Posts Tagged ‘baby’

We Have To Watch Out For That One

September 22, 2010

We’ve been able to tell for a very long time already that our daughter, now 20 months old, is going to be a handful when she gets older. Even when she was an otherwise totally helpless infant, she became surprisingly good at smacking her brother upside the head whenever he annoyed her a little too much. Now that she’s older, she enjoys tackling him, even though he’s three years old and much larger than she is.

Her first word, as far as I can gather, may very well have been “Ow” or “Ouch.” When she was a baby, she would say this and immediately follow it by yanking our hair as hard as she could and giggling. In other words, she knew exactly what she was doing whenever she said “Ouch,” and she thought it was funny.

The instant she was able to crawl, she began breaking into the place where we kept the alcohol, something her brother never bothered trying to do. Her favorite thing was to break in there and try to sneak away carrying the lone single-serving miniature bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed that we had. It was always the hard stuff she’d try to run off with, never the wine.

Now at 20 months old, it’s becoming obvious that she has some very clear tastes in music. She loves stuff like Raw Power by The Stooges, Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols, and Let It Bleed by the Rolling Stones. I’m also not sure how she mastered the heavy metal Cookie Monster vocal style, or where she even picked it up, but she did.

We’ve been working on getting her to identify facial features and body parts, but she never made any indication that she was aware of where any facial features were or what they were called — until last night. Then, out of the blue, she jammed a thumb in my eye and said, plain as day, “eye.” She then jammed her other thumb in my other eye and said “eye” again, indicating that it wasn’t a coincidence. She followed that by smacking my cheeks and saying, “cheek,” and then she punched me in the mouth and said, “wouf.”

This is pretty much true to form for her — she’ll demonstrate that she knows something or can do something strictly on her own terms, when and how she wants to do so (usually in the roughest form possible), not when one of us asks her to. Another thing she did completely out of the blue last night was look at the ceiling, say “ceewing,” look at the floor, say “fwoor,” and look at the walls and say, “wall.” We’ve never attempted to get her to identify those things and have no idea where she picked them up. All we can say for sure is that if we’d tried to get her to identify them, she wouldn’t have done it.

Always contrarian, physical, and rough — that’s our little girl . . .


I Don’t Know Whether I Should Be Proud or Ashamed

September 3, 2010

Our 19 month old daughter climbed onto the sofa, grabbed the remote control from the top of the sofa, and flopped down on the couch.

She then proceeded to press the correct button to turn on the TV and put the remote down. The satellite receiver was off, so the screen just showed snow. She then picked up the remote again and pressed the right button to turn on the satellite receiver.

Luckily the receiver was set to a Sirius music channel rather than actual television. All the same, she tossed the remote to the floor and proceeded to lounge back on the couch with her head on the armrest.

Confounding Rampant Genderism, Then and Now

July 21, 2010
Cover of "Bob the Builder: Let's Find Shapes"


Right now my 18 month-old daughter is in that stage where she wants to have the same book read to her over and over, and over and over, and over and over . . . The book of choice is Bob the Builder: Let’s Find Shapes, which isn’t the least bit surprising considering her favorite toys have always been things like dump trucks and toy construction equipment.

The book is a little unsettling, though, due to the context in which the only clearly female character in the book appears. I realize that on the Bob the Builder TV show, many of the construction vehicles have female voices, but we don’t normally watch the show, and you can’t tell the machines’ genders from the book. Instead, the only woman, Wendy, appears holding a tray of cookies with the caption, “Wendy has star-shaped cookies for Bob.”

It’s flabbergasting, considering the book was published in 2002. As bad as that is, the book isn’t nearly as cringeworthy as some of the older things we have around the house.

Take, for example, the series of 25 pamphlet-style cookbooks I somehow wound up with from my parents that were published in the early 1960s. They’re littered with such gems of statements as, “Here are 250 recipes gathered . . . to help the hostess increase her repertory and add variety to her family’s everyday menus,” and “Sunday night suppers . . . give Mother an opportunity for training the children in the entertaining of their own guests.” Throughout the series of books, the person for whom the recipes are compiled is always assumed to be a woman, a mother, and a “homemaker.”

Better yet, the recipes in question are always for things like “Chicken á la King with Ham Rolls,” “Paté de Foie Gras,” “Chicken Pie de Luxe,” pies, cakes, cookies, and even candy made from scratch, because the female homemaker and parent in question clearly has nothing better to do than spend all day cooking an absurdly complicated evening dinner. There’s even a category of “After Sports Suppers” to be made when, you guessed it, the men are all sitting around watching sports on TV. My personal favorite is a recipe for something called “Chicken Calcutta,” because adding a pinch of curry powder and a pinch of chili powder to something apparently makes it Indian (it’s part of a “Cosmopolitan” recipe section of “Oriental” food).

I can’t help but wonder what a person who helped compile that crap would think of our household today, where I stay home with the kids while my wife goes to work, and our daughter plays with toy dump trucks and rugby balls when she isn’t busy trying to wrestle her two year-old brother to the ground. To top it off, our son likes to pretend to go to work. When he does this, he says, “Go to work,” and puts on one of my wife’s necklaces, rather than a tie.

I hope that individual could withstand passing out from shock just long enough to hear me to say, “Welcome to the 21st Century, dickhead.” It wouldn’t matter if the cookbook author in question was male or female; you don’t need to have one to be one. This is the 21st Century, after all.

This Day in Weird Baby Food

March 9, 2010
A turnip.

Apparently, great baby food.

I just discovered that our 14 month-old daughter absolutely loves raw turnips, of all things. It’s not the first thing you think of when you think of popular baby and toddler foods, but I guess it fits the pattern in our family. Her two year-old brother is still just as fiercely attached to capers and Kalamata olives as he was when he was her age.

Besides, if there’s one thing the English side of my family knows how to do well, it’s sneak turnips into things you’d never expect. Case in point, the turnip our daughter was munching on (I shredded it with a potato peeler and tore up the shreds so that the pieces were small and malleable enough for a baby to eat by hand safely) was a little bit left over from the red beans and rice I’m making in the crock pot today. One of my favorite ways of making mashed potatoes is to throw a turnip or two into the pot of potatoes, and one of my all-time favorite foods is this weird mashed turnip-and-carrot concoction that my grandmother makes. Unfortunately, I don’t know the recipe for that one.

With that in mind, maybe her love of turnips isn’t so weird, but the fact that she screams like a banshee when her tray isn’t refilled with them quickly enough still seems kind of strange.

This Day in Stay-At-Home Parenthood

December 22, 2009

I only now noticed that I’ve been wearing my shirt inside out all day. It’s now 1:57 p.m. I’ve been wearing this shirt since I got up this morning at around 6:40 a.m.

If this seems familiar to you, odds are you’ve simultaneously had a 27 month-old and and an 11 month-old at some point in your life, too.

The Kids Are All Weird

October 26, 2009

I have to wonder what the exact purpose of all the baby toys we own is when it’s painfully obvious that the baby’s current favorite toy is a can of mushrooms. It’s shiny, and it has a label with bright colors! Plus, you can roll it around the room. What more could anyone possibly want?

As for our two-year old, he completely polished off a heaping bowl of leftover lentil and tomato curry with brown rice for breakfast this morning. It’s one of his favorite foods. He also likes to pull my wife’s paperback copy of Nightmares and Dreamscapes off the shelf, point to the picture of Stephen King on the back cover, and shout, “Dad!” He’s also done this to the TV on the few occasions he’s seen Barack Obama on television. For the record, I look nothing like Stephen King, nor do I resemble the President. He also refers to Abby Cadabby, and only Abby Cadabby, as “Mom” when watching Sesame Street.

No, my wife is not purple.

The Kid Is So Smooth

June 12, 2009

He gagged himself while attempting to beatbox yesterday. Instead of putting his hands over his mouth, he kept putting them in his mouth.

We’ve got the flyest toddler on the planet. Word.

Something You Never Wanted to Envision

June 8, 2009

Q: What’s grosser than infant cradle cap?

A: When your cat, which for some reason feels a strangely tight attachment to said infant, tries to groom said cradle cap from the infant in question’s head.

Welcome to My World

May 28, 2009

Chasing after a 20 month-old and a four month-old simultaneously is not without its interesting moments. Yesterday, the following sentence came out of my mouth:

“Don’t draw on your sister.”

“Malvert Thanks!”

May 1, 2009

Behold as I mark my triumphant return to blogging (taking care of a toddler and an infant on your own during the day is much more taxing on your free time than taking care of just one infant or just one toddler, I’m finding) by lamely phoning in this latest dispatch. So, here’s another occasional odd quote of the day.

This one is from the cult classic low-budget early ’80s spoof of low-budget early ’80s slasher films, Student Bodies. Set simultaneously on Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Jamie Lee Curtis’ birthday, it contains a running body count, many horse-head bookends, and the following now inappropriate yet still somehow funny nugget of a line:

“Sexual repression causes swine flu.”

Speaking of vaguely inappropriate comments about swine flu, there’s a great opinion piece by Reuben Navarette of riffing on Vice President Biden’s latest open-mouth-insert-foot moment as a way to highlight the idiotic immigrant bashing going on in certain circles in response to the outbreak:

The Obama administration forgot the first rule in a crisis: Never send Vice President Joe Biden to calm people’s fears . . .

Kudos to President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for instilling common sense into all this by pointing out that closing the border wouldn’t do any good now that the flu has jumped the fence, so to speak . . .

But what I waited for — and never saw — was a similar effort by the administration to defend the other group unfairly blamed for spreading the flu: Mexican immigrants. If the concern is with people who might visit Mexico, then we should scrutinize legal immigrants and U.S. citizens who can travel freely between the two countries. Consider that the rash of cases in New York stemmed from students who went to Cancun for spring break.

Yet, ironically, it’s illegal immigrants who usually don’t travel back and forth who catch the blame . . .

Here at home, we’ve actually got some surgical masks. No, we didn’t rush out and buy them on the basis of hysterical news reporting. We’ve had a big box of them for about two months now, ever since both of our kids came down with RSV. We actually wound up taking the baby to the emergency room one night back then because of it. She’s since mostly recovered, but as a precaution we were limiting visitors to our home and making anyone who did come over wear a mask for a while. If you have really young kids at home, I suggest you read up on RSV at the CDC’s web site.

On the bright side, now we’re all set if microbiological Armageddon hits.

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