Before I became a parent, in my eyes walking was a very black and white thing.
You can either walk. Or you can’t.
But then I became a parent and realised that it all depends on definition. In fact everything does. Including the infamous statement of ‘sleeping through the night’ – which some class as 12-4am (THIS IS NOT THROUGH THE NIGHT!) to the almighty ‘my child is catatonic from 7pm to 7am’.
So with walking we’ve been experiencing the same let down on definition of when we can say that she is officially walking. We’ve been on the cusp for what seems like months now.
But… using our own definition, she is now walking.
Definition of walking
Our definition is this: Walking is the ability to take more than 3 steps in a row without falling over, without any aid from furniture or people. This activity must be repeated at least 3 times before the title of ‘walker’ is given.
We could say that she’s been cruising for a while, which is a type of walking, but it’s not unaided. Until now, she hasn’t ever graced us with more than a few unaided steps. She’s teased us with it by taking a few on her own… but never over the threshold of the definition. Nothing to be able to definitively declare that yes… she can walk.
But since Friday, she’s been more willing to try to walk on her own and we’ve cracked it.
She’s slow and steady – with very small steps she shuffles forward. But you can see the excitement in her eyes. The pure glee that she gets from achieving a new milestone that just exudes from her expression. She knows how much of a big moment it is and she’s most definitely proud of it. And rightly so!
Of course, her walk wouldn’t be complete without a few claps along the way to celebrate and congratulate herself.
How did we get her to walk?
You may think that me standing on the other side of the room would be enough to get her to walk… but no. To get her to walk I had to dangle that carrot in front of her of something that she really wants. A reason to walk.
For her, that’s a wooden spoon that’s been borrowed from our kitchen to her wooden kitchen and the sink from her kitchen… if I put the spoon in the bowl… well… that’s just the most alluring thing ever in her eyes.
Nothing is apparently quite so alluring as a spoon. And a sink.
I can’t wait to introduce her to washing up.
Walk like a…
After my initial reactions of “wow, she’s really doing it!” and pride, my thoughts then turned to what she reminded me of. With her small tentative and wobbly steps, I suddenly remembered. She looked a bit like a zombie. It was something about the slow shuffle that had an uncanny resemblance.
Except instead of shuffling off gnashing after a ‘live one’, she’s often found shuffling after a juicy raisin. Or a spoon that happens to be balanced on top of my head.
Let’s face it… putting something on your head is the go-to thing to do with a small child. “Where’s it gone?” It’s on your head, that’s where it is and it’s flippin’ hilarious.
We doubt it’ll be long now until she’s fully found her feet. But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy her little wobbly steps. Even if she does look a bit zombie-ish.