Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rescue Me

My daughter has jumped directly from crawling on her hands and knees to pulling herself up and standing on her own in less than a week. This is incredibly exciting. It’s also a bit of a problem, because although she’s learning to stand up, she hasn’t the faintest idea how to get down.

Now, you’d think it would be pretty obvious, even to a baby, that if you’re standing up and hanging onto something, and you don’t want to be standing up any more, you can just let go and fall on your backside. And even if it wasn’t obvious, you’d think that after a very short time, you would let go by accident and then figure out that you could do that on purpose next time. My daughter, however, has yet to figure that out.

When she wakes up in the morning, she often plays in her crib for a bit before crying for us to get her. Now that she likes standing up, she pulls herself up on the crib bars and coos and bounces happily for several minutes when she wakes up. But then she pauses and thinks for a moment, as if wondering what to do next. She might give another bounce or two, just to fill time. But then the realization that she is stranded seems to dawn on her and her lip quivers, her entire face puddles up, and she lets out a pathetic wail. It’d break my heart if it weren’t so hilarious.

She has the same issue when she’s playing during the day. While her brother plays with his toys, she crawls around looking for things to climb up on. Her favorites are her brother’s highchair – when he’s sitting in it, eating, she crawls over to it, reaches up, and peeps over the edge at him, Kilroy Was Here style – and the corner of the couch. In both cases, she reaches as high as she can and hauls herself up on her knees, then with great effort pulls herself up onto her tiptoes and generally sways precariously for a few seconds before regaining her balance. She proudly stands there for a while, occasionally even taking a step or two sideways. And then, if she happens to be wearing a sleeper with particularly slippery feet, she begins to do a straddle. Lower and lower and wider and wider, until she realizes she’s in trouble, at which point the wailing begins. If she’s lucky and she’s already shed her socks for the day, she stays standing for a bit, but then she starts to get tired and again, the wailing begins.

Most of the time, it’s very funny. But there are times when it’s not so funny. When she has her last bottle at midnight and I put her in her bed, turn out the light, and drop exhausted into my own bed, and ten minutes later the wailing starts because instead of lying down and falling asleep like she used to do, she’s hauled herself up by the crib rails and is now stuck. So much for crying it out. Or when I’ve spent 12 hours peeling her off various pieces of furniture (and my legs) every 15 minutes.

She only took about a week to go from barely crawling to full-out climbing the furniture, so I’m really hoping that it’ll only take her another week to go from climbing up the furniture to climbing down the furniture. Because if it takes any longer, she may not be the only one who needs to be rescued. 

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