Recently, Phoebe has discovered the word (and concept) "baby." Wherever she sees a baby — in real life, in books, on TV, on her jars of food, even photos of herself — she yells out "bay-beeeee!" She’s totally fixated.

The funniest thing, though, is she thinks pictures of balding old men are babies too. Specifically, one of the guys running for President:

John McCain

A year ago today…


Today Phoebe is one. A-mazing. Having a child definitely bifurcates one’s perception of time. For me, the passage of 12 months seems like an instant: I don’t appear to be noticeably more wrinkly, grey, or feeble. But just to think that one year ago today, Sari was finishing up 36 hours of labor and squeezing out our little girl. In that one year, Phoebe has gone from a helpless newt to a vibrant, talkative, neo-toddler. (She can’t quite walk yet, but she can stand unaided, and loves to cruise around on the furniture.) And she’s so interactive! She hugs and kisses me, waves goodbye, allows herself to be comforted when scared, and calls me “Da-da”. (She also calls Sari “Da-da,” but that’s another story.) So officially today her one-year warranty is up; it’s a good thing we long ago decided we were going to keep her.

Phoebe and her dad

Phoebe in her party dress

Just Like a Phoebe


Phoebe(To the tune of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman”)

It’s all very plain
Today as we stroll down the lane
Ev’rybody knows
That baby’s got new clothes
And lately I see her ribbons and her bows
Have perched on her curls.

Ah, you eat tofu with both hands, yes, you do
You yawn like your grandpa, yes, you do
Then you smile just like Ellen Barkin
But you cry just like a little girl.

Phoebe Leaps & Bounds


The last five weeks have been an incredible growth period for Phoebe. I can date her progress because we’ve been “homeless” since February 11, living over at Sari’s parents’ house in Brooklyn Heights while our apartment is being repainted and baby-proofed. (The job was supposed to take two weeks. Don’t ask.) During that period, our little infant has shot right through babyhood practically into toddlerhood.

For example, when we left our place, she could barely roll herself onto her back. If we propped her up, she could sit upright, but not for long before the weight of her head toppled her over. She did little “push-ups” on the rug, but nothing close to crawling. She could barely grasp objects in her hands, and her limbs often flapped around, seemingly without rhyme or reason. She had just started eating solid foods, but more as a way to get used to eating from a spoon than for actual nutrition. The best sound she could make was a Bronx cheer. And her constant drooling required her to wear a bib most of the day.

Five short weeks later, she can not only crawl wherever she wants, but she can lift herself up to a standing position! She even sometimes forgets she can’t walk yet, and lets go of her support. Thank goodness someone’s always there to catch her before she tumbles all the way down. She eats three meals a day, and whereas we once were introducing new foods only every three days, to make sure she didn’t develop rashes or allergies, now we pretty much give her a taste of whatever we’re having. She has two nice little bottom teeth, which we even brush at night (when we remember). And just two days ago, she started making actual word-like sounds: “bah bah bah,” or maybe “blah blah blah” — she doesn’t think much of adult conversation. She’s generally much more alert, more in control of her arms and legs, and is fully in control of her opposable thumbs. Most of all, she’s glorying in her newfound independence. She’s impatient with being a baby already, and wants to be a little girl. Her cuteness quotient is also at an all-time high. (I’m purely objective, of course.)

Clichéd as it is to say, i’m dumbfounded to realize that she’s only seven-and-a-half months old, that this time a year ago, me and a pregnant Sari were relaxing on a beach in Puerto Rico. A year ago, our lives were basically the same: I was working on A.D., Sari was at HRW, etc., etc. But in that time, we became parents, and our little 8-1/2-pound newborn is now a person, a personality, a permanent member of our little family.


A recent shot of the girl after she lost a bet. She swore that if she lost, she’d either eat her shoe or her hat. (As you can see, she chose her shoe.)



The other day Sari had an appointment in Manhattan, so I took care of Phoebe for the afternoon. Couple hours into it and Phoebe wakes up starving from her nap. Just as I sit down with her and a bottle of pre-pumped breast milk, the phone rings. It’s Sari.

“Is Phoebe hungry? Are you feeding her now?”

“Yeah,” I said, surprised at her timing. “How’d you know?”

“My boobs were tingling.”


Geysers of Pumpkin Sauce


That’s what was coming out of Phoebe’s butt this afternoon in the middle of changing her. It got on everything: her onesie, the cloth covering the diaper pad, the diaper pad itself. And nothing would make it stop. Not multiple wipes, not a new diaper, nor the one after that. In the confusion, Sari slapped a diaper on her, and somehow not only put it on backward but inside-out! Sleep deprivation leads to creative “solutions.”

In the end, when we put the third diaper on her (properly), the orange stream had slowed down to a trickle. I’m sure that one day epic poems will tell of this poop, but for now this post will have to do.

Other than that, everything’s going great!