Monday, November 29, 2010

Walking.

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. We ran through a whirlwind of family gatherings and ate our share of traditional fare. Even Theo tried out his two teeth on turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. He was already familiar with sweet potatoes.

The people we've seen lately gasp in surprise when Theo walks on his own, turns corners, bends down to pick things up and then carries them while maintaining his drunken balance. When asked how long he's been at it, it's hard to say, and I get more shock and surprise that I hadn't announced anything. Truth is, his progress has been gradual and steady for at least 2 months now.

It would be hard to say when he started walking, as he's been doing some form of standing since he was a couple months old and started moving his legs soon after. Theo never liked sitting very much and in fact, it took some direct teaching to get him to learn how to sit. Instead, he'd lock his knees, allowing you to balance him but supporting all his weight on his tree trunk legs.

He also never wanted to crawl. It was only in the past couple of weeks, after he could be said to walk on his own, that he grudgingly adopted an army crawl, or what I call the zombie crawl, pulling himself flat on the floor and moaning, then grabbing for my ankles.

He definitely put the cart before the horse. From standing on our lap with help to standing on the floor with help then to walking with help, keeping your body bent double so you can hold his tiny hands as he does eternal laps around the house. He had no idea how to pull himself up on furniture, and if you put him near furniture he wouldn't even know to grab on, but he was off and running anyway.

His balance steadily improved and soon he was waving off one helpful hand so he could carry a favorite item around with him. So encumbered, he'd travel half the speed and with a quarter the balance, but with the bonus of being able to tap his red cyclindrical building block on every surface he encountered. His squeals of delight were ear-piercing. From there it was only a matter of time before he pushed us away altogether, if only to carry larger items.

At this point he's able to walk around the entire house without touching my hand and without falling. That is, if he doesn't step on anything or get too excited. He still doesn't understand that objects on the floor will trip him up, so these days I run defense for him, removing items from his path as if he were a royal dignitary.

Here's the thing about walking a baby around - it is very, very hard to get video of it. You obviously can't carry the camera yourself until they are walking independently, so you have to tripod the camera in a place the baby will supposedly want to walk through and let it run. However, Theo loves the camera so much that as soon as he sees it, my naturalistic fly-on-the-wall shot is over. Even if he doesn't attack the camera, it seems that any time you have the forethought to have the camera recording, he gives the least energetic performance. The big squeals and bursts of laughter usually go unrecorded (though etched in my memory). When you do get some usable footage it requires editing...which, yeah, I haven't gotten around to.

So, no big announcement, partially because of the steady progress and partially due to lack of visual evidence. This will be rectified...but I can't say when.

Happy Holidays!