Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Big deal, so the fella can walk...

It's one of those critical toddler milestones ranking right up there with the first tooth and first decipherable utterance. Sonny burst past the 'first step' marker the other day, and then some: He managed to plod a couple of footlengths unaided before crashing to the floor.

"Oh," said Mum, who happened to be on hand. Then she forgot about it for the rest of the day. It was only the next morning, on the way to work, that she recalled the occasion - and rang up Pa ("so you'll have something to write about for the blog").

What's this, you cry shrilly? Has some variety of 'parenting fatigue' caught up with us, that we are not prancing about like deer on drugs whenever Sonny ticks one of those 'First...' boxes? Well, it's more like we've become curiously adept at seeing 'the other side' of any supposedly joyous development.

So Sonny has started to walk? Well, break out the party hats and all that, but doesn't that mean there are now even more varieties of 'nasty falls' we need to be guarding against? And it surely means he can poke and pry into even more forbidden zones, necessitating another round of 'moving stuff up higher shelves'?

Or let's take another example. Sonny can now call for his mother by name (assuming her name is 'Maa'). Sure, drinks all round. But the flip side is that he's that much closer to pummelling us with an endless stream of inane questions and demands. We'll also have to attend to him more closely now when he issues his customary burbles, since he might actually be saying something comprehensible. Of course, 99.9 per cent of the time, it's still nonsense.

Want another? All this teeth-sprouting business (nearly forgot: Huzzah, huzzah) is taking a toll on Mum, even though Sonny only has three for now. Each extra chomper is an additional weapon to be deployed in biting down on the poor woman.

Some folks might suggest that we are assuming too much of a sour disposition. So don't get us wrong. It's great - no, it's marvellous - that Sonny is growing up. But if you think about it, that's pretty much the standard programme for babies, right? No real surprise to be had. Ho hum and all that. Not that we're asking for a nasty shock. But we're still waiting for the little fella to do something that flat-out astounds us, that will have us staring at each other and tossing away parenting books in consternation.