• Sorting family photos and making gift calendars out of the best pictures of Little Boy. His grandparents love these, and I love that they make my “what to get people for Christmas” decision-making that much shorter.
• Doing the rest of my Christmas shopping. I have actually managed to complete this task with two whole weeks left ’til Christmas. It helped that my family came to visit for Thanksgiving and we did most of the gift exchange on that side then.
• Thinking about getting back into knitting. Not actually doing it, just thinking about it.
• Crossword puzzles.
• Preparing food for Little Boy’s lunches. I made peas and beans and pumpkin and pears this weekend and thought we were all set for the week. Mix and match with yogurt and applesauce and crackers and raisin bread and the nightly lunch-making would be easy-peasy. But no—Little Boy decided that this was the week he was going to completely refuse to eat anything from a spoon, and so I had to scramble to find additional finger foods to pack for daycare.
• Reading Judith Warner’s Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. I’m only halfway through the first chapter, but my reaction so far is SO MUCH YES.
• Watching TV because I actually want to, not because I can’t think of anything better to do.
• Mentally gearing up for my vaguely semi-annual thesis committee meeting, which was today. It went… well, it was an almost-indescribable combination of “look at these super-cool results” and “I feel totally incapable of finishing this thesis.” It was not terrible.
The Ten-Month-Old’s Guide to Eating Cheerios, brought to you by Little Boy.
1. Emphatically announce that you are hungry. (“Ma-ma-ma” means “give this hungry baby some food,” right?)
2. Grudgingly allow yourself to be strapped into your high chair.
3. Act noncommittal when your parent produces the Cheerios box and puts some on your tray.
4. Excitedly bang your high chair tray with both hands, ensuring that Cheerios are evenly distributed.
5. Carefully pick up a single Cheerio with two fingers of one hand. Examine it closely.
6. Poke Cheerio intently with the index finger of your other hand.
7. Continue examining Cheerio from multiple angles. Hold it at arm’s length as though orating a great speech. Take your time.
8. Attempt to put Cheerio in mouth. If unsuccessful, go back to step 5.
9. Repeat steps 5-8 with remaining Cheerios on tray.
10. Indicate that you are still hungry, causing a parent to put more Cheerios on your high chair tray.
11. Carefully pick up another single Cheerio.
12. Slowly and deliberately, stretch your arm out to the side and drop Cheerio on the floor.
13. Repeat steps 11-12 until stopped by parental intervention.
(I know dads feed their babies too. But “The Lazy Dad’s Guide” sounded overly stereotypical, and “The Lazy Parent’s Guide” just didn’t have the right ring to it.)
STEP 1: Start with something that can be prepared quickly, easily and in small quantities.
(We chose iron-fortified rice cereal.)
Be entertained by the fact that baby is more interested in spoon than in food.
STEP 2: Scrounge cupboard / fridge / freezer for food that is soft or can be easily squashed / puréed with a hand blender. Bonus points if this is yesterday’s leftovers.
Ignore all the old rules about allergies.
Be grateful that the latest research and your pediatrician recommend ignoring all the old rules about allergies.
Be highly entertained at the faces baby makes when given a spoonful of applesauce. Seriously, who doesn’t like applesauce?
Occasionally remember to put avocados and sweet potatoes on the grocery list.
STEP 3: Put some finger food on baby’s high chair tray. Prepare for chaos.
Discover that Puffs get soggy and gross really quickly and replace them with Cheerios.
Be extremely impressed at the rapid improvement in baby’s pincer grasp.
Realize that your little one is growing up.