borders.gifWhat a difference standing upright can make. Experiencing Calvin’s personal evolution from all fours to a homo erectus stance makes me feel like I’ve witnessed thousands of years of evolution in a matter of months!

The most stark contrast came yesterday, when we took an outing to the Borders book shop at Columbus Circle. He’s been there many times — from a babe in arms nursing in the feminist literature section, to tummy timing in the interior decor racks, to crawling in the less trafficked aisles filled with history tomes. (Not to mention our regular patronage of the baby changing station in the men’s and women’s bathrooms!)

Yesterday was quite different. Firstly, we travelled sans pram (stroller), backpack or other carrying device. Unless you count hips and arms. Once there, we shed our puffy outergarments and I let Calvin take charge. We went where he wanted to go; a follow the leader with Calvin in front.

What a ball. He loved being able to look at the book covers along the bottom shelves, the step stools, and the people sitting on the floor throughout the book store perusing the merchandise. Even more, he loved chasing after a friendly three-year-old boy who was running in and out the stacks, looping back around Calvin and stopping every so often to ask, “So are you coming?”

They examined boxes of (thankfully) firmly sealed Bionicles. Spanish flash cards. Test drove a box of alphabet book blocks. Mostly Calvin walked confidently this way and that, exercising his brain as much as his legs in trying to outsmart the much faster friend.

For me it was a revelation. Yes of course I was with him every step of the way, but being much more steady on his feet, it’s less a case of anticipating a likely fall, to making sure he is playing constructively and safely. The world is so much wider and more understandable to him, as he experiences it from the same attitude, if not altitude, as most of us. (I think he has officially earned the upgrade from baby to toddler.)

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