Lucia is walking. Never more than eight or ten steps at a time—and usually fewer—but when she gets it in her head that she wants to practice, she goes for it. She stands up—rising slowly from Downward Dog into a balanced stand—and then toddles forward in a Frankenstein walk, grinning all the while. She’ll walk to me now if I sit on the floor with my arms held out, and she’ll walk with her own arms held out, walking faster when she reaches me and then nearly jumping into a hug. It is too, too cute.
But not as cute as her dancing. When the nose of her lion push-toy is pushed, tinny electronic songs play—which, being a baby, Lucia loves. She will push her lion, but when the music stops, she stops too, eases slowly to the front of the lion, pushes the nose, and then walks back to the handle. Instead of pushing it again, though, for several moments she’ll dance to the music—bending her little knees in an attempt at rhythm and snapping the fingers of one hand. Well, she can’t actually snap. But she moves her fingers in an attempt at snapping. For some reason Andrew and I both always snap when we do silly dances for her, and so now she does it too. She will dance for a minute or so and then keep pushing the lion.
Andrew thinks this is the cutest thing she’s done yet, but I myself think her motion for “cuddling” is the cutest. I’ve mentioned it before—she draws both arms into her chest tightly and quickly wiggles back and forth as though hugging a teddy bear. She does it now when she sees one of her stuffed animal friends. But today, we were taking a break from our morning walk to have some Cheerios and some walking practice in front of the library, and when she finally got back into her stroller, we saw a squirrel. There are lots of squirrels there, and she is captivated by them. This squirrel, however, not only stared at us but began walking closer and closer and closer until it was just about five feet away. Lucia was craning forward in her stroller, amazed. “Look at him!” I said. “He’s so cute!” At these words, Lucia looked at the squirrel and did the cuddling motion. That, to me, is pretty much the essence of cute.