July 24, 2013
When Scout is ornery, I sometimes consider things I no longer do since she arrived. Outside of a single, late-night rerun of 30 Rock, I haven't watched television in two months. I just finished reading a book – David Sedaris' Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls – for the first time since she was born. I rarely ride my bike, except to reach my carpool. I've seen one movie in the theatre, a Stars-and-Strollers matinée screening of Mud (a very fine film), in which I rocked Scout in her car-seat with my foot. I missed the Fringe Festival. I missed spring break-up on the lake. I stopped freelancing. I've been out with Kerry, away from Scout, on only two occasions since February: once to walk to the end of the pier and back at the lake on Canada Day weekend, once for a one-hour dinner at a restaurant near our house. I don't draw, don't eat cereal and – evidently – no longer blog.
So, what do I do?
I hold Scout in the kitchen and let her grasp at the photo of her smiling cousin on the fridge. I om-nom-nom her belly, and she squeals and pulls my hair. I carry her in the Ergo on evening walks in the neighbourhood, patting her bum and cradling her head even though she can support it now with ease. I sit on the floor and watch her jolly-jump at eye level – a lot. I carry her to the porch and let her swat at the wind chimes, and then to the backyard to pull a leaf from our maple tree. I show her the chimney swifts that chatter at dusk. I tell her squirrels are monkeys, in hopes that one day she'll think there are monkeys in the city. I gnash my teeth as she learns to put herself to sleep, screaming in her crib at bedtime. I take her picture, though more and more I opt for direct observation. I look at her hands. I look at the chub on her arms. I look at the back of her head where hair is filling back in. When she smiles wide, I look at her two teeth.
I hoist her high in the air. When she giggles, I repeat what makes her giggle until she yawns with boredom.