It has been just over ten years since I lost my first grandparent – my mom’s mom, Orpha. I was a sophomore in college when she died, and while I consider myself lucky to have had her as long as I did, there are times when she pops into my head and I wish I could see her or talk to her now. Having children, I think, has especially made this true, as I would love for her to see her greatgrandbabies and I would love to compare stories of motherhood with her. From what I hear, we may have had some commonalities to share…
According to his little sister, anyway, Cliff and Orph’s first born was quite the mover and shaker as a young boy. He was always on the go and always into something. Hmmmm…sound familiar? According to that same sister (and my dear mother, herself), Cliff and Orph’s second child was a little girl bound and determined to keep up with her brother (she walked at 9 1/2 months). Again, I say, Hmmmmmmm.
While we may not actually be at the 9 1/2 month mark or walking yet, Raegan is well on her way to doing whatever she can to rip and tear after Harrison. For starters, she is pulling herself up on EVERYTHING. Me, couches, tables, chairs, cupboards, toys – doesn’t matter. If she thinks it will give her leverage, she uses it. She can’t stand or get up unsupported yet, but I have a feeling that once she’s there, she’ll be, well, gone. She already crawls anywhere and everywhere at lightning speed; I can only imagine how quick she’ll be to explore once she’s up on two feet!
Speaking of crawling anywhere…today, Raegan tackled our basement steps and won. Now, before you freak out on me, they are carpeted and I was there with her the whole time. But yes, she crawled up all thirteen of them only pausing once or twice to glance back over her shoulder (where I was waiting with arms outstretched in case of backwards motion). The look on her face the couple of times she looked back down seemed to say, “Well, would you look at that?! I am so doing this!! COOL!”
Harrison also took to stairs at an early age and also at my own doing. Like a moth to a flame, he was all about crawling to the top of our basement steps in the old house, and quite frankly, I got sick of having a mild heart attack every time he did so. At 9 months I started working with him to teach him how to “turn and go slow” (backwards and feet first) and before long, he was a stair master (I’m tired enough that that pun is really working for me right now).
Today I decided to start that same lesson with Raeggebaby, and while she really didn’t get the going backwards and down thing, she certainly (obviously) was good with the up thing. Her face when she reached the top was just priceless. She’s already the happiest baby I’ve ever seen, but in that moment I could see not only the delight but also the pride that she was feeling from her accomplishment.
The other expression that I witnessed today on Sweet Baby Girl’s face, however, has me thinking that I might soon start channeling Grandma Orph via her two most used expressions (that I can still, to this day, hear in my head in her voice): “OH, Cliff!” and “Oh, for Pete’s sake.” You see, Raegan has lately (OK, always) been going after things she shouldn’t such as fans, cords, the gross icky metal kick plate at the base of the fridge, and – today – the leftover Angry Birds wall poster decoration thingies from Harrison’s birthday party last weekend. To her credit, she’s been kind of good at listening to my tone of voice when I tell her sternly to stop, or she was until today, anyway. Today, when she was going after the poster for the umpteenth time and I firmly told her to stop, she turned to look at me over one shoulder, smiled, and then laughed. Now I know she’s happy, but that particular exchange came across as ornery, not happy! Well, I take that back. She was happy. What made it seem ornery was that she seemed to sense that I was not!
So, yes. As we continue down this road of chasing after Big Brother and exploring the Great Big World, I think I shall be calling upon both Cliff and Pete quite a bit. This actually makes a great deal of sense seeing as Raegan is named (in part) after me and I am named after Clifford Raymond. Can’t say I’ll ever be able to explain Pete logically to anybody, but whoever said parenting was going to be 100% logical? Um, clearly no one; why else would we always be asking some random dude named Pete for a little bit of sanity?!