Tag Archives: 12 months


I’m not what you would call a hugely competitive person; I don’t like being the last person chosen for the team, but I don’t have to be the first person, either. Somewhere in the upper 25% is usually OK with me.

So it’s been a bit of a surprise to me how crochety I can get when I feel like the Hatchling isn’t hitting her milestones when she’s “supposed” to. It’s sooooooooo dumb, right? I mean, a) the range of when you’re “supposed” to hit milestones is so wide as to be near meaningless, and b) you only have to be in the Hatchling’s presence for about a nanosecond to know that she’s completely fine, developmentally speaking. But it doesn’t matter. I just take one look at a BabyCenter.com chart on 12-month old skills and I’m off into paranoid-mommyland. 12-month-olds are supposed to have two or three words?!?! Crap! The Hatchling talks all the time, but is any of that words? Sometimes she says mama or dada, but it rarely seems to be directed at me or Mr. Squab … She’s started saying “hi” in a way that occasionally makes sense – does that count? WHO CARES? God knows I shouldn’t, but I occasionally have to get someone else to talk me down and remind me that in ten years I’ll have a happy 11-year-old daughter with a full head of hair, a full vocabulary, and actual underpants. Oy.

Having said all that, I must report that we hit a definite, for-real milestone this weekend: the Hatchline took her first official unassisted steps. Like six of them, from her aunt to her daddy. Of course, she’s resolutely declined to repeat the episode since then, but we all witnessed it: she can do it if she wants to. Suck on THAT, BabyCenter.com.

Mini review: The Walker Art Center

One of the things that made last weekend so fun was a visit from the original Squotund with her hubby and 8-month-old twins. It had been something like 6 years since I’d seen La Squo, but we picked right up like we’d just stopped rooming together last week. Mr. Squo had a conference at the U on Friday and Saturday, but on Sunday the whole family was free and raring to hit some Twin Cities hot spots. Being artsy types like ourselves, Mr. Squab and I suggested going to the Walker Art Center, seeing as how it’s one of the best in the country and it has an excellent outdoor garden and it was a lovely day for that sort of thing. I’d taken the Hatchling to the gardens before, but it had been a while since we all went to the museum together, and with a one-year-old and two 8-month-olds, you never know how an organized outing will go. But I have to say, the Walker was AWESOME. Not just as a museum, which, duh, of course it is, but as a place to take smaller kids and not feel like a freak.

Example one: we went up to the rooftop cafe for a bite to eat before we toured the galleries, and because it was such a nice day decided to dine outside. This was perfect for the first 2/3 of the meal, but then a really vicious little breeze sprung up and kept attacking our table, blowing our napkins far and wide, knocking over bottles of soda and distributing yogurt containers to the four corners of the earth. As we were frantically trying to gather our things and head indoors, the breeze snatched the Hatchling’s sunhat from the top of her stroller and flung it over the balcony wall and off in the direction of the gardens. We were prepared to just write it off as a loss, when one of the museum guards came over and told us she’d radio down to some of the main floor people and see if one of them could find it. And THEN, as if that weren’t nice enough, when one of them DID find it, she came and found us in a random gallery and delivered the hat back personally! Who does that? (I think my squabby bear hug may have taken her slightly aback, but I was just so grateful I had to do it.)

Example two: You know how galleries have pretty sweet acoustics? Well, the Hatchling and the Squo-babies JUST FIGURED THAT OUT. There was much delighted shrieking in each room, and have you ever tried to tell a pre-verbal child to use their inside voice? Because yeah. It doesn’t work. Mr. Squab even tried covering the Hatchling’s mouth with his hand, but she just thought it was an awesome game the object of which was to shriek loud enough to penetrate human flesh. Which, in case you were wondering, she can easily do. We cringed when we saw the museum guards approaching us, but no! They just wanted to tell us how adorable our babies were, and how fun it was to see kids finding their voices in the galleries. And then one of them offered to watch our stroller if we wanted to go up the stairs and check out the other exhibit. I mean, Jesus! I know this state is all about “Minnesota Nice” and all, but holy crap they were nice!

It made me realize how often I feel like I have to apologize for having a sweet chubby cute curious squirmy opinionated baby. And don’t get me wrong, I get that there are places that are inappropriate for kids and that’s OK with me. But I’m also pathologically averse to causing trouble in public. I hate making a disturbance, being a pain in the ass, drawing undue attention to myself. This will probably make readers who know me laugh in disbelief, since I’m not known as a particularly quiet person … but it’s true nonetheless. I’ll be a pain in the ass to my friends, sure, but in public I try strenuously to avoid it. I’m the person who has my change ready when I get up to the counter, who looks up routes and menus in advance so I don’t take too much time getting places or deciding what to order, who overpacks whenever I travel so I’m prepared for every contingency – that person. It’s not so easy to be that person with a small child, particularly if you don’t want to give the child a complex. We do pretty well, mostly because the Hatchling is a highly accomodating and well-behaved baby, but I hadn’t realized how much of a second class citizen I’ve allowed myself to feel over the last year, not wanting to be that woman with the annoying baby. It’s fucked up, right? Mentally, politically, I know this: women have babies, it takes a damn village and (within certain boundaries) people can just fricking deal with it. But my emotions haven’t been keeping pace, and it took a visit to a modern art museum to remind me how the world is supposed to be.

Two weeks of turning one: a photo narrative

As befits the only granddaughter and the youngest member of a very large family, the Hatchling had quite an extended series of first birthday celebrations. It started with a little family fete at home on the night of her birthday. We opened a few presents, and more importantly, ate cupcakes for the very first time:


You’d think we’d have stopped there …

Have you ever been hexed by a baby? Because this is what it looks like.

But no. Some friends stopped by with more presents, including tissue paper! Which is our favorite snack!!

And by "play with" I mean "eat"

And then that weekend, there was a bigger party at Gramma and Grampa’s house, with MORE presents, and MORE ribbons:

Presents are nice

The Mamala made some yummy lemon cupcakes,

Homemade Lemon Cupcakes

but initially we were extremely uninterested.

Nooooo. No cupcake!

Pretty soon we came around, though, and decided they were pretty yummy.

Yep, that's pretty good, too!

And THEN, to top it off, we had yet ANOTHER party, this time with lots of other kids around the same age (and their parents):

Rin and Fiona
Heather, Kai, and Lula
Quinn gets a bite of cake from Daddy

So: we are now One, with a vengeance. And Mamala is looking forward to some time not spent planning for parties. Whew.

That Than Which There Can be Nothing Cuter

Unlike some other prodigy babies, the Hatchling didn’t figure out how to clap until last Friday, when she somehow learned it literally overnight. Thursday, nothing doing; Friday morning, I got her up and brought her into bed with us and when Mr. Squab got up to get dressed, she started clapping and laughing like she’d been doing it her whole life. Now she does it every morning, and I’ll tell you: if you’ve got to get up at what I once considered the ungodly hour of 7:00 am, there’s no better way to do it than with a small person who is so delighted to see you, so delighted to start the day in your company, that she just can’t help but clap and laugh out loud.

The Titanic Toddler

As in “like a Titan,” not as in “sinking ship.”

The Hatchling had her 12 month check-up today, and as usual, she’s off the charts, yo:

Noggin: 46.5 cm around (90th percentile)
Height: 31.5 inches (>97th percentile)
Weight: 26 lbs, 10 oz (>97th percentile)

So … yeah. Now I understand why my back hurts all the damn time. TWENTY SIX FREAKING POUNDS is why. The doctor pronounced her “gorgeous” “a real tow head” and “the picture of health.” Which indeed she is.