…and by “never,” I mean OK.
So one day ZK says to me, not in words, but in that special kind of way that pre-verbal kiddos “say” to their adoring moms and pops, “Papa, I don’t want to be a dragon-slayer anymore. I want to hug them.” Needless to say, I choked when I “heard” those “words.” The daughter of a renowned, buckle-swashing, dragon-slayer proposing peace between slayers and dragons? This cannot be! My little unadulterated awesomeness…hugging dragons?…no white stuffing strewn about the house, hanging from chair and lamp, some lost behind the ears post-slaughter? I blame those meddling fairies!
I’ve always said that there’re only three things that would make ZK not “my daughter:” attending Washington State University, attending University of Oregon, and hugging dragons. Well, now I have to amend that statement to two things because, while she convinced me that dragons are for hugging and not slaying (I’m watching you, you rascally fairies), no daughter of mine will ever be a Coug or a Duck. These are just things that cannot be.
Watching ZK grow is often frightening because of the speed with which she moved from baby to toddler. She’s able to walk now but is very timid about it. Which means she often limits her bipedal locomotion to locations within arms reach of support. Of course, Pops fill this role perfectly because, not only are they experienced in the intricacies of this whole lifting-and-differentially-placing the foot thing, they are also highly portable. And lets face it, my enjoyment of this role as walking coach is without measure. It means that she wants to place her tiny little hand in mind and just walk around for a bit…always with a smile on her face. Probably sooner than I’d like to imagine, or admit, holding her Papa’s hand while walking down the street isn’t going to be as awesome for her as it is now. Yeah, those tears are already tugging at the floodgate, but I’m fighting those suckers back. Their time will come.
ZK is now becoming a bit of a comedienne and has caught on to the idea that making others laugh is funny. For example, yesterday she finished her bottle but wanted to play with it instead of giving it back to me. As she was playing she bonked herself in the head with it. This made me laugh…and she noticed. She displayed her mischievous grin and proceeded to bonk herself in the head with it again. I laughed…she did it again…and again. The grown-up in me suddenly thought better of this situation and ended it. My thought was “if this type of humor sticks with her, I hope it develops more along the lines of Charlie Chaplin than Jackass.”
“Au revoir,” says ZK. “J’adore les dragons. J’adore les grands dents de dragons.”