Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Yesterday, Genius. Today, Idiot.

My baby has this magical ability to learn things amazingly fast. She's an absolute genius! She learned how to say "Mom" at something like 3 months old!

Then she relearned it at 6 months. At 7 months she was a pro.

As we approach 8 months old she hasn't said it for over a week.

Or how about the fact that my little baby was doing a super job eating peas and having no problem eating like a big person. The next week she had no idea what that "spoon" thing was or why we were trying to shove it into her mouth. Why would we do something like that? No good could possibly come of this.

The other day she started scooting around on the floor, crawling in a semi-circle! That was one day, for about an hour. Now? She has no knowledge of ever doing this and if something is a centimeter out of her reach while on her tummy it may as well be the moon.

My genius baby, the idiot.

Just depends on the day.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Writing While The Horror Is Still Fresh

I woke at 4 AM and made my way to the bathroom to do things one does in the bathroom at 4 AM. On my way I stopped to check on my little girl and noted that, for the first time, she had flipped herself onto her stomach while sleeping. This made me a little bit nervous but I figured that she'd be fine; once they start flipping themselves over at night there's really not much you can do about it and besides, she's demonstrated time and time again that she's capable of flipping herself back onto her back if she wants to.

I did my thing in the bathroom and went to bed, still nervous but trying to be okay with things.

Apparently I was more nervous than okay. I woke at 4:15, 4:25, 4:40, and finally at about 5:12. This last time I woke with an impending sense of doom and had to go check on my daughter. I got up quietly and crept out of the room, feeling slightly foolish.

She was face-down in the crib, her little face smashed flat into the mattress.

The only reason I didn't panic immediately was I heard her struggle to draw in a deep breath. However, she remained face down, not self-correcting so that she could breath normally.

I flipped her onto her back* and put my hand gently on her chest, which usually soothes her to sleep. Her little heart was beating faster than a hummingbird's and she sucked in a lungful of air several times.

I'm awake now, as is Mommy, and as is baby. We're all sitting on the couch, tired and wanting to go back to bed. Well, "all" being me and Mommy, with the little girl happy to be awake, making noise, trying to pull Mommy's nose or lips off.

We'll be strapping her into her carseat to sleep for the next five or eighteen months. This is an acceptable solution, right?

*Gently. Not like, ninja-kick-flip style like I wanted to.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Baby Toys Are Weird

What the heck is a Winkle?

Apparently, this is a Winkle:
I think it's made by aliens.

I have no idea what it's supposed to be other than an amalgamation of leftover brightly-colored rubber/plastic that has been molded into shapes that my little girl has labeled as "bite-able."

And what should I call this toy?
They look bigger than my face in this picture. Let's pretend they are.
Keys? Things that hurt as they bounce off of daddy's face*?

I've settled on "Jangles." It's a name I made up for them, and seems to fit but if there's a "real" name for them I'd love to know. She loves them because they jangle when she smashes them against daddy's hard head.

And this one:
I call it "Pointy."

How is that even safe for kids?!

Oh, wait. Well, I'll stop letting her play with the corkscrew/bottle opener but the other two questions still stand!

*She has quite an arm on her and throws things quite well, let me tell you.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I am no longer allowed to pick out my daughter's clothing.

I don't understand.

A Letter To Daddy

Happy baby is happy!
Dear Daddy,

Thank you for bringing me to the San Antonio zoo! I really loved looking at the beautiful sky that I could see from my stroller, and that birdie that almost pooped on me. Why did it try to poop on me, daddy?

I did love the butterfly house, daddy. Why didn't you let me play with the butterflies, daddy? Why did mommy scream at the butterflies? Was she trying to scare them?

But daddy, I need you to know that I'm very upset with you. Very.

Hello, happy baby! You look delishu...I mean...happy!
This is my friend. His name is Hugo. Hugo wanted me to come in his cage and say hello but you wouldn't let me!

You held me up so that I could see him, then sang some silly song, put me back, and ignored my crying where I tried to tell you that I wanted to go say hello to my friend Hugo!

And that wasn't even the only time you wouldn't let me say hello to a new friend, daddy! You were SO RUDE to me! The only animals you let me see and you didn't even let me pet them!

I'm not waking up unless someone throws a baby at me.
It's a kitty, daddy! A KITTY! I wanted to say hello and PET IT! But you wouldn't let me, daddy! Meanie!

Hmph. The kitty looked soft and fluffy and I would have even been gentle like you're trying to teach me with our kitties! I would have only pulled its fur once or twice!

But it's okay, daddy. I might be upset with you but I still love you.

I do want to point out that the one thing you let me get really close to I did not ask to be close to. It wanted to eat me, daddy!

I'm quacking up over here.
It wanted to eat me, daddy!

Just look at those beady little eyes and that bill made for nibbling on baby fingers and toes!

I didn't want to be anywhere near that thing as it peered its baby-eating head over my carrier in at me but there you were, taking pictures, smiling, and laughing while my life was in danger!

But it's okay, daddy. I still love you.

I just love mommy more.

This capybara has nothing to do with this story.
I just like capybaras.

Monday, March 11, 2013

You're All A Bunch of Animals!

Laura, the baby, and I were in San Antonio recently. The flights home went as amazingly well as the flights down, which was an unexpected blessing. I truly thought it would be a couple-hour-long scream fest of epic proportions and I was wrong.

Yay, wrong!

One of the family trips we took while we were there was to the San Antonio Zoo, where we enjoyed a full day of wandering from area to area, looking at animals and taking pictures. Lois was absolutely thrilled:

This trip actually made me realize that before I had a child I looked at people at places like the zoo with very young children as being foolish. Why would you bring such a young child to a zoo? It's not like they're going to remember!

It was foolish of me. I forgot something that non-parents don't seem to remember: Parents need to have fun too and sometimes that means the baby goes out to things that are too old for them.

Parents are people too. Before I was a parent I didn't realize that. 

I see you.
My favorite stop was at the butterfly house in the zoo. It was a couple bucks extra for the three of us to enter but it was well worth it. I would have easily paid double the $1.50 ticket price just to see the reaction from Laura.

Did I not mention that Laura is afraid of bugs, and the term "bugs" includes beautiful butterflies?

Now, I wasn't going to include this here but she say's I'm allowed to tell you all that she "squeaked*" when a butterfly would act as though it might land on her.**

"Daddy, can I keep it?"
The only thing in the zoo that actually got the baby's attention were the butterflies. She smiled and cooed at them as they zoomed around, reached for them when I held her nearby (but was careful not to allow her to grab them) and laughed when they almost landed on her face.

It was so sweet and wonderful to watch. I wanted to stay in there longer and watch her while taking photos but it was over 90F in the greenhouse and momma and I aren't big fans of the heat.

(If you click on this photo to enlarge it you can see a butterfly in the background flying by - I didn't see it at the time but I think it's pretty cool.)

SO excited.
Lois was very excited by the rest of the zoo, as you can see in the picture here.

Honestly, it was a wonderful day for mommy and me. We really enjoyed the quiet time while she napped and we walked. The animals were amazing, she was in a good mood when she was awake, and the weather was gorgeous.

So, I understand and I apologize. To all of those parents I saw with their "too young" children at the zoos, at the parks, and anywhere else? I'm sorry - I forgot to think of you as human beings and only though of you as "parents."

A lucky moment.
It's a mistake I'm sure I'll see other people make. Some might even say something; I've been told there are people out there rude enough to do so. I'll smile, nod, and remember that our girl was with us as we enjoyed the day together.

*Read this as "squealed at the top of her lungs while jumping at least 8 feet in a random direction.***
**Read this as "was within 5 feet of her or appeared to be looking at her from across the room."

***EDIT: Laura has protested me saying that she "jumped at least 8 feet in a random direction" and I agree with her. She TRIED to jump that far, but probably only got about 5 feet or so. If it were up to her she would have jumped through the wall of the greenhouse to get away.^

^I am actually very proud of her. She went in, knowing that she was scared of these creatures but faced her fear and went in anyway. I pick on her but I don't think I could have done it if I had her level of fear.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Flight of the Baby

If you've traveled a few times by plane then you've been there. You've seen them get on. You've thought to yourself "Oh, dear Lord, my eardrums are about to be blasted."

People with babies on planes.

I think there is a special level in hell for the worst of people where they are strapped into seats that are too small, with no legroom, and the sound of a screaming baby piped directly next to them. They can't fall asleep, they can't get comfortable, and that baby just won't ever stop screaming. This guy will probably go to that level.

So you can imagine my terror as we boarded the flight from NC to GA, baby in tow. I thought, for sure, we were in for a long, horrible flight. I figured the GA to TX flight would be even worse. We were going to be "those people" bringing their seven month old daughter onto the airplane, making everyone's experience the worst flight they've ever had.

Imagine my surprise when she slept. Soundly. Both flights.

Like mommy, like baby.
 Oh sure, she woke up once or twice, and takeoff was a little jarring, but not a peep came forth from her lips. Not a single cry. She sucked on a bottle or slept, taking after her mommy.

Now, something that you might not know is that daddy (that would be me) is a nervous jet passenger. I don't like being in planes, and I would rather take a bus, train, car, or walk.

She really liked chewing on the cup.
However, that's sometimes implausible. So, daddy's job on this flight was to remain calm and not squish the baby he was holding when the plane hit turbulence.

Now, if you've never flown you don't know the real horror of turbulence. The plane slips, it slides, you can feel it fall hundreds of feet in a second as it hits a patch of lower pressure air. Simply put, it's terrifying.

And if you have flown you know that what I wrote isn't true at all and it's just like going over a patch of rough road, hitting a couple of potholes in the sky. However, it feels like what I put above, and I'd like to point out that no pothole in the world is 30,000 feet deep. Thank you.

So here I am, holding sleeping baby, trying not to crush her while mommy and baby sleep soundly. I'm tired (we were up at 4:00 AM) and all I really want to do is go to sleep or at least relax.

Me, being absolutely fine.
I was absolutely fine.

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Goal On Days Like Today

Frankly, I woke up in a bad mood today. I want to snap at people and just be crabby. I want to crawl back in bed and not get up until tomorrow. In the vernacular, I don't wanna do nothin'.

My goal on days like today, and any other day really, is to never let this little girl know that I'm frustrated, never let it crack through. I smile at her, I coo, I laugh and make her laugh. Yes, when I want to just take five minutes to myself and sit on the couch it makes me wince that she drops her bottle for the hundredth time and I have to go help her out. Yup, a part of me wants to crack a little bit.

But she'll never see that if I'm doing my job right. I marshal my face, I smile at her, I laugh, I give her her bottle back while stroking her hair, soothing her back to restfulness as she rocks in the swing. She doesn't know that daddy just wants to lay down, just wants to sleep for a little while. All she knows is that daddy is there for her, doing the right thing and making her happy.

She smiles at me.

And suddenly it's all worth it.