Nugget and I have a game that we like to play. Well, Nugget likes to play it. I play it because it makes her happy. I mean, we don’t play this game all that often, because I don’t want it to get old. That, and I do worry that her strength is going to start making this game a whole lot less fun in the long term. But we’ve been playing it off and on for a bit now, especially now that she and I have spent a lot more time together over the past month.
See, the reason we don’t play this game more frequently is that it seems to be called “Play Daddy’s Head Like a Hand Drum”.
And now you’re starting to understand why we don’t play it all that often. Nugget is still in a phase of her life where her being excited and in great spirits tends to lead to flailing arms. HawtWife and I first realized that this could be a game for Nugget one day when I lifted my surprisingly heavy baby onto my shoulder. Suddenly, the air was not made for drumming, but Daddy’s head totally was. She isn’t being malicious about it, and, soon enough, we’ll end up having a conversation about how maybe slapping Daddy’s brain-holder isn’t the best plan. Either that, or I’ll be a drooling vegetable in the corner, and HawtWife will have to explain to Nugget how her fun little activity had dark consequences.
But, in the meantime, Nugget has gotten enjoyment out of flailing her arms about, and smacking Daddy in the head. Sometimes, we alter the game slightly, and she actually holds my head pretty strongly, in which case it’s no longer “Play Daddy’s Head Like a Hand Drum”, but it’s now “Drool Over Daddy’s Head”. I enjoy this game more, and will probably continue to feel that way until she spits up on me.
Anyway, we’ve been playing this game off and on, and as she’s gotten bigger, I’ve started to add more elements to it. Sometimes, she isn’t in my shoulder, but is instead of full piggy-back position (which really allows for more flailing and drooling). Sometimes, we’ll play the game while she’s playing with her toys, and I’m laying face down near her.
It was this second variation that lead me to make a realization, followed by an attempt, culminating with a surprise. See, I put myself down on the ground, on my stomach. I then maneuvered Nugget into a standing position, where she was using my head to keep herself off the ground. Then, bit by bit, I started retreating away from her. The entire time, I’m holding her sides, so that she doesn’t tip over, but it’s still an experiment as I pull back a little bit each time.
What followed was an amazing (to me) thing. She was overjoyed about the idea of holding onto Daddy’s head, so she wanted to keep pace with me. She’s taken a few tenuous steps before, but not for very long, and she usually just gives up and wants to be carried. Not true while holding my head, as she would take a step or two to keep her leverage on my skull, I would back up again, and the whole thing would repeat.
Yes, folks, my daughter is starting the process of walking.
At least, she’s walking while we’re playing this game. Her balance isn’t super great yet, so she can’t really stand without support, and she is only really taking steps when she’s being leaned forward, but the process has started. Given that I don’t have the first clue how to teach her to crawl (seriously, every time I try to demonstrate it, she looks at me like I’ve lost my mind), I’m pretty happy that we seem to be reaching some sort of agreement on the whole “getting Nugget mobile” concept.
I know that I will end up dreading her mobility some day. There will come a time where she will vanish from my sight, because kids are tiny little ninjas who act drunk all the time, and I won’t be able to find her, instead trying to use sonar to track her my her giggles. But, until that time, I’m going to take the fact that she’s starting to step forward as a great accomplishment.
After all, if she can’t reach Daddy’s head, she can’t really get a good drum solo going.