Saturday, August 30, 2008

I never thought I'd be a hair stylist

The other day I gave Aiden his first haircut because his little mohawky-Tintin-tuft was getting a little unruly. I took some pictures and I just have to share a few of them.

The urge to cut his hair kind of just came on me in the middle of feeding him his first avocado.

Doesn't it look like he has green teeth? EW!

I've never cut anyone's hair before, but I figured that beginning on him couldn't be all that terrible - he doesn't have that much hair to start with. Most of it is in his little mohawk in the front. It's not like he'd get mad at me if I did a bad job. So I guess he's my guinea pig. I'll learn on him as he grows.

I put a dish towel around his neck, got the scissors, wet his hair down, and went to work. Poor thing- I think he was a little perturbed that his mealtime was getting interrupted. And he was having a hard time sitting still because he was trying to figure out what I was doing, which did nothing to make my job easier. "I'm supposed to sit quietly while you are wielding scissors over my head?"

In the middle of it all, I had to stop and laugh and laugh because he looked so funny with his hair combed down flat. I guess I scared him with my hysterical laughter because his lower lip started to pooch out and he began to cry. For after pictures, see Flickr.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A small, weird mystery

Why Stan likes to lick the underside of the kitchen table, I will never, ever understand.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I just learned that I'm ignorant.

I just returned from a meeting of the local chapter of La Leche League. I've been once before, but that was back when Aiden was only a few weeks old. There were more people there this time, and the circle of mothers was surrounded by a screaming vortex of I got a chance to practice my lip-reading skills as the mothers discussed such issues as weaning and solid foods. ( It's amazing how much I COULD lip read!) I learned a lot and was grateful that I went but I thought on the way home how thankful I was for the leaders' opening little spiel about taking what works for you and not feeling pressured by anyone else's opinion. Because I did feel a little... um... I don't even know what the word is for this feeling. Ignorant? Put off? Stupid? Lemming-like? Mainstream? Like my insecure neuroses were expanding like yeast being fed with sugar?

For instance, some people were talking about why you shouldn't feed your baby cereal. And we're not talking Cheerios or whatever. They meant like basic stuff - rice cereal, oatmeal etc. It was interesting hearing their theories and ideas and not everyone gave off this vibe of " if you don't do this, you are a bad mother, brainwashed by our culture of convenience." It just made me think: I love learning but I don't love feeling ignorant. When you think about it, they're inevitably linked - learning eradicates ignorance, but some people have a gift of teaching without making others aware of their ignorance. And some people's way of imparting wisdom leaves you staring at the void of ignorance in yourself. Weird. ( And that makes me think, "Which am I?" )

How can I say this better? Learning should be a positive thing: Cool! I just learned something new! I can't wait to do this new thing. I want to research more about it. It shouldn't be a negative thing- Hey- why didn't I know that before - it seems like such an obvious basic to that person- oh, I feel bad because I've been doing this and that wrong...I probably harmed Aiden's digestive system by feeding him that... The Holy Spirit's way is the first way - the excitement of learning. The devil's way is the second way - CONDEMNATION!

Maybe it's partly a pride issue. I know that humility is essential to being a healthy Christian - a healthy PERSON for that matter- but there is a line - somewhere - between humility (a teachable spirit) and feeling DUMB. "There is now no dumb-demnation..."

I'm torn; I want to go back to this group because both times I have gone, I've learned valuable things but A.) the horde of wild children was almost enough to make me institute mandatory quiet story time - led by me - but then I wouldn't be able to learn anything and B.) I have enough insecurities that I come up with on my own to conquer thankyouverymuch.

I'll probably go back. But maybe not next month.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thanks for the inspiration, SJ!

I was just reading on one of my favorite blogs: "Keeping Up." Sara's latest post alludes to the trend of over-scheduling children; I started writing a comment on her blog, and realized that I was writing a blog post of my own. So...I came over to my own blog and kept writing. So, for what it's comment to Sara has blossomed and is now my rant to the world:

YES! Resist busyness! ( I think I'm going to adopt this as my new motto.) This is true for adults as well as children.

It's odd, and a little unsettling, how I already feel a vague sort of pressure with a baby - just seven months old - to make sure I provide the right stimuli for learning, the right toys, etc. It's a good thing to be aware of these things, I guess, but I tend to get a little too angsty about it. I find myself thinking, "Am I doing this right? Am I not playing and"ENGAGING" him enough? ( You know when you start using vapid, meaningless buzzwords like "engaging" that you're in trouble.) Should I buy loud, annoying toys and force him to play with them? Are there studies that prove that infants are positively affected by those irritating toys? If I just DO more, will he get better SAT scores???" Not really - not that last one anyway...but I have to keep giving myself reality checks, resisting the weird temptation to constantly second guess myself or somehow feel guilty and instead, just RELAX, for Pete's sake. It's like I'm comparing myself to some non-existant, perfect mother. But sometimes I just want someone to TELL me what to do. Get this toy, do this three times a day, read this book. This will ensure a better future for your child. Voila. A formula. Too bad that's not how life works. ( And besides- " better?" Better than what? Better than perfectly fine? Better than happy? Yeah- makes no sense.)

The pioneers and founding fathers are a great solace to me. They didn't have scads of cool toys with flashing lights and seventy two different tunes built into microchips. They didn't have mobiles that play lullabys hanging over their cribs. They didn't do baby yoga. They did not have Gerber foods or Huggies Sensitive Skin Wipes. ( GASP - how did they SURVIVE?) And look what they did: they wrote the Declaration of Independence. They created the Constitution. They crossed the continent. They built the transcontinental name but a few accomplishments. Nice work! Not too shabby, as Nate would say. They were incredible inventors, thinkers, writers, and scholars. Even as children, they could run circles, intellectually speaking, around the smarty-pants college students of today.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John and Abigail Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell did not have Baby Einstein DVD's. For that matter, EINSTEIN didn't have Baby Einstein DVD's. So there, busybody moms of today. Take that.

Disclaimer: this is not to say that from now on I am going to use leaves or woolen wipes on Aiden's poor little bottom, tear down and stomp on the mobile over his crib, give him muddy, pointy sticks to play with, forbid him from ever leaving our property, and teach him that Baby Einstein is the essence of evil. Nope. I may actually play those DVDs for him someday. I LIKE the cute little toys he has. I want him to find interests and pursue them. I just don't want to be obsessed with keeping up with the culture around me that ceaselessly chants, "Do More! Buy More! Experience more! Go more! Not enough! Not enough! Not enough!"

Monday, August 04, 2008

I may be pursued by the Diaper Police

Today was Aiden's first time swimming. Penny and I took him down to the neighborhood pool and he seemed a little perplexed at first, but I think he decided that he liked it. He didn't cry and seemed to enjoy splashing anyway! Penny took this picture on her cell phone -isn't it fantabulous?!

We found out later that no diapers are allowed in the pool. Oops. Well, would wearing NO diaper have been better?! Okay- that's why they have a little kiddie pool... but it was all weird looking and even when I cleaned out the leaves, it still looked... palsied, brackish, and altogether less than wholesome. There was no one else there, but we still could get in trouble because... big brother was watching. Yes, our pool has a surveillance camera so that if any crimes occur there, they will have tapes to use for evidence. I can see the newscast now: "DIAPER IN POOL! Footage at 11:00!"