Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Oral Fixation

After one year, she has mastered life.

At her teddy bear’s picnic in Kirstenbosch, Madam was in complete control. She deserted her parents and chatted up a storm with everyone who had gathered in her honour. Not even a glance in her parent’s direction. After two hours we decided enough is enough and claimed our daughter before she forgot who she belongs to.

Thank you to everyone who made the day special.

A little later, Katie enjoyed smearing chocolate on every available surface.

Her eating habits have taken on a distinctly political edge as her parents endeavour to create enticing concoctions, which are routinely rejected for such things as gherkins and dog crumbles - not to mention cigarette buts and potting soil. We have finally accepted that purity makes baby food but not Katie food and President Katie is well on her way to placing food in her mouth rather than her ear. But she still thinks that butternut is a shampoo and her face cloth is a good re-hydrating energy drink. She is also convinced that breast-milk should come from any of Yvette’s body parts but has had little success getting much out of ears, noses and elbows. Fortunately she hasn’t tried this on me… too hairy me thinks.

Being a father has taught me to bounce much more. I think it has been good for me. I am much more accepting of my own foibles and weirdness - as well as others’ - now that I realise how fragile life is. I have very little time to dwell on my inadequacies; and when I do I am distracted by Katie and her faithful sidekick, Phoebe, making light work of a baked potato.

“No Katie! That’s for you, not Phoebe,” squeals Minister of Environmental Affairs, aka Mom, in a vain attempt to assert some motherly control. At least the cushions and couch-throws accept her control.

Minister of Sport and Entertainment, aka Dad, has long since acquiesced any semblance of power, preferring the more diplomatic route of allowing the tail to wag the dog: “So, whose cell phone’s going to be our darling’s hors d'oeuvre tonight Dear?”

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