I think it is official. I am the mother of a toddler. And toddle he does. Many people have been telling me how grown up he looks. Most of them are people that see him only in pictures. Because those that see him in real life can tell by his wobbly walk that he is definitely not a 3 year old. I love it though. The wobbly walk. It took him forever to learn to walk. I know, I know…I’m supposed to not care that he wasn’t walking at his first birthday. I’m supposed to be excited that he wasn’t super mobile yet. That’s what people tell me anyway. Truth be told, it was agonizing waiting for that kid to learn. He is my first, so of course I am excited for all the ‘first’ milestones. Teeth, haircut, word (which was ‘sock’ by the way). He would tease us with three steps, then seven. Then he wouldn’t put two together again for another month. We clapped, held toys in front of him, and cheered him on…and got nothing. Nothing helped. It almost seemed like the more we pushed, the less interested he was in actually walking. So, we stopped pushing…outwardly anyway. He walks now. It still catches me off guard when he lets go of the coffee table and takes off across the room. It is a good thing his cloth diapers are thick because his rear meets the ground pretty often.
I feel like we are at a crossroads. My child is no longer a baby. His basic needs still need to be met by me (or some other willing adult), but he is starting to get the hang of some things on his own. He can feed himself. He can go up and down the stairs on his own. He even almost put his shirt on by himself today. So, while I may have an extra hand from time to time, what Eli needs from me right now is not so concrete. He needs to learn that it isn’t okay to run down the driveway into the street. The driveway is steep, he might get going too fast and end up on his face. There might be cars driving by that won’t see him. Explaining this to my almost 18 month old has proven to be a much bigger challenge than introducing a sippy cup.
Really, it has been simple getting him to this point in one piece. The hard part has just begun. Don’t get me wrong. I’m ready to face it head on, knowing full well that it isn’t going to be pretty.