Jake isn't scared of anything. We're talking absoLUTEly fearless. At eight months Jake was already pulling up on everything he could get his hands on. He never cried for help back down, he'd just let go and fall. Holding onto rickety rocking chairs one-handed, he'd reach down to grab toys long before he had the coordination to do so. In order to more closely examine a toy from his bookshelf, he'd let go, stand for a second, then topple over amidst his distraction. Needless to say, Jake's accumulated a LOT of little boy bruises. It's a wonder child services hasn't come knocking on our door yet.
All of this fearlessness has led to Jake developing mobility skills rather quickly, and I'm pretty sure we'll have a walker by Labor Day. He's also become a super fast crawler; I've found myself running full speed after him, hurdling furniture in our crowded little condo, on more than one occasion. From the moment he wakes, Jake is after EVERYTHING. He notices the bathroom door cracked open while I'm putting his breast milk bottles together in the morning and moves swiftly and deftly towards his un-baby-proofed target. He makes a run for the entertainment center when we walk through the door, and I barely have time to get my backpack off before he topples the flat screen onto himself. Yeah, I know...we have a fence to put up, but there's so few places we can secure it, and Jake hates being banished to his nursery. And we should probably go ahead and baby proof the bathroom, but it seemed so much easier to just remember to close the door.
It's also amazing to me the things Jake can reach on his tippy toes while steadying himself with just one hand on a piece of furniture. He's become a fan of using our kitchen table chairs to reach for the glass table top. I swear to God, he was hanging off the glass just last week doing pull-ups. He's also a fan of the swings at daycare - not sitting in the swing (he hasn't fit in one for a while), but hanging off the swing. With a baby in it. I know they generally reserve the move up to the next class for the one-year olds, and they have scheduled his move early (for October). But I worry what our little guy might do to some of those infants in the meantime. I mean, I know I wouldn't want Almost Toddling Jake around Baby Jake.
And don't even get me starting on the calf-roping act that changing Jake's diaper has become. I only wish I had half the skills of this rodeo cowboy.
In spite of all the stress and gray hairs, watching Jakey find his way around his little world is quite fun, and I actually love the fact that he's so fearless. It's scary to watch as a parent, and I want to teach him how to take measured risks. But I love the idea that he'll never use fear as an excuse to not follow his dreams. And isn't that the kind of confidence we all want for our children?