November 3, 2014

10 Dogs

In an email sent from Gideon's daycare earlier today:

Today we began the journey of finding our Animal Self, the children and staff lay quietly with eyes closed in the dimly lit lunch room while listening to a story that takes them on a magical imaginary forest walk. A beautiful journey in the mind through sights, smells and textures that ends at the edge of a cool clear flowing stream. Your children take their shoes and socks off and dip their toes into the crystal clear rushing water and as they enjoy the sensation of cool running water across their feet they look up to see an animal sitting on a large stump across the stream basking in a beam of warm sunlight, this animal is looking directly into their eyes with kind, warm familiarity. This is their animal self.

One by one we call the children aside individually and have them whisper into our ear what animal was sitting on the stump. In the coming months we will learn more about our animals selves and how they are incorporated into who we are. Ask your child about todays journey and about their animal self.

Here are todays animal selves;

Shirley is a Dog
Marlena is a Frog
Tristan is an Elephant
Mimi is a Butterfly
Mila is a Kitty
Gideon is 10-Dogs
Roman is a Frog
Ben is a Tiger
Terra is a Dog
Seth is a Deer
Monique is an Alligator
Ashlyn is a Deer
Lila is a Kitty Cat
Matias is an Alligator
Cia is a Fox
Logan is a Cheetah
Alma is a Bird
Genevieve is a Giraffe

10 animals. I'd have guessed a 20-to-1 ratio, but I suppose 10 is right.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:17 AM

May 11, 2014


He's four today, and with a personality bigger than life, so big, in fact, only movies can tell the story. So here's, Gid, age three, in never-before-shared archival footage. We've got slapstick, videoless video, and even one in which Gid both directs and stars! Happy Birthday Gid, and happy viewing all!

That's all folks!

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:45 AM

November 27, 2013

Gideon feedback

An email exchange between Talia and Gid's daycare teacher:

Talia: Gideon was telling us all about the feast yesterday. What a great thing you did.

Genevieve: I love to hear that the kids take it home, I grew up in a very italian family so feeding people has always been the most sincere way to show we care. Gideon was SO sweet when I came to check on Eva's table to see if anyone wanted anything more he hopped up right away and with much gusto said "Thank You Genevieve, I love this" it was so sweet and led a chorus of thank you's from his table, but what I loved the most was that it came from him naturally not from being told to say so. He is a very sweet and smart little dude *:)!

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:34 PM

May 11, 2013


Gideon, your day has come! Let's take a look!

I think we can all agree that Gideon has a distinctive style (try insisting that he look you in the eyes sometime if you want to experience it in concentrated form; not an experience for the faint-hearted) and that style has not changed substantially over the course of the year. What has changed this past twelve-month, my dear Gid, is your speech. Let's review just how far you've come. Here you are, a day or two after your second birthday, enjoying an electronic card from your grandmother...and largely failing to vocalize intelligibly (though we understood you just fine):

And here you are in August of that year, thus three months later, still not winning any prizes for enunciation, even when you're not burping:

Then, but a month or two later, you started to pull things together:

Actually, upon review I realize that the only person talking in that video was me, but I bet no one regrets watching it. Anyway, by November you were quite good:

Though your Transylvanian accent lingers to this day, no one has any trouble understanding you, nor you any of us. So let us celebrate a little boy who really deserves it:

Happy, happy birthday Gideon!

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:52 PM

November 16, 2012

Some recent Gid

Just in case you forgot what the Gid's all about.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:51 AM

September 30, 2012


At a recent birthday party the inevitable piñata, this one a bright blue equine. Gideon looks puzzled, waits his turn to strike, gives it a couple of unenthusiastic whacks and then retires, still puzzled. "Dada," he asks, "Is it a bad horse?"

Now tell me, what is the right answer to that?

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:20 AM

August 27, 2012

Street Cred

I was chatting with one of Gideon's new day care teachers and she relayed the following story: It's lunchtime in the yard and all the kids are at the various picnic tables digging into their lunchboxes. Harmony, a girl at Little Arrows, walks up to Giddy and says, stop eating out of Felix's lunch box. Not understanding that:

a) actually it was Giddy's lunchbox which happens to look similar to Felix's
b) Giddy's not one to take orders from anyone
c) Giddy does not care to have a meal interrupted

Giddy keeps eating. Bothered by the lack of deference from the Mayor of Fairfax the girl complains to the teacher. The teacher then says, oh, but Harmony, Giddy is Felix's little brother. For the rest of the day the little girl showers love on Giddy.

That's one lucky little brother.

Posted by talia at 3:44 AM

August 9, 2012

Gideon, photographer

And what happens when Gideon finds the camera while everyone else is sleeping? Art, that's what.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:21 AM

June 29, 2012

Gideon flies

From Gideon flies

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:34 AM

March 13, 2012

Nice try

Mama's version: Gideon dragged the step stool from the bathroom after his bath to the front door himself...

Dada's version: Gideon, instead of waiting to get dried off while I fished out the bath toys and emptied the tub, took this chance to steal the step stool and try to escape. Nice try.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:26 PM

February 24, 2012

Gideon eats

Entertaining enough, but appetizing it's not.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:43 AM

January 8, 2012

Gid is...

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:38 PM

January 3, 2012

Talk talk

Gideon's current vocabulary, in rough order of frequency of use:

Choo choo
Done/all done
Trash can
Wawa (his friend, Wyatt)
Shi (fish)
Cheese (when a camera is pointing at him)
Nana (Anna, the upstairs neighbor)
Baba (bath)
Butt butt

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:00 AM

Robin Hood

We have been told, second hand, that the teachers at Gideon's daycare think of him as a little Robin Hood. Apparently, he has been known to take advantage of a lack of oversight to get a good one in on another child. This comes as no surprise: Gideon has been trying to take advantage of such lapses since he was four months old. The Robin Hood bit, and the surprising bit at that, is that he only pinches the larger and more bullying children.

Nobility of purpose, perhaps, or perhaps it's just that he's used to trying to get a good one in on Felix and doesn't recognize smaller children as potential targets. Or maybe he just really is a hero. I know he's mine.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:21 AM

December 14, 2011

Gideon in oil

From Gideon in oil

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:01 PM | Comments (1)

November 30, 2011

Proof: Gideon is dense

It happens all the time, the soft grunt as an unsuspecting someone picks up Gideon only to discover they should've bent at the knees and hoisted. And now the proof: Gideon is not particularly heavy for his age, but he is abnormally dense. Maybe that's why we love him so intensely.

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:07 PM

August 31, 2011

Gideon the shill

Yes, we sold the boy, but we sold him to a friend. Ooh, here's another one. More to come?

Posted by atshuldiner at 3:50 AM

May 31, 2011

Really, Gid?

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:34 PM

May 21, 2011

The Rapture

Gideon prepares for The Rapture.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:11 AM

May 11, 2011


featuring all (well, mostly) new material, winsome reflections, and a lesson or two learned!

OK, first of all, who we talking about? We talking about the one and only...




The boy's a year old, which means a year ago today we were here:

And let's not forget that by "we," we mean we four:

Yes, Gideon came into this world with a brother waiting for him (and me behind the camera as usual), and that brother has been by his side all year long:

Nor, lucky baby, has that brother been all his nearby family, for but a few months after Gideon came Bay, his darling (and rather smaller) cousin:

It's been a lovely experience watching them grow, though truth be told they still require much watching when together:

He means well, Bay, he's just a bit of a bruiser by nature:

It's hard to imagine Gideon as a small baby, though the record shows he did start that way:

But he was well fed:

And grew fast:

And is now a very big boy indeed:

Big and very active (note Josephine, his best friend, in the background):

And yet, or rather because of this, in most of the year's photos he is asleep:

Gideon does have his quiet moments:

And an occasional very loud one:

But the very great majority of the time, as a small baby and a large one, he has been good humored and wonderful to have around:

Like all babies Gideon is intent on exploring his world, whether by hand:

Or by mouth:

He's a grabby baby, for sure, and bears close watching:

But he has learned that not everything can be touched as some things--hot pizza, for example--can give you a real booboo:

Gideon is often on the go and his modes of transport are many and varied:

But nothing beats your own two feet, eh Gid? You can stand, we have hard-won video evidence of that:

And you can walk, indeed, nearly run with something in your hands:

And you are one agile little fellow for sure:

Not to mention extremely fit:

But you just don't seem to want walking enough to have put it all together. Not yet, but soon, very soon!

Never fear, you've plenty of other milestones behind you. You reliably sleep through the night with only a single bottle break. You have mastered stairs and the getting off of and, in some cases, on to furniture. You have FOUR TEETH:

(Just you try getting a better photo.) Though lacking words much beyond "dada" and "mama" you are nonetheless highly communicative:

And very clear about what you want;

And just this morning I caught you climbing out of your high chair and half way onto the kitchen table. Not all milestones are to be celebrated.

One cannot help but compare the second child with the first. Do you remember Felix at this age? Walking aside, they have hit just about every step of development at the very same age, and both have been generally very easy and a lot of fun. But there are differences. Gideon is (even) less easily frustrated, in every sense, than Felix (as I have blogged elsewhere): Felix was more impulsive, Gideon, if it can be believed, is calculating. Felix was strong for a baby, but Gideon is strong, period. Felix was totally fearless, but Gideon is afraid of one of the Thomas trains, and only one, and then only when it's in motion (why?). Felix was always very affectionate, Gideon hardly ever. And Gideon, unlike Felix, is a born eater. Also, unlike Felix, Gideon is a good sleeper, and for that we are very grateful, thus awarding him a taste of that most delicious of treats, ice cream!

But more important than the difference between the babies is the difference between their environments. Gideon has had more of dada's time and less of mama's (though a good deal of both) than Felix did. Both dada and mama are more experienced and, it must be said, more lax than they were with the number one son. Gideon is growing up in the countryside, Felix was a city baby. Gideon has had less exposure to water but even more exposure to playgrounds. But above all, Gideon has had Felix, his example, his irrepressible presence, his brotherhood.

As Gideon has grown he has inevitably begun to encroach on Felix's space:

And his things...

And his people:

But Felix has learned to accept these intrusions and so we are, on the whole, a happy family:

And what of lessons learned? Time, tiredness, and the demands of a vocal four-year-old have frequently conspired to limit the amount of attention Gideon gets: within reason, it doesn't seem to matter. Gideon deeply enjoys paging through books, mauling toys, and otherwise amusing himself. In fact, the only time he ever insists on attention is when he is hungry, and since he gets a good deal of love and has a stable pattern to his days he is and appears to be getting along quite well. Babies make do, or at least this one, no orchid, does.

OK, now back to the good stuff....

GM’s a great kid, robust, outgoing, fearless...

strong, ineluctable...

...and he’s ONE YEAR OLD. Gideon Morel Shuldiner you're the greatest and your daddy super loves you, especially when you wear my hat:

We promise we'll always be by your side!

Keep going, baby boy, keep going!

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:56 AM | Comments (3)

April 25, 2011

Gideon this weekend

Super trouper.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:24 PM

November 11, 2010

What the floor saw

Baby development as perceived by the kitchen floor:

Day 1: Where did everyone go?
Day 3: Whoa, bleach! They've never done this to me before! They've never even mopped me before. I wonder what's going on?
Day 4, 5, 6, 8-22, 24, 27, 29-44, 45-56, 58, 59: Uh, I was sleeping, would you mind turning that light back off? It's like 2 AM, or 3 or something, what gives? Get a routine already. And would you mind keeping the noise down?
Day 60: Hey, what's this? Oh, a baby! How cute...eeew! Stop that! Get your face off me! By the way, that bleach episode some time ago was the first and last time they mopped me. Just so you know.
Day 61-120: Really? Again?
Day 121: Huh, new furniture. I wonder what this is for. Oh.
Day 122-160: Ooops, you dropped something. Ah, there you go. Heh, uh, you dropped it again, I think it's a spoon. Found it, good for you! Sorry to bug, but you dropped it again. There it goes! And here it comes! Wow, this is really tedious. Really, really tedious.
Day 161-175: Ooops, you dropped something. I think it's a carrot. Yes, it is a carrot, a very, very wet carrot. Oh look, here comes another one. It's over here, under the bench. Hello? Aren't you going to pick it up? Whoa, here comes another one.
Day 176: Wow, I really have a lot of dessicated vegetables lying on me. I'm not saying I need to be mopped or anything radical like that, but perhaps someone could do a little pick up?
Day 177: Hi vacuum cleaner, boy am I glad to see you! You missed those vegetables over there. Over there! No, don't go away!
Day 178: Eew. That's not going to come off once it's dried so can you please wipe that up now? Hello? Anyone?
Day 179: Hey, you meant to do that!
Day 180: Really? This is how it's going to be for now on?

Yes, floor, this is how it's going to be for now on. Happy Birthday Gideon.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:24 AM

October 11, 2010

Happy 5 month birthday Gideon

you continue to be the happiest baby on the block, I didn't need to read a book or watch a video to make you that way. Thanks for being you, most naturally.

Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 7:06 PM

September 4, 2010


I don't know why anyone would want to look at a dozen pictures of the same two babies doing nothing, but for some reason I do.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:47 AM

August 30, 2010

Gideon Bits: Hands

It may have been that I was at the office too much when Felix was at this stage, but watching Gideon improve his grasping algorithm is simply amazing; he makes progress by the hour. We had a major improvement a day or two ago when he started not opening his hand once something is in it that he wants. He is now beginning to figure out that holding something at a distance from his mouth is often the best way actually to get that something in his mouth. I threw him off somewhat, however, by sticking a jingling fish bracelet on his wrist today. He was very annoyed to find that stuffing his hands in his mouth did not get the fish in, too, an unwelcome exception to the rules, just when he’d thought he had the whole thing figured out.

Nom nom nom.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:13 PM

August 18, 2010

Gideon goes to the doctor

Don't panic! All is well! A happy tale, this.

Gideon's got a cold, but because it isn't getting better, because it's been some weeks now, but above all because California is suffering from an epidemic of whooping cough, we decided to take him in. The boring stuff: he really only does have a cold, though also an ear infection. However, while at the doctor's office, on that hard examining bench, Gideon turned over by himself from back to front! Furthermore, he weighs a whopping 15.5 pounds and all of it CUTE. Finally, he himself doesn't appear to be in any way inconvenienced by these sniffles, and certainly it has not affected his appetite, his output, his sleeping, or his cheery mood. Judge for yourself, shown below:

He is really shaping up quite nicely and has become a proper roly-poly baby. He is quickly developing the musculature necessary to support sitting up, is enormously fond of "standing," has total head control, and is making rapid progress in gaining control of his hands. It is all very exciting to see. Also cute.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:46 AM

July 17, 2010

Gideon in July

And here's #2 too!

(No captions because there's not that much to say aside from "CUTE"!)

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:31 AM

June 22, 2010

Gideon in June

They say babies get to be their fussiest around the six week mark. Well, here we are, and if this is as fussy as you get, Gid, then we'll take it, and happily! Basically, kid, you're just as cute as a button and that's about the whole story.

The last photo was taken this morning. I parked the carriage in Felix's schoolyard and went in to sign his attendance sheet. When I came out Gideon was being mobbed. He slept right through it.

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:08 PM

May 18, 2010

The Many Faces of Gideon

And all of them cute. Well, almost all.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:36 PM

May 12, 2010

Meeting Gideon

Born the 11th of May, Gideon Morel Shuldiner. An easy delivery, an easy boy.

Apologies to those who have received late notice (or no notice yet at all). As easy as this child has been, we do now have two, and it shows.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:30 AM | Comments (1)