Two feet hit the floor this morning before I was fully awake and cognisant of the absence in bed. I did not awake to a poking for early breakfast, or the tossings of a child who is not quite awake, but will soon be. I awoke to a tiny thud on hardwood followed by a soft “bah… uh-ooh“.
I lifted myself blearily on elbow to see a small blonde head with blue pajama’ed body slowly peek out a cracked open door, wobble ever so slightly, push the door open further, and slide out with a giggle.
I paused for a brief moment, blinking in the realization that he has learned to get out of bed on his own. When did that happen?
The door creaked again almost immediately, and a small figure waddled in, toy shovel in hand, emanating a much more awake and enthusiastic noise. “Eee-Eee-da-tukka-tukka” he said, waving the toy at me, then coming to the edge of the bed, fingers resting along the ridge of the matress, blue eyes looking directly at me, nose parked between fingers, paused in anticipation of an answer.
“Ok, ok… I am getting up.” I mumbled wearily, and swung my feet out over the bed beside him.
He pell-melled back out the door, screeching in excitement down the hall. I followed, to get to the baby gates before he did, thinking to myself that it is time to secure them before we go to bed, and get a lock for the cabinets in the living room.
I have to remind myself that he is only thirteen months old, and has so much more growing up to do. But I feel strange today. A small part of his reliance on me is gone. He needs me that little bit less than he did yesterday. A small milestone was passed today, and in my wonderment at his excitement, I guess I feel a spark of sadness. He is no longer my tiny infant to cuddle.
He’s my toddler to follow.