On Christmas Eve, the Bean was still dragging herself around the floor by her elbows, like a soldier wriggling under barbed wire in the trenches. Last night she came cruising in here on hands and knees, bum in the air. She made a beeline for my guitar amplifier, pulled herself up to standing, and then began to applaud herself and cackle like an old-timey villain with a curled mustache.
Two nights’ sleep on the problem of crawling, and suddenly she’s as mobile as an all-terrain vehicle. It’s hilarious, watching her lower herself off the sofa and then start cruising across the floor. The cats have realized they’re screwed: they can barely escape her when she reaches top speed. There isn’t enough space for them in the living room to work up to a run, so they make a point of staying high up: on the bookshelves, on the cabinets, on the backs of chairs and sofas.
Even this won’t work much longer: the Bean has stood up of her own accord, unsupported, at least once, and is starting to work out how to climb shelves, cabinets, and chairs. I blamed my father for this– told him his granddaughter had inherited the Adventure Gene– but he reminded me that he once found me climbing onto the countertop as a toddler. I’d pulled out the drawers in the kitchen to make steps, and was heading for the top of the fridge, where the cookie jar was kept.
We stayed with friends in Warwickshire over New Year’s, and a good time was had by all, especially the Bean, who had eight other kids, aged 7-14, paying attention to her and petting her and trying to teach her things. Our friends also have a very nice spacious home with hardwood floors throughout, so Eve was able to bum-shuffle along with ease. One of our younger hosts, Leah, has a few posters of David Tennant up on her walls, because she has class, and Eve waved at him and pointed to him– she’s begun pointing at things she’s interested in. Usually knives, surly cats, open flames, and the like.
So it’s probably time for a playpen. We haven’t bought one yet. We’re not entirely sure one could keep her in for very long. Meanwhile we are keeping doors closed and the floors scrupulously clean.