Zen and the art of Notre Dame football

Not everyone digs winter

(Not all of us appreciate winter fashions)

Monday night.

That is when the University of Notre Dame will play the University of Alabama for the national championship of college football.

Timothy has changed the way that I watch Notre Dame football games.  And not just because I only get to see every third play because I spend most of the time trying to find where he crawled to.

This year, Alabama has a better coach and a stronger, deeper team, so logic says that they will probably win.

And Notre Dame fans often have a fatalistic view, and expect that something will go awry.

But I’m picking Notre Dame to win.

But even if we don’t win, I plan to try to enjoy the good moments within the game.

In the past, I would be unable to enjoy the game.  Like so many things in life, I often enjoy the ‘before’ (anticipation) and ‘after’ (memories) but not so much the event itself.

But more recently, just as I find myself being a little more ‘present’ in my life these days, I am more able to enjoy the ups and downs of these seemingly meaningless, but actually very very important games.

I think this shift in attitude is due to the regular smoke signals we get from our little redhead to focus, focus, focus on appreciating today – to stop worrying so much about tomorrow or getting distracted from the here and now.

(Note: My friends would tell you that the only reason I enjoy football more now is because Notre Dame is finally winning.  I agree that this helps, but I’d rather tip the cap to TRBL).

Also, it’s probably best to talk to me after the game to see if I still have this Zen-like attitude toward Notre Dame football.

And I should mention that most of our family is less concerned about Notre Dame’s historic opportunity than they are about the upcoming Season 3 episodes of Downton Abbey.

Timothy is still pulling hair these days.

This is probably good news for exercising his fine motor skills (fingers), but try telling that to his victims because this boy is pulling hair with a vengeance.

When it comes to hair, T is not a fan of ‘catch and release’.

He belongs more to the ‘Say Uncle’ school of hair pulling.

My hair is short, but you have to appreciate his efforts to include me in his little club.  Recently he grabbed my hair so tightly that Laura said, “Ummm, his knuckles just cracked.”

As we have mentioned, Timothy has become the ‘go to’ page turner in the house.  If we need a page turned, whether it’s a book, newspaper or wordy term paper, wee Timothy is on call to get it done.  He is a champ at turning the pages of board books, but we’re still working on being gentle enough to not tear the paper pages of regular books.

One interesting side benefit of this is that when he is sitting on the floor awaiting the attention of his sometimes doting family, he will start to page through a book that’s lying on the carpet, which is fun to watch.  Why on earth would books be lying on the carpet?  We’re trying to promote a love of learning and at the same time avoid having to reshelve every book.  It’s working so far for all concerned.

Like many toddlers, Timothy explores the world by putting things in his mouth.  When he crawls, he is a vacuum and you need to keep an eye on what’s being put into that little yapper.

There are occasional scary times when he looks at you with “hands empty – mouth closed — eyes big” and you realize that he may have something in his mouth (super ball, Girl Scout cookie, doorstopper?) that he could swallow.  We use the same trick that worked with the girls.  We just ask him, ‘What does a lizard do?’ to try to get him to open his mouth and stick out his tongue.  Then we can send in a SWAT finger to do a quick sweep of his mouth and apprehend the offending foreign matter.  If the search turns up no suspects, we quickly apologize to the suddenly screaming baby, since the finger mouth sweep is as enjoyable as an emergency trip to the dentist.

But this morning, something was different.  He crawled over to the rougher part of the living room, near the fireplace, where he knows he’s on a short leash.  He located a tiny piece of wood that was about the size of a dime.  But this time he didn’t toss it in his mouth.  Instead, he studied it, held it up against the light, put it in his other hand and studied it some more.  I was stunned, especially as he reached out and tried to put the little chip on top of a log.  He seemed to understand that this little piece had been a part of a larger piece of wood. It was fascinating to watch (okay — ‘fascinating’ only if it’s a slow Sunday morning and it’s your kid that is the lumberjack prodigy).  I stood up and walked away, pleased that we’ve crossed into a new realm of exploration, where not every new floor discovery becomes a choking hazard or a Mr Yuck moment.

I glanced back one last time and he was looking at me – hands empty – mouth closed — eyes big.

Probably still grateful even if Notre Dame doesn’t win,

The Lees

This entry was posted in crawling, grabbing, Parenting lessons -- Don't try this at home and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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