Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dad’s Heart Skips a Beat, Take 1

I sometimes wonder if I should encourage Zoe toward certain accomplishments. For example, ascending and descending stairs. I understand that it is important that she learn to do this, but I would feel a lot more comfortable if she were, say, four feet tall and a decade older. The problem with stairs is that they are steep and in our house hard. But regardless of what I want she is taking it upon herself to conquer them. A few days ago I put her down on the sidewalk in front of the house while I unloaded the car. When I turned around he had climbed up the first two steps to the first landing. Unfortunately the first landing has a water problem and there is a muddy puddle, which, I believe, was her primary goal. Other than the fact that my heart skipped a beat when I turned around and she was not right where I put her, those two steps were somewhat benign. Less so was the other day when I forgot to close the gate at the top of the stairs. I was in the kitchen, I heard her coming across the living room and expected her to join me. After a couple of moments of silence I suddenly remembered that the gate was open and dashed (sprinted, ran, leaped) from the kitchen and found her two steps down, sitting with her legs hanging over the step. If you cut me in half and count the rings you will discover that I aged five years at that moment. After I wrote this paragraph Zoe climbed down the nine steps from our living room to the front door. It was not caught on film because I was inches away from her, ready to catch a stumble.

The other morning Alison’s alarm went off at around 6:30 as usual. But wait, where’s Zoe? Usually she wakes up before the alarm and is already in bed with us (playing, not sleeping). So Alison climbs out of bed and asks me if I think she is okay. Why would she not be okay? She’s just sleeping a little bit later. “Of course she’s okay,” I respond. (Actually I just said, “Yes,” and tried to pretend I was still asleep.) So Alison goes off to shower and I start to wonder. Is she okay? It’s 6:30 and she’s not in bed with us. We did put her to bed with a blanket. Could she have gotten tangled up in it? What about the monkey toy? It has no small parts and isn’t big enough to smother a mouse, but could she have lodged a monkey foot into her mouth? So what do I do? I get out of bed and with as much stealth as possible I ease her door open. She immediately sits up in her crib and I carry her back into our bed, safe and sound. The next morning she is up at five. I guess she didn’t want us to worry.

A milestone was reached this week: Zoe graduated to a forward facing car seat.

See photos of Zoe at

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