Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Walking

It's a pretty common joke among parents to admonish parents of still-immobile babies to "Enjoy it! Soon they'll be moving and then life as you know it is over!" Ah ha ha ha. We'll act as if learning to crawl and walk are these to-be-dreaded milestones. It is true that being able to place your baby down in one spot and have them still be there when you return 10 seconds later is a very, very, very nice thing. But I was thinking about all this the other day and realized that I really like having a walking child. I know they say that crawling is really good for babies and can prevent dyslexia and everything, but all that aside I almost envy people whose babies skip crawling and go straight to walking.

There's so many things that have gotten so much easier since D became a fairly steady walker. We can go to the playground! And he can actually play! Or even just hang out in the patio here at home. I seriously looked forward to this for so long. I also love that now we can walk out the door together. D can step down the two steps in front of our door, and walk out to the car beside me rather than me having to carry him. Of course, this requires heave precautions and a close eye to make sure he doesn't go off into the street, but it's really nice to have my hands free. It's little things like being able to carry groceries in myself, or hold those extra few things we need to take out to the car (like the stroller).

When your baby is immobile, you can go to the park and sit on a blanket and everything's pretty cool (as long as baby is happy, of course). They they start crawling and want to go everywhere, but "going everywhere" means putting their hands all over the ground, hands that will soon end up in their mouths, and that can be kind of a nightmare. Then they start walking and their hands are FREE and they can move more easily, explore more easily, and you don't have to cringe at how their poor knees must be feeling or how dirty their hands are getting, etc.

There are, of course, parts about walking that suck. He can be pretty quick. Mostly, when he's on his feet he can reach a LOT more things that he could when on his belly or knees. But overall, it gives us both a lot of freedom for him to be able to walk on his own. Like being able to carry his own uber-stylish European man carry-all.

Frankly, I'm kinda looking forward to the days when we won't need to bother with a stroller anymore.


  1. Yeah, I can't wait for Mira to start moving around. Kids can do so many fun things when they can, oh... stand on two feet. My mom and I set Mira in a high chair today. She could only keep herself up by holding on with both hands. So... great. She can sit in a high chair and... face plant into her food.

  2. And now that he's walking, he can get around the airport. I bet he could fly to Texas all by himself!

  3. lol.... I just love that photo. I thought he was telling you "mom all set - let's go!"....

  4. So glad you posted this! I know, so many people were saying to us "Oh, life will be so much harder when he's crawling," like it was a thing to be dreaded, or "Oh, how are you handling it now that he's walking all over the place?" as though it's significantly different from when he was crawling and pulling up on stuff. I totally agree--I LOVE it. I just tell them that now it's more fun and now he can actually explore and play. I can take the dog out and set him down instead of carrying 23 pounds on one hip. We can, like you said, actually "play" on the playground. :)

  5. Everything you said? Agreed! We just hit the "ditching the five-point harness for a seat-belt" milestone. Such things are always bittersweet...but more sweet.

  6. He is so cute. I liked it when mine started walking, they were busy but it was so fun.

  7. It's a catch-22. It's so true that being mobile gives everyone more freedom. The problem is, it gives your KID more freedom too, and that's not always a good thing. Now, if you have a kid who isn't too interested in racing off to explore anything and everything, not a big problem. If you have a kid who quite literally requires a leash, or who likes to take everything off the grocery store shelves, or who can't quite get the reason for NOT darting out into the street, who realizes she can reach even more if she stacks books on top of a chair....well, it can be exhausting.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my little one's explorer instincts and it is nice not to have to carry her everywhere, but there's an in-between stage where she doesn't quite grasp the safety issues that make life much more stressful now she's fully mobile. Oh, and getting ready in the morning takes 3x as long now....

  8. I didn't think walking made things harder either. Crawling to me was waaaay worse. Eliza was a crazy crawler and would crash her head into everything. Now climbing is a whole different story for us...

  9. jessica1:19 PM

    i had no idea he was THAT far along. yeah donovan!

    ps i don't believe i ever thanked your for the book!! i have it in our pantry, on the shelf next to our cookbooks, and i smile practically every time i open the doors and see it. i love it!! thanky ou.



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