Sunday, December 30, 2007

Golf Kamp

Despite my disavowal of such things, I had a sort of revelation and a breakthrough at some point this week about the game of golf. I'm quite sure that there's no latent pro-golfer in me, but I had the occasion to go out with some gentlemen for a nice walk in the sun on a very nice green, while randomly hitting a little white ball with a dizzying variety of sticks. It was fun. Nothing too stiff and formal, just a beautiful afternoon. After some consideration, I've come to understand what it is about the game that is so compelling, to the point that I, too have caught a bit of the fever - the compulsion to hit that ball a little better, a little more consistently, with more predictable results. I had the chance to take myself down to a nearby driving range to get some practice, to get that 'more predictable result', to work on the swing - 200 some odd balls later I had to stop, mostly because of the blisters on my left hand - there's a reason golfers wear those dainty gloves. I narrowed my club of choice down to a beautiful driver, a 3 wood(?) that seemed to have the magical qualities of consistency and predictability for me - when I hit a ball, it went, usually in the same direction, with some force and distance. I played it until I could repeat it like 5 balls at a time- Ahh, good. I won't completely humiliate myself on the next outing. I was wrong. What worked that day, really didn't the next and I have no idea why. Chalk it up to another of life's great mysteries, but now I know why people get so maddeningly obsessive about the game of golf. I will never think badly of another man's choice of pursuits again. It worries me a little that I feel so compelled to keep at it, to get better, to prove to myself that if nothing else, I can do this thing. Right now, I'm in golf paradise - or I would say golf kamp, or golf hell, but my opportunities are limited by the wonderful, but always demanding Dear Alex, who cares not a whit, and has no feel for daddy's compulsion to improve his game. Maybe that's a good thing. Finding time (or squeezing in time) for one's own pursuits has become a small obsession for me over the last few days, as I am certainly in paradise for someone like me - with the ever-present temptation of driving ranges and golf courses and even worse, a delightful general aviation airport not 20 minutes away. I did make the time to go flying, to re-acquaint myself with the ins and outs of flying a light plane, seriously, for the first time since Dear Alex came into the world. I have to say that in my two-year absence, things have changed. The laws of physics, and the actual act of flying a plane remains the same, and I can honestly say that I've still got it, but somewhere along the way the average rental aircraft has moved into the 20th century. The instrument panel looked like a freaking video game, and the throttle and mixture controls are all digital with a glass panel where the tach and other analog gauges used to be. The good news is that I can still fly a plane, the bad news is that it could take me a few days to master the systems and new technologies onboard. Change is good. Beautiful Wife, I think, understands my need to do these things, and has indulged me as much as she can, what with Dear Alex suddenly finding her terrible-two-ness. I wrote glowingly of her sweet goodness and her having skipped right through the terrible-twos to a terrific place - boy, was I jumping the gun. The kid's alright, to be sure, but has developed a leech-like attachment to either or both of us (with BW taking most of the hits, probably due to her extended absence) Dear Alex can't burp without mommy (or occasionally daddy), so it's been my loving duty to spare BW the constant on-duty status. So far, it's been a wonderful vacation in paradise, but well tempered by the realization that while the delights of grown-up recreation are tantalizingly close, they remain just a little out of reach. On the other hand, it's been a delight to watch our little girl grow wildly in scope and will, and to watch her delight in the sheer physicality of being outside with one or the other of us, from early in the morning until well past what used to be her bedtime. We'll probably have some serious adjusting to do when we get back to the cold grim north, but for now it's been spectacular to watch Dear Alex blossom and whine incessantly while doing so.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dear Alex at the beach

Last year when we did this, we visited the beach but once, as Dear Alex clearly wasn't ready for the majesty of the ocean. I remember her crying, and tears as we tried to get her close to the water. She had the chance at the beach a few times over the last year, and has gotten a little bit more comfortable each time - but again, when we went to the beach, there was a bit of fear, and Dear Alex took a little convincing to even get close to the water. It's amazing how quickly she took to the ocean and now how hard it is to get her to leave - she could and would sit in the surf for hours, taking great delight in getting knocked over and splashing in the water as it recedes. I took her out in the surf today, and while Dear Alex hung on like she'd never let me go, she also giggled her head off each time we jumped up with a swell. I think she likes the beach - which is a good thing, I think, as both Beautiful Wife and I have separately loved the beach as children, and I can't imagine not having had that endless summer at the beach childhood. t's a testament to Dear Alex's passion that it took BW and I taking turns in the sand and water with her to satisfy her desire to play in the "big big sandbox" (the beach) and the "ocean". But there is one thing that I certainly never thought of - certainly not when I was a kid, about how powerful that big ocean is, and how quickly it could take a little peanut like Dear Alex. It should be clear by now that I'm not the most paranoid of parents - but that edge of splashy warm delight, and that rush of water has a power that you rarely consider unless you've got that awful responsibility of being daddy. This is a time when you have a secret reserve of watchfulness that you didn't even know you had.
The same is true, of course, with the swimming pool, though it is a much more controlled environment - I love the water, and I want Dear Alex to take the same joy as I do, so it's never about fear - it is about paying attention. Today Dear Alex made an unprompted leap of faith, literally into my arms, that made the daddy thing very happy, and very real.
Dear Alex sits on the top step of the steps with the handrail into the swimming pool, and says, arms raised, with a smile on her face "swim to daddy" I'm standing waist-deep in water a few steps away. The dear girl crawls from the top step to the second to the third into water over her head and pushes forward into my arms. Without stopping to check if I really was going to be there, or looking. Of course I was there, and of course I'll be there. We spent an hour or so at the same game - I don't think either of us was tired of it when it came time to stop.

Alex in wonderland part 2

One we arrived in Florida, Dear Alex seemed to sag a little bit - it took a little too much energy, and she really wasn't her usual spunky self. The dark circles darkened, and the mood got moodier, though her generally good nature remained. Dear Alex didn't feel so well, so there's a certain disjointed, lonely quality to the usual sure-hit photo-ops from this part of the trip. The dear girl really was miserable despite the loving and lavish attention from Grammy n' George, who should win some sort of award for being such swell grandparents. After consulting with a pediatrician, it was a pretty simple thing. A cold. (though I hardly approved, we decided that it'd be okay to try Benadryl - It did seem to help, and for a while her nose stopped running and she stopped slapping herself in the face. All we could really do was wait it out... and feel really bad for her. After just two days in the sun, and the pool and outside, Dear Alex has rebounded to the point that she's busting with good energy, and has to be dragged screaming from all of her chosen activities, be it the pool, the beach, or her golf. I'm not kidding - It's great that she's having so much fun fun that she tires herself out so completely that naptime and bedtime go without a fight. g'night dad (don't let the door hit you on the way out) g'night mom. See you in the morning. Of course, bedtime and going to sleep are one thing, but sleeping through the night is another. Dear Alex has been sleeping magnificently, but she's also been waking up early - early for me in any case. Two consecutive days of 6am, with Beautiful wife lovingly kicking me out of bed to go soothe the screaming child in the next room. It's been a piece of cake - A quick hug and a diaper change, then back in the crib. But Dear Alex doesn't really go back to sleep - I know, because for the last couple of days, I've fallen asleep (sort of) on the bed next to the crib. It's not really sleep, more of a half-doze, punctuated by slurps, snorts, silences, and bursts of chatter fron Dear Alex, as she sucks her thumb, snores, and talks to her bunny friends in the crib. You can't really sleep through that... mostly it's waiting in anticipation of the next odd sound or gurgle - leading up to the extended silence, which is followed by "poopie diaper, poopie!" Dear Alex will surely soon be ready for the toilet, because she's anticipated it two days in a row now - the false alarm, followed in a matter of minutes by the real thing. At least she's allowing me the joy of changing her diaper again. For the first few days after the return of Beautiful Wife, only mommy could do the honor. good for her I say, but damned inconvenient for BW.

Travels with Dear Alex

Note that this was written without internet access (can you imagine?) - It's a series of long-ish descriptions of what we did for an entire week in Florida, which couldn't have come at a better time.

We begin another adventure today, as Dear Alex and Daddy head to Florida for a break from the cold grey city. Beautiful Wife, who returned from Vancouver as promised last Saturday night, is still chained to the job she was out shooting. She'll be joining us next Saturday. BW is suffering as much as the rest of us from the effects of too much grey, too many germs (most likely brought home by daddy's little incubator) and too little rest. We're all a little sickly in one way or another - and I'm concerned that BW and Dear Alex are circling around another round of pinkeye. (what the heck - make it a round of pinkeye for everyone - on the house!)
I do feel pretty badly, though - our usually cute-as-a-button daughter is looking a little worn around the edges, as though she's been keeping late hours and maybe got slapped around a little by her ex. I mean to say that she's got some dark circles under her eyes, some seriously blotchy cheeks, and has more or less given herself two black eyes by repeatedly, compulsively, slapping herself in the face. It's a little odd, and I feel like a not-so-good-dad to have her out in public like this - but hey, it is self-inflicted, and trying to restrain her from doing it just makes it worse.

Daddy's still in recovery from a good, simple freelance assignment that turned on me like a hungry dog...It started well, but got complicated pretty quickly, and turned into what might as well have been an all-nighter. There's nothing like getting a call in the middle of the night, when you know it's going to be a very latenight / early morning - "would you mind picking up diapers and milk on the way home. We're out of everything." That's a statement, not a question. And yes, it is my responsibility to keep us in household supplies of all types - that's what daddy does.

My little freelance job came out just fine, but it left me feeling a little hollowed-out. But I must say that I do enjoy working, and the company of adults and the opportunity for problem-solving that it brings. (which isn't to say that solo travels with Dear Alex doesn't have it's share of opportunities for problem solving - it does, in spades.)

The first part of our journey - the getting up and out was fairly easy, and we had a great ride in the black car to JFK - Dear Alex is excited to travel, and was happy to talk about the terminal the airplane and florida we're going up in the sky. She got to see a subway train on an above-ground track, an of course decided that it would be more fun to take the train to Florida. Or drive. By the time we got to the airport, she was in full melt-down mode, and wasn't really interested in air travel anymore. Getting the refrigerator-sized suitcase to the check-in and my little darling through security was challenging. One thing to note, though, a crying toddler certainly eases the passage through crowded airports - but It's not the most relaxing way to travel. By the time we got to the gate, Dear Alex had either accepted her fate, or had simply tired herself out from all the screaming. With no more fight in her we had a great flight. Dear Alex sat on my lap for the taxi and take-off and fell in love with the whole idea of flying again. We had an entire fruit salad, a bag of bagel chips, and some animal crackers. By the time we hit cruising altitude, Dear Alex was asleep - and stayed that way until we began the descent. We shared our seats with a nice young woman, who I'm sure was sure she was in for the worst (seated next to the baby on the airplane - few things more hellish to anticipate) But it all worked out okay - as though to make up for the pure hell she gave me going through the airport, Dear Alex was nothing but sweet and delightful through the entire journey.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The day away

There is something about waking up in a house in the snow - a heavy silence, even quieter than usual for the country. And then of course I remembered that I was not alone - I had the ultimate responsibility for Dear Alex, her well being, her entertainment, her nourishment - all solo. I had the joy of waking up before Dear Alex, so I got to appreciate that silent cold not-quite-there-yet feeling as I made coffee and waited, thinking about lighting a fire, then about a book "A box of Matches" by Nicholson Baker, wherin the story (which goes charmingly nowhere) chronicles the thoughts of a man in the mornings over the course of using a box of matches. Duh. Did I say I considered lighting a fire? I didn't - only because I'd just have to clean it out and close up the house a few hours later, and there were other things to do, like start the pancakes, and figure out how the logistics of the day were going to work out. Breakfast and entertaining Dear Alex would be easy... And the day turned out to be a charm. We played in the snow, a soft deep dry cold weather snow, for about two hours. Dear Alex walked on the lake, fell on her butt, then fell down again on purpose in the soft stuff, and generally took the snow thing very seriously - pointing and gesturing and telling me that it was "white, and softee and smooth and cold." She pulled her baby-bathtub turned sled around for a while, then decided it was time to go in. I was frozen solid and glad to oblige. The rest of the day worked out pretty much as planned - a trip to the far-away local Wal-Mart for lunch, and a long drive back to the city. It felt like we'd been gone for days - but it was less than 24 hours. Sometimes you just need a little change. Dear Alex slept like a baby (forgive me) on the way home, and didn't wake until we were pulling into the garage. A nice warm bath, and she went to bed early without complaint - nothing like a few hours in the cold to wear out a two-year-old.
It would have been easier and far more practical to stay at home in the city, but then again it would have been the same as last weekend, and the weekend before, and the... I guess that the point is really to remember that it's about doing. What the hell. We had fun.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day seven - daddy's wild ride

So, a long day in the city, with Dear Alex's 'playgroup' morning and the apprehension and anxiety about getting her into a good pre-school, as though she wasn't already smart enough to kick a kindergarteners' butt. Dear Alex wailed as we entered the clessroom - my bad I suppose, as I had told her it would be like her other classes, and I guess the more institutional setting bothered her a bit - "go home, daddy, go home - gohomegohomehoooomeahhh". After about two minutes, Dear Alex found a firetruck to play with and invented an elaborate story to go with where she was driving it around the classroom - at one point one of the teachers asked me who was the creative one in the household, based on Dear Alexs' incredible imaginary friend 'tik-tik', the destination as given by the dear girl for the firetruck - "We're going to tik-tiks house!"
The teacher was duly impressed, and I, of course, answered that both Mommy and daddy were 'creative', and that Dear Alex has a rich and varied storytelling life. It's all true, and fascinating to listen to. I've decided that the whole school thing, while important, is not a make or break proposition for the girl. For crying out loud, she's only two - and a bright and quick two as well, as I watched her with a few other kids her age - Dear Alex has a certain reserve, a consideration of situations that other toddlers seem to lack - not in the negative, of course, but Dear Alex looks first, then jumps - always mindful (except at home, of course) of what's going on around her. She's a keen observer, and to me that's a good thing. She's going to do well in the world.

Now, about daddy's wild ride - We ended up going to the country for the first time in a long time, mostly because the dear girl asked "go to the country?" Something I think she's been missing for a while, as have I - so why not? - I can be just as cold and lonely in the country as in the city, and with all of the basics are covered, tonight was as good a night as any for a drive with Dear Alex, who fell asleep before we made it to the GWB, not waking until I turned the car off in the snowy silence in Pennsylvania - The girl is a delight and warm and safe, and we'll have a good time playing in the snow tomorrow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day six - on educating Dear Alex

Note: The pix are completely unrelated to the post, just some fun:
Dear Alex still loves the firemans' hat.

For some perverse reason, she's become obsessed by "the crying baby" and takes great delight in watching a video clip of her own bad self whining for mommy - I'm not sure what to make of it, but it makes her laugh.

Dear Alex "pretend washing" Original Bunny - Bunny goes into the washing machine, Dear Alex would come out and announce "washing bunny" - then go back into the laundry and shout "She's done!", then repeat the process - about twenty times. Baffling.

Tomorrow is a big day for Dear Alex - her high stakes 'play group' for admission to our pre-school of choice, and it strikes me that it's an astonishing marker of how far we've come since she was a squishy little ball of screaming baby. I remember when we thought she'd never figure out the walking thing, and then when I thought she'd never stop the walking walking walking thing. Now she walks as though she's been doing it for years... well, months, anyways - and there is that bit that she's now exactly the right height to bump her head on any and every table-top, which she's been doing at relatively frequent intervals (daaaaddy!-I got a boo-boo) But she's now learned to duck elaborately most of the time when she percieves something that might be at head height. It's funny to watch.
On of the things I never worried about were her words - Dear Alex has words for everything, and delights in learning new ones and trying them out. She knows the difference between "escalator! - we're going on the escalator" and "elevator!", and seems to delight in the naming of things - that's a game we've been playing for a long time - "Daddy what's this! - this! - this!"
A walk down the street will get you - "a shooooe store - a book! store - a bank - that's a big big bus!" (emphasis is from Dear Alex).
Language and the use of words has always been a fascination of mine, and it's such a delight to be able to see the learning process in real-time. When she calls for me in the night (as she still does) it's still usually the formless howl of "DaaaadyDaddydaaaady" - but once in a while it's "Daddy - come here please - come to my room please". I live for that, and for the day we can actually talk about her books - right now, it's something between a duty and a chore and a great pleasure to read with Dear Alex, as she insists on reading two books at a time - the one that you're theoretically reading to her, and one that she's hypothetically reading herself. It can be frustrating, but if you call her on it - "are you paying attention?" She'll say yes, then finish the line you were about to read. My own theory is that she's bored. She can't read yet - but really wants to figure out what those marks mean, and in the meantime just takes comfort in holding a book that she's memorized, as you read to her a book she already knows by heart.

So, what will tomorrow bring? A deep question - I sincerely hope that Dear Alex warms to the idea (which I've already introduced - good suggestion, Beautiful Wife) of meeting a new teacher like Miss Chrissy, and going to a New School! (Emphasis mine) She's excited, and we'll see if that excitement beats her always awkward first few minutes of reserve...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Day five - slow news day

Dear Alex had another good day today, but for a two-year-old, there's really not much to it. She spent the morning happily recreating the New York Holiday traffic jam outside the window (pictures 1, 2 ), with her fleet of taxis and Thomas, then went to play gym and a play date that daddy skipped. "Have a good time, I'll see you later" - To Which Dear Alex replied "Daddy stay here!" - Indeed I do, and I will. The challenge isn't in the day-to-day stuff, especially with Nanny J around to absorb some of the the time-suck of reading, and reading and reading the same books over and over again (while Dear Alex reads her own book or two) and taking her outside and walking and walking - all things that I've done too, and dearly enjoy. It's that moment of silence and responsibility that happens the moment we see Nanny J downstairs and into the cold night. This evening, she decided to be fire-girl (picture 3) for a while, so what the heck. I'm glad she's still into that costume. It's kind of fun. Note the pink rain boots - she put them on herself. There was some talk of a visit from, and dinner with Grammy n' George, but it ended up being George who showed up for a while to be entertained by Dear Alex, We spent a fair amount of time sitting on the couch, and sitting in her room, just watching Dear Alex play. Her imagination, and her narratives about what she's doing are fascinating to watch. (Note to self: I think Tom is still in the microwave in the play kitchen - "don't get sick Thomas!") The kid's a wonder. We closed on a high note with Dear Alex doing an astonishing interpretive dance to "These are a few of my favorite things" ( I'm feeling we may have a little too much Julie Andrews going on...) , although she knows the words, she didn't sing for George. All in all, though, a good time was had by all - but we're going to have to do some work to put bedtime back where it belongs...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Day four - the whining

Not Dear Alex, but daddy: Mommy come home!
Today was one of those perfectly forlorn, dreary mid-December days - cold, ended with spitting rain, not the sort of days that make for happiness and light, though Dear Alex was perfectly wonderful this morning, and we seem to have developed a routine that works for us pretty well. Once she's well and truly up, I go in and change her diaper and put her back in the crib, saying "daddy will be right back." Then I go finish making coffee and fetching the mandatory cup o' milk, and loiter in the kitchen a little bit to see how long it takes her to notice that I'm gone. Why? Because I can stay next to the baby monitor and listen to her talk to her awesome menagerie of crib-mates - It's pretty amazing. She doesn't make up stories so much as play back the things BW and I say to her, plus a few off-the-wall free association kind of things re-combined with bits of songs and books she's long since memorized. It's too random and stream of consciousness to even try to write down, but it involves Honey bunny, knuffle bunny, Tom, (her new name for Thomas the tank engine) Brother and Sister. "Watch out Sister, be careful Tom oooh haaa raindrops on roses round and round Brother!" Fun stuff.

In other news:
Today was a playdate day - So, two two-year-olds, two nannys from Trinidad, and two cats. The craziness I described the other day was multiplied exponentially - I was outnumbered six to one. All I could do was leave, as there was no way anything else was going to get done around the house for the rest of the day. The good news is that (as before) it all got cleaned up, and no one got hurt.

Dear Alex had her first bath since last Friday (Picture 1 - above) - after days of boycott, she actually said to me tonight "Bath daddy..." I was more than happy to oblige. That's her "smile for the camera" smile. She's getting better at it, I think. (Picture 2) We had a pretty good time picking out PJs, and hanging out with Brother and Sister, along with Tom and Honey and Knuffle - they seem to be back in rotation - we had a fun conversation about the nature of the two of them, who is who, and what they mean. She's certainly consistent with who's brother and who's sister, but she's not letting on about the why. (Picture 3 - above - from the archives
) I don't know why, but I'm fascinated by her relationship with Brother and Sister - it comes and goes, but it's consistent in it's tone and manner.

For a variety of reasons, today wasn't the best of days, but it does have one redeeming feature - we're one day closer to Beautiful Wifes' return.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Day three - wish I were there

I could be talking about how much I wish I were in Vancouver with Beautiful wife, but that really goes without saying. Today was one of those dreary spitting rain generic mid-winter days, full of the knowledge that there's surely many more like this to come- grey, rain, cold, grey.
The real wish is that I could somehow get into the mind of Dear Alex, and tease out the threads of her amazing imagination. The free-association connections she makes and the other-worldly dimensions of her creativity alternately baffle, and inspire me. Even though Nanny J. returned today, I still spent a lot of time playing with and wondering at Dear Alex's playtime fun.
This morning started at the usual and merciful 8am, giving me time to actually be awake and aware at the good-morning-milk-coffee-diaper-change ritual. Dear Alex was dressed and ready to go for her ballet class, (picture 1 - yes, there's a tu-tu under that top) which unfortunately was called due to the fact the she was the only one that showed up - apparently there's something (conjunctivitis?) going around. So home she came, and spent the next hour or so chasing the cats around the house (picture 2 - under the table, in hot pursuit of Gracie). Somewhere along the line Dear Alex noticed te Ella-bella pie-eye didn't have a tail, so she decided to give her one - made from a sticker from a book that Grammy Bobbi gave her. It was fantastic to watch, and it's fortunate that neither of the cats are inclined to scratch. After Ella-bella pie-eye got tired of being chased while having stickers applied to her ass and departed the scene, Dear Alex decided that Gracie needed a new tail, so took up the chase with her - All of this accompianied by Alex repeating "here's a tail, here's a tail, here's a tail".
What prompted this, I have no idea, but it sure was fun to watch.
After tormenting the cats (in the nicest possible way), it was time to empty out the footstool, play all of the musical instruments contained therein - including something I've never heard before: A drum solo of the ABC song, complete from A to Z completely unprompted, uncoached, right down to the extended "meeeeee" at the end (picture 3 - banging atonally away). Nanny J was there, I have a witness.
Up next, (picture 4) Dear Alex Played 'Alex-in-the-box' for a while, talking to herself about "in here-out here up-down-out" Fun and all, but then it was naptime. To wrap this up, Dear Alex got a new friend today - a Thomas the Tank Engine to go with her 'trainshow', that she immediately fell in love with - inventing an elaborate stories involving the toy and conflating it with the few Thomas books she has, and other odd bits of things - when the thing came off the tracks she said "don't get sick Thomas, it's okay" (Picture 5 - Dear Alex comforting Thomas the Tank Engine) - then we made a tunnel for Thomas to sleep in, so as not to add yet another thing to her already over-crowded crib. We end (Picture 6 - Just before her hypothetical bedtime, expounding on her day) with Dear Alex, back in her box, talking about her day. I love this little girl, and I guess it's a tribute to BW that she's got such a fun, open sense of play that can take her from ballet to music to trains and tracks in a day - I'm sure we'll get to princess this and princess that eventually, but right now I'm rooting for the engineer.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Day two - Mayhem and chaos and sweetness and light

It sounds more dramatic than it really is, but this was one of those days that I think exemplify the strange duality of life with a two year old. As Beautiful Wife is away, and nanny J. is off for the weekend I got to see the entire arc of the day, without interruption. Dear Alex started my day as usual with the 7am warning cry, where she simply wakes up screaming - then falls promptly back to sleep, leaving you a little dazed. I got up briefly, listened carefully for any further activity, and hearing nothing, chose to go back to sleep with the certain knowledge that it would not be for long. At 8 or 8:30 Dear Alex was up in full force - screaming "diaper, diaper!, poooopie diaperrrr"! That's the cry you really can't ignore. So, good morning my beautiful daughter - forgive me if I carry you at arms length to the changing table, but oh my, you are stinky. There is a certain delight in this, of course, because it's something that's easily fixed, and it certainly fosters a connection. There - I made that better, and got a great hug and wiped your butt and your sleepy-sweaty forehead to get those sleep-matted curls of hair off your face. Daddy made coffee, and a cup of milk, and the day got off to a slow start. That's something I've seen more of recently, this lazy morning thing with Dear Alex. She definitely did not want to do anything in particular, but wandered around the apartment in her PJs, flopping on the floor or furniture, usually with a book or two and her new "knuffle bunny" in the other.
We had breakfast, and read a lot of books and Dear Alex finally picked up some momentum - we got dressed, and finally her energy level soared. I was in a mood to clean - Dear Alex had a different agenda - wanton destruction. She went through the living room like a tornado, emptying boxes, pulling out books, and removing all of the cushions from the furniture. For a short while, I tried to keep up, picking up after the whirlwind - but I gave up, interested in seeing how it would play out. Awesome. Stuff everywhere. It seemed to satisfy her enough that she could simply throw herself down on the floor without any fear of injury, as there were cushions everywhere. (see pix above - I only wish I'd taken some wider shots of the devastation) This went on for a while, and I'd finally had enough - no anger, just a sure knowledge that it had to stop before someone (Dear Alex) got hurt. Without asking I chased her down, got her dressed to go out to howls of "no no noooooooo", and we went outside - no stroller, no diaper bag, no hassles, just a change of scene. It was great - Dear Alex instantly became the sweetest and cutest little girl in the world. We went to "the trainshow, the trainshow" the bookstore, and had a great time getting daddy coffee and Dear Alex a cup of milk. Today, we love Starbucks even more. We stopped at Ray Bari pizza for lunch (I love living in the city) By the time we got home, I'd completely forgotten about the mess that was waiting for me to clean... Dear Alex went down for her nap at 2:30, and the mess was gone by 3:00.
Note to self: It's very good to have a place for things, and to know where to put them.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Day one

Dancing with the fire chief

Knuffle Bunny!

Brushing, brushing, brushing...

This begins another minor Lil'screamie blog-a-thon for Beautiful wife, who's lucky enough to be spending a week away in beautiful Vancouver, BC - our favorite city, and a place that holds a lot of power and fond memories for the both of us. I am, of course, jealous, and remember the wonderful arrival in the morning, and seeing the lights on Capilano as we drove in from the airport, disconnected in time and place from our world to find Douglas Coupland's "City of Glass". Altogether too beautiful to deny, too powerful in it's precious setting to not fall in love with, and not fall in love in - We really do have roots there.
Tonight was a sad one, with the realization on Dear Alex's part that mommie was really "gone away" - we spent an hour with the camera looking at pictures of Dear Alex and mommie, made a chart with stamps on it for how many days BW would be away, brushed our teeth, and went to bed late after a lot of hugs and reassurance that BW would indeed return, when we got to the last house on the chart. I miss you desperately already, BW - please find that energy that we found and bring some of it back. With love, anything is possible.