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Things I Didn't Realize Until My Toddler Started Walking

If childhood is a series of one developmental leap after another, few are more significant than a baby’s first steps.

And while you’re there in the background cheering them on, it can be bittersweet watching your little one walk away from you for the very first time. It’s also educational: you don’t know what you don’t know until your kiddo starts walking.

Here’s what I learned.

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  • Toddlers Have One Speed. 1 of 8
    Toddlers Have One Speed.
    Can you guess what that speed is? That's right: fast. It's amazing how much ground my daughter could cover in no time...she always kept me on my feet!
  • That Maybe All Those Other Parents Were on to Something 2 of 8
    That Maybe All Those Other Parents Were on to Something
    I'll admit it: before my kids were mobile I was judgmental of parents who used "safety harnesses" (AKA toddler leashes). As soon as mine started walking, though, I realized that sometimes they're a necessity- especially in crowds.
  • That Toddlers are Sneaky Little Guys 3 of 8
    That Toddlers are Sneaky Little Guys
    Toddlers are curious and into everything, and nothing makes that more clear than when they start walking! I'll never forget the first time my toddler decided to give herself a manicure- I was scrubbing "Rum Raisin" from the bathroom tile for days!
  • That Quiet = Trouble 4 of 8
    That Quiet = Trouble
    I quickly learned that when you're the parent of a toddler, silence is a sign of trouble.
  • That I’d Never Sit Down Again 5 of 8
    That I'd Never Sit Down Again
    Maybe "never" is over stating it a bit, but when you have a walking toddler those moments of leisure are hard to come by.
  • The Term 6 of 8
    The Term
    I thought that because we'd "baby proofed" our house that we were safe, but oh no. My kids learned how to open gates, unlock cabinets, and open supposedly "secure" doors. The irony is that no adults could figure them out!
  • That My Baby Had Goals 7 of 8
    That My Baby Had Goals
    Who knew that toddlers were so task-oriented? When my kiddos started walking I quickly learned that there was no getting in between a toddler with a goal...such as that bag of candy on the counter or even Daddy's cell phone.
  • That I’d Wonder What I Did for Entertainment Pre-Parenthood 8 of 8
    That I'd Wonder What I Did for Entertainment Pre-Parenthood
    For all of the stress and sleepless nights that come along with parenthood, there's truly nothing like young children for entertainment value. It makes it all worth it!

More by Mary Lauren:

You Asked, I Answered: How Can I Get My Toddler to Listen?

Halloween Costumes Inspired by Children’s Books

12 Toddler-Friendly Trick or Treat Bags

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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