Cole took his first steps a little over two weeks ago and he’s been getting better every day. He can make the 8-foot walk from the television stand to the couch without falling. He’s even flashed the ability to take a few steps, come to a standstill, then walk again. My favorite of his stunts was his head fake of Madison a couple of days ago. Cole stood at the couch and Madison crouched 5 or so feet away from him. “C’mon, Cole!” she said. Usually, Cole smiles and walks over to whoever calls him. This time, though, he took three small steps, then made a sharp left turn and walked to the chaise portion of our couch. He squealed as he did so and he prompted reactions of shock from Mad and me. Madison shouted Cole’s name and I tossed out the “Wow, Cole Boy!” He was so happy in that moment, it was as if he knew exactly what he was doing and got exactly the reaction he wanted. Similarly, whenever he climbs onto the couch, he looks for me before he does anything else – just so he can see me see him. Then he grins from ear to ear before I come to take him down.
Water play is Cole’s favorite hobby. last weekend we visited the new International Marketplace for the first time and we came across a little water play area. I thought I would be a super cool dad if I let Cole stand in the ankle-deep water for a few minutes before we headed back to the car. I am sure that, in Cole’s eyes, I was a super cool dad – for the 45 seconds I actually let him stand in the water. I hadn’t thought about how he might react to being allowed his favorite thing, then having it taken away so abruptly. He handled it as you might guess: he screamed his head off.
My dad scored an end-of-summer deal at Toys R Us. He picked up a 6×10 inflatable pool for $15 and as soon as Cole saw it he was in love. Lynnette walked him over to the edge of the pool and Cole’s legs kicked and his arms flailed wildly. He wasted no time acclimating himself to the water this time. He splashed, crawled around, and took a few steps. He slipped a few times and his head fell below the water a few times, but he never cried and never tried to get out of the pool. Even when Uncle Matty shot him in the face with the max liquidator, Cole didn’t complain. He loves the water too much.
My favorite of Cole’s habits, though, is the way he gets kind of clingy when he’s really tired. Earlier this week he took three steps before diving on me as I lay in the living room. He stayed there like that, as if he were going for the pin. I rubbed his head and back and he almost fell asleep before fighting it off and crawling away. Last night he used my chest as a pillow. He doesn’t always do it, so it seems sweet when he does. I reminds me of the very first time he crawled on me. I scooped him up, placed him on my tummy and chest and tapped his back. He fell asleep instantly. He won my heart even quicker.