Definition of Cute

Somehow, I think Calliope is so cute all the time that I forget just how cute she is, and I forget to share certain things.  Often, it is through someone else’s eyes that these moments are brought to light.
Yesterday, we had over about sixteen people for tacos.  It was my way of welcoming Bekky to the west coast for a visit, gathering many of her friends and mine too in one place where we could visit and generally enjoy one another’s company.  She moved across country to live and help take care of her dear parents.  It was so nice to see some of our closest friends who I could never see enough of…
As we sat in the TV room with Ryan and Shannon watching Pan and Calliope play with each other, the toys and all us adults, Calliope’s eye caught one of her favorite books.  She did what she always does (I have no idea how long this has been going on honestly) grabbed the book, handed it to me and turned around.  Then she started backing up to me so she could sit in my lap and have me read it.  As she did this, quite gracefully I might add, she started chanting “beep, beep, beep”!  So cute.  At some point after Michael and I discovered what she was doing by backing up, we had started making that noise as if she were a service truck backing up and warning the surrounding environment of its intentions.  Of course, now she does this all the time and especially when we pick up a pair of her shoes.  She is ready to go!  And she backs up into us with the tiniest of steps until one of her feet hits us and then she plops down to have us put her shoes on.  Her aim isn’t always the best, and she misses her mark often, but she is all the more cute for it.
When Shannon saw what she was doing, the look on her face was priceless and I wish I had somehow snapped a picture of it so I can save it for all time.  But alas, the cameras were nowhere near us, nor did I think of it at the time.  I was so enthralled in her response, I couldn’t be bothered.  Thank you Shannon for your perspective.  It reminded me of just how cute my little girl is…  Of course, don’t get this wrong.  I love and appreciate Calliope more than words can say every day.
A long time ago, a very good friend of mine by the name of Jessica Gath, used to hang out with me and have tea all the time.  Proper tea even, as I lived with a couple of guys from New Zealand and England, the true purveyors of fine tea.  I digress, but the point is that I often joked with Jessica that she was the “definition of cute” because of her infectious smile and an intense curiosity about life in general.  And to some degree the fact that she is a tiny bit on the small side probably had something to do with it as well.  In any case, I am sorry to inform you Jessica, that now that you are married, and all grown up, I now must reassign this moniker to Calliope.  She is hands down the definition of cute.

Big Change

I don’t know when it actually happened, but I’m still in shock.  Calliope is now a little girl.  She isn’t a baby any longer.  Maybe some have noticed previously, but for me, it happened yesterday, at least my perception thereof.  She hardly toddles any more, she walks from this part of the room to that.  She interacts with such increased knowledge and understanding that its palpable in the room.  Her presence is almighty. I am completely moved.  In no way can I truly convey that which I am feeling.  She has made many such leaps in development over the last 16 months, but this one is significant to me.  She actually singled me out as Daddy followed promptly by calling Michael Dad with such clarity that I was a bit spooked.  She is repeating words and sounds, to the best of her ability, on a regular basis.  So much so that I am paranoid about what comes from mine own mouth.  The hugs she gives are meaningful and so very lovely.  I melt.  It can’t just be coincidence that last week was our last week with Sarah, the babysitter we had for a while now, and that I am spending 90% of my time with her, and her with me.  Its truly a blessing, one that I didn’t even know to ask for… And suddenly, the word family has such strong meaning to me that I am close to tears.  Michael and Calliope are my family.

Note to parents, doors aren't safe

About two or three weeks ago, I was in the bathroom using the facilities.  I’ll try not to go too much further into detail, but basically I was sitting on the toilet.  And for some reason I can’t exactly fathom, I decided to close the door.  I never close the door.  Michael never closes the door.  Only when we have guests.  Maybe I just needed a minute or two away… Michael was on the sofa in the TV room and Calliope was running around somewhere.  Next thing I know, the door handle was twisting and the door popped open, but not very far.  I immediately yelled at Michael not to open the door to which he responded “I didn’t do it.  I thought you did.”  And we both realized that Calliope had done it.  Michael knew she was there playing with the knob, as did I now that I think about it.  But neither of us thought it possible that Calliope had done it.  She had never even tried as far as we knew.  So I pulled the door open a little more and there was Calliope smiling brilliantly, very proud of herself and excited to see she had started a game of peek a boo.  For the next ten minutes, Michael and I walked around dumbfounded excitedly discussing the situation.
That door has a glass knob on it.  Not a lever like our back doors.
Two nights ago, Michael came home and because of the construction next door, decided to go out the back and talk to one of the contractors about something.  I was in the front of the house doing something, who knows what.  I heard it as it happened.  The door cracked open and then a stumble.  Unlike the french doors that require a little more force, the side door to the stairs is much easier to open.  Calliope had grabbed the handle and pulled down, fell against the door and out of the house!  She was definitely not hurt, maybe a little shocked.  As were we!  The consequences of her going out the back or front doors are small in comparison to the back side door.  She easily could find herself in a very dangerous situation while construction is going on.  Once they are done, there will be a house next to us again, but right now the railing is minimal at best.  Just goes to show that these type of dangers can really sneak up on you.  We feel extremely lucky.  We are very aware of her surroundings and pay attention to all the hazards that could arise, but this one really came up out of nowhere.  Now we are on full alert that that door needs to be locked at all times.  This is hard though because there is no way to secure it if you just left the house through it.   Its just a handle.  But now we know, so lesson learned.

Ever heard of baby teabagging?!

Hilarious but true.  I was lying on the floor face up yesterday in the TV room trying to get a little rest and relax while Calliope played around me doing whatever she was doing.  This transition from two naps to one naps is leaving both of us tired I suppose. So while I was lying there, she somehow found me interesting among all the toys she has to play with and thought it might be fun to climb on top of me.  I just went with it thinking if I lied still long enough, she would lose interest and I could continue to lie there and rest.  I wasn’t trying to sleep or even nap… just a little rest.  And the only way I can do that is if I’m on the floor with her because then she feels like I’m involved in her playful activities.  Little did I know how involved I was about to be.  She put one foot over my chest and I thought she was going to straddle me, which she did.  But somewhere along the way, she scooted backwards and all I could feel was the softness of her britches and the crinkly diaper under them.  Yikes, she was sitting on my face!  And then she was bouncing up and down giggling because it must have been funny… and of course, the next thing I know, I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe.  Of course, the diaper butt in my face wasn’t helping.  It was hilarious and too funny not to share.  Please, by all means, have a laugh on me… its my pleasure.

Puddle Follow Up

Yesterday, I picked Calliope up from Camille’s house where she goes every Wednesday to hang out with her bud all day.  When we got home, she kept doing this weird stomp thing.  She even tried to stomp my flip flopped toes!  And I was quite befuddled.  It was obviously something she picked up over at Camille’s.  Then today it rained cats and dogs as we made our way to the follow up dentist appointment.  On the way home, I had her walk the full block of Walter back to the house and she came across several puddles where she proceeded to stomp in them gleefully. This was obviously what she had learned yesterday.   So she now has a better appreciation of puddles and what they are good for …  Although its not completely clear, because she still stomps in other places that have no puddles, but she is definitely making progress…  Is it hilarious that I find this distinction important?  hmmmm

gay dads group

Here we are in SF and the only gay dads group I can find isn’t even locally based, or all that active for that matter.  I think they “meetup” once every six months….

puddles aren't interesting… yet…

Later today, I received the beckon to follow once again down the hall.  If you missed the description, please read today’s earlier entry.  This time she didn’t have a binky in her mouth, but she had one of her two keen shoes in her hand.  I assumed she wanted her shoes on, and I was right.  In her bedroom, she promptly sat down and kept putting the shoe on top of her foot as if to sign language “Daddy, you know I can’t do it.  You do it!” and so I did.  Then we spent the next fifteen minutes looking for the other one, which is as good as any other time consuming chore, so why not.  We found it and I put it on her other foot and asked her, “What now?”.  To which she replied by going back down the hall and I followed.  But she didn’t turn into her room and went straight to the front door, grabbed the knob and started twisting and turning and pulling as if she knew what she was doing.  I couldn’t help myself and giggled out loud.  She is just full of it today.  It was raining all afternoon and I think on most days I would have encouraged some other activity, but I was just so impressed by her will today that I just went with it, got her little hooded jacket on and opened the door for her.  For the first time ever, she decided that the stairs were not so scary after all and just started marching forward.  It was all I could do to catch her arm before she fell face first and good thing too… it was dirty and wet out!  We made it past the stairs and she proceeded to lead me all the way down the block (towards Duboce) and then decided she was going to crawl down the one step of the curb into the street and then I just about lost it.  Where is she going?  Why so determined?  What is going on here?  She is just a baby.  She can’t be doing all this!  After grinning uncontrollably for several seconds, I grabbed her hand and we trapsed across the street, slippery train tracks, construction and all.  Once we got across, she headed straight for the middle of the park through the grass (the wet grass) and didn’t show signs of slowing.  I’ve never taken her into the grass at the park.  When we go, we tend to go to the children’s little play area.  And even if we did decide to play in the grass, I would go to the area where dogs frequented a lot less to reduce chances of her playing in poo…  Ok, that was it.  I was done.  It was cute and I am happy I went along for as long as I did, but it was raining and now she was playing in knee deep grass (for her anyway) so I swooped her up and we headed home.  She wasn’t thrilled, but I did a little dance in the rain on the sidewalk where some water had puddled and that abated her anger quite nicely.  It even occurred to me that she should splash in the puddles and I started jumping up and down like a five year old making splashes go as far as I could.  She was happy to watch, entranced even.  But when I put her in the middle of the puddle and tried to get her to jump around, she refused.  I suppose it was more amusing to watch me do it than to do it herself.  Oh well, I guess she can’t amaze me every minute of the day.  Maybe her quota was up for the day.  Who knows?!   All I know is that apparently, puddles aren’t interesting yet…

no to one nap

I am not complaining.  However, it seems odd to me that Calliope is still having two, two hour naps every day at 16 months.  No, I haven’t looked online to verify.  Mostly just that everyone who asks (and sleep is one of those things people constantly ask about when you have a young one) is shocked when I tell them.  In any case, Michael and I had a little discussion last night that we were going to start working on pushing her first nap back so we can start getting ready for the transition to one nap.  Apparently, it is going to happen any second.  So this morning started off slow and she didn’t get up til about 7:40 which is about 40 minutes late for her usual schedule.  I thought this was great.  It will help in putting her down later for her first nap.  I could easily wait until 10 instead of the usual 9AM.  But this was not in the cards according to Calliope.  I was sitting on the sofa in the TV room sending a client email plus a couple of personal ones and here Calliope comes from her bedroom and out of the hallway with a binky in her mouth.  She doesn’t use a binky except to sleep.  She either found it in her bed/crib and it was close enough to the edge for her to grab it, or it was on the edge of her dresser drawer just within reach.  I’m not sure which.  And of course, she was mighty proud.  Smiling from ear to ear despite the binky in her mouth.  After it was clear I was paying attention, she promptly started doing all the things that indicate for me to follow her which includes little barks, a slight bend at the waist in order to lean forward and emphasize the importance of her little barking and then walking down the hall, coming back to make sure I was coming and then heading back down the hall.  Its quite adorable and quite understandable that I got off my derriere to follow.  As Michael is fond of saying, she has us well trained.  Halfway down the hall, she must have got tired of me lollygagging and took matters into her own hands, quite literally, and grabbed my finger and proceeded to haul me into her bedroom straight to her crib where she grabbed at it and shook it.  It was pretty clear that it was time for a nap, and it was only 9:30.  What can I say, the girl likes her schedule.