Thursday, July 31, 2008

Baby mullets

I just looked in Will’s baby book, and he was 11 months old when he got his first haircut. “You’ve always had more hair than the average baby your age,” I wrote to some future version of himself that I imagined reading the book.

Owen, meanwhile has always had less hair than the average baby his age. (By the way, I can’t check Owen’s baby book for these sorts of stats and notes because I’ve by and large failed to fill the thing out yet --- I’ve turned into the worst sort of baby book procrastinator.) In any case Owen, who still looks largely hairless to me, is growing some wispy longer tufts of hair behind either of his ears. To trim these up seems like such an undramatic “first hair-cut,” that we just haven’t felt inspired.

So while we wait for that top-of-the-head hair to get long enough to justify opening our back deck barber shop, you’ll have to forgive Owen his baby mullet.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baby signs

It took a few months of my consistently using a few simple signs with both Will and Owen before they began signing back to me. And at about one year of age, their interest in sign language really started to take off. (Maybe if I’d been a more diligent signer the payoff would have come sooner.)

With Will, I decided as long as we were using signs I might as well teach him the true ASL signs for everything. With Owen, I decided to cheat and use a few “baby signs” – courtesy of Linda Acredelo and Susan Goodwyn’s book by that name. Owen was soon doing a panting-tongue-hanging-out “sign” for dog and an arm-flapping sign for bird that allowed him to start signing a couple months earlier than he otherwise could have (the ASL sign for dog is a pesky leg-slapping-finger-snapping combination that I can’t imagine any under-2-year-old mastering and the ASL sign for bird requires opening and closing your thumb and forefinger in front of your nose – a more fine-motor operation than Owen’s big-armed flapping).

Other signs Owen has tried out include the ever-useful-while-eating “more,” as well as airplane, tree and cat. But his favorite sign of all is the universally understood wave (hello or bye-bye) which he likes to do for just about every person we pass in the grocery store or the preschool parking lot.

What were some of your children’s favorite signs – or your own favorite sign language books or web resources for parents?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekend at the beach

Here are several snapshots from our long-weekend trip to St. Augustine, Fla., where Will and Owen enjoyed beach and pool time with Rob’s parents, “Nana” and “Papa” and Aunt Alicia.
Owen discovered he loved the sand (except for when he tried eating it)
but he found the ocean water a bit unnerving (every time I dipped his feet in the shallowest reaches of a wave he’d shake his head no furgiously).

But my favorite photos are in sepia. Take away the bright colors, and the beach looks so serene.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lesson from the beach

When you and your husband are standing waist-deep in the ocean with your nearly-4-year-old son and you spot the dorsal and caudal fins of a shark 10 yards away, don’t say the word "shark" aloud as you swiftly exit the water. The kid will fixate on the shark the rest of the day, wondering about its size and retelling the story of its spotting until by bedtime that shark is a monstrous image consuming all of his weary mind. And if you and the husband were planning a late-night retreat to the hot tub you’ll have to forget about it, because he’ll be stuck lying beside the still-awake boy in his bed, where he'll spend more than an hour fending off sharks, which it turns out (if the boy’s any authority on the matter) are perfectly capable of emerging from the ocean and crawling into beach houses at night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Forward facing

This evening we’ll be embarking on a late-day six-hour drive to St. Augustine beach, where Rob’s family has rented a beach house -- and for the first time Owen’s going to get to see where we’re going. We’d been waffling on how long to wait before turning newly 1-year-old Owen around in the car. My pediatrician mentioned to me that although nearly all the parents in his practice are chomping at the bit to get their kids facing forward, in many European countries parents wait until as late as 3 years of age to turn their kids around. Rear-facing remains the safest position for quite a while – although I haven’t done the research to learn just how much safer it is. That's probably because I knew where we were heading.

It’s rough weighing safety against general happiness. We left Owen rear-facing for a week and a half, but as Rob and I started gearing up mentally for a significant little road trip we caved on the safety front and installed a forward facing seat for Owen. I’m looking forward to seeing how excited he is to be looking out the windows like his big brother, and I'm hoping it might relieve me of some of my backseat duties.

Here’s an American Academy of Pediatrics Web site, with car and booster seat safety recommendations. We’ll be waiting to move Will up to a booster seat until he’s truly outgrown his car seat, since, as they say, a move “up” is really a move down in safety.

Have any of you held out for well past a year (and 20 pounds) before moving to forward-facing seats? Maybe after we’ve conquered this trip, I could be persuaded to turn Owen around again. Although after he’s had a taste of the good forward-facing life, it may be hard to go back.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Box snatcher

I spotted this big-screen TV box on my neighbor’s curb yesterday morning and knew I’d found the ultimate toy. So I snatched it up before the trash men and placed it on our kitchen, where it consumed approximately 70 percent of the floor space and delighted the boys for about 70 percent of the day. During Owen’s nap, Will drew windows and flowers and grass on the outside of the “house,” as well as a pretty interesting representation of our cat, Frances. In one desperate attempt to buy myself some more quiet writing time I suggested, when asked “Mom, what else can I draw?” that he might color the bricks on the “house.” Will hasn’t quite learned the art of eye-rolling yet, but he told me that that would take WAY too long.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Look mom, no hands

Yesterday Owen began experimenting with free-standing for several seconds at a time. There is something exhilarating to me about watching him take this tentative step toward becoming an independent biped like the rest of us. There he stands, legs bowed and tottering, arms out, grinning and laughing at his new skill before he teeters and totters and plops down to the floor. Maybe it’s because Will and I just read a passage in E.B. White’s Trumpet of the Swan in which the protagonist cygnet, Louis, and his siblings take their first flight or maybe it’s because Owen also picked up the flapping-arms baby sign for bird this weekend – but I keep thinking of Owen as my little bird, about to take flight, as I watch him work toward walking. Sure it takes humans about 12 months longer than the average bird to acquire mobility skills much less graceful and glorious than flight, but it’s so fun to watch all the same.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dutch birth model

If your childbearing years aren’t over yet and you’re interested in trying labor the natural way, you might want to visit the Netherlands and take notes from the 92 percent of women there who apparently manage to have their babies without the assistance of an epidural. There was an interesting story on NPR Thursday about the state of maternity care – and of health care in general – in the Netherlands (where the infant mortality rate is also about 25 percent lower than in the U.S.). Go here for a quick read or listen.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Swim lessons with mom

Yesterday, with permission from the official swim instructor, I anointed myself nervous Will’s personal swim teacher and spent the entire swim lesson in the pool with him. He wanted to be nowhere near his class, but when we got off on our own he was willing to bob and blow bubbles out his nose and do a thrashing kind of full-body swim that was fun to watch even if I was stuck in a constant squint keeping the water out of my eyes. By the end of the “lesson,” he was ready to tell his real teacher what he’d accomplish. “I put my head under water,” he said. “But I still have to get used to doing stuff with you.”

So if it turns out that swim lessons are just an excuse to cart ourselves off to the pool eight times in two weeks so that I can coach Will toward something sort of resembling swimming, so be it. Since he’s still thinking of it as swim lessons, he’s pretty willing to spend the bulk of the time practicing his crude water skills. And to be honest, it’s more fun for me too. We’ll still keep encouraging him to rejoin his class and his official teacher, but I’m more interested in keeping him in the water than forcing him to keep with his class.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Agony at the pool

Swim lessons. Oh, the agony.

I know my nearly 4-year-old son Will well enough to know that he’s not cut out for those cut-throat, throw-em-in-so-they-have-to-sink-or-swim private lessons that many parents take their kids to.

Will is scared of everything from storybook foxes to Johnny Appleseed, and he gets ferocious when forced into a situation that embarrasses him or makes him uncomfortable. I’m pretty sure, when forced to face the water before he felt ready, Will would have an earth-shaking kind of meltdown.

Fortunately we have the luxury of not owning a backyard pool or a lake house, so we feel like we can be a bit more lax when it comes to survival swimming timetables.

So for the past few years we’ve been moving Will through the Columbus Parks and Recreation swim lesson programs. The instructors are Red Cross certified and they’re trained not to force kids to move too far beyond their comfort level, lest they develop a lifelong aversion to swimming.

Enter timid Will. He did fine for the water comfort classes the past couple summers with Rob and I in the pool. But this week it was time to do a group lesson, with us dry in the background.
I couldn’t believe it when he marched up to his instructor the first day and got in the pool. (Although I had witnessed some promising confidence out of Will: He’d been running around the house prior to that first lesson, brimming with excitement. “I think I’m going to learn how to swim. It’s going to be easy!” he said at one point.)

That was before his toes touched the water. It wasn’t long after he’d climbed into the pool with his class, that he was climbing back out a bit. While all the other kids (many of whom measure twice his height and some of whom are a couple years older) hung off the side of the pool with bodies submerged, Will found his comfort zone sitting on the wall, dangling his legs in and then entering the water for his one-on-one turns with the instructor.

He happily flutter-kicked for her with his head above water. But when it came to anything that involved putting his nose underwater he told the instructor repeatedly he was “too nervous.”

So the poor instructor had to repeatedly try and fail to coerce him to do various things for a couple of days, and yet always he would go to her and make some smidgen of an effort to do something resembling a fraction of what she was asking him to do – a nearly imperceptible bob of the head under water, a “back float” with his arms wrapped desperately around her neck. Just enough to earn a half-hearted “good job.”

Apparently Will inherited his Uncle Graham’s early swim-shyness genes. My brother was so vehemently opposed to taking group swim lessons that my mom finally had to hire a private instructor for him.

And as I watched Will, shaking his head obstinately as his instructor coaxed him for the thousandth time, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. If this was a competition for best swim lesson student, he was running dead last. But at first he didn’t seem to mind all that much. I kept telling him I was glad that he was in the pool on his own and trying things (I didn’t emphasize how barely he was trying them) with his teacher. And we talked about the importance of learning to swim so that we can boat and water ski and go on pool play dates as he gets older. We also talked a lot about what a very nice teacher he had.

So for two days Will was surprisingly excited to go to lessons. And then yesterday’s lesson hit. I sent Rob with Will for the first time – knowing that the two of them have spent more time together frolicking in the water – and even under the water – than Will and I have. I thought maybe Rob could coax him into some aquatic bravery. But Will had hit his limit. Running on no nap and two days of little success, the pool must have loomed larger for him on day three. (He’d told me Tuesday that the pool seemed so big that he was worried the swim instructor might drop him and let him sink in it.) And so on lesson 3, all he managed was a minute-long dip in the water before he announced that he was too tired for swim lessons today.

I’d stayed behind with Owen, and when I heard our side door creaking open a half hour early, I knew we’d had a swimming lesson strike-out.

So we’ve been stroking Will’s ego, focusing on the fun we can have at the pool tomorrow when he’s not feeling quite so worn out. And I’ll be driving off to swim lessons this evening, wondering just how soon I’ll be driving right back.

Tell me your swim lesson war stories. Or maybe I’m the only one?

(Go here to learn more about Columbus Parks and Recreation Swim Lessons. Most kids seem to progress just fine in them. And at $30 for eight lessons it’s a steal. They’re in their final sessions now, so it’s something to file away for next year.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The joy of sheets

We have a tall basket-hamper in our bedroom filled with an assortment of twin sheets that currently fit none of the beds in our house. So they’re free game for Will and Owen, who both take great joy in pulling the sheets out, dragging them around the house, building forts with them and on and on.

The other day as Will and Owen were giggling madly and rolling themselves up in the sheets while I folded clothes in the bedroom, I couldn’t help but offer a few words of caution to Will.

“Make sure Owen can breathe,” I said as I looked at my rolling, sheet-encloaked baby.

“It’s ok, mom,” Will said. “Owen’s breathing. He’s still alive.”

Very reassuring….

Here’s a photo of Will wearing one of the fitted sheets as a headdress while he dines on an omelet.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A greener kind of birthday

A few months back, I’d talked with a friend about the idea of doing a recycled baby shower. Instead of buying the mom-to-be a bunch of new stuff – why not shower her (assuming she was a second-hand lover like us) with high-quality second-hand stuff out of the attics and closets of her mom friends. We’d both already had our second babies and, in my case at least, there are no more on the horizon, so I decided to apply the theme to Owen’s first birthday instead, figuring it may be the last birthday when I can get away with such a concept.

So I sent out e-mail invitations to just a few friends (we'd decided to keep things very low-key for birthday #1) for a green-themed birthday. They starred Owen looking like so….

and at the risk of departing from good old fashioned birthday etiquette we requested either no gifts at all or something recycled – a book, article of clothing, or toy – stowed away in the guests' attic because their own children had either outgrown or grown weary of the thing.

Will and Owen and I wore various shades of green, we tried to compile semi-earth-friendly party favor bags (housed in lunch-sacks that Will decorated with tree and frog stamps and markers) and I made a few homemade pizzas using a recipe out of Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal Vegetable Miracle.” And the few older kids in attendance also played a quick game of pin the can/bottle/newspaper on the recycling truck.

We also wound up with some fabulous second-hand gifts, including one set of old-fashioned building blocks in one of those pull-toy wooden wagons. As my friend who’d brought that treasure watched Owen and Will open the gift, a little light bulb went off in her head and she realized they had been her grandmother’s at one point. So Owen will enjoy playing with that family heirloom for a while, but eventually we’ll be returning them to the proper descendents. Which suits me all the more – nothing like returning recycled gifts to keep the clutter down.

Will was eager to help Owen out with candle blowing on both Owen’s zucchini cupcake and this gorgeous (and delicious) vegan chocolate cake, which our friend Carey made for the party -- and which we lighted just for show.

Our party favor bags included some zucchini chocolate chip cookies, also a recipe courtesy of “Animal, Vegetable Miracle.” In case you’ve got zucchini overflow in your own garden or refrigerator, here’s the recipe:

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 egg, beaten
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Combine in large bowl
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Mix in a separate smaller bowl, then
blend into liquid mixture
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
12 oz. chocolate chips
Mix these into other ingredients. Drop by spoonful onto greased baking sheet and flatten with back of spoon. Bake 350, 10 to 15 minutes.
*From Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Road trip survival

Today’s Ledger-Enquirer includes my family road trip survival guide -- inspired by our 3-day car trek out to Colorado a couple weeks ago. You can read my travel tips there. Below I’m including some bonus tips from husband Rob and nearly-4-year-old son Will. Poor Owen, who was stuck in his rear-facing car seat, still can’t talk so he won’t be weighing in:

First Rob says:

1) Read a good Louis L’Amore western and talk about how the west used to be while pretending to be on the run from Cotton Allard’s band of thieves and scallywags. The more time you take at rest stops, the more ground they gain on you.

2) When it’s your shift in the passenger seat, pretend to be asleep so you don’t have to address the needs of the little people in the backseat and/or the food requests of your wife, the continual grazer.

3) Be aware of dry counties and states with no alcohol sales on Sunday (I thought these laws were specific mostly to the South but apparently not). There’s nothing as quenching as a cold beer after a long day’s drive, and nothing as disappointing as an empty beer run.

4) Definitely buy the travel guitar for marathon renditions of Old MacDonald. It’s like the blues: three chords and the truth.

And Will adds (when asked what parents should do to make road trips fun for kids):

5) “Just like have treats, but when you don’t want to you can’t, but if your mother and dad don’t want you to but you do, you might have a problem. But some don’t” (have a problem…)

6) “Just get some toys but not too much but whatever they want they can have the toys, but they can’t have too much toys in the car because it would be too much of a bundle.”

7) “It’s fun to see the blue mountains that are getting darker.” (After miles and miles of grassland, Will apparently appreciated those Colorado mountains appearing on the horizon.)

8) “And go sledding – but there wasn’t any snow, so we couldn’t go sledding.”

Friday, July 11, 2008

Baby graduation?

Today Owen turned one, and I’m feeling sentimental about that. What mother doesn’t get misty-eyed when the little being she brought into the world at something under 10 pounds (not much under in Owen’s case) passes that one-year mark?

We’ve shut down the baby making shop in our family, so Owen’s my last baby – the true baby of our family -- but it’s occurred to me that it’s around now that I’ll probably need to stop referring to him as “the baby,” which I really only do in passing to people I barely know anyway. But I’ve kind of been thinking of Owen as my baby for a long while now. And sure, he’ll always be my baby, but I’m not one of those moms who continues calling her kids “baby” once they start walking and talking. Maybe it’s because if I’d tried that with Will he would have gone ballistic. He’s short for his age, and he hates being called a baby. Maybe it’s because I recognize how much Owen has already grown from "baby" into his own increasingly independent self. On a mental and physical level he’s outgrowing the name. But there’s one little aspect where I haven’t decided if he’s passed my baby graduation test: the kid still has so little hair. He just looks the part.

So maybe since he’s kind of bald and still not quite walking on his own – not officially a “toddler” – I”ll hold on to the baby moniker for just a bit. We need to take these things gradually, I think. It’s bitter-sweet stuff watching our little ones grow up.
(We had a low-key family birthday party today -- a little banana cake, a few presents, a couple rounds of the happy birthday tune. Tomorrow we'll have just a few friends over for an only slightly more jazzed up celebration.)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blueberry picking

Chapter 2 in our adventures yesterday was a trip to my friend Carey’s house about 45 minutes south of Columbus – a beautiful rural property, in the middle of nowhere really. On it are some mature blueberry bushes that hit their peak this week, so Carey welcomed us down for some blueberry picking. The sun was hot but it was a wonderful experience, stretching up and down and into those giant bushes – which offer none of the thorny prickles of blackberry bushes – and plucking plump juicy berries for our bucket – or occasionally, our mouth. Three-month-old Curran slept through the picking and Owen watched from a stroller for several patient minutes. But once he got restless, he and I got to discover the joy of berry picking together. He seemed to have an eye for the biggest juiciest berries and he popped quite a few in his mouth. It was wonderful being out there with no roads or people, listening to the cicadas and foraging, all of us together, for such delicious little treats.

We also got to snatch a few zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes from Carey and Brant’s garden, which is just about the most beautiful little home vegetable garden on the planet. The center is planted in wagon-wheel spokes with flowers and herbs at the heart – and a profusion of produce all around: watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, Japanese eggplant, green beans, bell peppers, and tomatoes of all varieties and sizes. All of it very inspiring for a wanna-be gardener like me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rock Star, Yeah!

This morning Will, Simon and Alex squeezed in one final jam session as I watched the boys before Simon and Alex fly off to their new life in Sweden tomorrow. During this raucous performance, Simon, as lead singer, belted out a chorus that consisted of a three-word phrase repeated over and over: “Rock Star Yeah!” Will and Alex seemed to think it was perfectly cool.

Will and his friends are finally getting to that age where all I have to do is keep an ear out as the boys negotiate their play. I intentionally ignore minor disagreements and they resolve them together within seconds.

While Owen slept and I worked in the kitchen, I listened to the three non-napping boys dream up a Lincoln log world and, in the process, teach each other various concepts (Simon told Will that the green logs couldn’t go on the fire: “Green wood doesn’t burn,” Simon said. “My mom told me that.”) They also engaged in a debate about whether a plastic tree was a pine or a palm and Will moralized during some “bad boy” play about how “you can’t shoot people because people who shoot people have to go to jail.”

It sort of makes me eager for the day when Owen is talking and I can eavesdrop on his conversations with Will. Kid talk is fascinating stuff. I’m going to miss Simon and Alex’s little voices.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Queen of the Blessingway

Today I said goodbye to my friend Tina, who after several years of living in Columbus is moving back to her homeland of Sweden and taking with her her husband and their two sons – all three American-born. Tina has become a sort of matriarch of motherhood in Columbus. She is eternally hosting backyard playdates and is one of those women who feels so deeply the importance of motherhood that she wants to celebrate pregnancies in ways that go beyond the customary buy-a-bunch-of-stuff-on-a-registry-list sort of baby shower. So borrowing from the Blessing Way tradition, she has hosted several blessingways for her very pregnant friends and even for others of us who are undergoing other rites of passage – moving away, for example. (The concept of a Blessing Way as a ceremony centered on healing, peace and harmony has Navajo origins. You can read more about blessingways for mothers-to-be here and here.)

Occasionally one of our blessingways is an event in and of itself, with just the women there to share birth stories, life stories and other heartfelt sentiments together (this is the kind of coming together where you cut through the small talk and get emotional and teary-eyed). At my blessingway for Owen I wore a Tina-constructed crown of flowers from her garden, enjoyed a foot bath and a wonderful potluck dinner, and listened with great interest to the birth stories of some of my closest friends as they threaded beads on a necklace for me – one bead for each of their own children. (That necklace came with me to my remaining doctor’s appointments and to my labor and delivery room at the hospital.) It was a very scaled-down version of a blessingway – (go here for some samples of what a prolonged blessingway might look like – we never did any belly paintings or chants or invocations or evocations, but we called our simple gatherings with food and necklaces blessingways nonetheless). And since we all lead harried, hurried lives sometimes the blessingway became a side event – we’d pull aside a mother-to-be for our moment to string beads on a necklace and talk with her quietly one-on-one in the midst of a playdate full of running kids.

So today we had our farewell blessingway for Tina, left the kids with babysitters, took her to lunch and realized we’d all brought our beads but had no string for her necklace. Without Tina we are fumblers of the blessingway, but at least we got to say our goodbyes, share our thanks for her and hand her a gradually building collection of beads for her to string later as she flies off to her new life in Sweden. Obviously without Tina, we are already feeling a bit lost.

Any of you attended a more bona fide blessingway -- maybe a bit more replete with ritual than we manage? I'd be interested to here about it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Lake Rabun snapshots

Our weekend trip to Lake Rabun was framed by illness – to launch the trip there was Owen’s fever (we hauled him up there in spite of it since we knew he just had a cold and Will had his heart set on our July 4th lake plans) and then on Saturday night I managed to succumb to a wretched bout of food poisoning that incapacitated me for a full day (I rode home zombie-like yesterday while Rob juggled all kid duties and I'm still feeling weak and woozy today). In between, though, we had some good times. Here are a few photos:

Will enjoyed a few different "water skiing" experiences with various partners.While Owen, swallowed up by his life jacket, rode in the boat (here he's with Aunt Alicia).Will "killed" many waves with his foam noodle weapon.

Owen had his first taste of cake (a healthy "bunny cake," courtesy of a "Super Baby Food" recipe) during an early birthday celebration. (On Friday, he turns 1.)And then he attacked some presents -- with Will assisting and offering to "share" all of them, of course.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What are we packing for?

We are either heading to North Georgia for a long weekend with Rob’s family tomorrow – or staying home with sick Owen who picked the evening before our planned trip to Lake Rabun to start with a little runny nose and a fever of 101.

So tonight, not sure where his little illness is headed, we wound up packing for a trip we may not take. I’ve never especially liked packing, but I’ve realized that the prospect of futile packing is a little extra irksome. If Owen pulls off a miraculous recovery, as he’s been known to do with past 12-hour illnesses, we’d really like to squeeze in a visit with Rob's grandparents in Marietta tomorrow. So we’ve been packing in case -- and pausing with the packing now and then to pat restless Owen back to sleep. And recognizing all the while that we may be unpacking before we ever get the stuff in the car.

Even before Owen got the fever today, he was a bit cranky while brother Will was feeling unusually rambunctious. I meanwhile had a whopper of a headache and the whole combo had me feeling as unsettled as Owen. So I called Rob at work, not to tell him to come home early – just to be sure he wouldn’t stay late. Once in a while he has to field those calls – just me, desperate to register a complaint.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Standing and toppling

Not counting the forbidden toilet, these are Owen’s top two favorite places to stand:

playing the piano

and watching our cat Frances, who dines on the side porch -- or just peering out at driveway activity. (I can just about cook a meal while he stands observing the world beyond our house.)

And of course Owen is also finding many places to fall. He is in the throes of discovering the limits of his newfound mobility – and I’m pretty sure he took about seven significant tear-inducing spills today, including one in which he split his front lip a bit on the siderails of Will’s bed. So far I’ve managed to suppress the old hover-mother instincts in spite of it all.