Sunday, May 16, 2010

Half a Year Later...

Life is a trip, and being a new father often compels me to revisit - by association more often than choice -  distant memories triggered predictably by songs and photographs or unexpectedly by the smell of Eucalyptus trees and ocean.

Although like many my childhood was a bumpy ride, the wonderfully protective filters of reminiscence help me feel okay with the way things unfolded, grateful that my parents loved me enough to become a good person, a caring husband, and an adoring father. With all of life's challenges came a certain depth of understanding that has allowed me to join the common thread of humanity, a balance I desperately needed with my genetically transmitted ambivalence.

Amari turned six months old on Cinqo de Mayo, and once again I let the day pass by without mention. She continues to grow in both size and spirit, and every day she does something that takes my breath away. Usually it's a stare and a smile, or new animated expression, but there's something so genuinely sweet and contagious in her enthusiasm that it feels novel every time. It doesn't matter how much time has passed, she greets me with the same joy. I can go to the bathroom or the kitchen or duck behind the couch for two seconds and when I return she smiles as though I've been gone for days. Now I duck behind the couch a lot just for that look.

These days Amari spends most of her time on her tummy, pushing her little butt into the air in an attempt to propel forward towards a toy or a pacifier or our cat. Much to her dismay, her arms are much stronger than her legs are coordinated and she invariably pushes herself farther away from her goal. I sometimes think about getting two of everything, so I can put one in front of her and one behind her. That way if she scoots back far enough she'll reach her goal. Instead, I sometimes take my foot or my hand and give her legs a little help.

Amari's communication skills are growing louder and cuter, albeit less predictable. Sometimes she'll wake up at two in the morning and be ready to talk. This drives me nuts, but a useful parental defense mechanism known as sleep-deprived psychosis has me hearing things like "Dada" or "Mama" or "Go Giants" that keep me interested enough not to stay too grumpy.

Other than that, Amari is also eating solid foods now. Mostly corn chips and whole cherries, but sometimes we go with the old fashioned blended stuff. Actually, Carrie did a lot of reading about introducing foods, so we've gone from the extremely bland and uninteresting rice cereal to the tastier blended fruits and veggies. So far she seems to enjoy everything. The challenging part now is eating grown-up food in front of her and trying to make it look like its no fun at all.

                                     "Mmmmmmm...mushy stuff."

So that's about it as far as Amari's recent developmental milestones. She continues to progress much like any child her age. Oh yeah - except that she recently started playing guitar.

         "Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be 
               the top number and make that a little louder?"

And doing a little bit of keyboarding.

                       "Ugh. This Red sounds like it's Green Flat"

Plus she has taken up amateur cat taming - mostly just as a hobby.

                                           Amari with Wild House Cat

Other than that, however, totally normal kid.

Lastly, I discovered the joys of the video this week. It was a rainy Monday morning in our coastal hamlet when I was struck with the inspiration that can only come with too much time alone with six month old muse.


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