pictures online for all the world to see along with a bit of information about what everyone has been doing since then. The pictures of my classmates seemed like some kind of time capsule, everyone trapped just the way I remember them in a mid-1980's cool pose. Then I read some of my classmates current bios and screeched forward to the present time. Some of the people we graduated with have kids in college! Some are even grandparents! Here we are with you not even having cut your first tooth yet. We probably have the youngest child of our classmates. I think we can count on you to keep us young while the rest of the class of 1985, how shall I say it, ahem, matures and grows old gracefully. We will grow old kicking and screaming while hauling you off to music lessons, swim practice, birthday parties, church stuff, and anything else your little heart desires. Nothing graceful about that but the reward will be worth the cost and effort, no matter how undignified we appear in the process.
I hope that you don't become too much of an adrenaline junkie. If you do it is entirely our fault. It will probably lead to a lifetime mantra of Faster, Daddy! Faster! We like to keep you in motion. It seems to help you settle down. I guess all that walking your mom did when she was carrying you is where it really all began. You have always liked to be moving. A baby on the go. When it is time for a nap we put you in your swing in the living room. You just move your little head around to the side in your cozy spot, rub those eyes, get in tune to the back and forth motion of the swing, and go to sleep. When we put you in the swing I count down silently from five to zero. By the time I get to one the motion of the swing has usually carried you away off to dreamtime. Now could this be the start of jumping out of airplanes, snowboarding, surfing, race car driving, bungee-jumping, rollercoaster riding or any thrill seeking activity to get your adrenaline rushing? If it is, and you become some kind of thrill jockey later in life, we can always say that you started young.
We caught you trying to become an infant superhero this week. You had your bib going behind your back like a cape. I guess you were becoming SuperGirl! Well, you did move up to the next class in your school this week and that required some amazing baby superpowers, didn't it? And you are going to be sitting up on your own very soon too. And you also have great natural musical abilities. You are starting to try and sing and your mom let you play some notes on the piano already. And you are a pretty great giggler, although I am not sure if this constitutes a baby superpower or not. Let's not forget about strength...and the all times you socked me in the nose and pulled my hair. You must have been just practicing for fighting bad guys. Now we just have to wait and see you spring into action in the event of an emergency. We don't have phone booths anymore so you will have to do your costume changes on the bed or on a changing pad. All that's left to do is to find the perfect Infant Superhero Theme Song. Then the bib becomes a cape and you become SUPERGIRL!
You started eating rice cereal this week and love it! Your teacher said she thought you were getting ready for it. You have also been watching how your mom and I eat with much interest lately. Your doctor said we could go ahead and try to start feeding you a little rice cereal so that is what we did. You were ready. Afterall, baby can't live by bottle alone! It wasn't exactly snap, crackle, and pop, but you seemed to enjoy it all the same. We fed you that first bite with a purple coated spoon. First you tentatively stuck out your tongue to taste it, and then decided to just go for it. Bon Appetit, baby! We gave you a few bites and then some bottle to chase it down with. You ate with gusto. You had pretty good manners too, not making too much of a mess; but then again how much of a mess can you make with just 2tablespoons worth! Just keep those manners up. We don't want you talking with your mouth full or putting your elbows on the highchair or anything like that.
Who would have thought that Glow Worms would have made such a comeback? I never had one as a child but they were popular once upon a time. Our friends and family must have had lots of nosalgia for them because you got 4 of them for Christmas this year. The good thing is that they are all different. Two seahorses and two glow worm babies. The even better thing is that you seem to really like themand with 4 of them around, there is always one at hand whenever you need one. We have a seahorse glow worm in your bassinet in our room, a glow worm baby in your bed, a glow worm baby downstairs, and a seahorse glow worm in your room reserved for take-a-longs. You like the lullabies that they play, and your face just lights up when they start glowing. Your favorite is the one downstairs that has big blue eyes. I like the seahorse that is in your bassinet. I'm going to incorporate them in the Twelve Days Of Christmas next year. I'll sing "4 Glow Worms Glowing!" Glow worms are such soothing, happy relaxing things. I could just push the button on one and chill myself.
You have been doing so well at sleeping through the night that I hate to brag on you for fear of jinxing this. You haven't been sleeping as much at school either but I don't think that has anything to do with it. I think you are just growing up and settling down. This little pattern has also kept you in a really good mood too. So pleasant to be around. Most mornings you get really cozy as I take you to school and try to fall asleep. It has been really, really cold so my truck has warmed up to a nice and toasty temperature by the time we are ready to leave. I try to keep you from falling asleep until we get to school so getting out of the warmth won't be such a shock to a sleeping baby. Then after we get there you stay awake about an hour and then nap for an hour or so. Then cat naps through the day but nothing like your power naps you took when you were younger. After mom picks you up in the late afternoon and we all get home you go to sleep until the time your mom and I eat dinner. Then you wake up for a while and we play. Then you falling asleep again around 8:30p.m. or so. You are so sleepy that you don't usually wake up when I change your diaper before we go to bed. Then it's lights out until around 5:30 a.m. Then it's tomorrow. And we do this all over again. Mommy appreciates the sleep. Daddy does too.
I am pretty sure you are growing a tooth or two. At least you are happy about it so I won't complain. Slobbery drool is pretty much a constant thing with you now and anything article of clothing directly below your chin is usually wet with it. Bringing Shakespear down to your level, "To bib, or not to bib; that is the question!" If we have you covered with a blanket, it is certain to become a wet blanket. Blame it on teething and slobbering. Your cheeks have a rosy hue to them because they are getting a little chapped from us constantly wiping off this stream of saliva. The phrase "Finger Lickin' Good" has taken on an entirely new meaning. It doesn't just apply to KFC anymore, at least not when you are teething. If we aren't careful you even go for our fingers and knuckles, trying to get them into your mouth! Just wait until you discover dipping sauce or catsup! We even got you a special raspberry teething pacifier. It is really cute. The outside end is green and has leafy designs on it. The business end (the end that you put in your mouth) is red and really does look like an actual raspberry. It has bumpy texture that is supposed to help you with teething. That is what the packaging says anyway. It is a perfectly cute thing for naive, well-wishing, good-intending parents (like us) to buy. The only problem is that you aren't exactly crazy about it. I think you like to improvise and come up with your own teething tools. I have even caught you chewing on your lip and tongue sometimes when nothing else is available and all clothing, bibs, blankets, and fingers are out of reach. This morning as we were playing I caught you sticking your tongue out at me. This wasn't merely an accident or a just a fluke because you did it several times. In adults and older children they call sticking out your tongue at someone 'giving them a razzberry.' You were probably just teething, but if I didn't know better I'd say you were giving me a razzberry!
We celebrated the New Year low-key this year. Usually I am up until midnight to see the old year out and usher the new one in. This year it didn't happen. No fireworks, confetti, or Times Square ball-drops for me. No Dick Clark or champagne toasts or party horns either. I was actually sleeping at midnight when it all transpired. People asked me if you were going to be up to help see the new year come in. I told them I hoped not. You were sleeping, thank goodness. The big debate is what to call this new year. 2010 can be called Twenty-Ten or Two Thousand and Ten. I'm with the first group. Afterall, it wasn't the One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twelve Overture. It was the Eighteen-Twelve Overture. We didn't party like it was One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine, we partied like it was Nineteen Ninety-Nine. They called this past decade the decade from hell. It started out with Y2K and ended with financial meltdowns. We encountered terrorism in the U.S., natural disasters, bailout programs, number one albums from the Beatles, the latest Elvis 'comeback', and wars inbetween. Still there were plenty of good times to be found if you simply looked for them. You were born in this decade afterall, so it wasn't all bad.