I believe that Emmalee is a smart child. This intelligence, coupled with her stubborn nature, has led to a delay in reaching some of her developmental milestones in a timely manner. My theory, anyway, is that she just doesn’t see the point in doing things like crawling, walking, or holding a bottle if someone is there to do the work for her. Due to this laissez-faire attitude, Emma didn’t crawl until ten months and holding a bottle is completely beneath her. So I had little hope for walking. About six weeks ago I wrote a blog (Walk Already!) describing Emma’s new desire to walk all the time while holding on to Mommy’s hands. It appears that the practice has finally paid off.
The day Emmalee officially turned thirteen months old she walked for the first time. Well, maybe not technically the first time since prior to this she had taken two or three wobbly steps from her pink chair to my arms. But on this day she gleefully took seven or eight steps at a time before crashing into me. I was ecstatic. My baby girl was actually walking, and right when the books said she would! My joy didn’t last long though, because after that day her interest in walking on her own was sporadic at best. Sometimes she would walk to me, other times she would shake her head no. We continued to pace endlessly around the house and through Target with me holding her hand and growing increasingly frustrated with the charade. I knew she could walk, I’d seen her do it! So why was she being so obstinate about it?
To be fair, I think in part Emmalee was scared to let go. We adults take walking for granted, but it must be an overwhelming task to tackle for a baby, taking those first shaky steps and letting go of the security of Mommy’s grasp. Today though, for some reason, Emmalee decided she was ready. While I was at work and Emma was in Grammy’s care, she started walking and just kept on going. She walked all around the house with a big, proud smile on her face. My mom called me at work to tell me the news and I couldn’t wait to get home and see for myself.
Of course, Emmalee was less than eager to show off for Mommy. I think she may have actually been a little peeved at her Grammy for letting her secret slip. For the first couple of hours after I got home she would only walk while holding tightly to my finger, reverting to tantrum mode each time I tried to let go. Luckily, right before bed, Emma had a change of heart and I got to witness her in action.
Finally, I truly have a walker on my hands! Watching her was an amazing thing to see, a sign of my little baby growing up literally before my eyes. I am so proud of her for being brave enough to make this huge leap towards independence. Not too long from now I will likely be back to complain about how much more difficult it is to keep her out of trouble now that she’s completely on the go, but for now I am taking a moment to revel in Emmalee’s amazing accomplishment.