Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sticky all over again

happy meal, originally uploaded by funky fat girl.

This was taken near the start of the meal - he got a whole lot stickier.

Feeding this kid is an amazing amount of fun; he's enthusiastic, he's appreciative, he's even washable. He grins and laughs with relief at being full, finally, and with the excitement of this new thing.

So far, we just eat dinner - his other meals come from a bottle - and since we've done this for a few days in a row, he seems to look forward to it. Tonight he got tremendously excited when he saw the bowl and spoons in my hand.

Yeah, spoons. It takes a more than one spoon to get the food in the little dude - usually, two are in play, although I can imagine a day when there will be more. I hold the bowl, and spoon him up a bite. I try to get it to his mouth, but more often than not, he'd prefer to hold the spoon himself.

I hand it to him carefully.
He immediately sticks it in his eye.
This step is absolutely de riguer. You know it's going to happen, and you feel like you might as well get it out of the way early, like the first ding on a freshly painted car. Once he spoons his eyeball, we can all relax and get down to business. So he holds a spoon, I hold a spoon, we trade off.

After dinner, it's a warm bath, a cuddley towel, a rousing chorus of The Boa Constrictor Song, a few sips of bottle, and he passes out over my shoulder.

I just flaked a little rice cereal off my earlobe. No lie.

Monday, June 19, 2006

When I say he's a big boy....

Big Ian, originally uploaded by funky fat girl.

I'm not kidding.

The introduction of solid food went absolutely splendidly. He's the master of the little plastic spoon.
Since we don't have a high chair (on purpose), we've been feeding him sitting in his exer-saucer. Which we then take outside and hose off. Really.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

So, How's the Baby?

How is he? How is he, you ask?

Well, he's hungry. First and foremost, he is hungry, about 26 hours a day.

The little sweetie has been gotten so big, and is growing so fast, that the combination of formula and breast milk that we've been feeding him no longer does the trick. The 8 oz bottle that he could never finish now barely seems to take the edge off. He cries to eat every two hours or so, just as he did when he was a baggy, monkeyfooted newborn, struggling to get back up to his birthweight.

So last night, being 1) a great believer in anecdotal wisdom and 2) just fucking exhausted, I flew in the face of our pediatrician's advice, and dissolved a spoonful of rice cereal in his 9pm bottle. The Sears book, like our doctors, tell me there is nothing to be gained by this; meanwhile, literally uncountable moms and dads swear up and down that some cereal in the bottle is our express ticket to the Promised Land of silent nights.

The Sears book has been awfully good to us. And we think the world of our pediatrics practice. Both assure us that the point of learning to eat solid food is to learn to eat solid food, with your lips and tongue, from a spoon, not to fortify bottles of milk. Besides, what if our friends are wrong? What if the cereal disagrees with him?

In the end, I think, I was moved with compassion. He's just so hungry! And he wails, in a way that sounds like grief and pain together, like he's mourning the loss of food from his life, like he'll never eat again.

After the cereal bottle, he's motionless in my arms, stunned, and I wonder for a second if I've killed him. I watch him breath for a full minute, feel his astonishing skin, toasty as a muffin, and lay him down on his back.

He wakes up in a little while with a faraway smile, different than I've ever seen. It's as if he knows that his life will never be the same.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I've been instructed to write more about my son's personality.

Well, a month ago, I would have said he was the most easy-going, flexible, chilled-out kid in history. It was as if God said, "Eh, they're amatuers. Let's give them an easy one."

A couple of months before that, I might have described him as clingy - but not, oddly enough, in a bad way. He was a kid constantly in arms and in laps, and my arms and my lap were really happy with that. He was light - under 15 pounds - and pocket-sized, so it was easy to cart him everywhere by hand (easier than it is now, at nearly 17 lbs - also, he's all wiggley now, which he wasn't before.)

And a couple of months before that, he just slept. Literally, we couldn't wake him up for the month of January - between jaundice and exhaustion, he was like a little baby-shaped rock. We force-fed him with a syringe, and eventually he woke up.

Certain qualities have been present all along, since the very beginning - he loves to listen, and loves especially when we sing to him. His favorite song - from the very beginning - is I Get A Kick Out of You, from the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes. For going to sleep, he likes a little James Taylor (You Can Close Your Eyes and Sweet Baby James, both of which, interestingly, make me cry like crazy) in a medley with an authenic American folksong, The Sloop John B. (That one does not make me cry.)

I also sing to him what my father used to sing to me - You Are My Sunshine. It's a good thing I had a baby, as I used to sing that to my cat ("You are my sunshine, my Pokey sunshine, you make me happy, you're white and grey...") and in retrospect, that seems a bit much even to me. (Well, not my memories of singing to my cat, which are actually pretty sweet...but when you describe it to people, it makes you sound odd.)

So what's he like now?

He's a little cranky, from cutting his first tooth. He's super-observant, and nothing makes him happier than watching people walk around. He smiles a lot but laughs only occasioanally, mostly at funny noises. He can roll for miles.