and she’s off
wooo hoooo and aaaggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh
One year, one week and one day since she was born … at around midday on 11th February Hope crawled for the first time!
She’s taken tentative moves before now, and on Sunday she did managed to sit upright with her legs crossed beneath her and sort of shuffle in a very neat fashion almost half way up the aisle during the last hymn but until yesterday she had not really showed much interest in actually crawling. Then, yesterday, in a lovely airy sitting room in Lincolnshire just after I’d had a bath and came down to greet Hope and my friend Joan who’d been having a wonderful time playing together and watching the birds outside it happened. Hope was sitting on the floor playing with her rabbit and turned and spotted a pile of magazines under the table and that was it, she was off … right hand, left hand, right knee, left knee … she made it half way across the room and then sat down looking a bit surprised and turned and came back to me and then sat and looked shocked and turned and shuffled on her bottom a few inches before sort of flopping forward onto her hands and knees and hesitantly but very deliberately and delightedly crawling towards the magazines. She arrived and triumphantly pulled out a Travel supplement … which seemed appropriate!!
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry … real pride in her achievement and delight in her excitement at achieving unaided momentum but deep down inside thinking oh yoikes how am I going to cope with work, with the house and everything … just Hope and I!? I know that seems naive and silly to everyone else with children but I can’t quite believe it!!! I’ve become very accustomed to being able to work sitting at my computer with Hope playing on the floor just to my left, when she wanted me she’d lean over and pull my trouser leg or say Mum mum mum mmmmm, she’d sit happily and play for up to two hours at a time and it felt wonderful, companionable and relaxed the two of us ‘working’ together … now she’s going to be off exploring so that option is gone to me. Someone suggested putting a travel cot up in the room, which is a great idea and I will do but I think it will be for emergencies like when I need to dash to the loo or answer the door or perhaps be on the phone, I imagine that when she suddenly realises that the world is open for a small girl to explore the idea of being contained won’t be a popular one.
I’ve gone round putting plug covers onto sockets and so on but in an old very full house there is alot of ‘stuff’ and also what my mother proudly calls ‘vintage dust’ (at our house and at my mother’s house) … and what about the floor boards they could be a bit splintery for her little knees … it will all be hectic but obviously fine when I’m not working or trying to, but getting things done will suddenly become more of a challenge I’m sure. Ahh well, we’ll surmount it I’m sure and she’ll build a strong immune system! We have stair gates and have put the bleach high up and in boxes … and I’m sure every time she crawls I’ll find something else that needs to be lifted out of range or small fingers or a potential sharp table corner … there will be bumps I guess and we’ll have to deal with those, we’ve been lucky, so far the only tiny mark she’s had was when she scratched her own nose and I hadn’t cut her nails enough and it left a little scratch mark. I think I’m going to find it hard not to become paranoid … which isn’t me at all.
The other difficulty will be that it will be so much harder for my mother to sit and look after her, in her mid 80s Granby is still very active and mobile but she can’t dash about or bend and lift so I think the happy afternoons conducting teddy orchestras and having tea parties with the dolls might be on hold for a little while. Hope is harder to hold as well, an excited squirmy person keen to be free to explore her world.
Maybe it means that she’ll get more tired if she’s more active and have longer naps and earlier nights and I’ll be able to ‘get things done’ then, but I’m not so sure … the day she’s at her incredible child minder will become even more sacrosanct and precious in terms of work, paperwork, tidying and so on… I must become more organised, and I also must become tidier.
Hmmmmmm well, I guess she isn’t a toddler yet but she doesn’t seem like a baby now … I wonder what the bit between baby and toddler is called?
Development is fascinating, how must it be to put the world in context, to learn what is safe or unsafe, what is edible or inedible, what things do, what things are and well pretty much everything … it’s no wonder small people get so overwhelmed from time to time and just have paddies. There must suddenly be a need to try to control just some of their environment … I guess that is where the terrible twos will come in.
Hope is later than most of her little peers in being mobile; Lydia moved by rolling from about 6 months and has been walking now since she was about 10 months, Evie has been toddling since about 10 months and even Alfie, Hope’s little boyfriend, is showing signs of wanting to walk and he’s only just 10 months … Hazel born 4 days before Hope has been walking for ages and Alice born within 2 hours of Hope is also now a veteran walker … so now Hope can join in and we will have to move away from the safety of the baby corner at playgroup. That feels sad as I’ve loved sitting on the soft padded mats looking out at the other children belting about and enjoying seeing Hope playing quietly or watching … now she’ll be off pushing things around and playing with the rest of them. My sore knees will be a problem as she gets faster, it takes me a while to get up from the floor and even longer to sit down on it but we’ll find a way, we’ve done ok so far, this is just the next stage of our adventure (she said slightly frightendly!!).
Right then, off to baby proof the bathroom and the sitting room and do battle with the travel cot for this room and to do some hoovering, dusting and general sorting out of stuff.
Ha! Not only did I manage to have a baby, and not only do I have a one year old now she is crawling … I am really filled with awe and wonder at the whole journey … and at what my girl can do. Crawling … cripes, and dancing too, she’ll be walking next!!!
This seems a good time to re-read the poem that was written for Hope and I when she was born by her ‘ungod’ mother … it was also read at her christening … Hope is dancing … Esperanza!!!
How exciting … hurrah for Hope.