Monday, May 18, 2009

Look Who's Walking: Part 3

As I detailed in a previous post, there is a big difference between a baby taking a step or two and a baby actually being able to walk. Well, it turns out there is yet another distinction to be made when it comes to this major milestone: the transition from merely being capable of walking to just plain walking. It's a shift that happens when your toddler becomes confident enough to stop crawling and start walking around on two legs like a real human being. Vince's words, not mine.

On his road to being upright, I got lots of advice on how to help Benjamin "practice" walking. "Give him a chair to push around!" "Use toys to 'bait' him!" "Take away his walker toys!" "Don't do anything at all; he'll walk when he's ready to!" I tried a bit of everything, but it seemed like the kid just did not want to walk. And who could blame him? Once you start walking, you're just a nanosecond away from getting kicked out of the house and being forced to find a job. If you're still crawling, however, all you have to do is pretend like you're about to crawl through a nice big pile of dog feces and Mommy will pick you up and hold you. That's right, Benjamin, I'm onto you. But I digress.

It wasn't any of aforementioned pieces of advice that got Benjamin to start walking. It wasn't my endless cajoling, praying, or squatting three feet in front of him while holding his favorite toy in my outstretched hands. It was a pair of five dollar flip-flops from Target. To be honest with you, the main reason I bought them was because they were so freakin' cute. I mean, come ON - teensy, weensy little cutesy, wutesy widdle flip flops? For a baby?? When I saw them, my head nearly exploded from the cuteness. So, in order to save my own life, I bought them. At least that's what I planned on telling Vince if he gave me any crap about the purchase. As soon as I got home, I slipped them onto Benjamin's feet, and to my utter shock, he got up and started prancing around. Yes, prancing! He pranced in circles, all the while looking down admiringly at his feet. I'm not sure why it took a pair of flip flops to get him to do it. Perhaps he needed to see his fat little sausage toes in the act of gripping onto shoes. Whatever the case, that was the day he made that final transition and began really walking.

Though it's wonderful that Benjamin is walking, it hasn't been without it's pitfalls. For one thing, he still doesn't have much balance. That means that a quick change in direction, a stiff breeze, or a sudden shot of water to the face will topple him over.

Another pitfall is that Benjamin now has two free hands. Why is that a pitfall? Well, let's just say that it involves my spending approximately 2.75 hours a day searching frantically for whatever object I really, really, really needs at that moment. Common things that go missing are the remote control, my keys, and my sanity.

It's a good thing that I keep my corkscrew well out of his reach.

No comments: