In the doorway to the kitchen, they have stood barefoot, Sharpie in one hand, measuring tape in the other, one eye on the calendar, the other on the elusive three-, then four-foot mark. (Too briefly, they needed help.) Sometimes unrecorded months passed, then for a few weeks they would measure and chart each other every day, argumentatively, giddily, documenting a spurt of growth or a period of acute impatience.
Remain fixed as a camera and witness the gradual: morning glories blink, the sun rolls behind the Catskills, water replenishes the fussy downstairs toilet tank. Red light!—if you could freeze, if you didn't have to feed and clothe, romp and read, you would observe the invisible increment, catch the tooth in the act of breaking through the gum. Instead of clipping back their nails, you could hold their hands in the evening under a pool of lamp light and behold the waxing of ten moons, quick as an eclipse, sudden, the way tiny shadows lengthen when they dart out to the yard of late afternoon.