Blackbird: Half a Year

Half a year! Well, more than that now because a man’s gotta work… by sitting at a computer… but I have to do specific things at that computer, not blog about things! So here we are now.

Anyway, Blackbird (which is a nickname, for those who don’t know) is on the verge of some child-like behaviors and is moving quickly out of the infant stage (characterized by functioning much like a soft, adorable appliance that cries and converts liquid to poop).

As time passes, and with my new full-time job, I’m taking less photos of Blackbird. We have quite a bit more video, but I haven’t had the time to edit and export anything. Perhaps before the next update I’ll put up some full-motion Blackbird, which is probably good, as her personality is coming out more and more in her movements and sounds.

Blackbird has gotten much better about sitting up now that she’s built the requisite muscles and coordination. However, she hasn’t yet built the requisite sense of personal responsibility, so we still have to strap her in once she kicks around a bit.

So… the first shot at avocado was more of a “getting to know you” event, than a “yummy delicious solids” event. I’m sure I’d be a bit thrown myself if someone inserted food into my mouth that was in a completely unfamiliar state of matter. But let me tell you, those Plasma Jalapeno Poppers really are something.

No better way to cool off on a hot summer day than to knock around the house in your diaper. Well, there is one better way, but having full bowel and bladder control is a prerequisite.

This is a good indication of where Blackbird was about a month or more back: sitting up on her own in very controlled environments. What you don’t see here is the inevitable pitching forward or slow-motion sideways roll that ends up with her face in the cushion and more than a little bit of dismay on her part.

My baby is wicked smart. Or she will be a typographer. Or both! Blackbird loves books and printed letters. She will look at the pages of a novel or become engaged in whacking the keyboard and making 200 pt letters and numbers in TextEdit (and a great deal of word spaces). At storytime she will listen and even turn the pages for us. No joke, she waits for us to read the page, then turns the page. This is an old skill at this point. She also likes to eat newspaper, so let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

Blackbird has mastered rolling and also lifting her head. Once she understands the mechanics of crawling, she will live out her dream of grabbing and breaking a digital camera (as of right now, she just kind of gradually pushes herself backwards in confused frustration).

A quiet moment alone during naptime, surreptitiously caught.

Another quiet moment alone during naptime, raising our booties in the air like we just don’t care. And we don’t. Because we’re unconscious.

Mom is making sure Blackbird doesn’t tumble onto our porch here, but she’s holding herself up on her own. Again, it’s not a matter of being able to sit up or even maintain balance, but more a matter of fully appreciating one’s role in playing out Newtonian physics.

I love this photo. It’s so unflattering and un-baby-like. I imagine Blackbird delivering a used car salesman’s spiel in a gruff middle-aged voice: “So, whadda I gotta do ta get youse inna quality pre-owned vehicle here. These babies will work hard for ya all yer life. I gots Dodges that’re flyin’ offa the lot and this here Corolla just screams you two. It’s got all the features. Look here, you got the ABS, the automatic windows, and it even has the, ah, two cupholders so you an your lovely lady here can drink your beverages while you’re maybe, ah, romancin’? Ya know? Maybe a little hanky panky? Drive out to the, ah, romantic overlooks and such? Don’t you worry, I was young once too. These seats go all the way back, kids. Just $189 a month. But let’s not talk about numbers. This is about you and your dreams for tha fucha.”

And then she breaks out that gummy smiling laugh.

It’s times like this where she seems so much older than she actually is. Part of it is her hair, and part of it is that alertness she’s had since she was born. She loves to study the world around her. I’m very eager for her to reach the point where she can ask questions.

With a rebel yell. She want more, more, more.

Don’t tell Blackbird, but I usually think she’s going to be a tomboy. But then I see her in one of her military-grade cuteness outfits and I realize there’s no telling.

Blackbird joining us for brunch at Cake with our…in-law-in-laws? Our parents-in-law once removed? Our aunt- and uncle-in-laws? I have no idea. The parents of my sister-in-law’s husband, who is also our good friend. Blackbird was working the room with her charm and was very well-behaved.

Blackbird loves water. She likes bathing in it, she likes drinking it, she likes pouring it down her shirt, she likes trying to grab streams of it as though they’re solid. We haven’t gotten the whole tip-the-cup-for-water thing, but we’re real close.

Sometimes it takes a total lack of social graces to find the easiest way to stuff your pie hole with sweet potato. Even if it ends up not being the easiest way.

Mmmm. Carrot. Now that’s a veggie you can get your fingers around. Then jam into your mouth a bit too quickly. Then pull out. Then suck on a bit.

While on vacation at the beach, we used the sink as the bathtub. Blackbird had no problems with that. Here she is demonstrating her standing skills while also planning a way to get her hands on that succulent water at the bottom of the sink.

WATER. GIVE IT. She can now drink from a cup (that we’re holding) without coughing and wondering what to do with the mouthful of liquid she finds herself with.

Uncle Brian decides whether or not to let Blackbird play with his blocks.

Early attempts at unravelling the mysteries of crawling. This period, which I’ve titled the “Optimistic Aviator” phase, employed the Looney-Toon-ian theory of motion which dictates that if you lift your limbs up quickly enough in concert, you will levitate. And, logically, this will allow one to move through space with far less resistance.

Blackbird’s secret alter ego: Pants Head. Also known internationally as Pantalon Head.

Whenever she’s liberated from her bulky cloth diapers, Blackbird folds up like a mouse trap and continues to create a flavor topography image of her feet.

Blackbird coyly informs me that Granny Smith was not a good starter apple.

In what was, I’m sure, a developmental milestone, Blackbird watches her own feet kicking. After doing this for a while, she tried to look over the edge of the tray to locate them again. This isn’t possible, of course, but it’s damn cute.

Mmmm. Somebody likes solids now!

But not as much as they like broccoli. We have to cook it just right so it’s safer for her, but she has no trouble quite literally sucking every ounce of entertainment out of these little veggie treats.

That’s it, charm the adults. Get them to lower their defenses. And then, when they go to get the camera…

Make your escape!

And this is where we are now. Blackbird loves to stand, and can even do it for a little bit on her own by grabbing onto the arches of her “pleasure dome”, which you can see behind her. Of course, then she topples over or places too much weight on the arches (which is why we have hands right there to prevent any perilous falls), but she’s got some standing skills.

Is it naive to be so proud that my daughter wants to stand up and see things for herself already? Well, so be it.

6 replies on “Blackbird: Half a Year”

  1. Chris and Alisa:
    You really should publish this in a book – I’m sitting here at work, laughing out loud, and my co-workers are wondering about me. The pictures are great, and when matched with the commentary, it’s a real winner.

    You both should be very proud – Blackbird appears to be a beautiful, smart, happy baby and you all look like you’re having fun!


  2. Your little Blackbird is so precious. My little one will be 6 months old in a couple of weeks, so I’m right there with ya on the “look what she can do now!” Our Bella has also been alert and full of personality from day one.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I loved seeing all of Blackbird’s “feats” and seeing how beautifully she is growing. But really Chris, You’re commentary is histerical! Loved every minute of it! Can’t wait to see her in person.

  4. “Can’t wait to see her in person.”

    Jeez I hope you guys actually KNOW Diane or that might sound a teensy bit unnerving…

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