13 Months and Fearless

It’s becoming clear that the little guy has no sense of safety or self-preservation. Now 13 months old, James still is not walking, but he crawls around with reckless abandon, going over and through all things that stand in his way. He’ll pull himself up on everything that provides some semblance of a hand grip. He regularly crashes to the floor with the play kitchen coming down on top of him when he tries to use the refrigerator door as a grab handle. When he does find something sturdy to pull himself up on, he gets excited and toddles at a frantic pace while using it for support until he forgets he can’t walk, tries to, and crumbles to the floor in a heap.

The stairs are his favorite. He’ll make a break for them anytime he gets a chance. Then he sets his sights on the top. The photo accompanying this post was taken seconds before he turned fully around to mock me, lost his grip and slid down a step until I caught him. He was not fazed. Moments later, he was back on them. This time, I put my phone away because I did not want to call my wife from the ER to report that I was about to get the cutest picture when James suddenly fell down the stairs (again). So I kept right behind him, stabilized him once or twice, and he was soon at the summit. This accomplishment thrilled him to no end.

It’s strange watching this fearless little bugger because Sammy, his big brother, has always been a very cautious child. He crawled early, but didn’t move on to toddling or walking until he’d perfected the prior movement. Only this spring, now that he’s three, has he dared go on swings and down slides. He’s the kid at the playground that tells the other ones to be careful. I could probably count on one hand the number of times he fell and banged his head in his first two years of life. With James, I lose track daily.

Fortunately for James, he comes from a long line of hard Minervino heads. Were it not for the loud thud it makes, I’m not sure he’d know that he’s conked his melon, which, according to his pediatrician’s head circumference chart, ranks in the top one-percent for kids his age. Just this afternoon, I was trying to rock him to sleep for a nap. I thought he was almost there, when suddenly he jerks back, gives me a big smile, closes his eyes, and whips his forehead straight into my collarbone. I thought I might need X-rays. He just re-snuggled up and was snoozing in moments.