Last week we had a house showing early in the morning on a super sunny day, so Callie and Beck and I went to my parents’ neighborhood to have a walk (they have these killer trails) and play on the playground. The neighborhood playground is small but newish and appears safe – not that I know what I’m looking for. It doesn’t have swings, though, and so the only thing Beck can really do on it since she can’t walk is slide, but that only works with the help of two people. She likes it…medium. The first time or two she’s pretty baffled, then she likes it for a time or two, and then she’s over it. Five trips down the slide is plenty, man.
Honestly, 10 minutes at a playground is plenty for me too, so I should probably count my blessings.
Being as young as she is, it’s so funny to think about all the regular things she can’t do yet that (in theory) will become second nature to her in the nearer-than-I’d-like future. I don’t worry about big kids on slides, I don’t accidentally hurl myself off beds (gah this girl has no sense of danger except for when it comes to walking), I type without congratulating myself daily on the skill.
When babies are babies, it’s just counting poops and hoping they eat and sleep, and that’s enough. But the toddler years, I’m learning, are about faster development than I can keep track of. This is mostly due to my lack of baby bookkeeping (ask if Beck has a baby book, or guess the answer), but also there are more new skills each week that I don’t even notice because they happen seamlessly, often without fanfare. Sometimes I’ll look at another adult and say “Has she done that yet?” but often we miss it entirely for a day or two, which isn’t sad necessarily, just is what it is. It’s wonderful and nostalgic and exciting and scary all at the same time.
Of course, as we watch her master new skills, we talk about things that she might not be so great at. Will she struggle with sports or in school? Will she be bullied or be a bully? Some things are in our control, of course, but some things are inherent in a person no matter what external factors present themselves.
I, for instance, can’t make coffee. We have a French press situation that involves grinding beans, heating up water (I can do that part!), measuring grounds, steeping, etc. I just can’t be bothered. I didn’t drink coffee growing up or in my twenties, but when I had Beck I started drinking at least one cup in the mornings, just to feel slightly less zombie-like. I did this every day except for when Jay was out of town, and I still do. I was lamenting this the other day to a friend of mine and she stared at me blankly like “there are solutions here.” Of course, I could learn to make the coffee. Or! Nespresso machine with gourmesso coffee alternative to Nespresso capsules (cheaper, fair trade, FLAVORS). This actually works in my favor because I love flavored coffees and Jay doesn’t, which means we never have them. Plus, George Clooney is an ‘esso guy because the pods are wayyyyy better for the environment than another single-use pod coffee system that we won’t name?
If George is in, I’m in, is my point.
So Beck will learn to slide super fast and high and it’ll scare me and then I’ll realize she’s good at it. And if there are things she’s not great at she’ll figure ways around those too, with shortcuts or help from others. She’s already learning to ask for help when walking, we stand her up and she says “hand,” and I’m like NEVER WALK ALONE I WILL HOLD YOUR HAND THROUGH LIFE. It’s adorable and makes me weepy. It’s so interesting to watch nothing turn into something without a ton of input on my part, much as I’d like to take credit for how epic she is. Biology and human nature are excellent in that way.