I’m curled up in my studio, hiding from my six month old.

I know I haven’t written in over a month, and I promised I would write on the 15th of every month to leave some sort of record of how insane all of this is. I’m already going back and looking at pictures from three or four months ago and breaking out in a sweat to remember the little boy who could barely meet my eye or hold up his head, and I know that in front of me are the terrible twos, the terrible Junior High years, the terrible teens and the terrible prospect of wondering where he is and why he never calls…

But right now he’s amazing. This is the golden time, what Hi called the Salad Days. His love for me is ridiculous, his love for the world is ridiculous, and his enthusiasm is matched only by his ability to self-preserve.

I should probably just try to tell you who he is now that he’s somebody, but it’s pretty hard to line up all his attributes like a myspace profile or something. I’ll give it a shot.

He doesn’t seem to mind crowds and finds safety in more than just his mom and dad, which is good. It probably helps that he’s been raised by all his grandparents together, but he understands who family is and who isn’t, although those that aren’t don’t get excluded too much. As long as he’s got one of us in his sight line, he’s pretty much fine.

In fact, “pretty much fine” describes him really well. He’s got a lot of personality, filling the house with these screams of delight when I munch on his feet or underarms. He loves feeling mischievous – if you whisper to him it drives him nuts with giggles and he will usually start whispering back – but he also loves to be the center of attention and he loves singing as high and as loud as he can.

But the truth is, he’s actually very mellow. There are a lot of mornings and afternoons that I spend with him where we don’t really play with toys. He just sits on me and walks on my chest and plays with my hands. If I turn him around so he lies back on me, he’ll spend five or ten minutes just looking around the room, making zerbert noises or little coos. And if he feels overwhelmed or over tired, he just stops taking in any more crap. I’ve heard that babies and little kids burn out at the end of the day, but he just fades out until his bath, getting quieter and quieter and staring more intently at the trees or the posters or the lights.

His bath turns everything around at lightning speed. As I get him undressed, he loses his shit with joy. Nothing in the world, besides maybe his mom, makes him as happy as being naked. I think he likes getting naked almost as much as being naked, but being naked is definitely his favorite state.

His bath is just pure mellow. He sits there, one hand in his mouth, the other on his jock staring off and powering down from the day. It’s all good, it’s all warm, and he’s gonna go straight from this to nursing… it’s like everything from here on out is great.

The days are great. Barnaby is really good at telling me what he needs when he needs it, I know pretty quickly if he’s hungry, if he’s tired, if he’s bored. It’s so weird that he communicates so simply to me and to Dana, and when other people see his faces and ask what he’s saying, we’re always confused about how they could not know.

Because he’s just not a kid who throws a fit. If he gets upset, he settles down by locking on my eyes and staring at me until his bad feelings go away. And this usually makes me laugh, which makes him laugh. And, I shit you not, this is a twenty second ordeal. A horrible noise or a nasty woman screams in his face about how GORgeous he is, and he looks at me with his lip sticking out and I tell him he’s okay, and he believes me and it’s all fixed.

He’s really masculine, very male-looking and very physical and very EARTHly, but he’s not at all cool. He’s a complete dork, completely excited about stuff, completely curious. If I walk him outside at a fast pace, he sits with his legs up on the crossbar of the stroller and lets the trees swim by, but if I carry him and walk slow, he goes with his arms straight out in front of him, touching bricks, touching leaves and twigs.

He’s enthusiastic about the outside world, but he’s also really relaxed about letting it come to him. He’ll be sitting in my lap in the park and I’ll realize he has stretched and bent back and rested his head on my arm so he can watch the leaves move against the sky.

He likes the leaves because he likes anything that sparkles. He could be surrounded by his colored toys and he will fixate on a glass of water or an empty Ziploc bag. He loves an empty diet coke bottle, crumpled up a little so he can get his mouth around it. And he LOVES running an empty bottle on his gums, making a little windshield wiper noise.

He doesn’t like food. At all. And I really shouldn’t laugh as hard as I do, because he doesn’t complain. He’s okay with tolerating a tiny bit of yogurt with some bananas mushed up in it, but he hates the rice cereal, hates the banana or yogurt alone, hates anything that isn’t warm breast milk. But he doesn’t cry, really. He just makes the most amazing faces of abject hatred. I’ll post some as soon as I’ve taken them.

He’s just a fantastic kid. He’s even stopped throwing up as much, and he’s started talking all the time in sentences that don’t make sense to anybody but him. He’s so lovely, he’s just so, so, so lovely.

So why am I hiding?

Last night we started sleep training. We’re doing the Ferber method, as best we can. Tonight was a little better than last night. The basic idea is that he’s got to learn to put himself back to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of the night, and he’ll never learn to do that unless you, y’know, don’t actually PUT him to sleep.

Which means he cries.

This is not a kid who cries, I now realize. He bitches and he whinges and he moans and he kvetches, but he’s barely cried until yesterday. When he was born, a couple of times in the car when he’s over-tired… and last night.

And tonight.

The crying where he starts coughing and sputtering, where his hands are shaking like Wallace asking for cheese. Crying like he’s a newborn. Like an abandoned newborn. In Gethsemane.

Jordana was so worried about him that she didn’t sleep last night, so tonight she took a tylenol PM, which is the equivalent of burying her under a foot of rubble. I sorta started the sleep training, so I’m kinda taking the lead on it, although I wouldn’t know what the hell to do without Jordana’s knowledge of the Ferber book and her neurotic need to re-read chapters that I, frankly, only read once (three months ago) (while the TV was on). Plus, when Barno smells his mom, he has the same thought I always have when I smell her, that she has lovely boobs.

So, we’re avoiding that whole thing.

He’s doing great getting back down. He went down in about half an hour tonight, and so far only woke up once and went down in fifteen minutes.

I can’t apologize for now writing, I’m pretty sure I’m my only reader left. This is just for posterity at this point. I’m sorry, I really want to start a Gideon blog with a little daddy day care for good measure. I just seem to only have the time at 1:15 when my baby’s not crying.