And She’s Off…

It’s often hard to determine the exact moment when your baby officially becomes a walker. Is it when she can easily cruise around with the support of only a single adult finger? When she walks with the aid of furniture? When she takes those first wobbly steps alone? Regardless, I think at the point the baby can do bipedal laps around the house without any kind of aid, she is definitely there.

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She has even mastered that final skill of standing up without having anything (like a parent’s leg) to pull herself up on. She is now officially fully mobile.

The End Of Year Revels

The entire last week at the Village Free School was a series of activities, partly to send the year off with a bang, and partly I think to compensate for the fact that the school, living as it is in rented space, needed to be entirely packed up for the summer by the last day and therefore became increasingly barren of materials as the week went on. On Tuesday our vehicle joined a small caravan headed to a llama farm, where we got to feed and pet llamas and watch (from a distance) a new baby llama. The baby was adorable; the other llamas were cautiously friendly; and Mica, who is fascinated at this age with the concept of other creatures, went absolutely nuts whenever we got close to a llama. Waving her arms and bouncing in her sling and laughing excitedly… It’s a good thing these were pretty laid-back llamas.

Wednesday the school had rented an inflatable obstacle course, which was set up in the parking lot outside the building. “I’d hate for other schools to feel bad about themselves,” I heard someone say as we watched the course being inflated, “but free school rocks.” The entire school was lined up when the course opened, cheering on each person who went in. Nathan and Ryan were a little hesitant about joining in during the initial mob, but after the first rush, activity slowed down and mostly centered around the younger kids, and they both got in a bunch of runs. Meanwhile I set up a suminigashi station in another area. At first business was slow, but as people got their fill of the obstacle course a few of them wandered over to try it out. Probably only half a dozen kids really got into it, but it was fun to watch them work on it.

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My boys declined heading to the coast with the school on Thursday, which I thought was sort of insane, but they were adamant. Probably they’d have gone if I’d gone with them, but I wasn’t quite up for that long of a drive with Mica. But on Friday we finished out the year with one last day at the school. I offered a tie-dye activity which probably fifteen to twenty people took me up on, and which went very well despite Mica’s help. Crucially, several other adults stepped in to help with things, and I also had the chance to appreciate how willing the students were to take charge of certain aspects. With my hands often full of baby, I had good reason to demo things and then let a student or two become the local experts on that technique. I definitely counted it as a success, especially since several kids told me that want me to repeat it sometime, maybe at the back-to-school camp out in fall.

And with that, our schedule has shifted. Two days a week at VFS seemed to fill up our time disproportionately; now I have the blank slate of summer to work with, and it feels wide open and full of possibilities.

Berry Season

It’s a great pleasure to harvest anything out of the garden — spinach and snap peas and asparagus are all amazing when they’re fresh and sweet. But I must admit that I have a special place in my heart for the first berries. When I see bits of red I begin to prowl the berry patches each day, searching out the very first little morsels to share around in the family. Well, maybe the second morsels. As the gardener I feel I have some claim to the very first taste of the season.

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This year I have, for the third and final time, the extra pleasure of introducing a baby to berries. Like her brothers, Mica has needed no urging to enjoy them.

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Just A Picture

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Baby Science

  1. Hey, what’s that?
  2. What does it taste like?
  3. What happens when I whack it?
  4. Ooh, what if I whack it against something else?
  5. Can it be rubbed against the floor/dissected with teeth/pulled apart?
  6. How far can I throw it?
  7. Well that was… Hey, what’s that?