The Nugget Chronicles: A Tactical Error

I have made a huge mistake. It’s a mistake that just about every parent makes, but I never really thought it would happen to me. Oh, wait, who am I kidding? I totally knew I’d make this mistake, and it’s going to turn my currently fairly sedate home parenting life completely on its head.

I’ve been encouraging Nugget to develop mobility.

“But wait,” you’re probably thinking, “don’t you want your kid to be able to crawl, walk, etc.?”. Well, sure. I mean, kids just aren’t as much fun when they’re little more than babbling drooling lumps (to be clear, they’re still fun, but in very different ways). And I knew that eventually, we’d reach a point where Nugget would decide that she wanted to get motoring. I just, perhaps foolishly, thought that I’d have a little more time of being able to set her down, walk into the kitchen, and return to her being in the same spot.

It really all started a few weeks back. It was after we’d started playing the game “Take A Couple Steps Forward To Slap Daddy’s Head” (I haven’t gotten word from Parker Brothers if they want to mass-produce that or not). Sure, that game was encouraging forward motion, but she still couldn’t do it without a parent to support her. She would be reliant on us to get her from place to place around the house! The power was all in our hands!

Well, a little bit after that, we had Nugget laying on her stomach, toys just slightly out of reach. As she’s clearly decided that crawling is for suckers, we figured everything would be fine, and there’s be no shrill sing-song coming from any of the toys with batteries. Lo and behold, Nugget made it clear that, while crawling might be for suckers, rolling from place to place is a perfectly acceptable form of ambulation. This began a (currently almost month-long) fascination with rolling everywhere in the living room. If our house wasn’t laid out in the way that it is, or if she was better at making turns, she’d probably have figured out how to get to the kitchen, the dining room, or the basement by now.

This was followed by Nugget realizing that, if she really applies herself to delivering enough force while in her bouncer, she can actually scoot it across the kitchen floor. Her initial instincts caused her to try and propel herself towards the stove, but, thankfully, that was short-lived. Now she’s realized the refrigerator is where it’s at, and, even though we keep pulling the bouncer away, every day it gets a little closer to her being able to access the cheese and veggie drawers all on her own.

Now, though? Now she’s starting to figure out how to pull herself up onto things. Whether it’s a nearby table, a large rubber ball (which is clearly not the best option), or Daddy himself, Nugget has figured out that, if she can just exert enough strength, she can actually propel herself from sitting to standing. This makes the world a new taste experience just waiting for her outstretched chubby baby arms to grasp. She isn’t at the point where she can move from prone to sitting just yet, but it’s coming. And, in a not-at-all-eerie fashion, many of these moves are accompanied shortly thereafter by adorable little baby hand claps.

So yes, gentle reader, I’ve made a tactical error. I’ve encouraged Nugget to develop mobility. She’s starting to get a handle on the prospect of actually not being confined to wherever we’ve set her down, and, judging from her facial expressions, she’s enjoying it greatly. It’s only a matter of time before she’s taking off at a full sprint, and then I’ll end up getting back into jogging, just to keep pace with her.

I mean, what else am I going to end up teaching this kid? Speech? Fully-formed ideas? How to stand up for herself? It’s a slippery slope, and I know that I’m already falling, without much ability to stop myself before I reach the bottom, knowing that I’ve somehow done everything I can to help create and shape a strong, intelligent, beautiful person, and that she’ll end up making me proud through everything she does.

This is the kind of tactical error I can really get behind. Besides, a little jogging might be good for me.

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