It’s very hard to believe, but my little baby is a year old today. She’s brought so much joy into our lives in the past year that it’s positively flown by.
Happy Birthday, Talia; we love you!
I did three loads of laundry on Sunday, one on Tuesday, and two more today. I have two small children and, as cute as they are, they are disgusting animals. They drool, they use their shirts in place of napkins or tissues, they spill their meals all over themselves, they play outside and get a combination of mud, grass, and sunscreen all over themselves … and so on.
But this isn’t the problem.
The problem is that literally every single piece of my children’s tiny clothing was inside-out. Either I am a complete moron who cannot put clothing in the hamper without somehow turning it inside out or leaving it that way when it comes off the child … or else my washing machine or dryer is doing this to the clothing (possibly on purpose).
All I know is that my clothing and my wife’s clothing are almost always ready to fold right out of the dryer. My kids’ tiny shorts, t-shirts, and pajamas, however, have to be infuriatingly and time-consumingly restored to the proper right-side-out configuration. Every single item.
Sometimes, I’m just a walking, talking, tweeting advertisement for parenthood’s many joys.
But not when my kids decide that sleeping is more of a suggestion than a requirement … as has been the case, off and on, for at least the past three months.
I try to imagine how productive I’d be if I slept like a normal human being. But that kind of thinking just makes me sad. Because, after all, you can’t really teach a kid to sleep well; believe me, we’ve tried.
My daughter is nine months old and, seemingly out of the blue this month, she started touching her hand to her head when I would walk into or out of the room. Then, when I would come over to her, she would clap her hands and smile.
We thought this was cute.
After a couple of days of it, we started to associate the sign with me. Then once in a while she started combining “my sign” with a sign we taught her to ask for more food and which she sometimes uses to say she wants her brother to play with her more:
So it occured to us that she was now saying, “more daddy.” I should keep singing her a song or I should keep tickling her or whatever I happened to be doing at the time.
Finally, we looked up the sign for “daddy” and sure enough:
But how did she learn the sign for “daddy”? We were sure they taught it to her at daycare and we were pleased. We asked them about it one day when we went to pick her up.
"Nope," they told us. We didn’t teach her that. "We should do more with baby sign language than we do," they said. That’s really cool.
But if they didn’t teach it to her and we didn’t teach it to her, who taught it to her? We puzzled over this with her daycare teachers for a few minutes until one of them asked us what the sign looked like. We explained and she made the connection:
One of the girls in our daughter’s class has deaf parents; her father almost always drops her off and picks her up, and the teacher recalled seeing the girl use this sign when her father came to get her.
So our current theory is that our daughter learned the sign for “daddy” by watching another girl in her class use it … which means she understood why the girl was signing and that the sign could transfer to her daddy.
Which is pretty amazing.
My baby started crawling and she’s very proud of herself.
What her parents and big brother are thinking: Nowhere is safe!
Since Saturday, four different people have posted this fictional news story — “Angry Mother of Twins Throws Flaming Diapers at Late Night Firework Shooters" — on my Facebook timeline.
They wrote, “in reading about your troubles with your neighbors over the 4th of July ‘season,’ you could always try this….”; “You could do this?”; “here’s the answer you search for!”; and “I thought this might be relevant for you….”
Apparently my repeated diatribes against the two weeks of fireworks we endured here in Nebraska made an impact on people … though probably not as much of an impact as if I’d just started launching flaming diapers at my neighbors or that time when I called the cops because my neighbors almost set my fence on fire.
First of all, where can I get this setup for my baby?
Secondly, were there a lot of people out there who weren’t sure whether or not a five month old baby was conscious of the world around him or her? Or just the people who have never spent any time with a five month old baby?
Far more interesting, I think, would be trying to figure out when infants become self-conscious. That’s the info I want.
Anyhow, once you find this fantastic hat for my baby and put it in the mail to me, read “When Do Babies Become Conscious?”
First off, I’m a parent. And I obviously am deeply concerned about children — especially my own.
That’s Nebraska State Senator Charlie Janssen, discussing the reasoning behind a bill he introduced yesterday to repeal a state law that provides prenatal care for low-income women, some of whom are undocumented immigrants. And don’t worry, there’s a “But …” that comes right after this sentence of Janssen’s:
"But we’re looking at the fact that Nebraska is the only state that offers this, so if somebody’s in this country illegally in one of our border states, the natural inclination is going to be to come to Nebraska and further sap the Nebraska taxpayers."
Janssen is concerned that undocumented women will choose to migrate to Nebraska (rather than Iowa or Kansas, say) in order to receive our unprecedented no-cost prenatal care, thereby shackling the state’s honest, hard-working taxpayers with the astronomical cost of caring for the well-being of their fetuses.
Last year, Janssen introduced a bill proposing an Arizona-style immigration law here. The bill (LB48) was called the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act and would have required police officers who stopped or arrested a person to check whether he or she was in the country legally if the officers had reasonable suspicion to think otherwise. Anyone who could not prove he or she is here legally would be held, and federal immigration authorities would be notified.
So … what Janssen meant to say, in the quote above, was that he’s deeply concerned about children, his own and those who look like his own.
Critics of last year’s bill, like Janssen and Gov. Dave Heineman, claim that it’s far too costly and that Nebraskans shouldn’t be taxed to pay for undocumented immigrants; they seem not to notice — or care — that the money is actually going to care for fetuses (whose protection, they almost always argue, is the most obviously shirked responsibilty of our government). They also don’t seem to notice — or care — that, once born, these babies will be American citizens. Here’s what we’re paying:
Last year’s measure provides prenatal care to an estimated 1,162 unborn babies each year at a cost of about $654,000 in state money and $1.9 million in federal tax dollars.
Of course, it’s actually far more expensive to care for the tiny American citizens who will be born without having received proper prenatal care during their time as undocumented fetuses than it is to provide prenatal care to the few women who can’t afford it. But Janssen and Heineman, who talk all about the money, must also mostly be interested in the principle of the matter, namely that fetuses have no rights and need not be cared for in any way.
Oh, wait, that’s the exact opposite of their position on fetuses, generally. I meant low-income fetuses and Mexican fetuses, about whom they care not at all.
It is becoming increasingly clear to me that my youngest child suffers from some sort of milk-induced insanity.
Every time I sit down to give her a bottle, she begins thrashing around, flailing her arms and legs, making horrific grunting and choking noises, and spitting milk. This causes me to remove the bottle.
At which point she becomes a complete rage monster.
So the bottle returns. And the above repeats.
After two or three iterations, she calms down and drinks happily from the bottle. When she finishes the bottle and I try a second bottle, the above repeats as though she has never taken a bottle before in her young life, let alone thirty-five seconds ago.
Please advise or commiserate.
Happy New Year!