Welcome to Toddlerhood

The day is here. My baby is walking regularly and with confidence, so a baby she is no more. She is…a toddler.

Amanda strolling into toddlerhood
Watch out, new toddler on the loose!

What amazes me is the rapid change from scooting around like a strange gorilla (Amanda was not a fan of regular crawling) to what I call “penguin sprinting” around the room. It’s closer to a waddle than a walk, and she goes as fast as possible, no matter where she’s going. There have been a few stumbles, but she gets up just about as fast as she falls down.

Since Amanda reached this milestone just in time for us to move, it has been a bit like herding cats. At first, I tried to corral her in the living room using suitcases as a barricade, but she figured out how to squeeze around them within about 10 minutes. I even resorted to the dreaded screen time and put on some cartoons to keep her occupied while we organized. Unfortunately, it only holds her attention for about 15 minutes, then she’s back to see what treasures all these nifty boxes hold.

A game Felipe invented involves him running through the balcony to appear behind Amanda as she tries to catch him. Our apartment is laid out so all the rooms connect to the balcony, so he can appear from a number of places. Every time he sneaks up on her, it elicits the most delicious giggles you’ve ever heard.

I’d like to say it’s a success for me as a mother to see Amanda walking around, but I have little to do with it. She’s the one who picks herself up and keeps on going whenever she falls. She has an inner drive to learn and do that I wish I could bottle for myself. I see such determination in her eyes and I wonder if I once had that same spark in my eyes.

I’ve been looking at pictures from last year through my Timehop app, and it’s crazy how much Amanda has changed. She doesn’t even look like the same kid!

To be honest, I’m not that sad that she already passed the first phase of her life. She has an awesome personality developing that, if she were to stay a baby, I would never get to know. Now we have tickle fights and she gives me the best baby kisses when she gets lovey dovey. Yesterday, as I was washing dishes, she toddled up and just grabbed ahold of my legs and hugged them. That’s something I wouldn’t trade for having my big eyed baby back.

So onward we plow into toddlerhood, where more adventures and challenges await. I hope we continue enjoying the little things as we go and that Mandy never loses her spark and love of learning along the way.

Caitlin is the managing director of Snuggleosophy and the mother of 1-1/2 year old Amanda. She has lived as an expat in Santiago, Chile for the past 7 years and speaks English and Spanish fluently. She loves to promote reading for children starting from birth as well as multilingual and multicultural parenting. For her day job, she is a pricing and transportation analyst for international freight.

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