Sunday, November 18, 2007

Appetite for Destruction

W: The other day I was catching up on some reading over on a friend's blog, The Baby Monkey, and I feel compelled to crib the observation because it's just so damned good.

Alicia observed that her tot is like a little Terminator - remember in the movie when you could see first person out of the Terminator's eyes as he assessed a situation and methodically calculated what would do the most damage? That's what it would look like looking out of each of our little guys' eyes. Little Terminators.

Nothing is safe. I'm sure that they'll be climbing the bookshelves before too long. The other day they each had two hands on the pole of a cherished floor lamp, driving with their little baby quads and little baby calves until the lamp toppled over. They had a look of victory in their eyes. It looked like the famous picture of the marines putting up the flag at Iwo Jima, but in reverse.

D and I have slightly different opinions on the subject of child proofing, though neither of us falls into the extreme of either camp. We're both moderates, so the result is that we don't go too far in one direction. But like all things with twin parenting, just when you get something figured out, the rules change, and we're on to a new phase.

I saw a glimpse of the next phase yesterday - biped locomotion. I was playing with O as he expertly "surfed" along the couch. Nowadays, he steadies himself while standing with one hand, which allows him to survey the room (and look for things to destroy).

He let go. (Look, dad, no hands!)

Wobbling for a few awkward seconds, he made a face that said, "Oh shit! What am I doing, dad?" before he quickly plopped down on his tush. But still, he made a concerted effort to stand all on his own.

I was excited and then confused. During these breakthrough glimpses, I tend to ask myself "do I really want this [insert new thing here] to happen?" I mean, of course I want my kids that walk around, run even. But I wasn't sure that I was ready for it right then and there. The bookshelves still need to be bolted to the wall!

But I am thankful for the glimpses because they allow us to get ready for the changes. Mentally. Physically. When Dana was pregnant, I used to joke that there's a reason pregnancies last nine months - it takes us that long for our brains to switch gears. It's the same with our children's developmental milestones.

And during that process, I guess we parents let go too. We let go of the past phase, as we prepare for the next. We wobble. We fall. Things get broken.

But eventually we get the hang of it. And we do it again.

Posted by Walker Lockhart @ 12:28 PM