Hey, Chiara started walking yesterday!
She lumbers, lurches, waddles and generally teeter totters her way about, but she is definitely not holding onto anything for at least several steps!
We are trying but haven’t succeeded in taking good photos of it.
It all started last evening when she let go of my leg and took one step to reach the coffee table. Oh my god! I shrieked.
Then Luke and I stood about 10 feet apart and encouraged her to walk from one to the other. At first she held onto our fingers tightly, but would let go and then continue to walk several steps before collapsing into our arms.
When she finally reached one or the other of us, she was so excited she would clap!
Then we took out the video camera and she reverted back to crawling. Oh well. You’ll have to take our words for it! Chiara has begun to walk.
The scene: Chiara and I are lying on Luke’s and my bed, which, because we are squatting in Chiara’s bedroom until we do some minor electrical work in our bedroom, is the family bed for the next two weeks. It’s 8:45, and I’m trying to nurse Chiara to sleep. I’m sleepy but don’t want to fall asleep because I haven’t even eaten dinner yet and have a few things yet to do. So, I spy my laptop and without disturbing Chiara too much, pull it onto the bed with us. Then I wait a little bit until, I hope, Chiara is too sleepy to be distracted by the Mac sounds or the keyboard.
OK. I open the laptop and it makes a welcome noise, then the screen lights up. ChiaraÂ registersÂ the commotionÂ and starts to wiggle like she’s got to sit up and check out what’s going on.
Oh well. My sleepyhead daughter is now wide awake and staring at my laptop. On it is a background image of Chiara and her dad, from several months ago at the Cherry Blossom Festival. Their heads are close to each other and they’re smiling while lying on the grass.
Chiara appraises the image and smiles. She points and makes some bababa sounds. Then, unexpectedly, she smacks her lips a couple times and leans over to me and gives me a peck on the lips. Smiles. sits back and looks at the screen again. She smiles and points at the screen and seems to be telling me something but I can’t understand. She laughs. Then she smacks her lips, leans over and kisses me again. Smiles.
She repeats this a couple more times. Then she looks at me and sticks out her tongue. I stick out mine. She laughs. We start to ape each other by sticking out our tongues in all different ways. She laughs and laughs. When we stop sticking out our tongues at each otherÂ she goes back to nursing.
I can only guess at what was going on in her head. What I think is that she was telling me that she feels loved by her dad, and by me, and she wanted to share her love, too.
That night she didn’t go to sleep until after 10. Luke came home to find us awake, and Chiara smiled when she saw him, then gave him some lip smacking kisses. She eventually drifted off to sleep lying on Luke’s stomach.
This is the photo that launched a dozen lip smacking baby kisses
All the world is a playground for Chiara. I am constantly amazed at her determination–and her skill–at winning over total strangers with her charm. As one subway rider said to me when he met Chiara, “Someone famous has said, ‘A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.'” Chiara clearly embraces this adage.
Last night we were out so late beyond Chiara’s bedtime that I was embarrassed to be seen in public at all. But what can you do? Sometimes you are just so eager to be out and haven’t planned in advance for a babysitter, so you bring the baby with you. And next thing you know, it’s 9:15 and you get ready to leave the party. But then the hostess says the birthday cake is about to come out so you wait. And then the candles are blown and you say your goodbyes and it’s 10!
But Chiara does make it much easier on us by being in a good mood regardless of how tired she might feel. When we entered the subway, it was crowded with the wide variety of people who would be out on a saturday night. Against the doors were two men dressed in what i would call urban attire–baggy jeans, earphones, serious expressions on their faces to go with their look. In other words, the Big Prey. Chiara didn’t even warm up with the grandma types on the train who smile and wave at her. She fixed her eyes on one of the guys at the door and waved at him. Then she smiled. Then she drew her hand close to her cheek, squinted her big brown eyes and waved again — the cheeky wave!
What could he do? She had him at “Hello.” He managed a wee little smile and gave a little wave around hip height so it wasn’t so obvious. He never broke from his slouching position leaning against the door, though. He wasn’t going to roll over on his back in total surrender! But he knew. She had him.
This past Wednesday we pulled ourselves together and set out for Ikea to buy some sundry items for our apartment. We discovered that they have really built up their children’s offerings, and happily chose a duvet cover and considered buying a cute armoire with oversized door pull and feet in bright colors. Then we spotted a hanging soft basket that we imagined would be a good place to store the proliferation of Chiara’s toys. But what color to choose? Her room is blue, should we choose pink? blue? green? I liked green. Luke liked blue. We held them up and asked Chiara, “Which color do you like Chiara?”
I don’t think Luke nor I were really expecting an answer. However, Chiara fixed each of us with her large brown eyes and seemed to be thinking. Then she looked at the two packages we held and pointed at the green!
I was so filled with love and pride for my daughter that I felt giddy. At 12 months, 3 weeks, she has grown so much. The fact that she could comprehend our question, even if it was just from our body language rather than our words, give it some consideration, and then make a choice–that is sophisticated and complicated thought-processing there, and I was so impressed.
So green it is. Although at the moment her bedroom isn’t ready enough for us to install her new hanging toy basket. But once we’re moved into our new digs comfortably, and have finished some minor but annoying renovations that we hadn’t expected to have to do, we’ll put that green basket up and hopefully, it is exactly what Chiara wanted.