Letters to Miriam: Eight months old

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Dear Miriam, happy eight-month birthday, you’ve been around for two-thirds of a year now! This past month can be summed up in one word: locomotion! Shortly after you turned seven months, you mastered crawling, and now you can’t be stopped. You are speedy, even on the hardwood floors, and we are trying to keep up with baby-proofing.

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You have an innate sense that dangerous=interesting, and “not a toy”=”that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for my whole life.” You aren’t happy just sitting around, you must be wiggling and moving all the time.

 

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The only thing better than crawling around is standing up…then sitting down, then standing up, ad finitum. The play pen (aka baby jail) has replaced the jumperoo in the den because you can wiggle much more freely, albeit safely. Grandpa swears you’ll be walking any day now, but you haven’t quite started to cruise around on the furniture. No hurry on the walking though…besides, why do you need to learn to walk when you’re going to have a pony to ride around? 😉 You started swimming “lessons” this month. You like being in the water and seeing all the other little babies, but the water is a bit cold, we had to get you a mini-wetsuit! You’re pretty fearless about sticking your face in the water and doing new things.

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According to the pediatrician, you are nearly 17 pounds and 28 inches long. You still have two little bottom teeth, I haven’t noticed any others yet. Finger foods are now your favorite. Almost every evening involves you making guacamole with avocado slices while we eat dinner, with some sweet potato or mango slices on the side. Yogurt, cheese and eggs are new food favorites too. You have your second cold at the moment but you’re weathering it pretty well.

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You love to flash your cheesy grin at the camera, and you crack yourself up playing peekaboo with us or the dogs. You’re starting to be a little bit ticklish on your tummy and toes, so that’s another fun game.

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Things that Annoy Me

Don’t worry, I’m only listing a few things that annoy me this week. A full list of Things That Annoy Me would be quite the lengthy tome. I’ve either got to find time to do a lot more ranting, or maybe try to dial down the irritation filter. But what fun would that be?

How to Tell if You’re a Basic Bitch This video was extremely enlightening to me. I’ve often railed against the Borings…people with no edge, no sense of humor, and who are nauseatingly predictable with their interests and preferences (see: white people & running, white women and Sex & the City, Seattle-ites and hiking, etc.). I was delighted to find there is a category for these women. Because if there’s one thing I love, it’s labels and stereotypes, they are timesavers and make for efficient communication. Example, “Why don’t you like X’s girlfriend?” “Uhm, it’s hard to explain, but she’s so boring, and only talks about runnning/hiking/yoga, she has no sense of humor..” But now I can just say, “Because she’s a basic bitch.” Bazinga!

The World’s Toughest Job is in a Fish Cannery in Alaska Full disclosure, I didn’t even watch this whole video, I didn’t need to waste anymore time raising my annoyance level. But if there’s one thing that REALLY annoys me (worse than soup-slurping and slow drivers) it’s the need to announce just how HARD being a MOM is. I’m flummoxed as to why women need to keep flogging this dead horse. Part of my problem is semantics: it’s not a “job.” A job is something you have to actively attempt to get, you have to avoid being fired, and without it you’d likely starve or be homeless. Parenting is a lifestyle choice. It’s a lot harder to sound as smug when you are proclaiming that “being a mom is the hardest lifestyle choice there is.” And yes, parts of being a parent are hard, and challenging, and it is certainly quite different in many respects than other things I’ve done. It is definitely the most constant thing I’ve ever done. But I don’t really see the point of making sure everyone else knows that it’s difficult. Is there really a debate, a faction of people claiming “Motherhood is easy peasy?” But this is a slippery slope into the Mommy Wars and I’m trying to claim Conscientious Objector status in order to avoid those wars.

Babies in Sunglasses. There are some concepts that are pretty good on their own, but when joined together become amazing. Like chocolate and peanut butter, or Penn and Teller. There are other concepts that are pretty good on their own but when put together pretty much cancel out any redeeming qualities. Like breakfast burritos. I love breakfast, and I love burritos. But a breakfast burrito is neither breakfast nor a burrito, and has none of the wonderful qualities of either. I don’t even recognize the existence of a breakfast burrito because I cannot comprehend the need for its existence. Baby sunglasses are another example. Babies can be adorable and wonderful, and goodness knows I love sunglasses and cannot be apart from mine. However babies in sunglasses is so ridiculous that I can’t comprehend the point. Slap on a floppy sun hat, put up a sun shade, let your baby squint. Eat a hearty breakfast or have a burrito for lunch. Spare the poor baby. Unless of course you are an over-protective helicopter parent or you are taking an ironic photo of your baby in sunglasses and a fedora for a Blues Brothers party. Then carry on.

Phew, ranting over. I feel much better now, thank you for enabling this catharsis.