Baby Steps

Benjamin is 10 months old, and still growing like a weed. He is quite comfortable walking now, in most situations — wearing socks on a slippery floor is still challenging for him. He toddles around the house, crawling only to get into more tricky spots. Turning is by far the most amusing.
Next time you turn while you’re walking, think about how complex an operation it is. You probably turn your eyes, then your head, slightly in the direction you want to go, then with each step, you change angle toward your goal. For Benjamin, its not quite that easy.
Walking is something he does in more-or-less a straight line. If he wants to change direction, he has to come to a complete stop — which he does with his hands out in front of him, in case the stop fails and he ends up on the floor. Then, once he’s steadied out, he see-saws his feet, rotating his entire body, until he ends up roughly in the direction he wants to go. Once thats accomplished, and again, after he’s steady, he heads off in the new direction.
The whole operation would look kind of robot-like, if it weren’t so adorable.

This month also brought teeth — finally! While his younger friends have been sporting chompers for months now, Benjamin has been patiently gumming away at his food. Finally, while he was home in Canada, his two top teeth (usually the later ones to arrive) started to break through. This, combined with the upset to his routine due to travel, has led to a few rough nights lately, but the worst seems to have passed. Nic thinks the bottom ones aren’t far behind.
On top of his physical development, I’d be remiss if I didn’t record his emotional growth. I’ve been reading about Attachment Theory over my lunch hours lately, and have found it particularly fascinating as I’ve been able to observe my own baby boy against the theories of Bowlby, Ainsworth and their contemporaries.
Benjamin is quantifiably “Secure Attached” — meaning that, while he gets upset when mom (and/or dad) leave him in scary or new environments, he readily and happily greets us on our our return, and quickly finds the confidence again to begin exploring.

Although obviously I don’t have the resources, or the objectiveness, to study my child through an entire “Strange Situation” experiment, we’ve had plenty of opportunity to see how he handles going to the nursery at church, staying with a new babysitter, or even playing by himself in the living room, and I think its pretty easy to see that our little guy is emotionally secure and healthy.
In short, we are incredibly blessed to have such a happy and active baby boy. Its a tribute, of course, to his mom, who’s seized the role with a natural instinct that still amazes me, and frankly, to the sheer normalcy and well-adjustedness of both of his parents, and the quality of our relationship. These things themselves being a tribute to our own parents.
There has never, in my mind, been a better case for the traditional — and Biblical — design of a family, then what I’ve observed in Benjamin.
Anyone who would argue different, about the shape or value of family, or about the character of Benjamin’s parents, doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

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