I had expected the progression of Norah walking to be fast. Many of the babies I know began walking around their first birthday, and I expected Norah to do the same. Her birthday came and went, and while she was excellent at cruising around, and could even stand on her own without falling down, she did not walk. This continued for a few weeks, and at last! She took her first step.
Surely, I thought, not long after her first step she would start walking all over the place. That's what babies do, right? They take their first step, and then the world collapses as they start walking everywhere. Their mamas never get to sit down again.
I was wrong. Norah's first step was followed by a few more weeks of little walking and lots of crawling. Little by little she began taking more steps, and now she is a walking machine. But it took a long time to get there.
It's so strange to see her do this, walk upright like a little person. Slowly her gait is becoming steadier, less like a drunken zombie. Slowly she is beginning to learn how to turn and round corners. She walks and falls in perfect Norah fashion--looking up and saying "Uh-oh!", then rolling on her back and giggling, pulling her feet up to her face. This kid cracks me up.
Now that she has tasted the wonders of walking, she has little tolerance for being carried. At home this is fine, but at the store where there is an endless supply of things for Norah to break, her desire for independence is really obnoxious. She arches her back and yelps at me, so I put her down and say "Ok Norah. You can walk, but you have to hold Mama's hand. If you can't hold Mama's hand you can't walk." And Norah hears "Blah blah blah WALK!!! Blah blah blah." As soon as her feet hit the floor she slides away from me and tries to escape, walking as fast as she can in the opposite direction, arms in the air above her head, crazed look in her eye. She looks exactly like a bald little monkey.
Sometimes I forget she can walk. I'll leave her in the living room, I'll get my coffee and turn around to see this little blond head bobbing toward me. And it freaks me out. Just what, exactly, does my baby think she is doing? All this walking and talking and growing up business? Wasn't she a screaming little blob just last week? Now she is walking and saying words, combing her hair and brushing her teeth, taking off her diaper, climbing stairs, giving hugs and kisses and showing off whenever she gets the chance.
She is still screaming though. At least some things never change.
For more on how I feel about Norah walking, go here.