Sesame Street Alphabet

A while ago I got Riley this Sesame Street alphabet album. It’s essentially the same as a vinyl LP that I had at his age, except with a token Elmo song tacked onto the beginning so they could justify putting him on the new cover art. My LP had a couple of nasty scratches in it too. But it was one of several Sesame Street albums that I pumped into my ears as often as the parents would let me for a few years.

I’ve loved hearing it again (skipping right over Elmo, hehe). The familiar songs feel mostly the same, but also my perspective is obviously a bit different now. As a kid I wasn’t yet able to really appreciate how well done the songs are, plus they were so effective in drawing me in that I wouldn’t have really analyzed them anyway. But a couple of them are pretty complex musically, and of course the whole thing is sprinkled with humor that is too advanced for toddlers. You get the feeling that Jim Henson and company were trying to keep themselves entertained along with the kids. That’s exactly what I like about TMBG’s kids music too, of course. Riley seems to like these as much as I did/do.

But thinking about the Muppets, I also realized how much it says about their relationship that Ernie has articulated hands, while Bert has articulated eyebrows instead. They’re basically doomed by phenotype into their roles in the actor/reactor dichotomy. (I’m a Bert by that measure. And by several others, I think.)

Riley Tooth Crisis

This morning, Riley tripped over a toy on the floor. That’s a fairly commonplace event for our gung ho little guy. But this time he happened to be holding a sippy cup in his mouth with both hands. He continued holding onto the cup, which hit the floor squarely and transferred all the force of the fall straight to his mouth.

Long story short: two of his teeth will probably end up darkened and remain crooked, but at least they’re likely to stay in, and of course they’re just baby teeth anyway.

Happy Birthday to Riley!

They say that time is relative, and I believe it. In blatant defiance of my own temporal perception, Riley turned one year old today. I can’t believe he was ever that small, and yet it can’t have been more than a few weeks ago, can it?

I’m really enjoying being at home with him. I’m so glad I have the chance.

He’s doing great. I could say he’s walking, in that he does take some steps without support, but he’s not yet stable enough to walk everywhere he goes. It won’t be long though. His main problem is that his steps are too big.

He’s pretty vocal, and he likes communicating with us. He parrots us a lot without knowing what he’s saying, but he also clearly and consistently uses words to communicate. He recognizes even more words than he uses himself.

A beginner’s guide to Rilese.

Just a Few Noteworthy Items for Now

Riley’s front two top teeth have just broken through in the past couple of days, bringing the grand total up to five. The next two out from those are almost through too, you can see the gums straining to hold them in. (Still no sign of the second bottom right incisor, but it must be in there somewhere.)

I’ve been taking photos of Riley with my cell phone to send to Laura while she’s at work. I’ve started archiving them in my LJ scrapbook. I like the current scrapbook layout, but I want to add some links in a sidebar or something. This would be pretty easy, except the source code for this style isn’t public. So now I’m thinking I might reverse engineer it, in my copious spare time. 😛 Unless somebody reading this knows of someone who’s already reinvented that wheel.

Father’s Day brunch here at home tomorrow, consisting of huevos rancheros. Mmmm.

lateral career move to Senior Domestician

Laura’s maternity leave gave out in early November. Since then I’ve been watching Riley during the day, just the two of us here at home. I’ve also still been working for IBM, 20 hours a week or more. So I haven’t accomplished much else for a while.

It’s gotten steadily more difficult to meet expectations at work as Riley’s gotten older. He’s at the stage where’s developed enough to want to interact and explore, but not developed enough to accomplish much himself. So he gets bored and frustrated unless you’re right there entertaining him all the time. Which of course I’m perfectly happy to do, but then I can’t be working too. (Not that I haven’t tried; sadly, watching me type is as boring to him as it would be to anyone, no matter how dramatically I read aloud as I do it.)

When I started out, Riley was napping for two or three hours every morning, and at least an hour every afternoon. Then after a few weeks his naps kind of evaporated. So for the past month or two, most of the work I’ve been able to do has been at night after he’s gone to sleep. About the last thing I want to do at night is read dry technical articles about database software. So I’ve felt less and less motivated to go the extra worker bee mile.

As much as I like my job (and I really do, despite how this must sound), I don’t want to end up resenting it or doing it badly. So I’m phasing myself out of it now. I’ll stay for another month or so, while they find someone to replace me, and then take a hiatus to focus completely on Riley. My manager said he’d love to have me back when I’m ready, which is great. The idea here is to leave while that’s still true. I would like to come back eventually, if it’s feasible.

Meanwhile, I can’t believe how fast Riley’s grown. I look at the earliest photos of him now and can’t fathom that he used to be that small. See for yourself. He’s so much more fun these days, he smiles and babbles at us a lot. He responds well to music, and really loves getting swung around in the air. He also loves going out wherever and watching new people. We’ll be doing a lot more of that once I’ve stopped working. He’s going to love it.