Friday, May 2, 2008

Fear Factor

Long ago, in the time known as BZ (before Zoe), I would periodically consider the prospect of fatherhood and deem myself unsuitable for the job for one primary reason: fear. No, not fear of commitment or parenthood, but fear of the thousands of dangers lurking around every corner. I would be in a bank (BZ took place before ATM's) and I would see a mother balance her child on the edge of the counter. So sure was I that the child would fall that not only would I become tense with the anticipation, but I would also physically prepare myself to leap forward in what would have probably been a futile attempt to break said fall. Well, here I am a father, and oddly enough I find myself balancing Zoe on the edge of counters (metaphorically speaking). What I have learned over the last year is that children do not always hurl themselves off precipices. Not that she won't go off the edge, but I can trust her not to go off every time. What I really think is happening is that there seems to be slight signals that children send out that only their own parents can sense, much like Peter Parker’s spidey-sense. Of course that doesn’t explain how I let her fall off the bed the other day.

I shouldn’t squeeze this next tasty Zoe tidbit into the middle of the blog; it should have its own headline. Really, it’s that big. Hint; in last weeks blog I referred to Zoe as a toddler. Ready? Here it is. Zoe is now walking! Three weeks ago she took five steps. Nothing happened for a week, then last week she started with short five-step trips from chair to chair. By the end of this week she was easily crossing the room and now walks more than she crawls. I’m really not sure how she is going to work this skill into her tantrums, in which she flings herself backwards from a sitting position. Will she first calmly sit herself down then tantrum or will she discover a new way to fling herself to the floor? Fodder for future blogs. Of course I have a video below.

Zoe has two new loves. The first is stuffed animals. Up until now she has shown little interest in her stuffed friends, but suddenly she is carrying around either her stuffed lion or rabbit or both. She will roll around on the floor with them, carry them across the room flung over her shoulder, or give them big hugs (though ask her to give us a hug and you might as well be asking a tree). The second love is high pitched screaming. She will scream whenever she wants something or wants your attention. Or just randomly to make noise. I’ve been trying to teach her to say please, but so far she would rather burst our eardrums. I expect that someday soon she will learn how to combine her arched-back tantrums with a solid, ear-piercing scream, at which point I will try to teach her the longtime favorite (and quiet alternative) of children around the world of holding her breath until she gets what she wants.

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