Alice doesn’t really (and really doesn’t) like to be cradled anymore. I think she knows it means it is time to sleep, and since she does not want to sleep, she arches her back and twists and squirms to be let down, to be let go, to get going again.

The only exception is after her bath, when I have swaddled her up in one of the big towels. Then she likes to be cradled. She really sinks into it. No kidding, it’s the sweetest thing.

Just before she started going to day care, or maybe it was just after, David and I wondered about what happens when a child achieves some milestone – crawls for the first time, maybe, or says a first word – when the parents aren’t around to see it. Do the caregivers tell the parents they have missed this momentous thing? Or do they spare us?

One morning a couple of weeks ago, I set Alice down in her classroom near where one of the caregivers was sitting, then turned around to sign her in. While my back was turned, the woman said, “Oh! You walked!”

I don’t believe it.

But this morning, with both of us there to vouch for it, she took a few little steps – halting and graceless, but undeniable steps –  between our bed and a rocking chair.


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