Day 22 Slice of Life Story Challenge: First Steps

sliceoflife

I took off my snow boots in the lobby of Jackson’s daycare. No shoes allowed in the infant room.

Before I opened the door to go and pick him up and bring him home, I peeked through the classroom window and watched him playing with the other babies and Kerry, our favorite caregiver. One of my favorite things about Jackson’s daycare is Kerry. My second favorite thing is the one-way mirror that lets parents watch their kids in action.

Jackson was sitting, surrounded by toys, gleefully putting one toy into his mouth, and then another, making silly expressions. Another child, a toddler, a little older than Jackson, also had a toy in her mouth and was dancing back and forth in front of him, making him explode with laughter.

I opened the door and waved hello to Kerry.

“You didn’t tell us Jackson was such a great walker!” she exclaimed.

Huh?

What?

Wait.

What?

Walking?

My mind was working slowly. “Wait… he’s walking!?” I practically shouted.

Kerry’s face turned beet red. “Oh no! I shouldn’t have told you!” she stammered. “I thought for sure he must have been walking for a while now. He didn’t just take a few steps.  He’s been walking all around the room all day!”

For some reason, right at that moment I had a flash of memory–of the time I took Jackson out of the baby carrier, and set him down to discover that he had been carrying around a drum stick with him (as in, a stick… you know for drumming…), for what must have been an hour without me realizing. He held that drum stick in the air, tapped it on the floor and shouted, “Da da!!!” with a laugh. It was the funniest thing– like magic. Where did that drum stick come from? How did I not realize he had it this whole time?

That’s the exact feeling I had now, discovering that my baby could WALK.

Come to think of it, I had had this weird hunch that he had been practicing walking in his crib when we weren’t looking. I had been hearing all kinds of funny sounds–as if he were jumping on his mattress–but every I went in to get him he was just standing there, smiling. “Da da!” he would say.

Kerry apologized again and again, saying she would have told me differently if she had known it was his first steps.

Honestly, it was funny and so perfect for Jackson. Of course he wouldn’t just take a little step. Of course he would walk around all day like it was nothing.

I looked at Jackson, who now standing up with a toy hanging out of his mouth, laughing with his little friend. He looked over at me and clapped his hands. “Da da!!” he exclaimed.

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12 thoughts on “Day 22 Slice of Life Story Challenge: First Steps

  1. Ack- it must have been bittersweet knowing you missed his “first steps”, but he will have so many firsts in his life:) I loved the way you wrote your confusion in the middle.

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  2. “I had had this weird hunch that he had been practicing walking in his crib when we weren’t looking…” — this made me smile. I have this visual in my head right now. There will be plenty of milestones that you will be there for. Sorry you missed the walk.
    Kevin

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  3. I suspect Jackson will live much of his life this way. He’ll read for a long time before he shows you he can. He’ll be the fastest runner on the track team before he tells you he’s in a race. He’ll do things quietly, practicing, and then doing them: perfectly.

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  4. I can picture this sweet baby walking around in his crib, and then dropping the minute he hears someone coming. So many more first to come. Sometimes they let us be a part of it, and sometime they wait until they have it just right and surprise us!

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  5. I have been in Kerry’s position before. That is a horrible feeling. I bet Jackson is just one of those kids who likes to surprise and keep you on your toes. Especially now that he has found how to stand and walk on his. Love the repeating “Da da”. It made him come to life on the page.

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  6. Hooray for Jackson! He likes to keep his struggles from you and just give you the finished product. Maybe his first real talking will be a speech! I’m so glad you celebrated and weren’t just moping that you weren’t there. I loved reading your reaction!

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  7. How cute that he is walking around, practicing I guess, in his crib. When you open the door, he knows you’re coming to get him out, really isn’t hiding, but just getting ready. You have a lot to look forward to now. Next is climbing! It does sound like you have a wonderful caregiver!

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  8. I love that you recognize this was “just like Jackson” and that you compare it to the drumstick incident with such a sense of humor. Your smile comes out in these words and makes me smile.

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  9. I thought your slice is just beautiful. I was about to cry for you that he walked at daycare and you found out by Kerry telling you but then you were able to realize how fitting it was for Jackson to just get up and walk around the room all day. An amazing Momma moment for you to put the best spin possible!!! My own baby girl just started walking and so I really got your surprise of him doing something new! Thank you for sharing this slice!!

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  10. Oh, I love this. My baby took his first steps at daycare, too – and same thing – by the time I showed up, he was a full on walker! I love the vision of him keeping his skill a secret until his big reveal!! “Da da!”

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