Monday, October 30, 2006

My son is back again

As I type this, Nate is gleefully running up and down our narrow upstairs hallway bringing me Legos (they're not really Legos, but I don't know what the heck they are. They look like atoms that nest together). One by one by one - running up, running back. Lots of "bah! bah! bah!" and "pah!" as he goes. And now he's started throwing them, one by one, over the top of the banister and watching them fall down the stairs. He is such an incredible joy to have in my life. My heart is breaking open.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Where I've been

3 molars through at one time and 1 suspected on the way. There has been much clinging and whining and Motrin and crying. And Nate's been acting up, too (yuck, yuck, yuck).

I'm also declaring an official first word: Milk. He says "muh muh" while he signs milk. It's predictable and unprompted and that makes it an official communication.

Now I'm off to the store to buy more Infant Motrin. Thank goodness for the stuff!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Communication central!

There is tons of communication going on around here. It's amazing!

He signs "milk" which is amazing since I only remember to do it about 1/2 the time, and then didn't do it at all for a week before he started signing it (smarty pants)! He points at things he wants and does a little "I want it now get it now" sound. Stewart was feeding him pieces of chicken and evidentally took too much time between pieces so Nate made this little "come on!" gesture.

I'm working hard on his speech to try to avoid the frustration that goes along when kids can't tell you what they want. He doesn't seem inclined to repeat my words, though he does do it sometimes - car ("cahhhh"), Mama ("maaaaaa"), and other Boston-accented words. He's usually just content to babble, though, so mostly it's just me talking to myself.

As usual.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Product un-placement Tuesday

Along with products I love and use, I'm also going to feature products that are hysterically useless (in my opinion. It's my blog, so I can say whatever I want. If you created it / love it / whatever, I hope your feelings aren't hurt. If they are, you have far too much time to worry about these things).

Here's one for today:

The Babykeeper (tm). Hang your baby by straps in dirty, yucky bathrooms. Because they might touch something. And die. And don't even get me started on dirty, yucky shopping carts! They could kill you just by looking at you.

People, there are enough real problems to worry about in this world. Eating disorders, self-esteem issues, date rape, short-shorts, whether or not Jeffrey really did outsource his construction...

(answer, probably yes. Do I care? No. Am I rooting for Laura to lose as a result? Yep.)

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Monthly Newsletter, Month Thirteen

Dear Nate,

One year old is kicking my butt. You never stop with the joyous happy embracing of life. Your mind is spinning, and it looks like one of my biggest fears is coming true: you're awfully smart. We have a neighbor who, weeks ago, played a game with you where she blew on a leaf and sent it flying and sent you cackling. Yesterday she picked up a leaf and you pursued your lips and blew. Damnit, I was really hoping we wouldn't have to worry about honoring your intelligence and challenging you and all that craziness. Blech.

We spent a week at the beach this month - a few days alone, one with Grandma, and three with Daddy. You love the pool, tolerate the sand, and are really scared of the ocean. I would drive you the three hours each way just for the pleasure of watching you when you are put down on the sand - if you could lift both legs back up, you would. Since you can't, one leg suffices - you look like a little "karate kid." It only takes a few minutes to warm up to it, though, and then you're off and running as usual. It's hard not to push you when it comes to the ocean, but if you're scared we're letting you be. It's not like it happens every day!

Daddy and I are now born-again converts to the McDonald's Playland. We stopped both ways on the trips to the beach, and you were right in the middle of things, as usual. Met your first girlfriend! You are also big enough to ride in the police-car front of the shopping cart. So much of the world is open to you now and I could cry with happiness watching you experience it all. Sometimes I actually do.

Today we built a tower of blocks. You really got it - you put one on top of the other and really pushed it down. You looked darn pleased with himself when it stayed, too!

You love wearing necklaces, and will try to put almost any chain/cord around your neck. You then strut proudly around, chest all puffed out. I hate to break it to you that it's hard to be manly proud while wearing necklaces, but maybe your generation will be different!

You are joyfully, gleefully testing me all the time. When I say "no!" (don't touch the socket / hot stove / poision / tiger) you get quite the gleam in your eyes. You walk immediately back to the tiger, look directly at me, and you touch it again. When I get up to remove you (calmly and in a not-angry-and-also-not-giving-you-attention-to-reward-you way) from the tiger's jaws, you get so excited and happy. Then you go right back to it. You're not audibly giggling the whole time, but he might as well be. I have to work very hard, sometimes turning my face to the ceiling, to make sure that you don't see me smiling.

While you still hate, hate holding hands (if you can't manage to rip your hand out of mine, you go absolutely limp and drop yourself to the ground), you have also gottten quite snuggly. Lots of arms around the neck and laying of heads on shoulders. We're like a romance novel: sometimes you see me across the room and run into my arms. Sometimes you veer off at the last minute to play with a toy that catches your eye.

Yesterday we were out running errands and you started to melt down. I decided that, instead of rushing home, I'd take you out for a bite to eat. We had a late lunch out, just the two of us. We sang along to the oldies, blew through straws at each other (you can blow properly now, instead of just spitting), and had a thoroughly good time.

You are your Daddy's son in one thoroughly entertaining way: you charm the pants off of everyone you meet. Big smiles at the women in the grocery store, tilting your head to flirt. Walking up to strangers on the sidewalk, grinning and yelling "Da da!" You have charisma to spare. Everyone who knows your Daddy will see him in you.

You're still a fabulous eater. Tofu is hit or miss, but almost everything else is still good. It's fun to watch you reject stuff, though - the second it enters your mouth you immediately thrust out your tongue and let the food fall out. No hesitation. No class, either. Someone needs to give you some home training!

We had the first of our crazy hectic moments this month. I was rushing to get out of the house on-time to get you to Grandma's house so I could see a new client (plus it was 9:29 and the car has to be moved by 9:30 to avoid a street-cleaning ticket). I had you all dressed, diaper-bag packed, shoes on, and I noticed a splash of yellow on your hand. I stopped to study you, and saw you chewing on something. What was it? The vial of yellow food coloring. The entire vial of it in your mouth, squirting all over your previously clean face. It's you at your best - blissfully doing what you want to be doing and damn the parking inspectors.

My favorite story for the month may be my favorite story for your whole life. I came in to get you in the morning when you were expecting a bottle, but I came bearing the dreaded sippy cup. You were in no mood for this betrayal. I was holding you on my left hip, and offering the cup with my right hand. You did your sweeping "push it away" move so I moved the cup back over to my right side. You looked at it for a moment and then leaned all the way across my chest to further shove it away from you. You pushed it over and over, further and further. It was truly fabulous.

I really, really enjoyed your babyhood, but now I'm really looking forward to the interaction when we can talk to each other and enjoy things together. I am getting such a kick out of your personality, even when it drives me a little batty - your willfulness, defiance, curiosity, persistence, and your charm. You are you, without hesitation or apology.

I love you.


Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Time for a brief intermission

I rarely talk politics, with good reason: I understand only a little and have no gift for "seeing the whole picture." I know my gifts and this isn't one of them.

But I will say this, without a shred of doubt: it is time to do something about guns. I don't care about hunting rifles or old shotguns, so you can save your stories about your great-grandfather's civil war relic. Let's either ban them outright, or let everyone have them. Last night I wanted to go for a walk, but since it was after dark it's just not smart in my neighborhood. Even if we'd left the baby alone and gone together, having the two of us together wouldn't guarantee safety. You know what would? A gun. It doesn't seem right that suicidal pedophiles can have them, and the right/ability to plan the rape and murder of 10 children that goes along with them, but I can't have one.

So either they all go, or I want one. I'm a damn fine shot, and would have given my left arm (truly) to have the chance at a shot at this guy. I'm tired of the rights of the criminals taking precedence over the rights of good people, especially children. You can throw any constitutional argument at me that you want. You will never convince me that it's more important for a child-molester to have his rights than it is for my neighbor's child to be safe on her own street. Never. One person's rights clearly have to trump another's, and it's time to put the good-guys ahead of the bad-guys.

I saw an old ER the other day where they decide a kid's been abused and take him away from his Dad. Dad then goes on a shooting spree, targeting doctors at home and shooting any member of the public who gets in his way. Finally a civilian in a park sees this guy shooting people, pulls out his concealed weapon and shoots the shooter 5 times. This guy ends up in the hospital with a minor scrape, getting patched up. Carter (Noah Wiley) figures out who he is and disdainfully berates him. Is this what we should all be doing? Just shooting people?

I probably saw this episode first 8 years ago. I probably agreed with Carter then. This time I watched it with my jaw hanging open. This guy just STOPPED A MURDERER. He stopped further innocent people from being killed. He was a hero, and nobody treated him like he was. I just don't get it. When did we become so desperate to avoid the truth: There are some bad people in the world. Pretending it isn't so won't save our kids; it just exposes them to more danger. There are bad people in the world, and if it's them or us, I choose us without a shadow of a doubt.