Feats of Strength

All Edith wants to do these days is crawl and throw heavy things around.

Every time I put her down at the starting point of the playroom, she crawls out of the playroom up and down the hall and around the kitchen and into the living room and back. She hasn’t yet ventured into the side halls, and she doesn’t go into our bedroom (chamber of sorrows) unless carried there, but everywhere else is well trod ground at this point. When her knees get tired she stands up on her feet and hands and sort of scampers around like an anime horror movie monster. Whenever I’m looking at my phone or hunched over the kitchen counter quickly eating something disgusting, I feel a tug on my pants leg, and I look down and there she is, attempting to claw her way up to my face, or pull me down to her so that she can wrench my hair and shove her dimpled fist into my mouth.

While she does all this, she blows raspberries — big, enthusiastic ones. She’s a tiny Mabel Longhetti careering around the house, and there are rivulets of saliva everywhere she’s been. She is not especially interested in her toys these days except for the bigger ones, which she wants to lift and topple. She likes to exert her diminutive will over larger things — her walker, her piano gym, the rocking chair, her donut seat, me. She wants to pull everything over, and then straddle it and gnaw on it, like it’s fresh kill.

Then she lifts her tiny face to the ceiling fan and crows in triumph, her two little stub teeth shining in the late afternoon light.

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