Flynn and I are heading back to Cotonou in a few days and I must admit I’m a little scared to face his nanny Marie. Apparently in Benin most babies start walking around seven months, and Marie was convinced Flynn would be no different — despite my explanations that walking at a year or so was much more common for American babies for whatever reason.
Nope, Flynn will do it at seven, she insisted.
Seven months rolled by and no walking, much to Marie’s chagrin. We headed back to the U.S. at eight months and Marie told us to hurry back so she wouldn’t miss this milestone. Well, we didn’t exactly hurry back. Two months later, at almost ten months old, Flynn stands for long stretches and sometimes takes up to four or five steps when we dangle a favorite toy just out of reach, but he’s definitely not bipedal. Marie will not be happy.
I’m excited to see whether Flynn remembers Marie. I think he will. I think babies are a lot smarter than I realized. Although Flynn Skypes regularly with his grandparents, until recently I was fairly sure he just thought we was watching a fun TV show. But this week out of nowhere he started playing hide and seek with my mom via Skype. He ducked down under the table where the laptop was sitting, and then waited to hear “Where’s Flynn?” before popping back up and giggling. When my mom moved out of frame and then jumped back into view, he laughed at that too. Again and again. I guess he did understand he was interacting with a person.
He’s interacted with a lot of new people these past few months (most of whom he now waves to, sometimes with both hands), but I don’t think he’s seen a single dog. I’m curious to see how he reacts to Abbey, and what Abbey thinks of him now too. I predict she’ll ignore Flynn entirely, jump on me for a few minutes and then proceed to search every corner of the house and yard for her favorite owner, who unfortunately will not be traveling back with us.
We’re hoping that will Andy join us back in Benin a week or two later. He’s done with chemo but has had some strange test results that still need to be investigated further. For a while the working hypothesis was that he had a whole other disease on top of the cancer, but now that has pretty much been ruled out. It seems the chemo drugs mixed with the post-surgery painkillers mixed with his malaria meds are the most likely source of the strange results, but he still needs to be poked and prodded and tested for a while longer to make sure.
Hopefully the resolution will come quickly because a dad should get to see his son’s first real steps, and I have a feeling Marie is going to do her best to quickly whip a certain non-walking ten-month-old into shape.