Dolly looked so proud today, charging around the garden with her little wooden trolley in her new shoes - the shoes that she gets so excited about every time she looks at them. All of a sudden, despite still having very little hair, she looked so incredibly grown-up. It made me feel very strange, happy strange, and sad strange.
The trolley was Betty's and is now falling apart. It has been left out in all weather conditions, has been dragged up and down steps, filled with mud, used as a scooter, and it looks a state, but Dolly loves it and is now inseparable from it. It is a far cry from the brand spanking new trolley excitedly presented to Betty three years ago.
Betty's crawling and walking developments were well documented on this blog. I went into great detail about her first steps, buying her first shoes and her first walk in them etc. All Dolly got was a throw away line at the end of my last post.
I hadn't even realised that Dolly was ready to start walking. My mum suggested giving her the trolley to see what she made of it, and when first presented with the mouldy, rickety thing, I expected her to stumble and fall and not have a clue. But she grabbed it and off she went, confidently and competently. I felt pangs of guilt that I had been neglecting my darling precious baby, and wondered how long she had been wanting to walk for.
Dolly is so happy and easy and good-natured I worry that we are taking advantage of this. She gets no-where near the same attention that Betty got at the same age, and where we would always be standing over Betty, staring and cooing, and eagerly encouraging her to reach the next developmental milestone, Dolly is often left to her own devices, and milestones seem to be forgotten.