Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Two-Year-Old Stuff

We’ve just wrapped up our second week of school and things are already looking up. Zoe still clings to me as we go into the school, but we’ve started this ritual where she will stand at the front window and we will make funny faces at each other as I leave. This of course means that I have to walk away as she watches me with her big, sad puppy eyes (because I’m really the only one making funny faces). It tears at my heart so much I can barely bring myself to sit peacefully at the coffee shop and catch up on my reading. I’ve been told that after I leave she no longer cries, and seems to have fun. I, of course, imagine her sitting despondent in a corner, quietly waiting for my return. If I discover that she is actually having fun while I worry I really will be very annoyed.

I’ve noticed a couple of details that I believe are going to define the next umpteen years of my life as both the kids weave their way through school. The first is crust on sandwiches. Already Zoe has declared (“Zoe no like.”) that she does not like the crust. So now when I make her sandwich in the morning I have to cut off the crust. (And she doesn’t like the skin on fruit, so I’m peeling peaches and plums for her, although I draw the line at grapes.) Another thing I have noticed is that no matter how early I am up, no matter how prepared I am, no matter how cooperative Zoe is, every day I have to tell Zoe to hurry up because we’re late. I mentioned in a recent post that Zoe just does not understand urgency. If a herd of elephants were bearing down on us she would stop to examine some gum stuck to the sidewalk.

Although Zoe is a ‘big girl’ now, going to school and sleeping in a real bed, she is only two and a half, and sometimes (okay, most times) she acts exactly her age. Usually it’s irritating, but it can be really sweet and cute as well (which is important, otherwise there would be a lot more child abuse out there). For instance, she had a bowl of cereal the other day, and while she ate Cheerios out of the bowl with her right hand, she was swinging her spoon in the air like a conductors wand with her left, oblivious to the milk running down her arm. There is also the cute obstinacy.
  Dad: “Zoe, don’t forget to put the cover on the marker.”
  Zoe: “Okay.”
  Dad: “Did you cover the marker?”
  Zoe: “No,” and walks away.
There is also her ability to completely ignore us. I could ask her a question a dozen times and she won’t even twitch. I think it takes amazing control and focus to ignore us so utterly completely. Zoe definitely has what my mother called selective hearing. And my favorite, her complete oblivion to my use of sarcasm, such as, “Zoe, what a great job cleaning up.”

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