Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kisses and dancing, oh my

We have so much going on at Chez Plus One these days. While crawling is still apparently of absolutely no interest whatsoever, it's never boring around here.

- Baby kisses! This week saw the arrival of the first baby kisses from Elle. Big, open-mouthed, wet, slobbery kisses.

The first time it happened I thought she was trying to eat my nose, but then she did the same thing again, aimed at my cheek-- very deliberately, and with a very serious face, her eyes enormous. I realized, then, that it was her version of a kiss.

I can't help laughing when she does it, because my face ends up covered in slobber, but it is so sweet and gentle.

- Baby dancing! She has figured out how to get several of her toys to make noise, including one that plays the ABC song. When the ABC song starts, she starts wiggling her tush and moving her arms around, and sometimes her little head starts bobbing as well. It's ridiculously adorable. I do need to catch it on video.

She can't crawl, has little interest in rolling over (she can, but why bother?), and could care less about putting weight on her legs-- but she's got rhythm.

That's my girl.

I am blessed with a baby that, in general, is a happy, inquisitive, funny little bundle of babyness. She wants your undivided attention ALL the time, and if she doesn't get what she wants she's pretty loud about it (common for babies, I think), but overall she's a happy, good baby. I clearly got a great pick in the baby lottery, and I give thanks for that every day.

My parents were in last weekend, and it continues to be an interesting experience. They adore Elle, but she tires them out quickly (I'm an older mother, thus they are older grandparents). I sometimes think they like the idea of her as much, or more, than they actually like her-- they like having a granddaughter, showing off pictures of her, and talking about the cute things she does. The actual work involved in her, they don't like so much.

I think that's probably fairly typical of grandparents.

But it highlights, again, the fact that when you're a single parent, there's no real respite-- not even with family. I'm OK with that. I just have to remember that and not have other expectations. I am the only person driving this bus, and that's how it is.

They also stay with me when they visit, in my very small house. A friend came over for dinner with them one evening, and commented later that it seems like I spend all my time waiting on them when they visit. Now, my parents would laugh at that, but to some degree my friend is right. We've even had conversations that they don't understand why I'm not cooking dinner for them.

"You just don't think about dinners when we're here, do you?" my mother said.

I looked at her. "I don't think about dinners," I responded. "In general."

When she starts eating a regular dinner, I'll start thinking about cooking. At this age, though, it doesn't make any sense. I'll pop in a frozen dinner or reheat leftovers, and often eat them while she has her evening meal of veggies and cereal, but anything more complicated than that doesn't make sense right now. And if you come visit me and there's a dinner involved, we'll be going out, ordering in, or making something extremely simple (something frozen, or something involving pasta).

They can't afford to stay at a hotel (and that's another post entirely: your lifestyle should reflect your income. If it doesn't, there's a problem), so they stay with me. I want Elle to know them for as long as possible, and to be close to them. But they stay with me and then complain about my house.

If my house is not comfortable, stay elsewhere. If you're staying here, shut up.

I need to find a nicer way to say that.

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