Category Archives: Musings

Baby Musings

Talvi Theodora

Six months ago today, Talvi Theodora came into our lives. (She’d been part of our lives for the 9 months prior, of course, but as TK, not TT.) And over those six months, Talvi has gone from a beautiful, but helpless little being, to a strong, driven little girl with a whole lot of personality. So I thought today was as good a day as any to step back and take stock of who she is so far.

For those who haven’t gotten to meet her yet, or those who haven’t seen her in awhile, Talvi:

  • is a robust, full-bodied, will-give-you-biceps-if-you-carry-her-a-lot baby. At 19.5 lbs and 27+ inches, she’s in the 95th percentile on length and the 94th on weight.
  • has things to do and people to see. Talvi doesn’t sit still much. For someone who can’t walk or crawl yet (emphasis on the yet), she’s remarkably inventive about ways to locomote. Whether diving forward out of a sit, rolling over repeatedly, rotating her body, or finding some surface to brace her legs against so she can propel herself, all of her caretakers have had many moments of “how the heck did she get over there?”
  • is strong-willed. That’s not meant as an insult (look who’s writing it), nor really as a compliment. It’s just a statement of fact. When she wants to do something, she’s pretty intent on doing it–now. Generally that’s really fun. When she decides she needs to crawl before she goes to sleep and spends hours frustratedly trying to no avail, it’s not that fun for any of us. All four of her grandparents inform us that the apple has not fallen far from either tree in this respect.
  • is just plain strong. There’s not a lot of pudge there–it’s muscle. Try holding onto her when she doesn’t want to be held. Seriously, try.
  • isn’t dainty. From the very beginning, she’s liked being bounced, patted rhythmically, swung, etc.
  • has grown a natural mohawk. She lost most of the hair that she was born with, and what’s growing back is growing in a line down the middle of the top of her head. It’s pretty rock and roll.
  • loves the bath. Always has, since the first one. Hopefully always will.
  • hates the carseat. This is relatively new, though, and we’re hoping it’s just a phase that fades quickly. But for now, as much mass transit as we can.
  • is increasingly fascinated by the big, furry, white creature who lives in her house. She wants to run her hands through Montie’s fur and let him sniff her face. Luckily, he’s just about the chillest dog on earth and isn’t phased one bit by the loud, unpredictable small person who’s all over him.
  • loves new sights and sounds. Give her a room full of people to look at and she’ll stay engaged for hours.
  • is happy to play by herself for 15-20 minutes at a time. (This is relatively new.)
  • has decided that sitting up is actually pretty great. For a while there, she wasn’t so keen on bending her hips, but now that she has figured out that sitting lets her grab stuff with both hands and look around, she’s pretty into it.
  • has a big toothy grin (two bottom teeth, at least) and a hilarious throaty giggle.
  • generally seems to be a very talented kinesthetic learner and has good spatial intelligence. She’s figured out how to hold the bottle in her mouth (not just hold it, but tip it up) and doesn’t really miss any more. Similarly, the first time we gave her a spoon, it went right in the mouth without missing.
  • has her own way of greeting/kissing people she loves, where she leans forward and grabs your face and pulls it close to hers.


Baby Musings

Some Observations

First, about Talvi:

  • She has big feet; long, elegant fingers; and very dark eyes.
  • She can wrinkle her forehead with the best of them.
  • She’s certainly not the world’s easiest baby, but she’s also far from its hardest (and yes, I know this could change at any time, and that I’m tempting fate by writing it).
  • When she cries, it’s usually because something is wrong. We don’t always know what that something is, but so far she doesn’t generally cry for no particular reason.
  • Like the books say, she is partial to being swaddled, having you shoosh in her ear, swinging, and sucking on things. So far at least, she’s less enthralled with being on her side or stomach.
  • Her magic “stop crying” switch is rushing water. I accidentally discovered that if you hold her next to a running faucet, she immediately stops crying no matter how upset she is. 100% success rate so far, but I’m trying to only pull it out for emergencies.

Then, about parenthood:

  • It’s hugely time-consuming. (Shocker, I know.)
  • It’s much easier when it’s two-on-one, and both parents aren’t working.
  • The very idea of twins seems impossible. Single parenthood even more so.
  • Motherhood is way harder than fatherhood. Mothers have all the same stresses as fathers, plus they’re the baby’s only source of food. That’s a BIG difference. My middle-of-the-night task (changing diapers) takes 5 minutes and is painless. Neither of those things can be said for Kesa’s (feeding the baby).
  • My pinky will gladly testify to the fact that babies suck REALLY hard.
  • Putting your baby to sleep successfully is very gratifying. For something that will last 3 hours, at most, it gives an incredibly profound sense accomplishment.
  • Singing your baby to sleep, especially, is kind of amazing.
  • When your baby is on the changing table–diaper off–and you hear something starting to happen, your natural instinct is to drop the baby’s legs and get out of there. This is NOT the correct response. The correct response is to block and cover. But it takes some practice to overcome your instincts.
  • Everybody says you’re not supposed to compare having a baby to having a dog. And they’re right–having a baby is way harder and way more time-consuming than having a dog. But now that I’m a parent, I feel justified in pointing out that there are real similarities.
    • Both involve a new being that you’ve brought into your family that is entirely dependent on you for survival.
    • Both require you to figure out how to communicate in a new, entirely non-verbal, but fully-formed language.
    • Consistency and discipline are critical to both, as is figuring out how to incorporate flexibility and leniency.
    • No matter how many books you read about parenting/dog-owning, your being is an individual with his or her own needs, skills, and challenges.
    • And of course, both involve lots of poop. :-)


Brooklyn Musings


I have to say, I just don’t understand Amazon–especially Amazon Prime (the free unlimited two-day shipping thing).  We just signed up for our free one-month trial, which we’ll follow with our free Amazon Mom subscription (three more months of free two-day shipping).  After that, we’ll see if we want to pay the $79/year to continue the service.

But just in the one week we’ve had Amazon Prime, we’ve made 4 orders of 15 total items. All of them were as cheap or cheaper than we could get them elsewhere, and they get shipped to our house for free in two days.  Even the diaper wipes were cheaper from Amazon than at the Coop, where everything has a standard mark-up that generally beats retail handily.

So, what I don’t get is: How on earth is Amazon making money? Their prices are low, their profit margins are incredibly slim, and now they’re paying UPS and FedEx to deliver us our stuff quickly and not getting reimbursed.

Anyway, guess it’s not really my problem. So I’m happy to take advantage while it lasts. And it does seem like same-day delivery is the future. But what’s going to happen when they drive all the local retailers out of business and still can’t make real profits? At some point, they’d go the way of, right?

P.S. My crazy idea is to start a small business in the neighborhood where you tell Amazon to deliver to me, and then tell me exactly what time you’d like your package delivered.  Daytime, evening, late night, whenever.  I can’t be the only one that dreads leaving the house when UPS has my package out for delivery. And even for people with offices, better to get home delivery, rather than lugging your package home from the office, right?