Friday, September 12, 2008

The last few weeks

We had a lot of birthday activity, with a party at her pre-school class, and a trip to the Bronx zoo and little presents every day for the birthday week, but I haven't really had the urge to back up and deal with the deeper emotional aspects of the changes that Dear Alex is growing through - it seemed that we turned a big corner once, that week that Beautiful Wife went to Vancouver for a shoot and came back to a newly-confident and potty-trained little girl. That was a big step, and it seemed to open up a new facet of Dear Alex's personality, with an urge for independence and an astonishing blossoming of her language skills. She not only knows what she wants most of the time, but is now perfectly willing to tell you. "Daddy you stay here, I'm going over here! Nooo - don't come with me!" I look at this, and her turning three and all of the new-found articulations of her personality as great and inevitable growth, but so much of it makes me a little sad, as there isn't quite the unspoken need for daddy to take care, and I've got a profound appreciation for those moments in the middle of the night when she still wakes and calls for mommy or daddy to provide reassurance or change a diaper. As much as I love the underwear, and her sly question - "Daddy, am I wearing underwear?" that she'll use as a way of telling you that she needs the potty, I still appreciate the concrete gratification of changing a diaper and enjoy the moment of sweet intimacy of taking care. As a bit of a balm for my own feelings of daddy-ness, a few days ago while Dear Alex was out, I spent the better part of a day sticking little glow-in-the-dark stars to the walls in her room - a sweep of stars that looks like the milky way from around crib-level in the middle of the night. She loved it in a quiet sort of way, and always remembers to tell me "Daddy, the stars are glowing." It's very calming to me, and I'm hoping it does the same for her.

Dear Alex has started into her third year with fits and rages - as though she's making up for not causing a bit of trouble through the rumored, but never-heard-from terrible twos. She's making up for lost time. She has developed a high-pitched shriek that really will peel paint, and has taken to chasing the cats around the apartment while squeaking at the top of her ever-larger lungs. We called her on that - with BW asking Dear Alex gently how she would like it if a potty chased her around the house yelling "KerFlush!!! - which is the sound of the dreaded loud loud potty. That captured Dear Alex's imagination, and her latest delight is sneaking up behind one of the lazy cats and shouting KERFLUSH! at the top of her lungs. It does make her smile when they jump.

Dear Alex just had her 3-year service at the wonderful doctor L's office, and seems to be doing quite well - all systems are go, and she was noted as being exceptionally bright. As Dr. L put it, "you guys are in big trouble..." That's putting it mildly. When she's not screaming, Dear Alex is hugely entertaining, and a real delight - when she's screaming, all bets are off, and BW and I do what we can to calm the rages and soothe the anger that comes, I think, from being able to think of things that she can't yet do for herself. She'll grow into those things soon enough, and we'll be on to the next stage of trauma and delight, which constantly leaves me in the wistful and curious place of looking forward to the next and waxing nostalgic for the now at the same time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Four years ago tomorrow...

... and it still seems like last week. Beautiful Wife became Beautiful Wife. We've certainly grown and changed and learned a lot over the last few years of life and love and lil'screamie (Dear Alex, not the blog) but the one constant remains - I'd do it again in a heartbeat. As I think I write every year, I'm a very lucky man - and it seems to me that it still can only get better.