The giants are all staring at me again and making those weird, nonsensical noises they always make whenever I do anything. And I mean that literally. Anything. They seem to be trying to communicate with me, but I find it insulting to my intelligence that they don’t ever use real words unless it’s in an annoyingly high-pitched voice. Mostly they just use a string of silly words accompanied by even sillier faces, but they get so tickled when I smile at them, that I try to do it often, but that only makes them act even more ridiculous. My guess is that that’s the point of their antics. These giants are so easily entertained.
I don’t know any of their names except the two that are around constantly. They seem to want to be called “Mama” and “Dada” and keep repeating those words as if they want me to say them too, but I’m not ready to give them that satisfaction. The others come and go, but these two are there every time I open my eyes. It’s maddening. I try not to sleep when they’re around so I can keep an eye on them, but my body often succumbs to its need for rest. Thankfully I’m able to jerk myself back to consciousness every two hours or so and so far there has been no incident.
Today, the giants are especially excited. I’ve been incapacitated these past months, but my legs are finally strong enough that I can stand on my own without the help of anything, even that large wooden shelf they keep in the middle of the floor next to the giant pillowed thing they always sit on. Those two items have been irreplaceable as I learn to navigate this strange world without the help of the giants. Getting here has taken much effort, but it seems my efforts are finally paying off. I am approaching my goal of freedom. If I can only take that first step, I’ll be on my way.
That seems to be the giant’s wish as well. They’re making those silly faces again while they clap their hands and beckon me towards them. I feel they are mocking my pain. This is not a moment for excitement. This is a moment of extreme physical triumph that requires intense focus. With their fully developed legs, it is a simple feat for them to walk from one side of the room to the other, but for me, the journey is long and agonizing.
I plop back down on my diapered backside. I wish I could say I did it simply out of spite and resistance to their desires, but the truth is, standing takes a lot out of me and I need to rest a moment before I try again.
Dada walks up behind me and helps me back to my feet. I’ll have to remember to reward him later for his role in keeping me on track. Maybe I’ll start calling him “Dada” out loud. I can only imagine the kind of faces he’ll make if I do that.
I must focus. Wiggling my knees back and forth seems to be the right idea, but I don’t feel steady enough to pick up a foot and move it forward as I’ve seen the giants do so effortlessly.
That must have been the wrong movement, as I fall back on my bottom again. This is getting embarrassing, not to mention frustrating. All the giants are talking at once and pointing those little black boxes they take with them everywhere at me. It’s making me nervous and I just want them all to go away.
Dada picks me up and I panic as he lifts me up into the air. A scream and a couple of well-aimed punches and kicks convince him that now is not the time to meddle in my affairs and he sets me back down on the floor. Maybe I am learning to communicate with them after all.
Okay, I’m back on my feet. This is it. I’m determined. I’m focused. I can do this. I train my eyes on Mama. She’s still chattering and clapping at me, which is annoying, but I can find no better target.
Come on, feet, move me forward. I’ve spent quite a lot of time studying the art of walking and I think I’ve finally begun to understand the science behind it. Now I must put that knowledge to action. I carefully shift my weight to one side. Every move I make, I make so slowly that the suspense is exasperating for all of us, but I don’t want to fall down again and have to start all over. One can only walk if they are standing and now that I’ve made it this far, I refuse to go backwards again. I’m shaking a little bit. Okay, a lot. Walking is so much harder than it looks. I’m going down. I’m…
I did it! I picked one foot all the way off the ground and set it back down just a little bit in front of the other. That wasn’t so bad. I do it again, this time switching legs. Success! I’m still a little unsteady, and nowhere near as fast as the giants, but I’m sure that will pass with time. I have won the battle with myself. I took my first step!
The giants are ecstatic, jumping up and down in a way I only wish I could, and believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve finally managed to pick one foot off the ground and move it forward. It seems a little soon to think I can pick them both up at the same time and hoist myself into the air. They’re not only jumping. They’re cheering and laughing and talking and Mama even looks like she’s crying.
I do it again, just to see if they’ll continue to react. I also want to make sure that I don’t lose my mastery of this new skill. Shift my weight, foot up, foot down, repeat. The crowd goes wild.
I smile. I am one step closer to escape.