Touch of Spice

Made for film

They always choose their dad's side, but that doesn't matter, because in the heat of battle, they're more hindrance than help, and in the attempt to capture my arm, 10-year-old Alex lodged his foot in his dad's mouth.

I was like a twister game gone horribly wrong.

When the war is over, we all stop, take a deep breath, smile and attack again.

In the end, it doesn't matter whose side they're on, we're all in one knot, going through it together and defending all. That's what family is all about.

That's what you get when you enlist in the parents' army -- an elbow in the side, some pulls at the heart and tears caused by both the good times and the bad.

As I watched Nikki take her first step last night -- I knew (I don't forget often, but there are times ...) it's all worth it (someone will dig this column up when she's 15 and hold it against me, I'm sure).

It's been a long wait for her to decide that step was worth her time and she wasn't sure what the big deal was, except she loves the attention and the shouts of "yeah" and clapping were exactly the right sort.

The minute Nikki rose to her feet, Katie ran over and grabbed her hands to help her walk as she's seen mom and daddy do.

That usually ends in a tangle of arms and legs with tears coming from one or both girls, so we begged Katie away.

Turns out Nikki didn't need her anyway -- well, for about the first two steps. Diapers are good for something. They get a lot of use during the learn-to-walk stage.

As never happens in my house (or in my life to be honest) I was prepared and ready for such a joyous event and the video camera was within reached and the battery charged.

Unfortunately the sounds of the joyous moment included, "there's siser," and "tha's Wikky!" punctuated every now and then with "Katie, don't touch!"

She's fascinated with the video camera. The minute I pull it out, she hurries to my side to see who comes up on the screen. The only time I can film her is by twisting the viewfinder around upside down so she can see herself as she performs. The camera automatically flips the image upright.

But, when I did the replay, I discovered the image played back upside down. So we've got footage of Katie, seemingly on her head, dancing and singing (sort of) about the little spider that crawled up the spout.

Over and over.

I want so badly to film her dancing and singing, but she catches me every time.

I was able to get a minute or two of her clomping around wearing nothing but a diaper and a pair of plastic high-heels with large, gaudy green stone hearts across the front.

She loves hearing how pretty she is and what a big girl she's become.

We love watching her wobble across the floor, taking a step and accidentally kicking her shoe across the room.

Video cameras are wonderful inventions. They show personality like still pictures never do.

The problem is, it's not as easy to drag them out and show them to potential boyfriends either.

Getting those special moments captured for all of posterity is important given the fact that I'm a little lax in the baby-book entry arena.

Of course, it's never handy for those spectacular moments worth $10,000 on America's Funniest Home videos, like when Katie plucked two white bows off Christmas packages and ran around with them stuck to her boobies.

And it doesn't work for those special moments of sweetness when your baby smiles into your eyes, pets the side of your face and then snuggles down into your shoulder to sleep.

Those moments just have to be locked into your mind and shown only when most needed.

That would be times of anger and frustration -- they're sure to come, and sure to be as fleeting and it's not advisable to even try to capture them on film.

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