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Archive for March, 2013

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In a recent post I mentioned that Baboo had enjoyed playing with a baby doll at a neighbor’s house. A few days ago, I made good on my promise to let him pick out a doll for himself.

Here I will pause to link to a song I hope is no longer revolutionary: William Wants a Doll, from Marlo Thomas’ excellent TV special and children’s album, Free to be You and Me.

As it happens, there weren’t a ton of choices at Target. No boy dolls, for starters, and only a few options that looked like actual babies instead of Disney characters or anime princesses in physical form. There were, however, tons of “companion dolls,” whatever the hell that means, and accessories, because God forbid your dolly go out without her cell phone and matching purse.

Anyway. He seemed to gravitate toward a standard sort of doll, reaching out for her and smiling at her and so on. I stuck her in the front of the cart with him, and he continued to touch her face and babble at her as we finished shopping.

Once we got home, I took her out of her box and handed her to Baboo. He smiled at her, and then gave her to me. Over and over. And gave me her bottle, because true to her newborn form, she is always hungry.

A friend who is wise to the ways of babies and a doula said he’s doing this because he knows I’ll take care of her. Aw. How sweet. But how am I supposed to get anything done? I can get him to wave the bottle near her face occasionally, but he really, really wants me to hold her. Usually when I’m trying to get a round of bottles washed or do some food prep.

I’m hoping he’ll relax about her care needs now that she’s made at least one friend among the toys:

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I could talk about inner and outer journeys and kick-ass writing and laughing and crying, but here’s all you really need to know about this book:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed is so good that I finished it instead of napping on a day when the baby was teething and I had cramps.

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If you want to read a real review, this one is darn good.

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Recently a friend who was helping care for her toddler niece and colicky baby nephew asked me via text how moms have time to brush their hair or get a cup of coffee. I laughed and wrote back that those things happen when nice Aunties come to visit, but it did get me thinking about how my personal time management has changed since the baby.

Probably the most significant difference is how I use baby-free time. Specifically, there have been occasions when the following things were more important to me than showering:

– sleep

– food

– coffee

– writing

– a chat with an old friend

– cleaning (I’m a Virgo, remember?)

– a quick escape, i.e., a visit to my favorite websites

– quality time with my husband

– quality time with a heating pad

And yes, I do occasionally put the kiddo in the pack-n-play for five minutes while I shower. I know he’s safe in there, and I leave the door open so I can hear him and talk to him. But that also means I rush through the process, which takes a lot of the pleasure out of it. And yeah, I know, that sounds weird, but when you haven’t showered for a few days and you know the kid is going to be asleep for at least 45 minutes, there is a whole lot of joy to be found under a stream of hot water.

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As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the baby has gotten very interested in putting things away and taking things out of bins. He’s also gotten very picky about what he will eat. So when he expressed interest in the grapes I was washing this morning, I sliced a few up for him and put them on his tray.

He picked up a piece and held it out to the side, as if to throw it on the floor. I asked him if he wanted to put it back on the cutting board, and held it out to him.

He put pieces of grape on the cutting board and took them off the cutting board for the next five minutes. He was very deliberate about which pieces he wanted to pick up and put somewhere else, as well as exactly where he wanted to put them. I was unable to discern any outward logic, but to him it was very serious business.

He did not eat any of the fruit, but it sure was fun to watch him wrangle those grape bits with the gravitas of Bobby Fischer.

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You are 13 months old.

You think the best feature of a sippy cup is the noise it makes when it hits the floor. But watching what the liquid inside does when you shake it is cool, too.

You did not recognize fruit leather as food when a friend’s mama offered it to you.

You loved that friend’s baby dolls, though, going to them and hugging them over and over. So very soon, you will get to pick out a doll of your own.

You will shred paper towels, newspaper, or circulars for a good long time, shaking the little bits off your hands and then tearing another piece in two.

You still have only six teeth, but every day, two more get closer and closer to the surface.

You are still not walking, but you’re doing more independent standing.

You think all the kitchen cabinets belong to you. Which they more or less do. Your favorite kitchen toys are the metal strainers.

You recently figured out how to take socks off your hands very quickly. So now we clean your hands after every diaper change.

You know where your nose is. You’re a little hazy on the location of your other features.

You have figured out that if you stand on tiptoe, you can reach the countertops. And the tabletop.

You watch the garbage truck in still, silent rapture.

You will put things into your toy box and take them out and put them in and take them out for a good 10 minutes. You are very serious about this.

You hand everything to us: food; toys; tiny pieces of stuff from the floor.

You are 13 months old, active and happy and funny and healthy, and delighted by the world.

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I’m so sure! Like, she’s totally rad in that blazer!

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And she went to college, so she totally knows not to flush that dirty diaper down the toilet:

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I have a feeling I’m going to piss a few people off with this one, but that’s okay. It’s all true, and I have extensive experience with both puppies and babies, so I’m qualified to hold forth on this topic.

So: 12 ways in which puppies/dogs are like babies — and vice versa.

1. Consistency is key when disciplining them.
2. They look at you adoringly, often when you’re just about to lose your grip.
3. It would be beyond awesome if you knew what they were thinking.
4. Drool.
5. Shredding paper products is a favorite pastime.
6. They make you very mindful of what you leave on your counters.
7. Parts of them are so soft that “soft” is an inadequate descriptor.
8. They trip over their own feet.
9. They bring unparalleled joy and wonder.
10. They occasionally make it necessary to end the day with chocolate and wine.
11. Sometimes they smell more wonderful than wonderful. Other times, not so much.
12. Teething toys. Chew toys. Gnawed-up books. I rest my case.

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