I’m surprised there is not an epidemic of parents with serious heart conditions. Headlines would read “BABY CUTENESS KILLS PARENTS”. There are times when I cannot contain how elated I am. Having Penelope is like discovering another world I didn’t know existed. Maybe it’s where “The Good Ship Lollipop” was flying to. All that sugar could give one a bellyache.
This week at the park Penelope was so excited playing with a bouncy ball she laughed. Not a laugh I’ve heard before. She sounded like Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top had invaded her soul and found it hilarious. Jenn said she had done it some other time. Our best guess is she makes this laugh when the happy thermometer hits the top. In the video below you’ll hear the laugh as she is standing on the stairs and the ball is thrown to her.
Saturday morning Penelope and I drove to Carrollton for some serious Library-ing. I wanted to read Paul Tough’s “How Children Succeed” after hearing him interviewed on NPR. Rather than pay 16 clams for the book I decided to wait on the library. The main branch was the only location to have it. Forty five minutes to the library and Penelope and I are looking through the stacks. She would pull a CD off the shelf, the put it back. Then the next one, and the next one. A real sense of order. It was as though she were checking to make sure the library staff were doing their job, alphabetizing the discs like her mommy and daddy would.
Sunday afternoon we met Stephanie and Charlie at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for a beautiful morning strolling through the scarecrow display. Within an hour or so I was already exhausted. Not from the walking. From the constant alertness required while Penelope and Charlie went from volunteer to exhibit to the next. The Garden’s were packed and Jenn, Stephanie, and I kept our eyes peeled for activity.
Penelope has a connection to Charlie. When we say his name, she repeats it. When they are together, she imitates him. When they walk together, she wants to hold his hand. As we sat on a bench together she put her arm around Charlie’s neck, pulled Stephanie in, and soaked in the love. The definition of a touching moment. Some parents are concerned about affections and loyalties regarding their children. Personally, the more love she receives the better. Seeing her bond with others is also encouraging.
When the walking, hand painting, and raccoon hat making were done we ate lunch outside. Penelope sat on my lap while we waited for mama to come back with the food. When she arrived and the munching commenced I sat Penelope in her own chair. It seemed a little low so I asked her if she wanted to sit in my lap. She said yes. As soon as I picked her up and sat her on my lap she let me know that’s not what she meant. I made for my own chair. Father/daughter moments like these seem to pass too soon. I want to hold on to those moments. I don’t know how many I’ll get.
One other thing.
Saturday afternoon we were at the park. Jenn walked the dogs and Penelope played on the slides. Penelope was in observation mode again. I encouraged her to go down the slide. She did. Once. In 20 minutes. She started down a set of steps to get to another slide. A girl, younger than Penelope, walked up and placed her foot on Penelope’s hand. Her father was there and stopped her but it was too late, Penelope started screaming. I told Penelope to keep walking, but she stay stock still, tears clouding her eyes. Maybe I should be more concerned with the girl who decides to step on other people’s hands. I was more concerned with Penelope’s reaction. I didn’t want her to turn around and whack the little girl. But why didn’t she move? That’s the part I’ve been struggling with.
I don’t know what kind of reaction I should have to this sort of behavior. I know it’s going to happen. I feel powerless. I’m certainly not going to correct the other child with their father right there. He did the right thing so no fault there. I’m not going to punish Penelope for not being more aggressive either. I just wonder what this is going to mean long term.
Anyone out there experience this and if so what did you do about it?