Friday, January 2, 2009


I couldn't wait for Marta to walk. For the first 12 months of her life, I pined for her independence every day. That's not to say I didn't appreciate her babyness or that I don't enjoy spending time with her. It's more that I became spoiled in having a toddler who can do just about anything on her own within reason (this morning she changed channels on the TV to find Dora. I know lots of kids can do this but our remote control is tricky and I was impressed.), and I'm not used to following someone around every second of every day anymore. It's strange but I guess fairly universal that moms tend to forget the taxing parts of parenthood. Just ask any in-law, right? (Wink-wink.) (This is not to imply anything negative about my own in-laws, who are great. I'm simply commenting that our parents seem to have forgotten most of the hard stuff, and reminisce about how they "just did this" or how they were "more relaxed/more vigilant/more creative/etc." when they were new parents. Do I even need to explain this?)

Anyway. Now that Marta is walking, it's not all I had it cracked up to be in my mind. In fact, I'm starting to remember putting up gates, taking down knee-high choking hazards and padding every edge in our house (much to Trevor's disgust, because those corner pieces aren't cute). 

These days, even with the new Christmas toys all over the floor, Marta only wants to walk. Unfortunately, she's not walking quite like I'd imagined (like a nearly-3-year-old, I mean). Do you remember how a baby walks? Arms raised, feet stomping, knees up-knees down, wobble-wobble. So that leaves me stooped down, rushing along behind her, arms raised halfway, elbows bent to form an imaginary inner tube around her in case she comes crashing down in any direction. It's a lovely look for me.

It also leaves me with my back turned to Berit most of the day, running away from her and after Marta. Of course, I hate this. 

I was thinking today about when Berit was in this stage, and I don't remember it passing quickly. This is my job for the next few months. My girlfriend Beth, who has twin boys a couple months older than Berit, and I used to joke that "when they're 18 months old everything will be different." (We now customize this joke for whatever stage is next in our kids' lives.)

But it did give us hope. It's not that I don't love my baby, and I know I'll miss her roly-poly cuddliness when she's a toddler. But I'm looking forward to letting her go a little, and playing as a family instead of one-on-one, or worse, one-on-one and one alone. 

As for now, you can always find me hovering around our Little One, supporting her walk to freedom and fantasizing about brushing my teeth instead.

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