Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Big Zig in the Village.

Our Ziggy is fifteen pounds and twenty-five inches of baby delight. Not the doll kind, but the honest to goddess shitting, pissing, spitting up, laughing, crying, cooing, drooling kind. He is amazing and wonderful good. Daddy Booty is proud to note that Zig is at the toppermost of the charts: 95th percentile for weight and head circumference (no surprise there, as the Booty family's got back and sizable melons!) and the 97th percentile of height (again, no surprise there as Mama & Daddy Booty are taller than your average bear and Papa Joe and Aunt Ingrid are lovely tall drinks of water throwing their genes on out there from somewhere primitive and wondrous.)

All of which is to say that Ziggy, along with his good friend Wren (seen to the above with her mama, Em) is about to outgrow his infant car seat. Whew. He's got a mere inch left of length before he's too long, and five pounds 'til he's too heavy. I'm dreaming up ways to finance the Britax Marathon. Not only is it rated so very highly (and has a longer use time for a boy of ours' stature than the Britax Roundabout), but since Zig's primary transport is 15 year old Maggie the mini van, seems the boy should benefit from some superior innovations in baby constraint engineering. What say you? Weigh in on the subject of car seats your own self in the comments section. I'm keen to hear what you more experienced parents have found to work for your families.

Our big boy checked out splendidly at last week's slightly delayed two month well-baby visit. And his post-op follow up with the good Doc at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital surgical pediatric office confirmed Ziggy's good health. His incision has healed beautifully and as evidenced by his growth, our boy continues to eat well (oh, nursing has been our salvation!). Furthermore, he's marking his development with all the anticipated milestones, now riding front facing in the Baby Bjorn or hip slung and confident in the sling. Latest developments include a slightly more organically organized sleep schedule, attentive play with incredible visual tracking, and the discovery of hands -- oh! they are everywhere: on Mama's bosom, in Mama's hair, tugging Daddy's shirt, and most of all, in Ziggy's mouth. There is perhaps a 1-2% possibility that Ziggy will be revisited by the malrotation with volvulous issues; pretty good odds, those. And of course, it's possible that the adhesions will create complications, but for now, we're feeling relieved and accomplished with good input AND output in the correct direction, meaning of course: poop. Remarkable how so very much of my daily life revolves around shit. Look for an entry all about doo doo in the near future.

**For you parents of small children who don't know or can make use of a reminder, tuck this piece of information away in that place from which you draw at the time of need: anytime your babe is puking up green bile, it is likely to be some type of bowel obstruction-- get thee and thy most precious wee bairn to a children's hospital post haste. Be prepared to be barraged with information and hold fast to yourself to advocate for your child as only YOU can. Only YOU are the expert on YOUR child, and s/he is NOT a condition or a case number, but your own beloved family member.

Following our recent episode, I've been mighty watchful of what goes in and what goes out, and highly attuned to our son's higher needs, both resulting from his indubitably frightening experiences and from his more recent developmental dictates. A proponent of attachment parenting and of the continuum concept, Mama Booty has simply stepped up her game. And it's been very important to me not to just spout about the Village, but to LIVE in and make use of the Village. Ziggy's Diggy has been a large part of his life since she spent a full month (split into bits) with us during the first two months of Zig's existence outside the womb. She has held him and loved on him, sung to him, changed diapers and been a force of great comfort and sustenance in every way but breast feeding. I'm so pleased that they've had the opportunity to bond so. The first time(s) I left Ziggy in the care of someone, it was Diggy, my own mother in whom I placed my trust for child minding. These were the times early on when I had to return to briefly return to hospital for treatement of my incision infection and didn't wish to expose our newborn futher to a place of much illness. During his hospital stay, he's had comforting and some spelling Mama time from his Aunt Dana and from Ms. Booty's sister by friendship, Mama Loca, seen above. And recently, Mama Booty has turned Ziggy over to the complete care of his father for brief forays out into the world away from my child. These are, I believe, bigger steps for ME than for the babe. I've simply felt it necessary to make myself take this leap sooner rather than later, as I believe the longer I wait to make the jump, the more difficult it will become.

To that end, when Ziggy seemed perched at a cold's edge yesterday and Bert the dog had his needs, too, I accessed care for my boy from neighbor and dear friend, Kaki. (Kaki and her husband, Bill, officiated our wedding and Bill is a longtime compadre of my Mister, even predating his Nashville residence.) Kaki happened to be home yesterday and was more than glad to snuggle up with Ziggy for a nap while I took Bert on an unencumbered walk and romp in the park. All in all, it was a win win win situation: Ziggy got some hands on Village time, Kaki got baby love. Bert got my undivided attention and the rough-housing he craves for the first time since before I got pregnant nearly a year ago. Mama Booty benefitted from knowing all this worked well and that the Village is a dear good thing right from the start, and that the Beloved Mister would be relieved of what he views as dog 'duty,' freeing him up to be more present for his Babe and his babe. Yay!
Our weekend placed Ziggy firmly in the Village as well, with trek out to the where the other half lives for a lovely spread that was Daddy Booty's work Christmas Party. Ziggy enjoyed the view from his perch on Mama Booty's hip, tucked into his safe place in the sling. We nursed in the parlor turned cloak room and overtook it for nappy changes as well, visited repeatedly by my Mister's co-workers, all of whom were delighted to make Ziggy's acquaintance. I was glad to say thank you in person to these folks who were so supportive at the time of Ziggy's birth and then in the ensuing hard time of Ziggy's illness. I'd brought a hostess gift for the board member who opened her home to us, but upon experiencing the lavish manse, it seemed but a mere gumball in the face of her offering to us, so I opted to follow up with a simple thank you note instead. My Mister laughingly agreed that my mere trinket registered on the gumball level in the face of the place we found ourselves Friday night.
And on Sunday, my boy and I joined with the Nashville Mamas for their annual cookie exchange. We made my Mister's favorite holiday cookie and one I've been making and eating since my own childhood: Mexican Wedding Cookies. I say "we" but of course that means ME, with Zig on my hip or strapped to my chest and wearing a good bit of confectioner's sugar atop his mohawk. Our Baby Bjorn has a bit of the white flecks, still, and the nappy burp cloth I tucked inside the sling at the actual party bore the tell tale streak of chocolate before the night was out. I shall include the Mexican Wedding Cookie Recipe in an entry to follow, along with photos of cookie-ing with the Mamas, a group of women for whom I have become profoundly grateful. They're a good lot to round out our Village.
Our Ziggy will know that despite the sad bad meaness of the world, there are those to be counted on when there is need for sharing grief, celebration or daily duties. He will know that Mama and Daddy Booty are aided and abetted by their ample cadre of able minds, bodies and spirits of the Village it takes....


  1. Beautiful post.
    He is a beloved boy, and his circle will grow right along with him.

    We used the Britax (Roundabout, I think?) as well. At the time our family car was an old Jeep Wagoneer.....and we hoped the very best car seat would tip the balance in baby's favor, so to speak. Highly recommended.

  2. Hey Ms Booty

    We have two Britax Marathons, and they are the greatest, and very easy to use. I invested in a 2nd one when I went back to work, as I drop her off at school and Tom picks her up. I figured, hey, what price safety, as well as what the idea that she was in it from day 1 til she is 60 lbs...I did the math. Plus, I didn't want to invest in a baby bucket (infant carrier) as I was too into holding M next to mine own booty.

    Warm thoughts from the cold north, ---el.