should we do santa photos?  i quiz ian more than once.  it seems like we should do santa photos.  that's a parenting thing right?  it feels seasonally appropriate and family appropriate.  welcome to my caucasian home, i will say, ushering guests into my living room where they may pause to admire a santa photo decorating the fireplace mantle.  

we take santa photo for you and mel, my mom reminisces happily.  i remember that picture.  it was taken with a disposable camera in the anemic fluorescent light of our neighborhood albertson's.  we perched unhappily on the stocky legs of a very unconvincing santa posted up in front of a display of soda boxes.  i believed fervently in santa until an embarrassing age, but even i did not think he would've been hanging out at my local grocery store between the mountain dew 12-packs and the bin of discounted day-old bread.

we do not end up schlepping james to the mall for santa photos.  we don't even take a family christmas photo ourselves because the dress i order for the occasional turns out to be too small (i take this disappointment about as well as you could expect- pouting and moping and flinging myself facedown on the bed yet again).  we do not even put up our christmas tree.  it's sitting sadly in a corner, only halfway assembled and devoid of ornaments.  

we haven't even been particularly busy, so there is no excuse for the lack of festivity in the hoshut household.  james is fussy and desperately cramming anything into his mouth these days, but he is still sleeping predictably and perfectly at night.  instead of embracing the christmas spirit, i lie in bed and try to calculate how annoying i would be for posting the 864th baby photo of the day while ian watches mad men (write a blog entry about how much we love mad men, he suggests).

(i'm not really watching it and only have a vague idea what it's even about.  seems like just scene after scene of white people looking at each other tensely while smoking.)

this is our last week before we haul james to daycare at the beginning of january.  i think i will feel chill and stoic about dropping him off for his very first day but it is likely that i will sit in a chick-fil-a parking lot and sob through a mouthful of biscuits.  it will feel disconcerting to leave our #1 most precious treasure in the hands of a stranger, but i know that it will end up being a great experience for him in the long run.  maybe he will meet some cool babies.  maybe they'll start up a baby gang.

on the subject of new adventures, james had his first taste of legit food last night- a tiny bit of garlicky tomato sauce.   then (more out of curiosity than anything) i spoonfed him some rice cereal dissolved in milk.   start slowly, just see if he shows any interest in food, the resources on starting solids all advise.  you can believe this fat-assed child of mine showed interest bordering on indecent enthusiasm.  

when i finally took his spoon away, he cried with a familiar, desperate sadness.  it is the same way i cry when i am drunk at 2 am and remember that taco bueno closed at 1.