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Monday, March 11, 2013

Transformation

Before my eyes, Athena is steadily transforming from a baby to a toddler. She now walks wherever she wants, but more than that, she's enjoying very different things.

I suggested to Erik on Friday when he was at loose ends for an hour that he take her to the park and push her on a swing. I figured she'd like it. Sure enough, it was awesome for her.
On Sunday, I took Athena to Happy Hollow in San Jose. They have a petting/feeding zoo area with goats and sheep and a donkey and a zebu and three little Shetland ponies. I dropped a quarter in the food machine and handed her bits of food one by one that she held out to the various creatures. She fed them the same way she did with Maggie or Pepper. She marched right up to the goats who were in a big open area and started offering them food. They used their lips and took it from her. The ponies in their pen reached out and hit their hooves on the ground and she didn't mind a bit. Another mom said, "How old is she?" I said, "13 months." She said, "She's not scared at all! I'm amazed." Her kid was busy cowering from the goats. Well of course she's not scared. She's been trained to feed treats to the cat from as soon as she could sit up! So once again, I embraced the certain knowledge that it's all in what we're exposed to and what's expected of us. They arrive preprogrammed with a bit of personality, and how that gets shaped is up to us. So far, we're doing a-ok.

She also enjoyed playing on the play structure for the 2-5 year old set at Happy Hollow. She climbed the stairs up to the top, and then I sat her in my lap and went down the slide. She went around and climbed up again. I sat her in my lap and we went down the other slide. Then we caught up with Jeff and Connor and I said, "Hey Jeff, could you spot her at the bottom?" Sure, he says. So I send her down the slide by herself. Big smiles, then looking back to see if Mommy was leaving. I slid down right behind her, and not a hint of fuss.

It's just amazing how fast it all happens. Just a few short months ago, she was so helpless. Now she's getting to be downright gregarious.

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