Except - wait. There is something.
I ache to take the baby in my arms and say to his proud little self, "Junior, today was a big day for you. As of now, you have new responsibilities that will make your life easier in some ways, harder in others.
"Today, Junior, you become a toddler. And tomorrow, Junior, your parents suffer coronary occlusions as you dash, drunk with power, from hazard to hazard, wreaking chaos with your hands. At our final collapse, know that we love you, Junior, and you're truly worth the anxiety. (Darling, can you take him? I need a drink.)"
But I can't. At least, I could, but all the infant would understand from the exchange is that up there in my arms, he can easily reach up and grab my eyeglasses and toss them to the floor.
I cried when my baby first learned to roll over, and when he began to crawl, I got all choked up. But...my dear heaven, my baby's on the verge of becoming a toddler. You hear me? He'll toddle. Other babies have toddled before, I suppose, and I have no real beef with that. But the ground-shaking impact of my baby's imminent toddlerhood hadn't hit me until today.
Toddling is vertical, you see. It's in no way horizontal, except when said toddler falls. Toddling is, for all practical purposes, all grown up.
So it turns out I got him all the wrong books. I got him Harry Potter and Curious George and Hardy Boys. But I see now that if he's just a step away from walking on his own, I should have gotten him Moby Dick, Crime and Punishment, The Count of Monte Cristo, and maybe a thesaurus or two.
I thought I had plenty of time. But now that I've seen him on his feet wobbling shakily toward me, mine eyes have opened wide. Today he toddles; tomorrow he calls me to tell me he's having trouble getting that second mortgage on the split-level in Portland, and would I send another of those cheese-and-sausage gift baskets to his ex-wife to get her off his back while he hightails it to Orlando for a much-needed weekend away from the oil rig, oh, and could I take the kids until Monday because he promised them I'd take them shopping for a real baby dinosaur like in their favorite TV show?
Doom doesn't begin to describe it.
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