Archive | September, 2012

Ominous

21 Sep

I’ve been noticing that when I get baby up in the mornings, he’s not so quick with a smile, or delighted to see me (or flowers, or buses, or his cards). And he’s starting to get…opinionated…about stuff. I am not saying he’s become or becoming a terrible baby, I’m just saying that the idle conversations we’ve been having when changing him in the mornings are, well, ominous.

Baby: kick papa?
Me: No, we don’t kick papa.
BB: kick ball?
Me: Yes, we can kick a ball.
BB: kick mama?
Me: No, we don’t kick mama. We give mama hugs and kisses.
BB: kick…people?
Me: No, we don’t kick people.
BB: push people?
Me: No, we don’t push people.
BB: kick papa?
Me: No, we don’t kick papa.

We’ve decided to nip this in the bud with mobility reduction technology. Since he’s already wearing these at night, we thought we would just re-introduce the 23 hours/day cycle. Whatevs. He’ll walk again when he learns proper respect.

Gendering baby

18 Sep

So, 21 months old, and our baby loves:

  • Cars, and trucks, and things that go. Seriously. This morning, he was all ‘motor..cycle? drive?’ Backhoe, drive? This is a kid who loves things on wheels.
  • His baby stroller. When wife purchased this, we were all, ‘aawww, yeah, baby’s going to love this.’ And then when BB opened it and realized what it was, he actually did a dance of joy. A dance. Of. Joy. Since then, stuff has gone into the stroller, Winnie the Pooh goes into the stroller, the stroller gets rolled around everywhere, when we go outside he wants to take along the stroller.
  • Mama’s shoes. Loves walking around in them.

I’ll talk about this in the abstract rather than in the specifics, since for me, most of what he’s doing is just ‘toddler stuff’ rather than ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ stuff. Still, what is amazing about gender is the fact that some of these preferences are going to be taken as natural expressions of his personality, while others will be taken as a ‘phase’ or about something other than his gender. We were in the park last weekend, for friend’s kid’s birthday party. I noticed baby walking a baby double-stroller (DOUBLE-STROLLER!!) with the (now 2-year-old) birthday boy. The boy’s grandmother, sitting next to me, jokingly looked over at them and said, ‘look at those two wussies.’ Funny right?

By the way, did you know that the song “William Wants a Doll”, from Free to Be You and Me, was based on a story that itself was made into a film?

A shocking inversion of the grandma from the song to reality, right?

Oh, and for what it’s worth (and to me, a lot) the ‘someday he is going to be a father, too’ formulation actually solves the problem only insofar as you define the problem as William needing to be a straight man. If William wants the doll simply because he likes being feminine, grandma’s advice to William’s father isn’t going to help.

Cracked the pasta barrier

17 Sep

A mixed blessing, true, but baby just wouldn’t eat pasta until now. Until the rigatoni with Brussels sprouts, bacon, and cheese. Erev Rosh Hashana indeed.

Of course, he didn’t actually eat the sprouts or bacon, but we will take it as a hopeful sign.

On joining the ranks of the crazy

17 Sep

A series of texts from me to wife:
“Maybe a dozen to 15 people in front of me”
“Feels like being outside the room for the SATs”
“Knowing McSure-of-Herself near me tells me they accepted 0 new 2s last year, due to sibs priority”
“Nervous dad on other side asking, rather desperately, where else? where else?”
“2 dozen in line now”
“This is the most depressing concert ticket line ever”
“It goes to the end of the block now, maybe 40?”

At the end, the line stretched around the corner, and I would say topped out at about 60. For a “two’s” program that has something like 15 spots. This morning was the first day to drop off applications. And there I was, sitting in it. Office opened at 8am. I was there by 7.

The funny thing about this whole schtick is that we are not crazy. I’m mildly interested in a Montessori program, or possibly a Jewish tots program. Because, I think, school with an ideology are better than schools without one. But even saying ‘schools’ is a stretch for a 2-year-old (oh, he is not yet two, btw, this is fucking for next September). Our compromise is that I go drop off our application, while wife goes to high holiday services. My relative lack of piety is costing me my morning…

Meanwhile, I think the most likely outcome is that baby does daycare next year, no tot program at all, because we do not get into one or else we decide we don’t really want to shell out the jamillion dollars for it. The second most likely outcome is that we get “wait-listed” at one of the 2-3 program for which we are applying. The least likely outcome is that we have options for which program we can enroll baby.

In all of these scenarios, baby is going to be completely fine. Well-socialized. Well-taken-care-of. Even well-educated. And yet, here I am, 7am, in the most depressing concert ticket line ever.

Drive?

11 Sep

Baby’s latest thing is that he wants to drive every car/vehicle and sit on every bike/scooter/motorcycle. Walking down the street has become mildly hilarious.

BB (pointing at car): Drive car?
Me: No, you can not drive that car.
BB (pointing at next car): Drive car?
Me: No, you can not drive that car either.
BB (pointing at passing bus): Drive bus?
Me: No, you can not drive the bus.
BB (pointing at next car): Drive black car?
Me: No, you can not drive any of the cars.
BB (pointing at Vespa on the street): Sit scooter?
Me: No, you can not sit on the scooter.
BB (pointing at airplane): Drive airplane?
Me: No, you can not drive the airplane.

There is no ending, this goes on the whole way, particularly if he is in the stroller. This morning, we noticed that there was a sliver of moon visible in the morning sky.

BB (pointing up): Moon?
Me: Wow, yes, look at that, you can see the moon and it’s not even night time!
BB: Drive moon?
Me: No, you can not drive the moon.
BB: Drive car?
Me: No, you can not drive the car.

Highlights

6 Sep

Some of the highlights from our trip to Chicago, to visit family and drop in on another bar mitzvah:

– When we were going to my brother’s house, baby mama was looking around at the houses in the neighborhood.
Her: “It’s amazing what’s happening here. The houses are being built to look almost like castles. I mean, look at this one right here.”
Me (pulling into that driveway): “You mean, my brother’s house?”
Her: “Oh, shit. Don’t tell him I said that.”

– Baby loves Mr. Spotto. Mr. Spotto is the guinea pig at the friends’ house where we stayed. If we couldn’t find him, he was poking around the guinea pig’s cage, or else fiddling with the front or back door to try to sneak outside. “Guinea pig house? Purple!” At one point, he poked his whole head into the poor fellow’s cage, trying to get closer. Pet? Pet?

– Dinner at my (amazing) friends from grad school was both utterly delicious and super-hilarious. First, climbing at the playground as well as toddler-seeded toys all over the living room. Second, dinner was grilled pizza’s with kick-ass roasted peppers and pesto, grilled lake trout, and Israeli couscous salad. And homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert! After dinner, baby started banging on the table. Instead of making him stop, their two kids started copying him. Wham-wham from baby; wham-wham from kids. Laughter. Then slowly, everyone joined in. Wham-wham from baby; wham-wham from everyone. He thought it was the best thing in the whole world, and would just completely crack up. This went on for 10 minutes, I think the power made baby drunk.

– Baby loved watching airplanes taking off and landing. He was, well, not perfect on the plane. It was the first time we did the ‘lap child’ travel (he had gotten a seat in previous trips), and he was idgy and tired, and didn’t sleep until we just about landed. But nothing too bad at all. 7.5/10 harshly scored, but more like 9/10 if we weigh scoring for age and circumstance.

– Friends we stayed with made amazing dinner, plus more homemade chocolate chip cookies, plus Homer’s ice cream, plus their kids (9 and 11) are just so enthusiastically pro-baby. With a huge basement, the guinea pig, the cars and toys, the mini guitar, it was just a brain-explosion of kid-centered suburban living. It’s not our lives, but it sure is a luxury to take in for a few days.

– The bar mitzvah party and ceremony were lovely, but lovely in a more family way. I love my brother’s kids to death, but with so much anger and animosity and alienation in parts of my family, it’s just not as joyous for me as it might otherwise be. The party was loud and crazy in the fashion of contemporary upper-middle-class bar mitzvah parties.

– No sleep till Brooklyn. Baby napped very little, stayed up way past his bedtime, missed baths, ate weirdly and seemingly sparsely. Watched 10 times more TV in 4 days than he’s seen in his whole life. And (though it’s hard to really really tell) he had a great time doing it all.