Sunday, May 30, 2010

Holy Crap or One Step at a Time

Bar took his first steps last Wednesday.  He took said steps while at a friends house for a play date.  A mommy friend asked me, "Is he walking yet?"  I scoffed at her in response and began to weave my usual yarn about how my boy, a content little bump on a log if ever there was one, would still need me to babywear him at his high school graduation.  "It suits me just fine," I said to her.  "Oh," she replied somewhat perplexed by my atypical lack of interest in the milestone of walking, "I only ask because he's cruising so well." Indeed he was cruising like crazy, taking laps of the kitchen island.  "Well, in this case, the two are not related."  And wouldn't you know it, Bar arrived at the end of the island, reached out as far as he could, finally steadying himself by just his little finger, and easy as anything, threw both his arms straight up in the air and step, step, lurched towards me wearing a smile as big as he was long.  I marked his great accomplishment, this toddler right of passage by screaming out,"HOLY CRAP!"  This, of course, startled him terribly causing him to fall right on his bum and begin to whimper.  I scooped him up in my arms to comfort him and he was instantly soothed - my baby returned to me and I could deny for a few minutes longer the little boy shaped creature that had suddenly switched itself for the infant I knew and loved so well.

Of course, none of this was sudden, really.  Bar was certainly late to get on the mobility bandwagon never even attempting to crawl until four days before he turned 11 months old, but once he got going, he kept going.  His recent enthusiasm for climbing has chased everything but my sturdiest lamps off of the end tables.  I did manage to salvage my favorite set of coasters before he pitched them into the oubliette behind my couch.  Finding myself now in possession of a mobile mountain goat of a toddler has been a harder adjustment than I would have imagined.  Days are so full.  We eat, go for walks, pet the cat, climb and fall off the couch, build towers, hide my dishtowels, topple over the dog bowl, and take hourly breaks to use his little toilet.  We read books, eat more, listen to music and dance, clap hands, assault the cat some more, practice yoga, visit the neighbors, and nurse.  All before noon.  His energy is inspiring until about 4 PM, when I am ready to crawl into a cave and hibernate or at the very least slink into the bathroom with a glass of bourbon and my laptop to poop and check my email in peace.   I am so tired.  My bones are tired and I suppose every mother could write this same post.  Still, I wouldn't trade this time; I believe it an investment in his future.  This constant effort to match and meet his endless energy with love, enthusiasm, and patience will surely pay off.  Right?

And so I look to Bar, as I often do, for inspiration.  Baby steps, I tell myself.  He's got the right idea.  In the face of what seems too great a leap, too much change, I'll try to throw my arms up, smile, and bravely take the next step.  If I stumble, well, I reckon my boy spends just enough time crawling around the floor still that we can lay there for a while, read a book maybe, have a cuddle, and then pick up and keep walking, walking, walking.

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