Baby Ash is ten and a half months old. It seems every day we have a new achievement to cheer about in our house. Each day a new example of her finding her own ability to interact with the things of the earth and her fellow humans. Each interaction is an assertion that she is her own person. And each is accompanied by the most wonderful grin of accomplishment. Some are "normal" milestones: walking, first word, though no parent takes these for granted. And some are "special", like learning to throw a paper airplane after watching her brother and sister do it. Every milestone for our babies feels like an achievement for us parents too. We have kept them fed and safe so that they might grow. We have weathered the tumultuous first months where life is a blur and the purpose of it all seems far from our grasp. Our helpless baby, whose tiny toes we counted for the first time, mere months ago, is growing up. We are all delighting in her burgeoning personhood.
In the past six weeks she has:
Taken her first steps and progressed to running!
Walked out into the garden
Walked around the shops holding my hand
Learnt the dropping game
Discovered that she is most happy with one thing in each hand AND something in her mouth
Discovered how fun it is to race out of the sitting room door and up the stairs as fast as she can EVERY time the door is left open
Learnt to lower herself frontways off the bed without bumping her head
Learnt to support herself in a swing so she doesn't bop her nose
Learnt to clap and bop to music
Drunk from a cup by herself
Learnt to shake her head to great comic effect when she KNOWS she's doing something bold
Held a worm...and dropped it
Tried eating everything - favourites include: LEGO, stones, dice, chocolate money with the foil on, crayons...
Fed herself with a spoon
Learnt to spit out food for comic effect
Discovered that the wood burner is hot, and the fireguard is not worth squeezing around
Enjoyed interacting with chickens, piglets and cows.
Learnt to throw a paper airplane
Learnt to "talk" on the phone
Kicked a ball
Done her first drawing
Learnt to go back to sleep without breastfeeding
I am reading a wonderful book at the moment to review for JUNO: "A Different Kind of Perfect" about parenting special needs children. My heart breaks for all those parents who dreamed of their "perfect" child, and then watch the milestone times of first step, first word go by, further confirming the special needs of their child, instilling a deep sense of loss, grief, anger. I truly feel for all parents in this situation everytime we celebrate our milestones.