Steppin’ Out

For months, we’ve been saying Maddi is “just about” to walk. And for months, we’ve been eating our words as she continued to walk — and later, run — holding onto furniture or fingers or tall toys, but never independently. Just when we were beginning to suspect our little daughter might be the first bride to crawl down the aisle at her wedding, Maddi finally decided yesterday that she’d be OK with walking.

She’s been thinking about it for ages. Over the past few weeks, she’s hesitated longer and longer when we’ve held our arms out and said “Come to Mommy” or “Go get Daddy” before dropping to her knees and crawling that ever-so-long foot and a half to her parents’ embrace. She’s even taken a step or two on her own when she’s not thinking about it too hard. But it wasn’t until yesterday that she finally made that big step forward.

Really, if we’re going to be technical, it was five big steps forward. And the only reason it wasn’t more was because the thunderous round of applause made our wee one a bit nervous and she reverted to her transportation method of choice.

Maddi chose to make her walking debut at Nana’s house after Sunday brunch, and she had quite the big audience. Not only did both parents witness her first steps, but so did Nana, Auntie Kathy and cousin Becca (and sundry animal friends).

She was in the area just between the dining room table and kitchen entry, and in all the excitement, I forget who pointed out, “Look, she’s walking!” but there she was, taking step after tottering step toward the kitchen table where the grown-ups were playing euchre. She looked quite nervous and surprised, but kept walking until all the attention became a little too intimidating.

However, now that she’s done it once, Maddi has no problem doing it when the fancy strikes her. The daycare operator at the gym informed me today that our little Boo toddled halfway across the playroom with no warning whatsoever. (I had failed to inform her of the new skill because knowing Maddi as I do, I figured it would be another five months before she busted out the walking stuff again.) And later today, she stood up in the middle of the living room, walked over to her ball popper and nonchalantly inserted a ball as if she’d been doing it for weeks.

Chris delayed a much-needed nap to enjoy the toddling cuteness, and he was not disappointed. Although she’s a tricky one and often drops down to crawl for things that are too far away, she took quite a few baby steps — between Mommy and Daddy, toward toys, you name it.

If she keeps up at this rate, I give her no more than two weeks before she’s running wild through the house.

On the verbal front, Maddi continues to add new words to her vocabulary on quite a regular basis. Recent words include “babana” (banana), “good” (often used when asking for bananas), “play,” and “cup.” And tonight, she said “potty” very clearly for the first time. Usually it’s just “pah.” She’s also started working on “bread,” her new favorite finger food. Not counting “bread,” that brings her to 43 words at just a week past 13 months.

In some sad news, while she did great with yogurt and cheese, we’re not so sure about whole milk. She did fine for awhile, but she’s been throwing up for about a week, so today we took her off milk and started soy to see if she does any better. So far, she’s still barfing, so maybe (just maybe!) it has more to do with the fact that our wee one is a complete glutton and fills her belly to bursting before getting down to play. But we’ll keep her on soy for 10 days and see.

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is a video of Maddi taking some of her first steps.

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