Wednesday, August 10, 2011

for my own remembering

shoshanna mary at fourteen months.

her favorite and most clear word is no. "NYO!" cheerful and vaguely foreign sounding, this word has many applications in the life of shoshanna mary. do all little kids have interesting accents when they first start speaking? such a reminder that they still are newcomers to this world of ours. today she had a fever, and several times woke up whimpering mournfully, "oh nyo, oh nyooo!" heartbreak city man.

she has a serious nod, slow and measured. when i turn on the car and music comes on, i look back and find her nodding solemnly in approval. she also nods when i give her a particularly delicious food. her favorite foods are watermelon, berries, and meat. she has a sweet tooth like her papa.

she is generous and likes to share the various things i give her throughout the day--a grape tomato, an interesting flower, a chunk of corn on the cob--with the dogs and cat, to varying degrees of appreciation. she rests her head tenderly on the dogs, cat, and once a stone lawn ornament of a boy fishing, her little fanny sticking out dearly behind her.

her tantrums--mostly concerning thwarted plans--are epic, throwing herself to the ground dramatically, head flailing behind her. it is difficult and also strangely wonderful to have entered a new kind of crying, a kind you're supposed to ignore. how liberating it is to just walk away, to not involve myself in the relief of this tiny person's fury. i look forward to the day when this vast determination can be applied to some use besides the pulling of dishes off tables, trying to open various cupboards and drawers of doom, and eating dog food.

there is not much better than the dancing of a very tiny one year old. or, probably any one year old. this kid is tiny though, fifth percentile, but walks and even runs these days with authority and attitude. and yet she's so small, it really looks like it shouldn't be happening. so with the dancing, she's got some pretty good rhythm, and is always willing to bust a move. occasions to dance include but are certainly not limited to: cell phone ring tones, commercial jingles, the bacon sizzling sound effect on her play kitchen. she prefers funk, rap, and soul, especially that 60's beehive hairdo soul. so pretty much anything with backup singers and hand claps. we are very encouraging of the dancing situation. she waggles her neck around a lot, wiggles her fanny, and kind of hops up and down, and we clap and clap.

this fourteen month description would not be complete without mention of the waving. usually double-handed, not so much limp-wristed as hinge-wristed, usually accompanied by a proud and beaming smile. david and i wave this way at each other sometimes, and it looks as if there is almost too much collective wave to handle. sho, an outgoing person, has recently discovered the utilization of the wave in the direction of strangers can have a desired and often predictable outcome, most often a returned wave accompanied by laughter, "why hello!" and "aren't you cute..." all of this is very much to her liking, and so right now she is what could be called an over-waver. if anyone in conversation says anything resembling a greeting, including high or buy, she waves dutifully. our unfortunate waitress yesterday was the recipient of about thirty sho waves, each one more sincere and beaming than the last.

our little chichi monster, we adore you so.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

the trenches

[photo credit: dan foley]

when i think about it, i think we are in the parenting trenches. or maybe it's just all trenches from here on out? basic things like eating in peace and having enough rest are systematically routinely denied. but, strangers smile at you. a couple in their eighties smiled so dearly at us today it made me want to cry at the secretary of state. these are the best days, i thought, even though they're so hard. then sho bit a kid shortly thereafter. god she's fierce, sweet too but really fierce. i wonder who she will become.

if she was a dog, we'd be seriously considering putting her down by now.

we got a car! a black buick regal, very fine. a car after nine months of carlessness feels illicitly delicious. it really does feel like it's too good to be true. everything is so easy! i want to buy a car for every single mother carrying a baby and groceries i ever saw on the bus.  some parts of living without a car were lovely--so many adventures from walking to get there--but some parts were grindingly hard.

i'm off to fashion shoshanna the biter a necklace for her to unleash her biting impulses upon, which the internet recommended. i'm thinking some sort of knotted leather. sort of boho-chic with a splash of savage uncontrollable biting tendencies thrown in.

[photo credit: kelsey newnum]

Sunday, July 10, 2011

moments in bad parenting


every parent has those moments (i hope).  when you're desperate to finish the final thirty seconds of dinner preparation, and hand your infant a tightly fastened bottle of vitamins (while you're standing right there, of course) to shake, shake, shake.  when your kid is coughing hard, and you ask your partner, "should we do the heimlich?  or is she just coughing?" and decide she's fine, before she finally coughs up a shiny, deadly penny, somehow alive in spite of her parents' ineptitude.  or when, during the second hour of trying to get your dear sweet eighteen pound infant to sleep, using an exhausting combination of singing, jiggling, pacing and begging, you say gently, "please, please go to sleep, you little motherfucker!" 

why do i tell you these things?  the truth, it is irresistable.  and i do believe: the kids are all right.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

ok here we go

man when you haven't written in awhile, it is like dragging yo ass to the secretary of state.

ok, here we go. well today shoshanna mary bit a kid for the second time at playgroup (pictured above), she is now the BITER. there is really nothing like parenthood to take you down a peg or two. if i ever for a second start feeling like awwshit i got this parenting DOWN dog!--BAM! your kid starts taking two hours to get to sleep at night and is the BITER. the worst part (how to pick just one) was probably when another mother said, "not to make anybody feel bad, but i have some parenting books you can borrow if you like." or no, probably the worst part was seeing the gnarly bite on this kid's arm, right across from the still-healing bite on his other arm from last week! she was wearing tiny pigtails and a dear little red pinafore, and all the other kids went scattering in her wake.

Monday, April 18, 2011

shoshi's favorite toys

[photo credit: vanessa hardy]

1. dog food bowls, preferably full of food she can gobble and water she can soak everything in an eight-mile radius in
2. broom and dustpan
3. six-pack of empty beer bottles
4. any available electrical outlets
5. rocks and dirt, see also plant matter
6. whatever microscopic piece of dirt or filth she can find and place lovingly in her mouth
7. shoes

how did humans make it this far?