Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father's Day II

This past Sunday was Father’s Day (FD), my second (as a father). I now have two FD credits to my name; FD credits can be redeemed once the child is an adult. A FD credit will allow the parent, me, to tell the child how to do something without getting the response, “Dad, I’m an adult now and I know what I’m doing,” or some other such nonsense. Last FD Zoe was not even rolling over and Alison had just started back at work after her maternity leave. This year Zoe is practically running and Alison had to work all day (and night), but Grandma was visiting so we all went into the city (San Francisco) to run around the Yerba Buena Gardens playground, visit the new Contemporary Jewish Museum, and grab some of the best barbecue in the city at Memphis Minnies over on hip (hippy) Haight Street. Zoe behaved like a little angel all day, although she did throw-up onto my bare chest around three in the morning.

I wanted to use this FD blog to try to express some of the more subtle changes we are seeing. Probably the most obvious (can obvious be subtle?) is her walking, almost imperceptibly improving each day so that now she is just about running, where it seems, to me, like she just learned how to walk. She is able to identify objects with correct responses, less by chance as they were before. And she is learning new tricks such as holding her own cup and drinking from a straw. But there are other changes that are harder to identify, subtle shifts in her perception of the things around her. She is more likely to respond correctly when I ask her to do something, such as, "Hold tight with two hands," or, “Bring me the block.” She is also learning the subtle art of selective listening. For example, requests (commands) such as, “Please don’t put your hand in the glass,” or, “Don’t throw your food on the floor,” will most likely be ignored if she feels like doing one of those things. It’s not that she doesn’t know what I’m asking of her, she just chooses to ignore me.

She has been trying to figure things out, such as the workings of her ‘latch’ puzzle, which has various do-dads that need to be opened and closed. Previously she would just whack it with another toy to hear it rattle. And then there is the ubiquitous head shake ‘no’ that has become frequent and emphatic (and is also used when she means yes). She is not yet speaking, but is making (or trying to make) more animal sounds and making sounds that could very well be words (if you listen closely and know the context). She seems to know what I am talking about when I tell or ask her something or point something out to her. And the other day she looked at a drawing and made a dog sound. There was no dog in the picture, but when I looked closely I could see that the abstract shapes in the drawing resembled a dog. She already has what it takes to be an art theorist, or at least a psychiatric patient.

See photos of Zoe at http://picasaweb.google.com/dbglass
Buy the book at http://blurb.com/bookstore/detail/193034

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