Over 40 mama — Adventures in poop, patience, and first-time parenthood

teething >:(
March 8, 2009, 8:01 pm
Filed under: milestones

Holy crap.  Who knew this sucked so hard?  R just wants to crawl out of her skin. She has one hand in her mouth all the time, and snot is streaming out her nose.  She wakes up once every hour, miserable.  Ugh.


Valentine’s Day Brunch
February 15, 2009, 9:36 pm
Filed under: community, milestones, miracle

We spent this rainy day with a bunch of other parents and their kids.  I love seeing all the wee ones as they bibble around and screech and throw things and stack blocks and dance.  

I’ve had numerous conversations with K, who hosted the brunch, about the myriad ways in which our families and those of our friends could collaborate on something larger than us. What does that look like – the extended family? A co-op?  Some other way to take advantage of economies of scale with 10-20-50 families? I have fantasies of starting a school.  But then I go to the East Bay Preschool Fair and find a gazillion really awesome little schools.   And I’m not sure I’m down with starting a middle or high school.  

The bug is suddenly more and more “online.” Today, she and KT played peek-a-boo, and it wasn’t just KT hiding her face.  The bug too hid her face, only to show it again, beaming!! She learned how to slide down a (gradual) stair without bonking her head.  It’s taken a few days for her to get back to this after a bit of a bonk last week. And, at the table, she not only holds the drinking glass by herself, she lets out a screech when she’s ready for us to hand it to her.   

I had a chat with one of the papas at todays brunch about the way that babies transition from protoplasmic blob to conscious being.  I know it’s happening now. But why?  This papa has studied a bunch of developmental psych says that the psych community talks about babies first s consciousness as his or her “image.”  The image of self, in relation to their environment, parents, etc.   I’m not sure the word “image” worked for me in this context, as I think of babies as more experiential. Maybe “map” would make more sense.  Certainly the idea that a baby’s soul/brain/consciousness is a map …. or template on which their early experiences are imprinted makes sense.  But where? Why? What’s there before all this other crap gets imprinted?  I need to find a good book that explains it all.  

In addition to bug-mania, I have a million projects going on these days:  The killer iPhone app, for one.  A screenplay.  My growing social media consulting practice and a cool and fairly intense client.  A kids’ educational event I’m producing. Learning to sew, which is totally rewarding!  Cooking a lot, too.  Something about this crap weather and even crappier economy makes me want to prepare large cauldrons of stewed meat.

The sweetest day
February 12, 2009, 9:03 pm
Filed under: milestones, notes to self

I do believe there is a day which will go down in memory as the bug’s sweetest day.  

For weeks now, she’s been  getting wiser…learning to stand, crawl over things, assess distance, match two objects with similar shapes, nest one item into another that is larger. She loves music, and cackles with glee when she sees the ASL sign for a word she knows. She is quickly becoming a curious, amazing person in and of herself.  

Somewhere in here – any day now – we will enter into the realm of toddlerhood, and will deal with all the annoyances and frustrations of a being who wants nothing more than to explode into herself. This will be met with some combination of C’s and my tolerance for the aforementioned explosion, and our sometimes-vast differences in parenting styles and philosophies.

I’m sure it will be fine. Ultimately.  But man, I want to put this phase in a bottle and keep it in the attic for later.

February 7, 2009, 7:48 am
Filed under: insanity, milestones

Thanks to some great sleuth work by mama pajama, we’re pretty sure mz bean is teething.  That would explain the tenfold increase in stratospheric screaming, her inability to get to sleep, AND *ta-da* the glistening poo-poos.  Somewhere, ages ago, I remember reading that the copious amounts of saliva generated whilst teething can really change the viscosity of poo-poo.  Isn’t that awesome? Well, not for the kid, really. But it’s awesome that someone figured that out.

‘Course her sleep schedule – the precious couple o’ weeks of 8 continuous hours – is now kaput.

February 4, 2009, 8:34 pm
Filed under: milestones

Today ms. little frijole clapped for the first time.  

She’s been a little pistol all week – scooching maniacally around the floor and standing with the help of whomever happens to be sitting nearby.  And today, she clapped to the beat of an old John Digweed track.  I guess we know where she’ll come down on the house vs trance debate.

January 21, 2009, 7:56 am
Filed under: milestones, notes to self

Yesterday was Inauguration Day.   As I sit in the quiet dark morning with the bug, I think of the future she will have.  How her first memory of our President will be a bright, articulate, compassionate, complex, honest man who also happens to be African American.  How she’ll see a man who has lived all over the planet, who has been an outsider AND an insider, whose guiding principle was taught to him by his grandma to “walk in their shoes” when encountering someone new and different.  

On Monday, I participated in the local Oakland Day of Service – a particularly well-organized effort to plant 80 oak trees along a scrubby stretch of MLK Blvd.  There were speakers – a black female archbishop who gave a prayer.  A Blackfeet tribal elder who had worked to prevent the destruction of acres of forests at the hands of developers.  A representative from the Dept of Forestry who was delighted to see community organization around such a precious resource.  The lady who owns Sweetie Pie and Poppy’s soul food, who donated their parking lot and a bunch of hot dogs to feed folks.  A man, who lived on that very block, who’d lost his son to gang violence.  A 10 year old boy who read Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech aloud, while his proud mama cried.

There were people of all races and ages there – and all were clearly moved by the unity of voice and vision. All were clearly witnessing the realization of so many of King’s dreams, and all clearly felt the dedication to work hard and work together to ensure those dreams that had not yet been realized might come to pass sooner than later. 

It was great to actually plant a tree.  To collaborate with folks from all over – young and old, black and white – picking up garbage and making this bleak urban stretch look good.  Others planted daffodils along a boulevard adjacent to the trees.  I know I will keep an eye on this patch of city to see how they grow and flourish over time. 

Coincidentally or not, the bug is now suddenly more like a little kid than a baby.  She’s changing at light-speed.  

Yesterday she said “mama” for the first time as she held out her arms for me to pick her up.

It’s the end of the world as we know it
December 16, 2008, 7:47 am
Filed under: milestones

The bean can now scooch.  As of this morning, she’s figured out how to use her forearms and toes in concert to nudge herself around.  Oh and she is positively TRIUMPHANT as she motors around the room reaching for her plastic duck (or my ratty old shoe, or uh, the space heater *ahem*).

This is something that’s frustrated her for the better part of the last 2 weeks.  She KNOWS she’s got to be able to scooch…but when she tries, her body reflexively goes into the doggie paddle.  Today, she actually made it work.

Yes, the babyproofing must commence post haste.  But in the mean time, the bean is aglow.  As is her mama. 🙂