State of Independence

“I’m doing it!”

Oh, the days when we thought it would be funny to hear Toddler Harbat that.  Sometimes it’s still funny.  Sometimes, like when she refuses to get out of the car and slumps on the armrest like a beached sea lion, it’s not.  Now everything is a chance for her to show how grown up she is and quite often we’re surprised.  She can mostly get dressed by herself, can use the potty and wash her hands, help with things in the kitchen, and climb up into her high chair.  As a parent you get used to doing everything for your infant and fall into routine, which is dangerous when your child evolves and learns with the speed of a Skynet über-robot from the future. 

Last night TH wanted to wear her tutu, a heady and exhilarating activity.  Since I couldn’t find it we settled on the mermaid costume, which she insisted she could put on herself.  Imagine layers of chiffon ribbons, invisible shoulder straps, a mermaid tail, and a nylon abdomen tube, all turned inside out.  I could hardly make heads or tails of it, but TH yanked it away and began to put it on upside down and backwards.  “I doin’ it!”

Fine.  Sure enough, she got it on and took a victory lap through the living room, tail swaying and arms flapping.  The cliché is “When did this happen?”  Well, it happened every day you were stuck in the routine:  get kid dressed, fed, to school, back from school, fed, bathed, and put to bed.  During that time the kid was absorbing and watching.  If I toss and spin knives like a Japanese steakhouse chef, we’d better get TH some chainmail and a helmet because she’ll be trying it too.  Who knows, she might even make a halfway decent sashimi.

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Writer, architect, father, husband.

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