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First Steps

Filed in:Alexandra

First Steps

November 14th, 2004  · stk

Picture, if you will, Holloween night. Alex was wearing her normal 'baby costume' (we decided not to trick-or-treat with her because she is too young and really, it would be more about US than HER and besides, neither our waistlines or our teeth would benefit from the consumption of so much confectionary treats). So we're at home, with what we consider is a huge bowl of candy, one which Alex was HUGELY interested in. The door-bell rings and surprise, surprise, there is Taylor with some of her friends - the first of over a hundred trick-or-treaters to visit our stoop that evening. Candy is doled out and soon the bell rings again - more strangely clad kids. We don't often get visitors, especially at the front door (most come to the back, where there is ANOTHER bell, with a different chime ... so you can tell if it's the front or the back). Alex, the social creature that she is, crawls to the front door and says "HI" and waves to everyone! (The total picture of cuteness, but of course, we're somewhat biased). To make a short story long, it's about two-thirds of the way into the night of ghosts and goblins, Alex is in the living room & the bell rings (yet again). "Alex, come look at the trick-or-treater's," says Mom, grabbing the large bowl, now with a pitifully small amount of candy, barely covering the bottom of the bowl, which we parsimoniously dole out, trying to make it last the night. Alex is holding on to a chair, out of sight of the front door, but close to the entry hall. Mom opens the front door & greets the kids, while Dad takes in the scene from his perch on the nearby couch. Alex, supremely interested in the commotion at the door, releases her grip on the chair and takes maybe five unsteady steps to the entry hall and looks on from a wobbly stance. "HI," she says, finally dropping to her knees and crawling, quite literally, out the front door to say "Bye" to the receeding group. Dad is proud as punch and mom has to take his word for it, because she missed the momentous occasion!

That was the beginning of a process that Alex has been improving on a daily basis. Some of you may have noticed the "news flash" that we posted to our homepage - which had a short video of Alex walking. (Click the cartoon in the upper right to view it). That was taken just the other day, only about 10 days after her initial unsteady wobble. What was, early on, a rare walking event, has now become daily fare. Though, we admit, she has yet to get up from the floor to take her steps, prefering to launch herself into a jerky trundle from a standing position. It is both joyous and painful to watch. Such obvious milestones are rare, mostly they're little things that we miss because we're 'too close' and see her every day. But still, each walk is a trip through a mine field, each unsteady sway so close to toppling her and so many hard objects to break her fall and her face. The other night she pitched forward into the coffee table (which, thankfully, has no sharp edges), but she still ended up with a supremely bruised lip and then there was the accompanying loud wail and alligator tears. The price of learning.

But, our baby girl is now "walking" and our job of tending has gotten MUCH more difficult.

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Updated: 30-May-2005
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