It has been a week of hard knocks for Munchkin, who marked the end of his tenth month with his first real steps.
Ever since he unsteadily rose to his feet several months ago, we have been waiting for this moment with equal parts dread and excitement. At first the progress was minimal. He would use the coffee table or another low piece of furniture to hoist himself upright, but as he couldn’t figure out how to make his feet move he would just stand there, drumming loudly with both hands. Then he figured out how to shuffle his feet, and the fun began.
For the last couple of months, he has dedicated himself to rearranging our furniture, using his high chair, the ottoman, and the dining room chairs as improvised walking aids. Left to his own devices, he also walks alongside the walls, balancing with both hands and chattering contentedly to himself.
About a month ago he learned to stand without supporting himself, and since then he has grown bolder about crossing short distances, for example between the coffee table and the sofa, or between a piece of furniture and our outstretched arms. We didn’t count these as real steps, however; he wasn’t walking so much as launching himself from one supporting object to the next, sometimes with comical and other times disastrous results.
Once he learned how to stand upright without supporting himself we started helping him walk across the room by holding his hand. He was surprisingly good at it, but would only take steps if we held his right hand. If we offered to hold his left hand, he would immediately plop down to the floor and revert to crawling.
This week he finally started taking independent steps, unsteadily and in small increments, but without our support. Unfortunately, every new breakthrough seems to bring forth a rash of bumps and bruises. Quite often, the very realization that he is upright and walking on his own is enough to send Munchkin tumbling back down to the floor. The best part is that we can see it coming: he takes a few steps, then lifts his head and smiles at his accomplishment, only to fall down immediately.