Friday, April 27, 2007

The Smile

A week or so back I joked about Zoe developing to the stage where she breaks the knobs off my stereo. It will be a while before she is able to do that but it is fascinating (and wonderful—and scary) to watch how over a short period of time she has learned to do simple things. We have of course read the important child rearing books (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bringing Up Baby) and expect to see Zoe grab things out of our hands at exactly seven weeks, because the books say that’s when she will develop this skill. Adversely, when she refuses to follow our gaze we immediately assume that we may have bounced her a little to hard. One of the most anticipated stages is smiling. I mean, who really cares if she is able to grab things as long as she responds with a big, toothless smile every time I utter gibberish phrases, rub noses together or make a funny face.

A friend with a two year old recently told me that you are always looking forward the next step. When they are a month old it’s smiles and simple reflex activity such as grasping and sucking. Two months she’s tracking our movements and her muscles are beginning to get stronger, allowing her to lift her head and participate in playtime. It never stops. In fact my father is still waiting on my next developmental stage: getting a job (I expect I have reached a developmental crisis because that one ain’t happing). As excited as we are to see Zoe grow and change it is also sad to think how quickly it’s happening. We complain about having to haul her around on our shoulders now, but I know we’re going to miss it when she’s two; unless, of course, she’s still up there.

For the moment we are happy with Zoe’s latest development, the smile. They are coming more frequently and do not always require my litany of odd squawks and contorted faces. Sometimes they just happen when we are talking to her. There is plenty of time ahead for things like grabbing and speaking and charging things to our credit cards. And I expect it will be too soon before I am simply remembering these smile-filled days as a fond memory.

See photos of Zoe at ""

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