Thursday, January 12, 2012


When a child turns one year old, they transition (officially) from "baby" to "toddler." When LL turned one, this designation was a source of mild amusement, because he had barely learned to crawl, he wasn't particularly fond of pulling himself to standing, he wasn't all that into cruising, and he rarely consented to take steps even when holding onto our hands. He was still several months away from actually doing any toddling, so I was happy to still call him a baby.

Kermit heard that he was now a toddler and decided that he'd better start toddling, as soon as possible. He had been cruising with giddy abandon for quite some time, but in the week leading up to his birthday, he began to experiment with letting go. At first, he practiced just standing on his own (and clapping, usually, or signaling touchdown, depending on the context). Then he started "leaping" from couch to chair, from chair to table, from table to Mommy, launching himself through the air with a giant grin of determination. These weren't exactly steps, though he would sometimes need to put a foot down between objects, but rather a very deliberate attempt to fall into something other than what he was originally holding on to. It was only a matter of time before he started taking real first steps.

I'm not totally sure on the timing, since it's hard to decide what counts as a first step and what is just falling ungracefully away from the couch, but I'm officially saying that his first real steps happened on the day before his birthday. That day was when it became obvious that he was letting go of one object, steadying himself, then launching himself towards a different object that was at least two steps away. Mommy to chair. Mommy to Auntie. Auntie to Daddy. Couch to Grandma. By the evening before his birthday, everybody in the house was able to say that he had taken two or three steps towards them (after which he would collapse onto them; these early steps are much more like barely-controlled falling). He demonstrated this amazing ability to take two steps before falling down at his party, much to everyone's delight. And now, at the tender age of one year five days, he has improved on his technique by not falling down every time. Now he is truly doing the drunken Frankenstein thing -- he takes a step, pauses to steady himself, takes one more step, regains his balance, steps again... and before you know it, he has covered a decent distance and is still on his feet, albeit very shaky. The very definition of toddler.

Somewhat related: Kermit had his one-year checkup with Dr. K yesterday, where we discovered that he is at the 90th percentile for both height and weight. So, he's big, but he's proportional. I don't quite know what to do with him, because LL was always at the 30th percentile or less, and lately he's been stretching out, so that he's at the 40th percentile for height and the 20th for weight. He's all lanky preschooler while Kermit is a solid little linebacker. At this age, LL was eating mostly yogurt, rice puffs, and little jars of pureed food. By contrast, Kermit hasn't eaten anything pureed in months. He eats entire chunks of fruit and vegetables, and can polish off an entire cut-up chicken breast in a sitting. He ate short ribs for his birthday, and he would have happily gnawed the meat right off the bone himself if we'd let him. We went out to eat this weekend: LL ate one-sixth of a child-sized pizza; Kermit ate an entire fillet of chicken parmigiana, a side of spaghetti, and a handful of carrots.

Kermit is approaching the age where most kids begin eating like birds, so we're happy to keep feeding him as long as he's interested in continuing to eat. And his tentative walking is most likely going to turn into lots and lots of practice walking, followed by running, very soon, which is likely to burn a whole lot of calories. (Dr. K warned us that he may also start climbing. Um... he figured out step stools several weeks ago. He's already stacking boxes next to high tables in an attempt to get to out-of-reach toys. The climbing thing is already done.) (Also, he knows how to open doors. He can even open doors that open towards him, not just the ones that push away from him, so nothing in our house is safe.)

So yes, Kermit is figuring things out, at an alarming rate. Toddle away, little toddler.

1 comment:

  1. I remember that purposeful falling stage so well. Elizabeth thought that was the greatest.


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