Sunday, March 19, 2006

Not As Fun This Week

Amy worked last Saturday so I spent the whole day with Jada. The
weather was gorgeous, so I took her to the Azalea Garden, behind the
Philadelphia Museum of Art. She frolicked in the grass, chased the
soap bubbles I blew, and even made some friends. We even got to stop
by a modern art gallery on the way there, and one of the exhibits was
a walk-in wooden structure that was all pink on the inside. Jada, of
course, approved. She went to bed that night, happy as a clam, that
good tired feeling in her body and mind.

Flash forward to this Saturday. Amy worked back-to-back shifts, so it
was another day with Daddy for Jada. But things didn't go nearly as
well. It was much colder, so we were kind of stuck at home (although
I did run her around the block after dinner, just to get out the
house). She's at a tough age, as she's pretty far along physically
but doesn't quite understand things cognitively. So she's coordinated
enough to open the dresser drawers and scatter all the clothes out,
but doesn't quite get what I'm trying to tell her as I stuff the
clothes back in the drawer. She knows how to throw things, but no
matter how many times I tell her not to throw her stuffed animal when
we're going up the stairs, it's not yet going to register. She wants
to climb on top of the big box in our living room that contains a toy
we haven't opened yet, but doesn't realize that once she gets on top
of the box, she would fall on her head except that I'm right behind
her to catch her when she slips. She wants to climb up the stairs but
I won't let her, for the same reasons, and that upsets her. In
general, she's plenty old to want to explore and to be able to
explore, but not quite old enough for discipline to be effective.

We haven't totally locked down the house from a childproof standpoint,
and we don't really want to, either; who wants gates and locks
everywhere? But until her cognition catches up with her mobility,
we'll either have to, or watch her like a hawk.

Yesterday, I watched her like a hawk. Not as fun as cavorting in the
grass or walking through a pink structure. So she went to bed a
little unhappy and frustrated. Maybe next week the weather will be
nicer. And maybe someday, she'll learn how to heed our warnings and
stay away from dangerous things.

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