Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ketchup (or is it catsup?) on the towel

Pink Pony and Dear Alex on the couch. They have amazing conversations, and she takes great care in treating pony well.

On the deck after the rains - a gray and windy day, perfect for a big black hoodie to hang out in. Dear Alex won't take it off.

Today started early, as daddy forgot one of the basics at the house in the country - closing the bathroom door to Dear Alex's room - because when the sun comes up and the light comes in, Dear Alex is awake with a vengeance. We both got up at 7am, with Dear Alex being in far better shape than I, as I was up late working on my ambitious "getting rid of excess baggage project" in the basement. It was empty when we moved in, it's practically full now. I managed to get to my goal of filling the requisite two full garbage bags... If I keep it up, by next winter I'll have a clean slate. As if.
It was a cold, gray and rainy morning, almost the exact opposite of our day yesterday, but the low clouds and lower temperatures outside made the house feel like a small and cozy island of warmth as the wind-driven rain rattled against the windows as I carried Dear Alex down the stairs for the first diaper and cup of milk (and cup of coffee) for the day - I'd managed to remember to turn on the heat, so it was a comfortable place to watch the light come up and the magnificent clouds and rain. If the light yesterday was warm and golden (it was), today it was silvery, cool and flat, but still, a beautiful day on Planet Earth. Dear Alex remembered our conversation about the moon and the earth from last night and asked me again to show her pictures - first from a book, and then the "computer" pictures of the earth from space. I'm glad she remembered, and it feels like something we'll talk about a long time from now. We pretty much did nothing else but flop on the couches, and build things and drive toy cars around and read books. At some point, Dear Alex decided that her friend the giant pink pony should get to lie on the couch, too, so she somehow managed to haul this giant stuffed pony (thank you sister Linda) onto the couch - much to my dismay, as that was my spot. We got it together, and eventually went outside so that Dear Alex could get cold and dirty and wet, playing in the huge piles of leaves and muddy ground after the rain. She had a lot of fun, and it was fine with me as I'd thought to bring a change of clothes, and there was a nice warm hoodie sweatshirt to put her in. That was it - her thing for the day, which she's still wearing over her PJs as I write - a few-sizes-too-large black caterpillar (the bulldozer company) hoodie, with a yellow fleece lining. I'll peel it off of her in the morning. Late in the afternoon, we got in the car - Dear Alex didn't want to leave the country - nor did I, really, but I've got work, and we'd be missed. Dear Alex fell asleep right after we crossed into NJ and didn't wake up until we were sitting in traffic at the George Washington bridge. A nice quiet and reflective drive for me, and a chance to think over the wonder that is life on earth (forgive me, I still can't get last night's stargazing and subsequent conversation out of my mind) and the fun of sharing what I can with Dear Alex.

The curious title of this post comes from something later - as we were moving all the things from parking the car up to the city apartment, Dear Alex took a little fall in the hallway to the elevator - no big deal, tears and cries of "I've got a boo-boo on my fingerrrrs" which daddy of course, kissed each sticky little finger in turn and cured on-the-spot, no problem - She was fine. We got upstairs, and I got a wipe to clean her fingers, did so, and gave it to Dear Alex to hold (she's like that - "I want the towel", so, okay...) A few minutes later she started shouting to me that there was "ketchup on the towel - ketchup on the towel" - I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about - but it was blood - her blood, seeping from around her fingernails and her cuticles - I've honestly never seen anything like it, and it kind of freaked me out. There was also blood on everything else she'd touched - the couch, her clothes... It stopped pretty quickly, and I cleaned just about everything up, but as before, I've never seen anything like it... and it was weird and scary to me that Dear Alex has no idea what blood is, and that I had to really make an effort to not freak out and scare her... All is fine as I write this, but it's one of those things we take for granted. - Dear Alex has had a safe and healthy life, to the point that she has no idea of the implications of (or even a name for) blood or bleeding- other, I guess, than sometimes ketchup might leak out of us.

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