First steps

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Sept. 22, 2008. It captures the bittersweet moment when our baby, particularly our last baby, steps into toddlerhood.

So here it is. My 11-month-old baby is taking her first steps.

She is my fourth child and my last baby, and she is walking.

She, of course, is delighted and high steps it all over the house, pausing to teeter uncertainly where the carpet meets the hardwood floor.

When my 2 year old imitates her, he bends his legs comically and waddles across the room like a tired, old cowboy.

But I watch her with pride and gladness, though also a certain sadness.

I have been here before, and I know what is coming. Legs that were once small and chubby lengthen out and become pokey and all knobby-kneed. Tiny bodies that nestled so comfortably on my lap become impossibly long and boney, poking me with elbows and hip bones. Babies who once contently watched the action from their perch in the sling now wriggle and arch to join the fun.

It seems like they learn to walk, only to walk away.

But still, it is such a wonderful thing. I do love watching my children grow, and it is such a pleasure to hear what is on their minds. I look around and wonder how I got so lucky.

And I do realize that as parenting goes, good parenting means that we work ourselves out of a job.

So this is probably why when I’m tending to her, my last baby, I am at peace. Nothing else presses at me from the edges. I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I am doing my job.

What has it been like for you as your children have left babyhood behind?

Author: API Blog

APtly Said, Formerly API Speaks launched in April of 2008 as part of Attachment Parenting International's larger effort to offer interactive content through their newly-redesigned web site: All contributors to APtly Said, as with so many of API's staff, are volunteers who donate their time and energy to promote Attachment Parenting world wide.

3 thoughts on “First steps”

  1. My little one is almost the same age and gearing up to take her first steps too!

    A few days ago a friend commented that she isn’t even really a baby anymore 🙁

    My first and only (so far) has grown faster than I could have imagined. And I am glad that I have spent the time being with her, rather than pushing her to be independent. I always say that being a mom is the most important job I will ever have.

    I am starting to miss my little baby though.

  2. Littlepixie walked around the same age and as a first-time mum I was amazed to watch it all happening. It’s a year later now, and she’s grown so much, she’s a little girl now, my baby is all big and I don’t know where the time has gone.

    Isn’t it just amazing?

  3. My second (of 2 children) is taking her first steps, too. It makes me so proud, but yet a little sad. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, “Oh, I should have another baby just so I always have a baby around the house.” But this isn’t fair to my children, I know.

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