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Archive for August, 2010

Squinchy Face

The first day Miles ever made squinchy face (which involves furrowing the sides of the nose and opening the mouth), Aunt Skye and Uncle Skip and Courtney were visiting.  It was so thoughtful of Miles to introduce a new facial expression while they were in town. I tried in vain to catch it on film, but my photos came out blurry and dreamlike. 

The making of the face reminded me of the silly movie Zoolander, how the male models have different trademark “looks” they make with their faces, and the looks have absurd names like “Blue Steel.”  Miles’ look could make him famous in the world of male baby models, I was sure.  The beautiful thing about squinchy face, I marveled, is its versatility.  It can express either a passing dissatisfaction, as when a toy is out of reach, or pure joy, as when Aunt Skye smiled at Miles or even looked in his direction.  Squichy says happy!  Squinchy says yucky!  Squichy says yes yes yes!

The next day, when I was alone with Miles again, he would not. Stop. Making. Squinchy. Face.  The more he made it, the less I came to see it as an attractive, flattering expression.  He was charging around the house with his mouth hanging open, after all.  It was like a sneer.  No, it was a snort without the sound effects.  And catching it on camera was not a problem. 

“I’m not sure I like squinchy face,” I told Robin that night.

“That’s your son’s face,” she said.  “You are criticizing your son’s face.”

“Just that particular expression,” I said. 

Robin raised an eyebrow.

Then I reviewed the footage, and she was right.  Huh.  Maybe squinchy face isn’t so bad after all.  You be the judge.

Squinchy face says pick me up.

More squinchy face.

Squinchy all the time!

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I’ll never have time to write the perfect post about the amazing 

Oops.  I was writing that sentence, and then Miles woke up from his nap early and I went in to try to put him back down to sleep. 

A week ago.  

So you see, I haven’t had lots of free time to blog lately.  What I was going to write was that I will never have time to fully capture the amazing weekend we had for Robin’s birthday almost two weeks ago.  So here it is in summary: Robin’s brother and sister came.  We talked and ate and drank.  Miles became smitten with Aunt Skye; he took his first steps on Robin’s birthday; he started making a whole new squinchy-nose face; he started waving bye-bye; he probably said the word “ball,” though we’re not totally sure; and he started reliably rolling a ball back and forth with us.  He did about 27 new and amazing things that are quickly becoming not-new.  Here are some photos.  

Shades.

 

And we wondered why he didn't sleep.

 

Morning cuddle.

 

Peekaboo!

 

Walking lessons.

 

Helping Momma open her card.

 

Penthouse view.

 

Best seat in the house.

 

Saying goodbye.

 

Come back soon, Aunt Skye!

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Miles Just Wanted to Say…

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Davidsons Everywhere!

It’s Davidson birthday weekend over here.   Robin’s birthday is Sunday, and her brother Skip’s birthday is Saturday.  It’s the big 3-0 for him, and as luck would have it he is in a wedding in our neighborhood this very weekend.  So Uncle Skip is here with his girlfriend, Courtney, and Aunt Skye is flying out tonight to join the festivities.  At this very moment, the chocolate icing for their birthday cake is cooling on the stove, infusing our apartment with its dark sweetness.  We’ve got all kinds of excitement planned, and photos to come later.  For now, just enjoy these two recent Miles pics. 

In my room.

 

Peekaboo!

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Water Boy

You would think that with the amazing lessons at the Y, Miles would be an expert swimmer by now.  Not so much.  Observe what happened when we tried to get him into the wading pool in our neighbors’ back yard.  They kindly left us a key and free use of their garden when they were away camping.  “Use the wading pool!” they exhorted.  Ha!

We started out excited.

Look Miles! A totally thrilling wading pool!

 

But Miles behaved as though the wading pool were filled not with nice warm, friendly tap water but with battery acid.  An attempt to dip his toes in led to horrified, furrowed-brow wails.  An attempt by me to stand in the wading pool while holding him provoked him to crawl ever higher on my body.  So we sat next to the wading pool for awhile.

When wading pools attack.

 

Finally, we gave up and went upstairs.  Where we filled the bathtub with water.  And put him in it.

This is more like it!

 

And we were like, seriously Miles?  This is water.  In a container.  With toys.  Just like outside.  And he laughed at us.  Because obviously we were pulling his leg.  That thing outside was pure evil meant to destroy him.  And this?  This was his bathtub.  Obviously!

Come on in, the water's fine.

 

So, whatever.  As long as I get to make weird shapes out of his wet hair, I’m happy.  Oh, and cuddle him afterward with a big, adult towel.  And smell his baby shampoo smell.  And just squeeze him a wee bit too hard. 

Mmmm... clean baby.

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When you’re an expectant parent, people like to warn you about the diapers.  They groan with horror and glee, predicting the years of stinky suffering you’ll endure.  Poop is not glamorous, I admit.  It smells.  It has surprising textures.  It gets everywhere.  Yet I was pleased to find that, barring a putrid blowout or a fortnight of diarrhea (which Miles recently suffered), I don’t really mind diapers. 

In fact, the changing table has turned out to be one of the best spots for excellent photos.  The nursery is flooded with light, Miles is usually sprawled out and ready to go, and we’ve often been smiling and cooing at one another.  So here’s some fun with “then and now,” on the changing table.

November.

December.

January.

February.

March.

April.

May.

In June and July, he was just too wiggly and wild.   He wanted to practice crawling or grab the toys from the shelf or rip my glasses off of my face and chew on them.  I could barely get the diaper on and off, much less linger for a photo shoot.  Would this be the end of the changing table magic?

Then, on Wednesday, he was joyful and mellow and smiling at me as I changed him.  The lighting was perfect.  I grabbed the camera, and he rewarded me with this gem.

August.

Parenting is dirty work.  But it’s also stunningly beautiful, isn’t it?

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Cheerios

“You bought Cheerios for Miles?” Robin asked last night, perusing the shelves to see what other tasty morsels I’d picked up at the grocery store.  Her face took on an eager look.

“No, those are for us!” I said, guffawing.  I’d been trying to follow two suggestion in Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules”: don’t eat breakfast cereal that changes the color of the milk, and don’t eat anything with sugar as one of the first three ingredients. (Unfortunately, sugar is the third ingredient in Cheerios.  Right after “modified corn starch.” Oops.)

Clearly the Cheerios were not for Miles.  As if Miles, who is just now getting one tiny little tooth poking through, could chew a Cheerio!  Miles, who has been choking on “Chunky Orchard Fruit” baby food and wrinkling his nose at oatmeal.  As if!  Bah!

I’ve been assuming that I’d be spoon-feeding Miles yogurt in his college cafeteria.  He likes foods with lots of flavor, and he will try almost anything.  However, he has recently rebelled against food with texture, and he has shown about zero interest in feeding himself.  Both Robin and I were hugely relieved this weekend when he finally picked up a piece of bread and put it into his own mouth.  It seemed like an important step.  Yesterday he extended his newfound skill to picking up a watermelon wedge and gnawing on the rind.   (I didn’t take about seventeen pictures — no, not me!)

Chomp, chomp!

But Cheerios?  Those are for kids who can handle munching and crunching.  Big, hearty kids who talk in full sentences and are nearly potty trained.  Not little babies who were practically born yesterday. 

Robin, of course, believes that Miles can conjugate verbs in French, bake a souffle, and tap dance.  She really doesn’t believe he’s constrained by the usual developmental stages.  How could he be?  He’s her son.  So this morning she asked me to get the Cheerios out, and I wisely zipped my lip.  I handed the box to her in skeptical silence.  If she wanted to try it, fine, I thought.  The worst that could happen is we’d waste some Cheerios.  Or he would choke and she’d have to pull out those moves we learned in Infant CPR class.  Whatever.  I certainly wasn’t going to speak up and be pigeonholed as the Worrying Parent. 

So she put the Cheerios on the tray.  And Miles picked one up and ate it.  Just.  Like. That.

Hand to mouth.

Robin beamed.  My eyes teared.  And he did it again.  Miles seemed matter-of-fact about it all.  He wasn’t exactly sure why Momma was snapping about 27 photos while Mommy wept joyfully into her yogurt and blueberries. 

It's no big deal, moms.

   Yes, it seems silly.  I’m sure plenty of you are rolling your eyes at me and wondering why this even warranted a blog post.  All I can do is raise my arms helplessly and say, Cheerios, guys.  Cheerios.  For some reason, they seem so grown-up to me.  Next he’ll be mixing up dirty Martinis and throwing a steak on the grill. 

Maybe I’m a little emotional about this because he’s been changing alarmingly fast lately. I’m having trouble adjusting.  His hair, for instance, is growing profusely.  He has enough hair to tousle.  Some days it stands up straight in dandelion puffs, and other days it lays in airy whorls, like meringue.  After months of playing hide-and-seek, a single tooth has broken through the gums.  It clinks against the cup when he takes a drink.  I try to picture him with an entire toothy grin, and it seems so strange.  Plus, Miles is oh-so-close to walking.  He holds only one of my hands as he chases pigeons at the playground, and every once in awhile his grip loosens, like he might let go.

Inside, I’m chanting, Let go, let go.  And also, Hold on, hold on.

What? Is something funny?

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