I was going to call this post, The Day I Didn’t Miss My Daughter’s First Steps. But then I decided to be completely upfront and go with the title above instead.
Because, after hurtling through a whole array of emotions, from elation and joy to despair, guilt and wretchedness, back to elation, I am now at the point of denial.
Being a working mum has it’s benefits, a healthy bank balance and a stimulated mind not least among the working virtues. But, sometimes, it can be utterly rubbish.
Today was one of those days.
At nearly 21 months, my child is still not walking. Or wasn’t, anyway. She has been trying to put one foot in front of the other for the past 6 months, but failed to actually make any progress on her own. Recently I got hugely excited at the fact she was walking holding just one of my hands instead of two (finally, I can stand up straight!), but that is as far as we have come.
Until this morning. When I received this text from the childminder while I was at work:
“Hi. We are so excited. Freya took four steps on her own just now!”
“Oh. I missed it,” I thought. And then a single, solitary tear escaped and rolled down my cheek. I felt sad and guilty and utterly resentful of the job I usually love doing.
Then I felt cross with myself for feeling that way. It was good news afterall.
But then, “You are joking,” I thought. “I’ve been waiting six bloody months and she chooses NOW to take her first steps!” So. Anger and a bit of frustration thrown in for good measure.
After pinging backwards and forwards from one unhealthy emotion to the other I plumped for good old fashioned denial. So now I’ve decided those first steps didn’t actually happen at all. They’re not real until I’ve witnessed them with my own eyes. And iPhone.
Which means we are still yet to take those elusive first steps, despite my best efforts to catch them on camera this evening. That child has me right where she wants me…