out shopping

It seems that when the baby is well enough to leave the house but too sick to mingle with other children, we take tours of the local shopping centers. We’ve been having a blast window shopping and eating from cheap food stands and sandwich shops. She either mellows out in the stroller or goes wild exploring the plazas, running around and checking out the plants and windows and dogs that people walk at the plaza – and of course, trying to open doors that no customer is supposed to open.

We’ve been going to the open air shopping areas since I really don’t relish going to the mall and I figure that outside air is good for us. On Sunday, we went to Borders, C&B, and the Container Store and the Container Store was by far the baby’s favorite stop. She loved the huge elevators with the glass walls, the large window panels that go floor to ceiling on the second floor, and the aisle of gift wrap rolls. We even found a little kid’s table with a kid chair that fit her and she played with the three small lego blocks left there and ran into a customer with a large dog which she tried to pet. It took a lot of gentle persuasion to get her to get out of the elevators since she wanted to ride up and down – which we did a few times – and there was much sadness and tears when I decided it was finally time to leave. Sadly, the morning excursion exhausted her enough that she took a catnap on the ride home and decided that she needed a longer nap. /sigh

Today, I took her to a different outside shopping area to get her hair cut. She liked the place, particularly since it had movies playing on several screens, and the dancing penguins of Happy Feet captivated her. Unfortunately, when she sat in the barber chair, the nearest screen was showing a fight sequence between the animals in Ice Age and that frightened her and made her cry. She barely noticed that her hair was getting cut although she looked in the mirror to see what was happening. In the end, it was an expensive cut so I think next time I’ll try trimming her hair myself. After that, we ate outside after picking up sandwiches at a deli there and made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s. And once again, she fell asleep on the car ride home and failed to nap in her crib. /sigh

I must learn to either let her sleep in the car or not tire her out so much during her excursions….


taste good

The baby drank shampoo today. I was cooking and it was a little too quiet and then I thought I heard a weird slurping noise. I found the baby sitting in her bathtub in the bathroom with her back to the door. Upon closer inspection, she had a large shampoo bottle in her lap and was pumping the shampoo out. Shampoo was pooled around her legs and covered her clothes, mouth, and chin.

I snatched the shampoo bottle away, crying “Baby, you’re not supposed to drink that!” and I could almost swear that she exclaimed “taste good!”

I called Poison Control and they said other than making her tummy upset that she should be fine.

Very hard to feel like a competent parent after having to call Poison Control.

Today was also notable because it was the first day that I took her back to the gym’s daycare. The last time she was there was a few months ago and it was disastrous. She wailed, hit, batted proffered objects out of the staff’s hands, and she desperately clung to me, frantic at the thought that I might leave her. With such a momentous start, I didn’t bring her back – until now. As a new mom, I had been ignorant that separation anxiety starts around 9 months…..

This time was very different. When I opened the little swiss door to the play area, the baby walked right in and ran to the ride on toys. The staff – who remember her well – shooed me away. I had actually planned on spending an hour with the baby in the play area to get her accustomed to the space and staff, so I hung out in the lobby in case they needed me. After 20 minutes, she noticed that I was gone and started crying, so they called me back. Once I was there, the baby was happy to see me but didn’t need me there to play with her. I think she just wanted to make sure that I was close by. I’m helpful that it’ll get to the point where I can leave her for an hour.

Also, the baby’s vocabulary is rapidly increasing. Here’s a list of the words I’m fairly certain she  say: hi, okay, dada, mama, blue, cracker, duck, vacuum, telephone, good, wait, yeah, no.

A  day ago, I was folding laundry and asked her, “Baby, what’s this?” as she walked by.

“It’s a shirt.”

Shocked. A big pause. I was sure I had imagined it so I held up a different shirt and asked a second time.

“It’s a shirt.”

I folded some more clothes and then held up a dress. “What’s this?”

Silence. Not sure if she knew it was a shirt or if she was just bored with the question. Perhaps both.

She’s babbling a lot. Gibberish to me but she says the babble very deliberately, purposefully, expressively. It’s like she’s speaking a language I don’t know. A few days ago, she was cracking herself up on her own story and jokes. Yesterday, I could almost swear that she was making fun of my clothes in baby gibberish. Sometimes, I think I hear English wrapped up in the baby talk because I’ve thought I heard her say “I didn’t mean to argue that” once and some other phrases that she couldn’t possibly have said. M thinks that I must have imagined her say “taste good” today. I’ve also thought I heard her say “I know that” when I told her I loved her before leaving her in her crib for a nap.

Ah, mommy brain. I’m not sure what’s real or imagined as far as the baby is concerned.

good, da-da!

Today, the baby entertained me while I was cooking. I chopped vegetables and she stood on the other side of the kitchen, chatting a little hysterically in baby gibberish, gesticulating wildly, and laughing. I think she was telling and laughing at her own jokes even though I couldn’t understand her…. M says that this sounds like his family. My other theory is that she was recounting her nap-time dream.

Also, the baby gave M a severe scolding yesterday. She followed him into a room, shut the door, and started berating him in baby gibberish. He doesn’t know what she said but she obviously felt it was important.

This morning, the baby continued the daddy training. When he left for work today, she broke down in huge cries because he had been home in the middle of the day and she thought he was going to stay the whole day like he does during the weekend. Well, he came back into the house a few minutes later because he forgot something, and she squealed, chased him down the hallway, and I could almost swear she cried “good da-da!”

two cute expressions


A few days ago, I stepped on a stray toy in the living room and expressed my pain a little more loudly than I would have liked. Then I heard a little voice say “uh oh.”

I wasn’t sure if I imagined it.


Tonight, the baby was resisting bedtime, crying, squirming in my arms, making it clear she wanted out of the nursery or failing escaping from the room at least to play with some item on the dresser (I had no idea what). In the process, she dropped her pacifier on the floor. The pacifier has been keeping her calm lately so I squatted down with her in my arms to look for it but couldn’t find it in the dark room. The baby could tell I was looking for her pacifier but still complaining.

“I’m looking for your pacifier. You dropped it and it’s dark, and I can’t find it in the dark. It’s gone,” I say to her as she squirms. I didn’t expect a response but received a soft, little one.

“Oh, no.”

overheard at my house

No. You are not old enough for Wolverine yet. Here. You are the right age for The Economist.

said by my husband to our 15 month old daughter.

a quick lunch but with minor gaps in service

I took the baby on a late morning walk today with the thought of getting a snack at the local Starbucks and maybe – if the baby was happy in her carrier – to get milk at the grocery store, but the closer we got to Starbucks, the less appealing the idea of coffee became. So, I walked a little further to the Chinese plaza to get dim sum, rationalizing that the baby had some snacks and that I could quickly pick something to eat off the cart, but I have to admit that I was thinking with my belly.

We arrive at the restaurant which is nearly empty, and I don’t think about it until after lunch is over, but no one asks me, even though I have a 20 lb baby strapped to my chest and there are busboys and wait staff standing idly by, if I need a high chair – in fact, no one pays any attention to me at all – so I get it myself. I grab the chair on the top of the stack in the back hallway only to find out, once the baby in is the chair, that it has no seat restraints. Everyone’s wandered off at this point except for a single, wandering dim sum cart, and the other high chairs are too far for me to leave the baby at the table. Baby is out of the carrier, sitting down, happily nibbling on crackers. We use the high chair we have.

We make it through lunch in a rather cheerful mood and baby behaves like a little lady, focusing on getting the food into her mouth although she does drop a little rice. None of the dim sum servers seem to want to pause at our table even though they all have to walk by it, but I get shu mai and the baby likes her rice and we have a nice time.

Then the restaurant gets busier and the baby gets excited. She scrambles out of her high chair, standing on the seat base, so she can hop out and join two grade school boys a few tables away. I grab her and keep her on my lap because there are carts passing by so she starts to whine and cry a little. The table next to us briefly notes the source of the cry and moves on with their meal, but I don’t want the baby to escalate. I can’t let her go because the cart traffic is busy at that moment and I can’t leave the table because I don’t have the bill and I need to collect my belongings. I flag down a steward for the bill.

The steward brings the  bill and thankfully a to-go box but leaves before I can ask for help or offer the credit card held ready in my hand.

I have a crying, wriggling baby in my arms, dim sum carts moving around the table, a to-go box to be filled, and my baby carrier and phone to pick up as well as the bill to pay. I have the credit card in my hand still. What happens next? During that moment, three carts come to a stand still by my table with their servers standing idly because of a bottleneck at one of the other tables.  This means three carts surrounding the table and three servers shaking their heads at the rice which baby dropped on the floor. Another wait staff member comes to clear off my table, shake her head at the floor, and apparently stare at me. The to-go box lies empty next to a plate piled high with fried rice. No one is willing to help slide the rice off the plate into the empty to-go box, take the credit card, or even flag the steward to come back for the card so I can pay.

It’s only a fleeting moment but a familiar one in which I need an extra hand or extra eyes, and I note the wait staff want me gone but that they don’t want to help. I pay the bill with cash, put the baby down to sweep the fried rice into the to go box, quickly gather my belongings, grab a wrapper from baby’s crackers that fell to the floor, and scoop the baby – now very happy again and eager to run around the tables – into my arms. I strap her into the carrier and we’re on our way – but before we’ve even left the table, one of the servers who had been watching me opens the bill to check the money and count the tip.

Usually, I feel a little guilty when the baby leaves any mess on the floor and this is reflected in a bigger tip. I also feel guilty on those unlucky occasions when I don’t have enough cash to leave a decent tip.

Tip was only a dollar. No guilt today.

roseola, check.

The baby’s rash from the roseola has finally vanished and although I know we got off lucky compared to other babies who kept the rash for much longer, I really, really need to get out of the house.

And my husband agrees.

I’ve read that having a bout of roseola as a child, like a chicken pox, results in immunity to it later. Check. One childhood illness over and done with.