Thursday, July 3, 2008

Baby Steps

Watching my child and her determination to stand has been such an inspiring experience for me. She grabs hold of whatever is at hand, using her little arms to pull herself up, wriggling her legs underneath her just so and then she pops up. Sometimes it is awkward and shaky and sometimes she has the fluidity of motion that is only evident in the more experienced. Regardless, I clap every time she reaches the full standing position because I want her to know how proud I am of her accomplishment. But I also clap because she makes me so happy. Her smiles are my drug. And I am totally hooked.

Unfortunately, this determination brought about it's first bloodshed yesterday. Ironically, she did not fall on any of the surfaces that I feared would cause her trouble. It happened as I sat cross-legged and she was climbing on my legs, pulling herself up as she is wont to do. Just as she reached full standing position, her legs gave out on her and she toppled. On her way down, she hit her lip on my knee. Although it didn't feel terribly hard, it was enough to cause her teeth to cut into her lip. It was the first time I have seen blood coming out of my child, other than in a controlled fashion, like at the doctor's office. It was awful. Beyond awful, because I felt like it was my fault.

I immediately scooped her up and burrowed my face in the crook of her neck whispering I love you and it's okay while I carried her to the sofa. I gently laid her down so I could get a good look at her lip. A thorough inspection showed that although it was still bleeding, it was not serious. There were no tears. She was so calm. Far more so than I. As Neil hovered, the worried papa, I gave her a little Eskimo nose kiss. She smiled, as she always does, and I knew we were okay.

I have watched her pull herself up dozens of times. Almost every one of those times, she has fallen down. Sometimes softly onto her bottom, but lots of times with a thud and a roll. She has bruises all over her body from her efforts. There is a big part of me that wants to hold her up and catch her when she falls. But there is another part of me that knows that I can't do this. That doing this will be a disservice to her. She needs to learn how to pull herself up and she needs to learn how to fall right or not to fall at all. And she needs to learn how to stand on her own.
All I can do is clap.


  1. Oh, hon, it gets easier, I SWEAR! ER trips, stiches, vaccinations for 3 kids, broken bones and multiple wounds into parenthood and I can testify ... it DOES get easier. You'll always be sad for them, but it's all a part of growing up, as a child AND a mom.

  2. Isn't it amazing how little ones know exactly what they are supposed to do, and then they use whatever resources they have to do it? :) Glad she's OK.

  3. She's a cutie! I remember those days & miss them often (my girls are 8 & 11.) I remember always being a little bit in awe of how excited I would get when my kids would learn something new--so exciting! Enjoy.


Give me some sugar, baby!