Subject: THEY GROW SO FAST
Date: Saturday, January 08, 2000 5:42 PM
My daughter, Cassidy is 2 1/2 going on 5. Because of our schedules, my wife, Laura usually gets Cassidy up in the mornings and wakes her from her afternoon naps. Just like me, Cassidy doesn’t wake up well from naps. She tends to be just a bit crabby. Most of the time, she wants her Mommy to wake her up. If I try to wake her from a nap, she waves her hands at me and tells me to leave her alone. She then tries to go back to sleep. Needless to say, I don’t often wake her up.
Laura has this very gentle routine that she goes through in the afternoon to wake the child. Cassidy sleeps in a full-size bed, so Laura crawls in with her, cuddles up next to her and gently wakes her for about 10 to 15 minutes. Today, Laura went to the store during Cassidy’s nap and asked me to wake her at 3:30. At the appointed hour, I went into Cassidy’s bedroom, scooted up next to her in the bed and tried as best I could to gently wake her up.
Cassidy was laying on her left side and as soon as she realized it wasn’t Mommy, swung her right hand back behind her body, hitting me in the face and let out a pathetic little “leave me alone Daddy.” Undaunted, I spoke gently to her and stroked her hair (the way her Mom does) in an attempt to raise the child from the realm of the sandman. To my surprise the child popped up, backed out of the bed and started walking towards the door. She flipped on the light turned around and walked back to the bed. In under two seconds, she then pulled off her I Love NY tee-shirt. I was shocked how quickly she stripped it off. Then she pulled on the little red-dress she had on before her nap. Next she tried to lower the railings on the side of her bed. I had to help her with that. As soon as it was down, she grabbed her socks and shoes and crawled back on the bed. She put her right sock on perfectly. Her left sock she put on a little sideways, but with a quick adjustment, we got it on their just right. She did pull both the socks all the way up, which looked a bit goofy, but I wasn’t going to say anything. Then, she grabbed her right shoe and tried to put it on her right foot. Until about a month ago, she would always try to put the right shoe on her left foot and vice versa. She would get upset when we tried to put the left shoe on the left foot because she was convinced that it went the other way.
As I tied her shoelaces, she had one arm crossed across her chest with her elbow from the other arm resting on it. Her chin was resting in her hand. She was giving me a look like, “Dad, can’t you tie any faster than that”. Then she then got up, walked out of the room, turned the light off on me, and headed for the stairs and off to the living room. I sat there in the dark of the room amazed by what was going on. Cassidy still hasn’t said anything since “leave me alone”.
When I caught up to her in the living room, she was standing in the middle of the room looking around. Again, her chin was in her hand, elbow resting on the arm crossing her chest. She was looking for her mother. She then headed for the stairs again: destination: the garage. She checked the garage for Laura’s car. This was the conformation that Mommy wasn’t at home. She sat down in the entryway of the garage. I asked her if she was hungry. She shook her head no. I asked her if she had to go potty. She shook her head no. I asked her if she wanted something to drink and she got up, headed for the stairs. Destination: the kitchen. She opened the refrigerator door and got her juice cup. She then pointed to the Cran-mango juice, grabbed it and handed to me. I took it as a cue that she wanted more juice. So I laughed, topped off the juice cup, handed it to her and she headed back to the garage entryway.
I figured we were going to have a long wait for Mommy, so I grabbed my guitar and headed for the entryway with her. We sat on the floor and I got to serenade her with my rendition of the San Francisco Bay Blues. She shook her head in time to the music, but was neither getting up or saying anything. Next we created a game called “blow the leftover needles from the Christmas tree”. The two of us were on our knees blowing old pine needles around the floor. After that, I tried playing her my rendition of “Me and Bobby McGee”. She apparently couldn’t stand it and split for the living room. Ok, I’ve only been working on it for a couple of weeks.
As I caught up to her in the living room, she was putting a “Blues Clues” videotape in the VCR. She watched it for about 10 minutes, stood up, turned off the TV and told me it was time to wake up her doll. Understand that this is the first thing she has said to me in about 45 minutes. She booked back to her bedroom, woke up her new doll, took it out of the play crib and went into our bedroom to find her baby’s bottle. She took the doll and the bottle back to the living room, sat down in the living room and fed her baby. On the way up the stairs, I realized that she had adjusted her socks.
Rather than being all the way up as they were when she put them on, she had folded them over and put the ruffle down by her ankle. I didn’t see her do that. But they were on her perfectly. After she was done feeding her baby doll, she then handed me the pretend bottle and asked me to put it in the refrigerator. I did. I put the solid plastic toy in the refrigerator next to her real cup of milk.
It feels like I have been away at sea for months. I don’t know when she became so grown up.