The Further Adventures of a Precocious Toddler
I realized I haven’t talked much, lately, about the family, or on what B.T.’s been up to, recently. On the off-chance that the trials and triumphs of a toddler are of actual interest to you… well… you shall now be satisfied.
(Note: precociosity not necessarily included…)
B.T. has been progressing solidly on all developmental fronts, despite the natural anxieties of his first-time parents. He never quite picked up how to crawl, but mobility is quite definitely not a problem for the little tyke. He scoots on his bottom, reaching forward with his hands and pulling himself along, his little legs darting forward with each scootch. It is a hilarious thing to say. His daycare teachers tell us that he can scoot faster on his bottom than most of his classmates can crawl – and he’s one of the younger babies in his class.
He’s also filling out his vocabulary. He’s been saying things like “da-da-da” for a good while, now. But recently, to the delight of Dear Wife, he added “ma-ma” to his repertoire. What’s more, “Ma-ma” seems legitimately to refer exclusively to Dear Wife. When he’s distressed or reaching for her or looking toward her he’ll often say “ma-ma”. “Da-da”, meanwhile, seems to refer to virtually everything else, myself included but not exclusively. I’m not sure, but that might mean that “ma-ma” is his first real word: that is, a word with meaning.
The other contender for first word would be “bye-bye”, which sounds like “ba-ba”. Regardless, he’s learned to wave “bye-bye” when someone waves when they are coming or going, and he occasionally says “ba-ba” when they do. It’s unclear, then, if “ba-ba” really has any meaning since he doesn’t say it every time he waves. He’s also learned recently to clap and to shake his head no with hilarious intensity (although he doesn’t really mean “no” by it; he means, “you seem to find it funny when I shake my head no, so I’m going to keep doing it”).
He continues to develop his walking skills, as well. He’s been convinced he wants to learn to walk since before he was independently mobile. He’s still awful at it, but he’s improving. He can pull himself up on the furniture now, and more recently learned to lower himself back down to the floor as well. And he “cruises”: that is, he’ll walk along the furniture while holding on tight with both hands. But he loves, loves, loves for Mommy and Daddy to let him grab their fingers with his two hands, to pull himself up, and to walk, walk, walk, walk all over the house while supporting himself with Mommy or Daddy. His balance is terrible, and he’d fall if he let go, but try to set him back on the floor safely on his bum after he gets in a walking kick and he’ll throw a fit. “Don’t you understand that I’m walking, here,” he wails, “I don’t have time to sit or scoot or play.”
Yes, that’s his personality shining through in ways we never expected. He’s not really like Dear Wife and I… we’re both relatively reserved people, for the most part. I mean, we each have our passions and things that excite us, but we’re never that intense about it.
But B.T. is intense. He’s passionate. About everything. He’s a man on the move, and the world has no business slowing him down. He knows what he wants (usually what he wants is trouble), and he knows he can get it. Dear Wife and I strive for a little balance in our parenting methodology. We don’t want to spoil him, you know, and we don’t want to turn him into a jaded cynic, either. But, quite frankly, we can’t hardly keep up with this guy.
We’re paranoid to leave the room for even a second because he can scoot from one end of the room to the other and dig himself into some trouble faster than we think should be possible. Once, for instance, I was in the kitchen and Dear Wife was watching him across the room. Before she knew what had happened, B.T. had scooted himself over to the dining room table, and started pulling himself up on the chair. Except the weight was all wrong and he ended up pulling the chair over on top of him. Mommy was there in the blink of an eye, of course, soothing and cooing him as he cried about the chair falling over. It wasn’t long, though, before he was over it – “I mean, the chair falling over thing was so thirty seconds ago” – and he was off scooting around looking for some other way to get into trouble.
This has been our life. At least until we lay him down to bed, we breathe a sigh of relief, and then take stock of all the housework we now have to do before we can hit the sheets for some well-earned zzzz’s. He’s fun, but he’s a handful, and it’s pretty tough to work around him and get things done around the house…
We realize that the advent of actual walking is only going to precipitate even more trouble.
Man… I love that little guy. Makes me smile just thinking about it.