Just moments ago Frances was playing with the dog rough and loud, stealing his toy and making him chase her, pouncing, yipping, everyone having a good time. It was fun to watch, with Frances laughing from her belly. At one point she wrestled his toy away and turned running for him to chase her, but when she whipped around she ran smack into the post that separates our family room and kitchen. A look of complete shock proceeded the necessary wail, a look so funny somehow that Mitch and I had trouble not laughing while we soothed her and kissed her head.
She doesn't do that kind of thing very often; she's a careful kid. Ever since she started moving around she's been that way. If she fell flat on her face climbing the stairs without the rail, well, she didn't do that again. Not Clark. He's so much more physical, and he'll pull the laundry basket over on himself trying to pull up on it, then he'll right himself and do it again. Mitch joked yesterday that maybe he's not the sharpest knife, but I suppose the reward for making his body learn and reach and move is much greater than the pain of having the edge of the laundry basket whack him on the cheek.
She hasn't climbed out of her crib again, for instance. It's funny how different kids are, straight from the womb, no doing of ours. That's a major reason I had more than one--to make this very clear to myself. I didn't want to be confused about my role in my kids' lives. I don't want to over estimate my influence, good or bad. As large as I loom right now, overall I will be just one of many influences that shape them. And much of who they are is imprinted before they even come to me.