Walkie talkie

Kates said it best at the end of last weekend when she told someone Phoebe’s “giving us a run for our money.”

During a trip last weekend to visit some family, her blabbering stopped only when we put her down to sleep.

Like I’ve said before, she also crawls like a racehorse …

She’s at a stage now where she has to push every button and investigate every object. So it came almost as no surprise when she discovered a golf ball displayed at my parents’ home, promptly pulled it from its shelf and started shaking it ... The next morning, she went straight for the golf ball again and kept the rest of us entertained -- and laughing -- as she proceeded to throw it around the kitchen. Watched it bounce and roll on the ceramic floors. And then fetched the ball like a puppy.

She also has a stuffed blue octopus that lately she takes almost everywhere with her. Which is sort of adorable … The thing about it is it plays music when you squeeze its head. And Phoebe must always have that music playing; no matter what she’s doing, that octopus is playing music in the background. … So I’ve developed a fun (mostly for me) game with her where I press the button that makes the music stop. In an instant Phoebe turns to the octopus, starts the music again and returns to what she was doing. After a few seconds, I stop the music again, and Phoebe turns to the octopus, starts the music another time and returns to what she was doing. After a few more seconds, I stop the music and … you get the idea.

As our weekend road trip came to a close and we headed home, Phoebe was asleep after just a few minutes on the road, and she didn’t wake up until we were just a few miles from our home.

Kates and I were just as exhausted from chasing her all weekend. But that's all part of the fun in this whole parenthood thing.

* * *

On Wednesday night, I was working in our downstairs den with Phoebe playing on the floor beside me. Kates was making dinner upstairs …

It’s not rare for Phoebe to just take off and explore the room. Usually, I let her go, glancing at her every few seconds to make sure she’s staying occupied but not getting into something she shouldn’t be …

Lately, it’s also not rare for her to crawl to the staircase and pull herself up on the bottom rung. Then she either gets bored and crawls back over to me, or starts whining because she wants to go back upstairs by Mommy.

On Wednesday night, she did neither. Out of the blue, she started crawling up the stairs … and got up three or four before I noticed.

While I ran to catch her possible fall, I yelled for Kates, who came to the top of the stairs to catch the sight. Phoebe crawled up a few more before getting a little scared, I suppose. She started fussing and I whisked her back to the safety of our floor.

But within minutes of me walking away again, she proceeded to try her climb once more. Again, I went to spot her …

This time she crawled up the entire staircase -- all 12 steps -- by herself and let out a happy squeal when she spotted Mommy in the kitchen.

I didn’t know whether to be overjoyed or scared out of my mind.

* * *

I tell you these stories as my lead-in to this …

The milestone every parent eagerly waits for and sort of dreads, right?

Phoebe took her first steps last night.

Kates learned from the caretaker yesterday afternoon that Phoebe had taken some steps at the daycare. So Kates was wanting to try walking with Phoebe as soon as she carried her in the door … At that point though, Phoebe’s legs were too wobbly to do any real walking. She was more or less lunging at Kates or I when one of us let go …

But a little while later, as I was standing in a doorway, Phoebe crawled up to me. Pulled herself up on my pant leg. And then took off.

Initially, Kates was so focused on the TV to notice; I blurted her name to get her attention and pointed to Phoebe walking away from me. Both of us stayed in stunned, giddy silence as we watched our little girl take two, three, four steps before plopping down on her bottom and crawling the rest of the way into our living room.

People keep warning us how fast the time goes and how I should soak it up. For the first time since Phoebe was born, I find myself asking Where did the time go?

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