Thursday, November 18, 2010

Margaret Enjoys My Childhood

One of the toys that I loved when I was small was a Fisher-Price circus train.  By the time I got it, it had seen better days.  One of the lions was slightly chewed, and the elephant was looking battered and ragged and I don’t think that the monkeys even existed, having no doubt gone off on some monkey adventure and lost to our records.*

So when I was pregnant, I scoured ebay** and found a train.  It has been a mostly decorative train thus far, but this last weekend, I pulled the engine down, and gave it to her.


She seemed interested.


I have my suspicions that she really likes the string.


Leo did try to teach her how to blow the whistle.


But I’m not sure it stuck.

Anyway, I think she likes the train.***


And wants to take it with her when she goes places.


Though this is her used car salesman look, and I hope that she isn’t trying to sell anyone the train.

*I’m sure that I’m not remembering which animals were missing and which ones weren’t.  But the point is that it was a well-loved train.

**Looked at it once or twice and found the train.

***Proving that she knows what’s good for her and isn’t going to disdain beloved toys.  Let’s hope she feels that way about Susan.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It’s Not As Bad As It Looks

Margaret spent some more time with that other baby today, and they had fun.  Mostly they just steal toys from each other, so it’s an endless chase around the dining room.

There was one point at which they were lying very cutely together, so I pulled out the phone to get a picture of it.

In that moment, the other baby started screaming, and Margaret continued her investigation of other people’s hair.

I swear, that was the order of events.

So here’s the picture.


I love that you can see the speed of movement in the blurry hands and feet.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Feel Judged

Whatever I was doing, clearly I was doing it wrong.


And it was noticed.  And noted.  And will not be forgotten.

Another Day Out

The weather in St. Louis has gotten colder.  There’s no shame in it, as it is the middle of November, and so high time for the weather to climb down out of the 70s and to decent temperatures in the 40s.

This did not keep Margaret the Intrepid indoors. 

She gets bored with us around noon, so on the weekends we have to find something to do.

This week,  we went to the Botanical Gardens (where it is still very pretty, what with the leaves and so forth).

We put a hat on Margaret.  She looked very cute.


She, however, felt that there was no need for her to be wearing a hat.


So she got rid of it.


Good riddance to bad rubbish, says Margaret of hats and all their works.


And then checks to make sure we heard.

Anyway, I felt like a bad mother, walking around in the cold with my hatless baby, but numerous attempts to put the hat back on the head failed, as did a brief foray into mittens.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Playing Well With Others

Margaret is, as everyone who has seen her at a party knows, a social little person.  When she gets a little fussy, a surefire cure is to take her to the grocery store where she can watch and hear all the people going about their business.  People make her happy.

But we have been introducing her to a person her age, and – while they do seem to enjoy themselves when together – they mix it up a little.


They started off playing nicely, each with their own ring.


And then they saw another toy in the distance, and went for it.  They’ve been playing with this activity table, but getting a little shovey over who gets to push the red button that makes it play music.


And just now as I wrote this, Margaret lost her cell phone (old one with no battery) because she was paying insufficient attention to it.  Got to hold on with both hands, kid.  Both hands.

On The Move

Margaret can not crawl in an upright, not dragging her belly on the floor, straight-armed fashion.*

This has occurred not a moment too soon, because in nine days, she and I and her father** are going to be boarding a plane to take her to Washington, and if she was unable to crawl properly, and was also trying her hardest to walk*** her maternal grandfather would have kittens.

And then, because more kittens is the last thing they need, her maternal grandmother would quite possibly be carried off by an apoplexy.  So we want to avoid that if at all possible. 

Margaret, as she is an obliging infant, has gotten her crawl to acceptable standards.  At the end, she drops back down into her commando crawl, but that was just because she was approaching the exciting trove of glasses and phones, and wanted to make sure that she crept up undetected.  She’s quite good at tactics.  Not so much for strategy, but good at tactics.


*This doesn’t mean that she does all the time, mind you, but she can, and that’s the important thing.

**And her Uncle Ron, for that matter, but he is, understandably, less important to this narrative than I am, because I’m writing it.

***Which she most certainly is.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweet Potato Puffs

One of the things that we were told at Margaret’s 9 month checkup (oh, did I mention that she’d had it?  She’s back on the charts for height and just barely off for weight.  And her head circumference is still in the 70th percentile) was that we should start feeding her foods she could feed herself.  We had already started a bit, with the rice crackers, but now we’re allowed to give her pretty much anything besides milk on its own, nuts (because of the size and choking hazard, not the allergy problems), eggs, and peanut butter.  So I have been slowly introducing different things.

We started on cereal puffs, scattered on the tray of her high chair.


She thought they were pretty neat, but wanted close watching.


As you can see, she’s working hard on picking them up between finger and thumb.  And getting them in her mouth.  They have a tendency (deplorable) to migrate into her front pocket when she has one, or just down her front when she doesn’t.


She is also adopting a variety of modes of getting them into her mouth.  Here you see pictured the “shove my whole hand with cereal puff inside fist into mouth; hope that I can get the cereal out” method.  There is also the “pick up a handful; bring hand to mouth.  Open mouth, open hand, wave face over hand and see what sticks” method.

When she does this, I laugh at her.  And then she looks at me like this.


I feel chastened.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Waiting For Go-Daddy

Leo has been traveling recently to New York to do Very Important Things.  Luckily for us, and despite the title of this post, he is not a character in a Samuel Beckett play.*

Margaret went to pick him up at the airport.**

Here she is waiting for him.


Here is her face as he came through security.


* Lucky for him, too.  I think it would be tiresome.

**I went too, as she’s not so good with the driving.

Lazy Dining

If you asked me what I hoped and dreamed for my baby, I can tell you that the top of my list would be missing anything along the lines of “eat like a Roman emperor.”  For one thing, I think that every parent would be happy to miss the vomitorium, and for another, my study of Shakespeare has led me to believe that Romans frequently served each other pies made out of their children, and that’s not on either.

But Margaret has other ideas.


Admittedly, the only way in which this is Roman is that she’s eating it while reclining, but it seems very decadent, nonetheless.  Also cute.  But mostly decadent.

Margaret’s Literary Sensibilities, Or Her Mother’s Scruples Unscrupled

We have spend a good bit of time on this blog reading an ever-evolving theory of appropriate clothing for babies.  I frequently take positions, and then realize that I don’t really mean it.  After all, my baby is currently hanging out in a flowery pink outfit, and I’ve discovered that in certain arrangements, I like orange.

But I have, in general, avoided putting shirts on her that speak for her.

That is, until yesterday, when she wore this:


I’m not sure that I entirely approve, since it does give her a tone I don’t really think is appropriate in a baby (and where did she learn to use language like that?), but on the other hand, though I’m making her clothes speak for her, I’m also making her sound smart.

Or at least aware of baby-eating literature.

Anyway, she was suitably shocked by it.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Margaret Amongst The Animals

We took Margaret to the zoo again today.  We tried to get a picture of her on the bench, so you could see how she had grown, but the pathway to said bench was closed because of imaginary ice.  So we took a picture with the sign.


The slight problem was that Margaret wasn’t all that interested in posing.


Because her feet were tons more interesting.


And her legs were tired from all that riding in the stroller, so she wanted to sit down.

This time at the zoo, she seemed a little bit more conscious of the animals.  She noticed when the penguin splashed cold water onto us.


The reaction was a little more oral than visual, but this is the only shot I have of her with the penguin, so you’ll have to cope.

Her interest was really piqued, though, by the monkeys.  No doubt she felt a certain fellow feeling with them.


Of course, it’s entirely possible that really what she was interested in was her own reflection in the glass, but she’s a primate too, so that seems fair.






Margaret thinks her dad is pretty awesome.


And so do I.

Of course, she also tries to eat her pants, so take her opinion as you will.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Clever Old Bear

Margaret has  been showing a great interest in books lately.  We have an impressive collection of board books (which, incidentally, I am becoming bored with.  The plots just aren’t much to speak of).  While her interest in said books is still very visceral, she will listen intently when she is read to.

Provided she has a book to chew on as well.

Since I was getting bored, I decided to give her a board book and read her A.A. Milne poems.  Of those, I never get bored.  (Leo was reading them to her the other night and said that it wasn’t fair for me to read along when I couldn’t see the book).

She listened to the whole book.  All 100 pages of it.  Happily.

And then she tried to read them herself.




And she didn’t even try to eat it.

It’s Subversive, That’s It

All of you who have been reading for a while (hi Mom!) will have heard my rants about how I don’t like clothing that imprints a personality on a child that has not yet manifested it, and I hated that lots of the girls’ clothing was princess-y and ballerina-y and – and I think this is the worst – leopard print.

Well, I do.

But apparently, I’m not similarly unwilling to brand my daughter as some sort of athletic star, which is perhaps worse, since it is impressing my own interests onto her whether she likes it or not.

My excuses?  1) It’s subverting the typical gender stereotypes, and teaching her from a young age that she doesn’t need to be buttonholed because of her gender.  2) It’s REALLY cute.


Also, it totally matches the shirt, which has a little patch on the cuff that says “Mommy’s Little Slugger.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Onward and Upward (But Still Backward)

Margaret has a new car seat.

Technically, she’s still got a half an inch until she’s too tall for the infant seat, but the weather has turned colder, and so she’s wearing more voluminous clothing, and the straps were getting unpleasantly tight.

We are, as per recommendations, keeping her facing backwards.  Apparently you’re supposed to do that until they’re two or 35 pounds.  Because it’s safer.  Or something.

Anyway, she seems to like the new digs.


But she is clearly even more excited about the camera.  Or phone.  I can’t remember now.  Electronic equipment?


Or else she’s practicing for when she’s famous and needs to tell the paparazzi to buzz off.

Margaret’s Artistic Phase

She seems to be suffering from nameless ennui, but I promise you that in general she is a very happy baby, and that she was even a very happy baby on this particular outing. 


In fact, she was probably beginning to think of her nap, which would explain the sad and wistful eyes.  Or else she was just hungry, and the fist wasn’t cutting it.  Anyway, we need to get her a black turtleneck and a beret quickly.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Margaret On The Hoof

She seems pretty intent on learning to stand herself up.  And I think she’s testing the fence for weak point.  Is she planning her escape?


We didn’t, I’m afraid, do much for Halloween, since there is a slight problem.  Neither Leo nor I felt comfortable marching Margaret around the neighborhood demanding candy from strangers that she clearly wasn’t going to eat.

We did dress her in her monkey costume and take her to her grandmother’s house.


She didn’t, in general, much care for the hat.  It fit fairly closely, and I think made it difficult to turn her head around* and see things.  So it spent the evening coming off, as it’s much easier to look at pumpkins without a constricting hat.


On Halloween, she also practiced looking like she was casting spells.


It’s the glowing eyes that make she think she’s trying on the occult, but Leo thinks that she looks more like  zombie baby.  I think it’s the outstretched hands.  But again, my baby is not, so far as I know, an eater of brains.


She thinks that such a suggestion is laughable.

She also got cuddly with the cat.  He has been making friendly gestures to her – using her as something to rub up against and so forth – and she is eager to make his acquaintance.




Sometimes we have to keep her from getting too affectionate, as I’m pretty sure he’s not a fan of the ear grab.


*Around as in from side to side, not all the way around.  That would mean that I had some sort of evil baby, and I don’t.  Or if I do, she’s awfully good at covering it up under a veneer of cute and cuddly.