I used to wonder, when we started taking Alice to day care, whether the caretakers would keep it from us if she hit any milestones when we weren’t there to see. If, out of pity, they wouldn’t tell me that she crawled for the first time or said her first word while I was at work and missed it.
Not too long ago, when i picked Soledad up from day care, her teachers told me she had taken a step that afternoon. Maybe her first step. But it didn’t feel bad to hear after all because I know now that first steps last for weeks and weeks. That one day we will realize she’s a walker, but we won’t be able to pinpoint exactly when it happened.
Last weekend, while Alice was napping and Soledad was playing with blocks between David and I in the living room, she stood up, stretched her arm to hand over a brick and, when she couldn’t quite reach, took two halting steps into my lap.
We clapped. She cheered. She sat back down.
She prefers to walk sideways. I call it a crab walk. Her teachers call it an electric slide. She is most confident on her feet when she is carrying something from one end of the room to the other.