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04/05/2005

Leading with his chin

I've been carrying Charlie around a lot in the past few weeks, either in the sling or in my arms across my chest (if his mouth is jammed up against my armpit the pacifier doesn't come out so often). The good news is that he's gotten so used to being jounced into relative calm by my clumping around the upstairs -- eight laps with detours into every other room is a quarter mile -- that sometimes he stops screaming and heaves a big sigh of relaxation as soon as I pick him up crosswise.

The bad news is that his head sticks out. Our house was custom-built for a small man, we're told, and the doors are not very wide. The hallway is narrow and has sharp corners. Every time I go through a door, carrying Charlie point foremost, I'm half sure that this is the time I'm going to thwack his little skull. No matter how I angle my arms, Charlie is in the lead. It doesn't help that I've rammed my own shoulder or hip into a doorframe more times than I can count when I wasn't carrying the boy.

Thus far I've avoided disaster by fixing my eyes in terror on the clearance between Charlie and every bit of molding or sheetrock that threatens to clobber him as we walk. Gives an extra hitch to my steps that no doubt helps keep him disoriented and docile. As long as I never gain any confidence in my ability to keep him out of harm's way he should be fine. At least until he starts running into walls and doorframes under his own power.

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