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Larval Humans are the Best

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Phoebe holding Oona. Photo by Shila Wilson.

Phoebe should know a good baby when she meets one. She was a really, really good baby. She'd sit there, as my mother-in-law would say, "like a basket of laundry" while the world went on around her. You could take her anywhere, secure in the knowledge that she'd be contented just watching everyone else, looking at the lights overhead, or playing with hand toys. When she did cry, her voice was so soft people didn't realize she was crying. Oona occasionally says things like "Gwaah." and then there will be a long pause and she'll say, "Mmmm." and then Margaret or daddy Zane does something for her and she's quiet again for an hour or so.

You last saw Oona in the hospital when she was brand new. Although I am really and truly done having kids, if someone could guarantee me a baby exactly like Oona, I would be sorely tempted to go for it. I looooove Oona. I'd be like one of those Italian ladies who conceives at some ridiculously old age. I'd make the papers. The tabloids should be talking about my "bump" anyway, if any of them cared. I look at pictures of Angie and Brad while I'm in the grocery line, waiting to buy my Splenda and yogurt, and the Star is screaming that she's PREGNANT AGAIN and there's a red arrow pointing at her "baby bump" and I look at it over my glasses and think, "Man, I wish my belly looked like that. She is a TWIG."

Whenever Oona makes a public appearance, she has a ring of admirers two deep around her. We all pass her around. The problem with that is, the second I get her in my arms, my blood pressure drops and I go into babyspace, just smelling her head and making faces at her, and I forget that there are other people who want to hold her, too. I'm a bad, bad baby hog, almost as bad as Phoebe. Who, I think, will be the most wonderful mother. It's amazing to look at your ten-year-old and know she's going to be a fabulous mother, and to be able to welcome that thought (in due time, of course). Studies with rhesus monkeys show that good mothers beget good mothers. It's certainly true in my sister Barbara's case.

Barbara's daughter Karen, speaking of fabulous mothers, is outdoing herself for baby Will. Here he is, modeling one of probably twenty hand-knitted hats. He looks secure, doesn't he?I think I see my sister's needlework here, but can't be sure. She tends to go for fruit and vegetable themes (my kids got eggplant, raspberry, pumpkin and corn hats). I can hardly stand being this far from Will, who lives in Providence. Word has it he's the sweetest. We'll meet in March, and I intend to hog him, if he will have me. Thank goodness Karen and Jason send us monthly digital photo albums. Mainlining baby cuteness hits. Larval humans are the best.

Headed for Florida Wednesday (today, for most readers). I'll be frightfully busy and only hope to spend some quality time with an ibis or stilt or skimmer somewhere. I'm taking the Rebel and hoping for good light and a little time at Ding Darling. It's closed on Fridays, which is when I'll be there....but there are lots of birds on Sanibel Island. It would be hard to have a bad time.
I absolutely killed myself cleaning today. We're having a VIP staying here while I'm gone. I'll hate to miss him, but at least there won't be hair in the corner spiderwebs. Wish me luck on my flight, that I remember to get all my gels in a plastic bag and don't make any nervous jokes about explosives. It happens.


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