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.
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.