It is upon us, the dark time. Biting, kicking, screaming, hair-pulling, willful disobedience. Our beautiful little daughter can transform, with no warning, into a wild animal. Ten seconds later she’s back to normal. Believe me, this see-sawing from cuteness to cruelty is much more exhausting than all of one or the other. If she was always out of control, we could have methods and tools for handling her, like the trainers who move tigers from crate to pen with planned sequences of open doors and constant vigilance. Instead, we’ll be sitting reading a book one minute, then she’ll be boxing my ears and biting my cheek like a wolverine in the next. I’m trying to chalk it up to female hormones but my wife gives me The Look then boxes my ears. Kidding! She usually just kicks me in the crotch.
Despite the horror stories, Toddler Harbat was actually quite good yesterday. In the morning we did some watercolors and she decided to paint my face. I’ve never seen her make such small delicate movements. With steady hand and unblinking concentration, she emblazoned my forehead with specific color mixtures and in a pattern that only she could understand. Behold!
My other great accomplishment for the weekend was a pot of minestrone soup made from vegetables from our CSA box—turnips, spinach, green onions, carrots. I rounded it off with potatoes, canned tomatoes, celery, homemade chicken stock, a rind of Parmigiano Reggiano, and some rosemary from the garden. Fresh-baked sourdough with a crackly crust made the perfect compliment. My wife blended some up and tried to convince TH to taste it, who reared back as if there were a live scorpion on the spoon. You see now? Equal parts joy and frustration.