IMR: 1998: June: 30 -- Tuesday, 2:44 p.m.
UH Press, Manoa, Hawai`i
Just finished assembling and turning in my second APT Application for Employment (UH Form 64) for a full-time position here at UH Press.

Turns out there were two positions posted this week. So I'm applying for both. Not quite doubling my chances, but...

The position Wanda suggested I go for looks like my cup of tea. Although there's a touch of PR involved ("ability to establish positive working relations"), it is for the department where web design would best fit. Unfortunately, I was told they expect in excess of 50 applications, and that most will be waving crisp new Master's degrees.

The other position is clearly mind-numbing paper pushing ("obtaining copyrights and permissions"), but the desirable qualifications are a better match for my background in publishing and journalism.

I may have the added advantage of already working here and being generally liked by the staff (and being the first to apply can't hurt), but considering I'm ultimately still an undergraduate, I'm less than optimistic considering the apparent competition.

I'm heading home in a few minutes, taking off early to answer the desperate cry of my wife, a woman in severe need of a nap. I'll probably take Katie to Ala Moana or Kahala Mall. We need to start shopping for car seats, anyway. (She's growing so fast!)

I'm discovering malls all over again.

Before Katie, we'd go into trinket stores, trendy clothing and gourmet shops, and bookstores to skim the new releases and read the comic compilations.

Now we go into toy stores, kids clothing shops and bookstores to skim the latest parenting magazines and children's books.

Before Katie, the first place I'd go during an afternoon of window shopping is the electronics section. No matter which department store I was in, I knew where to go to play with radios and phones and computers. I compared megahertz (megahertzes?), throughput, and resolution.

Now I instinctively head for the baby section and play with stacking blocks, rattling plushies and little pink hats. I compare chewability, safety certifications, and fabric care instructions.

It's a different life. Wonderful, but different.

We're feeding Katie "solid foods" more and more regularly now -- once every couple of days, as she gets used to the taste and consistency. Of course, for infants, first-stage "solid foods" are about the consistency of pudding, but compared to breast milk, I guess it's a big step.

I was reading up on the milestone in "What to Expect the First Year," and how most babies reject the first globs quite vehemently and messily. Katie, though, didn't have any major objections. The pasty mess covering her chin, neck and bib at the end of a feeding is more a result of limited mouth coordination than active dislike.

In fact, the first time I tried -- sitting on a bench at Kahala Mall, trying to draw out a previous "Naps for Mom" charity tour -- her first reaction upon seeing the little spoon was to lift her head, open her mouth, and grab at it with her hand.

Though she seemed more inclined to put it up her nose, she didn't fuss when I redirected the pureed potatoes into her mouth. She took four more little "bites" before scrunching up her eyebrows and pushing my hand away.

Strange as it may sound, though, it was a couple of days later before I think she actually tasted the stuff.

Jen and I were giving her some pureed bananas at bed time in a futile attempt to get her to sleep through the night. On the fifth or sixth spoonful, she made this face that was so agonizingly cute I thought I was going to faint. Kind of a combination of sudden shock, total disgust, sheer glee and divine inspiration. Her mouth and tongue seemed to want to be in fifty different places at once. I half expected her to just shout, "Wow!"

She did it a few more times that night, and a couple of times during the next few feedings. It made my heart flutter to imagine what it must be like, discovering that last, amazing mortal sense.

The other thing "What to Expect" said was how one should be careful not to drop the video camera when baby spits applesauce at it. Only then did I realize that "baby's first solid food" is one of those Big Events that most parents meticulously record, right up there with "baby's first steps" and "graduation."

Jen wanted to videotape her eating, actually, but -- get this -- I wanted to wait until Katie was used to it so we didn't end up with footage of her with more food on her face than in her mouth.

Stupid stupid stupid. That's the kind of stuff you're supposed to get on film. And she'll probably never make that "Wow!" face ever again. Phooey. Well, on the bright side, she'll probably thank us as a teenager when we don't have anything embarassing to whip out when her first boyfriend comes over for dinner.

(Um... did I say "teenager"? I meant "successful woman in her early 30s," right, Jen?)


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 30 June 1998 · Last Modified: 9 July 1998