Thursday, December 31, 2009

a winter wonder

Dear Lincoln,

   We spent a good many minutes standing at the window this morning, marveling at these:

   Despite the stormy weather yesterday, we did eventually brave the roads in the afternoon.  You grow restless, as do I, without leaving the house at least every other day.  Even homebodies with warm, cozy homes crave adventure!  (Which, to be honest, usually consists of grocery shopping, but hey-- it's all about perspective.)                                                                                                                                                 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snowed In

Luckily, we've nowhere to be.  Bring on the hot chocolate!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the day you swam in plastic pants

   So, lately I've noticed my little fish is becoming... less fishy.  Ever since you learned to sit up, you've done so in the bath.  I must have neglected to dip your head back in the water after that, because I was surprised the other day when trying to lie you down on a whim, that your eyes popped open wide in fear, then squeezed shut as water tickled your cheeks.  You used to lie down in the bath all the time!  I don't want you to be afraid of the water, so I thought a trip to the pool was in order.

   Yesterday was the day.  Your father was off of work, we had nothing to do after your morning nap, and it just felt right.  I looked up a local indoor aquatic center's website and the schedule looked clear.  It only mentioned the classes that were happening in the big, 25 m pool, so I figured the separate, childrens pool must be available all the time.  We briefly discussed calling ahead, but for some reason, we decided not to call ahead.  Always call ahead.  Carting three overflowing bags and one squirming toddler, your father and I stood at the pool's front desk only to discover that we were an hour too early.

   In lieu of throwing a tantrum, begging the lifeguards to make a slight exception, or tossing out the whole plan and driving back home, your father and I decided to kill time.  Yes, despite the fact that we all had bed hair and I was sporting flipflops beneath my pajama pants and winter coat, it was worth it to look ghetto for an hour to give you a much needed aquatic experience.  I swallowed my pride and vanity as we walked around Toys R Us, letting you explore the aisles, test out the loudest toys and pull their books off the shelves.  I imagined employees rolling their eyes at the disheveled parents allowing their equally rag-a-muffin offspring to run a muck.  Then I told myself to get over it and focus on the big picture. 

   Finally 2 pm arrived.  We arrived at the center's front desk.  Again.  I pulled out my wallet.  Again.  At this point I need to state that this specific pool requires babies to wear not only a swimming diaper, but also a plastic-bloomer-looking thing over the diaper, underneath the swimming suit.  As I sifted through your diaper bag, it hit me that I'd remembered everything but your actual suit.

   Really?  I mean, really?  That morning, I had cheerfully paced the house, picking out every little thing we might possibly need, even checking off a mental list out loud.  Deoderant for me, check.  Clean, dry set of clothes for all three of us, check.  Extra diapers and towels, check.  Even an underwater camera, for heaven's sake!  How in the world did I forget your swimming trunks? 

   Humiliated and frustrated, I looked at your father.  He shrugged his shoulders.  And that, Lincoln, is how two humbled yet undefeated parents carried their plastic-diaper-clad baby into a public swimming pool.

   But by golly, by the end, at least you weren't crying when the water touched your face.  Mission accomplished.


Hooked on Oxytocin

Never so still as now
with our tummies crisscrossed.
Sleepy head nestled in the crook of my arm.
I touch warm, whispy  hair
while chubby feet dangle over the chair's edge. 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Baby's Favorite Books

Dear Lincoln,

   You love being read to, but for some reason, there's a rough transition with new books.  You have your favorites and you stick to them.  I haven't discovered the magic number for the amount of introductions a new addition to your bookshelf requires before it's acceptable, but I know for certain that the first, second and third tries involve a lot of nervous whining and reaching for an old standby.  For that reason, I try to introduce new books as much as possible, to familiarize you with novelty.  Ah, oxymoron. 

   But, just to show that I am paying attention to your preferences, here are some of the books to which you are currently attached:
   No matter how many books you've piled up on the floor, you never fail to fish out this 'ol fellow.  To be honest, I'm not a fan of books whose stories are more in the pictures than the words.  I'm a word person.  However, this one is undeniably sweet, and I enjoy reading it to you.

   But of course.  What child doesn't love Freight Train?  I like to add in my own sound effects.  Babies are wild for sound effects, didn't you know.

   Okay, this one might be my favorite, but I think by now you've accepted it as one of yours, too.  You can't help but love it. 

   I will forever be puzzled as to how you figured this book out.  The very first time I read it to you, you reached out and lifted those flaps like a pro.

I love the catchy rhythm of this tale. It's one of those rare finds that never gets old.

   This was your very first favorite.  And I'm glad, because as silly as it may be, this book was therapeutic for me in the first few weeks/months of motherhood.  I highly recommend this book for any new mother who is at all urban.  For any mother with the tiniest tad of vanity, with any turn towards the materialistic.  For any mother that may bemoan her greasy, unwashed hair, sagging, post-labor belly and general not-her-usual-self-ness.  The spunky, chic pictures and cultural outings about the city with baby in tow are just the pick-me-ups a new, young mother needs.  (Thanks Tiffini!)

There are others.  Oh yes, there are many others.  But these are the books I can think of off hand.  One last thing I wanted to mention about the baby book scene.  I make a point to read the author's and illustrator's names after the title.  It's important for me that you realize these are works of art created by people, and that someday you have the ability to put forth your own creation, just as they did. 

The End.

December 2009

Dear Lincoln,

   December 2009 has been somewhat historical for our family.  My parents celebrated their 25th anniversary.  You turned a year old.  Less than a week later, it was Baby Jesus' turn.  Merry Christmas!  And to top it all off, I finished the last semester of my 5-year college career.  What a month.

   What does one look like?  Well, my dear, you are walking around the house, chatting in your own, endearingly high-pitched language.  You consistently reach for, grab, open and press buttons on the items we have specifically told you not to.  I have set aside one cupboard in the kitchen that is all yours, and you love to open it and pull out the large baking bowls.  You tote them around the house, kick them down the hall, try stashing them in drawers and underneath the kitchen table.  It's the most adorable thing I've ever seen.  That, and how you snatch the kitchen hand towels off the oven handle the moment you spy them.  I am constantly turning around from the sink, reaching out with my dripping wet hands, only to find you were faster than me, yet again. 

   Your father and I both say this almost every day, but the older you get the more fun you are.  Of course we loved you from the beginning, but as you grow into a person, displaying your own quirks and developing a personality, we're able to interact with you more-- and for some reason, that's what I've hungered for from day one.  At some point during my own infancy, my mother asked her mother, somewhat despairingly, when I'd be able to speak to her.  And I totally know what she was feeling.  I am incredibly excited to find new words that you understand.  So far, you know "ball" "book" "Tub-O-Lard (your favorite teddy bear)" "bath" and of course, "dada" and "mama."  I'm sure there are more, too.  As your father continually reminds me, you're smarter than we think.  ;-) 

   As an avid reader myself, I am delighted by your fascination for books.  We read to you every night and before every nap, but that simply isn't enough.  In the weeks leading up to your first birthday, you began to pull books from your bookshelf and actually bring one to me, holding it out and whining rather forcefully.  Then one day, book in hand, you actually backed up to your father in the living room and sat in his lap!  This has been your first realization that you can make requests.  Of course, you've been making demands instinctively all along, with all the wailing and squawking of a tired, hungry, soiled, baby.  BUT, now the wheels are turning in that sweet little head of yours, and you're discovering the power you have to ask for and receive.  I love that your first request was to read. 

   So. There you have it.  You're one and full of fun.  I wonder what the next year will bring?