Blackbird: 9, 10 & 11 Months

An important date has come and gone: Blackbird has now, officially, spent more time kicking around the outside world, learning and developing, than she did chillin’ in the womb, wedging her little butt into mom’s pelvis.

But another date, a very auspicious date, has also arrived. With little ceremony, but great fanfare, Blackbird crossed the threshold and asserted herself on the world. Her power of self-determination is now manifest. Behold! Blackbird can stand up.

And, after a moment of disorientation, she came to grips with her new condition.

And there you have it. Every day since has been part of the next phase in our lives as a family of three. I call it the “Rising Tide” phase. Like the rising flotsam and jetsam on a swell of moon-drawn sea, all of the edible, breakable, electrical and expensive items in our home are slowly increasing their distance from the floor. And with every passing day, our possessions find higher ground and recede further and further from the point where our own little tidal wave crashes on the shores of our shelves, cabinets, chairs, and windows.

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. The ability to get one’s self into a mess does not always come with the ability to get back out.

Though, as Blackbird demonstrates, she’s up to the challenge. Look at that smile. She’s ready to take your paycheck in a game of three-card Monte.

However, that first night of standing and cruising was pretty unsteady. Fortunately, both Gram and Aunt Betsy were there to not only see Blackbird’s first steps into the world of verticality, but they also lent her a hand in finding her way around.

As a result, the last few months have been packed with activity:

Computing! The technology of tomorrow, today!

First pancakes with Uncle Brian!

Postmodern sushi deconstructionist art classes! (avocado sushi)

Out-of-control lactose binges!

Learning to feed yourself!

Baby’s first shirtless pasta fiasco!

The shocking wonders of static electricity!

Aaaaand a huge diaper butt. Blackbird wears reusable diapers, which are great, but they are huge compared to disposables. Disposables are so small in comparison, that you end up with situations like this one:

That’s right, she took off her own pants and fell asleep with her tiny heiney in the air.

And now for a fall photo shoot:

Fall has brought its own trials and discoveries. I know more than one parent that’s found bits of leaf in their little one’s diaper. But it does make for some great photos.

It was still a bit too early to trot Blackbird around in a costume or eat candy, but she got into the Halloween mood with her glow-in-the-dark pumpkins and bats onsie and her ghost booties.

Thanksgiving was a very up-and-down event for Blackbird. We discovered that she’s basically a vegetarian when she very curtly spit out her turkey. But she was a the hit of the party, so it evened out. Notice the historical bib comemmorating the crossing of the Atlantic by an enormous turkey in 1620. This turkey kept the pilgrims alive for 2 years upon its landing in Plymouth. This is why we eat turkey today at Thanksgiving.

She was big on Grandpa’s tomato rice soup, however. She even used a big-girl spoon.

Little Blackbird’s first Hanukkah was celebrated with a delicious dreidel cookie, which she proceeded to jam into her mouth in the least effective manner possible: vertically. But in the end, she prevailed. She’s also a big fan of the menorah. The candle flames mesmerize her and mommy’s singing of the blessings makes her smile.

Later in the month, we went to my parent’s house and Jocie experienced Christmas for the first time. She loved the tree and the big, colorful LED lights that my family was using for the first time. We had a bit of a moment early on when the tearing of all the paper on a large gift made her cry a bit, but soon she was tooling around the floor, playing with bows.

Later on, we ventured out into Blackbird’s first snow. My parents live north of Philly, so they have all the snow we keep dreaming of. The 4 inches or so on the ground had frozen a bit, so Blackbird could easily maneuver around. However, her first impression of the snow was a bit dampened, seeing as she was encased in the isolation chamber of a baby snowsuit. Her first few minutes were probably not that much different than those experienced by the first men on the moon.

Eventually, she struck out on her own and covered a good patch of ground. Perhaps next year she’ll be running around and picking it up.

Grandad and Blackbird warmed each other’s noses in the chilly air. All in all, a pretty good winter holiday trip.

Now that Blackbird is 11 months old, she’s more active and engaged than ever. She’s becoming a little person at such a rapid rate and I love it. She’s starting to speak in a kind of word-ish babble that resembles the phrases she hears and names of things around her. With these new abilities comes a desire to test the world around her. She’ll often sidle toward the cat and look back at us, giving a mischievous giggle before lunging for Leto’s fur. We’re already seeing the contours of life ahead, as we transition from complete and constant caretaking into a balance of guidance, discipline and observing her as she discovers the world around her.

Happy new year, Blackbird. Here’s to a wondrous and full 2009.

4 Responses to “Blackbird: 9, 10 & 11 Months”

  1. andrea says:

    happy new year chris, alisa and blackbird!

    guys, you have an absolutely stunningly beautiful child. i know people say that all the time – it’s like we’re primed not to acknowledge unattractive babies, even when they totally are – but in all honesty she’s gorgeous. i am quite sad that i haven’t been able to meet her in person, but thanks for letting me live vicariously through the internets. maybe 2009 will being the road trip east we had hoped for. i believe avi and blackbird are the first two babes of our cmu class, so it’s only right they should be pals eventually, eh?

    lots of love in the new year, andrea (and danny and avi by proxy)

  2. Awesome Chris. Nice pics and great writing. I always enjoy reading your posts. Say hi to the ladies in your life.

    Joep

  3. Matt says:

    Awesome. Just awesome. Love that last pic.

    I can’t wait until my little one is able to perambulate that well.

  4. JC van der Heide says:

    I have just found out about your website today, and am working my way back. It is great to see Blackbirds development. And judging by the amount of comments, compared with your other posts, I am not the only one to think so. Keep posting!!!

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