Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Week after Thanksgiving

Last week we hosted eighteen people for Thanksgiving dinner, my excuse for not publishing this blog last Sunday. However, that means this entry is a bit longer than usual, which will either be a treat or a tedium you will have to endure. Speaking of Thanksgiving, our efforts to get Zoe to eat solid food is slowly progressing. Zoe has rediscovered yams—she was off them for a while—and Alison and I have begun feeding her tiny pieces of food off our plates. During Thanksgiving Zoe rejected the turkey but seemed to like the lentils (with five vegetarians in attendance we supplemented the usual with some specialty dishes). We discovered, however, that Zoe wasn’t actually chewing the lentils. The whole lentils continued to expand in her stomach and came out the other end plumper and juicer than ever. They were almost the perfect lentils, except for the fact that they had come out of her back end. I’ve also begun feeding her Cheerios. Dry Cheerios, however, get stuck in her throat, so I feed her little soymilk soaked O’s directly from my own morning bowl. I’ve included a video of this morning ritual. Zoe also enjoys eating socks, dirty tissues, cat food, particles off the floor, leaves and grass and pretty much anything that gets stuck to her hand. Most real food, however, will, after being masticated, elicit a gag and get pushed back onto her shirt.

Recently I discovered a local group of stay-at-home dads. They meet at various East Bay locations to talk about sports and trade baby gore stories. They then continue on to someplace for lunch that serves beer. Or more precisely, they continue on to someplace that serves beer, for lunch. I’ve been working toward regaining some of the pre-Zoe glory days of wasting a half-day at a coffee shop, and here I think I have found the solution. I meet other fathers to who also happen to like wasting half a day. This last Monday, after some quality kid time at a park, we traveled a few blocks to a local brewpub, where we proceeded to kill off at least four pitchers of beer while I sat and fed Zoe French fries. Zoe and I then went home and took a nap.

Lately Zoe has wanted more attention. She will be happy to play with her toys as long as you sit close by, preferably close enough so that she can climb on you. However, the minute you walk away, even if you stay in the same room, she will begin to cry. So, the moment comes where I need to bake a brownie. You know, offload some freight? Build a dookie castle? Squeeze a coily? Before I’ve even reached the stairs she’s crying. So I carry her down with me and plant her in the hallway outside the bathroom door, directly facing the toilet. I set myself down and discover that it’s not so easy to sink the Bismarck while your daughter is watching. So I partially close the door, but to keep and eye on her and prevent another crying fit I’m forced to play peek-a-boo at the same time I’m trying to put the fruit in the bowl. I can only tell you that it’s fortunate that I am a mature adult and can handle these situations with poise and what some might call savoir-faire.

The other day I was trying to straighten up and Zoe was in one of her stay-close moods. So I donned the Snuggly and proceeded about my business with her strapped to my chest. I thought she would get tired of it pretty quickly, but she seemed to enjoy attempting to grab everything within her reach. I was reminded of that character from the Schwarzenegger film Total Recall, Kuato, the small head and arms growing out of the chest of one of the characters. Except Kuato was the genius leader of the rebel force and Zoe is a jabbering set of moving arms trying to grab stuff out of my hands. Note to self: what did Kuato do while George, his host, was hatching a new superintendent?

Zoe continues to change in small, subtle ways. We actually play a game in which she participates. I take a plastic stacking ring and say, “Blue one on Zoe,” and place it on her head. She’ll hold her head steady for a moment while looking up, and then move her head so it falls. She then picks it up and hands it to me to repeat (and repeat and repeat). I sometimes shake things up by saying, “Blue one on Daddy.” Or I use the green or yellow or even the red one. Good times. She has even begun to study the little nesting boxes, as if she is trying to figure them out, rather than to just smash them against one another. And although she is still not crawling, she has realized that her almost-crawl needs something, so she goes from having her legs tucked under her to a face down, stretched out position, what most of us would call a nap. She hasn’t quite figured out that to actually get anywhere she then needs to move her limbs.

See photos of Zoe at

1 comment:

  1. What you don't understand is that Zoe actually IS the genius leader of the rebel force. The sooner you recognize that the better off you will be.