But Lauren seems to be a girl who does things her own way in her own time. She took her time starting to roll, army crawl, and crawl on all fours, and she seemed to feel the same way about walking. She's really enjoyed this phase of pulling up to stand using furniture, walls, cabinets, and legs, and walking along holding on to objects, and didn't seem to be too interested in exploring further transportation methods. I've been trying to follow the RIE approach in regards to physical development, and have given Lauren opportunities to practice her gross motor skills but let her take the lead in what she's comfortable doing. It's been really beautiful to watch her grow and progress on her own terms. I haven't minded at all that she hasn't been an early or even an on-time walker. I know that life will change drastically with a walking baby and I was more than happy to postpone that new stage for several extra months.
A few weeks ago, Lauren started to let go of objects and stand alone for a few short seconds. Slowly, she's built up her balance to stand for longer amounts of time and has become much steadier on her feet. Soon she was standing alone in the bathtub (because of course she needs both of her hands to rub shampoo into her hair) and on the soft surface of our bed, which takes some skill.
For the past week or so, I've been periodically setting Lauren out in front of me as I knelt on the floor and asking her if she could walk to me. Until today, she's always fallen to her knees and crawled on over, crawling being the obviously faster method. But today, when I decided to try it again, she stood steadily for a few seconds and then took several steps over to me and fell into my arms. Even though I knew it was really close to happening, I was still quite surprised. Then I realized that I should document it and ran to grab my camera so I could show Jonathan in case Lauren didn't feel up to replicating her efforts in the evening once he was home from work. When I asked her to walk to me again, with the camera recording her efforts, she happily obliged and then did so several more times throughout the afternoon. And thankfully, Lauren was happy to show Dada her new skill this evening!
We can say with certainty that our girl is truly a toddler now!