Sunday, November 16, 2008

Early Indication of Turning Two

I usually work on this blog across the span of a week, slowly and meticulously building it into the Pulitzer prize worthy blog that you have come to enjoy almost every week (unless I am away on a speaking engagement). This week we are going to do things a little differently. I am going to pound out a blog in the span of a half hour, ignoring standard conventions such as proper punctuation and spelling (unless my trusty assistant—otherwise known as spell check—catches my error). There could be two reasons I am doing this. The first could be because I want to be more spontaneous, creating a blog with an edge; what my former colleague used to call gonzo journalism. The other, and the more likely reason, is that I didn’t get to it this week, and here it is Sunday, my unofficial deadline, and I have nothing. That reason would also explain this long, pointless introduction.

This week Zoe has not been sleeping well. Actually it’s been more like two weeks. It began with an illness that brought her into our bed. It also has something to do with our bedtime routine that we have vowed to change, starting last night. Normally we bring her into our bed, give her some milk, read her a stack of books, and then let her fall asleep in our bed. Once she is asleep, anywhere from ten to thirty minutes later, I will carry her asleep into her room. Lately she will either wake up the moment she touches her mattress, climb to her feet and commence crying. Or she may wait an hour or two before waking up. Either way, our nights are filled with Zoe. Last night was the wake on contact version, so instead of letting her cry for an hour (as we did the previous night) or pulling her into our bed to get her back to sleep (two nights previous) we sat in her room and spent about an hour calming her down and getting her lay down. When we left she cried for about ten or fifteen minutes, but then slept until six-thirty. Obviously we can’t sit with her for an hour every night, but her bedtime routine will now take place in her room. Obviously I will keep you informed as to our progress (as long as you check back here frequently).

Zoe has developed another habit, which we think she learned from her friend Tallulah. She has started stating that objects are ‘Mine’. This is normal in children her age, and someone explained that is actually a good thing. This statement of possession is paired with her other favorite word, ‘No’. She is not too empathetic yet. For example, she may state that something is ‘mine’ but if we ask her if we can have it she will hand it over. And as for ‘no’, she will often use it before she has even absorbed the question. For example, if we ask her if she wants a cookie, she will first say no, then realize what we asked her and say yes. This only means that I ask her what she wants as a matter of protocol. Ultimately she gets what I give her.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Early Acceptance Program

Recently I have been having some anxiety that I have missed an important deadline concerning Zoe’s education. Next September she will be two and a half, and maybe I have waited too long to get her into the ‘right’ preschool. As everyone knows, the ‘right’ preschool will guarantee that she is accepted into an Ivy League college. It is a child’s preschool that determines whether said child will have a bright and glorious future or a dark, lonely life filled with failure and misery. With Zoe’s future in my hands I have begun the arduous task of researching and touring and sending in waiting-list deposits (greasing palms is not out of the question). I have a long list of requirements and I have very high standards that must be met. Currently my first choice is the school that is a block away from the coffee shop with the free Wi-Fi. Actually my only criterion at the moment is that the school be near a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi. Tasty baked goods are also high on my list. I’m a firm believer in the, ‘No Croissant Left Behind’ act.

While having a conversation with a friend recently I was distracting Zoe by dangling her upside-down by one ankle over my right shoulder. My friend was visibly nervous and asked if I was worried about dropping her. Obviously I was not, otherwise I wouldn’t have been holding her like that (or maybe I’m just a risk taker?). But it got me thinking, and I realized that sometimes I play a little rough with Zoe, and it is not rare that while we are playing Zoe will get hurt in some small way. Twice I thought I had broken one or both of her legs (I had not), and she is always bumping her head (though I have yet to knock her cold). Although I am not always the direct cause of the head bumping (or other small injuries) I can often take some of the blame because I either urged her forward or did not discourage her from some risky action. Personally I don’t think of myself as a rough and tumble sort of guy, and I don’t directly put her in harms ways, but I didn’t discourage Zoe when she wanted to stand on one end of the seesaw, for example. Situations like that, I feel, help her develop her balance; and builds stamina when she falls off. Today at the park I told her to try walking up the slide part of the slide, which she did, only to stumble at the top and whack her head against a post. And I didn’t stop her when she wanted to stand up in the Eames chair, and boy weren’t we both surprised when it tipped over. I don’t want her to become a daredevil when she is older, I’m too nervous for that, but I don’t want her to be afraid to try things because there is a risk. Of course it’s easy to say that now when I can control most situations she gets into. I’ve already decided to forbid her to get a drivers license.

Recent photos:
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Friday, November 7, 2008

It's A Boy

Well, the news is out. All you folks whispering in the corners, filling the airwaves with speculation, can now sit back and wink knowingly to one another. Yes, Alison is pregnant. Based upon a series of ominous signs, gut feelings and scientific tests we have concluded that we are having a boy who will arrive sometime in April. I’m not sure what I will call this blog at that point (as if I will have any time to write) but I am considering Stay close to your computer for frequent (or not) updates.