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Ain't No Stoppin' Her Now (She's On The Move)

Yeah, beep beep.

Sorry, just had to finish out the song lyric –

Yes, it’s official. At ten and a half months, Cora is

For the past three months Cora has been
crawling, pulling herself up to standing, and cruising around while
holding on to furniture. Over the last few weeks she’s begun
letting go for increasingly longer periods of time between pieces
of furniture, staggering two or three steps unaided before grabbing
on to her next handhold. She’s recently begun letting go and
standing solo for ten or twenty seconds at a time before slowly
sinking to the ground; she can lock her legs, but couldn’t
quite get the impetus to move forward unaided. We’ve sat
around and watched Cora, cheering her efforts on while not quite
ready to call the official date of her “first” step.

Yesterday, though, we called it. We spent the evening with Uncle
Daniel and Aunt Nikkie hanging out on the floor of the living room
while Cora and Maddie played happily amongst us, Maddie moving in
and out of the room concocting elaborate solo roll-playing games
and Cora crawling and cruising from lap to lap and hand to hand.

As I said, Cora’s quite adept at walking around as long as
she’s got a hand to hold on to, and she can usually persuade
an adult to walk her in the direction she wants to go. If not,
she’ll drop to her knees and efficiently crawl herself pretty
much anywhere. You can see her look around the room, choose a new
destination, and measure out the best way to get there: bum a ride
with a sympathetic parent? Crawl? Furniture surf? The way was
usually circuitous but the best a semi-mobile baby could do.

But by the end of the evening yesterday, Cora was tired and worn
down and her separation anxiety was kicking into high gear. That
meant she needed Mommy, and fast. She spied me across the room, and
for the first time in her life chose the direct route, teetering
out of Aunt Nikkie’s hands and towards the refuge of my lap.

Delighted, we all cheered and fussed over Cora, then wondered if
she’d do it again. We pointed her at Aunt Nik, but Cora much
preferred to burrow in my lap, so we (somewhat cold-heartedly)
pried her away from me and stood her up again. And once more, she
walked unaided to me.

We couldn’t resist – how much would she do it? We had
to know. So we pointed her at Brian, and off she went. This was now
officially walking, which meant we had to grab the video camera.
Maddie sat down in the circle, held out her arms, and said,
“Cora, walk to me!” Cora looked at Maddie, measured the
distance, and you could see Cora realize for the first time ever
that a straight line was not only the shortest route, but a
possible one for her skill set! Determinedly, Cora tottered to
Maddie and bowled them both over.

Cora was unstoppable, giggling and lurching from lap to lap. You
could see the comprehension, the joy, the excitement written all
over her face. After a few more minutes I called a halt, knowing
she was tiring and that happy would turn to crappy in the blink of
an eye. But the damage was already done – my girl is
officially walking.

So there she is – literally off and running. Now that
she’s realized how much time she can save by not holding on
there’s no stopping her, and I foresee lots of tumbles in the
near future as she overestimates her abilities. O Lord, make speed
to save us.


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