Henry is now upwardly mobile! And my word the transition from a few faltering steps to crossing the room to fall into the arms of a parent happens quickly. It has amazed me how quickly this skill gathers momentum. And with it, it is time for another attack of parental paranoia:
Pack away the ornaments! (we haven't)
Rubberise sharp corners! (errr...haven't done that either)
Get everything off the floor! (ummm...nope)
Protect the eyeline! (oh dear, this is beginning to get embarrassing)
Friends have warned us that walking changes things. But friends also warned us that crawling changed things. And I am sure talking will change things. As with all of parenting, in my opinion, the most important thing you can do is listen and then apply what makes sense to you. All people have ideas about how things should be done, and some of those ideas are great. However, you know you and your child better than they do, so not all the ideas will work. The trick is to sieve out the ones that will and use them. The joys of each stage of development have always outweighed the challenges. I am sure the same will be true of walking. Already one of my deepest pleasures in life is his hand reaching for a finger to clasp as he explores his world.
I will be honest, we have always had a fairly laissez-faire attitude to parenting Henry. He has been allowed a fair amount of independent exploration which has brought him into contact with a fair amount of non-toys. In fact, until recently, he had very few toys and was generally entertained by a box of cardboard tubes, empty bottles and the odd pan and utensil. What has become really noticeable for me is the joy he experiences in the simple things of life. There is nothing like a baby (do I need to stop calling him a baby now? Is he officially a toddler? I appear to have lost that chapter from my baby manual) to remind you of what is important. Happiness is a bird in the sky, a ball, a game of chase between mummy and daddy, a bath, bubbles, drinking from a cup, holding a hand, singing a song and walking around the garden.
It is not doing the dishes, putting away clothes, tidying up. I very often get caught up in things that I perceive as needing to be done and forget that they will wait but my baby boy is disappearing while I am not looking. With all things there is a balance to be struck, but Emily and Henry are helping to pull me back from missing out on him.
Now I need some rest as in the morning there will be birds to scream at and pots to bang.