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Archive for November, 2012

Ever since he started crawling a few weeks ago, the baby has been far more interested in real-world stuff than any bright plastic gadget. Thus I present for posterity a few of his favorite things, most of which have been freshly and hastily cleaned.

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I’m told the baby will soon develop his own opinions, so I’m taking every opportunity to dress him for maximum maternal amusement. And anyway, I’m pretty sure the Japanese say all stripes go together.

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Mmm, the white stuff.

Back when the baby was starting to eat solids, I was thrilled to discover that he loved yogurt. It seemed he would eat his weight in YoBaby if I let him. Awesome, I thought — probiotics, whole milk, and it’s organic — what’s not to love about this?

And then I read the side of the container and was far less thrilled. There are 11 grams of sugar in four ounces of the stuff. No wonder. I may as well have been putting two sugar cubes in front of him, or filling his sippy cup with Kool-Aid.

Just to see what would happen, I mixed some mashed banana with whole-milk Fage. He took a taste. He stared into the middle distance, seemingly considering whether he liked what he just opened his mouth for. And then he opened his mouth baby bird style, asking for more, over and over.

I admit I may be splitting hairs here — he’s been on formula pretty much since day one, and the first ingredient in that is corn syrup solids. I’ve never felt great about that, but I’ve made my peace with it. And there are plenty of websites and people who would have you believe that the body can’t tell the difference between honey, sugar, corn syrup and agave nectar. But I’m not in that camp.

But I still feel smug: No refined sugar, much cheaper, I know exactly what’s in it, it’s still good for him, it’s calorically dense, and he’s learning to love food that’s not crammed full of sugar. Victory on all fronts!

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A fever dream of a book, and a soothing classic.

It’s a classic, without a doubt, and I love it. But Goodnight Moon has some seriously weird stuff in it.

– There’s a tiger-skin rug in the bunny’s bedroom. What, did they inherit it from Great Uncle George Bunny, the famous adventurer?

– What are they thinking, raising cats? It’s only a matter of time before those adorable fluffballs become vicious bunny-eaters. Although they appear to be pygmy cats — compared to the old lady bunny, they’re bitty little things. Maybe that’s why they’re not worried? Regardless, they’re totally slacking, letting that mouse roam free. At one point it’s eating the baby bunny’s mush, and those cats are busy staring down the old lady bunny. They’re all like, “Thanks for warming up our seat, lady! Now skedaddle so we can hop up there and plot our takeover!”

– How can the old lady bunny knit without thumbs?

– Why would rabbits need mittens? Or socks? Or a comb? A brush, sure — I can get behind that, but a comb? Come on.

– The socks disappear every time there’s a close-up of the mittens. Who’s taking them away and putting them back?

– Goodnight nobody? Isn’t that a little high-concept for toddlers?

– The book on the baby bunny’s nightstand is Goodnight Moon. How can he be in the book, and have the book? Is it like that scene in Chinatown, maybe? He’s in the book. He has the book. He’s a character. He’s a consumer. He’s a character AND a consumer!

– That’s a mighty big bed for just one little bunny.

– Why is the old lady bunny whispering “hush” even though the baby bunny is completely silent? Seems unnecessary — unless he’s the one saying goodnight to everything. But even so, she commences hushing before the goodnights start.

– Everything after “And goodnight to the old lady whispering hush.” is overkill.

In short, with all due respect, I suspect Margaret Wise Brown was smoking opium when she wrote this, and then gave some to Clement Hurd (the illustrator). But I really do love it. Ooh, maybe that’s why I love it!

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Suckers!

Big dog, Amsterdam, March 2011.

Something happened to my relationship with our dog Jim when I got pregnant. It was as if all my emotional energy was immediately channeled to the embryo. Oh sure, I’d feed him and walk him (we don’t have a yard), but I just didn’t have the mental space or enthusiasm for him that I used to.

A few months after the baby was born, Jim’s laryngeal paralysis got much worse and we had to put him down. Basically, he was slowly suffocating to death in front of my eyes. So I was far more upset about watching him suffer, and feeling responsible for that suffering, than I was about letting him go.

And now that the baby is crawling and the weather is cold and will soon be utterly awful, whenever I see my neighbors walking their dogs all I can think is, “better you than me, sucker!” Dogs are great and all, and I suppose we’ll have another one at some point, when we live in a house with a yard and the baby is old enough to at least attempt to help with dog care. But right now, I’m really grateful that our house is animal-free.

Weekly floor care is plenty, thanks.

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That bitty little white thing used to fit my baby. The red one fits him now.

20121123-184355.jpgI kinda wish the big one had hand-hiders, though, because his favorite new game is Grab-Neck.

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We ordered a two-pack of pacifier tethers back when the baby was itty-bitty. He kicked the binky habit at around six months, but we still use them to secure small toys to his bib or shirt. I may buy them for every expectant mother I know from now on, because they’re the kind of thing you need but serially forget to pick up. (Or at least, that was true for me.)

We have the Booginhead brand; you can pick some up here.

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