Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oliver the Crawler

I never walked until fifteen months old. My sister never walked until fifteen months old. So, when Oliver took his first steps two months ago, I was surprised and delighted.

...but he still won't walk around! Every night before bed, we have "walking practice." Andrew and I start out sitting about six feet apart from each other, and Oliver walks back and forth between us. We slowly scoot farther and father from each other until we're about twelve feet apart. Oliver smiles with pride as he walks, and we cheer him when he makes it.

He's very cautious, though. The moment he starts to teeter, he sits down. He has yet to fall! What baby walks for two months and doesn't fall? A very cautious one.

Apart from his walking practice, he rarely takes steps throughout the day without holding onto something. If he's standing at a chair, I'll say, "Hey, Oliver, can you walk to me?" He'll turn, think about it, and then crawl to me. Every once in a while, he'll take a few shuffled steps, but that's it.

I talked to a mom at the park yesterday, and she suggested that Oliver just needs to be around other kids his age who start to walk. It's true that he's rarely around other kids, much less kids who are just starting to walk. At the park, there were a few toddlers shuffling about, and Oliver enjoyed watching them. I was amazed when he pulled to a stand and tried to take a step (he sat back down after a step because he was unsteady on the wood chips). Maybe she's right! She told me to take Oliver to the Cherry Creek Mall when it's cold out because there are tons of kids at the free play area there. What a great idea!

In the meantime, I feel a little left out when kids who are a lot younger than Oliver start walking around. When Oliver was nine months and just starting to crawl, our friend Murphy (two weeks older than Oliver) started to walk. Once she took her first steps, she was walking around all the time! Then, just before Oliver took his first steps, our friend Isabella (two months younger than Oliver) started to walk. A few weeks ago, our neighbor Owen (Nearly four months younger than Oliver) started to walk short distances. Now, our friend Logan (over four months younger than Oliver) is walking around!

I know I shouldn't compare kids, but it's so hard not to. I have my Ollie Bear who I adore, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him walk around the house. Of course, he'll walk at some point, but I'm really anxious for that moment to arrive. Meanwhile, parents keep telling me, "Be careful what you wish for! Life changes so much when they start walking!" Well, I'm ready for that change!

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