And an ‘Amen’, too
Josh, as you know, is a heavy little bruiser. Solid as a rock. Weighs a ton, and lifts like a ton.
Which is heavier, a pound of lead or a pound of feathers?
Neither, obviously. They’re both the same: One Pound. A pound is a pound is a pound. Physics, and your kitchen scale, are clear on that.
Except… There’s physics, there’s fact, then there’s experienced reality. There are kids who just lift easier than others, you know? Of course you do. It’s the weirdest thing. The number on the scale might say the same thing. They’re both 25 pounds, yet Child A surges up into your arms, whereas Child B drags on your lower back like a bucket of sludge. We’ve all experienced that.
What’s with that?
Josh is a charmer. Largely cheerful, with a wide, square face most often wreathed with a big, wide smile. Josh weighs over 30 pounds. And Josh?
Lifts like a bucket of sludge. Every time I pick up that kid, I feel that “Ooof!” of effort. My back feels the strain. My arms start to quiver. Josh is 13 months old, he weighs 33 pounds and he
Reasonable enough. Thirteen months is not too late to be still crawling. He is not delayed in any way.
But he is heavy. Damned heavy. Crushingly heavy. Thank GOD he’s not a needy little clinger who wants to be carried all the time. I’d be in hospital in traction if I’d had to carry that lump for more than a few minutes each day over the past month. Lordy.
Still, a non-walker needs to be carried a certain percentage of each day. It’s unavoidable. And every time I pick that child up, “oof!” goes my lower back. (I know how to lift, too. No bent-at-the-middle swoops into the air for poor, deprived, bucket-of-sludge Josh. This kid gets the proper, back-straight, lift-from-the-thighs hoist, most often accomplished by a pretty neat arm curl. My back is going “oof”, but I’m developing great biceps.)
So you will understand my reaction when Emma, who was in the kitchen, called out to me in the front hall, getting kids ready to go out. I looked down the hall and saw Josh’s shadow in the kitchen door, though I couldn’t see him.
“Hey, mum! Look at this!”
And Josh rounds the corner.
ON HIS FEET!
The boy has achieved bipedal!!!
He was WALKING!!!
I looked, I laughed, I punched the air with both fists, and I shouted out an exuberant and utterly grateful,
Have you ever wondered why your kids always pick up swear words, far quicker than they pick up PG vocabulary? It’s because anything said with sufficient emotional fervor, something shoots out of mummy or daddy’s mouth with some force, that catches their attention. It makes an impact.
I just did that. (And I wasn’t even swearing! Which I never, ever do in front of the daycare, nuh-uh.)
I don’t think any of the daycare tots had heard that word before.
Poppy grabbed it first.
And I laugh. Of course. So then everyone else grabs it, too. “Halleljah!” “Hah-la-loo-lie!” “Hoe-la-loo-lah!”
It was a revival meeting, right there in my front hall.
Thing is, the kids know what provoked it. So every time Josh staggers by upright, he leaves a trail of “HALLELUJAH!”s in his wake.
At the end of the day, Poppy was the last to be collected. I was chatting with her mother (a favourite of mine amongst the daycare parents) about the day, and happened to mention Josh’s new skill. As I described seeing him lurch through the kitchen door, Poppy, who had been industriously snarling my shoelaces into a rich tangle of mayhem, stood up, threw both hands into the air, and shouted
Josh is upright, and the whole house celebrates, world without end.
Hallelujah and Amen