15 01 2010

Maybe because of the end of the New Year, maybe because I’m feeling sentimental, but I thought I’d write a bit about Hugo’s buddies. Hugo has a great group of pals, some from daycare, some who are the children of friends of ours, and some who are, well, stuffed.

In Mid-December we attended his school’s annual Christmas party. I missed this last year, as it coincided with my dad’s birthday, and had to make do with descriptions from Juan. So glad I was able to go this year! I loved seeing Hugo’s little world.

Below he uses his friend E’s new “makeup”:

Taking a seat next to another friend A:

Lately, when I ask him who he played with today at school, he says, with a somewhat exasperated tone, “My friends!”

Hugo also has two good buddies outside of school. Mina, daughter of our friends Ali and Alexandra, is 5 months younger, but worldly beyond her years. One thing Hugo really likes to do with Mina is jump in the crib, and whenever she comes over, thta is on the agenda. Here they are at the Oakland Zoo:

And, uh, not being quiet (sorry monkeys!):

Last, but not least, our neighbor and friend, Polly. Polly is a 7 months older than Hugo, but they have been hanging out together since Hugo was born. Those two get up to some serious antics. Tonight, following Korean food in the Avenues, they ate their cookies tailgate style, holed up in the trunk of the car. Here they do some serious puzzling:


I Promise We Won’t Keep Blogging About the Potty

14 03 2009

Really, I do. But here’s Hugo giving the thing a tire kicking.

Yep, He’s a Big Boy Now

27 02 2009

Hugo is the only one in our household permitted to bring reading materials into the bathroom.

Samson Shorn

21 01 2009


For the last several months we’ve been noticing with quiet alarm that Hugo’s hair was becoming quite unruly. His wild mop of stringy hair was shooting out in all directions (often scuplted with the aid of pesto sauce, oatmeal, mango, or whatever substance he happened to smear in it). When we asked friends if he needed a haircut we would hear “um, it’s getting a little long…” (though Sandra noted that he resembled a toupee-ed man).

Here he is in a recent shaggy shot with his grandpa.
With Grandpa

Long, eh? Although I’d been planning to bring him to my barber, the venerable Larry, at Arcade, the ancient Financial District barbershop I’ve been patronizing for years, the family was all home on Monday and we decided to bring him ’round to the kid-centric hair cuttery around the corner.
Pre-First Haircut Snack

The visit started well enough. While we waited, Hugo got to play with the shop’s extensive collection of toy cars (his latest obsession). Finally, it was our turn. The fact that his chair was surrounded by a red car seemed auspicious. Unfortunately, once the penguin cape was placed on him, Hugo started to freak. out. The whole haircut lasted maybe five minutes –the longest five minutes of his young life, perhaps. The stylist was gentle and careful, and Sacha and his aunt Sarah were furiously plying him with toys and these funny Japanese cookies we found on Clement Street. Finally, the last lock was snipped, and I was able to pick up my sniffling, tear-soaked boy.

He got over the trauma pretty quickly (as he always does), and is the same boy as before, just a bit more presentable.
Fully Recovered


10 03 2008

After 5 months of steady drooling and frantic gumming of any solid surface, Hugo has finally sprouted teeth! After all the fruitless anticipation, we had stopped really looking for them. But one day last week, as he performed his ritual chomping on my fingers, I felt two little daggers breaking through on his bottom gums.

Since then, he has been obsessed with them and spends most of the day fingering them (see above).  He doesn’t seem to be too bothered by their emergence. I, on the other hand, am already maudlin about the impdending loss of his gummy grin.  Like all milestones, this one is bittersweet.

The Great Solids Experiment

21 02 2008

In the great division of duties of childrearing that Sacha and I devised when Hugo was born, one of the few duties that was always assigned to me was the preparation of his non-breast milk victuals. (Sacha of course handled this and about 95% of the other tasks associated with raising this boy healthy and happy). At the time of the assignment I was pretty excited, I received a book, The Petit Gourmet, a precious little cookbook on how to cook your precious bebe precious little organic treats. But as Hugo got older (4-5 months) and the time came when it would be alright to feed him real food, my enthusiasm waned. One, he loves eating chez maman, and I knew nothing I cooked up in a food processor would approximate that. Two, Hugo’s doctor (more on her in a later post) dropped hints that she thought we should wait until 6 months before introducing solids. Finally, Hugo had tried some non-milk foods already (Sacha put a dab of avocado on his tongue at Toast and I let him lick a kosher pickle at Saul’s Deli), suffice to say neither of these experiments portended well for the future.

Finally, six months hit and we knew we couldn’t delay the inevitable. First on the list: rice cereal. Sacha came home from our local corner market with this. Although I liked all the lip service paid to organic blah blah blah and non-GMO whathaveyou, I was more concerned by the working conditions of the diapered slave children on the box cover. I think Dolores Huerta should know about this.


So, on February 7, exactly six months after coming into the world, Hugo tried rice cereal. We followed the directions on the box. Did Hugo love it, did the certified organic, iron-fortified goodness of “Earth’s Best” transform him to a convert of solid food? See below for your answer.

Hugo found the whole ordeal somewhat disturbing. It was as if we’d put quickly-drying cement into his mouth. He looked at us with a combination of incomprehension, bemusement, and betrayal. The next night we tried pureed apples. The result:

Yes, the same look that seemed to say “Are we done, can I have some breast milk now?” Finally, we found out that my son enjoys sweet potatoes. And bananas. He actually loves sweet potatoes, in fact he prefers the ones I made from scratch over the jarred ones from the slavebaby fields of Earth’s Best. One can only hope that he’ll be open to revisiting apples one day. The rice cereal aversion doesn’t bother me. Maybe he’s boycotting out of union solidarity for his brothers and sisters in the fields…

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: