Sunday, March 29, 2009

Acting Her Age

Zoe has developed a habit of storing food in her cheeks like a chipmunk. A chunk of apple handed to her at the end of lunch lasted through a long play session and was only reluctantly relinquished at naptime (after drinking her milk). An almond lasted at least three hours before we forced her to give it up, again at naptime. As a child I remember having trouble swallowing raw carrots. I would chew on them for ages but could not get the muscles in my mouth to complete the process. Zoe, however, doesn’t seem to be stuck on a particular food, and doesn’t always store the same foods. I’m not worried about this new habit, since her eating is otherwise normal. And Zoe seems to think it is normal to keep a piece of food tucked away and will happily open her mouth to show us whenever we ask (although she is somewhat reluctant to spit it out when we ask; try explaining the concept of asphyxiation to a two year old). I expect that this will be a short-lived idiosyncrasy, but I will definitely get concerned if she starts storing her toys in there.

I played a little trick on Zoe the other day, and unfortunately it has become a favorite game. It’s called ‘nighty-night’ (her name, not mine). We’ll be in the middle of some activity and suddenly she will announce, “nighty-night’,” and we will have to stop and play the game. Here’s how it goes: one of us will lie down on the floor (or ground, if we are outside) and put our head on something, such as a stuffed animal or ball. Whoever is not lying down will pull the object out from under the others head. We then say, cuckoo, cuckoo. It’s tedious now, but I still chuckle when I think back on the first time I did it to her. Another game we play—and this one has not gotten old yet—is to put her in the basket of her colossal Tonka dump truck, count one, two, three, then push her across the yard. A good push is when she gently hits something, like the shed or a bush without getting hurt. It’s sort of takes finesse, much like curling. Fortunately I have so far avoided accidentally pushing her down the stairs.

Somewhere along the way Zoe has decided that passing gas (a.k.a. farting) is funny. I guess if you has no inhibitions then squeezing a short tuba honk out of your rear end could seem kind of funny and not so much a social faux pas. Every time she lets one rip she gets this big smile, but she has also learned how to pass the blame. Following her joyous grin she will say, “Minnie,” who also gets blamed for all the soiled diapers in the house. I can already see that her younger brother will spend countless hours (after he learns to speak) defending himself against slander.

Don’t forget, Life with Zoe 2 is now in print. Get your limited edition copy now at

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