Last month we flew to the east coast with Pumpkin. On the trip out, she slept most of the way and hardly made a peep. We fed her once during the flight and all was calm and happy. We were feeling pretty good about this traveling-with-the-baby thing until the return trip when the plane had mechanical problems and the flight was delayed, pushing the next feeding until exactly the time that the plane was screaming down the runway, resulting in a screaming Pumpkin, and so we became those people – the people who have the misbehaving baby and should know better than to travel with her. Then we had about three hours of terrible turbulence and I’m sure that Pumpkin must have been upset by daddy’s thumping heart since she was snuggled right against it in the Baby Bjorn, and I’m sure that the how-could-you-not-take-cough-medicine-before-this-flight vibe I was sending out to the woman sitting across the aisle from us who coughed for five hours straight was not helping to lighten the atmosphere. Then we had the diaper change incident in which I decided that a quick change on my lap would be fine (who designs a plane with no changing table in the bathrooms?!) and Pumpkin apparently thought that the my jeans looked like a nice place to make a big pee to let us know how much she was not enjoying the flight. And then there was the full ginger ale that spilled onto my lap on top of that, so I’m sure the passengers who saw me get up thought I had gotten a little too nervous myself. But – as the saying goes, all’s well that ends well, and here we are safe and sound, so that is a good ending. And next time we’re driving.
At Pumpkin’s four-month doctor’s appointment, the doctor asked us if she is laughing yet. Um, no. She smiles a lot, squeals with delight, makes all sorts of chirping noises, seems to love people and is very good-natured, but we haven’t heard an actual laugh from her. She can even roll from her back to her stomach and grab both of her feet at the same time, but no, she has not laughed for us. We are convinced that since she is advanced in so many ways but doesn’t laugh, we’re just not funny parents. So now my husband is on a mission to prove this isn’t true. He has been tickling her, blowing zerberts on her stomach, reading stories in strange voices and laughing around her a lot (for encouragement, he tells me)…but still nothing. I’ve been teasing him about it, but I have to admit I’ve been spending a little more time than usual doing (what I think are) funny skits with finger puppets, singing silly songs and reading her especially funny books. Not even a chuckle – but – I can live with a very happy baby who draws the line at smiles and chirps for now. At this point I think I’m more concerned that I’m going to come home one of these days to find that my husband has set up a circus in our yard. 🙂
Is it strange that I call my daughter names like “Pumpkin pie,” “Pumpernickel,” “Peanut butter,” and occasionally even “Peanut butter and jelly?” When she was born, her nicknames were “Pumpkin” and “Peanut” and they’ve evolved from there. I figure that as long as they don’t become “Pumpkin pie with a scoop of ice-cream” or “Pumpernickel with turkey, provolone, mustard and extra sprouts” it’s okay. Then again, when she starts talking, if she calls me “Pepperoni pizza with extra cheese” instead of “mommy” I may have to rethink the food theme.
Once upon a time there was a mommy, a daddy and a little girl they called Pumpkin. They lived in California where they loved the weather and all the fun things to do. When Pumpkin was four months old, the mommy started writing Little Pumpkin Tales so she could share the stories of her little wonder and tales of mommy-hood. This is the story of mommy (Ellie) and Pumpkin, with lots of encouragement from daddy.