Monday, February 8, 2010

Face-Plant

            I took Celia to the park today and she did a full face plant right on the sand. Ka-Bam! Sand up her nose and coating her open mouth. Her face turned deep red and her mouth was open in a silent scream for a good solid ten seconds before she finally gasped a breath.
            It took me awhile to console her. She’d let out a wail every time I tried wiping sand out of her left nostril or out of her tiny teeth. Eventually the crows saved the day. It happened to be that perfect time of day where the crows make their migration across town to their night-time abode, and stop at Trout Lake along the way for a snack. We sat on a park bench as I mopped up her face and watched a hundred crows gather on the beach. They cawed delightedly at each other as they found the remnants of seeds and crumbs people had been feeding the ducks throughout the day.
            Celia stopped crying and pointed. Always a good sign. She does the same thing when I pick her up from her crib after she’s been crying at the end of a nap. She goes from bawling all alone to suddenly being scooped up in her Daddy’s arms. The sheer shock of the speedy transition takes her a few seconds to compute. She sputters out a few more wails, then points at some random object and says, “Der?”
            “Yes, that’s a plant,” I’ll say. “And a beautiful one at that.” I’ll usually expound on the characteristics of the plant for awhile, and then she’ll point at something else and say, “Zat?”
            “It’s the bookcase with all our books on it.”
            She nods her head silently, enjoying the sound of my voice. The same happened with the crows. I looked at where her finger pointed and knew it was the sheer mass of flying critters that had caught her interest. “Crows, Sweetie. They’re taking a break before they go home.”
            We sat there for a few minutes watching silently. I rather enjoyed our little moment together on the bench. It’s hard to get her to settle down and just sit with you, except in the early mornings. And nowadays I don’t see her in the mornings at all except on the weekends, so it felt nice to have a calm daughter sitting there with me. Almost made it feel worth it, all the ugliness of a face plant.

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