Walker girl

For some months Grace has been up on her feet, cruising round the edges of furniture, pushing her wooden trolley.  She's one of the oldest babies in my mother's group and the last to walk. I haven't worried too much because she's a bumshuffler and apparently it's quite usual for bumshufflers to be late walkers, say at eighteen rather than twelve months. All the same, my heart swelled today at mother's group as she joined the toddler pack for the first time. She's still a little unsteady with that strange robot gait, but in less than a week everything has changed. Grace is now a walker girl.

On Monday we had our eighteen month maternal health check up and she was off, exploring the play area, getting into the nurse's handbag, resisting all efforts at containment. I found the standard questions quite amusing. Things I find annoying, like removing her shoes (yet another pair lost today), climbing on everything, saying no frequently and food refusal are all age appropriate behaviour.

There are times I find this stage an almighty challenge and am nostalgic for the little baby who didn't unpack the stroller as fast as I could pack it. Or refuse to have her stinky nappy changed. But then there are other things that just crack me up. For example, Grace likes to put her bib on herself when she is ready for a meal, taking it off when she is finished. Then there is the way she tilts her head to the side and looks at you with laughter in her big brown eyes. Or how she jiggles to music. The way she lets me know that she wants a dink. The leg cuddles. Or how after I moved an ashtray (for recalcitrant smokers) in the garden she moved it back to where it was in the first place. I love to see her delight in the world around her and the moment when something clicks. How she wants to be part of everything we do from hanging about in the study to playing in the garden. And how sometimes she'll come and sit next to me for a little while, resting her hand on my leg.

Then she's off again, because Grace has her own agenda, her own ideas about what to do next. This afternoon we went to have chickenpox immunisation and after the needle, she cried and cried. Big howling sobs. I nearly cried too. So we sat together for a while, having a cuddle and a chat, holding onto blankie. But five minutes later she had climbed down, left me and blankie behind and was walking around, checking out the other kids and the little babies. Oh, my little walker girl, how fast you're growing up.

7 comments:

  1. She is beautiful...and so much hair! Munchkin just has some fine downy fluff still. Isn't it fun to see them change almost daily? I love to watch his personality blossom.

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  2. *Sigh* I remember those days. I sometimes wish I could turn back the clock and relive those days......*Sigh*

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  3. I love especially the hand-on-the-knee thing. I melt each and every time. So warm, so loving, the little hand of offspring.
    What a sweetie :)

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  4. She's utterly beautiful - and it is so lovely to see the photos of her toddling around. I love the way you write about her - what a honey!

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  5. What a lovely post. She is indeed beautiful and I can how loved she is. What a lucky girl to have such a great Mum and to grow up secure in her world.

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  6. Thanks for visiting me the other day Janet.
    What a lovely post. Your little girl is gorgeous. Your comments are a great reminder, to one such as myself, that has been "struggling" a bit lately with the motherhood thing. Feeling a little smothered by it all. It all goes by so quickly :-)

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  7. She looks like such a sweetie.
    I wrote a comment the other day that was a bit doom and gloom about toddlerhood but didn't post it thank goodness because as hard as toddlerhood is, it's also a gorgeous time. Now that Una is heading towards it I am remembering how much joy there is every day.

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