We have officially broken in the baby on plane travel. And bus, train, and rental car travel. (She did GREAT, by the way.) If she makes it through the next week without getting some freaky virus, I will be amazed. I initially figured that so long as we don’t let her lick doorknobs she should be fine, right? Unfortunately as our ill luck would have it, Ronin’s chubby little paws are MAGNETS for little old bus/train/airport ladies. They spy her from across the room, sidle up and before I have a chance to take evasive action, they pop a finger in her slobbery fist and shake it around (these being the very same fists she regularly shoves in her mouth). I was hard pressed not to interrogate each one, “You have not been licking any doorknobs, have you? HAVE YOU??”
Almost everyone asks us if she is a girl or a boy possibly because we tend to dress her in a lot of gender-confusing clothing. E.g., onesie with a chair stencil paired with overalls, chartreuse socks with mary janes printed on them, and a fuzzy orangey-pink knit hat. One of my favorite outfits pairs pants with a butterfly on them with a green plaid corduroy logger jacket; this gets them good. Once her sex is established and their bearings regained, they ask what her name is. After we’ve repeated it a couple of times, their face freezes in a forced smile as the brain wheels crank. Good solid fun.
So, travel to Santa Barbara was a success. Ronin was in good spirits almost the entire time aside from the hours between 6 and 8pm when she fussed with great determination and inconsistency. It was very exciting to get to introduce her finally to everyone, like, “Look what I made; AM I NOT BRILLIANT??” Ronin got the star of approval of course; nobody can resist the power of The Big Cheeks.
Sleep and Ronin have become weird lately. In general, it went to hell the moment she hit three months. Have I not read over and over that at around three months, those babies totally mellow out, start sleeping through the night, and begin generally earning their keep through small welcome tasks such as helping with dinner and remembering to always replace the empty toilet paper roll with a fresh one? Obviously, the Internet lies. Curiously, the wonky sleep habits, while they have left me with several nights as little as two hours of sleep, have also brought forth a smattering of nights with only two feedings (seriously, this approaches miracle territory) and one record stretch of six and a half solid hours of sleep (her, not me; unfortunately, I’ve been trained to sleep only in hour and half increments and so I woke frequently to make sure the fairies hadn’t stolen her away).
We also took a short trip to Astoria to visit some friends we met while sailing in Baja. Jasmine and Shannon are living on their boat in Astoria and are expecting their first child in about a month. Brilliantly, they have avoided the scary issue of Birth in Rural America and are sailing to Canada where they (Canadians) are very supportive of natural birth and offer an abundance of midwives (and probably free beer).
They set up an awesome on-board baby berth in one of the lockers above the settee. Ronin tried it out and found it both comfy and tastefully decorated. And as Joshua will have everyone know, she also seemed pleased with the idea of sailing in general.
Catching up with them was fun; while we were doing almost nothing productive over the last couple of years, aside from managing to breed, Jasmine and Shannon have 1) built a 20-foot sailboat from scratch, 2) bought a near-derelict historic three-story house in Astoria, gutted it entirely and rebuilt it beautifully from foundation to roof shingles, (I kid you not: Shannon and Jasmine are building ninjas, framing interiors with one hand while fending off the building permit bureaucrats with the other), 3) transformed a stagnant bog into exciting riverfront property with giddy potential, 4) a couple of other house remodels in there too. AND of course they also managed to breed. The spawn of Jasmine and Shannon will be a flipping GENIUS.