Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Save the baby.

I remember years ago a friend humorously being quoted as having said that her day, everyday, consists of making sure that "her boys don't die". I thought it so funny, I understood and respected the concept but only on a superficial level. Now I fully g r a s p the gravity, the deep dark truth of those words. Three days ago, I awoke and was amusingly surprised to see Lily happily sitting up in her crib, refreshed and bright-eyed after a good night's sleep, air conditioner remote control in hand. This morning I awoke to her happy babble and smiling face grinning at me in the dark, standing up excitedly, hands on the railing, eyes gleefully peering over. Jump, jump, jumping in place.
My daughter is mobile.
Months ago she was a skilled roller and even then I recognized that boundaries were in order; today, pillows against the console no longer do the trick. The days of her perched in full view on the bed - barricaded by pillows, entertained by animals and a shape sorter - are over. She established a game where she'd gradually climb the barrier every time I turned my back and giggled delightedly when I turned around and caught her in the act. It was our own version of Red Light Green Light. I know that when she's playing on the floor, while I prepare something in the kitchen, that three minutes of silence mean she's ventured into questionable territory. She can pull herself up, walk along side furniture, inch worm her way to toys and extension cords and enjoy a meal of postcard or board book. Often times Lily won't fold, she's on the go and is thoroughly enjoying her new found dexterity. She spent much of her afternoon nap today standing in her crib. I tried to minimize that fact by reminding myself that cows and horses sleep standing up. But the most daunting thing about all of this evolution before my very eyes is that it is time to empty the apartment. Move out the furniture, eliminate picture frames on shelves, barricade books, strap TVs to walls, pad the floors, latch the cabinets, lock the toilet, safeguard the oven, encapsulate power strips, fence the windows and on and on and on. The mission is well worth it but the endeavor is overwhelming. We have limited space as it is with a storage unit almost at capacity - what I would do for a walk in closet. One of my parenting books says that a cluttered apartment is good for a baby. It colors their world and is fodder for a curious mind - much more so than a minimalist environment.
I love that book.
But I love Lily more, and need to find that safe-happy-medium where she gets an eyeful without danger lurking. Apparently Alan said that the amount of money spent on storage could easily buy back any items you give away instead of storing. I love that man. But then how did he and I end up with an overflowing attic on 26th street? Perhaps it's time for it all to go to the curb. But that's no easy task for me, I am a sentimentalist and we both were nostalgic. So storage remains... But it's down to the details now. If he ever saw me wrapping presents on the floor he'd say "you can't leave the scissors there Sus when there's a baby" and when I'd forget something in the apartment as we were on our way out he'd dryly say "don't forget the baby Suuuus.." . Lily is impossible to forget. She is making her mark by the minute and she is precious. The innocence of babes is breathtaking and terrifying, they rely on you for everything and are far from grasping caution. That is what makes them so beautiful to watch, they embrace life without a care beyond the need of arms wrapped around them or carefully shadowing them as they explore the world. It is a unique phase, they are truly carefree. So while I worry and follow her every move, envisioning every disaster and tragedy imaginable, it is nice to know that in her eyes, everything around her represents nothing more than adventure and discovery,

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