Friday, July 01, 2005

Walkin' the floor

See this hallway here?


If you've seen many San Francisco homes you know that all the old buildings have apartments that are variations on about four standard themes, and the Long-Hallway-Apartment, or "sleeping car apartment" (so-called because all the bedrooms open off that long hall) is a popular one.

Well, I've walked the length of this sleeping car a genuine minimum of 720 times in the last six weeks, bent over in neanderthal stance all the while. That breaks down to 40 times a day, seven days a week in the six weeks since Short-And-Naughty-No-Walk started toddling while holding to one of my fingers. She just won't let go of that finger, even if I've let it go dead-fish limp so that it gives her no support whatsoever. When I shake her loose, she stands confused for a split second before bending over and placing her hands on the floor and breaking into a squall.

The girl is thirteen months old, plus the nine days I always give her to compensate for her arrival a week and a half before her due date, and she's yet again dawdling on the threshold of a major milestone. Don't tell me "she'll walk when she's ready." I know she will. But she's damn lazy, just like her daddy. And hypervigilant just like her mama, "hypervigilance" being one of my defining characteristics according to my current therapist. (Aside--I find this label useful and cite my hypervigilance as an excuse for everything from selective agoraphobia to the refusal to take responsibility for cooking expensive slabs of meat.)

My grandmother, by way of Oklahoma, suggested I find one of those old-fashioned clothespins and subtly use it to replace my forefinger. After she acclimates to walking with the clothespin in hand, I am to let go of the clothespin on the sly allowing her to walk free. Course she'll have one hand in the air, pointlessly waving a clothespin; hearty har-har!

We're fresh out of old-fashioned clothespins, but I led her around on the end of a Sharpie all morning. She's napping now, I plan to try releasing the Sharpie on her this p.m. I'll let you know how it goes.


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