I lie on my tummy and push, I push the floor with my feet. My arms pull along. I shuffle. Under my tummy the rug is rough, and slowly, push after shove, I move forward. Then, suddenly, I feel smooth wood, and now I can go fast. I am a racing car, my legs push faster, my hands thrust the solid floor away and speedily I skim the room. Laughing I round the sofa till I feel the brushy wool again. Then I bump my head against something soft. I touch a foot, a leg, trousers. I claw the fabric and hand-by-hand I drag myself up. I wobble, wag my bum, but keep pulling, I want, no need to get there. Wilful my legs kick up and yes. I am standing.
Proudly I look around, gripping the knee tight, so high I can see the world. I wave and grin. Mama does not see me and I slap her knee. She looks up, smiles, pats my head and types on.
The house is quiet, my big brother and sister are away. No one jumps on me, pushes or pokes me. No one kisses me or makes me laugh. Mama is busy, always busy, she works, she types, and only the corner of her eye sees me.
I crawl to the playpen and grab the bars. Again I pull, upwards, but I can’t. My feet push, I go up but not enough, I swing and sway and tumble down screaming. Mama looks up. She helps me and together we grip the bars firmly. I stand for a bit, than she lets me walk, holding tight we cruise the room, until we reach the sofa. She sits me down, a stack of cups in front of me. I mow them over. Ready.
I call mama, come, please. She looks up but works on. I bend over, further, till I fall. I crawl again, grab the trousers and pull up. First I smile happily, bearing both my teeth. Mama smiles back. Then I get angry, I want to walk and mama has to help. I smack her knee. Now she no longer smiles. She let’s me walk, to the middle of the rug where I have to sit. I don’t want to, I stretch my legs, stiff as a board. Cross I bend my back backwards, because I don’t want to sit. I want to walk, I howl. For a second I relax and mama seizes the moment. I am sitting.
A pile of blocks, a tumbling bunny, some animals. I don’t want them, I throw them about and around and scream for mama. She reacts, oh little one, how tired you are, let’s get you to bed. But I am not tired and I don’t want to sleep, I want to walk, mama, hear me now. She doesn’t, she puts me in my cot and I cry. Sleep tight, mama says, sweetly, but I don’t want to sleep, I want to walk and I scream until my throat hurts and mama finally gets it and comes to get me.