Parenting 101: Taking Baby Steps

When our baby, Tyler, turned six months old, he became mobile. Thus, my husband, Andy, and I entered a whole new realm of parenting. Sure, Tyler could roll over before six months, but that was nothing. At least we knew we could take our eyes off him for 10 seconds and he’d still be right where we left him. Now we’re lucky if he’s in the same room!

Tyler’s mobility started as army-style crawling. His grandma called it inch-worming. There was quite a debate about whether or not this constituted actual crawling. My dad would say, “He’s moving, isn’t he?” With his hindquarters in the air, Tyler would propel himself forward a few inches, his arms acting as pulleys.

After several weeks of this and lots of “up on all fours” prompts, he finally did it! He crawled for real. This was a momentous occasion in our home that was immediately marked on the calendar and captured on videotape.

Andy and I beamed with pride as Tyler showed us how proud he was of himself by periodically sitting back and clapping, a huge smile on his dimpled face. I could be biased, but I think it was perhaps the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Alas, there was a downside. Once Tyler could move, there was no stopping him. We quickly baby-proofed the living room: covering outlets, removing lamps, and padding sharp corners. We haven’t added baby gates to our home yet, but it’s on our short to-do list because Tyler has no intention of staying in the living room despite his mounds of books and toys. He’d much rather check out what the cats are up to in the next room.

Tyler’s latest endeavor is learning to walk. If anyone’s hands get within inches of his tiny fingers, he promptly grabs on, stands up, and takes off. He would walk us around the house all night if we’d let him, kicking books, balls, and occasionally “Milo” and “Katie” (his furry brother and sister) along the way.

Of course, once Tyler got the hang of walking like this, it was no longer enough! He will literally run if you’re holding his hands. If we aren’t going fast enough, he lets us know by leaning forward, pulling our arms, and grunting urgently. We joke that he already gets far more exercise than we do.

Tyler has also taken to cruising between furniture pieces and walls. My husband and I hold our breath in anticipation every time Tyler lets go of the furniture to check his balance, wondering, Will this be it? He’s just not quite there yet.

That’s okay, though. I already feel like Tyler is growing up too fast, and besides, I realize that once he can walk, he’ll take off running.

And I’ll be the one chasing him.

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