Now that Peeper is officially a Big Girl, she’s been exploring—and pushing—boundaries.
Walking is second nature by now: There’s no more precariously toddling with outstretched arms for balance. With her two-legged confidence comes running, or at least race walking. Bonks and bruises come with the territory, but her indomitable enthusiasm doesn’t leave a lot of time for fussing and crying after a tumble.
We also have a budding monkey on our hands. She has discovered climbing and tries to scale anything with a foothold: chairs, the dishwasher, the open fridge.
With mobility, the entire world is opened up to her, yet she pays attention to the tiniest details. When playing on the lawn, she notices a sugar ant toiling among the green blades of grass. She points at a spider on its web, which must look as if it’s floating in the air. And as she sat in sunlight streaming in through the window, she paused suddenly to stare at dust motes swirling in the light.
We can also see Peeper’s budding imagination and creativity. She sings (should I put quotation marks around that?) her own version of Rock-a-bye Baby and rocks herself in whatever’s handy, anything from an actual rocking chair to her car seat. She talks on Eric’s ancient flip phone or, if that’s not nearby, on the remote control, a calculator or my camera case. She has a particular voice she uses (do I sound like that when I’m on the phone?) and holds the object to her ear. And she asks us to put silly things—socks, slippers, dish gloves—on her hands. She runs around the house like that and thinks she’s hilarious.
We think she’s pretty funny, too. So much of the time we spend together is filled with laughter.
Every so often—especially when I look through old photos and videos—I miss the days when she was littler. My heart literally feels warmer when I think of Peeper with her open “o” of a mouth as she fell asleep in my arms, of her mesmerized at the toys we dangled overhead, of her swaddled as a bite-sized burrito.
But this stage, as she stutter-steps away from babyhood and into toddlerhood, is fun. I feel so grateful to come to know Peeper’s personality as she develops and discovers it. Even if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t. The present is too full, and the future has too much to offer.