27 01 2008

This past week was Hugo’s first week in fulltime daycare. Thanks to California’s  paid family leave  and the generosity of both sets of Hugo’s grandparents, we were able to hold off on putting him into daycare until he was 5 1/2 months old, something I’m very glad for. Even at 4 months, Hugo seemed a bit reluctant to embrace the world outside the womb. He still liked to spend a good chunk of the day in his beloved pouch and wasn’t that interested in toys and the like. Now, he is a different baby. He likes to roll and jump and sit in his high chair with a tantalizing array of amusements. Sure, he still likes to be held sometimes, but that isn’t the only way he is happy.


 Hugo’s daycare is on our corner. Yes, on the corner of our block. That alone is a dream come true. No additional commute for either Juan or I, and, more importantly, no car rides for Hugo. It is a small family daycare run by a woman and her husband, with two helpers. Back when I was pregnant and we were starting to tour different types of daycare facilities, I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for. We looked at daycare centers, but the rows of infants in swings got me down. When we met Berta, we were elated. She has loads of training in early childhood education, but she is also warm and loving and immediately I felt comfortable with the idea of her taking care of my son. Over the months that Juan and I were home with Hugo, we’d drop in and see her from time to time. She’d coo over Hugo, he’d lunge at her gold hoop earrings with gusto. It was a match made in heaven.

 Still, sending your kid off for their first day away from home is probably never easy, and it wasn’t for us. Something about packing a bag for Hugo made my eyes a little teary, as if I was sending him off with his hobo sack to fend for himself, armed only with 3 6 oz. bottles, his swaddle and a clean diaper.


The happy ending: he has been doing great at daycare. He naps like a narcoleptic while at Berta’s, perhaps because of the stimulation of so many kids! toys! music! And when we pick him up, he is cozily ensconced in the arms of one of the daycare providers.  And taking him from them, feeling him in my arms after so many hours, and walking home, the three of us together, strolling the short block home, is the sweetest part of my day.


Weekend Wrap-up

22 01 2008

We had a long, social weekend, which was a good thing since it appears that the week ahead is storm, storm and more storm, and we’ll likely be spending much of our leisure time exploring the great indoors.

On Saturday, Hugo attended his friend Polly’s first birthday party. He was the youngest of the crowd, and not quiet sturdy enough to hold his own in floor play, so he hung around the edges with us. He was, however, enamored of the mylar balloons with their coquettish tails, and spent much of the time trying to grasp the ribbon:


Sunday was a string of visits, including my high school friend Gwen, recently moved back from Chicago, and Alexandra and the newly sprung-from-the-womb Mina. Since Hugo was a big baby at birth, most newborns seem impossibly tiny and light to me. Mina (no pictures yet) is no exception, but she’s cute as a button, and I can’t wait for she and Hugo to become friends.

There were bad parts of the weekend, of course. Juan’s Vespa key disappeared, Hugo had some sort of jet lag which had him awake from midnight until 4 a.m. on Sunday night, alternately trying to convince one of us to play and crying when we insisted that it was an uncivilized hour for grinning. But in the end, I think I’ll remember my son, mesmerized by the birthday balloons….

The Slow Crawl

19 01 2008

Hugo has a strong impulse towards locomotion. In water he thinks he can swim, and on land he thinks he can, well, swim. But last week, he actually managed something that looked a lot like a crawl. I don’t want to overstate here, but he was on all fours and his abdomen was off the floor. You decide for yourself:


9 01 2008

Christmas brought a new arrival to our household: the Rainforest Jumperoo. It is against everything we believe in. Its brashly colored plastic clashes with our tonal modern aesthetic, not to mention the fact that it occupies ridiculous square footage in our small apartment.  It was purchased new, violating the mantra I repeat to everyone I know who is pondering the world of baby gear. If I told you where it was purchased, you’d strip me of my true blue credentials earned through years of Democratic political work. But what can I say, pure joy is a rare thing in this world.


Hugo wasn’t quite sure what to do with the Jumperoo at first, but he quickly got the hang of it, drawing, I’m sure, on his experience with the gateway drug of the doorway jumper. His reaction is so visceral, his glee so transparent, it makes me wish for a Jumperoo of my own…..