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My baby can stand now.  More or less.  She can pull herself upright and has an unsupported vertical record of roughly five seconds.  She hasn’t really started to “cruise” yet, but she has done a couple of close range transfers (ottoman to play-stand and back again).

The problem with Abby being able to stand is that she can now also fall.

Falling from a crawl is a small, safe matter.  Face to ground is eight inches at the most.  And she’s only been crawling for a few weeks, so there have been precious few face-plants since Abby started to become mobile.

But standing, standing is a matter of feet, not inches.  It is momentum and mass and heavy thuds when little bottoms hit hard floors.  It is toppling over and banging noggins off of walls.  It is a grown-up position, a precursor to toddling, walking, running.  It is the first step to truly falling.

That is what keeps me awake at night.  My baby is getting big enough to really fall.  Not just to roll about and bump into things but to fall down hard, to get hurt, to feel pain.  What I wouldn’t give to keep my baby from those horrible realities, safe from skinned knees and scuffed palms, split lips and goose-eggs.  What I wouldn’t give.

But I have to remember, we all fall down.  We all fall down.  Abby must be included in that.  Abby must have the right to stand, fall, and cry.  I can catch her when she’s near me, but hovering around her all the time will bring resentment, not safety.  It will bring stagnation, not growth.  I need to be ready to watch her stand, stumble, and fall.

It’s the only way that Abby will learn to stand up for herself.