The Dinner Monster

I’m deep in the heart of marathon Christmas preparations. Every free moment of the past week was spent shopping, knitting, sewing and otherwise crafting gifts for everyone on our list. I also decided to whip up a couple of last-minute handmade gifts for the Heathens, so this week isn’t looking any less busy. My goal is to get as much done as I can before school break arrives, so I can spend a few days with the kids having fun before Christmas. I’ve been saving the gingerbread houses for that glorious first day of winter vacation, and I’ve DVR’d all the classic Christmas specials.

In the meantime, Bean has transformed into the food monster, and we all must bend to her will. If she sees anyone eating, she busts out her little Hulk-hands and demands a bite. This change began at Thanksgiving, when she plowed through a piece of pumpkin pie, plus dressing with gravy and sweet potatoes. Last night, however, she threw her first ring-tailed fit when she realized that we were holding out on her.

For her dinner, I pureed some fresh melon for Bean to eat with her rice cereal. In the meantime, my husband and I grilled steaks with onion-blue cheese sauce for us and the boys, and served them alongside pan-fried potatoes. As I proceeded to feed Bean, all seemed well.

Until, that is, she got an eye-full of our dinner. Her expression immediately turned to incredulity that she was being left out of the real food.

See the Hulk fists? Be afraid…be very afraid. I made the critical error of letting her taste the potatoes, as well as a spoonful of the onion-blue cheese sauce off my steak. When I attempted to redirect her back to the melon and rice cereal, this happened:

Yeah…so much for the rice cereal.

The First Sign of the Apocalypse

Bean has her first tooth! It’s on like Donkey Kong now.

You know what’s next, right? Crawling. And once this little Heathen gets mobile, it’s every man for himself. She’ll have this house disassembled within a week.

However, first she has to overcome the simple principle of physics that hardwood floors do not provide the best traction. She’s attempted to work around this fact by simply rolling everywhere, but navigating around furniture proves to be elusive. I already had to fish her out from under an end table this morning.

It’s only a matter of time before she figures intentional mobility out. I foresee baby gates in my future…lots and lots of baby gates.

Separation Anxiety

Bean is going through a high-maintenance faze. I guess separation anxiety kicked in, because she freaks out if anyone other than my husband or I hold her. And by freaks out, I mean big pouty lips, followed by fat tears, topped off with a good dose of lung-clearing screams that the entire tri-state area can hear. This is incredibly inconvenient, because Granny just hit town, and my plan of throwing Bean at Granny and running away has been foiled. My fond fantasies of a haircut are circling the drain. Furthermore, this is Louisiana, and every stranger in the grocery store seems to think they just MUST hold/touch/jack with a baby. I’m running out of polite ways to say “please keep your dang hands to your dang self.” Shopping at Target is oh-so-fun when Bean has been worked up into an anxious frenzy by some well-intentioned but oblivious person who cannot take a hint.

She has also developed an unexpected fear of my camera, and acts like it’s a black alien trying to eat my face if I try to take her picture. I only got the above shot because Bear tried desperately to cheer her up. Most pictures this week look like this:

And this:

Notice those big, accusing tears of mommy guilt?

I hope this passes quickly. I would like my easy-going baby back. And that haircut.

I’ll Take That as a Compliment

When Bean and I were at the library on Friday, we ran into an old colleague from my pre-Bean days as a working mom. We chatted for a bit and caught up on all the developments in the past few months, while I juggled Bean and tried to stop her from slobbering over the one clean patch I had left on my shirt.

As my friend and I were visiting, she stopped me mid-sentence and said, “I just can’t get over it; you look so happy…you used to smile before, but now you glow. I’ve never seen you smile so much.”

She was also the first person who didn’t ask me when I was going back to work.

Our budget may be on life support, I haven’t had a haircut in eight months and we’ve been downgraded to the cheap hooch, but you know what? I wouldn’t miss this for the world.