Holden technically took his first steps back in early March but he pretty much decided that that business was for chumps and he’d rather scoot and crawl around for travel purposes. We’d try to encourage him to walk but he would crumple into a ball every dang time, for about a month and a half.
One day Ray was brushing his teeth and Holden was in the bathroom watching, clinging to his legs, when he took off walking out of the bathroom, turned the corner and toddled down the hall. Then he went back to not walking again for a while. It’s been a little frustrating, especially when people start giving you the stink-eye for having an 18-month-old who isn’t a biped yet. “Y’all must hold him all the time!” my aunt said. Nope. Not even close. He just likes to crawl, because he is fast. And when he walks, he is slow and wobbly.
Anyway! For a week or so now, he’s been totally game any time we stand him up and tell him to go walk somewhere. To each other, to a chair, to the changing table — he seems to not mind the destination and gets pretty freaking excited when he gets there. Which is pretty cool, considering I was getting convinced he was NEVER GOING TO WALK AGAIN and was working on my back muscles so I could carry a 15-year-old around.
He still isn’t too keen on just standing up and walking from Point A to Point B, but that’s coming. I’ve seen him do it a couple of times over short distances and once he figures out he can move AND transport lots of things at the same time, he is going to be all over it.
Yesterday I was up early with Holden (he hasn’t slept past 7 since I’ve been off) and when he went down for his nap, so did I. The sun was out after lunch so we went to Long Hunter in the early evening for a walk, and found that the lake had flooded most of the walking trail.
So Ray sprinted back and forth on the accessible part of the path and Holden and I went and did some swinging while a trio of very loud children pretended to be dragons and damsels in distress on the slides.
It is so bizarre and hilarious to listen to children play. The commands they give each other, the way they act when they feel they’ve been disrespected, they looks they give when they think but aren’t sure that they have hurt themselves.
Holden is not very adventurous in the way that many children are. There was this little guy — 11 or 12 months, at most — walking around in flip-flops like he was a boss. He would go up to a slide and lean on it, watching the big kids. Then boogie on over to something else.
My boy prefers to sit and watch the kids around him or play with whatever is in front of him. In this case, it was the wood chips covering the playground floor. Every now and then he’d try to sneak one in his mouth and I’d show the appropriate level of disgust and dismay so he’d get the idea that in this family we don’t eat wood chips. But he loves picking up chips and putting them somewhere else. Arranging and rearranging. Making small piles and then transferring the piles to somewhere else. Handing handfuls of chips to me until I can’t hold anymore.
I wonder what he is thinking in that sweet, shy little head of his. What neurons are firing and how those actions are shaping who he will be, what will interest and confound him. It’s endlessly fascinating to me, watching a brand new human carve out a personality and a path in a process he won’t ever remember or even know he went through.
I’m finally taking some time off work. First real stretch of days off since October. Gah, how did that happen? Oh right, we have been so short-staffed at work since December that it has been impossible for me to get away.
Day one of the vacation has been spent inside, rain pouring nonstop since early morning. I don’t mind. I need a day of decompression before I can even contemplate what’s next or how to spend the next few days.
Don’t squander them, my inner nag says.
This is a groundhog, right?
This little guy gets around. I see him in our and the neighbors’ back yards as well as across the street in the horse pasture.
He’s the size of a very large cat or a raccoon. You can’t tell scale from this crop but you can see the fence behind him here. He’s always sifting through the dirt and grass when I see him.
He has a really interesting pattern on his coat, which makes me think he might not be a groundhog, since all the pictures of groundhogs I can find show a relatively uniform, mottled pattern. No real stripe action to speak of.
I also considered he might be a nutria when I first caught a glimpse of him but I’ve ruled that out since his house a groundhoggy face and a fluffy tail. Maybe this groundhog just has the mange or something.
Also, yesterday I heard the cats being unusually spirited in the early afternoon, and discovered that Jack had caught a lizard. It was a big bronze skink (thanks, @saraclark, for the ID). I let him play with it for a while, thinking he might let instinct take over and he’d kill and eat it and remember that he’s a cat and not just a cuddle-seeking/wire-eating tub o’ lard, but he just played with it, letting it get free just long enough to run and snatch it back up in his teeth and bat it around a bit, for 15 minutes until I started feeling bad and rescued the little guy and put it outside in a mud puddle, sans tail. It probably went off and died. Sorry about that, little skinkster. I was trying to let my cat have an authentic cat experience and the world is a very cruel place. Also, this house is a skink-free zone. Tell your friends.
New album out by my favorite Swedish twins.
I had it on in the car the other night as I was soliloquizing on the way home from work, as I do most nights, and I was ten minutes into one of the ambient tracks before I realized that the whole thing sounded like a movie monologue, what I was saying. It was awesome.
I really wanted to post “Raging Lung” but EMI blocked it so you will just have to find it elsewhere.
Also you can read this take on The Knife’s genderfucking.
I don’t hate fun. Really, I don’t. I have even been known to HAVE fun every now and again. I encourage it. Within reason, of course!
That link that you probably hovered on but did not click is a roundup of all the April Fools pranks Google staged in 2013 alone.
I realize that Google is a global ginormamegacorporation that employs tens of thousands of people, so it’s possible that the total percentage of work time spent on a dozenish fairly elaborate pranks does not amount to much.
But as someone who has been mourning the death of the internet I used to love since Google started powering down Reader in late 2011, watching a dozenish cutesy fake marketing campaigns pop up every April 1 now just makes me grumpy. Think of the brainstorming sessions devoted to coming up with silly April Fools ideas. Think of the teams that were created or leveraged to push those pranks forward. Think of the art direction, the storyboarding, the scriptwriting, the illustration, the plotting, the self-satisfied back patting once the pranks were posted and started getting hits.
Meanwhile, an actually useful program that many people rely on and like and would love to continue using isn’t getting the time of day from Google’s well-intentioned pranksters. They are too busy eating their free lunch on their indoor playground and dreaming up hilariously useless fake stuff to devote brainpower to so that people will get a quick chuckle on April Fools Day.
You know what, Google? You are not The Onion. I don’t need you to make me laugh. You are not Martha Stewart. I don’t need you to add whimsy to my everyday interactions with the world. You are not a DVD. I don’t need you to put Easter eggs everywhere. You are a company that makes tech products and experiences. I expect you to do that and really effing well since I pretty much let you log all the data about my life that you want, around the clock, and you use that data to make BUTT LOADS of money.
So stop f&*%$ing around with this fake April Fools crap and bring Reader back or make something better and more useful for once.