Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Only Time I Will Ever be Happy to See Her Standing on the Couch

The Girl is standing! She needs help to get there, but once you prop her up, she can stand while holding onto the couch!

The look on her face was priceless. Pure surprise. Her knees wobbled, but she stood up for close to a minute before falling on her behind. (The other function of diapers – they’re like airbags for wobbly walkers.)

I think the exersaucer is the key. She loves it, and standing in it has strengthened her legs. She likes to bounce in it, when makes a lot of noise, generating complaints from The Boy that she’s too loud.

When he was her age, it sounded like a freakin’ freight train in the living room.

To the chagrin of The Wife, The Girl has inherited my eyebrows. I try to reassure The Wife that Brooke Shields has done quite well for herself, but she remains dubious. The good news is that they give The Girl an unusually expressive face; we always know exactly what she’s thinking. Last week we gave The Girl a very small taste of mostly-melted ice cream – she sucked in her lip, knit her brow, glared, then lit up, smiled, started moving her arms quickly, and laughing. All this in five seconds. No protective ambiguity at all, and bless her for it.

She isn’t crawling yet, but she’s close. She can prop herself up on her arms and push herself around, legs flailing behind her, so it won’t be long. She already goes for The Boy’s toys; once she gets some velocity, all hell will break loose.

It’s different this time. With The Boy, we were first-time parents, exhausted and scared pretty much all the time. Each new developmental stage brought pride and (especially) relief. With The Girl, since she’s likely to be our last, each new stage still brings pride and relief, but also a kind of sadness. We’ll never have anyone that young again. Putting away the bassinet was tough; putting away the exersaucer in a few months will be, too. As exhausting as this age is, there’s a sweetness about it. When I get home from work and The Girl sees me, she smiles and giggles and makes that cooing noise that only babies make. She won’t do that for much longer. I’ll be insanely proud when she starts talking, of course, but for now, I just want to enjoy the cooing a little longer.