Yep our little monkey is up and walking! He will be 1 in a week so is doing very well but both hubby and I were early walkers, and he has never really liked crawling much. He has been walking for a while holding on to mummy and daddy’s fingers, and took his first solo steps about a month ago, but in the last week has come on hugely! I think that the baby classes we go to have definitely played a part as he has seen the other toddlers walking around and got the bug.
So I am a very proud mama, but of course this means our baby isn’t much of a baby anymore! We are definitely in to the realms of toddlerhood and that brings a whole new array of challenges. The most obvious being that of course he can now get around independently a lot more, so I need to grow eyes in the back of my head. The door gate on the kitchen hadn’t quite shut behind me the other day (it has a spring to shut it) but I didn’t realise until I turned around and the monkey is standing right behind me! Stealth baby! Must be more careful.
So yes I am now going to be watching him like a hawk, but this big step forward has really made me stop and think about how parenting a toddler is different to parenting a baby. Parenting a baby is all around feeds, poos, naps etc. of course watching them develop and grow, and who knows maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like parenting a toddler is going to bring a whole other level of responsibility. I feel like now comes the real teaching, teaching him manners in addition to the physical developments. Teaching him how to cope with life’s frustrations. Teaching him how to share, how to treat others and how to behave in general.
The things we teach him over the next few years will shape the person he becomes! Talk about responsibility! Things that aren’t big things now could become big things if left unchecked. For example, monkey likes picking things up and dropping/throwing them on the floor, which is obviously just part of his development but it has extended to food on his tray, when he doesn’t want food anymore he throws it on the floor. How can teach him not to throw food on the floor when I let him throw his toys on the floor? And what example am I setting when I throw things into his toy box, or throw anything without thinking?
Of course I know this isn’t an overnight process. He’s still very young and I can’t (and don’t) expect him to grasp everything I try and teach him all at once, but I do think it’s time to start sowing the seeds of good behaviour. Time to start teaching that we don’t throw toys or food around for a start! It’s not going to be easy but then what about parenting is easy?
I am loving watching him toddle around though and watching him learn so I’m sure we’ll have some fun along the way!