Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Selfishly, It breaks my heart

Lucas is a daddy's boy. Not daddy's boy in the terms of dragging a fishing pole behind his father's shadow (but I anticipate that in about five years), but daddy's boy in that the is acutely aware of when his father is in the house, and acutely aware of when he is not in his father's arms. Did I mention he is acutely aware?

The other day, Aaron woke up late and dashed out of the house or else risk being late for chapel and his catechism class. He came home two hours later to eat breakfast, and both Lucas and I were surprised to see him come through the door. Aaron came in just as we sat down to watch Regis and Kelly do their morning monologue (life is so exciting when I work the late shift!), and chatted with me as he put down his briefcase and keys. He started to walk across the room and Lucas started wailing and reaching for him. Like I was poking him or something.

Tonight, he went down early, after a very busy day of rattling the baby gates, banging on the screen door, and getting his head stuck in rails of chairs. Aaron was teaching a late class, and Lucas woke up minutes after he came in and started screaming. I went in and got him so Aaron could eat dinner, and for the next fifteen minutes, Aaron stood behind me eating and talking to Lucas, who was wailing at the top of his lungs. He eventually wound up in daddy's arms, and fifteen minutes later, the two of them were sitting in the arm chair, Lucas clutching a bottle of water and Aaron reading the paper. The boy was happy as a clam, and was soon cooing himself to sleep. He fell asleep with a smile on his face, just content with the world that he was sitting with his papa. I told Aaron that it selfishly broke my heart, to see the two of them like that, knowing that when he was crying all he wanted was his daddy. But at the same time, I felt so blessed that Lucas could sit on his lap and fall asleep as Aaron's heart was breaking because it was so full of happiness.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Creep Them, Crawl Them

Lucas is creeping, and by creeping I mean making dangerous swerves, leaps, and jumps from one piece of furniture to the other, all while wearing he adorable new shoes with pirates on them. So fierce, that one.

He is thrilled with his new found mobility, and has taken this skill to new levels by pulling himself up and then trying to turn around to grab at the ottoman. The look on his face is one of concentration mixed with a sense of "do I try to do this, or will I fall?" We pushed the ottoman closer and he crowed in triumph as he managed to turn and reach his chubby hands for the magazine that was just within his reach.

We have now gated the house, and he manages to pull the forlorn jailbird look off quite nicely as he rattles the bars on the gate to the dining room. Look out, here comes trouble!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Vote No on Prop Fall

The Santa Ana winds are blowing. For everyone who does not know about the area of high pressure that forms over the deserts in Utah and Nevada and blows dry, hot wind into San Diego, that means trouble. Trouble because the risk of fire goes up exponentially (like last year when three wildfires started simultaneously and went uncontrolled for days), my skin and hair wither and die, and my internal seasonal clock gets all our of whack because, HELLO, it is October and time for fall leaves and cool evenings and beef stew and cozy sweaters. Unfortunately, cozy sweaters, boots, jeans, beef stew, fall leaves, and cool evenings are denied and delayed because at this moment I am wearing a tank top, shorts, and flip-flops. And it is supposed to be 97 degrees today in Escondido. It means I have to keep shaving my legs and getting pedicures. It means my beef stew becomes a beef taco with cool lettuce and salsa, which I enjoy as I run my air conditioning.

Oh, I can decorate my house with pumpkins and fall leaves, and bake any amount of apple pies and gourd shaped cookies, but it means nothing and is lost when I step outside to a dry oven of brown grass and palm trees waving over the tumbleweeds and scrub brush. It actually rained last weekend, but the cool smell of wet concrete lasted about 10 seconds. And then it was time to break out the sunglasses and the the baby pool.

California just asked the federal government for 7 billion dollars to bail them out of their credit crunch, and with all that pork, there better be some beef stew in there, as well as a pair of boots and a wool sweater. Throw in some sugar maples that are red, yellow, and orange, and I may be able to tolerate living in year round summer.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

On Eating

Happy 9 month birthday to Lucas. Nine months ago we were celebrating the New Year and a new baby. Now, we marvel at his ability to crawl, and how he has memorized the path the dog's water dish. Take a bath in the duck tub and in the dog's dish. Lovely.

Now that the boy is 9 months old, we can begin a slow transition to table foods. Yeah, right. This is going to be painful, as he DOES NOT LIKE the jarred chunky stuff. I'm sorry, but baby food is disgusting. Perhaps it goes to show how degraded our own adult tastebuds have become due to years of exposure to salt, sugar, and their evil counterparts: monosodium glutamate and high fructose corn syrup. Some days I can be a culinary snob and demand organic shade grown chocolate that is 73% cacao. Other days I am ready to stick my face in box of Captain Crunch. Yeah, that's right, and if it is peanut butter Captain Crunch, then all the better.

Today, for example, I opened a jar of garden chicken pasta dinner. It smelled pretty good, and it even looked marginally appetizing, but the taste. My lord, the taste was like watery, chickeny, carroty water. It needed salt...and Tabasco. And the little nodules of pasta reminded me of my scarred childhood when I was eating a certain brand of soup that comes in a red and white can. The soup was beef and barley, and my mother teased me that the barley kernels, all swollen from their bath in monosodium glutamate beef water, were bugs. "Ewww," she said," You're eating bugs!" I looked into this jar of food and my first thought was, "I am feeding Lucas bugs today. Well, here we go, open up for me lil' buddy!"

Lucas did not cotton to his pasta dinner. In fact, blood curdling screaming coupled with visceral gagging is probably a better description. He would swallow the goo, but the little pasta nodules would fall to the front of his mouth, making him look like he had four molars growing from the front of his gums. Not an attractive moment for a child who takes cherubic photos. So, I caved to prevent another child from being scarred with a scary food association, and I switched to pureed fruit, which he greedily ate. He finished his dinner with a teething cookie that was gummed to the softness of wet cardboard and then dropped on the floor for the dog to polish off. By that time, it was time for my own dinner, so I balanced Lucas on my lap while I ate my chicken and pasta. Lucas has long held a fascination with whatever Aaron and I are eating, so I broke off a tiny strand of spaghetti and put it in his mouth.

And he ate.

Not only did he gum and swallow spaghetti, he ate onion and mushrooms and kept trying to stick his paws in my dish to feed himself. The spaghetti he held in his fat little fist didn't quite make it to his mouth, but he did rather enjoy the rest of my meal, and even tried a bit of melted cheese on flatbread. Any suggestions for the 54 bottles of baby food I have in my pantry?