Monday, August 18, 2008


Zoe and I were at the park recently and Zoe borrowed some other child’s toy stroller. It was big enough for a doll, or Zoe if she squeezed into it. She played with it for a half an hour and I had to pry it out of her hands when we left. So, although it is the epitome of a cheap junky plastic that will surely break after a short time, and of which zero percent of it is recyclable, I went out and bought one for her. It was ten dollars and was probably manufactured for thirty cents deep in the bowels of China. When Zoe used it for the first time at home she put too much weight on the grips and landed face down on the kitchen floor, at the same time catapulting the toy across the kitchen and into the two cats that were patiently waiting for their dinner and seemed to have already identified this new contraption as an adversary. Zoe recovered quickly (quicker than the cats, who still run at the first sound of the cheap plastic wheels crossing the floor) and has already cajoled me into pushing her (at break-neck speeds) around the house while she is wedged into the seat, something that I’m sure it was not designed for and had it come with any warnings I’m sure would have strongly advised against such use.

Part of the reason for this blog is so that at some point in the future Alison, Zoe and I can read some of these old entries and get teary eyed with nostalgia (the other reason is to entertain my loyal fan with my wit and poignant insight). So, with that in mind here are a couple of highlights from Zoe’s play mat. Zoe has two sets of lightweight stacking blocks that I am required to pile up just so she can knock them over. However, she gets so excited that she rarely waits until I have built it up to any substantial height. My goal is to build it higher than her head but I rarely have a chance; probably for the best since it would most likely land on her head. It’s these blocks spread out all over the floor that make our living room look as if it was hit by a tornado at the end of each day. When she is sitting alone her preference is for the latch puzzle. I think this particular puzzle is intended for older kids because the latches are somewhat stiff and require a higher level of coordination than Zoe is currently is capable of. But the released latches reveal pictures behind the doors, and she will spend ten minutes opening and closing these doors. Ten minutes! That’s an entire cup of uninterrupted coffee. However, if a latch is closed she will carry the entire wood and metal contraption over to me, and then so much for a quiet cup of coffee.

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