Moving. Baby C is the move and she hasn't looked back. Which is a slight problem, given that backwards is the only direction she's mastered. Her legs aren't in the game yet; she basically shoves herself along until she hits a chair or the wall. She spends a lot of time backed up into the furniture these days. We really must childproof soon.

Eating. Why they call it blowing raspberries, I don't know. But if you replace "raspberries" with "rice cereal" or "avocado" or "banana" or "apples" or "squash", you will have a good idea of how mealtimes are going around here. Forget taste. Food is mostly tactile experience for the 8-month old. She likes to squish it between her fingers, then mash it into her hair, then cram what remains into her face, where some of it might land in her mouth, which she likes to forcefully expel onto whatever is unfortunate enough to be within raspberry range. My floor and her high chair are covered in the cement-like remains of her meals. NASA could use dried brown rice to keep tiles affixed to the space shuttle.

Sleep. Baby C is remarkably bright-eyed. My sleep deficit, however, rivals the national debt. This morning, I ran the coffee maker. Without coffee in it.

We Wish You Much Success

After nearly eight months on duty, the time has come for New Mommy to dip her pinky toe into the treacherous babysitting waters. Around here, before making any parenting move, parents consult with a list serve called DC Urban Moms. On DCUM, one woman wrote that her nanny was interested in babysitting another child occasionally to supplement her income. We exchanged emails and set up a time for all of us to meet.

At the door, the nanny's charge greeted us. He was one and a half years of blond little boy with a mouth purple from blueberries. He was very excited about the baby--or, at least, excited about her car seat and pacifier, which he tried to climb into and chew on, respectively. I felt a twinge of doubt.

But he calmed down, and the nanny was lovely and capable - a Mary Poppins by way of Peru, where she had been a registered nurse. The Other Mother seemed like someone I could deal with. Their house had been professionally baby-proofed (toilet guards - who knew?!). I repeatedly raised the issue of the kids' age differences, but Other Mother and Nanny Poppins assured me that all would be well.

As a dry run, I handed Baby C to Nanny Poppins and left the room. Baby C's separation and stranger anxieties both kicked in immediately, and she started wailing. Eventually, Nanny Poppins distracted her, and both she and Other Mother assured me this was normal and that she would be fine, the Nanny would be fine, and the little boy would be fine. Finally I believed them and permitted myself to think about having a few hours once a week in which to get things done without toting around a baby over half my size.

I got home to an email from Other Mother.

"Dear Elizabeth," she wrote. "It was a pleasure meeting you and your adorable Baby C."

Uh-oh. I sensed what was coming next.

"Unfortunately” – yep, there it was – “after thinking it over, Nanny Poppins and I realize that the age difference between Baby C and Blueberry Boy is probably too great after all. I promise this isn't because Baby C cried. Blah, blah, blah, We wish you much success in your future endeavors."

Okay, I made that last sentence up. But it was a rejection nonetheless. My dreams of grocery shopping without a stroller crashed down around me. I looked over at Baby C. "They didn't want us after all, honey."

"Bah," she said, stuffing her foot in her mouth. Indeed.

Greg's Anatomy

When I found Greg lying outside the back door in a blinding thunderstorm, my first thought was that he had been hit by lightening. Turns out that he merely fell down the wet deck stairs... on his back. When he didn't outright refuse my suggestion that we go to the E.R., I knew it was serious.

At the ER, they asked him to rate his pain on a scale from 1 to 10. He said 8. Three and a half hours later, we were seen by Doogie Howser's younger brother, Clark, the physician’s assistant. Clark looked like he wandered off the quad to meet his fraternity's philanthropy requirement at the local hospital. He pressed on Greg's back and gave his prognosis: "The good news is, it's muscular, bud."

Greg said, "As I was falling, I was sure my back was breaking... but when I could walk I thought maybe a disk or something?"

Clark said, "Nope. It's muscular, bud. Pretty much the only people who break their back when they fall are little old ladies." Then he looked at me. "No offense."

Ummm, bud? So not cool, okay? I admittedly wasn't looking my finest. My hair was frizzy, and I'd just spent three and a half hours in the waiting room tending to my husband and baby.

"Actually, I am somewhat offended. I'm little and female, but I'm not that old!" I protested.

"Oh no, no, no. I meant someone much older than you," said Clark unconvincingly. "Anyway, I'll give you something for the pain. If you pee yourself, you need to come back and see a doctor right away."

Frighteningly enough, Clark has the authority to write a prescription for Vicodin. Greg is feeling much better. Baby C is the only one who peed herself. And I'm thinking seriously about Botox.