Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Not the Real Santa

Now that we have a baby, it's mandatory that we aquire the customary "baby on Santa's knee" photo. This is an account of attempt #1.

Adam was shocked and hurt when I even suggested that I take our son to see the Big Man in Red during the day when a)it wasn't that crowded and b)William was more likely to be in a good mood. I want to go too, said he.

So today when Adam got home from work, I suggested we give it a shot. I called the Burlington Mall across the street to make sure Kris Kringle was on duty (he was). So we weeded through William's onsies and found the perfect Christmas outfit (by "perfect" I mean clean), put him in his nice red winter jacket, in his nice red stroller, and braved the dampish night.

Twas around six thirty when we arrived at Santa's Getaway, the modest cottage adorned with stuffed animals and garlands located just outside the Bay, but it was empty. The women (elves?) working Santa's camera and cash register informed us that Good Ol' St Nick would be on break for about 20 minutes. Not feeding his reindeer mind you, on break. The man who can deliver all the gifts to all the children in the world in one night, was on break.

So we took a brief stroller stroll around the mall, purchasing some cute outfits at Old Navy and some bandaids at Shoppers for this wicked blister that I have on my heel. But I digress. Anyway, by the end of our stroll, Mr. William was asleep. So asleep in fact that Adam and I were able to enjoy Cinnabons in peace, before once again trying to snag a pic with Father Christmas.

We returned to Santa's Getaway with our groggy child. Christmas Man had a child on each knee. Adam and I perused the photo package and waited. I greeted Santa and told him that we had come while he was on break and William had fallen asleep while we waited. No response. Not smile, no Ho Ho Ho. Least jovial Claus ever.

I placed my son on Papa Noel's bony knee. Now William's usually pretty good with strangers, but Cranky Claus insisted on holding him rigidly facing outward, instead of allowing him to choose a comfortable position on his lap. That, added to the fact that William was tired having just woken up, equaled wailing baby. The elf/girl/photographer gave me some bells for William to hold and we smiled and made faces to get him to stop crying. Santa made no attempt to cheer William up.

I rescued my son and he settled down immediately, he even smiled for the elf-girl. We let the one other family in line go ahead. William played with the bells some more and seemed over his traumatic experience. We tried again.

Again Santa was rigid and unjovial. Again William wailed. So we gave up. Anyway who wants their picture taken with an old fuddy duddy masquerading as Santa?

I consider myself a Santa Claus agnostic. The question of whether or not a portly man in a sled can really deliver all the worlds' presents in one night is essentially unanswerable. However, one thing I can say for certain: this was not the real Santa.

Perhaps He works at the Mapleview Mall.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

William's First Steps

William has been using a walker for quite some time to strengthen his leg muscles for the big day when he would take his first unassisted steps. A slight shuffle forward wasn't enough, our criteria ("our" being my husband's) was that William had to take at least three steps in a row to warrant any milestone marking.

Well today he did it. Hooray.

To be honest I expected more fanfare. I mean first steps! That's like the milestone of babyhood. But it's not as if he just stood up one day and walked with no warning. For weeks we've been saying (we being the collective we that includes extended family, friends, and random strangers met at the Early Years Centre) that William would walk any day. Today is any day. Baby mobility is all a gradual progression, which in William's case went something like this:
  1. Roll over front to back
  2. Roll over back to front
  3. Get up on all fours
  4. Rock back and forth on all fours
  5. Lunge oneself forward on all fours
  6. Crawl backwards
  7. Crawl forewards
  8. Stand in crib
  9. Crawl like a pro
  10. Stand with the aid of furniture
  11. Let go of furniture to stand unassisted
  12. Use a walker, laundry basket, kitchen chair, or other slidable item to "walk"
  13. Stand up without needing furniture to pull up.
  14. Stand unnassisted while waving both hands.
  15. Attempt to shuffle forward, but fall on bum.
  16. Shuffle forward one step.
  17. Shuffle forward two steps, but using the same foot.
  18. Shuffle forward two steps, one foot then the other.
  19. Three steps = walking

Oh, and for those of you who aren't counting, William is 9 months old as of Nov 15th.

Monday, November 05, 2007

William Signs "Light"

For those of you looking for more evidence of my son's genius status: William recently learned to sign the word "light". This sign involves reaching upward towards the light in question and opening and enclosing your hand.

Unlike previous signs, which may have been random gestures or flukes, even my husband, ever the doubting Adam, has admitted that this appeared to be a genuine sign. It seems clear that William is on the road to becoming the first infant University graduate.
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