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Famous Amadeus (pronounced "salmonalmadaya")
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

(He also likes Eli.)

Nathan's ideal iPod playlist

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In rough chronological order. Kid's off to a nice start:

"Sleep, Baby, Sleep," Attila Fias' Tender Lullabies
"Hello Everybody," Music Together
"Father Goose," Dan Zanes and Friends
"What a Wonderful World," Louis Armstrong
"Whole World," Putumayo
"Great Big Stars," Music Together
"Allee Galloo," Music Together
"Only a Memory," the Smithereens (or, as he says, "Only a Nummery")
"All the Pretty Ponies," Kenny Loggins
"I Like It," Enrique Iglesias (or, as he says, "Don't Stop Baby")

Things Nathan "answered" this weekend

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"Answered": put up to his ear, looking around with his eyes just like a busy executive, and saying, "Awoh!"

  • Cordless home telephone
  • Camera
  • iPhone
  • toy iPhone
  • baby monitor
  • Cable TV remote
  • Radio remote
  • Air-conditioner remote
  • toy Elmo flip phone
  • his bare hand


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At thirteen and a half months, Nathan is at that point in his babyness where social development comes fast and furious. No doubt many of the things he says and does right now are fleeting, so I thought I'd try and chronicle a few of them, and note early hints at his personality....


In rough order of appearance: Dada, woof woof (uff uff), agua (yes, "agua"), Mama, balloon (baoom!), blue (he has since forgotten this word), boat, lion, Elmo, (ba)nana, dog (daw!), more, ball, bubbles, flower, hello (awoh), bye bye


Nate likes to make friends and likes to smile and make other people smile. Very sociable, he prefers to be out and about to staying home.

His favorite toys are geometrics: balls and solid-color blocks that fit into things.

He is a sharer. Walk into his room in the morning or after a nap, and the first thing he does is hand you his stuffed animals, then grin. Say "Nathan, can I have that?" and he'll almost always hand you whatever he's holding. He also puts things in my mouth, although I'm not sure if that's to share or to be funny.

Nathan is extremely curious and loves investigating things. He'll stare at something for a good long while, fondles new things for extended periods, and he's always wide-eyed, absorbing the world around him.

Nate's also big on holding things, and is happiest when his hands are full, with toys or food or whatever he finds. He often tries to crawl with an item in each hand--which has varying degrees of success when he's carrying a hard plastic ball and a toy screwdriver.

He's a dog lover, pointing them out on the street and having fun with our own dog at home. He's even tried playing fetch with Charley on occasion.

Neat freak Nate picks up tiny specks of dirt or lint and hands them to us. He also likes to take things out of their resting location, then put them back, exactly how they're supposed to fit.

He's as stubborn as his parents. For a week or two he tried crying when he didn't get what he wanted. Now he's just back to rejecting things. When he doesn't want something, he pushes it away; if he's holding it, he throws is behind him, usually to the left.

Goofy things he likes to do

Bounce up and forward from a kneeling position, landing on his hands, like a frog.

Dive face-first into the pillows on our bed.

Play peek-a-boo around the living room ottomans, his crib, or anything where he can temporarily lose sight of someone.

Drink from his water bottle while on all fours.

Hide stuff. Nathan pushes anything that will fit under anything else that will fit it: toys beneath the couch, coasters under the ottomans, wood blocks inside the gliding chair. We once found a letter "a" under our oven.

Lay down, head to the floor, butt in the air, to look for what he's hidden.

Lay down flat on the floor, sprawled out, in what we think is an imitation of Charley.

Squint and grin at someone in order to get a smile back.

Bounce. Anywhere, anytime, anyhow.

Look at himself in the mirror.

Answer the phone, "phone" being anything that looks like a phone, which he holds up to his ear and says "awoh." He even does it without a phone in hand if he's mimicking someone else.

Push buttons. Remote controls, iPods, phones, the printer, anything.

Snuggle. Hand Nate a plush toy and he'll hug it; hand him one he recognizes, and he puts his face against the toy's face, like he's giving it a kiss. He's a mush.

First cold

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Sad but true: Noodle is sick. At music class Tuesday another baby was sneezing, and Nate developed a full-blown cold yesterday: stuffy nose, cough, a bit of stomach churn.

I'd been warned, and can confirm, that few things are sadder than a sick baby. He doesn't understand why he's breathing through his mouth, or why that gets in the way of his feeding. He doesn't know how to sniffle, just that the stuffy nose is frustrating. He woke up once an hour last night, screaming, confused at how his body is feeling. It's just a big old mess.

Before bed yesterday Nathan was sort-of-kind-of crying for a good 90 minutes, desperate for comfort and, I suspect, some sympathy. Use of the nasal aspirator (or, as it will forever be known to me, the booger baster) gave marked but short-lived relief. We spent the night rooting for him to get better quickly, unable to do much else.

Otherwise, Nathan just fusses here and there, and tries his best to find things funny. Which I suppose is not a bad place to be: even when he's down, our baby knows how to crack a smile.

Too early, yet just in time

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When one's father is a die-hard fan of a sport and a team, it stands to reason, more often than not, that the child might become a fan too. (Never mind that I'm not a Knicks fan like my own dad; that's mostly because I don't like basketball all that much. My brother does love the Knicks. And I like my father don't have a favorite football team, so that's something.)

And when said father is a die-hard fan of the most storied franchise in American sports, one whose last season in a historic stadium is winding down this very weekend, it might stand to reason that father might feel compelled to show his son a little bit of history, a shared memory, even if the son is, say, 16 weeks old.

So if you find a high-definition television tomorrow, and turn on the Yankee game, and look to the third-base side of home plate, in the back of the lower level under the loge overhang, and you try real hard and squint a bit, you just might see little Nate, in his Yankees onesie and Yankees mocassins, taking in his first baseball game at the last weekend at the old Yankee Stadium, accompanied by his extraordinarily accommodating mother, and, of course, his proud, grinning dad.

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