Saturday, February 04, 2006


Three weeks ago we had a week of firsts. I guess Kelton was trying to complete all his project milestones ahead of his birthday deadline.

On Saturday January 14, Kelton spoke his first word. It was an apt one, and one he'll have much use for: "uh-oh". Sure, he's made all sorts of babbles over the last couple months, including "ma ma ma", "ba ba ba", and he's long loved to mimic coughs and silly "uh uh uh" sounds. But those are just for fun and don't seem to mean much. Then all of a sudden, he began to say "uh-oh" when he drops a toy, throws a spoon from his highchair, or hears something loud or unexpected. If we repeat it back to him (as you can imagine we do!) often it turns into a game, with several "uh uh uh"'s followed by a long "ooooooh" with the most precious pursed lips you've ever seen. Excuses for more hugs!

Just four days later Kelton took his first steps. Larissa, Hartmut and their three-year-old Lukas and eight-month-old Jakob were visiting for the week, and watching Lukas must have inspired Kelton. Of course he's been leading up to this for a while, with cruising, truck-pushing, double-handhold walking, then shaking off one of my guiding hands. But just as with "uh-oh", a synapse somewhere suddenly solidified, and he took off on several ten-foot sojourns which you can see below. His pride and excitement were beyond bounds, especially with his audience of six.

Also this week Kelton learned to wave. He'll only do it with his right arm, and his hand kind of flops forward and backward instead of side to side. But he's very fond of his new skill. When we wave at him, there's usually a quiet moment of concentration while he works up to it, then finally comes the wave accompanied by a big smile. The bigger waves and accolades he receives in response only spur him on to do it again.

And by the end of the week he was also beginning to point. Usually upwards, at a light or at who-knows-what. We're taking the opportunity to point out more things ourselves and name them.

All these firsts remind me of the other milestones he's reached over the last months, which I have neglected to record here. Long ago the first reaching-and-grasping, the first two-handed grasp, the first ride on my shoulders, and many others all lost in the mists of time already. I will have to do better.

But the walking is the biggest step yet, so to speak. It's enabling him to get into new kinds of trouble, as you can see below. Uh-oh, indeed.