A couple weeks ago we had a big event in our house…L started to walk!
Back at the end of June, L started walking between J and I each night. He would take 1 or 2 steps and then down he went. That was really the extent of the walking he did around the house. He really showed no great interest in walking and therefore I was sure we had a month or two before he was mobile.
So on July 13, 2011 I was sitting in my family room and all of the sudden I watched L go over to a large truck on the floor and use it to push himself up. Suddenly he started walking toward the couch!! I instantly jumped up and sprinted over to my camera desperate to catch some pictures of the first steps. As I snapped pictures I yelled for my husband “Todd, Todd, you have to come here! L is walking!!!! I cannot believe it!! HURRY! HURRY!”
Todd walked in (in no great hurry) from the other room with a regular look on his face. In a sort of “oh that is yesterday’s news” tone he said… “Yeah, I know…he started doing that a few days ago”. J came around the corner and echoed her Dad: “Yeah he did that yesterday too!”
Suddenly I could hear the sound that air makes when you let go of a balloon you are blowing up. What I was witnessing was not L’s first steps? I missed them? Then I started to get what is probably one of the most dreaded feelings that working Moms get…the realization that you missed your baby’s “first”.
I had missed the first steps and Todd never even told me about them?? Did Todd, J, or H even gasp when he did it? Did they clap? They didn’t even think to take a picture?
I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. I mean sure, it’s not some race to be the first to discover some lost island or something like that. But still, I missed it.
Of course this feeling is no stranger to me. I mean come on, I am gone during the day 5 days week so I no doubt have missed nearly all of my kids actual “firsts”. I can still remember when H started crawling and I couldn’t wait to tell his teachers at daycare. “H is crawling, can you believe it? He started this weekend”. I said with a Mommy sense of pride in my voice. His teacher smiled with a look of relief across her face and stated: “Oh I’m so glad you said something because I was so nervous! I didn’t think and the other day I submitted our paragraph for the newsletter and put that he started crawling two weeks ago. I wasn’t sure if you had seen it yet!”. Again, insert the balloon air sound.
Then there was a few months ago, when L had his first parent teacher conference and I brought up the fact that I was nervous he wasn’t talking. His teacher looked completely stunned and said: “What? He talks all the time. He is starting to do animal sounds and will say hi and bye”. I must admit I felt like someone had stuck a Loser Mommy badge on my shirt right there.
When J graduated from her daycare and got her “binder of accomplishments”, I quietly put it away in the hope chest without really analyzing the dates. I have no doubt that the dates they have down for her firsts are much different than mine.
Todd left the room and I sat there watching L. I shook myself out of my sadness, I mean regardless of who saw him first, HE WAS WALKING!!! I started to clap loudly everytime he started to walk. The look on his face was priceless. He kept walking over and over each time I clapped. I started to feel better knowing that although Todd was the first to see him walk, I certainly was the first to make a huge deal over it. I stood up and walked over to the baby book and turned to the “Baby’s Firsts” page. Did I ask Todd what day he saw L walk? Nope. I happily wrote July 13, 2011 on the page. See, I’ve always followed a rule when it comes to firsts. When Mommy sees it, it’s the “first”. PERIOD. I mean come on, it’s only fair right? I brought the kids into the world and therefore their firsts do not occur until I see it.
July 13, 2011 L started to walk for the FIRST time. I may not have been the first to see it, but I was the first to "record" it. Maybe that's why Mommies always keep baby books, so that if there is ever a dispute in 20 years as to when an actual first occurred we at least have documented evidence to back up our story!