Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Walking the walk

The calendar said October but it felt like December outside. The wind whipped through our thin jackets as the sporadic raindrops felt like spit from heaven. Sunday was not exactly the best day to be going out, but Jennifer and I had already made plans with our friends in the Bronx, Mickey and Bonni, and we were not ready to abandon them. Originally we were going to check out an outdoor harvest festival in their neighborhood, but those plans fell through as we realized that hypothermia would ruin the fun of pumpkin viewing. Our backup plan was to spend the afternoon inside our friends' apartment. We figured we would have fun, but we were not too sure about Kyle. One day earlier, as Jennifer and I had to take care of some life insurance business (welcome to parenthood), Kyle expressed his frustration with being kept inside by crying until his face turned purple. He still had all his toys around him at that point. We were dreading what he would do without his stuff.

Turns out that wouldn't be a problem. Our son loves to entertain, and with five adults inside this apartment (including our friend Maya) and one Jack Russell Terrier, he certainly had an audience. Yet he had to come up with something exciting, since the dog was also fighting for attention, doing cute things like waving her paws in the air and peeing on the floor. So, Kyle decided that Sunday would be a good day to start walking on his own.

Kyle probably would have announced his intention to walk had he been able to string together a complete sentence, but these days most of the sounds he makes are those of barnyard animals. Instead, the walk happened without warning: at one moment, he was at the coffee table, and at the next, he was next to me, several feet away. I was looking in the opposite direction, so I did not notice that he was not walking on his knees or with the help of his mother. Jennifer, who was sitting on the couch, had seen the whole thing take place and was stunned. Kyle had taken his first steps weeks ago, and was getting used to walking with us holding his hand, but he had never traveled any great distance on his feet without our help. Suddenly he was able to prepare for a marathon, and that's just about what he did.

Within minutes of those first steps, Kyle was moving fast, as if he had been walking for years. He kept going around in circles, through the living room, through the kitchen, through the dining room, and back to the living room. He would then zig-zag through the living room like a pinball, going after each of us and the dog, and then back through the kitchen again. He probably covered a few miles with all the laps he did, and he rarely tripped. All the adults around him were going crazy. It's as if we had never seen anyone walk before. Kyle kept smiling, relishing all the attention and signing autographs.

Of course, we now realize that, for Kyle to ever achieve any major development, he needs somebody there other than his dear ol' Mom and Dad. My mother was in the room when he took his first steps. He was at my parents' place when he started walking with the help of somebody else. And his first stroll happened at our friends' place. He never does any of these things whenever it's just the two of us. Maybe we need to recruit people to help Kyle try new foods, learn to read, or reach other milestones... including the potty training. Do I have any volunteers?

1 comment:

erica said...

That's hilarious about him wanting an audience. =) Way to go, Kyle!!