We have been working on the thick stack of adoption paperwork that is our next step in that process, and I really feel like we are getting somewhere. We have reflected on our roles in marriage, our upbringings, and what kinds of medical complications we are open to, and written our address and signed our names about a billion times. I think we are getting close to being able to turn in this first stack and moving on to the next step. Hooray!
I went to Target last week and walked through the baby aisles and had an epiphany: I didn't need the vast majority of the stuff there. If you breastfeed and make your own baby food (from, you know, ACTUAL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES) and use cloth diapers, there isn't much left in the neatly organized aisles that applies to you. I don't see this as an important moral victory or something that makes me a superior mother or anything; I would never argue that those decisions are the only good choices to make. Those three choices certainly are financial and environmental victories, though, and at some level it is good to realize that we can choose to parent our children outside the expectations of what some giant company says we should buy buy buy, at least to a limited extent. (There apparently is some new baby chain called precisely Buy Buy Baby that I've seen around town. Sad!) I'm not one to eschew the consumer consciousness altogether (you would see that if you saw what else was in my Target shopping cart) but I think opting out of it to some extent is healthy for me.
Speaking of babies, Violet is getting so fun and quirky and full of personality. Here are some of her recently developed habits:
- Taking off one sock and shoe in the car, in order to better be able to chew on the shoe. (And speaking of shopping, I got her some of these vegan washable shoes and I really like them.)
- Scratching her nose with her tiny razor-sharp fingernails the moment I let them get the least bit long.
- Clapping. Oh, how I love her clapping, with her gleeful wide open mouth and tiny chubby hands smacking together without really making any noise...
- Trying to get into our entertainment center to play with the wireless router, the Tivo, our crappy receiver, and whatever other pieces of electronics live there.
- Quickly crawling away from the entertainment center when one of us goes over there to remove her, as if to say, "What? Me? No, no, I was going over this way. I was totally not trying to get into that fascinating black cabinet."
- Just crawling in general with determination and purpose and more speed than she has previously. I never fail to be charmed by her fluffy cloth-diapered bottom wiggling away as she crawls resolutely down the hall. She has PLACES TO GO.
- Refusing to be spoon-fed. After 4 days of failing to get any measurable amount of food into her via spoon, I have given up and have moved over to just finger foods.
- Having a hard time settling down to nurse unless she is sleepy. She can be distracted from breastfeeding by her sister, the TV, music, the fan, being in a place she is not familiar with, or just her own desire to be on the move. I remember this stage well with Grace; it seems like she doesn't want to nurse and she doesn't want to eat solid foods and she doesn't want to drink from any kind of cup/bottle/sippy/whatever, leading part of me to want to panic. It is only a stage, it is only a stage, it is only a stage...
- Being enthralled with the tangled nest of cords beneath our computer desk. We probably pull her out from under there a dozen times a day, but she occasionally manages to disconnect a monitor or a speaker in the attempt.
- Thoroughly enjoying her bath, a welcome change from her newborn days when she would cry and cry at the horror of being immersed in water.
- Protesting and lamenting every time I change her diaper, an unwelcome change from her newborn days when the changing table was sometimes the one place we could put her down to calm her down during a crying jag. Babies, man-- they are not very dependable.