More of March

Samantha is now three and a half months old, a chubby and happy baby who sleeps and nurses wonderfully. She laughs if you blow raspberries at her belly or tickle her chin.

She drools constantly, soaking through her clothes, but doesn't seem to be made unhappy by her own moisture. She loves to push her feet off against things, grab things with her hands (so far burp cloths, blankets, my hair, Sophie the giraffe, and other babies' hands), and coo at the beautiful baby in the mirror.

She exhibits a fondness for movies, even though I keep trying to keep her away from them. When Marcus gets to watch a bit of "Wonderpets" or "The Backyardigans" in the evenings, she turns her head around and around until she can see the screen. Robert finds this perfectly charming, and sometimes helps her in her movie-viewing ways even though I roll my eyes.

In the middle of the month we went to the Tap to Table Maple Syrup breakfast and demonstrations at Drumlin Farm, and even though it's been a terrible year for syrup, we watched them boiling it down and then ate pancakes with their own pork sausage and their own fried potatoes. There were also some new lambs and kids on the farm, born literally the night before we were there, and their cuteness can't be overstated.

The next day, a gorgeous day in the mid-70s, we went after church to a big train show at the Shriners' Hall in Wilmington with Sarah and Sean and Miriam, Davis, Garrison, and Clarinda. Sarah and Sean came to the H-Mart with us for a post-train lunch, and then we went home to play on the roofdeck and enjoy the glorious afternoon weather.

This month Marcus's group at school went on a field trip to the local coffee shop, where they had all sorts of adventures. The manager's name is Ryan, so he and Marcus's friend Ryan interviewed each other ("Do you like hockey?" asked three-year-old Ryan, reviving his favorite theme. "What's your favorite hockey team?" asked manager Ryan, following his lead).

Another field trip from school was to the high school and college robotics competition at Agganis Arena. First the kids watched from the upper tier of seats, looking at the robots picking things up, rolling over, walking around, and even playing basketball. Then they put on protective goggles (because some teams were still tinkering with their robots and there was some welding, etc., going on) and went down to the main arena floor to see one of the work-study teachers, Alex, whose high school robotics team was there entering. Marcus was thrilled with this entire experience, and talks about it constantly.

Marcus now also tells elaborate stories narrating his pretend play. He's very serious about them. Here's a video I took of him when he was explaining what he was going to cook me for "lunch" in his little kitchen:


All winter we've been loving the mild weather, but since coming back from San Francisco it's been very nice indeed, with many days in the 70s and even a couple in the 80s. We walked around the neighborhood a fair amount, and we also went to the Franklin Park Zoo one nice Tuesday and then for a picnic in Chinatown and some bike-riding (Marcus is getting much better at his balance bike) later that evening.

One weekday, with Robert away on yet another business trip, we walked over to Coolidge Corner--watching a firehouse along the way that was in the process of re-parking their trucks in different bays and then testing out all their ladders--and met up with Miriam and family and Sarah and Sean; Miriam, Sarah, and I (and Samantha, of course) went to hear Anne Lamott read from her new book, and Sean, Garrison, Marcus, Davis, and Clarinda had pizza together.

At the end of the month, we went to New York for the weekend so Aunt Mary and Rie and Steve could meet Samantha and so that Sam could be baptized in Steve's church. There was a lot of babygazing, a lot of "pass the baby," and a lot of baby smiles and cuddles. Robert's sister Amanda made it out to church and lunch with us to celebrate too, which was really nice. And of course, Marcus got plenty of playtime with Pop-pop!

Steve was in his element--he got to carry two babies around to show off to the congregation!

We had cake and Italian bakery cookies at the church, and then a group of fifteen of us went to the Pastrami King, where Marcus devoured sour pickles, matzoh ball soup, and grilled cheese, and where Sam distracted most people from eating with her cuteness.

On Monday, before heading back to Boston we got uttapam and dosas from Dosa Hutt and brought them to the Fort Totten playground to nibble on while Marcus played.

Rie and Steve came over both for lunch on Saturday (Filipino BBQ) and dinner on Monday (pizza), so we got a great chance to visit with them. It was a lovely weekend overall!

Other events of the month include more of the second time moms' group, a Take Back the Night rally on campus (I brought Samantha, of course!), and Woolapolooza at Drumlin Farm (sheep, sheep dogs, sheep shearing).


Two funny things happened while wearing around town this month.

One day I went into a cafe which was packed with moms and babies in giant strollers, Uppababies and Bugaboos and the like. The man next to me in line was clearly a total hippee (he's got long hair parted in the middle, a few necklaces, and one of those Guatemalan hooded pullovers everyone wore in 1990) but was also clearly freaked out by the seeming invasion of babies and strollers. He nodded at me: "Wow, I love your shawl there! That's so cool and old school!" I smiled: "Thanks, I like it. Plus it's a lot easier to maneuver than a stroller!" "Oh yeah," he said, enthusasiatically, "and a lot cheaper than a stroller too!" I almost laughed. "Uh, it CAN be..." I said He gave me a quizzical look, so rather than go into the specifics of limited editions and unicorn hair and highly-sought-after wraps and supply and demand, I just said, "Well, my husband says I have a wrap problem. I might have like twenty or so." His eyes got big: "whoa," he said, "at least you don't have twenty STROLLERS!" Now I did laugh out loud--it just struck me as so funny. Apparently it struck him as funny too, because he continued, saying, "Yeah, you'd need, like, a garage, or even better, a SHED to keep them all in!" So, there you have it: babywearing--when you don't have space for a shed.

Another day I had Marcus on my back in the robots buckle carrier and Samantha on my front in a turquoise/burgundy wrap; I was wearing a blue floppy sunhat and bright red crocs; I had a huge bag across my chest; and the kids and I were the only white people in a very black part of town. So there I was, trying to cross a big street--four lanes of traffic in each direction--with lights that seemed never to make sense: one side went, then the other, then some left turns, then a delayed green light, then the first side went again, and though I'm not a timid street-crosser in general, I couldn't see how I could ever get across. An older man in a wheelchair with no legs, who had been sitting by the side of the street drinking out of a paper bag, put down his bottle and wheeled himself out into the street backwards, doing spins and loops, and stopped traffic so I could cross. While I was thanking him I realized my bus was arriving a half block away, so I started jogging toward it. It was a very slow jog, believe it or not. A mailman saw me and waved and went to stand in the doorway of the bus, not letting it leave before I got there, and waving at me to slow down, no need to run. Then I got on the bus and took Marcus off my back so we could sit down, while a man stood in the aisle ranting about how no one was going to Rodney King him.

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Created: 3/31/12. Last Modified: 3/31/12.