Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Life does seem to teach us the same lessons over and over again. I don't know about anyone else, but I always seem to need the refresher course.
My big lesson this week was gratitude. On the morning of Gabby's birthday, I was playing with her in the house in Santa Fe that we were sharing with Atomic's family. I went to hike her up on my shoulder, and all of a sudden I was grasping at air. Then came the sickening thud as she flopped face first onto the floor. She screamed and screamed, unable to be comforted by either of us in any way. I held her and rocked her, and then she started to get sleepy. I got even more worried and called the doctor. While I was on hold, she screamed some more and then threw up. We rushed to the emergency room, in a snowstorm. We were terrified.
By the time we got to the hospital, she was fine. She'd taken a nap, and was cheerfully waving at the nurses and doctors in the ER. The doctor advised us against a CT scan and told us to watch her carefully over the course of the day. She developed a heck of a shiner on her left eye, but that was about it.
Even now, a week later, I lose my breath and get a horrible knot in my stomach when I think about it. And then I am flooded with enormous gratitude and humility. The universe has seen fit to entrust us with this precious child. We'd better not fuck it up.
Now, as for the other books in my bag this week, well, it's not exactly the New York Times best seller list. Some, ahem, highlights:
Flights of Fancy: How To Lower Your Expectations When Traveling Coach
The Homicide-Free Family Vacation
Simple Holiday Meals For Fourteen Picky Eaters
How To Survive Your Inlaws (yes, this one is real, and it actually looks kinda good)
The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter
As I said, not exactly beach reading, but all worthy lessons which I am certain to forget by the next time I need them.
Here's wishing all of you love, peace, happiness, prosperity, and gentleness in 2009.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I've always gotten a little weepy watching the much-parodied final scene of The Miracle Worker. The concept that everything has a name is so basic, yet so counterintuitive, it's a wonder we ever invented language at all.
Once you give something a name, you can talk about it even when it's not right in front of you. You can tell stories about it; you can theorize, conceptualize. You can engage in abstract thinking. I think that scene always moved me because being able to name things seems like a prerequisite for personhood.
Well, our Gabby had a Helen Keller moment today. For the last several weeks, she has definitely worked a few words into her babbling, mainly "mama," "dada," "cat," and the all-purpose "dat" (that). "Cat" was a big step toward getting the whole things-have-names concept, but it wasn't until last night and today that I think she really got it.
Last night, she was in my lap, staring up at the gorgeous mobile Atomic made using some painted wooden fish from Mazatlan. She looked up, pointed at the mobile, and said "dat!"
I said, "Those are fish, honey."
"Yes! Fish!" Big kiss.
She went back to nursing, obviously quite pleased with herself. Twice more, she interrupted her meal to point and say something that sounded rather like "fish."
Now, she's gotten that far before, especially with the cats. But tonight, we were in her room getting ready for bed, and I asked, "Gabby, where are the fish?"
She looked at me quizzically for a moment, and then I saw it. That flash of understanding. I repeated the question.
"Gabby, where are the fish?"
She looked up, smiled hugely, and pointed at the fish.
She then valiantly fought sleep for another half hour so that she could point triumphantly toward the ceiling every few moments and shout, "Fish!" with a tone and a grin that said, "I am SO all over this language thing."
Update: Gabby woke up this morning, gave me a big, sweet smile and said, "Fish!" So, yeah, I think the abstract thinking is probably still a few weeks off.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Gabby is growing and thriving. She had a bit of trouble putting on weight for a little while there, but once I figured out that she would still love me even if I supplemented my breastmilk output with a bit of formula, things turned around. She's not walking yet, but she will be soon. And her babbling is sounding more and more like actual words. Either that or she IS saying real words but she speaks only Uzbek. Or she mumbles a lot.
Gabby's new best friend (my best friend's daughter) was born yesterday.
Another friend just got some good news in a bad situation -- her daughter's brain tumor has remained stable for another six months, and she's managing to grow up and learn and love and laugh despite it all. Good thing no one told her she's not supposed to be able to do all of that.
Another friend and colleague, someone I've known for nearly 15 years and worked with in three different jobs, just got sworn in as our city's newest council member.
And another old friend, a teacher and mentor, is dying.
And so it goes. Round and round and round.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
So, where was I? Oh, right. President-elect Obama. Has a nice ring to it, dontcha think? He seems to be hitting the ground running, egged on by still-President Bush, who is so eager to hand off the steaming pile of turds that he has made of our national economy and international reputation is likely to leave skid marks on the White House lawn.
Of course I'm interested in what President Obama will do, but I'm also curious about what we Americans will do now that he is our leader. Will it change the way we think about race? For me, it already has.
We all hate to admit how much we've internalized the racism we grew up with, how much our sneaky little subconscious still recoils when a Scary Brown Person heads toward us on the sidewalk, but it's there. Recently, however, my subconscious is much more apt to look at said Scary Brown Person and wonder if he has kids. Or if he owns a house on my street and if so, whether he worries about his property values as he waters the hydrangeas in his garden. My rotten, racist subconscious has quite suddenly and disconcertingly decided that the Formerly Scary Brown People are actually Folks Like Me.
It's bizarre to realize I've had a mental shift like that, because it forces me to acknowledge that I had all those awful racist thoughts to begin with. And then of course I wonder if the person walking in the other direction is thinking, "Great. Another slack-jawed fool giving me the lovey googy eyes because she's suddenly figured out that we share a common humanity. Hoo-friggin-ray." It is, quite frankly, rather embarrassing.
But I'm hoping it's an experience that a lot of my fellow white folks are having. And I'm hoping that maybe the googy eyes will give way to actual conversations, and, you know, community and stuff, and then maybe we can all stop segregating ourselves and each other into little enclaves and fighting over schools and jobs and start realizing that we've got common goals -- and common enemies -- and oh geez I'm about to burst into that song from the Coke commercial so I'll just leave it at that.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
To entrust my tender skin
To this ferocious beast
With sharp teeth and claws, thrashing
Inflicting pain needlessly, heedlessly
And sometimes just for fun?
How can I be her rock, her mountain
When my flesh is made of flesh, not stone?
I am not your rock; I am your mother.
Now stop biting me and go to sleep.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
And while I'm over here, did I hear old Cranky McGrumpypants correctly last night? Did he really suggest that soldiers returning from military service should be given positions teaching school without having to get a teaching credential? If I did hear correctly, why isn't anyone talking about what a completely absurd idea that is?
I have nothing but respect for our boys and girls in uniform. They volunteered to do a job that the rest of us wanted no part of, and they're paying a heavy price for our leaders' folly. I think they should have every advantage when they return home, including adequate health care (including mental health care) and substantial assistance with higher education and housing. The GI Bill should mean something again. If they want to come home and teach school, wonderful. Give them an education on the public's dime and give them the credentials and tools to do a good job. But to suggest that we should just skip all that fancy-schmancy elitist edumacashion and just plop them into a classroom? That's crazy talk.
Can you imagine?
"Johnny, where's your homework?"
"I fowgot it."
"Drop and give me 20!"
"Twenty push-ups, maggot!"
"Waaaaaaah! What's a maggot?"
"Sweetie, what did you learn at school today?"
"We learned about bawbed wire! And how to disawm a woadside bomb!"
Yeah, you get the picture.
Now, if in fact I did NOT hear that proposal correctly, well, in the words of Emily Latella, never mind.
The fact remains, though: McCain = total crackpot.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
He penned this HILARIOUS column about what an Obama administration would look like, including mandatory black liberation theology classes, raising taxes to buy drugs for his "inner city policital base," money for cans of spray paint to graffiti the White House, and foreign aid to Africa so the Obama family can "free their goats and live the American Dream."
Poor Mr. May. No one told him that you're only supposed to use the "N" word behind closed doors, in the company of like-minded people. Instead he unwittingly let the cat out of the bag. Ooopsie!
Now, let me be very clear here. This guy is not some random crackpot who spends all day in his pajamas spewing racist crap all over the interwebs. This gentleman WORKS FOR THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN.
So, maybe we should all send Mr. May an email at email@example.com and let him know what we think of his funny funny jokes!
The one I sent said,
"Dear Mr. May,
I read your column about what an Obama administration would look like, and I have to say you are doing an excellent job of representing John McCain. You really understand what he is all about, don't you?"
Please don't feel that you have to be as polite as I was. I think it highly probable that poor Mr. May will fail to detect the sarcasm oozing from my keyboard. He may just need one of you all to administer an electronic smack to the forehead.
You'd be doing a community service, really.
Go on. You know you want to.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
And how sometimes you say stuff that's, ya know, something that didn't actually happen EXACTLY the way you're telling it but you really really want them to like you and not think that your internal dialogue sounds something like bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz like that all the time?
Ya, whattya call that?
Ooooh, right. Thaaaat's a lie!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Ok, I'll wait here while you shower and try to scrub that image from your brain.
All better? No? Sorry 'bout that. Maybe now you're ready for the Bush/McCain Challenge.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP
DEAR AMERICAN: I NEED TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.
I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED THE NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 800 BILLION DOLLARS US. IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER, IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.
I AM WORKING WITH MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY. AS A SENATOR, YOU MAY KNOW HIM AS THE LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S. THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE.
THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED A BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED.
PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION, I WILL RESPOND WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS THAT WILL BE USED TO PROTECT THE FUNDS.
YOURS FAITHFULLY MINISTER OF TREASURY PAULSON
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The Republicans love to call the Democrats the "tax and spend" party. Seems to me they're the ones who love to tax (the middle class) and spend (on unnecessary wars, boondoggles for their wealthy friends, bridges to nowhere, and corporate welfare).
Hmmmm. I wonder what a corporate "Welfare Queen" looks like. Any of you talented folks want to take a stab at it?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
So today, in honor of the mouth breathers who think that "latte" is French for "liberal arts education," I decided to donate the cost of one latte per week to the Obama campaign.
I hereby throw down the foamy gauntlet to you all. Click this here little link and donate the cost of a nice bottle of California Chardonnay. Or the price of one of them big old, whatyacallem? Books? Yeah. Those things you elite folks always have your noses stuck in. Or hell, if you're one of them Wall Street bigwigs who just pulled the ripcord on your golden parachute after handing off your mess to us taxpayers, maybe you'll have a crisis of conscience and donate the cost of a university degree.
Put your money where your heart is. Go donate. And then come back here and let me know which symbol of effete leftyism you used to calculate the amount.
 And I ain't talkin' no state school, neither, mister.
Ok, ok, there's a $2300 limit on contributions to the campaign, but seriously, Mr. Moneybags, go find yourself a nice independent expenditure committee.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Here is why I say "NO!" to Sarah Palin:I have a nine month old daughter. I want her to inherit a cleaner, more prosperous, more peaceful world than the one we live in now. I want her to get a decent education in public schools, and to learn that science and faith answer two completely different sets of questions. I want her to be able to make her own decisions about her body and her life. I want her to have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. I want her to live in a world where polar bears exist outside of zoos. I want her to be proud to be an American, proud of a country that leads by example and not by force, proud of a country that deals fairly with its own citizens and with those who have come here seeking a better life. I want her to value the rule of law over the law of the jungle.
If McCain/Palin are elected, the chances of my daughter living in that world are severely diminished.
There are so many great role models for my daughter in politics: Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Shirley Chisholm, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frances Perkins, Abigail Adams, Victoria Woodhull, Jeanette Rankin, Rebecca Felton, Nellie Ross, Geraldine Ferraro -- the list, I am happy to say, is long.
Sarah Palin is not good enough be on that list. I don't want my daughter to emulate a woman who has more snark than smarts, more lipstick than substance, who is celebrated for what she looks like rather than for the content of her character or the soundness of her ideas.
That is why I, as a woman, a feminist, and a mother, say "Hell, no!" to Sarah Palin.
To view other responses, go to http://womenagainstsarahpalin.blogspot.com/.
To send in your own response, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and home town.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
- become super proficient at getting Cheerios into her mouth;
- gotten her first haircut;
- tried a few new foods, including yogurt, egg yolks, cheese, and mushrooms;
- gotten really good at crawling;
- cut a third tooth;
- pulled herself up to standing a gazillion times;
- visited an old timey mining town with burros who wander the streets (She looooooved the burros, and they apparently loved her as well, which explains why they kept trying to eat her);
- gotten a new bathing suit;
- gone swimming with her best buddy Portia;
- tried gnawing on some bread;
- figured out the whole "peekaboo" thing;
- signed "milk" very clearly for the first time;
- experienced her first thunderstorm (which she slept through);
- watched portions of her first Democratic National Convention (and witnessed history in the making);
- made tons of new friends; and
- fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with her Meema and Grandpa in Arizona.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The good news is that Gabby and I leave tomorrow for a visit to my parents' house in Arizona. I don't think it will make me miss Atomic any less, but Gabby will get to be spoiled by her doting grandparents and I, I hope, will get some sleep.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
In contrast to the festive blowout we had last year, this year I spent most of my birthday hanging out with a friend, taking care of a cranky, teething baby, and doing a few chores. In the evening, a wonderful friend-in-the-computer-turned-friend-IRL watched Gabby while Atomic took me out for dinner and a movie. I ordered the grownup equivalent of the Birthday Belly-Bustin' Banana Split (i.e., a sushi roll so complex I couldn't name half the fish, so ornate that it included little spirals of gold amid dollops of caviar, and so long it took up half the table). Then we saw the latest Batman movie on Imax.
That would have been a fairly ordinary Saturday night not so long ago, but tonight it felt like heaven. And I confess, I missed my Peanut and was also simultaneously glad to have someone else put her to bed tonight.
It was a perfect birthday.
Friday, August 1, 2008
I'm really distressed over this turn of events. When Gabby was born, I was anxious about breastfeeding. I'd known so many people who had a hard time with it, and I wanted so badly to be able to do it, even for a few months. I was delighted when Gabby latched on like a champ right away, and breastfeeding has been easy peasy for us ever since. Until now.
Every time she bites, I pull her off and say, "no!" and stop the nursing session. It's hard on both of us, though, and tonight at bedtime we were both in tears. Even worse, the first time she bit me hard, I cursed, yanked her off me, and tapped her face with my hand. It scared me, because without thinking I had almost slapped her. I don't want to hit my child, especially not in anger. It worried me that it was almost a reflex to do so.
I don't want to wean her yet -- I'm not ready for it, and I don't think she is, either. I'm hoping this is just a phase. One that we're going to have to get past (please god) before she cuts any more teeth.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
It's not like I missed her first steps or anything, but it made me a little sad.
By Tuesday night, Gabby decided that she didn't like sleeping on her back anymore. We still put her down on her back, but now she sighs, grunts, and flips over, and sometimes folds her arms in front of her and rests her head on them.
This morning she figured out how to use the adorable "Giddy-up" jumperoo we got her. She beamed and squealed as she bounced and bounced and the jumpy made galloping noises.
Oh, and she cut a second tooth.
This is going really fast. The dizzying speed of it really makes me appreciate bedtime, when all I can do is hold her and nurse her and cuddle her. I can't multitask when I'm putting her to bed. It's all about the two of us being in that moment, just staring at each other and hanging out together. And when she finally falls asleep and slumps into me, her total trust in me brings out the fiercest and tenderest feelings I have ever experienced.
She's my little girl. She's my big girl. She's a part of me, and separate from me. It's all quite confusing, actually, and rather wonderful.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
It's only been a couple of weeks, but I think I'm getting the hang of this. Somewhat. I have learned a few tips and tricks along the way, which I'd like to share with all of you:
- Part-time schedules are for suckers. They mean that you get less money and less time to do the same amount of work.
- I am a sucker. Despite point number 1, I willingly slog through the mountains of work while living for those blessed Wednesdays with my Peanut.
- It is possible to cram twelve pounds of crap into a five pound bag if you're really determined and don't mind getting a bit messy.
- Planning ahead really works. Who knew?
- Sometimes it's ok to raid the rainy day fund when it's only partially cloudy.
- If it doesn't result in a trip to the ER, an overdrawn checking account, an insurance claim, or an involuntary change in employment status, you're doing it right.
- An effective way to exceed expectations is to lower the expectations.
- Bonus points are rarely, if ever, awarded for suffering in silence or taking one for the team.
- Being Terribly Busy does not make me Terribly Important, or Terribly Smart. Often it just makes me Terrible.
- Smile when you say no, and try to say it every day.
- Guilt is for sissies.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Having Wednesdays off rocks. Yesterday was utter bliss.
Having Wednesdays off also sucks ass. Especially when you don't get any less work in exchange for your reduced hours and pay.
Have I made the right decision? Can I really do this?
I vacillate between being really happy I'm back and feeling stressed and miserable.
And damn it, I'm still not wearing a watch.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Somehow, the sky did not fall.
The day started off pretty grim but got steadily better:
6 a.m. Wake up to Gabby's beautiful one-toothed grin. Pick her up and cry a little.
6-8 Rush around getting everything ready for my first day back. Feel like a complete scatterbrain.
8 a.m. Walk to work in the gross cold fog.
9 -10 Get my office back in shape. Try to figure out why my phone isn't working.
11 a.m. Wish my phone still wasn't working.
12 p.m. Atomic and Gabby come for a visit! Yay! Show off the wee one to all my friends.
2 p.m. Pump.
2:15 Talk to boss. Decide to work part-time (4 days/week) for six months.
2:17 Panic over finances.
2:30 Start wading through work. Remember that I am actually good at this.
4 p.m. Pump.
5 p.m. Atomic and Gabby come back to my office and we troop over to City Hall together to watch people get married. See couple after couple emerge from City Hall with enormous grins, greeted with cheers, a marching band, and random people serving cake. Tell Gabby what an historic day it is. Cry a little, in a whole different way.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
And speaking of gummy grins, Miss Tish also appears to be cutting her first tooth. I can't really see what's going on in there, since Gabby permits only momentary glances, but the other day she was gnawing on my knuckle and I felt something really sharp. So, either my darling girl is cheeking a shiv, or she's cutting a tooth. Either way, I'm gonna break out the nipple salve.
Rolling is now a fairly regular occurrence, although the poor dear still cries when she flops onto her tummy and then forgets how to get back onto her back. Sitting happens, sometimes, with assistance, and inevitably results in a comical tipping over. At least now she's got the muscle tone to not bonk her head really hard when she goes down.
And here's a really big one: Tomorrow we start . . . oh, wow, I can't believe it. . . solid food.
Things are going to start changing really fast around here, aren't they?
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
But I do.
It's crazy -- after 13 years as a lawyer, after all that expensive education and dues paying and incredibly hard work, I'd be happy as a clam to ditch the whole shebang to sit at home and play peek a boo with Gabby.
This turn of thought is particularly mystifying given recent events. My office just celebrated a HUGE victory in a civil rights case. By righting a long standing injustice, the court changed the lives of lots of people for the better. It's not an exaggeration to say that the world is a fairer and better place because of it. I worked on that case, and although my contribution was small, that victory felt like the proudest moment of my career.
When the decision was announced, celebrations erupted throughout the city. I desperately wanted to run down to City Hall and join the party, but Gabby chose that moment to take a much needed nap. And I was totally content to rejoice quietly and skim the decision on my laptop as she snoozed next to me. Seemed kind of a fitting way, actually, to celebrate a decision affirming the right of all people to form families.
Even in the afterglow of that event, I feel no strong pull to return to work. These six months have been such a luxury, and I am so glad to have had them.
I have a feeling that the anticipation is worse than the reality will be. I know I'll be ok, in part because I don't care as much about my job. That's not to say I won't do it well -- I might even do it better, more efficiently. But it's no longer my identity and sole source of pride.
And that feels like a good thing to me.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
WARNING: the following post is utterly devoid of sarcasm, ironic detachment, or postmodern sensibilities.
More than a year and a half ago, some of my friends in the computer organized a mix CD exchange. All of us were going through fertility struggles, and we all needed some inspiration. One of my favorite songs of those I received is called "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack.
I got teary the first time I heard it, and thought, "That's what I want to tell my daughter some day." And then I thought "That's what my mom taught me. Given the choice, I've always danced, and I've never regretted doing so."
I played that song on the way to our first IUI. I played it again right before the egg retrieval in our IVF cycle.
Today, I played it for my daughter. I picked her up and we danced together in the honeyed late afternoon light in her room, and I sang to her and she beamed at me. I realized yet again that she is a dream come true.
One of Gabby's fairy godmothers has predicted that she will be a healer. In a way, she is already. I'm grateful to her and for her, and to H4F for sending me that song and to all the amazing loved ones who walked that hard road with us and shared their support, prayers, and wisdom.
May we all always choose to dance.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
They say that when your child is small, the hours go slow and the months go fast. I feel like it's all going fast. Each day begins with these beautiful big eyes looking at me and smiling, and then all of a sudden it's evening and those lovely eyes are closing.
With my return to work looming (well, it feels like it's looming, although it's still more than a month away), I'm starting to figure out why the watch has languished for so long at the bottom of a drawer: I like being in this little bubble, just me and my family and those other folks I choose to see, doing whatever we please. I dread returning to a regimented life, a life where I have to consult my calendar constantly and account for my day in fifteen minute increments. I dread the feeling of not having enough hours in the day, of constantly being late for things because I try to cram too much into every last minute.
Of course, these musings bring up a lot of stuff about being a working mom, finding a balance between work and home, wondering whether I'll have any time for myself, and not wanting to miss a second of Gabby's childhood. I'm sure I'll be writing more about these things soon.
Ironically enough, I've been working on this post since March because I haven't had the time to pull my thoughts together in a coherent way. I think I'll just call it "Part I" and leave it at that.
In the meanwhile, I'll continue to float along watchless, thankyouverymuch, in my little bubble with my baby.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Everyone knows it's Gabby!
I don't whether it's just babies generally or whether it's Gabby's penchant for making eye contact, laughing and smiling at everyone, but everywhere we go people smile at us and strike up pleasant conversations.
We toodle around town with Gabby strapped to me in her carrier, facing outward. She almost never fusses when she's in there -- she's too busy looking around at stuff and charming the pants off the folks at the produce stand, the bus driver, the baristas at Starbucks, and random pedestrians who catch her eye. She can't see me behind her, but she clearly knows I'm there as she confidently greets her public.
The other day an elderly woman approached us on the street. A soft, wistful smile spread across her face. She said a few words in Chinese, and touched Gabby's hand. Then she said a few more words and walked away. I suppose she could have been asking for directions to Fillmore Street, but something in her tone sounded like a blessing.
Later on, we got on a crowded bus during rush hour. A woman immediately jumped up and gave us her seat -- something that never happened during my pregnancy. We started chatting, and then another woman joined in the discussion, all the while cooing and smiling at Gabby. Standing between us and the women was a young gangsta-looking guy, with the baggy pants and the gold grill -- the whole nine. He, too, looked at Gabby and busted out a very ungangsta-like smile. He said, "Oh, they grow up so fast. My little girl is nine now, and it feels like she was just born yesterday. Enjoy this time."
Pretty soon half the passengers on the bus were chatting together and cooing and coochie-cooing Gabby, and she was eating it up, giggling and "talking" the whole while. It was wonderful to see this tiny girl bring people together.
I'm just happy to be a member of her entourage.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
In the eleven years since, we have all remarked on and rejoiced over those similarities. We have celebrated the genetic ties that bind us together and make us a family despite our lack of shared history.
And now there's a new kid in the family, one who shares my DNA. Who knows what genetic traits she has inherited from me? I certainly hope not a propensity toward obesity, diabetes, ovarian or breast cancer, and it would be nice if she were spared the nearsightedness as well.
I have no idea whether she will come to resemble me in any way. At any rate, at least right now, she doesn't look like me.
The weird thing is, that is totally ok with me. When I look at my daughter, I don't find myself searching for myself or my husband. I find myself gazing at a unique individual. She is completely and only herself. She looks like Gabby. Which is exactly as it should be.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Gabby has (knock wood) been a pretty good sleeper since she was born, but the last few nights we've had a really hard time getting her to sleep. I said to Atomic, "I bet she's fussy because she's working on doing something new." Lo and behold, she was.
She flipped back to front, and then front to back, and then looked up at us as if to say, "Hey, check me out!" Huge, toothless grin.
I know, I know, it's not like she suddenly stood up and started reciting the Gettysburg Address, but still. I'm proud. I can't help it.
Does that make me boring/lame/typical? Yeah, probably. But who knew boring/lame/typical would be so much fun?
*** Update as of 4/12/08: since her magnificent initial performance of said roll, Miss Tish has shown absolutely no inclination to repeat the feat. She's content to rest on her laurels (and on her mommy's shoulder) for a while, I suppose.****
Sunday, March 23, 2008
But no book can tell you all of the new things that your child will do, or when she will surprise you with them.
Gabby is three months old now, and she can:
- lift her head,
- hold her head up,
- sit supported,
- put weight on her legs when supported in a standing position (oh, she loves that one),
- roll from side to back and from back to side
- squeal with delight
- grab for toys
- grab Mommy's hair and pull. Hard.
- find and chew on her hands
- draw soft toys to her mouth and try to eat them
She also does things that are not in any child development book. For instance, she has now discovered her hands and sometimes doesn't quite know what to do with them, so instead of just holding them out there all willy nilly, she folds them in front of her when she's feeding. She has also learned how to raise her eyebrows independently of one another and does so to great effect. She blows milky bubbles (and seems to know how funny that is).
Every day is a wonder.
Almost every day is enormous amounts of fun.
Here she is with a diaper cover on her head and socks on her hands:
Thanks for being such a good sport, sweetheart. You make even laundry fun.
I hope everyone who celebrates it had a great Purim. Happy Easter to those in that camp, and happy Persian new year to us all!