Monday, December 17, 2007

Oh Boy--Look Who's Walking

We took these videos yesterday. I am not sure why a picture doesn't show up on the second one, but the video does work fine. They capture not only Miguel's new walking skills, but also his mother's verbal tics. Ack!

We need a story about when Miguel learned to walk. Other parents have these sun ray bursting through the clouds memories about the precise moment their child entered the exclusive club of bi-pedalism. My folks talk about the way I strode towards a blue jay and never looked back (adding symbolism to precision). A friend's daughter suddenly started walking at a pool this summer, which must have been joyous as well as slightly scary!

For the last few months, we have been ready to catch Miguel's first steps and weave them into some kind of tall tale. But we have been hampered by a lack of consensus on what counts as walking.

One mid-October evening, as Michael and I were leaving for a date, I saw Miguel take 2 stumbling steps forward to Jessica, his beloved babysitter, who was holding his bottle. I clapped and cheered (while briefly allowing myself to secretly wish he had walked to us) and figured he was well on his way to running circles around us all.

In the weeks that followed, he would repeat this two step every now and again, but it was more spatial miscalculation than walking. Some time around Thanksgiving, my dad, who was on a mission to facilitate and witness this milestone, got Miguel to lurch to his favorite new "toy," a tape measure. My dad retracted the tape, which had a magnetic and distracting effect on Miguel. He stumbled forwards, but then swayed back and landed on his bottom instead of letting momentum pile him in a face first heap of frustration. According to my dad, this was progress.

After Thanksgiving, we were back into the day care routine, and it is there that I suspect Miguel started taking off. On Thursday, Nov 29th, Kelly mentioned he had taken about five steps, and that he was really starting to walk. Really? I was a wreck dropping him off the next day. How could we be letting ourselves miss out on so many of these memories?

But he is not a wreck. Every day he wakes up with a smile on his face, ready to explore, love and be loved--by us as well as his relatives, friends and care givers.

And I am not convinced this walking story is finished. He tends to drift to the right instead of walking forward and he still has to pull up on something to come to a standing position. I think it's related to the torticolis. His physical therapist asked that we call her when he is routinely taking 10-15 steps at a time, which I will declare as having happened this weekend. Or maybe it was last week. . . .All I know is that it's getting harder and harder to keep up with him!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Miguel and Michael were up early this morning, being good neighbors. Michael shoveled and Miguel helped by nibbling down the snow drifts. He's teething again, so it was probably a good strategy.

I was out with Miguel yesterday for a stroll and more than one female elder suggested I shouldn't have him out in the cold. Now, I tend to second guess pretty much every breath I take, but it seems to me that human beings have been mucking around in winter for thousands of years. Taking him out for fresh air is far preferable to crackling in the dry house all day.

Our biggest challenge so far is that we can't seem to get his new boots on correctly--his heel just won't snuggle in all the way even though the shoes are plenty big. We even went to a fancy local shoe store to get fitted because we had no idea what we were doing! I would have loved plenty of unsolicited advice then. . . .
Click here for pictures of last week's snow frolic with Violet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

October 22, 2006

I finally wrote down the poem that has been kicking around my head since Miguel was born. I'm not sure I am done fiddling with it. At this rate, he'll be in college before I write another one.

You slipped into our world
While sun and moon
Still slept, snug

The phone rang
We raced to meet you

Short cut through the park
Where the long, pale fingers
Of your first sunrise
Flicked dew from tall grasses

The new moon
Followed close behind
A gentle witness

Have you met your baby?

The day arced
We held you
And listened
Breathless catching up

We tugged at your blankets
Trying to mimic
The nurses’ snug swaddle

Night fell
Still, we held

You wore an orange cap
That traced new orbits
As we swayed and swirled
in a tiny hospital room
for hours and hours
until dawn.