First Steps

Our little boy took his first steps today, just shortly after his first birthday.

He didn’t take many, but he wanted to get from me to his mama, and she was holding her arms out, and rather than get down on the ground and crawl, he just took two steps, and there he was. We got all excited, and spun him around, and sure enough, he took two steps back to me.

I think he actually didn’t really see this as that big a deal. He’s pretty quick with cruising on furniture, and these days when he stands up and leans on me I can feel that there is barely any weight there, and while there used to be a little tug and wobble, he’s stable on his two feet now. Us parents were sure excited, though!

I remember when he started to crawl, we were terrified. Suddenly he was mobile and had to be watched. He could get his hands on God knows what and stuff it in his mouth and that would be the end of him! Gone would be the days of just leaving him with a toy on the ground to answer the phone in the next room. We’d have to baby proof like crazy. How proof is babyproof anyway? Everything, I mean, EVERYTHING looks like a choking hazard when you are trying to babyproof.

But you know what? It was not that bad.

Sure, pocket change is now enemy #1, but instead of needing someone to bring him toy if Cooper was bored, after he started crawling he could just get it on his own. Instead of having to be shown anything he was going to learn, he could now open and explore and figure out without any help. He’s got the hang of putting things into other things. He’s stacked blocks on top of other blocks. He’s learned a hard lesson or two about gravity. While we’ve been there to help him learn that stuff, and we make the occasional suggestion to him, I don’t think we can’t take much credit for his accomplishments. He’s a consummate researcher, conducting all kinds of experiments all the time. He retests hypotheses and proves his theorems. Without his crawling, he’d have a much harder time doing his work.

And now that he’s starting to walk, I’m trying not to freak out in the same way I was when he started to crawl.

But that’s hard, because it’s new, and I don’t know what new dangers walking will show us. For one thing, the babyproof zone just got about 18” taller in our little house, so that will take some rejiggering. For another, I’m going to have to improve my reaction time. On all fours, I can give him about a 6 second head start when he’s making a run for a forbidden doorway accidentally left open. How will walking change that number?

So while that’s all kinda scary, I am trying to remember the good changes that happened with crawling. I anticipate soon I won’t be carrying him so much. I suspect we might soon be able to make use of some of the great looking playgrounds in our neighbourhood. I’m looking forward to spending more time outside.

The question I am considering now is, how long after he’s walking do I have to make adjustments to get used to him running?