This weekend, when I took a brief time out from breaking the website and frantically emailing my technically adept friends to spray little saliva foamballs all over their inboxes, I got out my battered copy of What To Expect the First Year, a book I read voraciously when I was pregnant but have mostly ignored since in favor of not stressing over “milestones” and “best-bet recipes” and “safety tips” (please, like it makes any sense to cover electrical outlets. How’s he going to learn if he doesn’t ram a metal fork in there at least once?).

Truthfully it has been a handy reference on a few occasions, like when I went flipping through looking for the DIARRHEA: (SEMI) SILENT BUT DEADLY? section. In general, though, the FAQ-style of the book makes me a little paranoid because it brings up so many issues I never would have thought of. I’ll read, “My husband is French, when should we start introducing both languages to our baby?” and I’ll start thinking yeah, when? Should we start NOW? even though as far as JB and I are concerned our collective grasp of a second language is limited to him being able to ask for the bill in Mandarin and me knowing how to say “Your brother fucks cats” in Spanish*–neither of which seem like useful phrases to teach the boy.

* Su hermano chinga gatos. Try it out on your brother-revering, cat-hating enemies!

Anyway, since Riley is now officially seven months old (my GOD, people) I thought I’d see what we had to look forward to in Month Eight, and according to the fine people at What to Expect Riley should be “eager” to start finger foods. (Then again he should be sitting unsupported, which he can’t yet do without performing a slow-motion, hilarious faceplant, but since he can expertly kick his father in the balls from almost any position I figure his overall physical genius is yet to be realized.)

In retrospect I should have placed some food within Riley’s grasp and let him make his own decision on what, if anything, to stuff in his mouth, but instead I slid a moistened Cheerio between his lips and waited for the inevitable expression of joy as he realized there was a nutritive world beyond mushed pears. “What do you think of that?” I asked him chirpily, and he responded by launching into a horrific coughing/gagging fit in an attempt to expel the now-sodden piece of cereal and JB and I both panicked a little and simultaneously lunged at him and thrust our hands in his mouth while Riley continued to hack and flail and after a heart-pounding moment or two I managed to sweep out the Cheerio and send it flying. Dog, who knows an opportunity when she sees one, snapped it out of the air with the accuracy of a hungry falcon.

Is there really a Parenting of the Year award? Because if deliberately placing a choking hazard in the mouth of your child doesn’t make you eligible, I don’t know what does.

In other seven-month news, Riley is greatly interested in both Cat and Dog now. He particularly enjoys watching Dog play Frisbee, upon watching her return the disc to the Frisbee-thrower he waves his arms and forms his mouth into an excited O shape. He laughs hysterically when he’s tickled under his arms, or if you pretend you are a shark with a taste for baby feet. He sometimes babbles when he cries, which is both tragic and funny as hell (“Waaahhhhh, ba blah wah blah baaaaa….”). He goes to sleep on his own, so instead of spending hours per day rocking/walking/stroller-pushing, we just put him in his room–either in his reclined bouncy seat or in his crib– tell him we love him, and shut the door. (The sleeping change has made a dramatic improvement in our quality of life, by the way, and while letting him cry by himself was tough at first I wish we would have done it months ago. He even falls asleep unaided at daycare now.)

His curiosity is a marvel to behold; to share his wonderment at everyday things like the spluttering startle of slapped bathwater, the scratchy texture and sharp green smell of a blade of grass, or the feel of a blanket freshly warm from the dryer, it makes me feel like I have the chance to learn about life all over again with a bright and innocent eye. What a surprising, unbelievable opportunity that is.


As you may not have noticed until you showed up at work this morning an hour late, it was Daylight Savings this weekend, and since we hadn’t changed the kitchen clock since last spring, now it’s showing the right time again. Being lazy is AWESOME.

While JB has the sort of mind that can perform calculus, project manage thirty-five people, and visualize how a building must be constructed in order to maximize energy efficiency, the man cannot wrap his head around Daylight Savings Time.

“It’s spring forward, fall back,” I said on Saturday. “Remember? Spring forward is good, because it’ll be light out later.”

“So…wait, tomorrow it’ll be…wait. How does that make it light out later? I mean, what does this have to do with the sun?” JB had the same frustrated look he gets twice a year when faced with adjusting his watch.

“Okay. Right now it’s six. Tomorrow at this time, it’ll be seven. Make sense?”

“How can it be seven? It’s SIX.”

I relish the opportunity to laugh at him about this, because the rest of the year he can ruthlessly mock my inability to understand magnets, the TV remote, basic mathematics, and why he considers the MRE an acceptable camping item.






30 Responses to “Seven-month savings time”

  1. Paige on April 3rd, 2006 12:12 pm

    A) Did you NOT read Dooce this weekend? What a shit-storm. Are you sure you’re ready to so blatantly prove how abusive you are to the Crazy-Ass-Fanatics?

    2) I almost killed my daughter on a dorito when she was a baby. And I KNEW better. She was my second.

    C) Love the masthead re-do.

  2. Niki on April 3rd, 2006 12:31 pm

    Look at all the hair the boy suddenly has! Is he going to be a redhead?

    The look on my son’s face the first time I gave him mashed potatoes.. PRICELESS! He gagged and his eyes started to water…. OMG I laughed like an idiot at his expense!

  3. sundry on April 3rd, 2006 12:39 pm

    Paige: jeez, last time I looked her comments were vigilante-free. Now, not so much. It’s pretty sad/crazy when opinions turn into witchhunts, yeah?

  4. Crypto on April 3rd, 2006 12:52 pm

    On the subject of Daylight Hell Time, try going the 30 years of your life not changing clocks, then someone pokes you on the arm and suddenly tells you that now you have to change your clock. And, oh, btw, the computers won’t recognize it, because the last 30 years, we didn’t do it.

    That was my life this weekend.

  5. fellowmom on April 3rd, 2006 2:10 pm

    Ha ha HA! I did the same thing with my 9-month-olds who are showing no signs of wanting to finger their food (dirty), but instead sit there, hands at their sides, mouths open like baby sparrows. To kick start their self-feeding, I gently placed a small piece of ripe banana in each of their mouths. One cried and coughed until it finally FELL out of his mouth. He was the lucky one. The other boy inhaled the banana straight into the back of his throat, where he coughed and gagged and finally dislodged it by projectile vomiting the entire contents of his stomach. Fun experiment!

  6. UWL on April 3rd, 2006 2:24 pm

    Oh, Crypto. Leave the Indiana drama at home. It’s not particularly difficult to convince a computer to observe DST…see? I did it with mine, and I’m a certified computer bimbo.
    My baby, who’s nearly a year old, eats nearly everything. The other day he was begging his daddy for a sip of what Daddy was drinking, and so I said, well, give it to him. Eldest Child wouldn’t leave you alone until he finally learned that TURKISH COFFEE IS NASTY. (Husband: it’s not nasty!) So a wee sip was procured, and great booms of laughter were heard throughout the land as Evil Parents finally found the one substance that Baby does not like. That twisted little face of disgust was utterly priceless (more so as we’d never see it before).

    Now if he only felt that way about chocolate. *sigh*

  7. Caitlin on April 3rd, 2006 3:59 pm

    Oh lady…your son is so beautiful and I often think this, but especially today for some reason (maybe the evocativeness of the number seven?) but Riley is almost exactly the same age as the era of “Post-Katrina.” Maybe that’s why I’ve been reading your site even more religiously now…there aren’t enough beautiful babies around here yet. It’s just very poignant to me to see the time that has gone by evidenced in the daily growth and development of a little (albeit via the internet) human. I hope we’ll all be able to stand tall without faceplanting soon.

  8. Kristen V. on April 3rd, 2006 4:16 pm

    I did the same thing and forced a Cheerio. Baby seemed to be doing well, then suddenly evicted it along with entire contents of stomach. Awesome.

  9. Annie on April 3rd, 2006 4:33 pm

    1. I was suddenly thankful today NOT to be Dooce and paid to write publicly about my little life. What is WRONG with people?

    2. My son is 11 months next week and we’re still working on the whole finger food things. Sometimes he’ll feed himself everything I put on his tray. Other times, you’d think I was pushing poison on him. Then there is the whole slippery fruit slices issue. That’s fun to watch. He’ll get it when he gets it. The book doesn’t know everything.

    3. Riley is gorgeous. I love the picture of the two of you. We’re still waiting for Sam to grow some hair that will show up in pictures.

    4. We didn’t do daylight savings in Japan and I still find it a little unsettling here. I like that it is light later, but it feels like we’re just messing with things unnecessarily. But enjoy your biyearly mock-fest.

  10. Shawna on April 3rd, 2006 7:22 pm

    Have you told us what JB does for a living and I missed it? Or am I breaking a taboo by asking, even though I’m not asking where he works? I’m just curious what he applies that list of skills to.

  11. Lesley on April 3rd, 2006 7:32 pm

    Love the pic of the TWO KIDS holding their toys.

  12. Bethany on April 3rd, 2006 8:20 pm

    You have, hands down, the cutest baby ever.

  13. Mary on April 3rd, 2006 9:10 pm

    I am laughing my head off at the picture of Dog leaping gracefully in the air to catch the vomited Cheerio. I can SO see that happening with the Bad, Stupid Dog! Thanks for the laugh, and I didn’t realize the boy was a redhead!

  14. Shannon on April 3rd, 2006 9:16 pm

    Erm, I’m using Firefox and with this new entry, there is no sidebar of any kind suddenly. No links, no “about me,” no nuthin’. There was before this latest entry! What happened to it? Thanks!

  15. Sundry on April 3rd, 2006 9:22 pm

    Shawna: I just meant to illustrate that JB’s pretty smart in a diverse number of areas, except for the whole turning the clocks forward/back thing. Oh and also identifying vegetables, he’s no good at that either (“what’s that one thing, the green thing like a tree?” “Um, brocolli.”)

    Shannon: the individual entry pages don’t display the sidebar by default, but can you see it if you are on the main page (

  16. Pete on April 3rd, 2006 10:29 pm

    I got my son to choke on a french fry when he was seven months old and my wife won’t let me forget. Baby book are good for smashing spiders and that’s about it. Backhoe in the driveway, how cool!

    PS Cats don’t have toys, they have servants.

  17. K8 on April 3rd, 2006 10:32 pm

    Um, shouldn’t that be “gatAs”? As in the feminine gender? Otherwise, wouldn’t it be even harder to do?

  18. Kaire on April 4th, 2006 5:09 am

    Last night I fed my 18 mth. old great nephew guacamole. Why? One, he loves it and two, I’m no where near diaper changing distance today. Bwaa ha ha ha ha! Damn I’d be hell on a kid if I had one.

  19. Jem on April 4th, 2006 5:21 am

    That reminds me of our video recorder…half the year I have to think really really hard in order to figure out what the time on the video recorder is in relation to the time in real life, and also in relation to the time that I want the video recorder to tape. Right now it’s at the right time! Yay!

  20. crystal on April 4th, 2006 9:19 am

    i took spanish for 3 years in school and the only thing i know how to say is hello and what, so your little phrase has me very impressed. maybe if i was taught those kind of useful phrases, i might remember a little more.

  21. Magpie on April 4th, 2006 10:24 am

    That Spanish phrase isn’t useful to him… YET.

  22. Elizabeth on April 4th, 2006 2:24 pm

    Try the Gerber Fruit or Veggie puffs. They kinda melt, which means even if he doesn’t chew too well, they won’t choke him. (They will make a bit of a mess from time to time though, but that’s just to be expected.) My son is about a week younger than yours, and he seems to really enjoy them, especially the sweet potato and the cherry flavors.

  23. angela on April 4th, 2006 3:41 pm

    MREs are totally acceptable. Whoa! At the bottom of this comment thingie, it auto-previews my comment! WOW! i wonder if it will auto preview html? italics. WOW! it does! neat. okay, i’m done.


  24. Emily on April 4th, 2006 5:07 pm

    MREs are Evil. As one who spent a month in training eating them at least two meals a day, I shudder at the mere sight of their impenetrable brown plasticky grossness.

  25. Halz on April 25th, 2006 12:11 am

    Alleen onder Glamour versta ik wat anders maar dat moet kunnen.

  26. Joe on April 26th, 2006 10:04 am

    Not much on my mind right now, but it’s not important. I’ve just been letting everything happen without me. I just don’t have anything to say right now.

  27. I think she was saying, “Just let me zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” / Durham Region Baby (Ontario, Canada) on February 28th, 2007 9:56 am

    […] For weeks Linda’s description of what she does with her son Riley had been knocking around my brain. I’d been too afraid to really try letting Lucy just…go to bed, as so many public health nurses, hospital workers, doctors and authors had me thinking that letting my baby cry all alone in her crib would scar/traumatize/maim her for life, especially if we tried it while she was so young. […]

  28. Agricultural pollution of the water. on December 19th, 2008 5:15 pm

    Agricultural pollution of the water.

    Agricultural pollution of water. Agricultural pollution of the water.

  29. Who was an inventor of agricultural technology. on December 31st, 2008 3:02 pm

    Council for agricultural science and technology.

    Who was an inventor of agricultural technology. Council for agricultural science and technology. Agricultural science amp technology.

  30. 80 s fashion. on July 11th, 2010 8:13 pm

    Fashion shows….

    Teen fashion catalogs. Fashion show mall. Fashion. Fashion design colleges. New fall fashion. Fashion bug. Fashion model. Teen fashion models….