It’s very interesting to watch Edith figure out how to walk. It hasn’t happened all at once — she started taking a few steps in the park (all of which I missed, so I’m tempted to pretend they did not really happen) and then last night for the first time, she started walking around in the house a little bit. I nearly missed it at first — she stands and creeps all the time, so it took me a second to realize that she was toddling along, but once I did it was extremely exciting. And then later, I asked her to show her Grammy and she did, and we were over the moon!
But she’s mostly still just crawling. She’s not very steady on her feet and walking is a much less efficient way to get around.
As I’ve watched her try to make the shift, I’ve thought about how bizarre and unintuitive walking is to begin with. It’s precarious to stand up on end and teeter back and forth rather than scuttle along the ground on four points, with a much more stable base. It’s a wonder we ever started doing it. And with Edith, the issue mostly is that she can’t figure out how to balance herself. She wants to get to where she’s going by pointing her head and the bulk of her body there and driving forward. That’s what worked with crawling and it also just makes sense. But with walking, you actually have to tip your center of balance away from where you’re trying to go and kick your feet out from under you. That seems bonkers; it’s like making yourself tip over backwards.
Which is the fascinating thing about having small children, realizing how improbable and strange it is that human beings do anything at all. You look at this tiny helpless grubworm and you think, there’s no way this thing will ever figure out how to function on its own. And for every skill she starts working on, I think, she will never get there the way she’s going about it, this is impossible. And then she just figures it out somehow.
Right now, it seems impossible to me that Edith will ever speak. I do think she will probably speak late; kids in bilingual environments usually do. But she will speak eventually, she’ll just do it somehow. It seems completely unlikely at the moment. As her nanny and I struggle to speak to each other in our respective languages, it’s especially a marvel to me that the tiniest and stupidest among us manage to just…come out with a whole language (or two!) without doing any Duolingo or anything. How is it possible.