Penelope and I have a scheduling conflict. I go to work at 6:45 and she gets up after 7:30. I get home after 5 and she goes to bed around 8. I’ve been missing my baby since I started back in the office.
Tuesday night was particularly frustrating because I inadvertently clogged our kitchen drain with kefir. Stephanie turned us on to the probiotic drink. Since we make our own yogurt we figured we’d do kefir too. What the instructions don’t tell you is the milk used to rehydrate the kefir grains will curdle. And curdle they did. After pouring 8 ounces of the stuff down the drain it immediately clogged. Our kitchen plumbing was full of bacteria and nasties for the kefir to munch on. I can only assume this is what happened and it expanded to a silken tofu/cottage cheese consistency. My two standby’s, boiling water and the vinegar/baking soda combo, did nothing. Finally I made a trip to Home Depot to get a drain snake. That fixed it.
Yesterday we went to the park when I got home. With Penelope in the stroller all I see is the back of her head and her sausage link arms as they point at the world around her. Jennifer reported about their trip to our local farm, Bray Family Farm.
Penelope thought the pigs were fun, the other animals made her cry. Does this mean she’ll eat chicken, beef, and lamb, but give Babe a reprieve?
Today was a treat. Jennifer, Rose, and Penelope came to the office. So many people wanted to see Penelope after hearing about her for the last year. With quiet pride (due to my throat hurting so much) we toured the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th floors. Penelope was amused by portions of the tour. When Jennifer lifted her up repeatedly Penelope’s visage changed from observer to delighted toddler. And when we visited Mike’s office Penelope discovered my lanyard and just had to have it, giving up mama’s purse and the prized Cheerio’s bag to get it.
Gary,a co-worker and enemy of kefir, pointed out the travesty that I did not take any pictures of Penelope’s office visit. He’s absolutely right. My apologies to future Penelope and those of you following our adventure. You truly had to be there.
As much as I’d love to carry Penelope eveywhere to make up for the first two years we missed, I know it’s best to let her walk, to find her own footing rather than being carried. I made an exception in the office. I couldn’t help but wonder if the experience was too close to some we had in China, like the day we climbed several flights of stairs to go to the notary, or when we went to the US consulate to apply for her visa. It’s important to Jenn and I that she know we are always there for her, the days of being one of many children cared for by caretakers has given way to being the one and only in her parents lives. She has our attention to a point beyond exhaustion as Jennifer is demonstrating.
We have a tendency to focus on periods in our lives, framing them as defining moments. We don’t want her to see the first 2 years of her life as the center, like a star who’s gravitation holds everything in place and illuminates every event. Rather, we hope her these years are like a seed from which a beautiful and hardy life grows and blooms.
Until the weekend, a few photos Jenn and Rose took of Penelope today.