Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kate and Crew 33: Teddy's First Steps

32. First Steps (July 2, 2014) 

        He was supposed to be napping. That is, Kate and Mister both wanted to nap, and it was the proper time in the afternoon for Teddy's nap. Kate was lying down on the loveseat on the cooler middle floor, but Mister was upstairs, trying to nap in the room next door to the disagreeable, not-interested-in-napping beast. Eventually, the wild banshee screams (alternated with wide, blue-eyed flirtatious smiles) convinced Mister that he was serious about getting up and playing downstairs. 
         Fortunately, once he got his freedom, Teddy could write a book (or he could once he learned a few things about language) on how to be a low-maintenance baby. Mister brought him down and deposited him on the living room floor in front of Kate and then went back upstairs to continue his nap. 
         Kate turned her head and stretched out her legs into a more comfortable position on the couch and said, "Hi Teddy." He stood by the edge of the couch, gave her a toothy grin and babbled, "Gaga-baou-ba-GA-ga?" Gosh it was cute. But Kate was too tired to get up and play. She lay on the couch and watched him crawl back and forth, popping up on the couch like a little jack-in-the-box, and then sitting down just as abruptly to crawl somewhere else. Sometimes, he'd walk along the couch, but inevitably, the couch would not be going where he wanted to go, and in such cases, he'd stand for a moment, undecided. Then, when he didn't just crash over in his haste to move onward, he would carefully and thoughtfully lower himself down to an almost-sitting position and then pop forward on his knees to take off again. Occasionally, Teddy launched himself forward before his arms were ready, and Kate couldn't help but laugh at his over-enthusiastic and terribly awkward inchworm scramble.
          But at one particular moment, Kate noticed Teddy's bright gaze on her. He was standing with one hand on the couch kitty-corner to her own, where he had been investigating a binder. He gently lowered himself a few inches, paused, and farted. Charming. Then he stood again and gave Kate a delighted giggle. Kate lifted herself slightly and motioned to him. "Come over here," she called, "you can do it. Come here, buddy!" And, as if it were just what he'd always done, Teddy lifted his hand off the one couch, and walked five steps forward to the other. 
delighted to walk outside
(about a month later)
         Kate was stunned. He did it so naturally! (Of course, so many people do.) He wasn't instantly a proficient walker, but this was the breakthrough. Several consecutive steps--that's what he needed to get his confidence up to keep trying. And Teddy certainly was pleased with himself. He stood giggling by Kate's head and drooling onto her arms as she praised his success. Tired as he might be, there was now not the remotest possibility of a nap. Teddy was ready to practice walking all afternoon. Up, down, up, down, crash, and roll, he kept at it...and though sometimes he got a couple consecutive steps, he never had the same success as that first time. 
         As Teddy passed Kate again, on yet another round about the room, Kate scrunched her nose. "Whew! You're stinky," she accused. Hm...she thought, as she felt body pressing heavily into the couch, I hope it can wait until your Daddy gets up from his nap...

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