Week 45 — Learning to Stand


Eagle eyed viewers will have already taken note that it really wasn’t that long ago that my son was “learning” to crawl. In fact, many of you that are probably still drunk from the night before will notice this, as I made quite a song and dance about it.

But before we kick things up to 11, I’d just like to mention that my darling, dearest wifey has pointed out that it’s National Breastfeeding Week. Obviously this is an extremely important cause, prominently because it’s particularly consequential for women that want to get out there and do what they need to do without persecution for the most natural thing known to mammals (it’s why we’re called that, it comes from ’mammaries’, duh), but perhaps of greater note is that this special week signifies another thing dads can feel left out of. Unless you’re one of those weird, lactating dads that they keep for special occasions like the birthdays of monarchs and Marilyn Manson’s ice cream. The irony is that most people don’t have an issue with men getting their nipples out in public — they don’t even say anything when the particularly horrid examples (you know the ones: guys that make you want to scratch vomit into your eyes just to deny their appearance) de-robe at the beach. Yet when a woman does it to feed some sproglet (hopefully her own, but whatever floats your boat) then there’s some big hoo-haa about public indecency or some such silliness. Honestly, I’ve never heard such fetid rubbish. Three cheers for all the brave ladies getting their knockers out in front of people to keep tiny humans alive! I wouldn’t get my love truncheon (or “daddy’s dangle-shame”) out in public if you paid me, so fair play.

Anyway, mammaries aside…Where was I? I was talking about learning to stand. Yes, that would be breast. Best. I meant best.

For the baby, crawling just isn’t that (’scuse my French) gosh-darned interesting anymore. On holiday, we heard him waking up but when we went to check on him we found him holding onto the side of his travel cot and swaying with a big, slobbery smile on his face! Cots are for lying in, not standing! Stop growing up so fast, tiny human, you’re reminding me how old I’m getting in this seemingly exponential frame of reference we know as time! Also, it’s a reminder that he’s that bit closer to being a toddler and no longer a baby, sad times. But it’s a proper joy to see him progress this quickly; it makes us feel a little smug as parents, in that he’s obviously going the right way in life and not falling on hard drugs or something.

Not only that, but now he uses every surface to stand up against. Sofas are the best because when he inevitably falls (and when he does it’s kind of funny — he sort of just forgets how to remain upright and folds forwards) he at least has something soft to collapse against, face-first. And he’s just worked out how to climb stairs: it is EXACTLY like a drunk person that’s lost all confidence in their ability to perform basic tasks. I’m sure this will become more prominent next week, but suffice it to say that we now have a full compliment of stair gates throughout the house.

On top of this all, my son’s started responding to his own name (it helps that we isolate the word and shout it across the room at him) and he follows the basic command of ’clap clap’. Honestly, this little winner’s going places. Inevitably he bumps his head a bit more often, but I just pick him up and provide the fleshy comfort of allowing him to shank me with his never-endingly long nails.

So when he’s not trying to walk before he can crawl (nice use of the phrase there, well done me) then he’s successfully napping less. As we approach the end of his first year it makes me wonder just how far he’s come. Then I remember that most animals can walk almost immediately after birth, and I realise that he’s still just a helpless sack of dribble pudge that screams when spoons are taken from him.

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