Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bitter and sweet

When I leave for work in the morning, Jewel blows me kisses and smiles at me from wherever she is. This morning she was in her high chair, eating breakfast, so it was a fairly easy departure.

On days when she's not restrained and sated--or at least distracted by her favorite pasttime--she knows when I'm about to leave, be it on my bike or on foot to catch the bus. So she heads for the foyer to block my exit, blow me kisses and throw a tantrum.

Her tantrums are classic--throws herself to the ground, usually over backward, kicks, cries, screams, bangs her hands and feet. The only problem really is that we're second-time parents so we stand around and sort of cluck our tongues at her and say things like, "Well, that does seem a bit much now, doesn't it?"

Or, "Methinks the baby doth protest too much."

Yeah, she doesn't think we're all that funny either.

If Mama can, she'll walk Jewel down the hall to say goodbye to me at the elevator, where Jewel repeats much the same scene, except with Mama holding her. This means that Jewel launches her now-hard skull straight back into Mama's clavicle like a blacksmith's hammer raining down on a thin twig.

A thin twig full of nerve endings.

As the door closes, I hear...
"Say, 'Goodbye' to Daddy."
The sound of kisses smacking into Jewel's hand and her little giggle.
"Say, 'I love you, Daddy.'"
"We love you, babe."
A wail.
A thud.
"I hate that."

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