Obstacles

“Pens!” A collection of markers lean into one another in a navy plastic cube atop the desk. “Pens!” She wants to touch the pens. She has seen them and they are now what is on her mind. “Pens, a-ha!” She is pointing at the pens, waddling towards them pointing her tiny finger in their direction. She is thirty-two inches tall. She has been alive for nineteen months. There is a path on the floor that leads to the side of the desk where the cup that holds the pens sits. The cup is on the edge of the desk. She follows the path with her eyes, places one foot in front of the next.

“Oh no.” It’s a business card. It is stuck to her foot. She lifts her foot and the card comes up with it, it’s glossy side adhering to her heal. She puts her foot back down. She lifts her foot, the card again lifts with it. She puts her foot back on the ground, somehow frees herself from the card, and steps backwards. This card has to be considered, laying in the middle of the already narrow path to the desk, to the cup on the desk, to the pens in the cup, "a-ha."

There is only enough space between the soft grey box and the card on the floor for one of her feet. Opposite the grey cube is the teal plastic case that holds the machine. The card is near teal case, blocking half the path to the pens. She has to stay close to the soft grey box. She has to utilize a side step.

She moves in, with her butt facing the grey box, focuses on avoiding the sticky card on the floor, careful to get past the card. "Oh no!" She’s not facing the direction of the pens in the cup on the desk. She side steps right, again passing the card back to the open part of the room, erasing all progress to this point to reassess the situation.

“Pens!” She spots the pens, from her original vantage point, her purpose is revealed to her again. She pivots to her right wiggling her head between soft grey box and pesky business card on the floor. She side steps, side steps again, gets past the card and is facing them, reaches her arm to the top of the desk for some guidance, but her hand lands on a matchbox. It slides under her weight. She nearly loses her footing, she readjusts her wrist against the desk, stabilizes.

“M-hmm.” She shakes the matchbook. She’s quite pleased with the light shaking noise that occurs with each shake. She shakes the box several times. She stares back to the room, giggling, pleased more with each shake. She turns back, as if she is turning the thought in her head with each shake, what was it that I was - Pens!

She lifts the matchbook high above her head and places it deeper on the desk than where she originally found it. She places her hand back on the desktop and again her hand slides over an object. It’s a folded receipt. The paper slides under her weight, she slides it off the desk and to the floor.

“Uh-oh. Uh-oh.” She looks down at the paper, realizes this too is something she’ll need to avoid. She bends from her waist and sweeps at the thing, using her hand like a broom. “Haaaaa.” She again places her hand on the desk and steps her last step. She is now within reach of the pens. She reaches in and grabs one with her left hand. “Pen!” Then she looks at her right hand, realizing she is still holding zebra, that she has, in fact, been holding zebra during this whole quest. She must let go of zebra to grab more pens.

She places zebra’s head on the desk. His body pulls him off and to the floor. She picks zebra up from the floor and places zebra’s head on the desk. Zebra’s body pulls zebra back to the ground. This happens several more times. She abandons zebra, looking back to her original goal. She reaches into the cup and grabs a second pen.

“Two pens! Haaaaa!” She looks from one pen to the next. She surveys them. Places one pen atop the soft grey cube and reaches for another pen. “Haaaaa!” She places the second and third pen on the soft grey cube. She reaches for another pen, then another. Then she puts both pens back. She looks to the soft grey cube and picks up the other recently discarded pens and places them back in the navy plastic cup atop the grey desk which sits along the white wall.

Then she reaches for another object.

“Wait, those are scissors!” She pauses and looks back at her daddy. She lowers her arms, picks up the business card, waddles over and hands it to him, clearing the path for next time.