What a Glorious Feeling

My little beauty is lunging for the food on our plates, putting crusty bread in her mouth, holding her own cup, acting hungry after breastmilk feedings, and in general displaying an unquestionable desire for solid food. Today I read that a baby is ready when she opens her mouth for a spoon, and extremely ready when she closes her mouth around the spoon. Curious, I handed Peony a spoon. She took it in her hand, brought it to her own mouth, and closed her lips around it. OK, OK, she's ready. I get it. But the research seems pretty consistent about waiting until she's six months old; starting earlier gives her a higher risk of diabetes, obesity, allergic reactions, and so on. And the American Association of Pediatricians recommends 100% breastmilk until age six months, so that's what we've been doing.

On her half-birthday, June 22nd, small sweetie will get the rice cereal for which she's been waiting so passionately. And maybe some bananas. It doesn't seem right that her first food be so bland. I might add a little cinnamon. And maybe some kosher salt. And can it be brown rice cereal?

We're finding the right highchair, bowl, and spoon in anticipation of this new chapter in our lives. Highchairs, there are many, and she road-tested the Svan pretty well...but BPA-free bowls seem to be hard to find and then, when found, lacking a little in reasonable functionality. No one needs overkill. I could maybe go for the ThinkBaby set but she doesn't need a bento box, you know?

In the meantime, she's been growing in leaps and bounds, and it's just beautiful to see. She's started sitting up by herself in the last week---amazing! The soles of both feet together in a perfect little yoga pose, and her arms up for a lovely balance. AND she sleeps through the night! Well, she did once, when I mumbled through my sleep to Blue that we should "give it a couple minutes" at midnight, and she cried herself back to sleep. Poor baby, but she did sleep until 5, so she probably wasn't that hungry. We bought Ferber's "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problem" five days ago and it has changed our lives. I think we're about a month and half late on this boat, but at least we're on it.

She also continues her interest in dancing by tearing herself away from nursing to watch George Sampson do his amazing Singin' in the Rain dance on Oprah. Since then we're been watching his dance, which won the final prize on Britain's Got Talent '08, every day on YouTube. You just can't discount those street dancers. He is awesome. I loved his dance so much that I bought the Gene Kelly remix by Mint Royale, and it's great, but listening to it, I realized that the energy in his dance doesn't come from the music...it comes from him. At almost 33 now, I am fascinated by watching certain magnetic personalities sparkle briefly and then age...it really happens, doesn't it? Those closest to you glow and beam and get more beautiful with time as they blossom and crackle with fire and energy and the nature of your intimate connection, but when someone is more at a distance from you, and you can see them shine, then age, then change, it's a stunning thing. That must have happened to me, too. I think I knew it when I was fourteen; I was at a special point that I will never return to again. Mortality: not for the faint of heart! Living long enough to truly grasp aging means an enhanced ability to recognize the power of the youthful peak. I think that's why his music is a perfect foil; there's something bittersweet about how young, strong and vital he is, because it doesn't last---but dance is a fantastic way to express that reality.

Anyway, I'm sure that's what Peony was thinking when she first started watching George. Either that or she just likes the Gene Kelly remix.



In a haze this week of excitement and hope: a beautiful house stands by the river in Newton, with a greenhouse and just the right yard, the bedrooms I always hoped to find at the top of staircase, a sunroom, wooded conservation land, the right street. No garage and no shower. Promptly decided we couldn't afford it, but then I couldn't sleep that night deciding in fact this is exactly what we should invest in and take risks for, so we put our own home on the market and got a full-price offer within 48 hours. Which led to another nearly sleepless night. But this time tentatively joyous. No signatures, but contracts in the hands of attorneys.

Anyway, there will be more time later to blog about a bat house, a river boat, a bike trail, a place where I can write my heart out and raise my children. Something else has been drifting up through the ether, though, through the blissful run of projects at work, my baby and her loving caretakers, trying to remember if we fed the cat, midnight nursings, and it's actually outside of all this. It's the Globe. Yeah, the precarious life of the Globe, close to death, revived for the moment, but having bled out all these years, and it makes me really sad. In college I read the Globe as much as I could, but when I moved to Boston I started reading the Times instead. It seemed more substantial. And it was, in fact, because the Times ate bought the Globe and made it a series of reprints and ads. But even though I stopped reading it, I didn't stop mourning it.

A community paper with smart writers (so, sigh, that excludes the Herald) is so valuable. In the wake of the Globe, who will keep the Meninos of our time honest? Who hunts down wrongdoing and makes it transparent? Where does transparency live at all, in fact? Bloggers? Fine, but which one relaces the Globe? Because I still get all my news from nytimes online and let me tell you, I never read about Boston.