b Papa Dog's Blog: Ch-Ch-Changes

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Friday, January 20, 2006


Our daycare is divided into two groups. Upstairs is the infant room, where the smallest children are cared for. It’s filled with very safe-looking toys that foster motor development and has a constant soundtrack of happy baby music. There are never more than three or four babies at a time there. When the child reaches sixteen months or so and is walking well, they move downstairs to the big kids’ area. It’s a larger group of kids representing the full range of pre-kindergarten ages, with more rowdiness and rambunction. It’s been hard for me to picture my bookish little girl in that setting, but the time had clearly long since come. She’s nearing nineteen months now and is only starting to take little series of unsteady headlong steps. Ever since the paediatrician recommended the consultation with the orthopaedic surgeon, we’ve redoubled our efforts to get Baby Dog walking. I’ve made a point every day of playing “Walk to Daddy.” I prop her up with her back to the couch then hunker down a few steps away and tell her to walk to me. She plunges gleefully in my direction, and I pick her up before she falls, swooping her into the air and calling out “Good walking!” Then I have her walk back to the couch and repeat. Every day she got better at it, managing to stay upright for longer periods of time. The daycare, too, was spurred by the doctor’s concern. They have more time to work with Baby Dog and greater expertise in teaching children to walk. Every day, she was getting more practice and more encouragement from all of her caregivers. She’s still not quite a walker, but our collective diligence has paid off to the point that she’s finally graduated downstairs to the big kids’ room. Baby Dog’s first graduation! Felicitations to my little girl.

Today, Halmonie arrived in Oakland to stay. She’s at our house for the night but moves into her new apartment tomorrow, then house-hunting commences in earnest. We’ve been telling Baby Dog about this for some time, but I’m not sure how much is getting through. I’ll say, “Halmonie’s going to be living in Oakland, and then you’ll get to see her every day.” Without fail, Baby Dog repeats “Every day!” Whether or not she understands those words is anybody’s guess, but she sure seems to like the sound of them. She was thrilled with Halmonie’s appearance this evening. Next to Mama Dog and me, Halmonie has been the most constant presence in Baby Dog’s life since the day she was born. She’s the person whose absence Baby Dog most clearly notes. When Halmonie is in Santa Barbara, Baby Dog continues to talk about her. She finds her picture in a photo album and says “Halmonie watch?” pointing at the wristwatch on Halmonie’s wrist, with which Baby Dog is always thrilled to be allowed to play. When I let her play with my cell phone, more often not the call she pretends to make is to Halmonie. She holds the phone to her neck, saying, “Hi, Halmonie? Baby Dog there?”

Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day, so I’ve decided to continue to be like Johnny Carson in the 80s and pile on the guest hosts. paul will be filling in for me. I must warn you that he has threatened to write about some shitty band from the seventies. He might have been joking, but knowing him I rather imagine not.


Blogger Twizzle said...

Hi Papa Dog,

Just wanted to make a small correction to your description of the upstairs infant room at daycare: they have never had more than 3 babes up there at once. One reason we chose this daycare was because of their low staff:child ratio -- not sure what the legal max. is, but this daycare does not push it.

9:02 AM  

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