The biggest worry of any parent who sends their child to nursery, even for the tiniest little while, has to be that they'll miss something important, some milestone that we'd want to have the first hand memory to recount to them when they're eighteen and think it's all very corny that you remember, and again when they're thirty-something, and know for themselves why it matters so much.
Kitty spends three days a week at a wonderful small nursery who love and cherish her only slightly less than we do, and have to my delight introduced her to glitter as a painting medium, and the actions to all the variations of Row row row the boat. Working off the premise that I have to work, and despite my colleagues' assurances that they'd help keep her hidden under my desk Brittas Empire-style, she has to spend her days somewhere slightly more baby friendly than an office full of paper and bookcases, I couldn't be happier. But as the pulling up turned to cruising, and the cruising turned into the occasional standing, I worried that I would miss out; that I wouldn't be there for her first steps.
Over the last week or so, she's worked on mastering a step-stumble-dive between H and me, and a little waddly walk holding onto one or two of Mama's fingers but for the rest of the time her high speed wiggle crawl and the cruising seemed to get her where she wanted to go.
That was then. This evening, deciding that she'd had enough cuddles for the time being, she wiggled herself safely down from H's lap and the sofa, and stood, one hand on the cushions, the other stretched out in front of her. And as the Strictly band bounced through the Charleston, she let go and stood there for a moment, bobbing her head and swishing her hands from side to side (think 'the wipers on the bus') before confidently striking out across the floor to reach me.
It may only have been three or four steps before she realised what she was doing and plomped to the floor to have a little think about it, but it counts.
Today, 26 November 2011, aged 14 months and five days, unpromted and unaided, our Kitty took her first steps.