Sunday, April 06, 2008

Daddy's tired

One of those pictures that will haunt her forever - Dear Alex wearing Grammy's reading glasses and expounding on the implications of the moon and shadows on the second Gecko child of "The Goodnight Gecko". Yes, she's wearing underwear on the outside of her PJs - Don't ask - it was her idea. She's two.

Today was a long and strange day - Dear Alex woke up screaming for mommy at 7am, but I went in and changed her diaper and gave her a cup of milk in the crib, and she went mercifully back to sleep without protest. I was awake - but it was good to have the time and that relative morning calm to pull myself together and shower, and figure out the arc of the day to come. It ended up being one of those always slightly-behind-the-curve kind of days, with just about everything (meaning everything having anything to do with Dear Alex) moving in absolute slow motion. It feels as though Dear Alex has decided to protest the absence of Beautiful Wife by simultaneously staging a sit down strike and a hunger strike - She was sweet and good natured and nice (no tears or tantrums) but she was also either in a fugue-state of momentary focus on everything but the task at hand (putting on a sock, picking out a book, having a diaper change) or simply completely oblivious to the fact that there even was a task at hand (absoluely no attention to anything but her own considerable internal and occasionally verbalized stream of consciousness...) that it was as though we were moving through molasses. It easily took an hour to transition from her much-loved flower PJs into an outfit that sort of resembled clothing - but of course at the last minute Dear Alex had a change of heart, or mind, and decided that she wanted to wear "blue jeans like mommy and daddy". I should point out that I was wearing khakis at the time. She's like that. We were on a mission of course, I had a secret agenda of getting Dear Alex to Grammy's house to hand her bad self off so that I might have a bit of time to not attend to Dear Alex (not that I mind taking care of her, mind you...) It eventually happened, and she was whisked off to the birthday party of cousin Austin, a great kid, but 6 years old with 6-year-old friends. I'm sure it was delightful, but that bedlam probably would have put me finally over the edge. Grammy and George came through, took care, and managed to keep Dear Alex entertained and loved and reportedly content for something like 4 hours - Dear Alex also got a new pair of smart YELLOW! sneakers that light up when she walks in them, which is really funny to watch as the girl tries to walk and look for the lights at the same time. Until she gets over the novelty, I'm going to have to watch out for her lest she walk herself into a wall or a fire hydrant or something as she's looking down and behind - or maybe I'll just put her helmet on...
Today was a good day, ending with a family dinner in celebration for a bunch of us that have birthdays around this time of year, so a big shout out to all in the family, and another thank you (!) to Grammy and George is in order. As for Dear Alex, she pretty much held it together, and we got home and had a late bedtime thanks to the astonishing amount of chocolate cake (mmm-sugar) she ate - breaking the hunger strike, I hope. Dinner was interesting in a way - it had me thinking about the kid, and how her wonderful attitude and relative sophistication (odd word for a two-year-old) can lull one into forgetting that she is only two-and-a-half, but it comes back to you when you realize that the child you're sitting next to is like a little time-bomb that could go off at any second, the subject of her own unknowable triggers. As parents we try to figure out what those triggers are, call in the bomb squad, and cut the wires before anyone gets hurt.

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