80’s just hitting the phase where she says new words every day. It’s exhilarating. It seems to surprise all of us. “Tail! Tail!”, she says, as she excitedly hurts the cat.
It was easier to draw than explain.
I’m using Spotify to pump music into my ears as I work. Lots of music is at my fingertips, and I’ve been using free association to choose what to listen to next. I found myself realizing I NEEDED to listen to the Tank Girl soundtrack (as it is my favorite movie of all time, or maybe second to Beetlejuice).
And then I remembered the time I was in the natal ward of the hospital, having given birth the previous day. Our post-partum doula came to meet us and we were chatting. I mentioned my favorite movie was Tank Girl, and she said, “Oh, I have a song on that soundtrack.”
THAT’S RIGHT. My post-partum doula was Tanya Donelly. I was already high on mama hormones, but that was just an awesome feeling. My daughter is being ushered into the world with two awesome parents, and a member of Belly. Perfect.
If you think Tanya’s music is great, you should see her be a doula. She rocks.
We got a hand-me-down iBert bike seat (thaaaaaank you A+S+J).
Most people biking with a kid have the seat that attached to the back of the bike. There’s also the trailer that sits on it’s own wheels, down on the ground behind the bike. Our front-attached bike seat is much rarer. It’s a newer design, and there are grumblings that it’s not as safe — though I disagree.
I’m not an expert. I’m not sure who would be the most qualified to speak to the safety of each bike seat, but I can give you my opinions. I’ve been in bike crashes before, and if my bike slides out from under me I’m going to have my hands on my handlebars and be able to have a small amount of control of the front of the bike, and help guide it down. If it’s a head-over-handlebars, I don’t know if either seat is going to be better or worse. That’s where wearing a helmet, long pants, and shoes is important.
In summary, the iBert is the best commuting or street-biking seat style.
The other option I’d consider is the bike trailer:
The safety issue for me is having a trailer down where cars can’t see it. An upside to this kind of trailer is that there’s lots of room (you can put two kids in there), there’s protection against the elements, and if you were to lose your balance they’d be low to the ground already.
The trailer is a great option if you’re on bike trails, or otherwise not in traffic.
I’m not a fan of this seat. It puts the kid level with your ass, so their main view is blocked. It’s also hard to hear them, and you can’t see them without turning around and looking down (which is hard to do and dangerous while biking). They do have a higher back, providing more support for wobbly heads. The downside is some models don’t account for the child wearing a helmet, which means the child’s head is pushed forward and they can’t rest comfortably.
You can get the iBert on Amazon for something like $90, which is the same price as the mid-range rear-attached seat, so I can heartily suggest the iBert.
Here’s a video of Jason and 80 in the seat:
Three-day weekends make traveling with a baby a lot more feasible, because you have more time to enjoy your destination between travelings.
National holidays work against you, though, because everyone else is on the road, train or plane.
Thus, we stayed home for Labor Day weekend, and are using a precious vacation day to make our own three-day weekend now. We’ve scheduled our driving to coincide with 80’s nap (see fig. 1), which works really well for all of us.
We packed and had a leisurely breakfast this morning, hopped in the car, and 80 will wake up in two hours when we get to the ferry (which will take us to an island for maximum vacationing). 80 will be asleep for the boring car ride, then awake for the boat ride. Hopefully this works out as well as I have smugly planned.
We’re a quirky family, humor-wise (not bodies-in-the-basement-wise). Jason and I have a flow of verbal and physical humor that is near-constant.
Stemming from a witnessed moment of this*, we’ve maintained that I stick my nose in Jason’s ear as a way to both
a) prove I’m me, an not a robot facsimile (though that particular jig is up, now that I’m writing this)
b) say that everything is all right
Today, while playing “This Little Piggie”, 80 stuck my toe in her ear. She truly is a Wadsgreen, through and through.
There comes a point when your baby becomes more interested in trying on your shoes, rather than mouthing them. Today is that day. It’s a small victory.
Today was generally above average. Usually, 80 and I muddle our way through a day that revolves around eating and naps. The rest of the time is fill-in playing at home or out (the park, library, the rare playdate). By right around 5 pm, I start having the same vague thoughts of wishing J was home from work, wishing I lived near family, and dreading making dinner (I am not much of a cook, what do I make that’s 80-friendly, how do I make it while she’s underfoot?)
This morning I took 80 on a bike ride. We got home, and she refused to get out of the bike seat. She held the crossbar down and shook her head vehemently (well, it looked vehement with her bike helmet on). So I went out for another ride.
While biking, I tried to tell her if we were going to hit a bump, so she wouldn’t be startled. She started signing [more] after a bump, and I started looking for rough patches in the road.
We went down a hill, fast enough to pick up some breeze. 80 lifted her hands from the bike seat crossbar and put them above her head in the typical “rollercoaster” fashion. It was spontaneous on her part, so I wonder if it’s innate (also, why). It made me giddy to see her do it, knowing she was experiencing a flying feeling, and probably some baby euphoria.
Again, when we got home, she wasn’t happy. An hour and a half after we initially left the house, I finally got her to agree to go inside with the lure of snacks and hand-washing. (That sounds OCD, but remember she’s a toddler, and it’s like a mini pool party.)
That long set of rides readjusted my view on our lives. We went out and did something we were both happy to do. If we can have more experiences like this, I can continue to handle this stay-at-home thing.
I asked 80 to smile for the picture. My aunt Sharon politely dubbed this her “chipmunk face”.
It seems there are these very consistent benchmarks for babies of the same age, and other milestones that can be very different (new teeth, walking). I make a lot of parenting decisions based on other’s experiences, taking the same/different factor into consideration. I’ve decided to try and blog more of these small observations. On a personal level, they’re really only fun for 80’s family, but this data could be interesting to other new parents.
An observation for today: while playing on the front steps of C+A’s house, 80 discovered hauling both herself and her water bottle up an down. She’d be on one step, and put the bottle on the step above or below. It’s a small thing, but it’s related to manipulating both herself and another object on a multi-level surface.