Sunday, April 26, 2009

Zoe gets a Brother

Zoe was very excited on Tuesday, April 21, to meet her new brother Calder, who was born the day before. For months I had been preparing Zoe for the baby’s arrival with small details of what to expect. I told her, for instance, that the baby would cry a lot. Whenever we would see a baby while out and about she would put her hands to her eyes and go wah-wah. So when she met Calder and he indeed did started crying, she seemed more amused than upset. It’s hard to gauge Zoe’s thoughts on the new baby, but since we have made an effort not to deny Zoe any attention while at the same time we are showering attention on Calder the transition to a four-person family appears to have not traumatized her too much. It didn’t hurt that Zoe also received a lot of gifts along with her brother, and that the baby’s diapers happen to fit her baby doll. As time goes by we will know better how Zoe will adapt to this change, but for the moment we are jut trying to keep her from poking out a baby eye as she identifies his various parts.

Zoe is growing in many different ways. She is beginning to string individual words together, and her coordination is improving dramatically. For example, she recently put her shoes on and strapped them by herself (on the correct feet), and on her little push-trike she was able to strap herself in, which is slightly tricky. As a two-year-old she certainly has her moments of obstinacies. I’m not sure at what age she will learn to say, “I’ll try it myself, please,” rather than screaming, “Mine,” and yanking it away, but I expect that will go away faster than her habit of completely ignoring us when we are issuing commands. Which is probably why it’s so nice when we ask her to do something and she does respond:
Me: “Zoe, can you pick up that strawberry you just dropped on the couch?”
Zoe: “No,” and walks away. At least she’s not ignoring me.

One of Zoe’s cute quirks is her dislike of tags. All new toys must have their tags removed. Just now I had to cut the ‘only to be removed by consumer’ tag from her doll (which a few moments earlier she had been pushing around in the stroller and repeatedly crashing into chairs). When I tuck her in at night and spread the blanket over her, if I inadvertently put the tag-side toward her she will repeat uh-oh until I turn the blanket around. Come to think of it, this extends beyond tags and into everything that is obviously not ‘part’ of the item at hand. If she is eating an orange she will uh-oh the small, stringy pieces that cling to the side. If she is eating a plain bagel she will uh-oh the occasional sesame seed stuck to it, even though she will specifically ask for a ‘seed’ bagel at the store. I guess she feels that everything should have its place, and that even the smallest items should be dealt with. This world order has not yet expanded to her play area.

‘Life with Zoe: The Second Year’ is hot off the press at my bookstore (
See all the recent (and older) photos of Zoe at
Visit the newest blog in the family at

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