My nephew Fritzie, at 5 months or so, is in the "oh, hey, I have feet, my feet are cool!" stage of things. He can turn over and do various energetic movements and is now eating a few things other than breast milk, too. And smiles all over the place. Plus he tells you instantly if he has just peed, because he hates marinating in his own fluids and does not wish to do it ever. (Frederick says this is atypical of most infants, but I can't say's I blame him. Fritzie, I mean.) ( An overly-lit picture of him from a couple days ago. )
I went and hung out and was useful occasionally as a second pair of hands to do baby things with, this afternoon. K went to a dentist's appointment, F did some work, and Fritzie hung out with me, and was perfectly cromulent for a bit, but eventually decided he was inconsolable; that's just what babies do, sometimes. Mostly I think he didn't want cereal, he wanted *milk*. So K coming back was a relief to him. (The picture's from our combined birthday celebration a few days ago, though. I enjoy it because he is, to quote Diane DiMassa, playing the cello.)
Also, I met the neighbor's three dogs. Two of them are brother-and-sister golden retrievers, and the third is a Leonberger. (This is, for those who don't know, a ginormous dog which just got its AKC certification in 2010. They originated as a mixture of St. Bernard, Newfoundland, and Great Pyrenees. Yes indeed, they are muckin' huge. Also, kindly.) The neighbor let me come in his yard and give them a thorough scritching, so hopefully in future the (protective of her turf) Leonberger will be good with me wandering by.
Then I went to a Dedham Historical Society lecture on "The Indigenous Peoples of Dedham", which was given by a 2nd year grad student in history (going for a Masters but not a Doctorate), who is very shy and not yet all that good at public speaking (in that I could tell she was holding back panic), but was knocking it *out of the park* in terms of being detailed enough to be useful, but never getting lost in the weeds. She went on about how things were vaguely collaborative in the 1600s, and got worse, and then the semi-genocidal King Phillip's War happened and yeah, not good, to understate.
Factoid I didn't know: Apparently the accepted Dedham wisdom is that there were no indigenous settlements in what-is-now-Dedham itself. (I make that specification because Dedham is now about 10 square miles, but was originally 200+ square miles; their turf went down to the Rhode Island border.) She said that there's archeological evidence of seasonal encampments in the area of what is now Wigwam Pond, and that these encampments were generally just about around where the white settlements were. This makes sense, given that the local tribes did tend to have different wintering and summering locations.
Other factoid: She made sure to note that while there was no battle of King Phillip's War in what-is-now-Dedham, what-is-now-Dedham did serve as the common rendezvous spot for the four local counties. This caused murmuring from the clued-in crowd. (In other words, nope, the town was nothing like blameless.)
I could tell she was going to be The Best when, in the first few minutes of her talk, she made glancing reference to the 2008 struggle to change the Dedham High mascot, which was at the time a stereotypical Native American mascot (subdivision red-faced brave
). She called the mascot, or possibly the people supporting it, "well-intentioned but misguided," and I was like, "Ah, I am in good hands" and relaxed. (Also, in the course of events, she noted that the current state seal
is fairly enh, but the original one is actively awful.
I had no idea.)