The three of us were sitting in the living room a couple of nights ago, catching up on the day before the bedtime routine. Talitha was playing with her daddy’s keys. Then she stood up without holding on to anything.
“That’s a milestone, you know,” said Laurence, in awe of what she’d just done. I tried to say it as sensitively as I could: “She’s been doing that for a while, actually.” Darn it, how do I keep forgetting to tell him about these things?
Then suddenly she took a step. I was about to say that she’d been doing that too – taking two or three steps – but then she kept taking them. I couldn’t believe it. She was walking.
I don’t know why but it was even more exciting than when she learned to roll over, crawl backwards, crawl forwards or cruise. I’m thinking it’s on par with meowing at pictures of cats and our real cats and whenever we say “cats”.
I got really emotional about it. I think we both did. How amazing that Laurence got to see those first steps when the odds were against it since he works full time?
She looked so pleased with herself, so aware that she was doing something new and very cool. For me, it was like her first birthday all over again when I just kept looking at her and wondering how that tiny, helpless newborn I passed out of my body managed to grow into all of this.
Thirteen months and walking. I realise that this is not something to take for granted. There are others who wait a lot longer to see their babies walk. At 26 months, Northern Mum’s BB has recently taken her first steps for the second time on their journey with DDH. Now that we’ve had the moment when we’ve had it, it’s hard to imagine having it any other way.
We went to bed and it felt like Christmas Eve. I was so excited about seeing her explore this new skill that I couldn’t wait for morning to come. I did, obviously. I am a good mummy.
The next morning I kept putting her on the floor. “Walk, Talitha,” I cajoled. She’d have none of it. The wailing began the moment I even bent to set her down. I didn’t understand it. Why was she even clingier than usual?
I put her changing bag on the floor for her to explore while I got breakfast ready and she was happy with that for a while. Then she started walking towards me. A few steps and down again. And wailing. So we had breakfast and then I popped her on my back in the Ergo as she clearly wanted to be held. We spent most of the day like that.
She was the same when she started crawling forwards. It’s almost as if a new skill slightly scares her and she needs to have our attachment reinforced for security. It’s like her body decided to walk but her mind is still getting used to the idea that she actually is a separate being. We are not literally part of each other.
I get it. It blows my mind too. I want to hold her close because this babyhood is swinging by too quickly.
Check this out if you’re looking for a laugh about babies and walking: