Saturday, May 8, 2010

Baby steps

Ryan took a couple of unassisted steps last Sunday (2 May).  It was over a very short distance, less than an arm's length, to get to me, and I don't think he was even thinking about it. All the same, look out! Baby on the move!

We had been told by Ryan's paediatrician at his checkup in April that Ryan was perfectly able to walk already and that it was just a matter of whether he wanted to or not.  Still, I was surprised when he casually walked over to me out of the blue. That's because I know many other babies who learned to walk by first learning how to stand up from a squat, without support.  Ryan hasn't been practising that at all.  He hasn't even spent much time standing on his own without support, let alone standing up from a squat. He does cruise quite well (walk with support) and he even insists on walking upright down the stairs (while holding your hand).

The next day, Monday, when I went to fetch Ryan from his nanny after work, Ryan's nanny proudly announced to me that "your son can walk already". When we got home, he showed us his moves.  Holding a toy in his hands (ie. without having to stretch out his upper limbs for balance), he covered five steps or so, no sweat.

There's no doubt that he can walk quite well, despite not having practised much. He doesn't use the 'penguin walk' that a lot of babies use (the toes pointing almost at right angles and the arms sticking out at the sides for balance). His gait looks fairly natural and gives the impression that he's been doing this for years already. I think he spent his time observing and visualising so he now knows how it's done!

Having said all that, Ryan doesn't seem to be very interested in walking for walking's sake.  He doesn't wander around aimlessly and he still doesn't bother to stand up from a squat.  If he's not already standing, he won't bother getting up to walk.  Well, not yet anyway.  I've received countless comments from other parents about how I should be afraid, very afraid, of Ryan starting to walk because we'll have to chase after him all the time when he does. That probably will be the case, I suppose.  But I'm looking forward to it.  A whole new world is opening up, for both Ryan as well as Richard and I.  Now, Richard and I are never at rest when Ryan is in our care. Ryan has never been put in a playpen, he doesn't sleep in a cot, he is seldom in the stroller even. He is allowed to roam free and usually we just follow his lead (to the bedroom! to the toilet! to the living room!). He may not be walking or running, but he is still mobile and fast and our house is devoid of any childproofing so we have to pay very close attention.  We constantly follow him around, upstairs and downstairs and all around the house and even when we are out. Now that he is walking and a little more independent, we can relax a little and allow him to be a (short) distance away.


A-n-g-e said...

Sounds quite like Jon! He's not quite walking on his own, but will happily push stuff around the house to 'outrun' us, or insist we give him our finger to help him with his walk. And yup, you bet I'm looking forward to him walking! =)

Pinkie Pirate said...

Ange, yes yes! same same!

They're growing up... sniff.

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