Saturday, January 24, 2015

baby FAQ, month 9

Q: How is the health of your household?

A: Positively pioneer-worthy! I have just about gotten over my consumption and now Berowne has dysentery. Okay, so technically we were diagnosed with other things, but when you're coughing so badly that you have to be prescribed an inhaler, then you are clearly somebody's huckleberry; and if we were on the Oregon Trail it would be bad news for Berowne. Fortunately the baby is okay so far. 

Q: How excited were you when you heard that January would be "Arctic Month" at Perdita's daycare?

A: Way too excited. I've had to temper that excitement somewhat; it's now January 24 and she has yet to learn how to hunt a seal or skin a polar bear. Instead it turns out they do "sensory activities", meaning the babies play with ice cubes. The older kids do get to draw penguins and arctic wolves, so their room is papered with what looks like pictures of Darcy-Bear, which makes me happy. But I feel that our suburban daycare is really letting me down when it comes to preparing my child for the six-month winter night and the possible eating of shoes to survive (she does eat her shoes, but purely recreationally).

Q: What's the best thing about her crawling?

A: When I arrive to pick her up at daycare, and she sees me, and just zooms across the floor to me with a huge smile on her face. I tear up a little, every time, and am storing up the sensation for the days when I have to pick her up two blocks from her school because the fact of my existence is too humiliating for words. 

Q: What does the dog think about the crawling?

A: He finds a determined baby zooming towards him less endearing than I do. But now that she is eating solid foods and dropping them from her high chair, he acknowledges that she has some value.

Q: Eating real food?

A: Like a champ. Although we are not following the anti-baby-food rule of "Just give her some of what you're having!" that all the cool organic parents follow. Especially not in winter, when virtually all we eat are stews full of green chile. Need to wait a little longer for that.

Q: What have you read since last posting?

A: The Sound of Broken Glass, by Deborah Crombie. Yet another serviceable mystery. Pretty slight.

Finished re-reading Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword, which holds up better than The Hero and the Crown. I like Harry better than Aerin, and the romance is less obtrusive (albeit more Stockholm Syndrome-ish, but hey). 

The Partly Cloudy Patriot, by Sarah Vowell. I don't know why it took a British male novelist to bring this writer to my attention; it seems that liking Molly Ivins should have inevitably brought me into contact with Vowell's hilarious and incisive essays about American politics and history. Regardless, I have all her books lined up in my library pile now. 

Q: Bonus question: if someone (possibly an angel harboring deep resentment at what passes for an annunciation these days) had told eighteen-year-old you that you would, in fact, get married to the loveliest man you've ever known, and have an astonishing baby, and live by the sea, and wear a size two most of the time, and have figured out your hair and skin, but you would have to wait twenty years for all of this: would you have then been able to bear the intervening time more stoically, or would the concept of TWENTY YEARS have been so huge a hurdle that it would actually have made you less able to carry on?

A: Hmmm. At eighteen, all I might have heard is, "You will be denied this until an age when you are past everything but gruel and flannel waistcoats," which would kind of be missing the point. (When I was eighteen, I was totally dedicated to missing the point whenever possible.) So in this case I do not think the knowledge would have done me any real good. Now if they'd added, "At the fifteen-year mark you get a wolf!" that might have registered. Somehow it's less abstract.

Q: You don't think angels have better things to do than announce the eventual arrival of a big white wolfy dog?

A: Not any angels I want to believe in.

Enjoy the winter days, and may all your stews be rich in chile. 

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