I’m going to hazard a guess that one of Elma’s next words is going to be “Up!”.
It’s not so much that it’s a natural progression from “Mamma”, “Dadda”, “Quack” and “Dat”, so much as a case of actions speaking louder than words. Because if you are a small Elma, “Up” is clearly where the excitement happens. Up the stairs as soon as the door’s open a crack; pulling up on the edge of the sofa with tiny fingers clutching at the piping to haul an ecstatic smile up and over the edge; or standing up in the bath to direct operations in determined baby-babble, one hand grasping the edge while the other waves a rubber duck for emphasis.
She’s been able to climb onto Kitty’s bed for a few weeks now, and will sit there quite happily, snuggling whichever of Kit’s many bedfellows had attracted her attention, and last week she managed to use my legs as a starting point to get up onto the footstool.
I don’t remember Kitty being quite so scrambly; I can’t decide whether it’s because where Elma is concerned, life is happening at a slightly higher Kitty-sized level, or whether it’s just another part of her personality starting to shine through. Whatever the answer, her single minded determination is, shall we say, remarkably familiar to her parents.
We had Kitty’s little desk chair out at Elma’s party; it’s usually used as an impromptu Duplo and trains shelf unit tucked up against the wall, but sat in the middle of the floor it loomed up in front of Elma: so very blue, and so very there.
Baby Everest, as made by IKEA.
She circled cautiously, and then pulled herself to her feet. It felt sturdy, and wait, what’s that? Yes! There’s a puppy and a kitty up there! “Dat! Mama! Dat!”
And in a moment, one round little knee was placed on the seat, hands reached forward, and with one last gargantuan effort, she was up.
When I find her on top of the dresser, I’ll know this was where it all began.