“Hey a man with a baby! You don’t see that every day!” Thus was I described the other day by a library patron leaving the library while I was arriving, Bonnie in tow. The library has been a big place for Bonnie and me. So far in my two months as stay-at-home dad/work-from-home editor, I’ve read three books, am halfway through three more (which I’m reading simultaneously, of course), have written full drafts of three short stories, and have checked out about two dozen books I basically just glanced at twice and then returned. Also, they have “Wee Readers” (0-3) story time. This week’s theme was Dr. Seuss:
Bonnie colored that hat, with a little help from Dad, but I went ahead and wrote her name out. Then, since we somehow didn’t hear The Cat in the Hat during story time, I read it to her once we got home. She basically demanded it. Once I handed it to her and she wouldn’t let go, that is. Not letting go of things is a big skill in Bonnie’s repertoire right now.
Also chewing on everything. Here she’s chewing on a dress Susan’s friend Joanna had made for Bonnie. As of this afternoon, Bonnie has tried every flavor in the 1st food category at Dillons/Walmart, unless there’s some little known one I haven’t heard of, like habanero.
Also as of this afternoon, she has two teeth breaking through the gums, which have made her quite happy and easy to deal with–let me tell you. They are her two front teeth, though, which is pretty adorable. Whenever I see them, that Chipmunks song begins running through my head. You know, “Christmas Don’t Be Late.”
While Bonnie has been trying out lots of new flavors in puree form, her parents have been experimenting with new meals for lent. This year we gave up “out food,” that is food not made in our kitchen–or someone else’s. Sundays are a great exception where we load up on terrible-for-us but delicious things we’ve been hungering after all week. And we’ve had some slips during the week. A Sonic drink here, a trip to Tequilas Mexican restaurant there. I told my sister we do lent plus grace.
Best of all, here’s how we started this blessed season:
Another bright spot of the last few weeks has been Parents As Teachers and playgroup. Bonnie and I have made it to playgroup three times and I haven’t been the only dude once. Usually it’s a Mom-Dad combo, but I’ll count it.
Last week our instructor, Donna, sent me home with a book of activities. Bonnie’s least favorite was the pot game, where you hide a toy under a pot. I wasn’t sure if it was too advanced or not advanced enough and then another instructor at playgroup pointed out, “There’s some activities they just don’t like.”
What she loves is mirror-time. Here she is doing two activities at once. Mirror-time and bang the wooden spoon like a drum stick. Mostly she ate the wooden spoon, but that other baby has held her attention all week.
Then Donna came by our house and assessed Bonnie. Social-emotional: Check! Attachment: Stellar! Motor-skills: Could use some work. But to be fair, we hadn’t worked with her on standing next to something and holding on to it, or hitting a toy with another toy, which is apparently a crucial developmental milestone. First you hit a toy with another toy. Then you hit your dad in the eye with said toy. And then you can do Algebra. Crawling, however, is more important than we ever thought. For some mystical reason, the fluidity of crawling is a pre-reading skill.
Needless to say, ever since Donna dropped by, our little home has become much more activity-filled.