What is it about Cheerios (or in my case Organic O's - no wheat involved) that evokes such a sense of childhood? For that matter, why are kids so nutso for them? Cheerios in our house went like this:

"Hollis, this is Cheerio. Cheerio, Holl-" and I couldn't finish the sentence because Hollis had already shoved a handful into his mouth.

I'm happy for this new development. As we nurse less frequently and switch over to "real food" I find that I have to become more creative with our non-eating time. His development demands it. A perfect fix for the both of us is a dozen or so Cheerios. It keeps him occupied and me free to do other things besides distract him for about 5 minutes. It's the perfect amount of time to do dishes, start some laundry, make the bed, feed the dog, sweep the floor, whatever.

Before Cheerios, I was using toys, which are great, but he's one smart baby and isn't satisfied with the same old toys over and over; I could only buy 30 seconds to a minute sometimes even though I keep a bunch out of rotation so they seem new over and over.

The focus and determination he shows in trying to get the O's to his mouth is incredible and sweet and hilarious and astounding. His little fingers pinch and his fists ball up. I take for granted the dexterity I enjoy with my own hands. He's even developed a new "scream" which means, "More Cheerios!!"

Yesterday I set up a "Cheerio Gauntlet" and let him go crazy. He's just started to cruise around his new crib (it's a much friendlier baby-cruising set up than the last crib) and so I wanted to see what would happen with his first Cheerio trail. I'm happy to report most of the O's ended up in his mouth. A lot also ended up on the floor and he'd look over the rail as if to say, "Well... crap!" then look at the next one and happily move on. I think I had about a dozen all lined up to start out with.

THEN another milestone: he sat on a toy with wheels. I'm sure it's the beginning of his lifelong love affair with things you ride as it is for all of us. Who doesn't love to ride a bike, a horse, a motorcycle or drive a car? Hell, it'd be fun to ride on a tractor! There's something about tooling around by means other than your feet that is such a thrill.

Anyway, here's Hollis at almost a full 10 months on his very first set of wheels (a hand-me-down from friends who said their son loved it, too). He pushed back and forth on it and even was able to [make a motion to] lift his leg up and over it. Ugh. It hurts it's all so cute.

Everything hurts these days. My heart, my brain, my very soul. All with good things: love, wonder, tenderness, anticipation. Of course there's also a very healthy (or not so healthy) dose of fear mixed in there. It's a miracle we survive childhood, let alone adolescence, and if we're lucky enough to reach maturity it's still a miracle that we don't die stepping outside our houses on our way to work every day (I imagine our ancestors rolling over in their graves when they look at us whizzing around at 70 mph in 2-ton steel monsters while talking on the phone, applying lipstick, and yelling at the kids).

Right now Anthony's probably in Nebraska somewhere with his dad and his step-mom on their way to Sturgis. He'll be gone for a total of about 10 days and it's a constant effort to not worry about him. I worry that I worry so much! What am I going to do when Hollis gets older?? I don't want to be one of those moms who pad their kids whenever they go out the door. I want him to keep hitting milestones, but I also want to lock him in the house. I know all the stupid crazy shit my friends and I did - UGH - and we survived it all (barely in some cases). I know I'll work it out by the time I need to. It's just so exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

Ok - time to reassess my house for lethal situations for baby - for the thousandth time.


  1. Hey - I'm here to tell you, the worry doesn't stop.


    Even when they're in the same room as you.

    The good news is, the worry becomes simply a low-level hum to which you go about your daily life, 'cause your ticker can't take all that constant anxiety. so it'll get easier to live with, I promise! Just in time for him to get his license . . .

    And on the Cheerios front (we eat the Cascadian Farms organic ones - I actually can taste the difference and think they're yummier, but my husband thinks it's the organic snob in me), I don't know what it is - I think all babies are born with the Cheerios gene. Something they can grab and eat by themselves - Look at me! I'm being self-sufficient! - and for a while, Cheerios will be worth more than gold in your house. My three-year-old Maddie still rediscovers them periodically and demands them for a snack. When Maddie was about nine months and my pediatrician encouraged me to start with Cheerios as finger foods, I was nervous - what if she choked on them? Should I break them down into a smaller size? How long for them to dissolve harmlessly in the mouth? - and my pedi could sense my fear. "Look at it this way," she said reasonably, "If it does get stuck in your baby's windpipe, she can just breathe through the hole in the middle of the cereal."

    I think she was teasing me, but I don't care, it made me feel better . Cheerios are the miracle food of babyhood - NEVER leave home without them. And when you stay in a hotel? Always grab a box from the complimentary breakfast buffet.


  2. we have that same push-car. it's a hit over here too.

    (and LOOK at the TINY Hollis!)