This is the second post in a series written by Frieda, my mother. These are her memories of her first rambunctious baby and their adventures on the mission field. Click this link to start at the beginning.
Among other baby equipment we had been given before we left the States was a walker. It was a simple affair made of aluminum pipes with a canvas seat and wheels. I don’t remember just how many months old Sara was when we decided to set her in the walker. She immediately launched herself and the walker across the tile floor to hit the wall on the other side of the room. Forget the walker!
Later, she stood up and walked around in her play pen holding on to the sides, but we seldom put her on the floor because conventional wisdom there in Costa Rica was that the cold tiles in that cool climate would surely make her sick. One day when she was ten months old, I did take her out of the playpen, and she pulled herself up, holding on to a door frame. When I said something to her, she turned loose and ran to me—that was the first time she ever took a step without holding on. She didn’t learn to walk first, just ran from the start. We thought it amazing that she learned to walk and run without ever crawling. (We were told many years later that not crawling wasn’t a good thing and may have had something to do with the dyslexia we discovered she had when she started school at age six.)
Another missionary couple had a little girl born on the same day as Sara. We decided to get together to celebrate the girls’ first birthday. The other couple arrived and stood their little girl in the middle of our living room floor. She just stood there looking around. I put Sara down, and after running several circles around the other child, she pushed her over. That was the end of their playing together; the little girl would scream every time she saw Sara approaching. We were a little embarrassed, but the truth is we just thought our baby was smarter than everyone else’s calm little darlings.