You know, I did write the second part of my last fact checker piece, but I have been on the fence about posting it as I still work at the firm I wrote about. Pooping where you eat is typically not a great survival strategy. So this might have to stay in draft form ever more. Sorry fact-checking fans!
Just got finished watching the season finale of the "Real Housewives of New York City." Why, oh why, do I do this to myself? I first start out watching these reality shows with complete contempt and then, you could set your watch by it, I develop a rooting interest in the show. It happens like that! For example, Randi and were flipping through the channels one boring evening and there was some ballroom dance show featuring British school kids, with one endearingly dorky little prat who looked like a pint-sized Prince Charles. That was it! I was hooked, and Prince Charles was my boy. It took about five seconds.
It was thus with the Real Housewives of NYC. I started watching the show as a joke, because I had to see just how spoiled, self absorbed and arrogant some human beings could be. Not to mention dumb. And the answer was: much more than even I realized. But then I got into it, of course, and I saw that I had been too harsh. Sure, Simon and Alex were little more than clothes horses and social climbers, but he didn't seem that bad, in a way. Jill reminded me of every nasally Jewish chick that I spent my summers with in the Catskills, which made me kind of like her, although I didn't like them. Bethany was pretty until she starved herself to death. Ramona seemed kind of dumb, and still does. And the Countess LuAnn was so out of touch it was enjoyable. And then this season Kelly, a striking but astonishingly ego-driven former model came on the scene to round out the dysfunctional picture. And, sadly, I was hooked. No matter how petty their rivalries, how pointless their endless self promotion and "branding", no matter how intentionally vapid all their lives seemed and likely are, I watched it until the bitter end, and I will almost certainly watch the reunion show next week. Because it looks like the Countess is going to give a smack down to Kelly. Oh snap!
But this blog is about parenting, and Stella Rae, right?
Well, things are working in our favor in the sleep department, in that most nights are actually pretty good, touch wood. I do realize, of course, that I just jinxed us. I am very sorry Randi.
As for Stella herself, she is just starting the rudiments of walking, which is really cool. She crawls like a champ and verbalizes a few words very well. I figure not having teeth yet is probably getting in the way of her enunciating sounds more clearly. I say this based on my close observations of toothless beggars.
She's grown a lot longer, and has a full blond mop of hair, after being bald for the first six to seven months of her life. Sometimes when I look at her little face I see me, sometimes I see Randi and a lot of the time I see Stella herself, as she is.
I look forward to the day when we can walk and talk together, and when she wants to snuggle and sit on my lap. As of now she isn't so into the snuggling, it's just not her thing, but I know that Randi and I can be counted upon the brainwash her in that department sooner or later. Snuggling rules.
When I get home from work it's usually naked playtime, when Randi takes off Stella's diaper and lets her roam around the apartment free from the confines of the diaper industry and their products. Often I will sit down with her on the floor and put her in my lap and read her a book or two. It's really sweet to sit with her like this, and she loves her books! I do need to add here, though, that often these little sessions will end with her peeing in my lap. I put a towel down under her tush, but it's to no avail. I still get wet ankles. But I do it anyway, because otherwise I just wouldn't get all that much together time with my little girl.
Anyway, back to the books. "Barnyard Dance" and "Snuggle Puppy" by Sandra Boynton are two favorites. "BD" has the rhythm of a square dance in its prose, so we tap our hands on our legs while I read. She will actually start tapping in advance of me opening the book, so she knows I know which books she wants me to read. It is amazingly cute.
She also is a big fan of the works of Eric Carl. We have "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," of course, but also "The Very Quiet Cricket," "The Very Busy Spider," "Have You Seen My Cat?" and a three part book about living in the air, on the surface and in the water. These are beautiful books, and Carl is some kind of genius. I think my favorite is "The Very Quiet Cricket" which has lavish illustrations throughout. And it has a nice message, which is that when the time is right and you meet that special other being they bring your inner music out of you, often in ways that you yourself could never have imagined.
Sometimes I feel that I am just getting to know Stella and she me, but mainly I think this is because she is changing so fast, it's hard to keep up. But other times I realize that she has known me every day of her life, and we just are as we are, and that's good. On occasion now when she is feeling extra affectionate she will lick my face, but I think my rough beard gives her kind of an unwelcome surprise.
And at other times she shocks me. Last night, for example, nothing we did could get her back to sleep. She nursed at about 3:30 a.m. and every time I picked her up off our bed to take her back to her crib she started to arch her back -- which is always a warning sign -- and cry. But I couldn't allow her to comfort suck all night, and roll around our bed, as it's dangerous.
So I carried her back to her room anyway, despite her protests, and cries. Then once we were inside her room and I closed the door I held her and rocked her. No dice, more crying. Then something unexpected started to happen, she started to root around my hairy chest, looking to comfort suck.
Okay, I thought, this is kind of weird, but if it makes her sleep ... I let her suck on my upper pec and continued to rock her. Then I got tired of standing, she's pretty heavy you know, and sat down in our gliding rocker. Normally she HATES when I sit in the chair with her, but last night she was okay with it, as long as she could keep sucking. And after about five minutes she was fast asleep. It was weird, but it worked and it allowed me to get some more sleep. But I really hope this doesn't become a pattern.