Friday, July 6. 2007
Angie and I went to a wedding for the 4th of July. It was a beautiful wedding in the middle of a gorgeous National Forest campground with awesome weather. We met some fun new people, got to see some great people we really miss, and had a wonderful time.
The bride and groom were radiant and kind, just the way a couple should be on their wedding day.
And after the wedding we watched a big fireworks display and then we all went out drinking at a dive-bar, which was fun.
What was not fun was how our car developed a small issue with the whole “moving forward” thing on the way to the wedding. It is currently in the shop, waiting for the delivery of a part that may or may not fix the problem. We have not decided if it will be forgiven this transgression, since a car that is unwilling to move forward is a difficult thing to trust. As Sir Topham Hatt would say, it “is guilty of causing confusion and delay”.
And speaking of trains, our hotel room sits thirty feet from a narrow gauge railroad used to run old fashion steam engines (pulling a bunch of tourists) up a large mountain. This leads to quite a collection of loud and annoying sounds at odd times. In fact, rumors of our hotel room being haunted became dismissed immediately upon the realization that even a hell bound soul would not spend eternity haunting a room so close to the railroad tracks.
And we have yet to figure out exactly why the steam engines need to run at three-thirty in the morning. The answer to this question has mainly eluded us because we have been unable to rally from bed in time to see exactly how many silver-haired tourists are huddled in open-air cars on a crisp summer morning so well before dawn.
In fact, we were not able to pry our eyes open at three thirty in the morning, even after a train rumbled passed with its whistle blowing. As I said before, the wedding was fun.
In other strange news, Angie’s fortune cookie this evening reminder her that:
There is not greater pleasure than seeing your lived (sic) ones prosper.
Mine, on the other hand, enjoined me to:
Look closely at your surroundings.
Perhaps I should sleep by the window, to see if the train has anyone on it tomorrow morning.
Thursday, January 18. 2007
Today was the first day of school for both Alphie and I. You can see that she was excited.
Ok, so she was more confused than excited.
She handled it well, though. She woke up a little earlier than she normally would (on her own, though, we didn’t have to tear her away from the joy of sleep), and was immediately bundled into clothes, handed a sippy cup, and wrapped in her outdoor wear.
We arrived at daycare just before most of the other children, and Alphie immediately ran for the paints. She roved around the classroom with a bottle of green paint and ignored me while I checked her in and organized all her stuff. Then I told her she was going to have fun today, that I love her and that I would pick her up later.
And I walked out the door.
I admit, I hovered outside for a couple seconds, peeking in through the one-way window, but she was completely oblivious to my sudden absence.
Actually, that is wrong. She was not oblivious to my absence because she saw me leave. She simply was unconcerned by my absence.
And as I walked out she met my gaze through one of the regular windows and there was a brief flicker of recognition but no trace of panic or concern. I headed out and got in the car and called Angie.
I can’t say it was hard to leave her at daycare. I won’t say it was easy. She is in good hands, and she seems to enjoy herself, so I can’t complain.
I went through the day with the usual feelings of dread that revolve around doing something new (feelings that occur ever semester) and only a mild tingle of concern in the back of my mind as to how my daughter was doing. My biggest hope was that she was not experiencing an emotional meltdown brought on by confusion.
As it turned out, she was not.
I made my way through my own day with the usual feelings of isolation I have when I am awash in a sea of people who generally could not care less about one another’s existence. My instructors seem like capable people, the material seems relatively interesting, and none of the classes seem to require obscene amounts of work. They all seem difficult, but I believe that is the way with mathematics.
I ate a crappy lunch of Subway in a quiet, out the way place near the security desk in the student center. No one but police and construction workers passed by, which helped to make the day feel a little less surreal. I don’t know if it is just the age difference, or if it is cultural, but college students (especially in large groups) make me feel as though my soul is threadbare. Hearing construction workers bitch and swear helped me feel a little more normal. The police who passed by were as alone as I was, so they didn’t say anything. The security desk is far enough out of the way that they didn’t need to swagger, though.
I had to force myself to sit down and work on homework after my last class, so that I did not rush from campus and grab my daughter early in a bid to return to a comfortable routine. I am glad I was able to manage to restrain myself.
When I arrived to pick Alphie up she saw me as soon as I entered the room. She was standing, facing the door, coloring at a small table. As I walked in she looked up, grinned, and said “Hi!” rather loudly.
She then went right on coloring. I talked with the teachers for a little bit, while Alphie ran around and pulled things out in what seemed almost like a frantic bid to stave off leaving. Her teachers said she had been wonderful, and that she had had a wonderful day.
Alphie meanwhile steadfastly refused to acknowledge that I was there to pick her up. She finally responded to me directly when I suggested we go wash our hands, which she loves doing, especially in the little sinks the daycare has.
Once her hands were clean and her coat was on she was ready to leave, and even walked out the door ahead of me, before I was entirely ready.
So she had fun. She even did a little piece of art to bring home for mom.
It was a good first day.
Monday, June 5. 2006
So we have had a small change this weekend. One might say it was minute. Infinitesimally small.
But it was perhaps a change that heralds dangers to come.
Alphie has become much more comfortable with standing in the past few weeks. And by comfortable, I mean that she is positively loitering. She leans against things, walks around holding onto furniture, and tries to stand on irregularly sized objects (like limbs, books, toys, or large articles of clothing) to get a better vantage or the world (from which she can pull things down or press buttons, her two favorite activities).
But, despite almost dancing a jig now and then, Alphie has not actually taken any steps when she is uncomfortable. If, for example, she is holding onto someone’s hands, she would immediately drop to her knees and crawl towards her goal. Or if she is holding onto her Step Start Walk n’ Ride she will simply play with all the toys attached to it and eventually fall over and crawl away when she is bored.
And then this weekend, while she was safe and comfortable in the presence of Grannie Annie, Alphie decided she could take a few steps while she was holding onto something that was moving. Even if it was moving away from her.
Note, she is not walking yet. Now that she knows she can move between objects that lay a distance from one another, it is only a matter of time until she tries it out.
If only so that she doesn’t have to crawl around with things in her mouth. Or so that she doesn’t have to “trip” over objects she is holding while she crawls.
Ahh... two of the things that bring me immeasurable amounts of laughter will be going away soon.
Thursday, May 25. 2006
Alphie still doesn’t really have a “Lovie” or “Blanky” or Transitional object. We are not concerned about her general lack of affinity to any single object, but we have had a slowly growing concern that she will decide to develop an attachment to an inappropriate object.
Perhaps the most problematic object that she could choose would be one the books that litter the loft, which she plays with for most of the day. Fortunately, she has not shown any real interest in taking these to bed or with sleeping on them.
Unfortunately, she does really seem to like our bathroom hand-towels.
They are nice hand towels. They were gifts from my father, with our initials embroidered on them. They are fluffy, and soft. And Alphie loves them.
So, being parents, we have sought to deprive her of them. She can grab them when she is jumping in her jumping chair, but after that, they go back on the towel rack.
Until today. Today is Towel Day. It is a tribute to Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a series he is most well known for, and which I enjoyed) and two marvelous books featuring Dirk Gently (which I enjoyed far more than Hitch Hiker's Guide). Mr. Adams died in May 2001 of a sudden heart attack. Oh, he also did a lot of other stuff, no doubt, as humans tend to wander through life doing lots of little things that no one else really notices, like love and be loved, and wake up every day of their lives and get out of bed and live. But the big things he is remembered for by most people are that he was a satirical writer, and he made the number “forty-two” extremely popular among people who put “reading” down in their list of hobbies. If you meet someone who is a serious Adams fan, they would also be able to tell you what a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is. If you really want to know without finding out about it in context. (The idea of Towel Day is also based on an inside joke that one would share in if one read the book (or saw the movie, or the BBC series, or listened to the BBC radio series, or watch the other BBC series... or asked a friend about it).)
So, in honor of Towel Day, and because it is becoming increasingly apparent that there is nothing we can do to prevent Alphie’s attachment to the towels, she has been allowed to lug one around today.
Much cuteness ensued:
Continue reading "On Lovies "
Tuesday, May 16. 2006
Alphie has changed quite a bit in the last week or so... perhaps the biggest change is the newfound ability to throw full ‘toddler-style’ tantrums.
However, while this new ability meant that yesterday was not an especially great day, this post is not about tantrums.
This post is about Alphie’s newfound ability to grasp the basics of an object’s function.
Certainly, she has previously demonstrated an understanding that books belong on the ground, spoons belong either in your mouth or on the floor, cabinets belong open, and that time dilation belongs firmly in the reality of the observer whose light cone differs from her own (and that they should deal with it).
However, today she demonstrated an understanding beyond such basic skills needed to survive. Today, she tried to put the lens cap on the camera.
Alphie has, for the last month or so, charged the camera anytime she sees it out. Her main objective seems to be to grab hold of the lens cap as it dangles down, and, by pulling as hard as she can, place it in her mouth. While this has made taking pictures of her somewhat difficult, I generally let her “get” the lens cap, mainly because she put so much work into getting to it I don’t want her to yell and scream at me be disappointed. So, usually, I take it away when it heads towards her mouth.
Today, however, it didn’t move towards her mouth. Today, she charged me, grabbed the lens cap, and then tried to place it on the camera.
And I have the pictures to prove it:
Continue reading "An understanding of function."
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