Monday, September 04, 2006

The thing at the top of the stairs

I have yet to understand her fascination with climbing stairs - in her ordinary life, there aren't any, so the only place she gets to experience them is at the undisclosed location. Today we climbed the stairs four times. She starts at the landing, shouts "up!up!" and commences the climb. If I was less than 3 feet tall it would seem to be an awfully long way up, but with Dear Alex there's no hesitation, never a slip - the only trouble comes at the top, where the Big Scary White Thing lives. Big Scary White Thing is just one of those round bamboo and rice paper lanterns, like 2 feet in diameter that sits at the top of the stairs, for no reason other than I'm too lazy to find another place for it. For whatever reason, Dear Alex is frightened of it - It crinkles occasionally, and moves a little bit from the wind from her favorite thing, the ceiling fan.
She gets to the top of the stairs, then stops. Eyes firmly on Big Scary White Thing, she sidles sidways then crawls rapidly past it, then stops and looks back as if to make sure it's not following her. I've tried to introduce her to this thing a few times, but it always ends in tears. Perhaps if I was a better dad, I'd move it, but I'm also a little curious as to how this relationship is going to work out. She's had no fear of anything else in this house, and has gleefully poked and prodded and chewed every piece of furniture, electrical outlet, cord, drawer, door, and icky-thing-on-the-floor in the place - what magical property is keeping the Big Scary White Thing safe?

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