Saturday, April 19, 2008

46 Weeks

It’s been a long time since I did one of these (again), and there’s a lot to report. The first order of business is mobility. Not two days after I wrote the last update (at 38 weeks), in which I stated that she was still only doing her Army-crawl, she started full-on hands-and-knees crawling. She’d done it before, a little, but it was not her primary mode of getting from place to place. Then something clicked, and there was no stopping her. Here’s something you may not know: babies can crawl very fast. Turns out my child is also fearless. She climbs stairs, she dives headfirst off things, she tries to follow the cats down basement stairs or out onto the porch. She climbs on stacks of boxes, scales open dresser-drawers, and has an attraction to hot ovens, dishwasher trays full of knives, and strangers’ large dogs. I have spent nearly every waking moment since that first crawl chasing after her, and have had a number of small heart attacks.

Two days ago, I was standing in the kitchen of my new house chopping vegetables to make Thai green curry. I suddenly realized that Piper was no longer underfoot unloading the bottom kitchen drawer that I had stocked with sippy cups and Tupperware in hopes of keeping her out of cupboards full of less baby-friendly items. At the same time I realized this, I heard some very I’m-so-pleased-with-myself baby giggles and looked up to discover the front door had blown open and my daughter was most of the way outside. She had a handful of dried leaves headed towards her mouth and a terribly pleased expression on her face. I bolted for the door and managed to keep her from eating the dried plant life. She grinned at me and laughed. This is more or less how the days go now – one rescue after another.

Particularly since, in addition to crawling, she continues to cruise the furniture and walls, and still loves to have someone hold her hands and walk her around, but now she can walk one-handed. Sometimes it’s our idea for her to go one-handed; sometimes she demands it. Every time, I marvel at her locomotion, the jerky halting steps that propel her forward. If we let go of both her hands, she can stand on her own. She only falls when she realizes she’s not holding on to anything. We have even gotten her to take a couple of STEPS at a time without help. Steps! My baby, walking! Not so very long ago, this was inconceivable to me – that I would be the mother of a toddler.

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