All On My Own

I'm home. R and MZ are in Boston. I am simultaneously relieved, excited and utterly heartbrokenly lonesome to be on my own. A weekend is a gift, a week is more of a trial. MZ awoke at 3:45 a.m. last night (about 30 minutes before we needed to wake her for the flight) because in our packing frenzy, I forgot to leave on the nightlight. It broke my heart a little that she wanted no comforting, she just kept instructing me through her tears to use the shoe to prop the door on my way out. Missing them is like a physical ache, at least I can have a conversation with R. but MZ has a mercurial relationship with the phone. I'm pretty sure I'll be reduced to sleeping with the Puppy she left behind.

Since there's only about five people who read this blog, it seems reasonable to say why I'm here and not in Boston: a positive pregnancy test! Finally! and just before we were to go the IVF route. Neither my acupuncturist nor the high-risk OBGYN want me to fly in this shaky first trimester, so here I am.

I just learned that my progesterone levels are low and the full emotional enormity of being here solo hit me. Since I'm nearly to week six, I'm nervous that the prescribed prometrium may be too little too late, but just enough to contribute to another D&C if all does not go well. The fear is real, but also, my typical coping method involves nailing a worst case scenario, then moving forward, so... if all *does* go well, I can look forward to introducing a happy, healthy new Freedman to the Boston fold next July 4th.

That's still a big "if," but I'm trying to stay focused on how incredible it is that I'm pregnant. Baby steps, so to speak.



Twenty-Nine Months: Just Playin' Around

Dear Miriam,

You've discovered playmantes! More and more, you've transitioned from parallel to togethr play with your friends. You've been moving in this direction for months, asking for Pugawug, Henry LG and others, and truly interacting with them when they're around. But now you really play together, whether it's a screaming contest or a game of chase or showing each other whatever you're playing with and willingly passing it back and forth, the interaction has increased by leaps and bounds and it's a pleasure to watch.

I'm sure that's why our trip to Monterey was such a blast for you, you had a whole weekend of LG and Henry to play with and every morning as soon as you woke up you asked to go play. Contrast this with Mexico, when you were all about Go see ocean, and the difference is clear. When LG and his dad joined us for dinner while Roasted Squid was on a business trip, LG set out a picnic in the back yard and you two sat at the table chatting about who knows what-all. And you and Pugawug never miss an opportunity to go to the potty together. And you meet kids on the playground nearly every trip.

You also seem to have discovered fear this month. This development is probably title-worthy, but I don't want to make too big a deal out of it. Suddenly, you don't want to sleep with the door closed or the light off any longer. This after over a year of insisting on both. Those first few nights, we didn't really understand what was going on, and we'd close the door when we went to sleep, resulting in terrified screams at three in the morning. So now we have a nightlight and a whole ritual around propping the door open with a shoe and we tiptoe around while you're asleep. It's not a big deal at night, although you get up earlier, but it's a challenge to get anything done during your naps these days. I hope this is a phase but I hear it's typically a very long one so we're just trying to adjust.

Per my earlier post, this is also the month you taught yourself to do a somersault. You are just as proud of it now as you were that first day, but now you're cagey about who you will show and when. You get that this trick has some value and you're not wasting it on just any moment.

You definitely have a sense of the moment. You're starting to test when you should ask me or ask your Dad for something, or if you should go straight to your grandparents. If you don't like the answer you receive, you act as though you aren't hearing anything at all, turning your head slightly in someone else's direction to repeat the question in a tone that belies whether it's been asked before at all. This is another behavior (like being called Mom, which you have now changed to Mama) that I didn't expect for years, to be completely ignored by a toddler is kind of shocking. Particularly when you are not to be ignored when you want something. Miriam, you will ask the same question over and over until we acknowledge appropriately, I haven't tested it but I think you might be willing to go on forever.

"Acknowledge appropriately" is not an altogether clear concept. You ask questions repeatedly, even after we tell you the answer. I don't know what this represents developmentally, this asking of questions to which you know the answer. But it makes me a little crazy to answer the same question a dozen times, so I started asking you the answer after the third or fourth round.

Is that a convertible? That car doesn't have a top, is that a convertible?
Yes, that's a convertible.
Is that a convertible?
Yes, that's a convertible.
Is that a convertible?
I don't know Miriam, is that a convertible?
That's a convertible!
Is that fire engine red? (and so on)

This worked for a few days, you'd tell me the answer and then go on to the next thing. But I guess you felt somewhat foiled because now you're willing to go in rounds with the two of us asking the same question like some horrible Marx Brothers sketch. I have no idea.

But it's been another captivating month, Miriam. I am so proud of you in every way,

Your Mama




This is our not-yet 2.5 year old doing a somersault! I am blown away by her determination. The kids did somersaults as a "practice skill" at My Gym a month or so ago and since then she's been interested -- she loves being upside down and flipped around, so the idea of flipping on her own had to be irresistable. At a graduation party a week ago, the only other kid in the place, a 5-year old, showed her how and she's been practicing ever since. Her first was in the sand pit at the playground a few days ago, and since then she will try it on any serface, regardless of what's around her. We're trying to teach her to look for a big space in front of her (rather than behind her), but I guess she'll learn that one in any event.


Potty Talk

Overheard from the potty while working from home...

MZ: Mommy has a bra like that. What is your shirt?
Bubbie: That's a camisole
MZ: I like your camisole
Bubbie: Thank you
MZ: (pause) Do you love me so much and always and always?
Bubbie: Yes, I love you so much and always and always... [long pause] Now, should we go get a snack and go to the playground?
MZ: I'm about all done



What we're reading #6

It's been quite since the last reading list. These days, MZ's preferences are about split between board and picture books. She's shown a renewed affection for Goodnight Moon, but there are a number of newcomers worth noting.

Good Night, San Francisco: This board book is our newest addition, and we're visiting some of the locations more frequently these days. MZ barks with the sea lions and says hi to the bat ray. The illustrator, Santiago Cohen, also did two of MZ's favorite Jewish holiday books.

The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly: This Simms Taback edition is totally engaging for all of us. At the end, MZ announces the moral (Never Swallow a Horse), then explains that the old lady is sleeping.

What Emily Saw: This was a gift to MZ before she was born, and now she loves it. She enjoys the black and white drawings, and tells as all about Mrs. Dino and Kingdom Mommy and Kingdom Daddy.

Hop on Pop: She didn't like this when we brought it out a few months ago, but lately it's a favorite. While she can recite familiar nursery rhymes from a book we've been reading since birth (sadly out of print), this is the first book where she seems to get the concept of reading. She'll point to specific words and ask what they say, and loves to ask about and repeat Constantinople and Timbuktu. She also asks what the gobbledeegook on the last page says whenever I try to skip over it.

Put me in the Zoo: Another Seussian favorite. When she first started asking for this one, R and I would roll our eyes at how fickle the spotted creature seemed to be. Now I realize that he's a perfect 2 year old.

Not a Box: AuntieD gave this one to MZ for her birthday and she's asked for it ever since. She only recently started doing this kind of imaginary play herself. I wonder if this book reminds her of her friend LG, who has the most vivid imagination of any toddler I know.

How to Be: Another favorite from Auntie D, as with Hush Little Baby, I'm impressed that she responds to this gentle moralizing, and I'm always happy when she picks this one right before bed.