Tag Archives: parenting

7am playdate

Here’s an email I just sent to a couple of local friends who I’m not scared to be in my pajamas in front of:

“Jason and I have been finding ourselves not only awake, but *ready to roll* at 7 am on the weekends. Going to the Watertown Diner has been our go-to, but sometimes we just want something easy/free to do. We figured you may be in a similar situation.

Why stare sleepily at your bouncy child, when you could be drinking coffee and hanging out with us? If you’re interested, let me know. I’ll text you if we’re without plans. There doesn’t need to be elaborate breakfast, just whatever bread as toast, whatever coffee, whatevers. We will probably not be showered, and possibly in pjs. I promise we’ll wear pants.


Quick, before it’s too late

Now that I have a child, every time I see an ad for a restaurant I never made it to, or an event that sounds like fun (but I know I wouldn’t have gone to), I think that if I had just known what life would be like post-baby, I would have been a little more carpe diem.

That’s not to say that I live in a fortress of solitude.I do go out without a baby strapped to me, and I have a great support group who babysit (also paid babysitters, which are fine but OH MY GOD $15 an hour is so much more than I made as a babysitter) so I can do things like go out for dinner (like we did last week for a very belated birthday) or kayaking.

Just now, as I quietly opened a beer in the kitchen (80’s room is next door), I had a realization. I was pondering why I hadn’t been more adventurous in going out to events pre-baby. The realization is that the impending baby feeling didn’t hit us until I was well into pregnancy. I’m sure this serves an important procreative purpose, since thinking about diapers and colic too much would probably put usall off having a babies everl.

The downside is that I only realize in retrospect how much more fun I could have been having. If you would have asked me two years ago if I wanted to go across the city on a school night to see an author speak at a bookshop, I would have probably passed. Now, I’d say “OH MY GOD YES, AND ARE YOU WILLING TO BABYSIT TOO?”, because getting a break from family life is a Real Big Treat now.

So, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, to quote Joni Mitchell* in the original, ungrammatically correct line from “Big Yellow Taxi”. You don’t want to scare yourself out of having a family, so don’t think too hard about this (unless you have children, in which case, I’d really like to hear your thoughts en-comment).

If I could turn back time**, I’d let not-yet-mama Sonya know that taking weekend trips outta town, or going to skillshares are easy and a treat, that they will be missed in the future.

For now, I do get to say that I THOROUGHLY enjoy any outing I get, and I’m sure there are aspects about life right now that I’ll wish I could freeze. Hmm. Like, perhaps, the fact that my child has never yet intentionally defied me.

*It’s been said more than once that Mitchell’s my celebrity doppelganger.
**I’m not going to bother quoting Cher, since it’s a lot less poignant.

Silver linings all over

It’s funny, I’ve often thought “Oh wow, I wish I would have done more spontaneous things, gone to more events, taken more little trips before we had 80.” I didn’t really want to blog about it, because it’s pretty whiny, and I don’t want to give the impression that life is limited now. It’s more like I didn’t realize how much free time I had until now.

Now that I’ve spent four days in bed (thanks to my back), I realized I’m starting to thing “Oh wow, I can’t wait until I can walk, and I’m going to go on walks with 80, go down to Harvard Square to look at people, play in the snow, and go visit friends.” Part of the reason why I’m lying here in bed is because I’d not being leaving the house much and not getting exercise. A million feet of snow will do that to you.

So now, I’m reminded that much like before I had 80 I should have done so many things that are harder to do with a baby, now that I have her I should go and do all of the things that are great to do with a baby, that maybe seem a little hard (restock the diaper bag, put tiny snowpants on) but that I’d kill to do today instead of lying here in bed.

Today’s lesson is: Pollyanna yourself! Also, don’t forget to exercise (especially walking) if you’re a new mom. Those ligaments are extra stretchy still and not being able to take care of your child is reason enough to get moving.

BLW update

80’s been eating adult food (non-pureed solid food, you sicko) for a month and a half now. It’s taking me a while to figure out BLW. She’d been cramming entire “sticks” of food in her mouth, so I started giving her smaller sticks of food (which works, because she’s gotten the fine motor skills to hold them … mostly). She’d just stick more smaller sticks of food in her mouth, creating the same traffic jam, just in more chokeable chunks. Today I had cut up apple into 1/16th sticks, and left a quarter for myself. I was feeling playful, and offered it to 80 (I bit off the skin around the edges so it wasn’t … so she couldn’t … you know, get a paper cut with the skin. I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t happen, but I’m a little short on sleep.)

She LOVED IT. This is what she’s wanted all along. She happily gnawed on the apple (both soft side and skin side) for a good long while. She cried when I took it away (she’d been rubbing her eyes so furiously, I knew we needed to get her cleaned up and on to napping pronto). The look in this picture is her “extreme pleasure” face.

The big lesson is that the baby-led weaning book I love (Baby-Led Weaning: helping your baby to love good food)* really does know what they’re talking about. There’s a picture of a baby nomming on a whole apple, and I thought “yeah, maybe in a few months”.

Also, I remember my friends Abby and Sara having to keep apples on hand at all times, when their son would nom on a whole one for a snack every day. They’d have to keep track, so the chewed-on apple didn’t end up forgotten under his bed, since he took it to play with him all over their house.

The word “apple”, much like the word “fork” will become hilarious as 80 learns to say them, and yet sounds more like she’s swearing a blue streak. Remind me to take a video of her narrating eating an apple with a fork.

*which is now “translated” into American English, so courgette becomes zucchini and spello-tape becomes Scotch tape. One of the authors left a comment here, to let me know.

Traveling Wadsburys

Sonya on a sled

Jason and I have sworn that we’re not going to be parents who end up staying home for the next five years. We’d like to start our kid on dinners out and traveling as soon as we can. Our motivation is to be able to continue to travel, but also to have a child who is comfortable in many situations. Since all of our family lives out of town, this will ensure good family contact as well.

I’m researching the author Laurie R. King for an interview I’m doing with her, and I just found this quote:

I’ve been to India twice, once as an undergraduate on a set tour, the other time for six months with my husband and daughter (when that Taj Mahal photo was taken). Perhaps the most interesting thing about the longer trip was traveling with a child. It’s a thing few people do (with reason — it’s hard work!) and as a result, the people who live there get a somewhat skewed idea of who and what Americans are. To see a Western family walking up the village street — mother, father and small blonde child — acts like an instant outstretched hand.

This may be an idea for diplomatic overtures to parts of the world with ambivalent feelings about the United States: offer free plane tickets to any family willing to take small children with them, and watch the amity grow.

Now I can add “bringing about world peace” to the list of benefits.

Yes, that’s a photo of me, on a sled, with kittens. I figured you could use it to get through your day.