Last night I put to bed a child experimenting with walking on her own who was fully capable of inching her way one way or another short distances within a room. Lie her on her back in the crib and she'd flip to sleep on her belly. In the morning you'd find her still there, only she'd be doing modified baby push-ups trying to peek over her bumpers.
I woke up to someone else's kid. Or at least it seemed like it.
The big one got up first. Yelling because today was one of those days where his feet were unable to get out of bed and down the hall without me picking him up first. The yelling woke her majesty, who per usual, babbled happily to herself and then fell into progressively louder shouts of "MAMA!"
What was not usual, however, was how I found her. She wasn't craning her neck to peek up over the purple & green plaid fabric encased bumper. No. She was sitting trying to use the aforementioned bumper to stand herself up. My child dreamt up a way to go from laying down to sitting without my help.
We proceeded through our morning the way we always do. When everyone was nicely settled and happily playing -- and ignoring Mommy while doing so, I skipped down to sneak in a shower. When I got back it was apparent that Miss Thing had left "inching" behind for "get far enough from where you left me to wreak oodles of havoc." She emptied out a box of tissues and then moved on to the coffee table where she was working on pulling herself up.
Tissues cleaned up, baby newly diapered and dressed, children contently playing again with Mom. But the boy throws a wrench into our delirious happiness. He needs to use the bathroom and he wants help. So we leave Megs in the center of the living room next to her big toy basket which she normally is beyond content to knock over and empty. But not this time. This time she cried. I yelled back "You're ok Megan Rose. I need one minute to help your brother. We'll be right back."
And then we heard it.
Thud, thud, giggle, giggle. Thud, giggle, Thud. Thud, Thud, giggle.
It got louder and louder.
"I bet you your sister is in the hallway right this very moment." I said to Logan.
"Naw," he said confidently, "She can't go that far."
Thud, giggle, thud, giggle, giggle, giggle, thud. Louder and louder. Seemingly closer and closer.
"Ahh, well, maybe she *IS* in the hallway," he said.
He washed his hands before running out to investigate. He got just outside the door when he broke out into a fit of laughter - standing at my side as I yelped "How ever did you get here Megan Rose!"
She laughed from where she sat - just three feet max outside the bathroom door in our hallway. A good "half-the-house" type of trip.
And then she showed us. She leaned forward onto her knees, butt off the floor...and she sort of hopped. Again. Then again. Then again. Moving forward faster than we've seen her do it before. Stopping only long enough to giggle. When she got tired of hopping, she scissor kicked her legs - open and shut, open and shut. She used to just use this as a means of spinning in circles for a new view. She's since added "moving forward at an alarming rate of speed" to its short list of useful tricks.
After that Logan and I went on a hunt in the basement for baby gates well Meg napped. We've got one up between the Living Room and the kitchen. The other needs to be assembled still. I never really did need them with the boy.
She's gotten around quite a bit today. I put her down in front of the fridge so she could play with her oversized baby magnets while I explained to the monster that hijacked my 3-year-olds body for half the day that he was going to stay in his room until he was ready to be a human being again. (But maybe not in those exact words.) When I returned less than a minute later, Miss Thing was sitting a good 8 feet from where I'd put her, sticking her magnets on the metal (thankfully lidded) bucket we keep the dog's food in. She saw me enter the kitchen and laughed at me.
She later sat in the office/playroom while whined to a few friends about monsterboy's rotten afternoon and traded notes on who was ticking us off in the local Mom's group with one those IM'ing buddies. I placed Meg on the floor with some toys. Her brother was "resting" in the other room (which is code for watching a video while Mom hoped he'd be still long enough to fall asleep and return to the nice boy that actually lived with us in the morning but left sometime around the time we left StrideRite.) Megan decided she wanted to go visit the crankster. She bunny hopped and scissor kicked her way from the center of the decently sized sunroom to the doorway - she used its single step up into the house to pull herself up and was trying to figure out what to do next when I grabbed her up onto my lap and created a cascade of giggles by kissing her neck and tickling her feet.
She took a break from the "need to be in motion" when I broke out the finger paints. I had tried it earlier in the day as a means to distract her brother from his black cloud mood. All it did then was invoke a loud "NO!" from him. I tried again in the afternoon after one of those IMers suggested it and got the dirty look. So fine, whatever, maybe the baby will enjoy it. She did. And because she did, HE thought it worth his time. They both painted. They both wore paint. They both had fun.
And luckily both were happy and content MOST of the late afternoon after the painting episode. Megan used that time to decide she was ready to walk with the aide of a a push toy. Up and down the hall. Up and down the hall. Through the Living Room, into the bedrooms, up and down the hall. Giggle. Giggle. Chase big brother. Giggle some more.
In between it all she squashed in sizable strolls where she walked unassisted. Its a confidence thing for her now. It'll come. If she THINKS you're holding onto her overall straps, she walks without issue for a decent stretch. When she realizes you don't have her at all, she falls over. Its only a matter of time - and now the house is ready.