She takes each piece carefully out of the basket, inspects it for a loose thread or tag, and then places it behind her. She looks around at the clothes surrounding her, sighs, and stands up to put them back in the basket. She loses her footing when she slips on a shirt and goes down in a heap. Unfazed, she tosses each piece back into the basket. Then she notices me watching her. “Eh?” she asks me inquisitively. Now she smiles, struggles to her feet, and offers me a purple onesie.
Now I’m part of the game. She crosses the kitchen each time, tottering on her baby legs with her pot belly thrust forward, to hand me one piece of clothing from her basket. I say, “Thank you!” with enough enthusiasm to get a 4 ½ -tooth beaming smile in return, along with a little nonsense chatter that must mean, “Here’s my shirt. Not sure why I feel compelled to give it to you, but it makes me happy, so take it!”
Audrey loves laundry. Dirty, clean, she doesn't care. She played with the basket of clothes for at least 10 minutes, and then played with me and the basket of clothes for another 10 minutes. She starts with gentle tossing, and then flings the clothes behind her in laundry shot-put. She’s very interested in the “in and out,” “off and on,” “over and under” games lately. Yogurt cups with lids, Tupperware, and laundry baskets are her favorite toys. She takes these things very seriously—it’s fascinating to watch her concentration as she crumples a shirt in her hands, runs her hands along the printed design or snaps, and then decides whether to gently place it in the basket or throw it behind her.
She has become such a little personality these days. Walking makes all the difference. She has gone from walking to scurrying, almost running, in about a week. She still falls a lot, but gets right back up with hardly a nose scrunch of complaint most of the time, even when her falls are Lance-induced. She announces her intentions with hoots and screeches, and usually scoots toward the desired open closet, cupboard or dishwasher with an “uh, uh, uh” or a drawn-out “ooohhhhhhh.” Lucky for me, she hasn’t figured out how to be quiet and sneaky most of the time yet, unless she’s trying to get into the bathroom, in which case she’s silent. I’ve already lost her upstairs for a few seconds, when she snuck into the bathroom in search of Lance’s tub toys. She looks very pleased with herself when I find her, and frighteningly not-at-all-guilty. To this day, Lance cannot go anywhere quietly or sneakily, but with Audrey, I sense danger ahead…