Ruthie has officially crawled. Forward. For weeks she’d been scooting around on her butt, sneaking her way from one side of the room to the other. Then came the rocking on all-fours, then the reverse worm/backward crawl. And now it’s all forward progress, from DC to St. Olaf (or so I have to assume – we have to make up for Natalie breaking the generations of Um-Ya-Ya so she could stay close to her one-day baby’s daddy, but I digress).
The day it finally happened, Loren and I had spent a good chunk of the afternoon enticing her to crawl forward with a wind-up walking egg toy we got for Easter. Ruthie would prop herself up on all-fours, rock around, lifting hands and knees, at points executing the downward dog position, then unintentionally pushing herself backward, farther away from the toy (talk about your body playing tricks on you).
I eventually lifted her up and gave her a break. Her eating schedule has been out of sorts lately, a combination of the constant struggle with developmental milestones and teething. It turns out she was really hungry, so I gave her a quick bottle on the couch next to Loren. A few minutes later and I let her back on to the floor, where she promptly barfed.
Competent Father (TM) that I am, I moved her a few feet away from the hot barf glob while I went to fetch a paper towel from the kitchen. As I returned I watched Ruthie shift to her hands and knees and expertly crawl over to the mess so that she could poke it with her finger.
If I was ever curious, I can now say I know what it’s like to feel simultaneously the emotions of pride and disgust.
And just like that, we’ve entered the next chapter in babyhood.
Note: We’re driving to see old friends up in Vermont tomorrow, because apparently we didn’t learn our long-distance-driving lesson last time. We’re leaving the kids in their PJs and getting out of the house obnoxiously early tomorrow morning in some sort of delusional belief that they’ll just fall right back asleep in the car and wake up four hours later near NYC as if the day is only just beginning for them like usual. Because Loren will totally let that happen. This is the kid, after all, who immediately stands up the moment he is awake, and who will be ready to start the day the moment he hears the elevator bell ring – “I push the Number One with a star next to it” he’ll say through his pacifier.
We’re idiots, we know. But we’ve come to the realization that if we can see someone twice a year, just every six months, we can consider that close and frequent contact to the point where it doesn’t even feel like we’ve missed a beat. Vermont, Minnesota, they might as well be down the block.
I hope to explain this feeling more in-depth later, but of all the ways becoming a parent has changed me, my concept of Time is perhaps the most drastic. Suddenly the days fly by like hours, I can spend a week seemingly looking for my jacket, and out of nowhere a month has gone by and it’s gone from Summer to Winter again. I almost don’t want to go to bed for fear of what day it will be when I wake up. And there doesn’t seem to be a damn thing I can do about it.
Actually, come to think of it, the only time that doesn’t seem to move faster is the time we spend in the car with screaming children. That time moves in slow motion. So we’re driving to Vermont for a long weekend to slow things down a bit I guess.by