Thursday, September 17, 2009

How Cuteness Is a Dangerous Weapon

             More steps. She’s not fully confident yet, but moving along. And with it, she’s become more needy.
            What a pain all of that ultra-neediness is! She gets herself worked up to the point where she wants to be in physical contact with you or she cries. What a shift from her usual independent psyche! I suppose I should just look at this as yet another stage, and be patient with it. It’s funny, because as she’s grown older and become more mature I’ve been able to relax in certain ways with her, but needed to become more watchful in others.
            She’s been doing this very cute thing with our boundaries. One of the cat toys is a little mouse with a tiny bell on its tail. The cat loves it, and will play with it constantly. Because the cat goes crazy about it, Celia wants to get her little paws on it as well. This is all fine and dandy, until she puts it in her mouth. At that point, I have to draw the boundary, because if she gnaws off the bell, she could choke on it (plus, who wants their kid chewing on a cat toy? Eww!).
            The first time she put it in her mouth, I said, “Tay-Tay. Not for the mouth. Play with it in your hands, baby.”
            She smiled and played with it nicely for a bit, then looked at me with the most adorable grin and put it up to her mouth again.
            “Tay-tay,” I said. And she lowered it again.
            Once again, she played with it, swinging it around for the cat to watch, then looked over at me with a big grin and put it up to her mouth again.
            I couldn’t help but smile. What a cutie! Is this how she’s going to break my boundaries? Oh, if so, I am already destabilized, because she’s just so darn adorable, how can I do something to make her cry?
            But, in the end, I went through the routine once again, and once again she lowered it, only to raise it again with a big grin. After about the seventh time, I finally took it away from her, and of course she bawled her eyes out, but only for about eight seconds. It’s like she knew that would be the consequence, and she cried just to show she didn’t like it, but since she expected it, she didn’t dwell on it.
            Later, this morning, she came across the toy again, and we went through the entire routine all over again. Again, I was so delighted with her adorable and charming way of breaking my rules. Again, I had to take it away in the end, and she cried for about eight seconds.
            My little girl is growing up. She’ll be one in a few weeks. Already, I’ve found myself looking at women differently these days. I see them as they used to be as babies, and think about how they were parented. It’s quite an odd experience, and I suppose all a part of the fatherhood package. It seems like I’m growing in odd and new ways I hadn’t expected.
            Maybe with every step Celia takes, I’m taking a step too?

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