Yesterday Stella woke me up at her normal time. About 7:15am. She’s been having stomach trouble lately and so my first order of business was to clean a particularly nasty diaper. As I did so, she danced at her music and sound table. Pulling the frog’s guitar frantically to fast forward to the songs that were most danceable. She was not about to sit down.
I got home about 7. Stella has been spending the days with her BaBa (paternal grandmother) and so Julie and I were both in a mood to just hang out with her. We haven’t seen that much of her lately, and she’s been letting us know with lots of hugs. Which is not to say she doesn’t love spending time with her Baba. Just that she makes a point of reminding us that we’re her parents.
We were hanging out in Stella’s room and she started just standing up in the middle of the room. Or pulling up and standing without holding onto anything. And each time she did she’d have this look on her face. Pride, like she’d just narrowly won a race, mixed with a look of intense mischief. I swear there were little lights dancing in her eyes. You could see the wheels turning.
Shortly after that she took a step. It was more of a shuffle, and we asked each other, “Was that a step?”. “I dunno. I think so.” At which point she took a shuffle and a real step. At this point we were goading her on. Julie was convinced that if she got the camera Stella would stop, but decided to get it anyway. When she got back. Stella stood up with the assistance of her table, and then took 4 wobbly steps towards me. We were cheering and yelling. And Stella looked like a thief raiding the Pharaoh’s tomb. After that she stopped performing for us. Cheeky monkey. We feed her and cloth her! We tell her when to dance! She was looking pretty tired though. Which I guess makes sense when you realize that in essence she’s doing what people do in physical therapy. So we took her downstairs. Gave her some food and put her to bed. I read her “Goodnight Gorilla”. And I decided that Gorilla is a girl gorilla just like Stella. And all too soon our little girl gorilla will start letting all the animals out to try to come sleep in our bed.
Julie brought up something else funny. Apparently, when my mom comes over she immediately finds a barrette for Stella.
I find this funny. Stella has very unruly hair for those of you who don’t see her regularly. I realize that my mom brushed her daughters hair every day, ironed ribbons, and then put them in their hair, but I just can’t seem to get the energy to carry on the tradition. And I’m cool with that. Here’s to hoping that Stella continues to pick out her own clothes (sometimes t-shirts and jean shorts, sometimes dresses) and pull out her barrettes, and becomes whatever sort of girl she wants to be.