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Too clever by half.

2007-05-21 - 9:43 p.m.

Time marches on and I have not recorded the date that Grommet took her first set of more than 3 steps unaided (though, for the record, we did notice that her 7th tooth – bottom and just to the right of her middle two – has broken through her gums today). I do not mean to say that she’s walking, but she can walk. We have to trick her into it, but she can do it.

See, Grommet may have my husband’s face (on my shape of head), but she has her mother’s disposition in many ways: she hates to get water in her eyes; she wants things her way and heaven help the eardrums of those around her when she’s denied (I’ve grown out of that last bit, by the way); and she’s both stubborn and no daredevil.

When I was little my sister and the neighbour boy blithely launched themselves into the air from the hay loft in our barn over and over again, landing in the mow on the loose, fluffy hay. And I would stand there and watch. I’d stand at the edge, trying to will myself to try it because it looked like so much fun. I never jumped. Not ever. I don’t think I’ve ever even willingly jumped into the deep water from the side of the pool, forget off any sort of diving board.

Grommet, quite sensibly, realized some time ago that gravity has consequences. She lets go of anything and eventually unbalances and falls and she doesn’t like hitting the ground. This is very wise, in theory (Doctor, it hurts when I do this. Don’t do it then.). In practice, it means that she doesn’t want to walk unsupported. She’ll walk holding onto a “walking” toy. With us, when she’s got one hand gripping a finger, she’ll cautiously move forward, but it’s only when she’s got a good grip with both chubby little hands that she feels comfortable enough to careen around at full tilt, reeling like a drunken sailor. If she’s tired of this game (and it takes a lot of walking to tire her) she holds her arms up as if seeking a hug and when we’re suckered into picking her up she points imperiously in the direction she wants to go with an authoritative “Dah!”

Like any good parents, what we have done a few times is trick her: we grasp her hips and convince her that we’re right there to support her as she goes, then we let go and she doesn’t notice for about 5 steps. She’s onto us though. What she does now if we try to hold her hips is lean back constantly as she walks, so there’s no way we can let go without her knowing. Smart girl.

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