Hazel finally learned to walk! Following in her brother and sister’s “footsteps,” she learned to walk at 15 months. But with the other two, I don’t remember being quite as eager for them to reach this milestone. I knew they’d walk eventually and that they were easier to catch when they were less mobile. Plus, walking late means being old enough to understand a lot and follow basic directions, further helping them stay out of trouble. This time around, with another baby coming so soon, I was really eager for Hazel to hit this big milestone and move from babyhood into toddlerhood so I would feel like it really was time for a new baby. Thank you, Hazel, for pulling through for me. Just in the nick of time—I have just a month and a half left! My tiny girl is now officially a toddler. I love watching her toddle around in that darling, wide-legged, shaky on her feet stance.
For a few weeks, she had been able to take 3 or 4 steps at a time if she really felt like it, but she didn’t usually feel like it. Her favorite time for walking practice was family scripture study or family home evening, when she had a good, supportive audience gathered together. We’d say the opening prayer and start to read, and Hazel would completely divert our attention away from reverently sitting and focusing on the scriptures over to her while she practiced standing and walking amid excited cheers. January 17 was the big breakthrough night for her, when she picked up her favorite blanket (also following her siblings footsteps, she is a total blanket baby and showed clear favoritism months ago for one Aunt Nancy knitted) for security, I guess, and started to walk all around the room. Despite how much the blanket kept tripping her up, she insisted on dragging it around with her. I really try to keep the blanket in her bed, but her siblings are such softies when she wants it!
The next morning, Hazel was scooting around as usual (for the record, she could do a normal crawl, but she is somehow faster at the Elodie scoot and normally used that as her means of transportation) and I said, “Hazel, can you stand up and walk?!” She looked right at me and did her all done sign. I guess I wasn’t enough of an audience for her. Gradually, every day since then, she’s walked around more and more and now walking is her main way of getting around. Except for stairs, when the feet first, belly slide is by far the fastest (and safest) way to go.