Bun has been taking tentative steps without holding onto anything since the end of October. Then she started walking (and jumping and dancing) on her knees. I thought she was going to stick with that for awhile.
But, no. This week she has been walking up and down, from room to room. She walks very carefully, but very well. Her balance is amazing for a new toddler; today she was walking around the kitchen with a blue plastic mixing bowl in her right hand. She walks around things on the floor. She bends down and stands back up.
She’s toddling, therefore, she’s a toddler.
I am sad, a little. Although, I love to watch her walk. She babbles at me — at anyone — incessantly, but she isn’t saying words. She waves hello and good-bye; she tries to use utensils at meal time. (She’s got the idea, but not the coordination.) I keep trying to teach her some baby signs, but so far it’s been no go.
To me, Bun always seemed to do things in leaps. It seemed to take forever for her to turn herself over. Then I wondered when she was going to figure out how to feed herself finger foods. Crawling, too, seemed to take a long time, and the pincher grip, and so on.
And now she is walking, and pointing, and eating by herself, and trying to use crayons (still trying to eat them, too). And climbing! That girl (girl?!) climbs anything she can. Even at the side of the tub at bath time, she lifts her leg as if she could just swing it on over the side.
I think about my two girls, and how, after Gabriel, they have healed me in different ways. Monkey gave me back the faith I needed; not faith in God, but faith in myself, my ability to have a child, my ability to give my husband a child. That last part may sound weird, but part of the after-loss of Gabriel was fear that I wouldn’t be able to make my husband a daddy, which he was so looking forward to. (Gabriel made him a father; Monkey made him a daddy — I believe I’ve said that before.) To this day, Monkey is very much her daddy’s child.
And Bun. Bun was unexpected. Bun gave us some anxiety. In the end, though, Bun is so the child of my heart. As Monkey is her father’s, Bun is mine. I love them both equally (of course), just in different ways. Monkey proved something to me — probably something to everyone. Bun just is. She didn’t have to prove a dang thing.
Bun will be a year old in less than a month. I’ve seen it coming for awhile. I just didn’t realize it would happen so soon.