By Richie Ann AshcraftSadly, we’re nearing the end of the first chapter. Last week, I wrote of my baby and this week I have to write of my nearly little boy. Soren made a huge leap in his development. He sprouted his first bony white shard of glass along his gum line. It was the first sign of big leaps ahead. The next day, he advanced from a reclining triangle pose to a complete sitting position. After learning this new skill, he delighted his parents prior to bed by showing them repeatedly how easy it was to lie down, roll around, and then sit up. We clapped enthusiastically as if we had just witnessed a feat of shear magnificence and strength by the Strong Man at the circus. Soren beamed with delight fluttering his arms in the air like a baby bird ready to take flight. In the morning, he learned to reach high with his arms, find a good finger hold, and push with his baby quads into a standing position. He discovered the world of the LeapStart Learning Table giving the toy the good pounding it deserved for having been hidden from his line of sight for so long. His crawling skills advanced from “I think I can? to •Wow, Mom we have a kitchen!? He discovered each room of the house from a Tom Thumb level. He also found every scrap of fallen food, trodden mud, or spare string. At any given moment, some unbaby friendly item was either heading or already in his mouth. He practiced climbing onto couch cushions, stacks of books, and the hallway table. He watched Kenny slink under the bed lifting the bed skirt to see where he had gone. This led to his understanding of object permanence. A door is closed, but it doesn•t mean that Daddy isn’t behind it. He’ll wait patiently on the other side while babbling “da da ma ba razz spit.? And so, the chasing of the toddler has begun. Mostly, I just watch for road hazards as he explores our home. I locked away the Drain•O, took some plants to the office, and bought a baby gate. When not sharing a room, I keep a vigilant ear. Every so often, a residual thud echoes as his precious head repeatedly hits the floor. Yesterday, he tried to muscle his way onto his cousin’s lap for a bite of her cookie. To her delight, she yanked her leg out from underneath him leaving him with his first fat lip. I try hard not to coddle him with every bump but watching him tumble is really hard. I could live without the fat lips, but I remind myself that he is a boy after all. The next milestone will be a black eye. Then we’ll be on to the broken arm….I cringe in horror of the thought. Watching him leap from skill to skill is often hard but I couldn’t be prouder of his new independence. I’m seriously considering a helmetthough.