You are wildly mobile these days, pausing for nothing and everything all at once. I’ve had my suspicions for a few months now that you’re going to be a very active baby, and this week God delivered a notarized letter of confirmation when you began an official attempt to move the furniture around our living room. I used to do this, too (although certainly not at eight months), so I think God and my mother are in cohorts together and this is a twisted form of karmic interior design.
Change of subject, but when you have babies, I hope puffs still exist. Puffs are these tiny bits of cereal that melt in your mouth and were manufactured specifically for anxiety-ridden parents like myself and your father – parents who brush up on their Heimlich skills routinely as if the ritual itself will ward off lodged bananas or near-digested rocks. Sometimes before I feed you, I chant “5 back slaps, 5 chest thrusts” subconsciously, like this old song about the fifty states I learned in elementary school. It’s illogical and weird and I sometimes have to stop myself from saying it in public if I’m giving you a snack.
But for all of the suffering and crippling fear that feeding solids brings, the reward is far greater if for no other reason than the high entertainment value that arrives with this stage. Feeding you solids, Bee, is like scoring two front row tickets to David Copperfield. It goes like this: I offer you two pieces of cereal and you pick one up with the palm of your chubby hand, balancing it between the wrinkled folds of your skin. You stare at this foreign object with a puzzled brow – entering into a deep and complicated relationship with the cereal. And somewhere between the tray and your mouth, it disappears into thin air, never to be found again – until I change your diaper moments later and there are three pieces of cereal and a hairbrush lodged in your pants.
You are a Power Napper, fighting sleep regularly until you collapse from exhaustion, only to bounce up twenty minutes later like a caffeinated weeble. I’m certain the energy you contain inside your wriggly body could power a small country or at the very least a blender.
And that’s what you are, sweet Bee. You’re a blender of the strangest kind. Our lives are toppling over, mixing experience with newness and young with old, blending the ingredients of ourselves into the delicious concoction that is a family. The flavor is never quite perfect – sometimes bitter and often salty – but it’s sweet and refreshing and forever nourishing because it’s ours.