May 6, 2008


Sometimes a person has a few days that, if nothing else, are marked by their sheer clumsiness. I have them when I’m overtired from too many nighttime wake ups and a different planned baby activity every day of the week. My wife has them when she has a few late nights at work in a row. Annie has them when, well, she seems to have them anytime she gets overzealous about her new found abilities.

Last weekend was one of those periods of development in which Annie couldn’t quite make all of her limbs work in harmony. Sure, she can throw a ball with relative accuracy. And she did learn how to wave and clap over the last couple of weeks, but spatial perception is not her strong suit. I can’t tell you how many times she forgets just how large her head is and gets it stuck between the couch and the wall, or underneath a chair. She also has a bit of trouble when she is standing against one object, i.e. the tub, and then decides to transfer to another object, i.e. the toilet (don’t worry I clean that thing every day).

When she attempts this move she sometimes gets a bit too careless and misses her mark. On Sunday this resulted in her very first shiner. I’m told that this will be the first of many. However, every parent out there knows how much it affects you to see your child take one on the chin. A helpless feeling washes over you as you watch their faces shift from white and calm to red and panicked. The first scream comes out healthy and loud, but then they take an instinctive, deep breath that seems to get stuck all the way down in the bowels of their little belly. At this point they look at you with wide, shocked eyes and you just know they are going to faint.

It hasn't happened yet, but I think that Annie is going to be one of these fabled fainters. She has it in her bloodline. Her Aunt Emily apparently fainted any time she got worked up into a really spectacular fit. I’m told that she would just reach the end of her rope and simply pass out. Shortly thereafter she would come to, a little dazed, but no worse for the ware.

In retrospect, the bruise Annie got this weekend could have been much worse. She was fortunate. The day will come though, that blood is drawn or a bone is broken and at that time I think little Annie is going to take the road of extreme avoidance and fade to black. Will I be the parent who keeps his cool in this case? I like to think that so far I have handled her little bumps and bruises with a realistic eye and I hope to remain cool whenever it is that Annie takes a breath that is a bit too deep to handle.


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